Deciding on the type of wedding top table to have and who is sitting where can be straightforward for some. But for others, family break-ups, fall-outs or other logistical issues to worry about, can make things somewhat complicated! When it comes to the top table, there is no one rule that can be applied to every wedding.
The traditional top table is usually rectangular in shape and guests are seated from the left as follows:
Chief Bridesmaid | Groom’s Father | Bride’s Mother | Groom | Bride | Bride’s Father | Groom’s Mother | Best Man
Traditionally, step-parents are sat at a table close to the top table. This is also often the case if you have many bridesmaids and do not wish to distinguish between the chief bridesmaid and others. If you have more than one best man, they tend to sit next to one another.
Here are some other examples of top table seating arrangements:
Bride’s parents divorced & remarried
Bride’s Stepfather| Chief Bridesmaid | Groom’s Father | Bride’s Mother | Groom | Bride | Bride’s Father | Groom’s Mother | Best Man | Bride’s Stepmother
Tension between Bride & Groom’s parents
Chief Bridesmaid | Bride’s Mother | Bride’s Father | Groom | Bride | Groom’s Father | Groom’s Mother | Best Man
Keeping it simple
Chief Bridesmaid | Groom | Bride | Best Man
Respective parents next to you
Best Man | Groom’s Father | Groom’s Mother | Groom | Bride | Bride’s Father | Bride’s Mother | Chief Bridesmaid
Both sets of parents divorced & remarried
Groom’s Stepmother | Bride’s Stepfather | Chief Bridesmaid | Groom’s Father | Bride’s Mother | Groom | Bride | Bride’s Father | Groom’s Mother | Best Man | Bride’s Stepmother | Groom’s Stepfather
If having both your parents and their new partners on the top table is not an option, consider having each of your parent’s host a round table. Some couple’s prefer to have a round top table as they find it easier to talk to everybody as well as being closer to their other guests. With the speeches, those speaking can just move to one side if they are going to have their back to anybody.
Another possible top table seating arrangement is the sweetheart table. This is a small table set up for the bride and groom only. The happy couple sits together, facing their guests, with their attendants and families at the tables nearest to them. The advantage of this is that you get to spend time together whilst still being able to mingle with guests during the gap between courses. It also enables your wedding party to sit with their partners.
In conclusion, it is perfectly acceptable to use whichever layout works for you in this day and age