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Mother of the groom .. wedding seating plan

(434 Posts)
Watershipdrown Mon 07-Jan-19 21:47:48

Sorry but this may turn into an essay as I don’t want to drip feed.
Ds is getting married in 3 months time and was discussing the seating plan with his ds asking where she would like to sit etc. It came out that I am apparently sitting on the top table with exh next to me, as parents of the groom. Exh and I have been divorced for 23 years and I have been remarried to a wonderful man for 20 years. I haven’t spoken to exh in probably 15 years after police involvement for harassing me and making threats. My dh raised my 3 children as his own and we also have a son together. He has always treated the children as if they were his own, providing everything that they needed and wanted, while exh couldn’t even be bothered to keep up contact with them, despite living 20 mins drive away from us. Exh did not contribute anything in terms of maintenance for them, he did not turn up for visits and at one point told my dh to legally adopt them so that he would not be responsible for any money that they might need, all the while demanding a say in ridiculous things such as if they needed a haircut, I was expected to ask permission. Exh was controlling and physically and emotionally abusive and I was honestly relieved that he couldn’t be bothered to keep up contact, however I never tried to stop him, even though I probably should have. He was never threatening to the children but they witnessed some of his dv towards me. There was very little contact until ds was over 18 and could go into a pub and drink alcohol. They have built a shaky relationship now and I’m fine with that.
I am really hurt that dh has been relegated to a table with some other relatives and I really do not want to sit next to my exh at all. Dh is unaware of the seating plan and I can’t bring myself to tell him. I know how much he will be hurt and shocked as they have always had a great relationship.
I have tried to speak to ds about this and explain how uncomfortable this will be, but he’s adamant that it’s traditional and how they (Dil and ds) want it. I have said I would be fine not being on the top table, or exh and his partner being on it and dh and me perhaps at the other end but he will not change the plans. Dd has now fallen out with ds over this and told him just how wrong and incredibly inconsiderate it is to treat dh this way.
I know it’s their wedding and they can do what they like, seat people wherever they want etc. I know how hard it is to seat everyone and please everyone, but I do not want to be seated apart from dh to sit next to a man that made my life a living hell for years. AIBU ?

titchy Mon 07-Jan-19 21:52:08

I agree with you! However if they want properly formal in fact you should be seated with your dil's father and your ex with her mother. Would that work for you? I also think it's acceptable to have step parents on top table as well. Camilla was at Harry and Meghan's - if it's good enough for the royals it good enough for anyone.

Yegads Mon 07-Jan-19 21:53:05

The usual traditional seating arangement is for the grooms mother to sit next the brides father and the brides mother to sit next to the grooms father, so theory you should be sitting away from your Exh. YANBU to feel disappointment that your DH is not at the Top table but YABU to not allow your DS to make the decision who sits there.

EmUntitled Mon 07-Jan-19 21:55:48

YANBU
I think traditionally father of bride sits next to mother of groom, so maybe you could suggest this so you don't have to sit next to him. I dont think you can suggest that your DH takes his place as your son has obviously already decided that his biological father should be at the top table. Depending on your relationship you could bring up that your DH is hurt by his choice.

EmUntitled Mon 07-Jan-19 21:56:44

weddingjournalonline.com/top-table-etiquette/
This might help

UhUhUhDennis Mon 07-Jan-19 21:58:52

Wtf what is your DS thinking? Could you chat to future daughter in law about it and explain it all and see what she thinks? Maybe she wants it to be really traditional etc but doesn't realise the full picture?

MsSquiz Mon 07-Jan-19 22:00:00

Yep, if they want a traditional top table you would be sitting between the bride's father and the best man...

That being said, if I was in your position, I would sit where the bride and groom asked me to. It is just for the meal, you have the rest of the wedding day to be with your DH, and I'm sure your DS would appreciate it

Watershipdrown Mon 07-Jan-19 22:00:32

Thanks. I had googled seating plans and did suggest this option too but they didn’t want that arrangement either.
@yegads of course he is free to decide who sits where and I haven’t made a huge fuss, I have just tried to explain from my pov how uncomfortable this will be. If they choose to keep the seating arrangement the same then I will sit there, but I really don’t have to like it !

ZogTheOrangeDragon Mon 07-Jan-19 22:01:09

I agree with all of your reasons but your post is all about your relationship with your ex husband and your DH. Your DS might have a fantastic stepfather who has been there for him for many years but he only has one dad and that is who he wants at the top table for his wedding. It’s his wedding and his big day, so try not to let your wants and emotions spoil it for him.

MunchMunch Mon 07-Jan-19 22:02:04

I think you have to tell your ds in no uncertain terms that your dh will be on the top table with you (between you and exh!) or you'll be sitting on the table that your dh has been assigned to.

I can't stand all this "tradition" or "bride/groomzilla" shite of rigid seating plans with no room for movement.

I can sort of understand your ds wanting both of his biological parents on the top table but that doesn't mean he can't also have step parents who have played a massive role in his life up there with them.

I'd be so upset that he would leave my dh out.

bridgetreilly Mon 07-Jan-19 22:02:18

I think you are definitely not being unreasonable not to want to sit next to your ex, and traditionally as others have said, you wouldn't be sitting with him anyway. I would put your foot down about that, but I would let him make his own choice about your husband, even though that may be sad for you. I also think it's possible that they are dealing with complicated family dynamics on both sides so any changes to the seating plan aren't necessarily straightforward.

superking Mon 07-Jan-19 22:03:41

YANBU to refuse to sit next to your ExH. YABU to try to persuade your DS that your DH should be on the top table instead of/ as well as your ExH, this is your DS and DIL's decision alone. Trying to fit everyone into their "correct" slot in a wedding when parents are divorced can be a nightmare.

Hopefully the plan is actually for you to sit next to the father of the bride. If not I think it would be reasonable to request this of your DS. And please try not to read too much into his decision not to have your DH at the top table. Sometimes it's easiest all round to stick with the traditional route, it's not necessarily a reflection of how important an individual has been in your life.

StoneofDestiny Mon 07-Jan-19 22:07:09

Very unreasonable of your DS to make arrangements that make you so uncomfortable at his wedding. Can't you sit next to brides father with your DH on your other side. Your ex can sit next to brides DH. Then traditional protocols are observed and top table has a plus one.

However, I'd expect them to hang protocol and do the right thing by you.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 07-Jan-19 22:09:52

Your son is being an absolute tit. If I were you I would refuse to be sat next to your ex. That is completely inappropriate and just plain stupid.

TwiceMagic Mon 07-Jan-19 22:11:07

I think your DS is being really awful here I can understand why his sister is upset, not just because of their stepdad but also in how little concern he’s showing towards his own mother. It is not ok to insist that your mother sits next to the man who abused her for years regardless how much DNA you share with him.

Watershipdrown Mon 07-Jan-19 22:17:31

I have suggested that the seating arrangement is that I am sat next to brides df, but they want, bride and groom in the middle then exh sat next to ds, then me, then best man, then bridesmaid and brides df, dm, groomsman and another bridesmaid. As I’ve said I respect that it is up to them how they do things and have not, in any way at all, made demands or insisted on anything just tried to explain my pov.

TatianaLarina Mon 07-Jan-19 22:20:06

Just go mother of the groom on his arse and tell him if he doesn’t change it you won’t go.

Inertia Mon 07-Jan-19 22:21:44

Does your son know that your Ex was physically and verbally abusive to you?

It's really not acceptable for your son and his fiance to make you sit with someone who abused you.

I would leave feelings about your husband out of the conversation- hurtful as it is, you don't want it to come across as asking your son to choose between parents as that would muddy the waters. The bottom line is that your son / fiance are asking you to put their misunderstood interpretation of tradition ahead of your fears of sitting with your abuser.

trojanpony Mon 07-Jan-19 22:22:00

Your DS is BU to insist you sit next to a man who abused you for several years.

Your DD is not unreasonable to hand your DS his ass on a plate for his thoughtless towards your DP.

YWNBU to refuse to sit at the top table if they will be putting your ExH on the top table and insist on sitting with your DP - and I would be doing this. Let him sit up there with just his “beloved” father. Your DP may well feel slighted if you choose to accept the current idiotic searing plan.

However YWBU to insist your DP is seared at the top table - sadly their wedding, their rules 🤷‍♀️

VampirateQueen Mon 07-Jan-19 22:23:05

I'm sorry but it don't think they are been fair, this wasn't a normal breakup was it, the man was violent towards you, no woman would want to sit next to an ex that did that. I would sit them down and say you really want me to sit next to the man that beat me?

icannotremember Mon 07-Jan-19 22:23:07

It would be putting it kindly to say your DS is BU. I think he's being awful. In your shoes I would say very firmly that I was not going long with his plan.

AWishForWingsThatWork Mon 07-Jan-19 22:23:56

Your son is being an absolute arse who is putting some archaic notion of tradition over the realities of your life and his own.

He is being incredibly disrespectful to you and your DH.

Just tell him you won't be sitting there. If he wants you at his wedding, you will be sitting with your DH at a table together. It doesn't matter which table, so long as it's not near your ExH.

Thewifipasswordis Mon 07-Jan-19 22:24:03

He wants his arsehole bio dad next to him at the top table instead of the woman who raised him confused

Did the apple not fall far from the paternal tree op? That's horrible of your son.

LL83 Mon 07-Jan-19 22:24:07

I understand your disappointment. I would not want parents or step parents (or inlaws) to feel uncomfortable on the day. Son is being very thoughless/selfish.

M3lon Mon 07-Jan-19 22:24:14

respect goes both ways...yes you should respect their preference, but they should also respect your perfectly reasonable desire not to sit next to someone who mistreated you.They have both had some sort of empathy bypass if they really think their desire to seat people a specific way trumps individuals right to not be sat next to their abuser.

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