Where Should Your Wedding Party's Small Children Sit If You Don't Want Them at the Head Table?
Highchairs and coloring books belong someplace else.
So, your wedding party includes a parent or two whose child could find themselves seated at your head table—and while you love those little tots, you don't necessarily want to help your friends and family babysit on your big day. (We get it.) "The concern with having young children at your wedding head table is that young children are unpredictable and can act out and not behave sometimes, causing a scene unintended for your wedding day," commiserates Valarie Falvey, owner and event planner of Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design in Cleveland, Ohio. "This is especially a concern with a day that throws them off of their regular routines of eating, sleeping, and being around people they're familiar with."
Even with the most well-behaved children, "the wedding's head table is typically a focal point of the reception," points out Falvey, "and having highchairs and children's items at the table could throw off the couple's desired look." (And we know you worked hard on that look!)
What's a couple to do? Here are three alternative seating suggestions for small children.
Related: Eight Ways to Involve Young Children in Wedding Planning
Seat them with their grandparents.
If the children's grandparents are also in attendance, Falvey suggests seating the children with them—at a table close to the head table. That way, the parents can still keep an eye on their young ones, but the wedding party—as well as your head table—can remain kid-free.
Set up a separate but nearby table for parents and their kids.
For parents who don't want to be separated from their children, couples might want to set up a table adjacent to the head table, where parents and kids can sit together, Falvey says. "They are still members of the bridal party and listed in the program in an honorary way, but the seating arrangements are done in a way that is most comfortable for everyone involved," she explains. "Parents may not even want to be seated at the head table with their kids for fear of embarrassment or stares if their children end up having a hard time."
Opt for a sweetheart table.
To avoid any uncomfortable kid-related situation, "the couple might consider a sweetheart table" instead of a head table, Falvey suggests, "and have all of the bridal party with their respective families and dates seated at adjacent tables" nearby the sweetheart table.
No matter what you choose, when you bring up your plan to the parents, "I would approach it focusing on the parents and children's comfort," Falvey says, "and say, 'we are thinking of everyone's enjoyment while embracing the few memorable hours of our wedding day.'"