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Wedding Wednesday

I Don’t: Sweetheart Tables

We share why sweetheart tables are a definite DO in our new series: I Do/ I Don’t, where we split the pros and cons between the hottest wedding trends.

With all of the new trends in wedding planning, it’s hard to keep up! This week we spotlight the Sweetheart table. For those of you who have yet to be introduced to the concept of a Sweetheart table, it’s a small table that is set up in the reception for just the bride and groom. This provides that the bride and groom will be the center of attention during the wedding and allows the wedding party to sit with family and guests.

While it’s true that the sweetheart table does enable you to sneak in some alone time with your brand new husband or wife, you just promised an eternity to one another! The wedding reception, quite literally, is the time for you to receive the guests who have pledged their time, loyalty, and commitment (to you and to your registry). You are the gracious hosts who generously invited them, they want to actually speak with you! So don’t hole up at a sweetheart table all night.

The traditional head table concept is an excellent way to ensure that you get to greet your guests an maybe – just maybe – get a taste of the delicious meal you meticulously planned. A head table with your bridal party enables them to start making the rounds to each of the individual tables. This ensures that your non-bridal party guests don’t feel excluded, and it distracts them from staring at you and hubs downing champagne for two while they impatiently wait for you to come to table 12.

The head table concept also allows you to shine the spotlight on your closest friends and family. It seats your bridal party in a place of honor, to recognize the past year or two of hard work and love they showed you. Your shower and bachelorette parties didn’t throw themselves, and letting your Maid of Honor show off her pretty updo in front of all the guests might help her forget the 2am phone call where you had a hydrangea-related meltdown. Plus, you can keep a close eye on the best man’s alcohol consumption before his speech (and you’re at a much closer range to yank the mic out of his hand.)

In some cultures, the exclusion of the head table is extremely offensive. In Chinese culture, for example, extreme importance is assigned to who sits where, out of respect for honored guests. Before you even think of a sweetheart table, consider both of your families’ cultural concerns and traditions, as well as those of particularly opinionated long lost or elderly guests. At the end of the day it is your day, but choose wisely where you put your foot down – make sure you’re not stepping on the toes deep rooted tradition.

The last reason why sweetheart tables are a don’t: some brides are attention shy! The blushing bride concept goes a little too far when the gorgeous girl turns bright red. And while you might have braved stage fright to say your vows in front of pretty much everyone you love, chances are staring into your soulmate’s eyes eased up the nerves. But sitting at a table, with all eyes on you, watching you eat (another issue entirely) for the dinner portion of your reception? Eek! Share the spotlight with your beautiful bridesmaids and dapper groomsmen, and distract some eyeballs from your every teary reaction during speeches. Deflect some attention where you can – you’ve still got the garter toss to get through…but maybe that’s a debate for next week!

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