What is a Wedding Head Table, and Who Sits There?

Once the bans have been read and the rings exchanged, it’s time to head to the reception! If you’re serving a full meal, one thing you’ll have to think about is the seating chart. Even if you opt for open seating for your guests, you’ll still need a dedicated spot for you and your new spouse. The table where the newlyweds sit is called the “head table” in the industry. There are a few seating options for head tables, explained by our wedding photographers!


Wedding Table FAQ


What is a wedding head table?

A wedding head table is the table where the newlyweds sit, often with wedding VIPs, during the wedding reception. The head table is usually located in a prime position, either at the heart of the room or at the front near the dance floor, so that all eyes are on it.


Does a reception always have a head table?

There is no official rule on head tables, but if you’re providing a full meal, then you’ll likely provide tables and chairs. Wherever the bride and groom sit will be considered the head table, so chances are you will have one.


Who sits at the head table at a wedding reception?

Who sits next to you at the head table is entirely up to you and your partner! Depending on who you choose, there are a few social dynamics you’ll have to consider. Generally, newlyweds select important people to share the table with them, such as the wedding party or their family. Now let’s look at the most common head table seating options.


Wedding Head Table Options


Sweetheart Table

A sweetheart table is an intimate option where only you and your spouse sit. You will typically sit side by side and face the rest of the room. This is a common option that provides your wedding photographer a great chance to snap a few candids of you. Some couples find this arrangement awkward and would rather not have the sole focus be on them during the whole reception, especially while eating.


Two Plus Attendants

Instead of a table for two, you can opt for a four-person table instead. This would include you, your new spouse, and two VIP wedding attendants, such as your maid of honor and best man, who would sit on either side of you. This lets you still have an intimate first meal with your partner while still allowing you to celebrate with your closest friend.


Wedding Party

The most popular option after a sweetheart table is having the entire wedding party sit together. This provides a great opportunity for wedding party photos during the reception, especially candids during speeches. Etiquette would dictate that you also seat any plus-ones your wedding party has with them at the head table as well. This can add up quickly, so if you have a large wedding party, make sure there’s room for a large enough head table.


Immediate Family

If your wedding party is too large, or you want to focus on family on the big day, consider having your immediate family join you at the head table. This is a good option if you want to honor your family coming together. This can get tricky if there are complicated family dynamics like divorced parts or remarriage, but it allows you to celebrate closely with your family also.


No matter what wedding head table arrangement you decide on, AGI Studio would love to capture your special day. Contact us today to book one of our talented, award-winning wedding photographers or videographers!

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