Traditional Top Table Etiquette


 I’m a great believer that in order to break the rules you have to understand the rules.


Weddings come with their own set of rules, etiquette and general ‘dos and don’ts’!


The top table is one that you really do need to get right!  Traditionally the groom sits to the right of the bride, everyone else sits girl boy with  the partners of the best man and chief bridesmaid at different tables!



If your bridal party is ‘traditional’ then this is relatively straight forward, it shouldn’t be too tricky to negotiate and plan this, in a nutshell the bride and groom sit in the centre, with the goom on the bride’s left.  Then typically  the bride’s mother sits next to the groom, with the goom’s father next to her! The chief bridesmaid goes on the end next to him!  On the opposite side the father of the bride sits next to his daughter, with the groom’s mother next and the best man on the end!


However, not all of us are lucky enough to have families that conform to the norm!  What if parents are divorced and or have re-married?  I would like to hope that everyone would be able to put their differences to one side for the smooth running and ease of your wedding day but if not then there are alternative solutions available to consider!

With a possible four sets of parents then one solution would be to invite each set of parents to ‘host’ a table of their friends and family, giving them control over who they sit with!


A new idea is that of a sweetheart table – a tiny table just for the bride and groom! This allows all parents free to host tables and for the best man and chief bridesmaid to sit with their partners.


This perhaps isn’t for everyone but at least it is a possible solution for the worst case scenario!


Next week I’ll explore the delight of seating children and how best to position your single friends!


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