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How to COordinate your Head Table. Wedding Planning. Where do the Bride and Groom Sit. Wedding CoordinatingOften, this is an overlooked Project, when really it does require a tiny bit more than just where you sit. Head Tables are all about location, proximity, and a system…. You as a couple will need to sit somewhere at your reception. You can always choose to just sit among your guests. It is totally acceptable to find empty chairs if you choose to eat among your guests and really don’t care whom you eat next to. Your choice. I am officially telling you that you are not the only one who cares where you sit to eat…

Everyone wants to be as close as they can be to the newlyweds. Everyone also wants to talk to them, especially those guests who haven’t seen you since you were a baby running around naked in the backyard… yes… that will be the person who finds you… and talks to you the entire 20 minutes you eat.

How to Coordinate Head Tables

I propose a System. Actually, there are 3 System Goals, and multiple options to achieve them…
This Project Block is built in to facilitate a transitional phase of events in the Time Line between eating and toasts. {Surprise! We have a Project for everything! As you know by now} Between the time you eat, guests eat and speeches are given, some etiquette needs to happen.
  1. You and your spouse truly do need to eat, real food, made by your caterer that you paid a lot for. You’ll get that granola bar from Project Block 6, but seriously, you need the good food.
  2. You need to give face time and appreciation to everyone who came. {3 System Options coming soon}
  3. You need to be in a ‘spotlight’ location for toasts, and you also need to “Earn Your Sip” {more on that too}

To achieve these 3 things in the most efficient manner for that “transitional phase” you have options. I can best explain them through these scenarios:

Goal #1- Where the Couple EATS

A Head Table gives you a secluded place to eat that is “sort of” off limits to guests because it is the “special” place where only the attendants sit with you. A presentation of a crowd like that, surrounding you sort of build you that whole “safety in numbers” perception and guests will hang back until you come out from around the table. Warning though, once you move, guests will pounce.
Pro: You awesome wedding party loves feeling like they’re up on a pedestal. They also don’t have to find a place to sit among the guests. When toasts begin they are all there next to you, and you’re surrounded by your favorite people.
Con: Sometimes your entire wedding party is already married and you definitely don’t want to just stick all their spouses together at a “Spouse Overflow” table. Significant others should be allowed to sit with their Wedding Party attendant. So you either need to supply a seat for them at your head table {could be upwards of 20 people at one long table, so be it}. Or, you Newlyweds get your own table and the Wedding Party {+Significant others} get several reserved tables close by. This is called…
 
A Sweetheart Table is a 2-seater arrangement that just the newlyweds sit at. Your attendants and family members are in the closest reserved tables and you two get the sole spotlight.
Pro: All significant others are happy that their Attendant isn’t isolated from them all night. You can arrange to have two dinner plates ready and waiting for you at this table when you are announced into the reception so you don’t have to go through the buffet line. You get to eat first and fast, to free you up for the socializing part.
Con: You’re sort of alone; though you’re never alone when you’re Coordinator is there. This table and the goal of you eating, not talking to approaching guests relies more heavily on the Coordinator acting as a puppy-guard. I often stand over your area, pretending to talk to you so that guests won’t want to interrupt so that you actually eat without talking.
Assignment
Decide if you want to sit and eat at a Wedding Party HEAD TABLE, a Newlyweds only SWEETHEART TABLE, or among your guests with no reserved seat. Tell me too if your attendants will all be sitting together at one table with significant others elsewhere, or will they be able to sit together? What is your seating plan for Family? Mom will definitely want to be the closest person to her baby who is all grown up now. How many tables do you need to reserve close to you? You’ll need signs! Refer to Project Block 10 and Reception Seating for more details on that.

Goal #2- Face Time

After you eat, you need to visit all of your guests. These people traveled from near and far to be here for you on your Big Day. You also do not know how much they spoiled you off of your registry… but the truth is, even if they gave you no gift, they deserve a hug and a “thank you for coming” from you. I promise you, that person you haven’t seen since childhood, that mom MADE you invite, probably bought you a $150 place setting set! Trust me. You’ll regret it if you don’t give everyone a little face time.

Here are your options:

Receiving line: Either into the reception, the buffet line or immediately after the ceremony. Doing this is really easy and clears you up for the reception. If you do a receiving line you could, in fact, have better luck sitting wherever you want because everyone will have already spoken to you.
 
Table Tours: This is a Coordinator assisted mini system. I prefer to start at the farthest tables from the Sweetheart Table and work your way back to it. You visit each table for approximately 2 minutes. You greet each guest, thank them and can entertain a few casual questions. I {your Coordinator} begin walking closer to you as time dwindles. The closer the proximity, the less time you have left. If I reach your elbow, it is time to move on. If you choose this method for guest interaction I have a gambit of Sign Language signs that I teach you to either hurry up, keep talking, save you from a chatty guest you barely know, skip a table, yaddah, yaddah. We’ll talk more at your Planning Meeting if this is the route you like best! I once had a super fun,  competitive couple who took this 2-minute business very seriously! You can catch up on their little story HERE if you’re looking for a light read.
 
Risk It: You can always just let things flow and entertain any and every person who comes your way. This works perfectly well for the weddings of less than 100 people. However, once you start passing 200 guests, I’d think of a system. You can always convert that Sign  Language I told you about above into a reception system where I just watch you like a hawk for the hour after dinner, before toasts and jump in when I’m needed. I can, of course, do that anyway…

Goal #3- Toasts & Earning Your Sip

It truly doesn’t matter where you end up after Face Time with all your guests. Usually, when I see you socializing with your last table {from Table Tours} is when I ask the DJ to announce a “Fill your glasses for toasts” warning. Guests all collect themselves, move back to their seats and prepare to listen for the juicy bits from the Best Man… While glasses are being filled and you make your way to either the Head Table, Sweetheart Table or even the center stage of the dance floor, I’m prepping the speakers for their order and how to grab/use the microphone.
For everything, you need to know about Speeches & Toasts, head on over to THIS POST.

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Hi there! I’m Kandice, Owner of Green-Eyed Girl Productions and engineer of The Project Block System. Thank you so much for stopping in on this blog post! Want to start your Step by Step Wedding Planning Experience? Start with our I’m Engaged ECourse and we’ll walk you through everything!



Happy Planning!


Post Image Credit(s) ~Tekoa Rose Photography



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