Who Should Sit Near the Head Table? My Friends or My Parents' Older Friends and Family?

by BRIDES Staffers

When assigning your friends and family a seat at your wedding reception, try to make both your guests and parents happy (if possible). Our etiquette experts have a few tips about placing your loved ones in seats they will enjoy in our daily post.

Courtesy of Mackler StudiosCourtesy of Mackler Studios

My parents want to seat their older friends and family members in the good seats near the head tables. I don't want to offend my friends, whom I want near me and the dance floor. Where's the compromise?

See more: The Most Flattering Wedding Dress for Your Body Type

For the same reasons that you might give up your subway seat to an elderly woman, you should consider conceding to your parents' wishes. To make everyone happy, explain the seating arrangements to your friends. "If you explain the situation in advance, they won't be surprised and hurt when they walk in and find themselves seated at the back of the room," says Sylvia Bigelson, author of The Ties That Bind...And Bind...And Bind (Element Books). Remind your parents that older guests may in fact prefer sitting away from the band because they want a quieter area. Seat your friends (who will be doing most of the dancing) at the prime tables, but have chairs at the edge of the dance floor where the older guests can sit and watch the action.

More from BRIDES:
The Latest Wedding Dress Trends from NY Bridal Fashion Week
50 Genius Cost-Cutting Tips from Real Brides
The Most Creative Wedding Cakes of the Year
Top 20 Affordable Beach Honeymoons
Engagement Rings for Under $5,000