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Mixed seating at weddings WHY??

(254 Posts)
PicassosSausage Fri 22-Mar-13 14:57:48

Was recently at a wedding where DH and I were split up, at the same table, but with various random cousins and friends of the bride and groom between us. Am I being a miserable old wench for not liking this at all? The people between us were complete strangers and, although we are both pretty outgoing, I really loathe the whole forced small talk thing. I'm sure bride and groom were hoping we'd all mix and get along - which of course we did - but I don't go to weddings to make new friends, sorry I don't I go for the free booze

Our friendship group was scattered across the room and husbands and wives similarly split up on tables

I know it's their wedding day but AIBU to think this is just annoying and a bit...I dunno...stupid

ChaoticisasChaoticdoes Fri 22-Mar-13 15:30:31

I sat with total strangers at a wedding once. Then again I knew nobody but the bride and her immediate family.

Methinks it would have been a leeetle unreasonable to insist on being sat at the top table wink

DreamsToGo Fri 22-Mar-13 15:31:29

Every wedding I've ever been to (and there's been a few!) partners have been been sat apart, albeit on the same table. I think that's the norm. Frankly if as an adult you can't cope with sitting one seat away from your partner for the duration of a meal then you need to get a grip hmm

Sparklingbrook Fri 22-Mar-13 15:33:18

I can cope but I don't want to Dreams. wink

firesidechat Fri 22-Mar-13 15:36:38

I'm almost 50, been to lots of weddings and have never been split from my husband. Traditional? I must be mixing in the wrong circles.

TakingTheStairs Fri 22-Mar-13 15:40:52


Yes it's a pain to make small talk sometimes but the bride & groom have usually mixed people up in an effort to encourage conversation. They will quite often try to sit you beside someone they think you would like to meet & vice versa.

You can stick with your friends/husband/partner at the ceremony, drinks reception and party. It's only for a couple of hours at the meal.
Would you insist on sitting beside your husband at a dinner party?

ksrwr Fri 22-Mar-13 15:42:05

when i got married i wanted our guests to have the best time possible, as they had spent huge amounts of money to be there, and travelled so far, and organised childcare, so i really thought about each person and who they'd have most fun sitting on a table with. for me going to a wedding is about seeing friends and family you rarely see. why on EARTH would you want to waste a lovely day talking to people you're very unlikely to see ever again. just sit people with friends, and let them have fun. forced mingling is totally pointless.

Quenelle Fri 22-Mar-13 15:42:35


You get a less strained and more fun atmosphere at weddings if people who know and like each other can sit together. As the happy couple, why would you want to see your friends and family sitting stiffly with a load of strangers when it's nicer to see and hear them chatting and laughing in a relaxed manner?

TobyLerone Fri 22-Mar-13 15:45:25

You know what? Bollocks to 'the bride and groom splitting you up to encourage conversation'.

I'm not a child, and I don't need to be taught how to do things.

I chose, as an adult, to spend my life with DH. That includes socialising.

VodkaRevelation Fri 22-Mar-13 15:46:01

Hate, hate, hate being forced to mingle at weddings. At my cousins wedding we were sat with people we had never met and wouldn't talk to (beyond polite small talk at the bar) after the meal. We had family there that we hadnt seen for ages. Weddings are such a great chance to catch up with family and friends. Why waste time talking about what youdo for a living with people you will never see again?! How dull!

I think tables full of people who know and love each other, having a grand old time time creates a much more relaxed and celebratory atmosphere than tables full of random great aunts and university friends.

Floggingmolly Fri 22-Mar-13 15:46:10

Is it really usual to do this? shock. It's never happened at any I've been to, thank God. YANBU.

TakingTheStairs Fri 22-Mar-13 15:48:48

You know what? Bollocks to 'the bride and groom splitting you up to encourage conversation'.
Wow Toby. No need to be quite so rude about it.

I would prefer to be with my DH too at weddings, but as a guest the polite thing to do is suck it up and get on with it.

I split my guests up. And if I thought any of them were moaning the way some people on this thread were, I would have been happy for them not to come.

raisah Fri 22-Mar-13 15:49:46

Apart from a fr reserved tables for our close family, people were free to sit where they liked at our wedding. You want people to feel comfortable instead of being forced to make small talk which can be embarrassing sometimes.

TakingTheStairs Fri 22-Mar-13 15:50:26

And encouraging conversation is not about teaching you how to do things.
I would like to have thought that two different sets of friends would really have hit it off and made their night even more enjoyable.

TobyLerone Fri 22-Mar-13 15:51:10

Actually, TakingTheStairs, I think it's very rude to split couples up.

So you probably did get people complaining about it. And nobody would have told you because they were grown up enough to 'suck it up and get on with it'. But I guarantee you not all of them would have liked it, and probably did a bit of shifting around of place settings.

aldiwhore Fri 22-Mar-13 15:52:01

Ha! I can 'cope' without DH, in fact I 'cope' for weeks on end without him but when we are invited to a wedding or a dinner, then we're not being invited to babysit some miserable in-law, grumpy assed friend of a friend, we're be asked to join in the celebrations of our friend/family member who's getting married...

Our time is precious, we like to enjoy our days/nights out together, together.

If a bride and groom wish to micromanage HOW we enjoy our day and theirs to that degree they obviously don't give a shit whether we enjoy ourselves or not, so I'd like to know in the invite that we're expected to be pawns for Bridezilla and Groomzuki who really just want their idea of perfect and propriety at the expense of the whole point of having guests at all, which is to share in the celebration.

WHY is it even in the bride and groom's remit to 'encourage conversation' at a point in the day when most people like to discourage it? It's absolute rubbish, out of date, unnecessary and bullish.

Oh and at MY relxed wedding where I sat friends with friends on all sorts of different sized tables, where I must have been 'discouraging conversation' two people, who didn't know each other beforehand, were placed on two separate tables, and are now married to each other!

It's nopt about 'coping without your spouse over dinner' it's about meglomaniacs forcing you to mingle as if you're too stupid to do it yourself, and it's those people that need to 'get a grip' frankly.


As you can see I absolutely HATE talking to strangers, which is why I'm a member of a public discussion forum with nobody I know. All the reasons FOR separating people are illogical and unreasonable. Fact. smile

TobyLerone Fri 22-Mar-13 15:52:13

I would like to have thought that two different sets of friends would really have hit it off and made their night even more enjoyable.

The thing about grown ups is that they can usually work out for themselves who they might get on with. You know, like their partner.

ENormaSnob Fri 22-Mar-13 15:52:24

Agree with Toby.

Fortunately all the weddings we've been to recently have sat us together with our pals and we've had a great time.

We don't know anyone controlling enough to force us to socialise with unknowns for the sake of their special day.

TakingTheStairs Fri 22-Mar-13 15:54:03

Nobody switched any place settings at my wedding. (and yes I would have noticed as I went from table to table talking to my guests in between courses). So they must have been happy enough.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

FarBetterNow Fri 22-Mar-13 15:55:07

My 80 year old DM and I went to one of her granddaughter's wedding (my niece) and we were on the same table but split up between the grooms' mates who we had never met.
I swopped the place names around- much better.

VodkaRevelation Fri 22-Mar-13 15:55:16

TakingtheStairs, at least some of the people at your wedding thought your seating plan was silly. Yes, I get in with people when seated to them. I have a nice time but I would have an awesome time with people I know. I wanted my guests to have an awesome time.

SoupDreggon Fri 22-Mar-13 15:55:44

At my wedding, I refused to have a seating plan at all. We didn't have a top table and I just made sure that there were more seats than people.

It would have been far more amusing to ensure there were 3 fewer seats than people. grin

TobyLerone Fri 22-Mar-13 15:55:54

How did I know you'd say that?!

TobyLerone Fri 22-Mar-13 15:56:21

It would have been far more amusing to ensure there were 3 fewer seats than people.


GreatSoprendo Fri 22-Mar-13 15:59:02

Thanks to the forced mingling seating plan, I met my DP at a wedding - our friends had mixed everyone up, albeit couples on the same table, and put singletons who might like each other together. I was seated between my now DP of 12 years, and the grooms single brother - 'twas a bit of an obvious set up but nice that they gave me a choice of 2 eligible bachelors grin

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 22-Mar-13 15:59:18


At our wedding I was very aware that people were spending time and money to attend. In many cases they were meeting with friends they hadn't seen for a while.

DH wanted to do some social engineering, in particular with a single friend of mine who he wanted to put at the same table as some single friends. I wouldn't let him and put her beside her friends. She would have hated to be beside some strangers for the day.

Ridiculous behaviour from the couple.

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