LOVE/HATE: The ‘We Know Who You Are’ Edition

So before I tell you what I think of this week’s LOVE/HATE, I have a confession to make. I must confess that I’ve never been a huge fan of sweetheart tables at wedding receptions. Especially when they’re raised on a platform, surrounded by an archway of balloons or flowers, or flocked by absolutely huge wicker chairs that are not in keeping with the rest of the reception decor. I would never in a million years suggest that a bride and groom who wanted to sit apart not do it, but I think that sweetheart tables are a little silly. You don’t need a sweetheart table, however, to set the bride and groom apart.

bride and groom signs

Hmmmm… I’m torn. On one hand, these signs from The Back Porche Shoppe are cute. I like the distressed look, good for a rustic-y country wedding. And even though everyone at that wedding presumably can pick the bride and groom out of the crowd, it’s nice to set the happy couple’s chairs apart from those of the hoi polloi. On the other hand, just what does one *do* with a bride sign and a groom sign months or years after the wedding? Much more useful, I should think, would be Mr. and Mrs. signs (also sold by The Back Porch Shoppe), which could hang in one’s living room before hanging in one’s foyer before hanging over one’s workbench in the garage before being put on a table at a yard sale without selling before eventually being tossed out with the trash or given away on Freecycle.

What say you?

13 Responses to “LOVE/HATE: The ‘We Know Who You Are’ Edition”

  1. Melissa B. says:

    Hmm. Cute, but I feel like I’d be knocking my elbow against the darn thing all night.

  2. casablanca says:

    I think these are unnecessary but I think hate is a strong word to describe my feelings toward them. We did have a sweetheart table at our wedding but more out of logistical necessity (half the bridesmaids were matrons and half were teenagers so we felt it would be weird for them to not sit with their spouses and peers, respectively) but we avoided any frou-frou crap. We just sat at a little table near the parent’s table. Aside from Mr & Mrs. placecards, which I was nerdily excited about, we didn’t distinguish our table from any other table.

    I will say that I LOVE the distressed look of these signs…how cute would that be with different words in a kid’s bedroom?

  3. Twistie says:

    I, too, have no fondness for sweetheart tables as a general rule. Much of the time they seem to me to mentally cut the happy couple off from their own party. The more fuss made about the table, the less they generally seem to interact with anyone but each other. I know there are exceptions to the rule, but that has been my observation both in reality tv, war stories, and the rare weddings where I’ve actually seen them in action.

    These signs, however, do not strike me as the answer. As Melissa B. pointed out, they are going to knock against elbows all night, which is annoying. Then there’s the question NtB pointed out of what the heck to do with them afterwards.

    Plus, if the bride happens to be wearing a voluminous skirt, you can bet both signs will spend half the reception as a slip-and-fall accident waiting to happen because every time she gets up to dance or hug someone, both placards will fall to the floor.

    I think casablanca’s idea of Mr. and Mrs. place cards (or even bride and groom placecards…or whatever wording seems appropriate to the couple’s makeup and situation) is much better. It’s subtler, but gives the couple a nice thrill. It won’t cause bruised elbows or tailbones. It’s probably a lot less expensive. And if you decide to keep it, you can just slip it into a box, a photo album, or a picture frame where you would already keep small keepsakes of important times.

    In short, I think these might be cute in the right room with the right decor and the right words, but hanging off a chair at a party seems impractical to say the least.

  4. Toni says:

    I think we had a sweetheart table, but given that I can barely even remember, I mostly remember spending the evening sitting at various guest’s tables visiting.

    Like casablanca, we did it mostly because we figured our wedding party would rather sit with their respective friends/families. Then again, we didn’t have a seating chart (just a few “reserved” tables to insure that those who might be delayed by photos would have a place to sit) so I didn’t put much thought into the matter.

    (I went to one wedding where the wedding party and parents were held up by photos after the ceremony, and because of that, could barely find a place to sit at the overcrowded reception hall. They had to find extra chairs and shove them in where they could.)

  5. Don’t really hate but do think they’re unnecessary. Both the signs and the sweetheart table. Bride and groom spend so little time of the rehearsal actually sitting that it’s a wasted table. I plan on sitting at a table with the wedding party (though not a head table) for the 15 minutes while I’m shoveling food in my mouth before we get up to start talking to all our guests.

  6. Kai Jones says:

    The signs are cute and clever, but not useful in context (at the reception). I’d appreciate them much more on a casual/country style honeymoon suite, maybe on matching porch rockers.

    I didn’t do a sweetheart table either time (two marriages, yup); the first time we didn’t have tables (champagne and cake after the ceremony for most guests, family-only buffet dinner on laps that evening), the second time we had a table with my kids and our friends. That was a sweet wedding venue, an “estate” formerly owned by a single woman who raised horses; the house was just a big ranch-style. We had the wedding in the living room in front of a 6-foot fireplace, the reception buffet laid out in the dining room, and tables and chairs set up in each of the six bedrooms. Lots of wandering around made for convivial food-sharing.

    For a seated dinner, I’d want indicators on the table. Place cards, a special centerpiece (tall candles when the other tables have short or something like); what about a vase holding the bouquet in front of the bride’s place?

  7. JRM says:

    Kind of “meh” on the design, would be freaking annoyed by them on my chair all night. But then, I went the sweetheart table route. We did it because A) we couldn’t decide where to sit, and B) because the caterers said if we did that, they’d bring us our food first, and then we could mingle with the guests pretty quickly. Which we did, and we actually saw and talked to just about everyone at our wedding. (I missed one aunt and uncle on my side, because they only stayed for the ceremony.)

    I like Kai’s idea of using them for a honeymoon place moreso than a reception, unless you’re having a backyard barbecue and got special chairs for the B&G or something. (I guess.)

  8. bobbie-sue says:

    We did a sweetheart table and loved it. Those who wanted our attention come up to us and chatted while we ate. Out MOH and BM (the only wedding party) got to eat with their friends/partners (a pet peeve of mine is when my partner is at the head table and I’m left to eat without him. not cool.) and we got to actually spend a little time with eachother, which was wonderful. We placed the table in the middle of the hall, so that nobody was seated too far from us. The table was taken away while we cut the cake, leaving a huge dance floor.

    We ended up making place cards for ourselves on a whim the night before, as we were finishing up the guests’ place cards. Our tables were named for neighbourhoods in our beloved city, and we chose the neighbourhood where we hope to live one day for our own table. Seeing my married name on that card made me squeeeee.

    Back on topic, I agree that those plaques are pretty but useless. But then, we made sure everything we bought for the wedding had a purpose when we were done.

  9. Hope Will says:

    Wow, it’s a great idea! I think it’s a personal preference for your special day, and whatever works best in that situation is great as the ultimate goal is to be happy.

  10. La BellaDonna says:

    Hah! Additional proof that I need to get out more often … I’d never HEARD of sweetheart tables until today!

    I think the signs are really pretty, really sweet … and would meet the EXACT fate you outlined for them, NtB! I dunno … if one had a, what? Breakfast room? Front porch? they might be sweet displayed somewhere safe. I think like so many shabby chic, romantic details, it would be awfully easy for them to mutate into clutter. Plus, positioned as they are, I guarantee that they would fall off/underfoot, and cause at least a few injuries amongst the merrymakers.

  11. Kate says:

    OK – aesthetically, they’re nice. Practically, what exactly is the purpose? Can anyone really get to the wedding reception without identifying them? Do we really think someone is going to STEAL the seats of the bride and groom, or not offer up their seat if they want to sit? So yeah – clutter.

    Reminds me of my cousin, who got to the hotel from her wedding reception (still in giant white gown) and went to the front desk for something announcing “I’m the bride” (in a matter-of-fact, completely hilarious, and possibly slightly drunk fashion). Really, hon? Cuz I wondered.

  12. Amy says:

    Well, I like them! I bought the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” versions–the bride and groom are supposed to have special chairs! And as for what to do with them after the wedding, I plan to hang ours on either side of our bed above the nightstand. I think it’s a little nitpicky to complain about these types of signs–they’re definitely more subtle than renting, like, thrones for the bride and groom.

  13. @Amy The Mr. and Mrs. signs are a bit more useful I think in the long term since you’ll hopefully be a Mrs. and Mr. pair forever! The bride and groom signs just don’t have that long lasting appeal.