One of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding is organising the table plan. Deciding which friends and family members should sit together, without causing some upset, can be a difficult task. This can be even more complicated when deciding who should sit at the bridal table.
Traditional wedding etiquette says that the bride and groom sit in the centre of the bridal table, with the groom to the bride’s right, and the rest of the guests sit in an alternating boy-girl pattern. The bride’s father sits next to the bride, then the groom’s mother and the best man at the end of the table. On the opposite side, the bride’s mother sits next to the groom, then the groom’s father, and the chief bridesmaid sits next to the groom’s father at the end of the table.
The bridal table seating plan can become complicated if there are any divorced parents and step-families in the bridal party. If things are too tense between parents and step-parents then it probably isn’t a good idea to include them all at the bridal table. One way to keep the peace is to seat step-parents at a table close to the top table with their own family or friends and keep the top table specifically for biological parents.
Alternatively, you could choose to not include family at the bridal table at all and opt for a more contemporary top table with your bridesmaids and groomsmen. You can still ask each parent and step-parent to host a table. Make it clear who will be hosting each table on the seating chart so that they feel involved. If the parents of the bride and groom are not in the wedding party they should be seated on the table nearest the bridal table.
Wedding etiquette traditionally says that the partners of the best man and maid of honour don’t usually sit at the top table. However, if you are close to them and have room then it’s a nice idea. Another option is to have a bridesmaids and groomsmen table, and to seat their partners with them.
If you want to forget tradition all together, sometimes the bride and groom have their own table called a ‘sweetheart table’. This way you can look over your friends and family and avoid any seating plan stress.
Which bridal table seating plan will you be having at your wedding?
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