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Upset for being seated separately from Family at brothers wedding

(28 Posts)
JaybeeM Mon 22-Aug-11 17:53:20

My brother recently was married in Switzerland. I live in London and the rest of my family, one other brother and sister, travelled from New Zealand. It was a lovely occasion. However, at the reception (which was held at an expensive Hotel on Lake Zurich) I made the mistake of presuming I would be seated with my family. When we entered the reception room we found my husband and I were seated on another table separate from my family. My other sister and other brother were seated at the head table alongside my brother, the brides family, the best man and his girlfriend, and the bridesmaid with her partner. We also had my husbands son seated at another table separate from us again. I feel embarrassed because I was visibly upset and annoyed in front of other guests at the table we were seated at, I did regain my composure after my initial shock but not before one of the other guests asked if I was ok. I said it's ok and vowed to my husband I am going to enjoy it and probably thought I would have more fun with these people anyway. Prior to this we had no family issues, no feuding or anything, however I did pay for my sister to fly over and discovered before the wedding that she had been spending money that other family had given to her (for the trip) on redecorating her house. I understand that I was may have been the sacrificial lamb as it was probably just a case of being tight for tables space. However, I was really upset at this, and I think because my sister had taken so many liberties, but got to sit at the head table. I know seating is difficult at weddings, but it was my brothers wedding, our parents died when I was 13 and this is the only family I had. I had not seen them for two years. I also know there are many different seating permutations they could have tried to avoid this. I was gutted. Am I being unreasonable by being upset at this. I had also been tasked with taking the photo's on the day as well, as they didn't hire a photographer for the occasion. Ugh!

fifitrixibellesmith Mon 22-Aug-11 17:55:47

what did he say when you enquired why?

MrsPresley Mon 22-Aug-11 17:58:19

Did your brother and sister have their partners with them and are they older than you?

Just thinking that maybe they were seated at the top table in place of your parents.

Although someone could have explained this to you before the wedding.

diddl Mon 22-Aug-11 17:59:34

I assume that your siblings weren´t bridesmaid/best man?

Did they have spouses/partners with them?

hmc Mon 22-Aug-11 18:01:38

Oh dear - whilst they probably had a very rational reasonable reason for the seating plan (in their heads), this was insensitive

Dozer Mon 22-Aug-11 18:02:01

So the rest of your remaining family were at the top table, but not you?

They asked you to take photos instead of a proper photographer?

You gave money to your sister to fly over, but she had also got money for the same purpose from someone else and spent it on her house?

Sounds awful! YANBU.

RoseC Mon 22-Aug-11 18:07:24

Maybe if you were taking photos they seated you separately assuming that you would want to get up and down during the meal/speeches to take pictures? If you were taking pictures of the top table they'd look a bit funny with a person missing in every picture. Maybe that's the reason why?

How old is your husband's son? Was he seated at a table with people his own age? Many couples do this so adults can have fun (and gossip) away from children.

Whatmeworry Mon 22-Aug-11 18:10:47

Oh that's just awful. You're family and not sitting on the table, and separating your family just adds insult to injury. And then having to take the photos of them.

Tell your brother that since you don't count as family anymore he can pay for the bluddy photos smile

Takitezee Mon 22-Aug-11 18:14:33

YANBU. Table planning at weddings can be incredibly difficult but you work it out to make your guests feel as comfortable as possible.

Obviously you wouldn't ask at the wedding but did you get a chance later to ask your brother why you weren't seated with your brother and sister and especially why your husband's son was seated on his own. How old is he by the way?

sayithowitis Mon 22-Aug-11 18:20:21

I would have been upset as well. At the very least, in the circumstances you describe, you should have been sitting at the top table, even if your DH and son weren't. It would have made sense if they had kept your family unit together, but given that your DH's DS was at a different table, there was no reason why you and DH could not have sat at top table instead of partners of best man and bridesmaid.

sad for you.

WipsGlitter Mon 22-Aug-11 18:37:41

I think you are a wee bit U. It was their wedding and as you say it was lovely, so try and focus on that. You sound as if you have issues with your sister and this is colouring your view of what happened. I think getting visibly upset was over-reacting a bit and very embarrasing for other guests. Using the phrase "sacrificial lamb" is telling, do you often feel the martyr/hard done by one in the family? Maybe they sat you brother and sister there as they had come further? Didn't know other people there? Had you not seen any if them for two years?

Sometimes we have to accept that what we see as important, eg the status of being at the top table us irrelevant to other people and we can't expect others to live by our standards or we will be disappointed.

I think you are totally NOT being unreasonable - if nothing else it would have been good manners to let you know the situation beforehand.
Wips, I know your point is valid about it not being OP's day etc, I agree with you - but shit, I'd have been gobsmacked if I'd not known about it before hand.
As to being visibly upset - sometimes things just catch you out and you can't help it. I would rank this as one of those occasions.

Dreadful, frankly.

spiderpig8 Mon 22-Aug-11 20:44:10

well wasn't there an evening do where you could mingle.I think YAB a bit U.maybe they wqere trying to mix things up to get the brides and grooms family to know each other

mummyzoe2012 Mon 22-Aug-11 20:44:30

ive told my brother that i dnt want to be sat at the top table at his wedding and i want to sit with my new family (he gets married 15 weeks after me and i will have a 8 month old baby) he is a little anoyed by this but has a good few months to get his head round it

squeakytoy Mon 22-Aug-11 20:51:14

You were seated with your husband, who is your closest family member.

The reception is only a part of the whole day.

aldiwhore Mon 22-Aug-11 20:52:00

YANBU but offence is so easy to cause. My sister's wedding was a great day but one of the saddest of my life, I felt so isolated for one reason or another... this was 3 years ago, it hadn't crossed my sister's mind that I'd be so upset, no offence was meant from her, but once she knew how upset I was (fortunately it was recently not on her day, which saved an argument) she was genuinely sorry.

Your feelings are valid.

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 22-Aug-11 20:55:28

I don't know.

I was sat with the 'difficult' relatives at my sister's wedding but she asked me if that would be ok as I could be relied on to drink much wine and talk for england smile

redwineformethanks Mon 22-Aug-11 21:02:18

Seating plans are always tricky. We had to end up separating two siblings. Both of them had travelled a long way to come to our wedding, and I knew that they would (quite reasonably) expect to sit together, but what they wouldn't realise is that the only way we could make 6 other tables work, was to separate these two. If they had been on the same table, then it would have caused all sorts of problems with seating plans for loads of other tables. So we had to risk upsetting 2 people for the sake of making all these other tables work. Hope that makes you feel a little better. We had a children's table and thought it would be fun for them.

JaybeeM Tue 23-Aug-11 11:28:10

Thank you all for the wonderful replies. I've come to realise that I had been a little presumptuous in assuming that I would be with my family. I really wouldn't have minded where, if it was at the back of the room or head table it didn't matter to me. However, my brother said it was because he couldn't fit us in and once all was done we could all move on from it. I was cross only because no-one communicated it with me, I said it would have been really helpful if they simply let me know before the wedding. Zoe2012, I wish this is exactly what they had have done for me, given me warning first. smile

sausagesandmarmelade Tue 23-Aug-11 11:44:04

You are NOT being unreasonable at all dear........

Of course you would feel hurt.

The bride and groom were very insensitive....I cannot understand why you would have been separated from the family like that. You deserve some answers.

muminthemiddle Tue 23-Aug-11 11:45:27

It is a nightmare trying to organise seating at a wedding. Deciding who is "more eligable" to sit nearest the bride and groom coupled with making sure that x knows someone on the same table but this will isolate y etc etc.

I do think that the parents of the bride and the bridesmaid and best man take precedence over you, sorry.
However I can see that you felt snubbed because your siblings were on the top table plus oyur husbands son was sat elsewhere. There agian if your husbands son is not a young child they may not have seen it as a problem, plus perhaps they thought that aunty nelly and cousin Alfie are "more important" than your husband's son. Can you see what I am getting at??

I can see however that you should have been told beforehand about the seating arrangements.

diddl Tue 23-Aug-11 11:47:19

I don´t think that you were presumptious.

If I had more than one sibling & one was getting married, I´d assume that I´d be seated on a table near the front with my other sibling(s).

Unless they were bestman/bridesmaid, then I´d assume that they would be on the top table & I wouldn´t.

CMOTdibbler Tue 23-Aug-11 11:52:35

I'd have been upset tbh - if all your siblings were together, it would be wrong to single you out in my mind.

At my brothers wedding, dh and I were sat at the back of the room on a table with the brides colleagues. I did take offence as her sisters were all at the front of the room, and the rest of my family were elsewhere so we didn't get to spend time with anyone

sausagesandmarmelade Tue 23-Aug-11 11:58:15

I really don't see why table plans need to be so complicated or such a big deal.

When we got married last year we put all our siblings on tables nearest us...with their partners/families.

We didn't split up any couples....or exlude any one group of people (ie kids).

Wasn't a problem AT all! People come first....

What a shame your brother and his wife didn't properly consider the situation and avoid the hurts that their decision inevitably caused.

paddypoopants Tue 23-Aug-11 12:16:30

Of course you should feel miffed if everyone was at the top table and you weren't without esplaining it to you first. They should've explained first. My sister and I got married 6 months apart. We had no top table and the parents and siblings on both sides all 'hosted' a table each so they felt important. So in return my sister put me (her only sibling) at the back of the room at a table with all the most boring random people. Nice. And she made sure I wasn't in any of her photographs. We are meant to be reasonably close. Ha.

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