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Weddings: Who Sits Where?

Deciding who sits where can be one of the hardest parts of organising a wedding.

To help you through the tricky business of seating plans, owner and founder of Country House Wedding Venues, Diana Hastie is on hand with some expert advice:

Table Types to Consider as a Bride and Groom

The Top Table

Traditionally, the top table is the table at the head of the reception room where the newlyweds, their parents, the best man and the maid of honour sit facing the guests.

Who sits wear? Traditional Top Table | CHWV

Who sits wear? Top Table if bride's parents have remarried | CHWV

Who sits wear? Top Table if groom's parents have remarried | CHWV

Who sits wear? Contemporary bridal Top Table | CHWV

The Sweet Heart Table

Most people will tell you that they spent most of their wedding day busy greeting all of their guests. That’s the wonderful thing about having a sweetheart table for two instead of a top table: it gives you some precious time to spend as a newly wedded couple.

Who sits wear? Sweetheart Top Table | CHWV

Family Fortunes or Feuds

All families have a history, ensure you mix families accordingly, it is good to mix the families between the two couples together to share all those terrific stories from when you were younger – they may even had the odd photo of that hair cut on the summer of 2000.

Mix and Match

Mixing friends family and social groups should be encouraged take a look at our simple solution to bear in mind when creating a table plan:


  • Making last minute changes if guests fail to turn up
  • Mix old school friends with work friends
  • Mixing families between the newly wedded couple


  • Putting one person on a table who knows no one
  • Know your friends, people you think will clash it is best avoid it rather than test your assumption
  • Imbalance, do not put a really old couple, with all your University mates

Bringing It All Together

Needless to say, you’ll need a visual of your wedding seating plan. If you’re old school, you’ll probably opt for a hand-drawn map of your seating plan with post-it notes to represent your guests. However, there are some fantastic apps that now do this all for you! Top Table Planner allows you to input your tables.

One more tip: give people double-sided place names, so that the other guests at the table know whom they’re talking to.

Happy planning!