To TOP Table or not to TOP Table?

Source: Justin McCallum Photography

If you ask any bride how they are getting on with wedding planning, it’s likely that they will reply with ‘Good BUT I’ve not even started the table plan!’. The poor old table plan is known for being difficult & straining – especially when it comes to the top table. 

From the moment we started wedding planning we knew we wanted a sweetheart table just for the 2 of us. Although I was 100% set on this, I decided to research other options which only further cemented my want of a top table for 2.

Here is why I decided to do away with the infamous Top Table:

#1 – Separated / Single Parents

My Husband and I both come from families where our parents have separated – some of our parents have got new partners and some haven’t. When we started looking at table plans one of the main problems that presented itself was that ‘traditional plans’ were for couples whose parents were still married / together. Once you start really thinking about separated parents it becomes a logistical nightmare, especially if you know you will have fussy family involved. Who will look after smaller children if your dad has remarried and now has younger children that need supervising? There won’t be room for your dad, his new wife & 3 younger children. What if one of your parents doesn’t have a new partner? So you’ve got your 3 sets of remarried / re coupled parents and then your mum sat on the end – although your mum probably wouldn’t mind – I wouldn’t be able to stop myself worrying about who she was going to talk to during the meal. What if you’re not that close with your Husband to be’s Dad’s new girlfriend  – sure she might be lovely but if she’s relatively new to the scene and you’ve only met her twice – do you really want to share your top table with her?

#2 – Bridesmaids

A lot of the images of the ‘perfect top table’ include Bridesmaids and Groomsmen (seriously, these top tables can go on for miles & miles). I only had 2 Bridesmaids so the size of the Top Table wasn’t going to be an issue for me. One of my Bridesmaids was my sister, so I didn’t want the rest of my family to feel left out if she was sat up there with us – and I thought she might want to spend the some of the meal catching up with relatives that she doesn’t normally get to see. My other Bridesmaid was my Best Friend whose Partner was also invited to the wedding. As much as I’m sure she wouldn’t have minded not sitting with her partner for the meal, I felt more comfortable for both of them that they could sit together and enjoy the meal, rather than her partner being sat with other people that he didn’t really know.  Also, regarding Groomsmen, my Husband’s Best Man was his dad which leads back to point 1 re Parents & top tables!

Also, regarding Groomsmen, my Husband’s Best Man was his dad which leads back to point 1 re Parents & top tables!

#3 ‘Small’ Wedding Guest Numbers

The number of guests at our wedding was less than 50 so it falls into the ‘small / intimate’ category (even though it seemed like plenty of people to me). When trying all of the different Top Table combinations you could have e.g. parents plus bridesmaids plus family and not forgetting the Bride & Groom, by the time you had everyone you ‘should’ have on there, there was no-one left for the other tables. I had visions of sitting at the Top Table and looking out onto this beautifully decorated room and there being no-one there, because they were all sat on our 100ft long top table! We wanted to be able to look out & see all of our Family & Friends enjoying themselves and for us to really be able to soak up that memory, rather than leaning over 10 people to see my Mum at the very other end of the longest top table ever.

#4 We just wanted it to be US

One of the top pieces of advice people have for the Bride & Groom on their Wedding Day is to spend some time alone. We had spent all of our time & money on creating this magical perfect day so we wanted to be able to really appreciate it together. Think about all of the effort you put into choosing your favourite dishes for the meal & your favourite colours for the decorations, don’t you just want to sit back, relax & enjoy it together? The wedding day itself is so busy, make sure you really carve out some time to be alone together, after all it is your day.

I hope explaining my thought process behind choosing a Sweetheart Table / Top Table for 2 has helped with your decision making. Other alternatives to the Traditional Top Table are the Happy Couple sitting on a regular round table with guests or banquet style long tables which can have a formal or relaxed feel depending on your decor. 

Remember, it is your day & it can be crafted to suit you. There is no wrong choice if it is what you want to do.

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Why you CAN wear flat wedding shoes – and where to find them!

Why do weddings make the smallest everyday items such as a pair of shoes feel like the end of the universe? 

Every morning we wake up, complete our morning routine and blearily eyed, we put on our shoes and head out of the door. Do we give these shoes a second thought? Sure, might make sure we wear the polished black ankle boots with our tights instead of the old flip flops that we keep by the door for emergencies. But do you spend hours, days even, agonising whether they will go with the new dress you’ve bought for work? So why do we do it for our wedding? 

On all of the TV shows and pictures we see, you see a beautiful bride slipping her foot into a 6” designer heel and she looks elegant and put together. But although they look nice, I know for a fact that I couldn’t even stand in those heels, let alone take one of the most exciting walks of my life. Yet when I suggested to my friends that I was going to get flat shoes as I wanted to be comfortable – I was met with confusion. ‘But you have to wear heels so you have nice posture’ & ‘but you won’t feel special if you’re just wearing flats’ were some of their reactions. Well, on my wedding day I felt pretty damn special and I couldn’t have cared less what shoes I was wearing. 

I am a very indecisive person and I like to make sure I have explored all of my options before committing to something. This meant that I spent many a night trawling through every website known to man in order to find the perfect flat wedding shoes. So, to ensure that all that woman-power doesn’t go to waste, I thought I would share some of my findings with you, in the hope that it saves you some time.

Treat Yo’self – Frankie by Charlotte Mills

Image: Charlotte Mills Website

These just ooze luxury and scream ‘Wedding’. All Charlotte Mills shoes come with an embossed ‘something old, something new’ poem on the sole of the shoes and have a silver sixpence on the inside. Imagine the photographs on your wedding morning… Pinterest goals! 

SATC vibes – embellished slingbacks from ASOS 

Image: ASOS

If you’re struggling to find your something blue these are perfect and the big embellishment on the front is a good modern verison of those shoes from Sex and The City but FLAT. If blue isn’t your thing, these are also available in a classic ivory. What’s not to love? 

Simple yet effective – Amazon

Image: Amazon

These are very similar to the flat wedding shoes that I wore to my own wedding (which are all sold out – I was lucky I managed to snap up a brand new pair from eBay). The pointed toe was perfect as it when I was walking in my dress it could pop out from underneath but still look classy – a pointed toe is a good option if you want to give the illusion of heels but the comfort of flats – the best of both worlds. 

Comfort first – Precious Metals Converse

Image: Amazon

I wasn’t a huge fan of trainers / Converse when looking at flat wedding shoes for myself but I know that some people swear by them. If you live in your Converse and feel that they are a part of your personality then this is a great way to let that shine through. This particular pair have shiny extra bits to set them apart from your standard everyday pair, plus you can wear them time & time again and they’ll always remind you of your special day – bonus!

Your one for one – Crochet Toms

Image: Office

Continuing the comfort theme these are sure to make your heart feel good as well as your feet. For every pair of TOMS purchased, TOMS will donate one to a child in need. This classic lace design is fitting for a bride & the feeling that you’re doing something good will make you radiate from within.

To Dye for – Alise by Rainbow Club

Image: Rainbow Club
Image: Rainbow Club

If you change your colour theme so often that you’re still not sure what colours your bridesmaids will actually turn up in on the day, these are the shoes for you. You purchase your shoes, try them on and then by purchasing a colour pack and returning your shoes to Rainbow Club you can have them dyed any colour you want. Literally any colour. Their experts will accurately match your shoes to any fabric or swatch that you desire. Or if you prefer, you can just keep them in their classic ivory satin.

Each shoe features padded lining and underfoot cushioning so your favourite walk will also be your comfiest.

Designer delights – Vivienne Westwood

Image: Office

If you thought your dreams of coveting designer footwear for your big day died when you vowed to wear flat wedding shoes… think again! Available in Blush & ‘Moon Shimmer’ with rave reviews, these will be a pair that you can’t wait to un-box.

So there we have it, you can be stylish and comfortable on your wedding day. Although, TV and Films would have you believe it, you don’t have to add inches to your height to be a glamorous bride. Enjoy the rest of your wedding planning in the comfort of your flat wedding shoes.

If I find any more amazing flat shoes I’ll add them over on my Instagram so be sure to follow there – @BrideFinds

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