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Wedding: Sweetheart or Head Table?

by Meghann on October 8, 2012

Here’s something I never really considered until I started planning my own wedding: should the bride and groom sit at a sweetheart table or a head table at the reception?

In my humble opinion, either option is perfectly acceptable and it really comes down to the personal decision of the bride and groom. Both have their pros and cons and either set-up may work (or not work) at the chosen venue.

For a head table set-up, the rest of the bridal party joins the bride and groom at the front table for dinner at the reception.


This is a nice option because it means the bride and groom aren’t awkwardly on their own at the front of the room. The other members of the bridal party also act as an additional barrier between the newlyweds and guests, so they actually have a chance to eat their food and get a drink in before the real partying begins.

On the other hand, this also means the bridal party members’ dates are sitting elsewhere, and if they don’t know another soul at the wedding, it can be a little lonely.

For a sweetheart table set-up, the bride and groom are on their own at the front of the room.


This is a nice option because it means the bridesmaids and groomsmen are all able to sit with their dates at dinner and neither one has to worry about the other. This also gives the bride and groom some alone time together so they can take everything in and enjoy dinner semi-privately.

While the whole semi-private alone time is good in theory at the sweetheart table, I’ve also noticed that guests are more likely to approach the newlyweds at a sweetheart table when there’s no one around to act as a barrier. I have a theory that brides and grooms who sit at a sweetheart table never really have a chance to eat their food because they’re so busy connecting with as many guests as possible during dinner time.

So which would you choose?

Derek and I decided to go with the sweetheart option. Mainly because I like the look of the sweetheart and believe that’s the option that will work the best with our venue.


Plus, I wanted all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen to enjoy dinner with their dates. I looking forward to having a few moments alone with Derek during the reception, but I’m also sure neither of us will mind if guests come up to say Hi while we’re eating (just as long as they don’t mind if I continue to chow down as we speak ;) ).

Like I said, either option would have been fine, we just went with the one that we thought worked best for us. This was a decision that was low on the priority list, but a decision nonetheless. ;)

Did you have a sweetheart or a head table at your reception? What did you like or not like about either option?

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