Do you have to have a top table? And who gave you away?

(25 Posts)
stopthenoise Mon 29-Jul-13 09:54:49

We're having a small wedding, mainly just family, roughly 25 guests. OH and I were talking about seating plans, some family don't get on with others but we've worked that out. When it came to the top table we realised we won't have half the people you're 'supposed' to have for a top table. OH parents won't be coming, they're old and very frail and it would be too much for them. He's having a best man but no other groomsmen. On my side there'd my Mum and her new husband and my 8yo niece as bridesmaid. I just think it might look a bit weird with random people. And TBH I don't like the idea of being 'seperate' from everyone else. We were thinking a round table with us, DS, best man and wife and my mum and husband. Ideas please? Did you have a top table?
The giving away issue. My dad will not be there and I don't wish him to be. OH keeps asking who will be giving me away. I said no one, can't I just do it myself grin Thoughts? TIA

drivinmecrazy Mon 29-Jul-13 10:01:34

We didn't have a top table. Instead we had lots of tables which were hosted by my Mum and Dad, another by DH & I, another by In-laws, and others hosted by siblings. It worked really well and far less formal. this was for the dinner, our actual wedding ceremony was only attended by parents, grandparents and siblings so we had a lovely intimate lunch before the masses descended for dinner

No, you don't need a top table, especially for such an intimate wedding! It will be fine for all of you to sit at a round table like everyone else.

Also, no one needs to give you away! grin You can definitely walk down the isle yourself.

purpleroses Mon 29-Jul-13 15:32:17

We don't plan to have a top table - at least not a one where you all sit in a straight line as I won't be able to talk to anyone.

With 25 guests, could you just all sit on one long table?

And even though my dad will be there, I plan to walk down the aisle on my own (with bridesmaids) as I don't like the symbolism of being "given away" as if I was owned by my dad and then my DH.

I wasn't "given away", I walked down the aisle with my 2 best friends (who were my bridesmaids).

We had a small wedding and all sat on one long table.

stopthenoise Mon 29-Jul-13 15:46:19

Didn't think of one long table, will pass that by OH. Although he likes the idea of a few smaller round tables so everyone can still see/talk to each other.
One decision made tho, I shall walk down the aisle with my DS and niece as bridesmaid smile

chelsbells Mon 29-Jul-13 15:58:17

Was in a very similar position to you last September!

Families didn't get on, my parents divorced etc so we had our 'top table' for my chief bridesmaid, me, DH and his best man. We sat at a circle table at the top of the room and faced everyone. It was perfect for us. Didn't offend any parent as none of them were sat with us, but my mum was on the next table closest to us!

And I had my mum give me away! It was exactly how I wanted it, family got annoyed that I didn't have my dad give me away but it was my day and I wanted it to be my mum. Glad I stuck to my guns!!

Have a fabulous day! Hope you get your tables sorted out, best advice I an offer, do exactly as you want! It's your day, not your families! X

Trazzletoes Mon 29-Jul-13 16:02:32

When my DSis got married, my DF had passed away so my DB gave her away. Someone else I know was given away by her DM.

My DSis also didn't have a top table. Her and her DH sat with me and my family and her DSil and her DP.

My DM and DSis' DFil (DMil also passed away) each "hosted" their own table of their friends who had travelled a long way/ families. It worked really well and was lovely as it meant we all had the opportunity to actually talk to each other! They had a round table just in with everyone else.

Lovely.

Trazzletoes Mon 29-Jul-13 16:04:26

Actually, DB had a similar sized wedding to you - we all sat round one big table.

Have a wonderful time!

PaperPomPom Tue 30-Jul-13 08:10:57

My Dad gave me away, it meant a lot to him.

Top table, we had a table for just us two and set others up hosting other tables. We had a couple of extra chairs for people to come up and chat as and when which worked wonderfully smile

purpleroses Tue 30-Jul-13 11:25:47

That's a nice idea paperpom with the extra chairs - might see what DP thinks of that one.

We absolutely won't be having a 'top table'. I hate the idea of sitting in a line, on a stage, eating dinner gazing down on all of our guests. So we will have a table for the wedding party, but a standard round one in the middle of the room, where we are close to everyone.

I would prefer not to be 'given away', but I know that it means a lot to my Dad, so will do it. Although my plan is to have my Dad and Grandad walk me down the aisle, on either side of me (for two reasons, being that my Grandad has been as big and influential part of my life as my Dad has, and also that my Grandad has only one daughter - my Mum. He gave her away, but it was mere weeks after his youngest son died, and so was a very bittersweet occasion for him. I'd love for him to have another, happier opportunity to do it, as would he). What I'm saying is, do what is special for you, even if it isn't 'traditional'. For me that means having Dad and Grandad give me away, for you that means your DS and niece. Which sounds absolutely lovely.

StupidFlanders Thu 01-Aug-13 04:05:47

I walked down the aisle with my husband to be. Made sense, no one was giving me to anyone and we were both entering the marriage together.

StupidFlanders Thu 01-Aug-13 04:06:34

Oh and my dcs were with us!

janji Thu 01-Aug-13 04:23:18

We had a kind of open square arrangement (horse shoe I think it's technically called) with one side of square missing iyswim? Worked really well as we could all see and chat to each other! My uncle gave me away.

nooka Thu 01-Aug-13 04:25:51

My father walked down the isle with me (no giving away in our service though), and it was nice to have his support, but I don't think that you have to have anyone if you are happy making a grand entrance on your won (why not after all) or you can come in with whoever you like really. Is your son old enough to walk or will you be carrying him? I'm sure the three of you coming in together will make everyone think 'how lovely'.

We didn't have a top table, we had a buffet with lots of tables and booths (reception on a riverboat) and dh and I spent time at each table talking to people, which was really nice although I don't think I actually ate very much! I don't like seating plans, the weddings I've been to with set seating I didn't enjoy very much, it felt very awkward to me.

sheeplikessleep Thu 01-Aug-13 06:26:03

I went to a wedding once where just the bride and groom sat together for the meal, with no other family members on their table. The brides reasoning was that it was possibly their only 'alone' time during the whole day.
I thought that was a fab idea and what I would have done in hindsight.

Carolra Thu 01-Aug-13 06:48:40

No top table here either. We sat with our friends (no bridesmaids either) and each set of parents (3, dp's parents had an angry divorce) got their own table with their family/friends.

My dad gave me away, we're close. But I've been to weddings where the bride's "best man" gave her away, one where she came down alone, one where her son and daughter came down with her and one where the bride and groom came down together (it was really nice!!).

I think you can pretty much do what you like these days!

blackteaplease Thu 01-Aug-13 07:00:41

We had a horseshoe arrangement with the top table in th middle. Our venue also offered a sweetheart table which was just for the bride and groom.

My dad walked me down the aisle which meant a lot to him.

lljkk Thu 01-Aug-13 07:02:30

My mom gave me away (Dad conducted the ceremony smile ).
No top table, just the 2 of us in the centre.

TobyLerone Thu 01-Aug-13 07:05:21

We didn't have a seating plan at all.

We had more seats than people, on one long table down each side of the room, and let everyone sit where they wanted. We flitted about more than sitting down in one place.

My teenage DS walked down the aisle with me, but I certainly wasn't 'given away'.

racmun Thu 01-Aug-13 07:06:41

We got married 5 weeks ago and had 23 guests. We decided against a top table and had a big rectangle so we all sat together which was actually really nice and big enough to keep warring sides of the family apart!

Don't see any reason why you can't enter by yourself or do you have an uncle or brother if you want someone.

Enjoy your day

rubyrubyruby Thu 01-Aug-13 07:18:10

We didn't have a top table
No-one gave me away

AnneEyhtMeyer Thu 01-Aug-13 09:38:40

My cousin just had a table for her and the groom and then other tables with family groups.

I used to work in a pub that did a lot of small weddings. For a party of 25 we would have done a horseshoe shape.

stopthenoise Thu 01-Aug-13 11:55:03

Thanks for all your ideas! I think OH is quite set on having the wedding as traditional as it can be but I've told him many times it is OUR day and we will do what makes us happy not everyone else.
nooka DS will be 5 so old enough to walk on his own. I too think it would be nice to walk down with him and my niece. DS and niece are very close (even though there's 5 years between them) but she is the only cousin he really spends time with and I think it will be nice for them to share that moment.
As for the table arrangement we have decided on having a round table with us, my mum, her husband, best man and wife. I like the horseshoe idea so everyone can still see and talk to each other.

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