My mother wants to be seated at the head table at the reception but there are already ten of us in the wedding party. Where are the parents normally seated? Are there designated tables for the parents of the bride and groom?
To answer you simply, you’re right, there are usually special tables designated for the parents of the bride and groom. Those who usually sit at the head table include: the bride, the groom, the maid of honour and bridesmaids, the best man and the groomsmen.
Having said that, certain cultures will seat their parents at the head table too so you may want to double check to make sure you aren’t violating any traditions in your culture.
Some ideas to consider:
*Have special parents’ tables. Signify this by using a different coloured table cloth for the parents’ tables or use a different floral arrangement for them. Both sets of parents can sit at the same table or, to make more room, you can have two parent’s tables, one for the bride’s parents and one for the groom’s parents. That way, you would have more space for special guests.
*Emphasize how special those parents’ tables are so that your mother doesn’t feel left out that she isn’t sitting at the head table. Plan a script on what to say so you’ll feel in control when you do approach your mother on this subject. (e.g. “Mom, we’ve got the perfect parents’ tables set up for the wedding reception! Wait until you see what we’ve got planned for them….” or “Mom, you and dad are so special to us that we’ve decided to have special parents’ tables at our wedding to honour you both…” etc.)