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Ask the Experts – What are the Best Options for the Top Table?

Not sure what style of table to pick for your top table? Our hotel experts share their suggestions and advice when it comes to choosing the right style of top table for your wedding…

From the Experts:

Nuala from Galway Bay Golf Resort, Galway – View ProfileI personally like the idea of no top table. I think having a long top table looking out on everyone can be intimidating. I have found that all round tables work best and that way the Bride and Groom are able to have fun at their wedding and not be watched all evening like goldfish. You can decorate the main table differently so it still stands out as the top table.Sue from Lord Bagenal Inn, Carlow – View ProfileWe have a long top table with two curved ends so those sat at the end of the table are still part of what is going on and can see you (the bride and groom) and chat to others. If a round table or oval table is more suited to you then we can do that either, it all depends on the couple and what they choose to do – it’s your wedding, have it your way.Sarah from Actons Hotel Kinsale, Cork – View ProfileI like the Oval style Top Table. It’s a little bit more inclusive of everyone. With the traditional top table, I just find it can be a little bit… straight! For the people on either end of the table they can only turn to one side for conversation, yet with an oval style, it’s more sociable.Nicole from Parkview Hotel, Wicklow – View Profile 90% of my couples opt for the traditional straight top table with parents ending each side, however, it is what works for each couple. There are other options available – we also offer a round table in the middle of the room, the top table at the front of the stage and U shaped top table located anywhere in the room.Nicole from Fota Island Resort, Cork – View ProfileI would go for a long traditional top table that is located on one of the centre walls of the room,ensuring that everyone can see the bride and groom and no one is blocking the view – which is verylikely if you go for a round top table or locate it in a more hidden part of the room. Apart from all ofthe guests being able to see the bride and groom, they will also be able to see all of their family andfriends they invited for their special day. Another point you have to consider when thinking about your top table are your flower arrangements and the unity candles. They can definitely be displayed much nicer on a long top table than on a round top table.Amy from Bellinter House, Meath – View ProfileI like the square table as the top table, this way it still stands out as the top table but you can also have a group of family chat with everyone and not have people feeling left out.Bernadette from Dromhall Hotel, Kerry – View ProfileAt the Dromhall Hotel, we prefer to offer couples a long U shaped top table. We feel this is more sociable and friendly for the guests at the end of the table. They are able to talk to more than one other person this way, rather than being stuck at the end of a long table. A block top table also works well, particularly with smaller weddings, where the bride and groom are at the top and the guests down the two sides and the bottom of the table is left free so that everyone can see the bride and groom. A key-shaped top table can also work well, again for smaller weddings and providing you don’t have too many on your top table. At the Dromhall, we are open to any options or preferences for your top table seating arrangement.Deirdre from Virginia Park Lodge, Cavan – View ProfileI tend to like a long table with round tables at each end which makes it more sociable and the guests at the end are not feeling isolated.The Kingsley Hotel, Cork – View ProfileTraditionally the top table consisted of the bridal party, parents of the bride and groom as well as the priest. Because of the numbers, this resulted in a long top table. Couples are moving away from this tradition and opting for more intimate table setting such as round tables, oval tables and even tables for two – just for the bride and groom. Remember that it’s your big day so do whatever you like and don’t let traditions lead the decision for you.Photo from Sinead & Shane’s real wedding by Emma Russell Photography

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Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.

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