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

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!

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 .


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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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).

JessM Tue 30-Apr-13 01:45:56

Went to a wedding in France once that involved:
Civil ceremony in the mairie
1.5 hour mass in the cathedral
Drinks and nibbles reception in a very nice hall- but the toilets were disgusting public ones next door
Drive out into the country beeping horns of cars
Hang around for several hours in garden while photos took place elsewhere
Sit down meal in which i was sat next to mr v boring
Speeches were between courses
Courses went on until midnight (apparently this was the abbreviated version of dinner because wedding only half french)
Disco started at midnight.
Drive back to town and collapse.
I think breakfast was also involved but I had a virus and only lasted until 12.30
Makes the most drawn out UK wedding seem completely lightweight.

york46 Mon 29-Apr-13 23:33:39

When my husband's neice got married, the church service was to be in the late afternoon, followed by an evening reception. So, the bridegroom's parents provided a wonderful lunch, attended by close family members from both sides. By the time everyone had eaten (and the wine had flowed!) the ice had been broken and we all felt like old friends. The rest of the day was a really warm and friendly affair.

harrigran Mon 29-Apr-13 23:00:19

A few years ago DH and I were invited to his nephew's wedding, church wedding as I thought but later realised was just a blessing and the ceremony had taken place in the morning. Blessing was at 2pm and afterwards at a local hotel, we arrived at the hotel at 2.30 and waited for bride and groom. 3,4,5 and 6pm passed and still they did not arrived, word was they had gone to football ground for photographs. At 6.45 they arrived and we went into the room where the meal was to be served, alarm bells ringing when I realised there were no knives and forks. Some time after 8pm there was an announcement that the buffet was served, I had my coat on by then as my stomach was rumbling.
I had a good moan to a friend and she told me modern weddings are like that and photos and videos take hours.
I will claim prior engagement when the next one comes round.

Grannylin Mon 29-Apr-13 20:16:54

At my nephews wedding, his wife's divorced parents sat at opposite ends of the top table.The father's new wife sat with our family (we'd never met her). All through the bride's father's speech New wife kept trying to get his attention, while bride's Mum sobbed. Speeches finally over, we started the meal. Bride's father suddenly rapped the table for silence to say..I should have mentioned the brides mother and to thank her. Bride's mother starts sobbing again. New wife on our table gets up and about indigestion sad

juneh Mon 29-Apr-13 20:06:21

Recently went to my neices wedding and her boyfriend (new hubby) had a large family and lots of friends where my neice had only a small family. It was much worse my brother, her dad had split from her mum 20 or so years ago. I felt sorry for my brother and his now new wife because they were seated far over to the right of the room and her mum was sat at the other side of the room. Phew! We, my hubby and I, were sat with the grooms father etc and they were so unfriendly it was awful.
There were almost icicles hanging over some area. It was a very long day and must have been worse for my brother's wife. Everyone seemed to feel sorry for the mother of the bride, alot of bad history floating around like clouds of smog. The worst was what little family my neice had as spread around like grains of sand scattered within his large and rather snobbish family.
It was a relief when it was over.
if you can get out of going to weddings do it, that is my moto from now on.confused

nanaej Mon 29-Apr-13 20:03:18

Hope it goes well and you can all enjoy the celebration smile

oldgirl2 Mon 29-Apr-13 19:21:00

Yes nanaej we are staying over and we skype and text a lot. I'm sure it will all turn out fine now we are over the initial dissappoinment.

nanaej Mon 29-Apr-13 19:02:30

Sometimes it is such a nightmare as the tables will only seat set numbers and trying to get it right is a real 'walking on egg shells' process. The bride and groom may have thought that you were understanding and adaptable so you are the family they felt they could split without upsetting you. I do know what you mean about wanting to spend time with your son. Are you travelling down the night before or staying over? Maybe you can have dinner together or lunch the following day and swap the gossip you have picked up grin.

Mishap Mon 29-Apr-13 18:57:36

Go with the flow I say - it is hard at weddings to please everyone and, after all, it is the bride and grooms day. You may find you will make new friends on your table - I love meeting new people - they haven't heard all my stories so I can bore a new audience!

oldgirl2 Mon 29-Apr-13 18:27:53

We will have to grin grin and bear it then all get together afterwards, shame though, lets hope the speeches are short ha,ha. It will probably all turn out great!! Thanks for all replies.

Greatnan Mon 29-Apr-13 15:58:10

My grandson's wedding in Kent in August went like clockwork - his fiancee had planned it down to the last detail. The only problem she had with the seating arrangement was what to do with her natural mother, who had abandoned her when she was two. She was brought up by her father and step mother , whom she regards as her real mother, so they sat on the top table with my daughter and son-in-law. My grandson also has a biological father who has done nothing for him, and a wonderful step-father.
There was a very neat solution, the two biological parents sat together at the end of the top table and got very drunk together.

ninathenana Mon 29-Apr-13 15:24:28

At DD wedding we sat my divorced brother and my mum on the same table as groom's younger brother and his grand parents i.e. Close family together. My brother moaned to my mum that his two adult sons and partners were not sitting with him. They however thanked DD for not putting them with their father grin

The last wedding I went too everyone including the groom were locked out of the church as the vicar had got the time wrong ! We sat outside for 20mins then waited inside for another 15mins while vicar prepared himself. Meanwhile the brides mum was frantically texting her not to leave home yet.

merlotgran Mon 29-Apr-13 14:31:46

Small talk with strangers can sometimes lead to WW3. We found ourselves sharing a table with friends of DH's niece at her wedding. They told us they lived in Portsmouth. DD2 lives in Alverstoke so we said how much we'd enjoyed our trip up the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Keys. Big Mistake!!! Apparently they were part of a group protesting about the cost of the tower because they felt the money could have been better spent elsewhere in Portsmouth. Fair enough. They live and pay council tax there but they went on and on and on about it all afternoon. You'd have thought we were personally responsible for pushing through the planning application.

We spent the whole of the evening 'do' trying to run away from them.