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Ask The Celebration Advisor: Do the brides and brooms parents, grandparents sit at the head table??? What is the proper etiquette for their seating arangements??? Please e-mail ASAP, Please and Thank you!!! ~Dianne

The Celebration Advisor: Wedding reception seating etiquette can be a tricky issue, but it's best to keep in mind the golden rule of head table seating: the head table is reserved for the bride, groom, and wedding party. This includes groomsmen and bridesmaids. While parents and grandparents may have a table reserved for them, it is typically a separate table situated close to the head table.

Here are a few other etiquette tips for wedding reception seating. Hopefully this will clear up many issues that you may have.

Order of Seating at Head Table Regardless of the shape of the head table, the order of seating always allows for the maid/matron of honor to sit on the groom's left and the best man to sit on the bride's right. Spouses may sit with members of the wedding party if space is available at the head table. If not, spouses (and sometimes children) are seated together at a separate table.

Seating Parents and Grandparents — Parents and grandparents are usually seated at the same table. The bride's parents and grandparents are seated together, often with their children, children's spouses, and grandchildren if space is available. The groom's parents and grandparents are seated at another table, often with their children, children's spouses, and grandchildren if space is available. If space is an issue, families are seated together accordingly (parents and children along with any additional guests of that group).

Seating the Minister — The minister and his or her spouse are generally seated at the table of the bride's parents. Grandparents may also be seated at this table as it is common to seat families together.

Seating Divorced Parents — This one is not as tricky as you would expect. Divorced parents and couples (remarried or not) should not be seated at the same table unless their relationship is exceptionally jovial. All divorced partners and their new spouses are seated as individual families. (i.e. the married couple, their children, their parents, and any additional guests of that group).

2 Responses to “Where Do Parents Sit During The Wedding Reception?”
  1. Angelika Wellons Says:

    My son is getting married. Both are divorced and have children from their previous marriage. I was asked if I'd be ok with the new wife of my Ex husband sitting in the first row & my answer was NO. I do not dislike his new wife but I'd rather have my daughter & my son's 2 boys sit with me in the first row. Is this an odd request? Btw – upon my son's wish, I will walk him down the isle. I know that this is odd but I'll be honored.

  2. Rachel Brantley Says:


    Congratulations on the upcoming marriage. Typically, immediate family is seated just before the ceremony begins. Siblings (if they're not in the wedding party) are seated before grandparents and great-grandparents. They sit either in the first row with parents or in the second row with grandparents. In this case since the children are immediate family and are blood related, I think it is perfectly fine for them to sit in the first row with you. Your ex-husband and his wife can still be honored sitting in the second row. I hope this helps! Enjoy the wedding and getting to walk your son down the aisle, it is an honor!