Ask Kate: Balancing the top table

September 6, 2012

Kate Thompson has been offering heart-felt advice and sparklingly different wedding inspiration for ten years. She is married with two children, and often features in the national press. With her warm and caring nature and off-beat sense of humour, she'll answer every question with knowledgable insight and understanding to help and inspire or simply restore your peace of mind.


I’m struggling to organise my top table. My fiance’s mum died 10 years ago, and his dad never remarried, but both my parents will be there. I’d also like my chief bridesmaid (my sister) and her husband to be with me, but the best man and his wife have young children, so it probably wouldn’t be suitable for them to be on top table. How do I make it balance?


There are a couple of options to make this work. The traditional way to seat everyone on the top table is down one side of a long, rectangular table, facing the rest of the room. From the left, the order is as follows: chief bridesmaid, groom’s father, bride’s mother, groom, bride, bride’s father, groom’s mother, best man. Your could either seat your sister where your groom’s mother would have sat and have her husband sit where the best man would sit and another bridesmaid in the chief bridesmaid position (assuming you have another bridesmaid) so it looks like this: bridesmaid, groom’s father, bride’s mother, groom, bride, bride’s father, chief bridesmaidbridesdmaid’s husband or, shake things up a little and do it differently by creating your own top table of just you and the groom on a ‘sweeheart top table’ for two with the rest of your bridal party on separate tables around you.

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