Post # 15
If the bridesmaids’ SOs don’t know anyone at the wedding, I would feel rude making them sit away from their girlfriends/wives. Personally, I wouldn’t want to split up couples at the reception, so I would also go with previous posters’ ideas of you sitting with your Darling Husband and immediate family at the head table and putting the bridal party with SOs at a nearby table. I see more and more people having sweetheart tables at receptions, but it’s really up to personal preference.
Post # 17
babylo0n: Do not separate bm’s and their dates (or anyone from their date). It just ends up being awkward for them. Either 1) sit everyone together at a head table or 2) do a sweetheart table and sit your bms+dates at a separate table. You will hardly have time to socialize at a table, whereas your BMs will be stuck there for the majority of the reception.
Post # 18
mgbser: If – “The head table will sit up there for 20 minutes to eat and have a few pictures, and then once I’m off to great guests with the husband, I fully expect the bridal party to get up to hang with SO and friends.”
Then why bother having a head table? Your Wedding Party will just have to go sit awkwardly with their dates (where they won’t have a seat), or sit alone at the head table. If you won’t even have time to socialize with them, it seems a little selfish to even bother. Why not do a sweetheart table (since you only plan on sitting for 20mins – like you said) and that way eveyrone can be with their dates, and you can mingle to your hearts content.
Post # 19
babylo0n: you have two options.
1) seat everyone at the head table (common in some circles, not mine)
2) seat them at the table closest to the head table. we had two tables equally close to the head table – one was a parents’ table and one was a dates-of-the-BP-table. theyll only have to sit their for dinner, and they can chat with each other.
Post # 20
JrzyGurl: I’d like a sweet table, but my fiancé really wants a head table and has asked for so few things that I figured why not. We have a small bridal party so definitely we will be making time for them, but if our best man wants to hang out with his wife after eating that is totally ok (And honestly I doubt the others will bring dates). Our venue is setup with a bunch of extra high tables around the bar and sweet table because I want our guests to be able to mingle and talk to people beyond who is just at their table- so there will be plenty of open seats and places to go. I kind of expect that none of our guests will stay seated in their chairs long. They will be dancing or up by the bar or sweet table talking and eating/drinking, and I want our wedding party to feel like a guest and have fun too.
Post # 21
babylo0n: We’re doing an unconventional seating arrangment.
My FH and I will be at a table with our parents, our parents’ best friends and grandparents.
Our wedding party will be at nearby tables with their SOs and kids.
My main reason for this is that I’ve been the date of wedding party at a wedding where there was a head table and I just felt really weird not being able to talk with my date for half of the reception. Instead, I was talking with his parents and meeting the majority of his family, alone, for the whole time.
Post # 22
We didn’t do a main table, we did a couple’s table for us, and then had his side of the party at one table with their respective SO/+1 and the same for mine. That way nobody had to sit with people they didn’t know/like, and everyone could be around their partner. It worked out really nicely 🙂 Also if your wedding reception is gonna be anything like mine was, nobody will be sitting at their table anyway, they will all be dancing.
Post # 23
We are doing something similar to what the bride that luckycharm is standing up with is doing. Our “head table” will be us and our parents. We are mingling our bridal party at different tables, though.
Post # 25
Personally, I see the bridal party as honored guests and I believe in the “rule” that the only thing they are required to do is stand up at the ceremony with you in the appropriate clothing. Of course, most brides and grooms ask their bridal party to do much more than that, so in most cases the bridal party has already attended a rehearsal/rehearsal dinner the night before, been by your side getting ready all morning, taken formal photos before and after the ceremony, stood up with you during your ceremony, etc. By the time they get to the reception I think it is only polite to treat them like true guests (not props for your photos or servants for all of your whims during dinner) and let them sit with their S/O’s. No other guest is separated from their boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband during the dinner (including the bride and groom) so I think it’s quite rude to separate your “honored” guests from theirs. I like the suggestion of a sweetheart table, sitting with your own families (or just the heads of your families e.g. bride, groom, bride’s parents, groom’s parents), or a modified head table (bride, groom, best man, best man’s wife, moh, moh’s husband) and seating the other bridal party members with their S/O’s and other friends.
Post # 24
This is exactly why I prefer sweetheart tables over head tables. It cuts out any potential drama with the bridal party.
Post # 26
We’re doing a huge head table w all bridal party (13) and their dates and the children of the 2 who’ll be bringing their kids. I have a feeling one or 2 of the groomsmen might opt out to be at tables w more of their friends or more single women, which is fine by us.
We do plan on eating (we’re foodies and food should be amazing) and we’ll have a welcome party to greet guests and a receiving line of only us 2, so no need to go around to tables. it’s a destination wedding w Bach parties right before and there’s no end time to the reception so we’re expecting plenty of time to hang out a guests before and after reception while still letting us enjoy dinner W most of our bridal party.
This is just our preference. I’ve been the date when Fiance was at the head table and I wasnt and that was also fine.
Post # 30
SarahTee: Im with you, lady. To me the sweetheart table is lame and antisocial. I will have the rest of my life to eat dinner alone with my husband- at dinner I will want to celebrate with our nearest and dearest.
Post # 27
babylo0n: We didn’t have our bridal party sit at the head table. We sat with our parents, and then the bridal party sat with their dates at other tables scattered throughout. People kept thanking me that we didn’t separate them the entire night. Something to consider.
Post # 28
We are having the head table with *GASP* just the bridal party and *CLUTCH MY PEARLS* seating the dates at another table. I know it’s against the grain and that people will judge me for it on here, but honestly, I never knew it was an issue until I came to this site, and I’ve been the +1 for a groomsman a few times. Believe it or not, adults are capable of sitting alone for an hour or two.
We are planning to seat each date with people that their SO is friends with, and giving the friends a heads-up so that maybe they can befriend the person during dinner and cocktail hour.
In the few cases where I was the date, I never considered being annoyed with the set up, because yes, this is the bride and grooms day! I knew going into it what the situation would be, and if I couldn’t handle it, I would have said I couldn’t go. And by the way, I am a PAINFULLY shy person. In the grand scheme of their lives, two hours away from their SO is really not a big deal.
Post # 31
MrsBuesleBee: But your bridal party and their loved ones don’t get to celebrate with their nearest and dearest…makes sense.