Wedding Couple Seating Arrangements

Good morning, lovebirds!

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Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian

For those of you whose weddings are right around the corner, spring is when we start working through the details of your day, such as where you’re going to sit at your own party. When it comes to wedding reception dining, there are three main options for where the newlyweds can sit: a head table, sweetheart table or with your guests. This can often become a challenge for many of our couples. It is hard to decide what is the right fit for your day when you have relatives, friends, and lord knows who else, telling you what you are supposed to do and where you are supposed to sit. Though it can be a difficult situation, each option has its pros and cons. With practicality and design in mind, today we’re walking you through each option so that you are able to make the best decision on your big day!

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Photo Credit: Booth Photographics

Head Table

The head table is typically located in a central area and one sided, so it more or less faces all guests throughout dinner. The people sitting here with the couple are usually members of the bridal party (or portion of the bridal party, depending on how large your party is). This was definitely a more popular option in decade’s past (because for years, it was the only real option), but some of our couples still choose to go this traditional route!


  • This layout keeps it simple – you don’t have to spend too much time toiling over who you will sit with (since it is usually your bridal party, occasionally parents) and that all of your guests can see you.
  • When it comes to being the newlyweds, all your friends and family present will want to find time to chat and congratulate you personally, especially during dinner. With the head table, guests will feel some hesitation to approach your table and conversing with you while you are trying to eat.
  • It is only natural that your guests will be excited to connect with you, but sometimes it is good to have some sort of barrier to everyone having complete access to you, since you are still going to want to eat at least a portion of your fabulous wedding meal.


  • The trouble is that the table is one sided, so you will only be able to talk to the people on the left or on the right of you.
  • You will also have to be mindful of splitting up people from their dates and significant others. For the ladies and fellas of your bridal party who have travelled far or brought dates that aren’t familiar with others attending the wedding, it can be awkward when they have to sit alone or at separate tables.

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Photo Credit: Amanda McKinnon Photography

Sweetheart Table

This is a go-to for a lot of couples these days. The table, like the head table, is one sided and at the center, but is smaller and only includes the couple instead of an entire gang of people.


  • Again, this option puts you center for everyone to see and admire. The thought behind a sweetheart table is that you get to spend the time alone with your new life partner.
  • You would not have to deal with all the drama of choosing who you will sit with and who will be left out.
  • From a wedding designs standpoint, there are an array of opportunities for decor with a sweetheart table; since the table is small, a little love nest of sorts can be created without breaking the budget… and oh, how we love a good sweetheart table backdrop!


  • The table will only include you and your significant other, which means you will only be able to talk to them and no one else (even could be a “pro” if you’re private people and want the only time).
  • When you are sitting alone without other guests surrounding you, people will feel more inclined to approach your table and talk. Even though it is out of love, it can be tiring for someone to have a five minute conversation with you, while your food gets cold, and then just when they leave, another couple comes up to give you some love. Meanwhile, your food is still just sitting there and staring at you. #thestruggleisreal

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Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian

Sit Amongst Your Guests

This has also become a super popular option for our couples, as they are able to sit with their closest friends and/or family.


  • This option allows the bride and groom to have a great time, since they are surrounded by those they love the most and can be right in the center of all the excitement.
  • Guests at other tables will less likely come up to you during dinner and start a long conversation if you are surrounded by other people, so you are more likely to be able to eat and enjoy your meal.


  • Anytime you choose to sit with certain people over others, doors fly open for drama.
  • Other people who feel particularly close to you, but who have not been chosen to sit with you, might end up getting offended.
  • It can also be a challenge to decide precisely where to place the table, since the bride and groom need to be central and seen by all guests (which can’t always easily be done in a gaggle of tables).

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Photo Credit: Katherine O’Brien Photography

We encourage you to pick where you want to sit based on what you want to do, not what your mom, best friend, or anyone else tells you is what you are supposed to do. This decision can be different for everybody and is something that you and your significant other need to think through before making a final call. We hope to have provided you with enough data to determine and calculate your different options, and for you to be able to pick what appeals to you the most.

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Photo Credit: Lane Dittoe

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