Etiquette issue

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
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  • Post # 2
    6449 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I understand that some people think it’s rude to split up a couple just because one person is in the wedding party but I’m on the other side of the fence. 

    I don’t understand why you need to sit towards the front of the ceremony. Why does it matter where you sit? You will be sitting silently and watching two people get married.

    Between the ceremony and reception they are likely going to be taking pictures and may even be taking a limo to do this. I highly doubt that you will be invited along to do this and if I were a SO i would feel clingy and bored watching others take pictures. Will you have a hotel room there? Just go hang out there for awhile. 

    As far as the head table, you will likely be seated with strangers for a couple of hours. I’m one of those people that thinks it’s not a big deal at all to separate couples like this (although I know there are plenty of other bees who say you shouldn’t do it) and I think most adults should be able to deal with making small talk for a couple of hours. I’m an introvert but I have had to do this a few times and just dealt with it.

    I think you should ‘handle it’ by just going with the flow and realizing that you will not be right at your husband’s side all day.

    Post # 3
    406 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    Hmmm…I was in a similar situation when my SO’s sister got married. The only difference is that I knew his sister pretty well by then, and she made sure I got to sit with the family near the front while my SO walked her down the aisle. After they took pictures during cocktail hour, I was with SO for the reception, was seated with him, etc. The bride and groom had a sweetheart table, so the head table thing was a moot point.

    For the ceremony, I wouldn’t worry about where you sit. If you know anyone else at the ceremony, just sit with them for the sake of companionship. As for the time gap until cocktail hour, I highly doubt that they’ll be taking pictures for three and a half hours. You may get to see your hubby before cocktail hour, or they may be doing something with just the bridal party. For the reception, I’m not sure about the expected etiquette for head tables. Generally I would think that the groomsmen would be allowed a plus one, even if they’re not married (i.e., casual date, serious SO, spouse, or FI), and the bride wouldn’t want to split them up. Maybe one of the other Bees can chime in as to whether plus ones get to sit at the head table too?

    If you’re really that concerned, just have your husband ask the groom what the plan is. Be specific but polite with your questions, and if anyone thinks it’s rude, well…that’s on their shoulders, not yours.

    Post # 4
    42117 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I would sit wherever the usher directed me. If they ask whose side you are on, you can eitherr tell him the groom’s if that matters to you, or suggest he seat you wherever he wants to balance out the room. You re not family so it would be inappropriate to expect a seat close to th front. You will be able to see the ceremony no matter where you re seated.

    Will you have a vehicle at your disposal? Do you have a GPS or know how to read a map? Do some online research about the area before you go and find something you would be interested in seeing/doing- art galeries, museums, local intersts, shops tea houses etc. If you are prepared with ideas, you may very well have other SO’s of the groomsmen asking if they can go with you. You can always choose to go back to the hotel and relax for a while.

    At the reception, there are many possible options. Some brides seat the wedding party at the hed table and their SO’s all together at another table; some seat the wedding party together and the couple sits at a sweetheart table. If there is assigned seating, sit where you are assigned. The presumption is that the guests are adults and can make polite conversation for the course of one meal.

    Usually after the dancing starts, people re free to move around and you can then sit with your SO.


    Post # 5
    1662 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    KarliRae:  Fair question! I’m actually in the same boat, but I know the couple very very well. I actually hadn’t thought about it until you asked. I’ve agreed to help with the MCing.

    I believe that dates don’t normally sit at the head table. I did seat them at the head table for my wedding though, because there was only one person who brought a date and said date didn’t know a single other person! There’s no way I would have done that to my friend’s fiancé. Even though I’m sure he could have handled it.

    I’ll just go with the flow for the day. I expect to know enough people for it to not be too uncomfortable, plus the reception is across the street from my moms house. So I’ll just kick back there for a bit if I need to kill time.

    Do you think “going with the flow” would work? For me, I think it depends on the situation. I think I’d be sooo bored and kinda uncomfortable all day if I didn’t know anyone and the wedding was in an unfamiliar place. 

    Post # 6
    296 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    If I didn’t know the bride and groom I would be sitting at the back, or even standing depending on how much seating there is for the ceremony.  I would have been upset if someone I didn’t know wanted to sit near the front at my ceremony, meaning that my close friends or family and to be further back.

    We didn’t put +1s of the bridal party at our head table because they should be grown-up enough to converse with people other thn their SO for an hour or two while everyone ate.

    Post # 7
    3623 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    For our wedding (and all weddings I have been to where one of us us in the bridal party), you would be responsible for getting to the ceremony and the reception.  You’d see you SO during cocktail hour and dancing.  But for the wedding,  post wedding photos,  and dinner you would be separated.  


    It may seem strange,  but we separated couples due to politics… I questioned who of the bridal party dated/were engaged to/were married to would be there in 5 years.  I’ve been married 9 months and two serious relationships failed.  I would have loved to have serious spouses up there,  but it doesn’t work with iffy relationship s

    Post # 8
    2419 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I think you have to go with the flow here or if this is too intolerable idea, then consider not attending the wedding.

    Only I really don’t think you can start asking for special favours just because your husband is a groomsman. There’s no reason why you should sit near the front and to be honest, if you don’t know many people at the wedding I’d have thought the last place you’d want to sit was at the front! Likewise, you really ought to be able to manage to eat a meal without being glued to your husband’s side.

    I rather expect he will be busy between the ceremony and the reception too and while that may not be a lot of fun for you, again, there’s not a lot you can do about it. 

    I veru much doubt that the bride and groom want to appear rude either but why should they be organising their wedding in a way to suit your needs as the wife of a groomsman? I hope they are considerate but to be honest, you aren’t going to be high on the list of people they could reasonably be expected to arrange their wedding around!

    Post # 9
    6964 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    No, I don’t think you should expect to sit at the front. I would sit wherever there is free space or where the usher leads you, if they have one.

    Usually the gap is for taking pictures, so no I don’t think you’d be invited along for that either. Do you have a hotel room you can go back to?

    I’m not a fan of head tables, but I would hope the couple will sit you with nice people. It’s only an hour or so.

    I don’t really think the couple is being rude about anything. These are pretty standard practices for the bridal party.

    Post # 10
    2565 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    This is pretty standard and the are not acting like the best man is a bachelor. You sit wherever there is a seat at the ceremony. They probably won’t take the whole four hours for pictures, but if they do you probably shouldn’t be there. Go back to the hotel, watch a movie, find something in the area. It’s just a few hours. Some couples are able to seat wedding part SOs at the head table, others can’t. 

    Post # 11
    1590 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    In my experience, the bridal party is always on their own for the gap between the ceremony and reception. In our case, we didn’t have a gap, but had photos before. Everyone in our bridal party was married and they didn’t join until the ceremony. Head table, I guess you have to sit where they put you. (We don’t really do head tables around here). I know that it stinks. The only time I was ever in your position a wedding last year, but it literally took the whole two hour gap to get to the reception, and DH’s parents were invited, so they drove me. When a guy friend of mine got married, I invited a groomsman’s girlfriend to get ready with me and just hang out for the gap. Hopefully someone might offer you that option. Otherwise, can you maybe just go hang in the hotel?


    Edit: I meant the bridal party as a whole goes off on their own.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  Bubbles42.
    Post # 12
    61 posts
    Worker bee

    KarliRae:  Between not knowing anyone else, that big of a gap and a head table, I’d probably skip it and let your FI go solo.

    Post # 13
    6048 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: March 2012

    This happened to me, well similar.  I was a plus one to a groomsman, and my brother was in the wedding.  I didn’t know the bride at all, but knew the groom.  My SIL and I weren’t sat together, and I wound up at a table with a bunch of guys that had played ball with my brother growing up.  I knew their names but that was  pretty much it.  I had a blast! They were so funny, and their wives were great.  I never would have met them and after the wedding we all kept in touch.  I’m so glad I went.  In my experience the ushers know who the VIP’s/family members are and sit them accordingly, they ask what side your with and you sit in the row they take you to.  

    You should go, it’s a few hours, and you could meet some really great people.  It’s only a few hours and what will your hubs do when all the dancing starts? 

    Post # 14
    4961 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    One suggestion I have that no one mentioned is to ask your FI to introduce to some people during the rehearsal dinner. You said the other GMs arent married – but I would imagine 1/2 have serious girlfriends or are bringing a date. Chances are, there’s someone else that knows no one. This way – you have a friendly face to say hello to during the ceremony/cocktail hour if you are alone. 

    For the ceremony, I don’t think it matters where you sit. You aren’t going to be making conversation or anything with anyone. 

    For the gap, I would just go back to the hotel, take my heels off, and relax. Take a nap! lol

    Since the gap is SO LONG, I would imagine that your husband will be around for cocktail hour since pictures should be done. I think head tables are annoying but you may just have to deal with eating dinner at a table. Just introduce yourself and ask people questions – ppl love to talk about themselves. And have a few drinks, haha. 

    Good luck!! I know how annoying this is. I can be an introvert and I have had to do this a few times – FI is ALWAYS in every wedding we go to! We have one coming up in May, and he’s a groomsman again. Luckily, I have met enough of his friends to talk to people but it still makes me nervous and I don’t want to stand around awkwardly. 

    Post # 15
    9204 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2018

    Go with the flow. You shouldn’t expect to sit near the front at the ceremony since you are not family or super close with the bride and groom. In between yes you may have to fend for yourself as they will probably be taking pictures and it would be inappropriate for you to tag along. And you probably will be sitting with strangers at the reception but it is only for dinner, during dancing you can spend all the time with your husband that you like.

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