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Who Sits at the Head Table During a Wedding Reception?

Anyone who has or is currently going through the stages of planning a wedding understands the difficulty in organising a seating arrangement. However, before you can start deciding which combination of cousins, co-workers and childhood friends will be the best dining companions, you need to sort the head table. It really doesn’t matter who sits at the head table during a wedding reception and these days of blended families means it can get quite tricky!

Here at Blackstock, our Granary Barn is the perfect location to home one large head table and still have plenty of room to fit many other round tables. We’ve got a few ideas, however, of who you might want to invite to sit by your side.

Location, Location, Location

Before you pick who, you need to decide upon where you’re going to place your head table in your reception space. 

Typically, your venue will recommend and suggest what they have seen work best in that particular room. Often, the head table will be positioned so the bride and groom can look out and see their friends and family. So a central position with their backs to a wall is often seen. 

How creative you can be with your table placement is usually limited to the reception venue and its size. 

Who Sits Where

Traditionally, the newly-weds sit next to each other in the middle of the table, with the bride seated to the grooms left. Typically, the bride is sat next to her father, with her mother sitting next to her groom. The grooms father is then sat next to the bride’s mother, with his mother being sat next to the bride’s father. At the end of the table sits the maid of honour and the best man. The best man sits on the bride’s side and the maid of honour on the groom’s. This keeps a nice male/female pattern going. However, this is definitely not mandatory.

This does ensure that you are all seated at one table for your first meal as an official family. This is the preferred option in the UK, as it doesn’t look like you’re picking favourites or ‘demoting’ close family members to a different table.

If this sounds far too confusing, we’ve designed a quick graphic to help you visualise the arrangement.


Break Tradition

Feel free to chop and change this. There are many alternatives, such as the US-style, where the wedding party is seated at the head table. In this arrangement, the maid of honour is next to the groom and the best man is next to the bride. This, once again, can be swapped, so the bride is with her bridesmaid and the groom is with his best man. After all, they are each your closest friend or sibling, it makes sense to want to sit beside them for such a huge occasion.

If you decided to go for the US wedding party option, ensure the parents have the best seats in the house. Nearby seats of honour are essential, they’ll want to have the best seats in the house to witness their little one’s big day!

Or Go For Something Really Different

Sometimes it really is too awkward to have a top table. So couples do sometimes decide to completely break with tradition and seat people all separately. As we said earlier, with blended families, or sadly people no longer with us, it can just be too difficult to sort amicably with everyone. So couples will sometimes just choose to sit everyone amongst all the guests. Which is also a lovely option.

Having parents hosting their own table of friends can also work really well.

Get in Touch

If you’re interested in speaking to our professional wedding coordinators about who sits at the head table during a wedding reception, then don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat. We’re more than happy to help in any way possible and are always willing to answer any questions specific to our venue. If you would like to book a private viewing, our team would be more than welcome to walk you around our 85 acre Estate.

We look forward to hearing from you x

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