(Closed) Head Table Etiquette (long post)

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
46609 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You will get as many opinions as there are websites if you research on the net.

I suggest you do what you (or your Mom) want.

Post # 4
9029 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I dont think there are any hard and fast rules. At our head table my Maid/Matron of Honor sat near me and the best man sat near my husband. It made sense for us because I could easily talk to her that way

Post # 5
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I have read somewhere that the seating your mom is suggesting is the traditional way of going about the head table–however, I don’t think I’ve ever attended a wedding that actually implemented it.  I’ve seen the head table done so many different ways, from just the best man and Maid/Matron of Honor at the head table, to the entire wedding party, to just the parents of the bride and groom.  And then there’s the infamous sweetheart table (which is what my Fiance and I are planning on doing) which only seats the bride and groom.  Talk to your mom about it and see if you two can’t come to a compromise, mixing some traditional wedding aspects in with some non-traditional ones.  I’m sure she has your best interest at heart and just wants the wedding to be perfect for you! 

Post # 6
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Maid/Matron of Honor, Groom, Bride, Bridesmaid or Best Man is the traditional arrangement. but it IS 2012. 

we’re doing a sweetheart table for us and then four long tables for our party and their SO (if FH was a groomsman and I wasn’t in the party, I’d HATE to have to sit at a different table). 

as for the RSVPs if they are paying for most of the wedding, then technically they’re hosting it. so it makes sense that people would confirm with them, the hosts. but again, its 2012 lol. 

Post # 7
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Your mom would of been appalled by me and my Darling Husband – we didn’t have a head table and the RSVPs went to our house. Some etiquette has changed since she got married, and these are two good examples. The RSVPs used to go to the bride’s parents because that was where the bride lived! Even if she is the one paying and therefore hosting according to the invites, you’re the one who is in charge of actually planning this thing and doign the seating chart, so I would insist ont hem being sent to your house.

Post # 10
1696 posts
Bumble bee


At any formal banquet that has a head table the host and hostess sit at the centre of the head table with the lady to the gentleman’s right. The male guest of honour sits to the lady’s right, and the female guest of honour to the gentleman’s left. At a wedding, the host and hostess normally give up their places to the bride and groom and instead take the ends of the head table, and the maid of honour and the best man take the places of the female and male guests of honour respectively. So, as far as that goes, your mother is quite right.

Then in order of precedence, the next-most honoured gentleman sits to the right of the female guest of honour, and the next-most honoured lady sits to the left of the male guest of honour; and so on down the table; then the third-most honoured lady to the right of the second-most honoured gentleman, and the third-most honoured gentleman to the left of the second-most honoured lady, and so on down the table to the ends, alternating male-and-female and making sure that married couples, or persons otherwise closely related, are NOT placed side-by-side. So, apart from the newlyweds and the honour attendants, your mother’s table arrangements depart from correct protocol.

I always find sorting out seating plans to be great fun, much like a sudoku or crossword puzzle. When in the course of laying out the order of precedence you can arrange that good talkers are set next to good listeners, and utter bores are set next to the hard-of-hearing, it’s like completing the New York Times crossword without recourse to the solution on page 101.

Post # 11
5295 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

Meh, I would do it the way you want. I wanted my Maid/Matron of Honor next to me so we could chit-chat and Darling Husband wanted to chat with his Best Man. We also had the rsvp’s come to our house. We liked getting them every day. Do what you prefer!

Post # 12
103 posts
Blushing bee

You can go any way you want… It’s your day, make sure you’re sitting in a way that’s comfortable for you!

I’m having the bridal party and their SO all sit at our head table, we’re all going to be sitting at a table just like the rest of our guests. Our centerpieces will be different, but that’s about it!

(And I’ve always seen girls on the bride’s side, boys on the groom’s so I get the feeling not many people follow that tradition!)

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