Head Table Layouts

Will you opt for the one-sided table that seats you and your wedding party up-front and overlooking your guests? This traditional seating option is great for keeping you all at the focal point of the room for toasting and speeches, but keep in mind that this seating arrangement also keeps your wedding party separated from their dates. It’s also a little hard to converse with those not on either side of you.


Traditional Head Table – the traditional head table consists of the bridal party along with the bride and groom. The bride is typically seated on the right side of the groom. (If you are left-handed, you may want to sit to his left!) The bridal party can be separated by bridesmaids/maid-of-honor on the side of the bride; groomsmen/best man on the side of the groom (this can be disputed that the best man is beside the bride – but don’t you want your head girl beside you?). Or simply alternate bridesmaid, groomsman, bridesmaid, groomsman, etc. Depending on your bridal party size, the shape can vary:

One table: a long table with entire bridal party sitting on one side of the table – facing into the crowd of guests. The bride and groom should sit at the center of the head table with maid of honor beside the bride and the best man beside the groom; then evenly seat the remainder of the bridal party on each side

Tiered tables: for a large bridal party. Have a table with bride, groom, best man, MOH and potentially a few other party members on a platform (resulting in table being elevated over all other tables). A second table is then placed in front of this table (on the reception floor) and will seat remainder of bridal party. Both tables will be facing out into the guests.

U-Shaped: best suited for a narrow room. One long table faces guests with two tables on each side, creating an upside down U. The bride, groom, MOH, best man should sit facing guests (at base of U). Depending on party size, you may want to include a few additional members at this table. Finish seating remainder of party on each side table (sides of U).

Sweetheart Table: this table accommodates just the two of you and can be found either at one end of the reception room or in the center of the room, surrounded by guests’ tables. You may face each other or sit on one side. If sitting on one side, facing into the guests, you will want this table to be located against a wall or window backdrop. Optional: include your maid of honor and best man at this small table. The bridal party will then sit at table(s) to your immediate left/right or directly in front of you.

Gathering Table: One table that fits the two of you, your wedding party and all possibly their guests. The table may be a round table, rectangle table or square table. Check with your reception site to ensure they have a table – and space – to accommodate.

Courtyard Table: A courtyard table is set up in the center of your venue by using tables in a square formation. The accent of the center of the tables can be filled with many things from candles to floral arrangements or an extravagant water pond if you choose. Both bridal party as well as immediate family or dates can easily be seated in this arrangement that is both fun and unique.

You will know which style is best for you. Always remember the size of your bridal party and venue space can make a huge difference in deciding what type of head table you choose. Remember to check with your venue if you want a courtyard table or you will be very disappointed to find out closer to the wedding it won’t work if the space isn’t available.