Top Table Setup

Hi All,

Today’s post is going to be all about the top table.  Whether your going for the traditional layout, switching up the traditional setting or avoiding the top table all together this post should help decide on who should sit where.

There are many traditions that come with weddings and the top table layout is one of them.  The tradition dictates that the layout order should be;


People will still use this layout, however as times moves on so does wedding etiquette.  A popular option is to switch up the table and place the best man next to the groom and the chief bridesmaid next to the bride.


There are so many ways you can have the layout of the top table, it is your wedding after all!

Many people do have divorced parents now so this can be a particular source of difficulty when working out the seating, a few layout tips are:




If your sets of parents really do not get on with each other at all then as opposed to the tradition of mixing the parents try this layout, you definitely want to avoid any potential fall outs!



As you can see it can get quite hectic!  There are actually many alternatives available now that you can consider.  An example of this is in the USA the parents host their own VIP tables and its the groom and bridal parties that sit on the top table.  This may work well if you have warring parents who you wish to avoid sitting together or if your parents would simply much prefer to sit with their friends.  As a couple you then both get to have your closest friends up there on the top table with you.



So hopefully there is a layout shown that can work for your wedding.  If not then why not avoid the top table all together?  Sweetheart tables are becoming very popular, this is where just the two of you sit on a smaller table.  This brings about a more intimate setting for the two of you, in a sense its like your own little world surrounded by all the craziness!  It’s a really lovely, romantic idea and i think it gives you that time together which believe me is hard to find at your wedding.


Photo from: Christine Farah Photography


Photo from: Happy Wed

Another option is, if you have children seat them at the top table with you.  It’s rather like a family meal, your first one as a married couple.  This is a lovely way to include your children in this special moment – it may not work so well with very small children as you don’t want food dropped down your wedding dress or to spend the whole meal calming down screaming children! It is a lovely idea for older children though.


If you prefer you can scrap the top table idea totally! You don’t have to have one, you can arrange to seat yourselves on any of the tables at the wedding.  I didn’t have a top table at my wedding.  I sat on one of the guest tables with one of my bridesmaids and her partner and my brother and his partner and it was perfectly fine! I only had a small wedding and it worked very well.  You can also think about having all tables set up as long banqueting tables, this works very well in certain venues and gets rid of any top table headache!


Photo from: Matt Davis Photography

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and i hope to have helped a little with your top table plans!  It is your decision how you want  to lay out the table – if you even want one.  Dont feel that you need to stick to what etiquette dictates or what family members suggest.  Seating plans are one of the most stressful parts of weddings – especially when other people start interfering, so make a decision as a couple on your top table ideas and stick with it! Guaranteed whatever choice you make your wedding will turn out amazing and you will have a wonderful time!


Love Kayleigh


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