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Top table dilemma...

(29 Posts)
MissMoodyMoo Thu 12-Sep-19 18:24:51

So! At our top table I had planned to have my husband to be, my mum and dad(who are divorced) and maid of honour as well as his mum and his best man his dad has passed away so can't be with us on our day. But now there's a huge argument because I don't want his mum's new partner of less than a year sat at our top table! They are engaged to be married and I really do like her but I just don't think she warrants sitting at the top table? I wouldn't have one of my step parents sat up there so why should she be allowed to just to please his mum? Aka the monster in law 🙈🙄

OP’s posts: |
SadieContrary Thu 12-Sep-19 18:33:18

My step son recently got married. His Mum and Dad sat at the top table. I sat with family from his Dad's side and his Mum's husband sat with family from her side.
It wasn't my place to be at the top table. It was that of his parents.

Brideof2020 Thu 12-Sep-19 19:08:07

I agree with @SadieContrary - his mum's new partner should sit with his family, perhaps on a table 'near' the top table if that works for you. Especially if your parents have partners who wont be sat at the top table. What does your stbh think?

SadieContrary Thu 12-Sep-19 19:15:35

@Brideof2020 is spot on. We were the two closest tables. Didn't even occur to me that I might have been on top table. I'm very close to SS and his new wife and have been part of their life for 7 years too.

lavenderbluedilly Sat 14-Sep-19 02:54:13

I think in this situation I wouldn’t have a top table tbh. Obviously it’s your wedding and you get to choose, but I think many people would prefer to sit with their spouse/partner. Especially as it can be a lengthy meal including the speeches etc. We didn’t have a top table for this reason, so the best man, bridesmaids etc were able to sit with their partners and friends rather than lined up with us at the front of the room.

DefinatelyAWeeGobshite Sat 14-Sep-19 04:17:17

My mums husband and my dads wife weren’t at our top table either, they were sat at the table directly in front of the top table.

Chitarra Sat 14-Sep-19 04:27:53

I think you do have to consider where else he could sit (and ditto your parents’ partners) that would work. I understand your point, but the problem is that he may not know many other people as they haven’t been together that long. Maybe as a pp says they would prefer to sit together even if not on top table? What does your fiancé think?

Abracad Sat 14-Sep-19 05:07:28

Just be kind. It’s not about status, it’s nit 1800. It’s about what will mean she has a nice time.

Aquamarine1029 Sat 14-Sep-19 05:15:49

Either let him sit at the top table or get rid of the top table altogether. Is it really worth creating a massive rift you will never be able to fix?

EdtheBear Sat 14-Sep-19 05:20:54

What does DH think?
I'm inclined to agree with you though, esp if step parents on your side won't be at the top table.

funmummy48 Sat 14-Sep-19 05:41:59

I've been to a few wedding's recently without a top table for this very reason. My SS didn't have one, so there was no issue of who sat where.

ShippingNews Sat 14-Sep-19 05:47:40

I'd let him sit with her. Nitpicking isn't nice at all. He is her partner , they are engaged. You're creating a huge rift in the family over "who sits where" , honestly find another hill to die on.

Soontobe60 Sat 14-Sep-19 06:03:44

At my dds weddings they had different arrangements, both with top tables.
Dd1: me and my DH (DDs stepdad), grooms parents, DDs father and gf, one bridesmaid and best man (neither had partners). Top table was a long straight one and separate from all other round tables.
Dd2: me and DH, grooms mother and her partner of a year, young daughter of groom. All tables were joined to form an E shape. Best man and his gf sat at the top of one 'leg' near grooms mum, one bridesmaid sat near him, other bridesmaid (dsis of bride) sat at the bottom 'leg' with her dh next to where we were sitting. Grooms father and his wife sat at the top of the middle 'leg' . He doesn't see his DF much.
I remember years ago going to a wedding where my DH was best man. I didn't know anyone else. I had to sit on the random single guests table about as far away from my DH as I could have been, whilst he sat next to the chief bridesmaid, who he'd dated for some years before we met. I think the bride thought it was hilarious!

Soontobe60 Sat 14-Sep-19 06:10:28

Oh and at my sisters second wedding, she and her DH sat with their 3 children only.

TBH, I agree that having a top table in your circumstances would be hard on all your parents. Why would you have your divorced parents sitting next to each other whilst their partners sit elsewhere? It's just archaic! You should have all the parents with their partners and have the bridesmaids and best man elsewhere on a different table with their partners. So I'd do this order if it's a straight table. Your step father, your mum, your husband, you, your father, your step mum, your MIL, her partner.

Trumpton Sat 14-Sep-19 06:17:04

The most recent wedding I went to had the lovely idea of a table for two for the bride and groom in the centre of the room and large circular tables around them for the guests .
It was so nice .

thatmustbenigelwiththebrie Sat 14-Sep-19 06:20:21

Meh. If there's a space going and he's not taking up anyone else's place I'd just let him sit there. It's not a big deal.

ourkidmolly Sat 14-Sep-19 06:22:45

I find that idea of just bride and groom sitting together very odd. Definitely wouldn't be for me. Like an altar or something, so exposed.
My parents are divorced and so are my husband's. They each 'hosted' their own table of family & friends etc. We sat with our friends. No top table. This was 18 years ago but worked brilliantly.

StealthPolarBear Sat 14-Sep-19 06:28:03

Surely the 'top table' is wherever the bride and groom sit - when people say they didn't have one, what exactly did they have instead?
OP, if your step parents are elsewhere then so should she be, surely they can see that.

lavenderbluedilly Sat 14-Sep-19 06:32:33

Surely the 'top table' is wherever the bride and groom sit - when people say they didn't have one, what exactly did they have instead?

We had round tables in the room, and chose one in the centre to sit with our DC (second marriage for both of us).

If we hadn’t had DC, we probably would have had our parents sitting with us, but would have included their respective spouses, if there had been any divorces. I think it’s a bit old-fashioned to separate best men/bridesmaids etc from their partners and friends, which is why I didn’t include them. I’d heard too many stories of partners of best men being stuck at the back of the room and feeling awkward, and didn’t want to subject any guests to that!

StealthPolarBear Sat 14-Sep-19 06:35:46

So isn't that a top table? Or are people thinking that a top table is rectangular or raised or something?

BlackCatSleeping Sat 14-Sep-19 06:38:48

There have been a few threads on MN by women who are unhappy about being forced to sit next to their Exes during their kids weddings, while their partners are forced to sit at another table. Blended families can be difficult. I think it’s better to be flexible about seating to make sure all the guests are comfortable and happy.

TheBrockmans Sat 14-Sep-19 06:46:05

Well, traditionally the groom's mother would sit next to the bride's father on one side and the groom's father next to the bride's mother on the other so they wouldn't sit next to each other anyway. You could though offer that, put her partner next to your mother. Quite convenient for divorced parents anyway.

Are there actual step parents on your side who aren't on top table or are you talking hypothetically?

I do like the idea of a table for two in the middle.

floravus Sat 14-Sep-19 06:59:28

Our 'top' table was just another table. We had rows of long tables and didn't have a seating plan so people just sat wherever, but everyone seemed to avoid the first row thinking it was our top table. DH and I sat there but not next to each other, and then people just came and asked if they could sit with us. On our table I was sat next to a boy I used to nanny for on one side, and a friend I hadn't seen for ages on the other side. Opposite was a couple who didn't know anyone else at the wedding and then I think further down the table was DH with my mum and some other friends. It was lovely and informal. I just wanted people to be able to sit with whoever made them feel comfortable and happy and people were welcome to swap and change throughout the meal if they wanted.

MrsPandigital Sat 14-Sep-19 07:03:13

Just have you two, bride and groom. No need for anyone else, you don't get many opportunities in the day to be just the two of you! One of the best things we did at ours!

StealthPolarBear Sat 14-Sep-19 07:07:33

I wouldn't be keen. The whole point is to celebrate with loved ones

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