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Wedding Head Table Layout (A Complete Guide 2022)

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If you chose to have a head table instead of the sweetheart table, then you want your family and your wedding party to feel special and appreciated on your wedding day. What is the best wedding head table layout?

The head table is an important table in a wedding reception. This is a reserved seating area for the bride, groom, family members, and honored guests. When couples plan their wedding, they tend to often forget about this important sitting arrangement.

Since it will be the highlight of your wedding ceremony, we have layout ideas to make your head table arrangement stand out.

wedding reception hall with two long tables

What To Consider

How Many Tables Do You need?

When deciding where to place your head table, take into consideration how many tables you want and how to place them. If you have a large guest list, then you may want to consider having multiple head tables.

You can choose to have one for the bride’s immediate family and one for the groom’s immediate family. This will allow your guests to know who is sitting at which table and cut down on confusion as not everyone will know all of your loved ones by name.

The Floor Plan

The layout of the head table will depend on the floor plan of the venue.

As you plan your wedding, ensure you contact the wedding venue so you can know the layout and the details of the wedding venue. This will help you know if the venue will accommodate additional head tables.

The electrical outlet locations, the bathrooms, and the dimensions will help you layout the tables within the space without the “Bathroom” sign showing in the background. As much as you will also appreciate the services of the DJ, you will not appreciate them appearing as the background of all your wedding photos.

Size Matters – Table Size and Chair Size

For a functional head table arrangement, you need to keep in mind how many people will be at your wedding and how many people you want to sit with at the head table. You should consider the table size, chair width, tabletop overhang, shape, and table leg placement.

There should be 24 inches of space between people seated at your table so that the seating space does not look and feel constricted.

Wide chair spacing would be 6 inches and over, while 2 inches should be the minimum spacing between chairs.

Here are some head table layout ideas you should consider when planning your wedding reception.

5 Wedding Head Table Layouts

1. Traditional Head Table Layout

The traditional setup is the most common. This is where you will find the bridal party seated on one side at a long table as they face the guests. You will see this table arrangement in most outdoor and indoor reception arrangements with a central dance floor.

The head table can be modified in two ways, as a standard head table arrangement and a U-shaped head table arrangement.

A standard arrangement requires you to connect several banquet tables in a single long row. The bride and the groom get to sit in the middle as the bridal party sits on either side.

As for the traditional U-shaped table layout, the tables are connected in a way that the head table wraps around the dancefloor. The newlyweds get to sit in the middle on the curve of the U. The additional tables and seats are set for the bridal party, parents of the newlyweds, and the bridal party’s dates.

2. The Serpentine Head Table

A curved serpentine traditional table is an interesting way to add a nice twist to the traditional head table.

You can set this table by adding extra banquet tables and creating curved corners. This will help you have an extended head table to accommodate the bridal party and family.

3. The King’s Head Table

two round tables and long table in a wedding reception hall

The king’s head table is best placed in the center of your seating area.

You can achieve this by setting up banquet tables to form a wide square shape. This setup looks best with elaborate table decorations and centerpieces.

Family-style meals also work well with this kind of setup.

4. Sweatheart-Head Table Combination

This combination may look out of place since a sweetheart table is not a head table, but the combination gives you the best of both worlds. There are two ways to set up this layout.

The first way you can combine the two is by placing the sweetheart table in a corner and setting the banquet tables on each side. The second way is by putting the sweetheart table in the middle and setting up a banquet table on each side as well.

The sweetheart-head table combination allows the wedding party to sit together with their dates and gives the newlyweds their own table.

Additional space around the sweetheart table will enable newlyweds to get up and dance without being restricted by the head table.

5. Double-Sided Head table

beautifully set up long tables for wedding

Most wedding receptions have this layout. Two 8ft tables are pushed together to create a bigger rectangular table.

This setting will fit a large bridal party as all four sides will be utilized. There will be tons of space for plates and bowls and thus will suit perfectly for family-style dinner service.

Frequently Asked Questions About Head Tables

  • How should I organize my head table? The head table should be the focal point of the celebration. Therefore, you should place it where photographers will get a good picture of the two of you.

    Your head table should face the dance floor, the DJ, and be away from the entrance or the washrooms.
  • How long should the head table be? A head table should be long enough to accommodate the bridal party and the family members. However, it shouldn’t be too long or the people seated at the end of the table may feel isolated.

    The head table should accommodate 20 people while others can accommodate up to 26 people.
  • Is there a difference between a head table and a sweetheart table? A head table is a big table that accommodates more people like the family and the bridal party. A sweetheart table is a table for the newlyweds alone.

Final Thoughts

How you set up your head table is important. You should consider both the aesthetic and practical elements to make sure the centerpiece of your reception tables catches people’s attention, yet also leaves them room to enjoy a meal or chat with others.

The bride and groom’s table should also be visible from any vantage point in the room.

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