Wedding Top Table Seating Arrangements

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Wedding Top Table Seating Arrangements

Top Table Seating Arrangement Options for Your Wedding

One question we often get asked by couples is what the traditional Scottish Wedding Top Table Seating Layout should be or what alternative options are there.
We’ve shown a number of options below to give you some ideas but the important thing to remember is that everyone has a different circumstance, which might influence who sits where - but most importantly - it is YOUR big day, so have whoever you want, sit wherever you want them to!

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For the purposes of keeping the illustrations below simple, we have stuck with traditional roles in a wedding e.g. Bride & Groom etc but please know that we acknowledge that this can be Bride and Bride, Groom and Groom, x and x, and similarly with the parents. We also appreciate that some people might not have parents present or still here with us, so please just use these graphics as a guide and add in whichever person suits your circumstances.

As you’ll see, we personally didn’t follow tradition to the letter for our own wedding and went with an alternative to the traditional layout, that we just felt would be better suited for us – and we implore you to do the same.

Traditional Wedding Top Table Seating ArrangmentTypical Seating Arrangement for the Wedding Top Table
This is the traditional seating arrangement of a wedding top table and it mixes the families up evenly across the table. It’s an absolutely acceptable arrangement IF everyone gets along and you are happy that conversation will flow through the table.
Traditionally, The Father of the Bride, The Groom and The Best Man will make a speech and this arrangement has all three present at the table, where it is easy to hand over the mic between the speakers. This is not always the case in these modern times and you’ll now sometimes see the Chief Bridesmaid and/or Mother of the Bride making speeches as well. For more on Wedding Speeches, please check out our other article on speeches:

Wedding Speeches Hints & Tips (click here)

Will it work?
Some things to consider with this layout are:
Does everyone get along?
Does the Best Man or Chief Bridesmaid have a husband/wife/partner at the wedding and if they do, will they feel isolated by being on the end of the table, away from their respective partner with really only the person next to them to talk to?

What We Did

What We Did & why we did it:
We felt as though the best man knew the Grooms parents better and Chief Bridesmaid knew the brides parents better and that this would mean a better conversation had at the table – including having the parents sat with their own partner and having our own parents sat next to us. In hindsight, this really wasn’t a big deal and the traditional arrangement would have been just fine.
Our Best Man and Bridesmaid did not have partners at the time, so it was an easier decision to make to have them at the top table.

Alternative Wedding Top Table Seating Arrangement

Alternative Seating Arrangement to the Traditional Seating Arrangement at a Wedding Top Table

Why this option?
The only real difference with this option compared with the Traditional Top Table Seating Arrangement is that it has your Best Man and Bridesmaid on the inside, next to you both, rather than on the outside of the table arrangement, so they don’t feel isolated.

Brides Parents Divorced & Remarried

Bride’s Parents Divorced and Re-Married
It’s not too uncommon to have this situation nowadays but you might want to vary your arrangement or decision based on whether everyone still gets along with one another. It does however bring your Step-parents to the top table, which we’re sure they would be very grateful to you for the honour of being included.

Grooms Parents Divorced and Remarried

Groom’s Parents Divorced and Re-married
As above but with the roles reversed. You can still obviously alter this to bring the Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid to the inside if you think they might feel isolated.

Sweetheart Table
The Sweetheart Table / Table for Two
Why This Option?
There are actually a few reasons that you may opt for this option…maybe your circumstances are so complex that you feel that someone might be upset by your choice or maybe your reception venue space doesn’t have enough space for a long table or maybe you just like the idea - so why not just have a simple top table for 2?
You might really enjoy it – there are very few moments during your wedding day that you feel that just the 2 of you get a chance to reflect on all that is going on - as you’ll more than likely be mingling with your guests at every opportunity to try and make sure you speak to everyone, so the Sweetheart Table might be the perfect first Dinner Date you have as a married couple.

Table for FourTable for 4
Similar to the Sweetheart Table/Table for 2, this alternative just means that your Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid are there with you for the meal, which can help to add to the flow of conversation.
Another consideration for this might be if the thought of all eyes on you both whilst you are eating makes you feel uncomfortable, then this helps take that anxiety away!

With Children

With Children
If you have 1 or more children, you might end up not seeing much of them throughout the day. Depending on what age they are – that might be a well-earned break for you but on the other hand, you might just want to have them there close to you for at least the meal portion of the day.
You’ll know best however, as if you have other kids at the wedding, your kids may want to sit at a table with other kids/their friends or cousins etc.

We hope this guide has given you some thoughts, ideas or helped you with your Table Planning.
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