The Pros and Cons of a Sweetheart Table

Would you rather sit alone with your new spouse or at a larger table?

In order to help, we’ve presented the pros and cons of having a sweetheart table at your wedding reception.

Photo: Delaney Dobson

It was once the standard tradition for the bride and groom to sit at a long table with the wedding party and/or their immediate family during dinner at the reception. While it’s still a common choice, many couples are instead choosing to dine at one referred to as the sweetheart table, which seats solely the newlyweds. There is technically no wrong answer for which option you and your future spouse decide to go with, but it is always a good idea to think these things through. In order to help, we’ve presented the pros and cons of having a sweetheart table at your wedding reception.

pros and cons of having a sweetheart table, should you have a sweetheart table
Photo by Esther & Smith; Planning & Design by Ilana Ashley Events

Read below to help decide if having a sweetheart table is the right option for your big day. 


- Private time with your new spouse. Newly married couples often talk about how they get pulled in different directions on their wedding day and find themselves not spending that much time with each other. Choosing a sweetheart table means you will have a few moments together throughout the dinner service before mingling begins.

- The bridal party can sit with their dates. Unless they are coincidentally paired up, bridesmaids and groomsmen at the head table are usually separated from their plus ones. Some couples choose to expand their head table to include dates, but unless you have a limited number of attendants, that can be difficult. Allowing everyone to sit with their guests is a kind gesture, especially for plus ones who may not know anybody else.

- A chance for extra decorating. Because a sweetheart table is smaller, it allows your floral or event designer to get creative. A backdrop from your ceremony can fit behind the table, and other décor can easily spruce up a small space in a way that isn’t as easy with a long table. You and your spouse can even have a loveseat or individual thrones to sit in. 


- More time with your nearest and dearest. If you don’t live near those in your bridal party, you might want to maximize the amount of time you get to spend together on the big day by sitting at a head table. 

- Some feelings may be hurt. For example, if your parents are used to a tradition where the head table is reserved for family, they may be offended that you and your sweetheart want to sit by yourselves. 

- It puts you at the center of attention. This isn’t a downside for everyone, but if saying your vows in front of a crowd made you anxious and the prospect of your first dance makes your palms sweat, the idea of all eyes on you during dinner may be too much to bear. 

Get ideas for rustic centerpieces and creative ways to display your seating chart or escort cards