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Can my friend not put her FIL to be on the top table?

(90 Posts)
MaryPoppinsPenguins Tue 29-Dec-15 11:20:53

I'm asking for my friends... They're getting married and are sorting their seating plan. A huge issue is the grooms father, who is NC with 50% of his children (who will be there) and is generally not a nice person.

Grooms stepfather however, is wonderful, and Bride just assumed he would be on the top table by default. The groom agrees but is really worried about how his father will behave if he isn't sat there...

The bride has a separate issue with it, in that the Grooms F has seriously terrible table manners. I can't believe I'm writing this about a grown man but I've actually seen it myself in a restaurant and at a party, he burps loudly without excusing himself, he is extremely loud and brash, and the worst thing is, he picks up his plate and licks it at the end of the meal. I swear this is true, even though I know it sounds like it isn't.

The bride said she's been really embarrassed when they've met up with him and he's behaved this way, and she can't bear the thought of him doing it at her wedding let alone the top table and in all her photos from the meal, and in front of her family.

He has form for causing trouble with the siblings he doesn't have contact with, and also with his ex wife and her new husband who are amazing, lovely people (with excellent table manners! wink)

They're here on tenterhooks awaiting a majority decision smile


Drquin Tue 29-Dec-15 11:23:34

She / they can have whoever they like at top table / any table / hidden in cupboards.

There's tradition about who sits at a "top table", yes ..... But there's no reason to stick to that tradition if it doesn't suit your own family.

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 29-Dec-15 11:24:24

I wouldn't even invite him

MamaLazarou Tue 29-Dec-15 11:24:51

Why are they even inviting him? I wouldn't.

Foslady Tue 29-Dec-15 11:24:53

Due to complicated family issues we just had best man and bridesmaids and parents hosted tables - my parents weren't fussed as seeing as it was an in laws issue she could hardly complain......

hellsbellsmelons Tue 29-Dec-15 11:26:38

Don't invite him.
He WILL ruin the wedding.
It's their happy day and they should only have people there who all get on and have a good time.
HE is not one of those people.
Just don't invite him.

Nanny0gg Tue 29-Dec-15 11:27:35

Why is he invited?

There will be trouble...

MaryPoppinsPenguins Tue 29-Dec-15 11:29:31

Because as much as he is all those things, the groom feels he has to invite him because it will ruin it for him with guilt if he doesn't... And he does actually have contact with him even though two of his siblings don't.

clam Tue 29-Dec-15 11:30:23

Could they not look at alternative arrangements to a specific "top table?" I went to a wedding recently where all the tables were circular, including where the bride and groom sat, and closest family members were seated at the tables closest to them.

HappyIdiot Tue 29-Dec-15 11:30:41

it sounds like there is a chance that FIL may behave badly wherever he is sitting - he might kick off if he isn't on top table but, if he is on top table, he might cause trouble with his ex-wife.

i'd say that if there is a chance he will be an arse either way, I would keep him away from top table and then at least they don't need to look at his manky table manners. are there enough other family members (that he isn't going to kick off with) going that they could put him on a table with them so at least they know what he is like and he isn't inflicted on new unsuspecting guests.

he sounds delightful, I'm picturing Mr Twit from the Roald Dahl book...

MaryPoppinsPenguins Tue 29-Dec-15 11:33:59

Most of their tables are of 10, but they are able to put together a table of 7 to include him.. So to include none of her family, and none of the people he doesn't talk to... Will it stick out like a sore thumb to just have a table of 7 (with some of the grooms friends who are aware of the situation)

MaryPoppinsPenguins Tue 29-Dec-15 11:35:21

They are old friends who know him, and would happily sit there to appease the situation. (Even though the bride is stressing that then they'll have a shit time!)

HappyIdiot Tue 29-Dec-15 11:39:03

if they are good friends who know the situation, they won't mind. I've done similar for friends who have rogue relatives. she could always give them a gift each afterwards to say thanks. and its presumably only for the meal, not the whole day.

MissBattleaxe Tue 29-Dec-15 11:40:59

We did this. My FIL is an arseand we didn't have him on top table. He did behave himself though. I think he knew he was lucky just to get invited. No advice OP as I was going to tell them not to invite him, but I see the groom seems determined.

hefzi Tue 29-Dec-15 11:41:04

They could go Japanese style - just the bride and groom at the top table!

Kaytee1987 Tue 29-Dec-15 11:42:51

They can have whoever they like at the top table. We didn't even invite our respective fathers to our wedding.

MaryPoppinsPenguins Tue 29-Dec-15 11:45:26

They both don't want him on the top table, but are worried that if he's put on an obvious table of 7 amongst tables of 10 then he'll kick off... I've got to be honest, my first advice was that the table manners was the lesser of two evils but the groom thinks he can come up with something to say to him to fix it... (No idea what!)

weddings are so stressful, family politics is why I just got married abroad!

WorraLiberty Tue 29-Dec-15 11:45:44

I'd stick them all on the top table to be honest.

If he eats like a pig and acts like one, he's going to show them up no matter what table they put him on.

Probably easier than dealing with the fall-out.

HappyHippyChick Tue 29-Dec-15 11:48:08

We had dhs step father on the top table and his father on another table. Wish we hadn't bothered to invite him though as he was and still is a total wanker.

cariadlet Tue 29-Dec-15 11:51:04

1st choice - don't invite him because he'll spoil the day. He doesn't sound like somebody that the bride and groom should feel any guilt over.

2nd choice - have him on far away table with kind friends who will babysit him.

No way should he be on the top table - especially if the stepdad is lovely and is the father in every way that matters.

Perniciousness Tue 29-Dec-15 12:04:05

A table of 7 really wouldn't stand out at all. I would discount that as a worry. I'd also not worry about his table manners. It's a bit weird but there are always a few weirdos at weddings, maybe that's just my family I'd prefer someone with bad table manners than people getting horribly drunk.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 29-Dec-15 12:06:40

Could they put him at the far end? Once you've got a groom, MIL etc he could be discretely popped on the end, and she probably won't see him, whereas on a table in front he will be in her consciousness more. I think that the table manners shouldn't be a factor as he is family, however much she might be embarrassed by him. The arguing with people is an issue. Is there any one who he does get on with (a partner maybe) who could be a buffer so he can talk to them? I think that might be safer than on a round table with 7-9 other people.

MaryPoppinsPenguins Tue 29-Dec-15 12:14:38

An issue with putting him on the end of a table, is that the Maid of honour is also his child, and the best man is her husband... And they are completely non contact and have even had to get the police involved when he threatened them, so the top table is a bit of a minefield that way!

(Sounds very Jeremy Kyle I know, but it really is only caused by him!)

tharsheblows Tue 29-Dec-15 12:15:30

Could they put three dummy place settings at the table for 7? A small family which wouldn't be able to come at the last minute due for some reason.

MaryPoppinsPenguins Tue 29-Dec-15 12:15:45

That's a great idea!

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