Here in the UK, the traditional top table seating order at weddings has the bride and groom in the centre of the table, with their parents on either side. The groom’s father traditionally sits with the bride’s mother, while the bride’s father sits with the groom’s mother (to symbolise the bringing together of the two families), while the best man and chief bridesmaid seated next to the groom’s father. (I hope you’re following all of this).
These days, of course, so many families are non-traditional themselves, with step parents and children of the bride and groom to consider, that more and more people seem to be disregarding tradition completely and arranging their tables to take into account family politics and the comfort of the top table guests.
As it happens, our families are actually pretty "traditional", but we’re still not having a "traditional" top table. We decided a while ago that we’d seat our parents together rather than mixing them up, not because they don’t get on (they do), but purely because we think they’ll enjoy their meals more if they’re sitting with their partners.
This weekend, after looking over the information from our venue, we’re also thinking of having a circular table rather than a rectangular one for the top table. Our guests will all be seated at circular tables, and while we’d always just assumed that we’d have the usual long one, it turns out that the venue offer a choice, and a circular table seems to make more sense to us. Not only does it mean that we’ll be able to see and chat to all of the people on the table, it also means we can include people like the best man’s partner, who would otherwise be sitting with people she doesn’t know very well.
We’re still not 100% sure this is the option we’ll take, as there’s a part of me that likes the idea of being able to look out and see all our guests. One thing we do know, though, is that tradition will be going out the window for this part of the day too. What’s everyone else doing? Who’s on your top table?