Gransnet forums


sitting arrangements at a wedding

(38 Posts)
oldgirl2 Mon 29-Apr-13 10:28:05

My bh and I are going to his nieces wedding with our son and girlfriend, at the reception we have been split up and put on a table with people we don't know although they all friends together. Our son and girlfriend have also been sat with strangers, a group of similar aged guests who are all friends together. Other families have all been sat together, so I guess we are the fall guys. This has really disappointed us as we don't see son much (he works down south), am I being unreasonable?
This is my very first post and don't know what to expect smile

Greatnan Tue 30-Apr-13 06:51:36

Not all weddings are disasters - my daughter's and my grandson's were both joyful occasions because both sides thought the new daughter/son-in-law was perfect. Far from crying, my face ached from smiling at both of them. At my daughter's wedding, because she was older and had four children, and many of her friends had young children, we hired a children's entertainer so they were kept happily occupied. We had a three course hot lunch immediately after the ceremony, with very short speeches, then people went home to change and in the evening we had a hot buffet and a disco, but no young children attended that. Relatives who had come some distance were invited to stay with people who lived locally. It was one of the happiest days of my life (and nearly 17 years later they are still very happy with their new life in New Zealand).

Lilygran Tue 30-Apr-13 12:42:42

Or you could try the Hugh Grant solution in 'Four Weddings' and just swap some place cards around? Is it usual now at formal meals to get the seating plan ahead of arrival? I get out so little these days but when I did you had to look at the plan on display after or during the pre-meal drinks and then roam round finding the table.

Flowerofthewest Tue 30-Apr-13 23:19:33

I was really stressing about the seating arrangements at my DS wedding last July. Although both the bride and groom both came from divorced families they (she) wanted the traditional top table, ie mums and dads on table with them. This would have been ok but for the fact that her mother was severely abused by her father, her stepfather beat the bride when she was 14 and mum now has a lovely partner. The mum of the bride was to sit next to the wife beater ex husband. I was to sit next to my ex husband, boring but in no way a wife beater. My lovely lovely DDH was to sit on a side table with the child beater stepfather, the MiLs partner and expected to look after the two toddlers so that the bride did not get food on her dress!!!!!!

As it happened my DDH solved all of this for me by having a cardiac arrest a few days before the wedding. There was no way I could leave him as he was at death's door for 4 weeks with pneumonia.

A sure fire way to get out of the wedding seating arrangements but a bit drastic.

Jeremy Kyle would love this story.

Flowerofthewest Tue 30-Apr-13 23:24:41

The story of the 'small talk' leading to WW111 remeinded me of my nephew's wedding when my DDH ( a photographer, normally wildlife) was asked by the lad if he would do the wedding photos. The church had a very narrow walled path so the guests had to cram down the path while my DDH took photos of the happy couple and guests. Standing next to me at the back waiting to walk down the path was a very rude young man who loudly shouted "Who is the prat with the camera, wish he would move out of the bl,..dy way!!!" I said firmly that it was my husband and that he was the official photographer, he continued to be abusive until his father spoke firmly to him.

When we sat at our allocated table, who should be right next to me but the rude young man. I don't need to tell you who was the more embarrassed.

inthefields Thu 02-May-13 21:23:12

Married off the last DD just over a year ago, so the pains of the seating plan are still burned into my memory sad.
We simply could not please everyone as both sides had more family than would fit onto two tables .... neither had enough to fill three entirely....
and then their were the friends of the family ..... and then there were the friends of the couple ....and no group fitted neatly into filling tables. My cousins sat with friends of the in-laws, and my DD godparents ended up sitting with the vicar!

Please be reassured that no slight will have been intended. The family will have done the absolute best they can to work things out, knowing that whatever they do they won't be able to please everyone.

As has been said, the formal meal and speeches are likely to be a short part of the day. After that, people move around, pull up extra chairs or find quiet corners to sit and chat. You will have lots of time to socialise smile

Clytie Fri 03-May-13 08:47:47

I do see why you find it disappointing but as inthefields said, I'm sure you will have plenty of time to socialise.

My new partner and I are going to my goddaughter's wedding this summer. I believe she currently intends not to have a seating plan, apart from the top table.

It will be interesting to see whether that causes more or less stress!

dorsetpennt Fri 03-May-13 09:19:30

When my DS got married in 2001 there was a concern with the seating at the main table. This was due to the fact that I'm divorced and my ex has re-married and naturally his wife was invited too. My d-in-law and son asked if I minded her coming, I don't know if they were expecting my starting off a punch-up, but of course I said they must both come. My ex was seated next to the bride's mother as per usual and me next to her father as per usual. 'She' was seated next to some mutual friends so she she could talk to people she knew. During the before meals drinks I was introduced and managed to chat about her journey [from Florida where they live], the weather etc, and didn't spill my drink on her once. My daughter remembers being a bit nervous about this meeting.

annodomini Fri 03-May-13 10:24:50

I had a fairly miserable time at a friend's daughter's very smart wedding. I was put at a table with some of the couple's friends, a generation younger than I was. I get on well with my sons' friends, but it was heavy going with that lot. However, there was plenty of time for socialising before and after the meal, so it didn't matter too much, after all the wedding was about the bride and groom and their families, not about me. My situation at DS's wedding was like yours, dorset. Ex OH and his wife were not put at the top table which I think he resented - they were sitting with my sisters - but that was not my decision, though I think he suspected I had a hand in it. I was sitting at the top table between the two young bridesmaids, the bride's bright young nieces, who entertained me royally. It was quite an informal and most enjoyable wedding.

jeanie99 Sat 04-May-13 08:44:06

We have my sons wedding this summer and the seating plan is different.

FDIL mother and father although still living in the same house have spit up.

The father will not sit on the top table without his new girlfriend and the mother refuses to sit on her own wants to be with her sister. So both are not on top table.
In my opinion the father is forgetting that it's his daughters day not his and should have agreed to sit with his wife at least just for the meal. How anyone can act in this way and upset his daughter on her day is beyond understanding.

So we have my son my husband and me our daughter and partner
Bride her brother his wife and child as the main people on top table.

My brother (uncle) and godfather and cousin will sit together and not split as there is an additional complication as the ceremony is in Hungary and there is a language problem for all the English guests as none of us speak Hungarian.

Thinking back on weddings we have attended we socialise with the people we sit next to and after the meal move to sit with people we know.

Lilygran Sat 04-May-13 10:48:51

I'm bewildered by this thread. People have complained about tables not being the right size to seat a group they want to put together. Can't you have smaller or larger tables? And don't you always run the risk of being put with people you find difficult to talk to at a formal meal? If you end up with someone you don't want to meet, I suggested earlier you could swap the name cards - people do!

Nonu Sat 04-May-13 10:58:40

I just sit where I am put , it is not so hard to make social chit-chat for a short time .
Then afterwards one can join other people .


AmazingGran Sat 04-May-13 15:50:07

I was placed on table as far away from my 2nd daughter & husband (As well as my younger 2 daughters!) as possible, and her father was not even invited! (This because we'd left the 'Truth')!
I'm sure wedding will be fine, can be fun making new friends/ acquaintances!
I wish you well!