Reception seating family drama?

posted 1 year ago in Family
Member
5824 posts
Bee Keeper

At my brother’s wedding his wife had the same kind of issue.  Her mom did NOT want to sit at the same table with her dad/stepmom.  It’s been many years they’ve been divorced but seriously it’s easy to look from outside and say they should suck it up.  It’s how they feel and you don’t know the ins/outs of their relationship.   My SIL sat her mom at a table with her mom’s sisters and husbands, and sat her dad at another table with my SIL’s cousins that knew her dad from when they were kids.  (her dad is an only child of two only children so no one to sit with her dad at the table from “his family”)Can you do something like that?

We didn’t have a seating chart, partially for this reason.  I didn’t want to stress about DH’s parents.  We have ONE picture with his mom & dad in it, then his mom asked that DH’s dad be removed from the pictures.  Then we had to take pictures with his dad after we had them done with his mom.   I was fine with that, they’ve been divorced since DH was in 2nd grade, but I wasn’t apart of their relationship and I think for me to tell them to suck it up, would have been strain on them.

Member
3909 posts
Honey bee

Why can’t you fill the remaining seats at the tables with other family members or even random single guests?  Give some random cousin a reading to do or make them an usher so no one gets their feelings hurt over “Joe got a better seat than I did” (which btw I think is also super childish but drama being drama….)

You also probably don’t even want to think about it for at least a year. And a whole lot can happen and change in a year. It could be their son’s marriage that finally sends these people a wake-up call that time is passing by and if they don’t learn to play nice, they will miss out on a lot of family events. There’s always a chance that they get their heads together in the next year and can manage to make it through dinner without being babies.

Member
482 posts
Helper bee

IMHO I would do 2 smaller tables and seat some aunts/uncles/cousins whatever with them. There doesn’t necessiscarily have to be empty seats. You can ask them to put things aside for the night, but you can’t control what will happen. 

Member
407 posts
Helper bee

I am in the same boat. My dad left my mom for another woman. and my mom is still very bitter (one yeat later) I’m going to have 3 different tables that seat 8. His family, my moms side, my dads side.

Member
2484 posts
Buzzing bee

we did this my parents and few of my aunts at one table, siblings at another table, more siblings aunts at another table–first three closest to head table on right side–10 people per table. on hubbys side we had his mom and her family–aunts,cousins) directly across from my parents. we had my fil and step mother in law with their friends sit two tables away but still close to the head table. his aunts and uncles sat with their grown children and spouses at tables surrounding the dance floor. and friends from both sides were put at the outer tables

 

Member
11349 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

Yeah, we have the same issue. FI’s mom hates his dad/stepmom. I just started working on our seating chart to get it out of the way, and we decided to do tables of 8 to fit FMIL/her family at two (had to split them because of MORE stupid family drama) and then FFIL’s side at (no joke) 6 tables. Our friends fit at like 2 tables, and my family fits at 2. HOPEFULLY, they’ll chill the eff out for ONE day, but who knows.

Member
1806 posts
Buzzing bee

It’s easy to say grow up and think that people are acting childish but unless you’ve been in the situation you have no idea what it feels like. When my children get married (my oldest is 18 so not that far off maybe) I will not be sitting anywhere near my ex…to the point where I would leave if I was told I had to. This man threatened to kill me, left me in debt with no where to go, was abusive, plays headgames with his children and owes me thousands of dollars…I fail to see how ‘growing up’ has anything to do with the situation. I will not allow myself to be put into a situation like that.

Maybe think about how much you would like sitting next to one of your worst exes at a celebration…

Member
731 posts
Busy bee

@jb20:  12-person round tables are HUGE. They probably wouldn’t be able to hear each other or interact even if they wanted to. Unless it’s an issue of abuse or infidelity, I’d expect them to suck it up and act like grown-ups. Plan it so they’re as far apart as possible without being directly across from each other. So pretending the table is a clock, if mom is at 12 noon, put dad at either 4:00, 5:00, 7:00, or 8:00. Because the table is so big, any of these should be enough distance, yet they won’t be constantly making inadvertant eye-contact over their water glasses. 

I know something will get mentioned” — Someone’s going to gripe about something, don’t let it bother you.

If there was abuse, I would absolutely put them at separate tables. It’s cruel to traumatic to make someone try to eat dinner with the person who abused them. I feel the same, but to slightly lesser degree about infidelity. Otherwise, come on, you’re parents, act that way for 2 hours.

Member
9375 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

At my DSD’s wedding this fall, my DSD and DSSIL decided to seat all four of their divorced parents at four different tables, with the other seats at those tables being reserved for relatives from each parent’s side of the family.  This not only allowed each parent to spend time with his or her own family members but also removed any potential awkwardness that may have exsisted between ex-spouses.

Member
444 posts
Helper bee

I do not think making former spouses sit togethor is a good idea.  I think it reflects poorly on anyone who would force this.

Member
4741 posts
Honey bee

@jb20:  My parents do not get along AT ALL. This is a 20+ year marriage that broke down, with serious and legitimate feelings of betrayal. You can’t compare it to high school or tell them to “grow up and put your differences aside”. Sitting our parents at the same table simply wasn’t an option and it sounds like it’s the same for you.

For the parent who would only have 3 at their family table – can that table be filled up with family friends or other relatives? That’s what we did at my sister’s wedding. So there were 3 roughly equally close family tables (her husband’s family, our mother and her friends, our father+stepmother and his friends).

EDIT: Since FMIL has only got her father (post 6), another possibility is to sit them with your family.

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