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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

SoupDreggon Fri 22-Mar-13 16:00:39

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

Or, they may simply have made the best of it despite being unhappy and complained amongst themselves later.

I hate being split up from the person I've gone with. I'm very shy, crap at small talk and more than capable of deciding by myself who I'd like to meet/talk to.

GrendelsMum Fri 22-Mar-13 16:05:47

Am I the only person that likes to meet new people over a meal then?

SoupDreggon Fri 22-Mar-13 16:08:47

It's entirely possible to meet new people over a meal and still be sat next to the person you went with.

TakingTheStairs Fri 22-Mar-13 16:10:15

I think you and I are alone in that Grendel

Mixing people up does not necessarily mean putting them on a table of 9 other strangers. It might mean (as it did at my wedding with my "silly" seating plan, which some of you seem convinced that my guests hated) putting their husband opposite them so that they could still speak to them, with a friend on one side of them and another guest on their other side.

And I met my DH at a wedding where I had been SHOCK HORROR placed beside a stranger (him).

Out of the last 5 or 6 weddings I've been to, I don't think I was sitting beside my husband at any of them.

kerala Fri 22-Mar-13 16:13:50

YANBU especially as weddings are often one of the few times old friendship groups get together. Tedious to see old university friends (who now live miles apart and would love to catch up with and see a couple of times a year) scattered around the room whilst you get to talk to elderly randoms.

SoupDreggon Fri 22-Mar-13 16:19:44

The other thing is that no one with be miserable sat next to their partner on a table of 8. There will almost certainly be a fair few people who have a miserable time if forced to sit with a stranger on each side. Why would you want to make some people miserable?

NomDeOrdinateur Fri 22-Mar-13 16:20:07

I ask in advance and don't go to the lunch/reception if I won't be sitting with my DH. Our free time is precious and I don't want to spend it meeting randoms/potential new friends - I have enough of those already, and don't really have the time or inclination to make any more when the alternative is to spend time with DH. I don't see anything wrong with feeling like this - being sociable isn't compulsory unless somebody is paying you to do it, after all.

TakingTheStairs Fri 22-Mar-13 16:23:49

There will almost certainly be a fair few people who have a miserable time if forced to sit with a stranger on each side. Why would you want to make some people miserable?

I agree with you soup I do (as you know!) think people should be mixed up.. but sitting beside two strangers is too much of a push.

breatheslowly Fri 22-Mar-13 16:33:28

I'm confused Takingthestairs - if you would rather sit with your DH why did you split people up at your own wedding.

We were at a wedding of friends and sat with friends of the mother of the bride. It was long tables so it wasn't that there was no room at the table with our other friends, it was just that the B&G wanted it this way. I thought it was pointless as we would much rather be with our friends who we hadn't seen for a while and had the opportunity to catch up with them than sat with random strangers.

whendoigetaliein Fri 22-Mar-13 16:33:44

Once upon a time - when I was young and carefree..... I had a boyfriend (i can say that because we were young). I was about 22 and he was 25. He was loverrly blush

We went to a wedding. He was best man - to Uni friend of his. I was plonked on a table with lots of people my age - all darling boyfriend's old Uni friends as well. It was like 4 weddings and a funeral. Turned out the 3 girls on the table had all shagged my loverrly boyfriend. At intervals - not all at the same time - he was well brought up wink.

One I knew about as I had met before and I could anticipate the hate from her, the second one he had mentioned and I remembered seeing some photos so I wasnt too surprised when she started to reminisce - awkward. But - the third one - she was special - she swapped seats with one of the males on the table to be next to me and gradually quizzed me about my background, my relationship with Mr Loverrly and then when she had consumed more alcohol than her body weight she told me that she was going to try and rekindle something with him - I think she thought I would react but I changed the subject and tried to shuffle my chair away from her - She then suggested we could all get it together and when he returned to my side after his best man duties had been fulfilled she said - and I can remember this - she said " We have been talking all day, we have so much in common and we thought it would be fun to go up to your room all together - for old times sake" BTW - I had not agreed to this.

He nearly passed out - he clutched my arm in terror and whisked me away from her. We saw her about 2 hours later sat on her own with a bottle of Pink fizzy Yalumba (see I remember the detail).

It was the worst wedding ever - so the moral of the tale is that I can now put up with anything at weddings as I have suffered in the past and nobody since has every suggested a threesome - which is a bit disconcerting actually sad

Oh - he is not my DH now - it all ended a few months later - but if I ever get invited to a wedding and he is there with his partner - well who knows winkwinkblush

VoiceofUnreason Fri 22-Mar-13 16:37:00

Just thought back to all the weddings I have been to over the last 20 years. Putting aside those I went to when I was single... I think I've been to a dozen weddings as part of a couple. And in every occasion was seated next to my girlfriend/partner.

I'd hate it if they weren't.

TakingTheStairs Fri 22-Mar-13 16:38:09

breathe I don't mind not sitting with my DH at all. What I don't like is having to sit beside two complete strangers.
And although I split people up at my wedding, everyone knew at least one of the two people on either side of them.

NinaHeart Fri 22-Mar-13 16:39:50

At our wedding we just went "Here are the tables. You are all adults. Find a seat and sit down" (paraphrase)

H and I had a top table for two.

Cue MIL "Am I on the top table?"

ComposHat Fri 22-Mar-13 16:39:54

I've never been seperated from a partner, but I do seem to be an absolute magnet for the bridde/groom's Uncle Dickhead. (Perhaps they think I'll get on with him)

SirChenjin Fri 22-Mar-13 16:40:13

I hate this too. I'm perfectly capable of making small talk, but there I times when I just want to relax and chat to the person/people I've gone to the wedding with and catch up or chat properly.

Hulababy Fri 22-Mar-13 16:45:21

Have been to many weddings over the years and never once been split from the person I have attended with. Have always been next to dh or sometimes, on a long narrow table, directly opposite, Would find it very odd for this to happen. Tbh Ime people would just shuffle the car around accordingly.

I'm not overly confident as it is and being sat with complete strangers would make me less likely to enjoy the event.

Tbh whenever I host anything I allow guests to sit where they like and next to who they like. I want my guests to be as comfortable as possible and to have as good a time as possible.

If I was doing a wedding or big even I'd be tempted to just put a set number of names on each table, keeping those coming together together and let them place themselves accordingly.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Fri 22-Mar-13 16:46:23

I thought the normal thing was to seat couples on the same table, but not actually next to each other. If you are on a table of 8 or 10 you are still going to be able to chat to them anyway. I'd find it very dull to be sat next to DH, I have the rest of our lives to chat to him! And certainly the rest of the wedding day. I think weddings are a great chance to meet your friends other friends but it would take someone far braver than me to approach groups of them over drinks.

I do agree though that I want to be sat with old friends or at least people the couple think I might like to become friends with. I spent one wedding sat next to an elderly great uncle and while he was sweet it was a bit pointless, we were never going to be friends for life, or even sit and chat after diner!

lurkerspeaks Fri 22-Mar-13 16:50:46

Once again I find myself thinking there are some really ill mannered people on mumsnet.

FGS he is your husband not your siamese twin. Being put two chairs apart during the meal will not cause you to spontaneously combust.

Some weddings lend themselves to clear identified tables eg. the friends from university etc, some don't. I quite enjoy making chat on tables with people I don't know. Often because you are friends with the same people you will get along pretty well.

I may be biased as I am widely acknowledged to be a "safe pair of hands" socially and have in the past been deliberately sat next to vicars, tricky cousins and difficult step mothers. Always on a table where I knew at least one or two other people to ease things along conversationally.

Being able to make small talk (note I don't say enjoy making small talk) is a dying art and one to be much lamented. I am entirely sick of going to formal functions where such chat is expected to find that trying to initiate it is like pulling teeth. Being unable to participate in it just makes you look gauche. Open questions, reasonably wide ranging answers and occasionally initiate a conversational thread yourself.

I had a very traditional boarding school education and we were taught how to make small talk. It has stood me in very good stead over the years something I didn't anticipate as a 17year old when the main highlight of boring headmaster's receptions was the cheap plonk provided (I await the uproar that the school actually provided booze to the pupils!)

knittingirl Fri 22-Mar-13 16:51:55

We assigned people to tables, in friendship/relation groups, but let them sit where they liked around the table. Without an exception, everyone sat next to the person they had come with - pretty clear indication to me that that is what people prefer to do!

ComposHat Fri 22-Mar-13 16:55:29

I may be biased as I am widely acknowledged to be a "safe pair of hands" socially and have in the past been deliberately sat next to vicars, tricky cousins and difficult step mothers

I am hoping this is why I always seem to end up with Uncle Dickhead. At University I always had to sit in the front of the cab and chat to the driver as 'I had the common touch' - like I was the Queen Mum. (Probably short hand for the fact I went to a comp and knew about football.)

Theas18 Fri 22-Mar-13 16:56:44

You lot must have been to some badly planned weddings!

THe last one I went to the bride had picked tables so carefully. Admittedly I wasn't with my DH , but with my girly mates. We were planted in 2s and 3s on different tables with the most lovely selection of people with whom we had something in common (as well as knowing the happy couple) to kick start lovely chatting.

Gosh there were our party, various of her work mates, her family and extended family (even her dotty gran was worth a chat!) and, as he is from a long way away, just a few of his family to be made welcome. Should they have sat by themselves? I don't think so!

TobyLerone Fri 22-Mar-13 16:57:29

Well, good for you, lurkerspeaks.

In my humble opinion, it's very ill-mannered to make sweeping judgements about people. Some of us prefer to be with our DHs because they are the person above all others with whom we actually like to spend time. Some of us prefer to be with our DHs because we are introverts, or suffer with social anxiety, or are simply just a bit shy.

So that boarding school education of which you speak so highly might have taught you how to talk to an elderly aunt at a wedding, but it might have missed out bits of the lessons on manners and thoughtfulness.

breatheslowly Fri 22-Mar-13 16:59:08

ComposHat - to rid your self of this somewhat irritating reputation I suggest that you start to refer to the person you are sat with as "Uncle Dickhead" and introduce him round the table as such. If anyone kicks off, just say you misheard his name.

Theas18 Fri 22-Mar-13 17:00:13

Going to a wedding as a family in the summer and I do hope we WONT all be sat together. THe kids are old enough to fend for themselves and develop social skills of there own.

Dealing with being sat next to someone batty aunt or the vicar and managing to have a nice time and ensure they do is a great skill to develop. Catch up with your mates over a glass of wine after the meal or whilst waiting for the ceremony etc

ravenAK Fri 22-Mar-13 17:00:17

Also, all the weddings I went to throughout my 30s were those of siblings/old Uni friends/colleagues - some of them on their second go-round.

More often than not, they would be people known well to me OR dh but not both, since we don't all live in little villages our entire lives anymore!

So if dh & I were split up, A would be having a rollicking time, sitting wherever, based on knowing a large number of the other guests over a large number of years, whilst B politely conversed with A's workmate's bride's auntie's boyfriend.

At least if you're together, the Billy-No-Mates half of the couple has one person with them who'll have a good idea who they might enjoy chatting to.

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