Decorating the Head Table at a Wedding Reception

the head table at the reception of a wedding. image by Matthew Antonino from

The head table is where the bride, groom, bridal party and close family members sit at the wedding reception. The head table is often on a platform and is visible from most parts of the banquet area. The head table will draw the focus in the room so add more decorations than at the other tables. Make sure that the head table conveys your wedding colors and themes because it's such a large part of the reception.


Decorating a large table can be expensive. If the bridesmaids are sitting at the head table, reuse their bouquets. Provide vases or glass containers where your bridal party can place their bouquets. This way the flowers double as centerpieces at the head table to save money. Head tables are often rectangular in shape. Use this to your advantage by placing taller centerpieces on the ends. Your guests will still be able to see the bridal party. Use topiary or branches for added drama.


The head table draws the focus of the room. It's where the toasts to the bride and groom take place and where many of the wedding guests will look. Backdrops add drama to the table area and focus attention on the bride and groom. Columns, curtains, archways and a trellis can accent the head table.


Layering sheer fabrics on a table provides a luxurious element to the wedding reception but it's also expensive. If you want the head table to be the focus, use regular linens on your guest tables. Place layers of fabrics and several different kinds of centerpieces on the head table. Traditional head tables use pleated fabrics or elaborate sheers. Crisp runners lend a modern feeling to the head table.


Swags are a popular decoration for head tables. Make swags from greenery, fabric or flowers. Drape the swag on the outside of the table facing the guests. Attach a ribbon, bow or picture at the top points of the swag to finish off the head table. Pine cones, ornaments and garlands are unusual swags for a holiday wedding.


Ensure that the guests from across the room can see the head table clearly. Candles are inexpensive reception accessories that cast a soft glow. Place twinkle lights under organza to illuminate the head table from underneath.


The head table should relate to the rest of the tables at your wedding reception. Use the same colors and theme throughout the room. For a unique wedding reception, flank the head table with long rows of banquet tables on either side. This creates a horseshoe shape allowing your guests to be closer to you.