A sweetheart is most common these days. Unless your attendants are all each other's significant others they will be isolated from who they want to have dinner with, especially if they don't know anyone else and socially awkward or shy. It's courteous to seat attendants with their dates/spouses since you're celebrating relationships.
We are doing a sweetheart table just to enjoy some time with my spouse!
We are doing a small head table: 6 people with the MOH + partner and best woman + her partner. A sweetheart for the two of us + 2 small tables for the other 4. This is the best of both worlds, in my opinion. The 3 other WP members will be seated elsewhere so they won't be apart from their S.O and other people they know. The main issue about the sweetheart table is that people never stop rushing to you because they want to say a little something, including during the dinner , you can hardly eat. With a head table, people are less willing to talk to you during the meal, so you can enjoy the dinner. However I totally get the idea of enjoying some one on one time with your spouse but we're having a first look so we are still having our 1 on 1 moment and we may "leave" the reception for a couple minutes, after dinner, if we want more one on one time.
We had a sweetheart table for our wedding. One reason we made that choice was because it gave us more time as just the two of us. There isn't a lot of one on one time for the couple during the wedding. We also didn't want to separate our bridal party from their significant others.
For my first wedding we did a sweetheart table and it was perfect! I says our wedding parties with their dates/spouses/families and no one bothered us during dinner! They just let us eat! I’ll be doing a sweetheart again for this wedding. Our wedding parties will be seated with family (most wedding party members are FHs cousins) or friends or family!
I think sweetheart tables are better. I love our wedding party, but FH and I want some time alone at our wedding and an approachable table.
Honestly if I went back in time, I don't think we would even have a wedding party. They're not standing up at the altar with me or sitting at a head table. They are processing but I don't even get why. I just think, wait this ceremony is about me and FH, why is my best friend so prominent in this event?
We did a sweetheart table. This allowed for our wedding party to sit with their significant others and friends and gave us some alone time. For the most part, people left us alone when we were at the sweetheart table (because we were mostly there to eat). It was nice having a private "home base" as we mingled with our guests, visiting tables and dancing and the like.
We didn't do a sweetheart table... it just wasn't us. It wasn't so much with the spotlight idea but more that we wanted to have conversation with our wedding party. We had a minimony last fall so we ended up doing a table of 10 people with us... but we plan to do the same for our redo renewal/reception this October. We laughed the entire time with people we love. We figured we would have a lifetime at our own "sweetheart table" in our kitchen... for our wedding(s), we would have a blast with the people who are closest to us. Best of luck!
We are actually not having a wedding party so we are doing a sweetheart table. Our venue is an octagon shape so it did leave us much room for one but what I think we are going to end up doing is putting it on the dance floor allowing us to eat and really take it all in then move the table out of the way and just keep the antique loveseat that we will be sitting on off to the side but available for us to sit down on together if we find the time for it