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Should You Have a Sweetheart Table at Your Wedding?

Wedding planning is a whirlwind of decisions. From big choices like finding the perfect dress or suit and choosing an accessible wedding reception venue to fine-tuning the smaller details like the happy couple’s seating arrangement. Is the classic sweetheart table still the go-to set-up for newlyweds or is having a head table with the bridal party the new trend? 

In this article, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of a sweetheart table wedding and see how it compares to other creative alternatives. 

What Is a Sweetheart Table? 

A sweetheart table is a smaller table for the bride and groom, usually set at the front of the room at the wedding reception (close to the dance floor so they have a front-row seat to everything). It’s an intimate setting for the newlyweds to enjoy quality time together away from the celebratory chaos of the wedding reception.

Wedding table set with wine glasses and white flowers

It’s also a chance for the couple to steal a few kisses, share a laugh, and capture some romantic videos and photos throughout the evening. At weddings, sweetheart tables often become the focal point of the reception decor, making the couple the centre of attention—as they should be!

Pros and Cons of a Sweetheart Table 

Like many wedding traditions, the sweetheart table has its own set of pros and cons. 

Pros Cons
  •  Allows a romantic moment for just the two of you
  •  It’s a stunning photo backdrop
  •  Frees up seats at other wedding guests’ tables
  •  It makes you feel like the “stars of the show”
  •  Easily adapted to any theme with creative decorations
  • Separates you from your wedding party and family
  • It might seem anti-social or impersonal
  • You could feel like you’re on display
  • Table decor/florals can be an added expense
  • Ideal for couples who prioritize intimacy, prefer space to themselves, have a smaller wedding party, or prefer a traditional setup.

Sweetheart Table vs. Head Table 

If the sweetheart table is the traditional option, the head table is its modern counterpart. It’s where the newlywed couple sits with their entire bridal party (and sometimes parents/families too) at one long, main table.

The head table lets the couple sit and chat with the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and close family throughout dinner and toasts. It’s more inclusive and social than a sweetheart table wedding, so it’s the perfect option for couples who want to spend time and appreciate their closest friends/family throughout the big day. 

However, it can also be isolating to other guests who aren’t part of the bridal party.

👰 Read more: 6 Ways Your Guests Can Participate in Your Wedding Ceremony

Head Table Pros and Cons 

Of course, a head table also comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages.

Pros Cons
  •  Promotes a lively, communal atmosphere
  •  Allows for more candid shots
  •  The spotlight is on the couple and the wedding party
  •  Potentially saves money with fewer total tables
  •  Takes up space with a very long table
  •  Harder to get private couple moments
  •  Tricky to arrange seating order preferences
  •  Couple may feel separated from other guests at surrounding tables
  •  It usually doesn’t have space for the bridal party’s plus ones, which could be awkward

  • Best for couples who want to honour their wedding party, or have a larger wedding party they want to include at the head table.
  • Works well with a modern wedding theme or rustic weddings with a long, family-style head table.

Alternatives to a Wedding Sweetheart Table 

Of course, you don’t have to choose just one or the other! Many couples opt for both a sweetheart table and a head table for their bridal party close by to experience the best of both worlds. 

But if you’re not sold on either option, you don’t have to settle for sweetheart tables or head tables. Here are some alternatives to try for your wedding day:

  • Private Family Table—Some couples opt for a private table just for themselves and their immediate families rather than sitting alone or with the entire bridal party. 
  • Specialty Lounge Set-UpCreate a cozy, elaborate lounge with plush loveseats or chairs for the newlyweds. This can serve as a designated spot for the couple.
  • Head Feasting Table—A cross between a head table and sweetheart, this one seats the entire bridal party with their plus ones in a long feasting-style table. 
  • Open Layout—Instead of assigned seats, opt for an open layout and move freely between guest tables throughout dinner for maximum mingling.
  • Cocktail-Style ReceptionSkip plated dishes and go for a casual cocktail reception with stations and light bites so you can circulate.
  • Regular Tables—For the most non-traditional route, share a regular table with friends or family instead of getting a sweetheart or head table for the wedding.

Two long tables set up for the wedding party and guests at The Loft on King

Fully Customize Your Wedding Reception at The Loft on King 

Whether you decide on a sweetheart table, a head table, or no table, selecting the perfect venue is the first step in planning your dream wedding celebration. As the stars of the show, you deserve a space that can bring your unique vision to life and allow you to say “I do” your way.

The Loft on King is a unique, vintage-chic wedding venue right in the heart of downtown Toronto. Our versatile event spaces provide a stunning backdrop that can be flawlessly tailored to suit whichever reception seating arrangement speaks to you—from an intimate sweetheart table to a lively head table celebration or something beautifully unique in between.

With our in-house team of expert wedding planners working on your dream event, rest assured that your wedding is in good hands. Contact us today and let our experts help you plan your perfect wedding!