Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Partners at weddings to seat or not to seat..... that's the question

(93 Posts)
Dizzydi1234 Tue 03-May-16 11:48:35

My DS is getting married in 2 weeks I'm divorced from his dad. Invited me round last night to help with seating plans (which they obviously already decided) it was more to let me see that his dads partner is sitting at the top table...eek! One unhappy mum they predicted correctly😥 I know it's they're decision but his dad and partner live abroad and have done nothing to help me bring up our kids more like make it worse. They even have had problems with them ending up not speaking to them themselves at times. I am civil to them at functions but I guess I feel really hurt deep down that they are making out she is so special as to have her on the top table. I don't have a partner and told them if I did I wouldn't expect him to be there either, it's traditionally for the parents and makes me feel he's putting a lot of emphasis on will I be civil to her rather than remembering I bought all 5 of them up alone and not giving an iota about how I feel, and yes I'm close to my son that's what makes it sadder. Am I wrong to feel so deeply hurt by his decision to play happy families with her?..... maybe she gave him a big fat cheque!

NapQueen Tue 03-May-16 11:52:27

Are you also on the top table?

Maybe they feel the easiest way to avoid a scene or future arguments is to "suck it up" and have her there.

Chlobee87 Tue 03-May-16 11:55:30

Your DS knows that you brought him up and I'm sure he's grateful. If you are close then presumably this is understood between you. Surely he doesn't need to exclude his stepmum to prove that to you? He probably doesn't want to risk a blow up and a big falling out with his dad in the run up to his wedding. Weddings can be stressful enough without that.

You need to put your feelings to one side and support your son. From experience, this is one of those occasions where being the child of divorced parents is just utterly shit. It's not his fault that you and his dad broke up. It's not his fault that his dad has a new partner and you don't. It's just not fair to put him on the spot and make him choose between you. He, quite understandably, wants an easy ride on his wedding day for both hinself and his fiancée. I think that should be your aim also.

seoulsurvivor Tue 03-May-16 11:57:39

I think that they are trying to make their day as easy and stress-free as possible. It is, after all, THEIR day. I know it must hurt a lot, but they probably have a million other things to worry about and are only hoping you can all be civil for the duration of a meal.

I don't think it says anything about how much they value you or her. It's just because it's easier.

SirChenjin Tue 03-May-16 11:59:10

No you're not wrong to feel hurt - but I imagine they probably feel that this is the easiest way of not causing any more dramas or upsets on the lead up to the wedding or on the day itself. Just try and rise serenely above it, remember that everyone knows what he's been like - and make sure that you look much better than her grin

Dizzydi1234 Tue 03-May-16 12:03:23

Yes I'm on top table, apparently she was happy to sit elsewhere if it was easier for everyone but it's them that are saying they want her and basically said will I be civil or should they tell them not to talk to me!

flowery Tue 03-May-16 12:05:59

Is there anyone being excluded from the top table who would otherwise be there in order to make room for her?

If not, what would be the reason for sitting your DS's dad and partner away from each other, other than to make some kind of point?

inlectorecumbit Tue 03-May-16 12:06:56

He probably doesn't want to risk a blow up and a big falling out with his dad in the run up to his wedding
but he seems more than happy to risk a big fall out with you

I think you DS and his DFiancee are being disloyal and spineless and l would be telling them that.

But then again that's just me.

flowery Tue 03-May-16 12:08:26

Was she the OW?

Dizzydi1234 Tue 03-May-16 12:08:30

The upset and drama you mention means erring on keeping them happy only, they're not married either btw.

Startingover2016 Tue 03-May-16 12:08:47

I went to a family wedding where the bride's father's second wife was not on the top table but was placed with people she didn't even know. It was embarrassing for her and everyone commented on it as it was a pointed snub. I can understand you are hurt but I think you have to accept it. Your family and friends know full well you brought up the children single-handedly. Also the sitting down bit of the wedding doesn't last the whole day so make the most of the rest of the time.

momb Tue 03-May-16 12:09:42

They live abroad so presumably she won't know anyone else at the wedding except your DS's Dad?
I think that this shows that your DS is a considerate person.

Cabrinha Tue 03-May-16 12:09:54

Let it go.
I hear you, but let it go.

I don't give a monkeys about my parents, as was very low contact when it came to my wedding. They kicked me out at 16 and we didn't speak for 10 years. Contact after that was sporadic, but useful to be officially "in touch" for sake of sibling weddings.

Come my wedding, I didn't want them there. Not in a massive emotional way - just - why would I?

But I recognised that though not inviting them wouldn't be meant as a cutting move, it would be seen as such. Understandably really. So I invited them, though I had free seating so no issue there.

You can't really sit partners apart.
Having them on top table doesn't say "I think they're as good as mum". It says "it's going to look like an unintended slight if I don't".

SellFridges Tue 03-May-16 12:12:13

Who would she sit with, if not on the top table?

Dellarobia Tue 03-May-16 12:12:28

I agree - the problem is that she probably won't know anyone there except her partner as they live abroad. So it would be very awkward to put her on another table.

It's your son's big day - try to put this aside and be happy for him.

SirChenjin Tue 03-May-16 12:13:25

The upset and drama you mention means erring on keeping them happy only

Yep - because it's their day. We got married 21 years ago and there are still people who don't speak to my MIL because we didn't invite them to the wedding (it was immediate family only) and in the run up to the wedding we were asked by various people if we could invite their girlfriends/friends if they paid. It was hugely embarrassing and upsetting - we had decided on X for the day because that's what was special and important to us, and it felt like others were hijacking it and trying to turn it into the day they wanted. Please don't do that to your son and his partner - just be the bigger person.

Cabrinha Tue 03-May-16 12:13:54

Oh and top table doesn't mean you're the most special guests.
It's just a tradition and a lot of people like to follow wedding traditions.

Most people would rather be on a table full of their mates, surely? Not their dad's girlfriend.

Don't read more into this than there is.

Dizzydi1234 Tue 03-May-16 12:14:04

Exactly inlectorecumbit! You got it.... chief bridesmaid is now apparently happy to sit down below with her boyfriend (like she has a choice after asking if it would be OK) and my other son is best man and his partner isn't either... no she wasn't the OW no one involved in the split.

Kidnapped Tue 03-May-16 12:16:26

Hmmmm. I know it is tricky but I would put up with it for the duration of the meal.

Presumably your DS's father isn't making a speech? If he is, I would also want to make one. You know, to make things fair and treating people the same and all. wink

Dizzydi1234 Tue 03-May-16 12:19:27

I meant keeping 'them' the dad happy not themselves. She's knows everyone and some really well at the wedding.

GottaGetThisDone Tue 03-May-16 12:20:32

I know this isn't an AIBU but if it was YANBU.
My daughter married 2 years ago, and I too am divorced from her dad.
For nearly all her adult life he has not been there for her, and dismissed her from his own wedding party (to just be an ordinary guest!!!!). She originally didn't want him to walk her down the aisle as in her words he didn't deserve it but she wanted to keep the peace (it would have caused an all out war with his parents especially if he hadn't been asked to) and asked him. She then asked him if he was ok with sitting at top table with his wife at another table, more out of of manners than actually caring i think but he replied he wanted to sit with his wife. She text him back and asked if he would reconsider as she wanted a traditional top table, again he said he wanted to be with his wife. So it ended up me being on top table with my DH. He wasn't happy that my DH was on top table as he saw it as he 'took his place', but wouldn't really have let her explain if he (her dad) had agreed to it he A) wouldn't have been seated next to me, and B) my DH would have been at another table.
I was happy to be seated next to my DH but equally I was happy to not be, Ihad already told him he wouldn't be (he would have been grumpy as he is a really grumpy arse BUT acceptable of it) so when we sat he was touched that she had included him. He knows if his own dd marries i won't even be invited lol come think of it even he might not grin
Anyway i digress, for your DS sake you have got to accept it, you will be civil anyway because ultimately you don't want to rock the boat on the day. I don't think they are saying he or she is more important, more a case of they know you are the bigger person. At least you know prior to the big day.

slightlyinsane Tue 03-May-16 12:21:05

This is the reason I went abroad to get married. I didn't want the hassle of being in the middle of my parents separate lives.
Unfortunately I think no matter how hurt you are you just need to do what they want, it's their day, no doubt they've had far too many conversations over this and finally settled on their choice.
The way I see it is that they invited you round to see what they were going to do to give you time to come to terms with it.

Stardust160 Tue 03-May-16 12:21:44

I went to my brothers and SIL wedding and her father and his wife were on the top table ( this lady didn't raise her as a child, I may add and had married later) and her mom on her own with her partner of a year sat on another table and the my two parents who are still together. It was quite clear things were awkward and more so when the step mom also got a bunch of flowers as well . Her father had pretty much been absent her majority of her life with occasional weeks in the summer but even during the speech he got her university she attended wrong. The fact of the matter was he was paying for majority of the wedding so I do believe that had some factor into where his wife was placed.

I know I face this when my DS is due to marry but we both have partners who have been active in his life so I would expect some involvement in both sides for the top table and on the flip side I would be deeply hurt if my DH was excluded due to his dad's objections but again he has been in DS since the age of 2 so completely different.

I understand your situation I would be deeply hurt if they hadn't been involved and got a place on the top more so by default rather than being an active important person in someone's life. I think you just got to take it on the chin. They might have pressure from his father so he's trying to please everyone. Weddings can be extremely stressful.

inlectorecumbit Tue 03-May-16 12:22:10

Just join the best man and chief bridesmaid with the other guests...

That would put the cat amongst the pigeons

RaeSkywalker Tue 03-May-16 12:22:32

Firstly, I understand why you're hurt. I would be too.

Your DS might feel he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. I can understand him doing this as a way to make the day easier for him.

I went to a wedding nearly 3 years ago now, the groom's parents were divorced. Both of the parents have been married to other people for 10+ years, and his mum and stepdad actually have a teenage daughter together (the groom's half sister). He sees both parents and their partners regularly. The step parents were snubbed for the whole day- not allowed to sit with their spouses in church, sat away from them for the wedding breakfast- right at the back of the room, and his sister was a bridesmaid, but his half sister wasn't. The step parents did put a brave face on it but it did create an awkward atmosphere. I felt especially bad for his half sister.

DH and I said on the day that it must be so hard to make these decisions. Unless you think your son is doing it to upset you, I think you'll just have to accept it. He knows who was there for him growing up though.

So sorry you're hurting OP flowers

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now