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Sweetheart table? Large head table? No table?

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Lanie

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What are you guys/did you guys do as the wedding couple for your wedding?

I just went to a wedding where the couple ate upstairs by themselves right before everyone got there, so that they wouldn''t be interrupted at dinner by people coming up to them, and so that they could actually eat their food without scarfing it down. I thought it was an interesting idea, but didn''t know how it would be received.

I also went to a wedding where there was a large head table with bride, groom, and all of their BMs and GM. I didn''t like it personally because it seemed very 80''s to me, and it separated the BM''s and GM from their spouses. I had NEVER seen that before except for movies, and I was told that it was a regional thing up there (upstate New York)

I like the idea of a sweetheart table, but again, I''m scared I won''t get to eat if people keep coming up to us during dinner. We will have about 180 guests.

Any advice? Suggestions?
 

tlh

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we did a full sit down table. I liked it. I could share the time with my friends... and since courses weer served- I didn''t have to worry about people coming up to me during dinner... just the stupid photog who would take pictures of me while eating! YUK! so I refused to eat the whole night, and refused to drink anything because of all my bustle and crenolin.
 

violet02

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We did one very long rectangular table in the center of the tent. It seated us at the very head next to each other and then all of our Bridal Party, their SO''s and our ushers along the sides. Plenty of room. No one had to sit separate. The tent was cozy enough so it was like we were all together anyways.

I think a sweetheart table would be nice. I''ve been to some weddings with them and I liked to be able to see the bride and groom in the room. The way we were seated nearer to the center of the room and at the head allowed people to see us but I''ve been to some weddings where that wasn''t the case and I felt detached from the goings on. No one came up to us while eating or toasts or anything. We walked the room and went table to table right when the main meal was done to say hello to everyone.

You can always do a receiving line before the reception then do the dinner, although you have a large guest list. My friend had 200 people at his wedding and they went table to table. I haven''t seen people really go up to the bride/groom while they are eating before.
 

CNYHopeful

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Oct 9, 2008
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We''re doing a small sweetheart table just for bride & groom. It''s a buffet reception, so our guests will be helping themselves to the meal. The maitre d'' will serve Bride & Groom a sit-down style while they call up the tables for their meals. This will give us time to enjoy our meal while people are getting their own food and mingling amongst themselves. This will also allow our wedding party to sit with their spouses and families.

I grew up in NJ and am now living in CNY, and I have yet to see a large head table in upstate NY (but have seen it 2x''s in Jersey). However, all of the reception places we looked at typically set up for a large head table unless a sweetheart table or other setup is requested.
 

jstarfireb

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Date: 3/24/2009 4:39:58 PM
Author:Lanie
I also went to a wedding where there was a large head table with bride, groom, and all of their BMs and GM. I didn''t like it personally because it seemed very 80''s to me, and it separated the BM''s and GM from their spouses. I had NEVER seen that before except for movies, and I was told that it was a regional thing up there (upstate New York)
I''ve been to weddings with this setup, and I also really don''t like it. I''d prefer to have the bridal party with their significant others and friends, plus it calls too much attention to them for my tastes (i.e. when I was a bridesmaid for my friend, I was happy to be sitting among the crowd instead of at a head table, where I would feel uncomfortably in the spotlight). So I''m having a sweetheart table. It''s also a bit more private, if there an be any privacy at a wedding!
 

Winslet

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We''re doing a sweetheart table because FI and I each have 8 attendants, and many of them have significant others, so a long wedding party table isn''t really an option. I also kind of want us to be the center of attention
 

sunnyd

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This may sound odd, but we''re doing 2 head tables. They''ll be round and at the front of the room, but the BMs and GMs will sit with their SOs/dates/whoever. There''ll be seats at both tables for us to go back and forth.

The reason is that we have 8 attendants and we want them to be able to sit with their dates. A long table of 16 didn''t sound like fun for us.

No sweetheart table because the parents didn''t like the idea. At all. Hahaha.

So this idea works for us.
 

musincy

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We''re sort of doing a sweetheart table... I''m not sure it has a name

Our table will have the two of us plus both our sets of parents. Then, the bridal party will be split at two round tables and they''ll be able to sit with with their SO''s.
 

FrekeChild

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I imagine it will be a couple large tables or a grouping of small tables. I don''t care where we sit.

As for the regionality of the head table, I don''t think so. We have that here in NM too--just about as far from upstate NY as possible. I also think that idea sucks for BMs and GMs, but especially for their dates.
 

marchswallowbird

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Apr 22, 2008
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Sweetheart table. I only have one attendant, my sister, and she will be sitting with her significant other and my niece.

I would tell the photographer to give it a rest if he tried to get pics of me while eating! Actually, my photog will be eating at the same time we do, so it won''t be an issue.
 

Smurfysmiles

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in mn/nd it is very normal to have a head table with just the wedding party and bride and groom and thats what we''re doing...i guess we dont see it as too 80s ish , more we see it as tradition *shrugs*
 

CNOS128

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I never liked the idea of a sweetheart table; but then I started thinking about seating arrangements and realized that it would be the best option for us. We will not sit side-by-side at a gigantic sweetheart table that''s up on a platform, like friends of ours did.
 

redfaerythinker

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I think we''re going to have three head-type tables. One with me and fi and our parents etc. One with the bridesmaids and their SO''s. One with the groomsmen and their SO''s. And they''re all going to be standard size round tables.
 

AmberGretchen

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We had a sweetheart table and I loved it. People didn''t bug us while we were eating, although we did eat quickly (honestly, that will be the least of your priorities on that day!), and then we got up to circulate and chat with guests, etc...
 

SarahLovesJS

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We're going to do the sweetheart table..and I will be happy to talk to people (after Dinner)..*going Bridezilla*..they would be best to leave me alone while I eat and spend some time with my new hubby, roar!
 

Izzy03

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I strongly dislike having a head table!

I have always noticed that half the bridal party is missing during dinner(they are seating with their family, and SO''s) and sometimes I even see people who are NOT in the bridal party sitting at the head table so they can eat with their date who was in the bridal party.


We will have a sweetheart table. We also like the idea of sitting with our parents and siblings but we all would have never fit at one table.

I definitely think that the bridal party should be sat with their dates at tables near the bride and groom.
 

ice-queen

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Oct 5, 2008
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Maybe I''m wrong, but I don''t think you have to worry about people coming up to you while you''re eating...everyone else will be eating as well. And besides, I think people know better than that (or at least they should!!).

Sweetheart Tables: I used to think they were completely corny and weird...but the more I think about my own wedding, the more I love the idea. I like that it gives you and your new husband time to just be together, actually talk, and eat dinner by yourselves (granted with hundreds of people nearby, lol).

Head Table: I am really opposed to the idea of a head table (for myself) if it separates the bridal party from their dates. One of my friends recently went to a wedding with her boyfriend, who was a groomsman. The wedding was out-of-state (her boyfriend''s college roommate) and she only knew one other groomsman who didn''t bring a date. Long story short, she had to sit though a long 5 course meal at a table of strangers (and she''s somewhat shy, which made it worse). No one wants to be put in an awkward situation like that, and I think it''s just polite to keep couples together.

Eating alone somewhere else entirely: I actually think this is a neat idea and kind of romantic, although some of your guests may find it strange. I read in a bridal mag about a couple who did this, and they loved it. It gave them a chance to be alone, celebrate together, and actually talk to eachother. They also commented that it gave them time to go around to each table while their guests were eating and talk with everyone.

Another Option: At my brother''s wedding, he and his wife sat at a normal table in the middle of all the other tables with my parents, his wife''s parents, and grandparents. It was nice for them to get to spend time with family.
 

NuggetBrain

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We are having issues with this same topic ourselves. Two of his groomsmen are married (and I am friends with their wives), and my MOH will probably be bringing her boyfriend as well. We'd like for the rest of the bridal party to be able to sit with their dates too (if they bring any), but with us, 8 in the bridal party, at least 3 SO's....that's a big head table. I like the idea of the sweetheart table, with two round tables on the side (one for the groomsmen & dates, one for the bridesmaids & dates). But we also want to be able to talk to our bridal party during dinner!
 

Lanie

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Thanks for the input ladies! Keep it coming!

I want as much time on the dance floor as I can get! Any more thoughts on eating separately before everyone gets there? I told my FMIL this idea and she thought it was CRAZY! She already thinks I''m crazy bc I''m entertaining the idea of wearing blue shoes for the reception....HEAVEN FORBID!
 

dcgator

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Date: 3/24/2009 5:09:38 PM
Author: sunnyd
This may sound odd, but we''re doing 2 head tables. They''ll be round and at the front of the room, but the BMs and GMs will sit with their SOs/dates/whoever. There''ll be seats at both tables for us to go back and forth.

The reason is that we have 8 attendants and we want them to be able to sit with their dates. A long table of 16 didn''t sound like fun for us.

No sweetheart table because the parents didn''t like the idea. At all. Hahaha.

So this idea works for us.
Sunny D, that is not odd at all! We are going to be doing the same thing, having 2 head (round) tables. Although we only have 5 attendants each, we don''t want them to have to sit without their SO''s, so we will just have 2 head tables.

Also, we will have two chairs for the FI and me at both tables, so we can go in between the two tables, so no one group feels left out.

IMO, I really don''t like the idea of having a Sweetheart table b/c we want to include our guests/family and not feel segregated. Also, like others said, we thought the that one long table would just be too long with that many people. Finally, for those of us who''s parents are divorced, head tables with just the parents could be VERY ugly,
 

NovemberBride

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Jun 26, 2006
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I myself am not a fan of the sweetheart table - I figured all these people came to celebrate with us, why would we sit by ourselves - we''ll have plenty of meals by ourselves ont he honeymoon and for the rest of our lives, to me your wedding reception is not the time for "alone time".

I am also not a fan of the head table that is raised on a platform - I do not like the idea of people watching me eat and I don''t like the idea of attendants being separated from their dates.

For our wedding, we chose to sit at a regular table. We sat with our siblings, BM and MOH and their dates.

That said, I think all of the above are perfectly fine options, you should just choose what works for you.
 

elrohwen

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Our plan is to have a table for us, our two BMs, two GM, and their dates. 10 people is a great number for one table, so it worked out (we won't be doing the long head table thing, just a regular round/oval table where we can all sit next to our dates and still talk to each other). I was really against a sweetheart table because I eat with FI every night ... I kind of want to spend the dinner with four of my closest friends. FI and I will have plenty of time to be one on one, but the wedding is the time to celebrate with friends. Our best friends are almost all OOT, so I think this affects the decision as well; if they lived nearby and I saw them more than every 6-12 months, I might not care if I sat with them that day or not. And if we had more attendents than that, I'm not sure what we would do ... it's kind of awkward to have 20 people at at table and I wouldn't want to split them up from their dates.

As for eating ... my plan is to ask the waiters to come directly to us during the cocktail hour so we don't have to chase them down for finger food
I'm only slightly kidding. We'll have 1.5 hours of cocktail hour and pictures will mostly be done before, so I think we should have plenty of time to see every guest before dinner starts. Once dinner is served, I hope people stay at their tables and eat rather than coming up to chat. There will be plenty of opportunity for us to talk to everyone (only about 70 guests) and I hope to have a nice relaxed dinner.

How many BM and GM do you have Lanie? Would it be possible to have one big table with all of you including their dates? You could do a long head table, but seat people on both sides instead of one side; you could fit a big group at one table this way. I never understood why someone would seat all people on one side of the table like they were on display ... And I agree that having a sweetheart table gives people the idea to run up and chat with you rather than letting you eat. Since eating is very important to me (hey, I'm paying for food I want, so I want to be able to eat it! haha) that is one of the big reasons we're not doing a sweetheart table.

ETA: Some have expressed shock than anyone would go up and chat with the bride and groom during dinner, but at every wedding I have been to there was a sweetheart table and people did just that. I think everyone did it between courses, but there was definitely a receiving line leading up to the table the whole meal. That's something I did not want at my own wedding. I'm glad to hear that at most weddings, no one bothers the bride and groom during dinner; that's how it should be!
 

jstarfireb

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Date: 3/24/2009 6:35:41 PM
Author: AmberGretchen
We had a sweetheart table and I loved it. People didn''t bug us while we were eating, although we did eat quickly (honestly, that will be the least of your priorities on that day!), and then we got up to circulate and chat with guests, etc...
I''ve also not heard of people bothering the couple during the dinner...honestly, when I''m a wedding guest, I''m so focused on eating that I wouldn''t even think of getting up for pretty much any reason.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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We''re either going to do a sweetheart table or eat with our MOH/date and BM/date who are my brother and SIL and FI''s best friend and his wife. We''re also not having assigned seating for dinner.
 

CDNinNYC

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We''re also having a sweetheart table. I haven''t really thought about it too much; it''s how the resort sets up the reception seating.
 

brendaman

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Nov 7, 2008
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We''re having a Jewish wedding, and there is this tradition of the newlyweds secluding themselves in a room immediately after the recessional. This is called the Yichud, and it can be only a few minutes of seclusion where the bride and groom gets to decompress and appreciate what has just happened or it could be a time to share their first meal as husband and wife. In biblical times, this separation was when the couple physically consummated the relationship. We''re thinking of doing a Yichud and noshing on someting so that even if we don''t get a chance to eat our meals, we will not be starving.

With regard to the head table vs. sweetheart table, we''re thinking of doing a head table for us with the parents and the rabbi and his wife. We have a very small wedding party (4 people), so I was going to have them sit at other tables still thinking about this one. I like the thought of one long table, but not one of those where the wedding party faces the entire room, as if they were royalty. I''m just not into that.
 

NuggetBrain

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I wish we could skip the assigned seating, but with my parents being divorced (and my dad bringing his second wife with to the wedding), FFIL not being on speaking terms with half of his family, some of our friends not speaking to others, and a handful of FI's female friends since high school being ex-girlfriends of his male friends (who will be there with their wives) I know unless I tell people where to sit, someone's going to sit by someone they shouldn't and my wedding is going to look like an ANTM audition.
 

Lanie

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Date: 3/25/2009 11:19:26 AM
Author: elrohwen
Our plan is to have a table for us, our two BMs, two GM, and their dates. 10 people is a great number for one table, so it worked out (we won''t be doing the long head table thing, just a regular round/oval table where we can all sit next to our dates and still talk to each other). I was really against a sweetheart table because I eat with FI every night ... I kind of want to spend the dinner with four of my closest friends. FI and I will have plenty of time to be one on one, but the wedding is the time to celebrate with friends. Our best friends are almost all OOT, so I think this affects the decision as well; if they lived nearby and I saw them more than every 6-12 months, I might not care if I sat with them that day or not. And if we had more attendents than that, I''m not sure what we would do ... it''s kind of awkward to have 20 people at at table and I wouldn''t want to split them up from their dates.

As for eating ... my plan is to ask the waiters to come directly to us during the cocktail hour so we don''t have to chase them down for finger food
I''m only slightly kidding. We''ll have 1.5 hours of cocktail hour and pictures will mostly be done before, so I think we should have plenty of time to see every guest before dinner starts. Once dinner is served, I hope people stay at their tables and eat rather than coming up to chat. There will be plenty of opportunity for us to talk to everyone (only about 70 guests) and I hope to have a nice relaxed dinner.

How many BM and GM do you have Lanie? Would it be possible to have one big table with all of you including their dates? You could do a long head table, but seat people on both sides instead of one side; you could fit a big group at one table this way. I never understood why someone would seat all people on one side of the table like they were on display ... And I agree that having a sweetheart table gives people the idea to run up and chat with you rather than letting you eat. Since eating is very important to me (hey, I''m paying for food I want, so I want to be able to eat it! haha) that is one of the big reasons we''re not doing a sweetheart table.

ETA: Some have expressed shock than anyone would go up and chat with the bride and groom during dinner, but at every wedding I have been to there was a sweetheart table and people did just that. I think everyone did it between courses, but there was definitely a receiving line leading up to the table the whole meal. That''s something I did not want at my own wedding. I''m glad to hear that at most weddings, no one bothers the bride and groom during dinner; that''s how it should be!
Elrohwen, I have 5 bridesmaids, 2 juniors, and 5 GM, so that would be too enormous of a head table. I would love to do a sibling table, but I have too many siblings, and his one brother would feel kind of weird sitting with my whole family. I would also love to do a parent table, but his parents are divorced. ARGH. This is so complicated!!! I think we''ll just have to do a sweetheart table, eat as much as we can, hope that we aren''t cornered into a long conversation, then dance the rest of the reception!!! And get the caterers to put together a to-go box for us for late in the night. If you guys can''t already tell, I hate being hungry!
 

Lanie

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Date: 3/25/2009 4:32:48 PM
Author: NuggetBrain
I wish we could skip the assigned seating, but with my parents being divorced (and my dad bringing his second wife with to the wedding), FFIL not being on speaking terms with half of his family, some of our friends not speaking to others, and a handful of FI''s female friends since high school being ex-girlfriends of his male friends (who will be there with their wives) I know unless I tell people where to sit, someone''s going to sit by someone they shouldn''t and my wedding is going to look like an ANTM audition.
What is that? Wow...your wedding will have lots of underlying drama!
 

Elmorton

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We had a sweetheart, and our BP sat with their friends and/or family (assigned seating). Actually, only a couple people came up to our table to talk - the trick is to get your food when everyone else does, so not many people are likely to leave their meal to come interrupt yours. I ate plenty :) - and it was great to get a minute to talk to DH before we danced the night away.
 
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