Head of the Class: A Post About Who Sits Where

Seating arrangements are not something I’m looking forward to. I’ve tried a few mock-ups, but since our RSVPs have only just started to roll in, I really have no idea who or even how many “whos” to expect.

Instead, I’ve been trying to finalize our head table. (Again, something that should be simple but which I’ve taken upon myself to make undeniably more difficult.)

In a perfect world, I’d have everyone sitting at one giant table a la the Queen’s dinner parties, but our venue doesn’t exactly allow for this type of setting.


Image via Daily Mail

One popular head table type that I am downright opposed to having is the sweetheart table.


While I totally understand why so many brides choose to go this route, I want to hang out with our friends! I mean, I eat dinner with Mr. Rucksack almost every night, but I rarely get all of my friends together in one place. I just know that I would be jealous if all of our attendants were having all sorts of fun without us.

The traditional head table also includes the best man and maid of honor along with their dates. If we were to go with this set-up, I’d probably switch the order so that Mr. Rucksack could sit next to his bestie and I could sit next to my cousin.


Next up we have the parental table. This is another oldie but goodie that includes the parents of both the bride and groom in addition to the best man and maid of honor. I’m not opposed to this idea, but with so much family coming in from out of state, I know my mom will want to celebrate with them too.


The next table set-up is something I like to call the Sixth Grade Dance Table. In this popular table arrangement, all the groomsmen are on one side and all the bridesmaids are on the other. It certainly makes things easy, but I don’t like the idea of completely separating everyone. In our case, it also makes the table ridiculously long. Longer-than-last-supper long.


Rather than splitting up the genders, we could scatter the bridal party around the table to ensure that everyone mingles and has fun. I also like this arrangement because it allows for Mr. Rucksack’s sister and her husband to sit together. Since neither of them will know anyone else in the wedding party, they may be more comfortable together than on opposite sides of the table. Same goes for GM Brobot and MOH Tessa, who are brother and sister.


Of course, that still leaves out the dates. If we included them, it would look something like this:


Yikes! That’s a whole lot of people! (And that’s just including the dates I know for sure will be coming.) This particular arrangement also brings additional awkward considerations such as “strong personalities” that don’t really get along with all parties involved. It took me a really long time to even come up with a “More the Merrier” prototype because I kept thinking, “Wait, A and N don’t get along, so I have to separate them…” and repeat.

Right now, I think we’ll most likely go with the Scattered VIP Table. I think it’s the table arrangement guaranteed to give me the most amount of fun, and I think the dates can band together for an hour while we eat dinner. That shouldn’t be too hard, right?

What kind of head table will you/did you have? Are there any other alternatives I should consider?


Mrs. Rucksack

May 16
Branford, CT
Wedding Date:
August 2013
Let Them Eat Pie!
Wolves' Winter Wedding: Donuts and a Final Dance
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  1. Member
    MsGinkgo 8827 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 1:25 pm

    my friends made a ‘C’ shaped table so that the 4 BM’s (2 had dates) and the 4GM’s (2 had dates) all sat at the head table.

    I have no idea how I’m going to set mine up either.

  2. Member
    SadieBee 3360 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:32 pm

    My head table was closest to your last example – DH and I sat together at the head, with our BMs and GM mixed down both sides. Ours worked out perfectly, though, as we only had two dates present, so there were equal numbers (and not too many). We also had our table in the middle of the room, rather than the front, with round tables surrounding us – I wanted to be in the middle of the action, rather than on display. I really preferred it to a lot of the traditional setups.

  3. Member
    sugar_and_spice 168 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:00 pm

    We’re doing a scattered VIP table as well, and dates will get mixed in at other tables with other guests that they know. And like SadieBee, we’re doing our table in the center of the room because we’d also prefer not to be on display. I’m excited about our table setup, but I’m really not looking forward to doing a seating chart for the other tables! 😛

  4. Member
    Miss_Mimosa 190 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:06 pm

    This gave me a headache just looking at it, best of luck to you!!! I always thought it was nice at weddings when they allowed their bridal parties to sit with their dates!

  5. Member
    hartmamp 279 posts, Helper bee @ 3:38 pm

    We did sort of a “More the merrier” table – the whole bridal party (minus dates) all the way around a longer rectangular table. Worked out to being 14 people and wasn’t overly huge, which I was worried about. It worked out to remove any dates because they all knew other guests – so we didn’t have any oddballs!

  6. Member
    Almost Mrs.P 2056 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:45 pm

    We are doing your “the more the merrier” option… the table will have somewhere between 23 and 25 people!! (a few of our wedding party are not attached, so depending on whether they bring dates) It’s kind of huge, but I also think it will be pretty awesome to have everyone in one place.

  7. Member
    waitingalongtime 417 posts, Helper bee @ 3:51 pm

    We were thinking of doing a head table and then decided because we have 3 kids (his 2 sons, and my niece) we are doing our own “family” table.
    That way the GM and BM’s can sit with significant others or whoever they want.

    I’m not doing a seating chart of any sort! Part because I’m lazy and part because its mostly his family. My family consists of about 10 to his 90 lol

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    San Diego Beach Wedding, Guest @ 4:01 pm

    Putting the Bride and Groom at a table and letting everyone else sit where they like is easiest.

  9. Member
    jrzygurl 1881 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:11 pm

    You’ll only be sitting down for dinner for maybe 30 minutes. Don’t you think it’d be more comfortable for your WP to be with their dates? As opposed to inconveniencing them just so that you can have your WP close by. Maybe do The More The Merrier but spread out over two tables?

  10. Member
    Sloaner 84 posts, Worker bee @ 4:19 pm

    Funny because I was just talking to my MOH about this. Our wedding party actually wants to do the “Sixth Grade Dance” table. Reason? Most are moms/dads or single with no serious significant other. The moms and dads want a chance to enjoy the meal (their husbands/wives have no problem with it) and atmosphere and the single people aren’t bringing anyone. Plus, around here, it is just expected that you have that type of table and everyone adapts. I was up for mixing it up, but when talking to the people in the wedding party, they wanted to do the traditional. So that’s what they are getting.

  11. Member
    desiree.0615 772 posts, Busy bee @ 6:55 pm

    We did a sweetheart table and I loved it. But our second choice was with our entire bridal party. The main reason we didn’t do it was because our bridal party was HUGE. Lol but yea, the seating chart was my least favorite thing to do. It was so stressful, especially dive it was something that had to be done so close to the actual day! But since you are already doing mock ups I think it will go smoother for you. We waited until the last minute. I honestly thought it would be easy!

  12. Member
    anemonie 1578 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:26 pm

    We wanted something in between the sweetheart and traditional head table, so we seated ourselves, the MOH, and the best man with us and seated the rest of the bridal party and their dates at a table to our side. That way, people got to sit with their dates, we had friends to make it more fun at our table, everyone could easily see the MOH and BM for their speeches, and the head table wasn’t crowded.

  13. Member
    MrsEdamame 2350 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:52 pm

    Sweetheart table, all the way. It was the best choice, as it allowed everyone in the bridal party to sit with their dates. I’ve been to weddings where DH is a groomsman and I have to sit with an entire table of people I don’t know. That’s so awkward!

  14. Member
    Beaukat 317 posts, Helper bee @ 9:16 pm

    We’re doing the 6th grade table because… well, that’s just what we do in my family! I think it’ll be a blast though, because all of the significant others are friends too, so they have their own table to lounge at.

  15. otter Member
    otter 1321 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:40 am

    Seating charts. Ah, the nemesis. We did the sweetheart table because, as much as we love our friends and family, we wanted to have time to talk. Some of my favorite moments were “oh look at X and Y talking, I’m so glad they finally met!” – basically stalking our guests, I know! It worked out well for us too because there were some people that I would’ve preferred didn’t sit with us regardless of their part in the wedding, and that would’ve been reaaallyyy awkward!

  16. gloves Member
    gloves 190 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:17 am

    I loved our head table! We did a ‘more the merrier’ situation, with McGlovin and I at the head, and the bridal party plus dates down both sides (the rest of the guests were at round tables). It was perfect because we got to actually spend time with all of our friends, and no one’s date was relegated to a ‘dates table’ where no one knew each other. To be fair, it also helps that we had an Italian themed wedding with family style serving…so we weren’t really concerned at all that our table was too big (which is good, because there were about 22 people seated there!).

  17. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:02 am

    Interesting, I’ve never seen a bridal party table with seating on both sides before. I don’t care for the super-long head table with all of of the bridal party members (too stretched out and not able to see each other seems weird to me), but for that reason and to include the dates/husbands of bridal party members, we are opting for the sweetheart table (since we’ll only be sitting for a few minutes to eat and do toasts anyway), and have our bridal party members sit with their families where they will be most comfortable, and so that their husbands aren’t feeling awkward stuck somewhere at a table just because.

  18. bracelet Member
    Mrs. Bracelet 279 posts, Helper bee @ 8:47 pm

    Our “head table” was round, and we did a variation on the traditional head table. My MOH was next to me and Mr. B’s best man next to him; and everyone also had their date next to them. I didn’t like the idea of separating couples that should be enjoying the evening together.

  19. Member
    Soon2b_mrsgrumpybear 4 posts, Wannabee @ 12:49 am

    I had the biggest headache the day I tried to think about the head table. The only solution I could come up with was to leave the wedding party out, and ask Mr. GB’s siblings and my siblings with their respective wives/husbands to sit with us. Plus, his BM is his brother and my MOH my sister, so that’d do it! Only problem? He has 1 brother and 3 step sisters, one of them is single so that makes 7 people on his side, and I have 2 brothers, and a sister, one single two married/engaged, that makes 5 people in my side, and I’m an control freak! I’m really trying to avoid thinking of the fact that one side would be longer than the other one, but at least that’s better than making our parents unconfortable by having them sit right next to the ex husband or the ex-exhusband’s wife. So I thank God for siblings even if the table would be asymmetric (not thinking about it! Lol)

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    Sam, Guest @ 6:48 am

    We did a Kings Table, that way we were front and center and everyone could see us down the middle of the table, but our friends were all sitting with us and they could all chat and talk amongst themselves. We didn’t have the dates sit at the head table, but our group all knows each other really well, so they were sitting with their friends anyway, and we all only sat at the table while we were eating and during the speeches.

    The other thing I liked about the King’s Table set up was that no one had their back to the room, that’s the part that seems really odd to me about the “More the Merrier” table.

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    Kathleen, Guest @ 7:19 am

    We sat with our parents and grand parents at a round table close to the dance floor and then we just had our bridal party scattered around the room sitting with their friends. Our bridal party was large (8 on each side), many had dates, and came from different parts of our lives, so we said, why not let them sit with their friends rather than forcing them to all become friends. It worked out well and we just sat people with toasts closer to that spot so they didn’t have to travel far.

    Good luck!

  22. Member
    daniellekira 573 posts, Busy bee @ 1:26 pm

    I went with the sixth grade table. I want to be up there with my girls and husband, and then everyone can mingle later.

  23. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:32 pm

    We did sweetheart and loved it, it was my only alone time with Mr. W. :)

  24. Member
    MaryRachel 307 posts, Helper bee @ 12:13 pm

    We’re only allowed to do a sweetheart table or nothing (the other tables are all rounds) and FI is totally against the idea–so I have no idea what we’ll do! Not eat?

  25. Member
    Mrs. Rubber Stamps 821 posts, Busy bee @ 3:10 pm

    All of those charts look confusing as heck! We kept things simple and had a sweetheart table for us, sat my mom & stepdad with his daughter and her kids, my attendants (bff & sister) sat with friends and my dad sat with his family. DH’s parents sat with his family.

    I hope everything works out once you have all the RSVPs in!

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