Wedding Reception Head Table Ideas: The Traditional Head Table

Picture this: You’ve just said “I do!” to the love of your life, and you’re walking back down the aisle while Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” plays. Your friends and family from near and far cheer as you take your first steps as a married couple, marching towards forever…and your reception! With vows exchanged and rings on fingers, it’s time to celebrate! There’s just one question…where are you going to sit? You and your spouse are, of course, the guests of honor, and your head table should reflect this accordingly. But both who you include at your nuptial table and how you choose to decorate it are entirely up to you. The main decision you must make when planning your head table is whether you want just you and your spouse at the head table (commonly called a sweetheart table), or if you would like to have your wedding party alongside you at a longer head table (called a traditional head table, which is what this blog focuses on). This choice is a personal preference, and should always reflect the desires of you and your partner – no one else!


Let’s talk décor for a moment. In many cases, because head tables only have people sitting on one side of the table(s), there is more room left to put decorations, whether that be florals, runners, candles, or all of the above! This provides an opportunity to jazz up your head table and set the stage for your wedding reception. Additionally, it’s a perfect opportunity to repurpose florals from your ceremony to add some extra pizzazz to your head table. No matter what design you have in mind for your head table, rest assured that it can be as unique as you are. Whether you go simple and classic or moody and maximalist, it should be a reflection of your style and the love that you and your partner share.


One bonus design tip – the general rule of thumb when deciding where to place your head table is this: you should be able to see all of your guests, and all of your guests should be able to see you. This is why the most common head table configuration sees you and your wedding party at a table along a wall, giving you a view of the whole room (and every guest!) and vice versa. Scroll below to see some fabulous head table inspo, and head over to our Pinterest to see more!


Special thanks to all of the awesome photographers featured in this blog!


All smiles for this stunning traditional head table that uses The Gardens Cedar Wedding Banquet Tables! Photo Credit: Shane Long Photography


Bouquets from the wedding party make colorful adornments to a clean and classic traditional head table with The Gardens Sweetheart Table directly in the middle for the couple. Photo Credit: Eric Vest Photography


We love color-coordination…especially when the wedding party matches so elegantly a this traditional style head table!  Photo Credit: Gretchen Hunt Photography


Have a floral installation for your ceremony arbor? Congratulations! You also have a gorgeous arrangement for your traditional head table. Photo Credit: Amy Ray Photography


When your traditional head table looks this good, you’ve got to strike a pose! Photo Credit: Chelsea Reeck Photography


A celebratory kiss at your traditional style head table always makes for the best photo! Photo Credit: Eric Vest Photography


This autumn-inspired traditional head table mixed greenery with ornamental gourds to create the perfect fall tablescape. Photo Credit: Brooke W Images


Cheers to the perfect traditional style head table! Photo Credit: Mark Fierst Photography



Florals and candles are a timeless style option for the traditional head table. Photo Credit: East Oaks Photography


The Grand Promenade made for a striking backdrop for this gothic style traditional head table. Photo Credit: Little Mac Design


Have an extra-large wedding party? Consider using The Gardens Originals™ Risers to create a tiered traditional style head table to wow your guests! Photo Credit: Karen Feder Photography


Using The Gardens Originals™ Risers in the Wedding Reception Tent also gives you a built-in stage for all those wedding speeches and toasts! Photo Credit: Mark Fierst Photography


Having your first dance in front of your traditional style head table while your wedding party watch….and record…. is a priceless memory. Photo Credit: Photos By Jennifer Jane


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