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Anyone not had a top table? if so what did you do?

(27 Posts)
memphis83 Thu 19-Jul-12 18:18:45

My wedding is ages away but the venue has messaged about tables and it got me thinking about the top table, my family would happily do the top table but DH's family are divorced, re married and having parents on the top table and their new H/W on another table isn't possible under any circumstances
So we have now planned on having all square tables including us but we still have the problem of who sits with us, my friend did this but still sat with both sets of parents, so who do we sit with, I thought friends e.g Best Man etc but then I feel like they would want to sit with their families.
I was determined to book it and not worry about stuff but already things are creeping up on me, it seems stupid, so MN wedding jury what do I do?

PavlovtheCat Thu 19-Jul-12 18:22:09

oh its just all so complicated, formal weddings! we had a party on a farm with straw bales for seats and no 'top table'. we had a fab bbq, pub bench decked out just for us with fairy lights, but people just pulled their chairs up as and when they felt like it to talk to us and eat/chat.

But, if you are wanting a top table type wedding this would make you shudder i expect.

I think you should sit with whoever would make you and DH the happiest at your wedding.

OxyMoron Thu 19-Jul-12 18:26:08

We have one brother each, so sat with dh's brother & his gf, my brother & a mutual friend.

nextphase Thu 19-Jul-12 18:29:16

We did similar to your friend, but have also been to a wedding where each of the groups who would have been on top table "hosted" a table of their own - so your parents can have a table, DH mother can have a table, DH father can have a table, and then you can either have your really close mates with you (ie bridesmaids, bestman and their partners), or they can host a table themselves, leaving you with the pick of the rest of your guests?

FreeButtonBee Thu 19-Jul-12 18:29:27

A friend who has a complicated family dynamic (divorced parents who don't get on) had just the Bride, Groom, best man ushers, bridesmaids (each with their partners) at the top table. Their parents sat with their respective parts of the family at other tables. Worked very well.

candytuft63 Thu 19-Jul-12 18:31:26

We had lots of tables, some seated 4, some 6, some 8 and everyone organized themselves as to where they sat.
Obviously I sat with DH and our table was laid out with a different colour for flowers, etc and had the cake on it.
It worked really well. People could avoid/socialize with anyone they wanted to.
TopTables always seem unfair somehow - my closest relatives arent necessarily the people I want to sit next to on my happiest day.

memphis83 Thu 19-Jul-12 20:40:50

pavlovthecat yours sounds fantastic, pretty much my dream, I wanted a marquee with fish and chips for our meal but weirdly it worked out dearer than what we are having as there aren't any people who do the marquee thing around here without it being in a formal £££ setting, MIL shuddered when I said I wasn't having bridesmaids (as I didn't want to people please andend up with 20 of them) but I am having a man of honour, who is by best friend of over 20 years!
candytuft was it just you two on the table? You are right about not wanting to sit next to certain people.
I just feel like our closest friends would probably look at the friends tables and want to be there and not with us, but maybe im just being silly, im totally clueless about weddings haven't been to many and the ones I have been to were really regimented, I want a relaxed, chilled day.

justonemorethread Thu 19-Jul-12 20:50:08

We had a small table just for the two of us, on our amazing carefre's suggestion we eat starter and then mingled with our respective friends and family, I went from table to table, pulling up a chair and chatting a bit, waiters would bring me food wherever I was. It wad lovely. And all who came to wedding got to chat to us for a bit. It wad the best night, surrounded by our favourite friends. (and spending minimal time with less favoured family!)
However that won't work if your aim is a romantic evening not being separated from your new Dh.
Our families lived sorrow.g with their respective favourite people.

Or my friend had her bridesmaids and best man at her table, and again respective families with each other. Everybody was happy.

Minty82 Thu 19-Jul-12 20:50:28

We had quite a formal, traditional wedding, and our parents are still happily married, but we still felt that the top table idea would be a waste of a good party for both us and our parents, as we'd all been talking to each other non-stop for weeks and had plenty of other people we wanted to catch up with!

We had the best man and his wife, as they live abroad and we'd not seen them for ages; two ushers (my and DH's respective oldest friends) plus wives; and my best friend, who'd done the reading, and her husband. So all people who'd featured 'in the wedding', so don't think anyone else's nose was out of joint, but a fun mix and meant we had real conversations. Each set of parents hosted a table, and got to be part of the party - trad top tables always look as if they're missing out!

justonemorethread Thu 19-Jul-12 20:51:54

Erm, our families loved spending time with their respective loved ones

And was, not wad!

BonnieBumble Thu 19-Jul-12 20:53:56

My bil and sil sat with us, the best man, bil's sister, her dh and their family. They didn't want the awkwardness of the divorced parents and their partners having to share a table.

BonnieBumble Thu 19-Jul-12 20:56:20

I wish we hadn't had a top table, its very stuffy and I think it added to my nerves. I was very young and very traditional back then.

highlandbird Thu 19-Jul-12 20:57:07

we avoided the top table thing at our wedding a few weeks ago, had a really nice buffet instead where everyone helped themselves and then found somewhere to sit as various tables and chairs scattered about, no 'formal' set up, meant people could sit with whovever they wanted, or mill about chatting to lots of different folk, worked out well for us. Oh, and we did the speeches before dinner, in a nice lounge area where kids could run about, and it got them out of the way early on so that they guys could enjoy their dinner without worrying about their speeches!
Good luck, organising other people is the hardest thing about organising a wedding i discovered!

fivegomadindorset Thu 19-Jul-12 20:57:21

No, we did a seating plan but stuck everyone with who they wanted to be with, I see my parents everyday, why would I want to sit with them?

Roseformeplease Thu 19-Jul-12 22:22:59

We had 3 top tables. One for his dad/my mum and their closest dearest. One for his mum/my dad etc and then one for us, best man, chief bridesmaid. Each other bridesmaid or usher "hosted" a table. All worked very well and no complaints.

SizzleSazz Thu 19-Jul-12 22:25:55

We sat on an oval table in the middle - had best man, plus friends who had travelled a long way to be with us, a set of work friends who knew no-one else and another good friend. Other tables were round us with parents, friends from home, uni friends, work friends, family etc

There was NO way I was sitting next to FIL on my wedding day!

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 19-Jul-12 22:32:47

We had a fairly informal wedding - guests lined up for a (IMO spectacular) buffet and then just sat anywhere they wanted. We lined up along with them and plonked ourselves down where there was space (I think I ended up sitting on DH's knee).

I could not be arsed with a seating plan - far too much stress!

sashh Fri 20-Jul-12 05:34:35

You can have best man and bridesmaids at the top table, or you can just have family.

You can split couples, so dh's mother sits next to your dad, dh's sstep mom sits with the best man, dh's step father witha bridesmaid etc.

Or you can just not have a top table.

Bue Fri 20-Jul-12 15:29:37

We are sitting at a normal table with our siblings, the best man and my sister's best friend who is coming as her 'date'. It makes a table of 8. We also considered just sitting at a table with some of our friends.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 21-Jul-12 14:36:15

We had a big long table seating about 30, we had a table set at the top so we faced the guests.

It looked fab with the flowers etc.

Murtette Sun 16-Sep-12 23:16:18

We're mulling this over at the moment. At any other party with my closest friends, I wouldn't expect to sit with my parents so I'm not sure why a wedding should be any different. And my parents have nothing in common with DP's parents. My plan - which I'm slowly persuading DP is a good one - is a table with us, DC, best man & wife and bridesmaids & their husbands, another for my side of the family and another for DP's family. May put the children on one of these tables so we can go off & mingle & not have to worry about what the children are getting up to.

itsjustmeanon Mon 17-Sep-12 10:56:06

I've been to a wedding, of about 80 guests, in a barn conversion, and it was four trestle tables of 20 guests. There was no top table, and it worked very well. The best man was on a different table to the bride and groom, and as it was a small room, this worked fine with speeches. The father of bride was not invited to this wedding.

We sat on a round table, as we wanted to be able to chat, and we didn't follow the usual layout with brides mum next to grooms father etc. It was the top table, in that it had parents, best man, us sat around.

alice2505 Wed 27-Sep-17 17:29:08

I am going to have a similar problem. My parents are both divorced and remarried, they get on ok or at least they would be civil for this kind of thing, however DHs mother has passed and his dad has not found anyone else yet. I thought about having just us, the bridesmaids and the best man but I have 5 bridesmaids so not sure that would work either, plus my dad lives in the states so would be nice to have him on the top table. Also think it would work better for speeches to have DH, best man and my dad on the same table. Any Suggestions?

Thebelleofstmarys Thu 28-Sep-17 18:25:25

We had complicated family dynamics at our wedding in August so sat opposing members at either end of the dining room and had a table just for the two of us. After eating, we circulated , making sure we talked to everyone
Worked brilliantly and reduced everyone's stress levels.

pallisers Thu 28-Sep-17 18:34:48

My best friend's wedding she sat with her best man, bridesmaid (me) and our spouses and a few other friends. We just stood up where we were for speeches. Another friend did similar. I think it is a much better way of doing it actually.

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