Sweetheart tables are simply a table set aside for the bride and groom, away from the rest of the bridal party — as opposed to your traditional long head table at the head of the room at a reception. I’m not sure when this trend began, but I think before my mom’s retirement, I had been decorating sweetheart tables for at least five years.
Why have a separate table from your bridal party? Well, why not? They can be as simple as a small, cocktail table set aside from the rest of your tables, or put on a riser, to connote a place of honor. If anything, even though its the bride and groom’s party, the bride and groom are still the guests of honor.
Above, is a picture of the sweetheart table at a friend’s wedding at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley.
Like I said, they can be really simple. Above, my girlfriend Janet and her husband Albert (who are now expecting their first baby!) had their sweetheart table on a riser, a few yards from their cake, which was also on a riser, at what I believe was the head of the room. The decorations here were simple — a specially designed arrangement for the table, plus the bridesmaids put their bouquets down on the riser, around the table skirts.
Above, the decorator used a square of what looks like champagne-colored organza to make the table pop, before putting what could be bridesmaid bouquets edged with ti leaves as its centerpiece down, then sprinkling the whole table with rose petals. It looks like there are some baby rose bunches pinning the tablecloths down at certain places. Nice.
This was one of my favorite wedding venues, the Friendly Hills Country Club in Whittier. This is a more elaborate sweetheart table, with lots of champagne-colored organza swathing the tabletop edges and draped along the table skirt. The shape of the table was odd — it was like one of the connectors in a curvy buffet table — but it worked out well for the decorations!
And here’s a flashback to one of my first Wedding Decorator entries, Our Lady of Angels Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. This is probably one of the most elaborate types of sweetheart tables you can have. Not only do you have the special arrangement and draping for the sweetheart table, you’ve got the backdrop and the whole setup on a riser! The only thing left to make this even fancier is a spotlight. I’ve done that before, too, but it is not fun — its just another detail to mind in a set up full of details.