Post # 1
Hello Bees…this is my first post so hopefully I don’t ramble too much!! Hopefully there is an etiquette rule that will help with this…
I have come across my first “WHAT?!?!?!” moment in my wedding planning (I’ve been engaged for over a year so yes, I am thankful! lol). I was working on our seating chart for the reception. We are assigning tables, not actual seats for our small wedding, only 50 people, sweetheart table. I showed it to my Fiance to get his input on it and he informs me that I cannot sit his Best man with the rest of FI’s friends (Best man and Fiance are friends with same ppl) but especially not one woman in particular, we’ll call her S.
Evidentally, Best man and S had an affair. Both the Best man and S are married with several children. This floored me!! When did this happen? Do their spouses know because both S and Best Man’s entire families have been invited?? OIYEE! Both of them confessed their long affair to their spouses after it ended, which was only a couple months ago. S’s husband wants to fight Best Man, and Best man’s wife has declined to come to our wedding because she will not be comfortable in the same room with the woman her husband slept with…cannot blame her on that point!!
Just found out that S’s husband has also declined to come to wedding for similar reason, but he is a man of temper so I’m worried he’ll show up anyway just to get his hands on Best Man.
If I had known about this I would have suggested that Fiance pick one of the friends, most likely Best Man and not invited S just so we could avoid this kind of situation. Best Man and S are both coming solo and are requesting not be sat near each other…umm, hello? Did you all miss the fact that there are only 50 people, including me and FI??? There is only going to be 7 tables, 5 of which are family…that leaves 2 tables, one for my friends and 1 for Fiance. I will probably split the “friends” tables up but they will still be right next to each other.
How to I seat them far enough away that they won’t cause drama???? Is there any real solution to this situation??
Post # 3
I don’t have a suggestions for you but a comment. Don’t you just love how other people’s drama bullsh*t interferes with your life??? People don’t consider others before they go and do something stupid.
Post # 4
I think you’re right on the money with splitting the two friends tables in half. And then perhaps instead of making those TAble 6 and Table 7 (so they’d be right next to each other), you could make one Table 4 and one Table 7 or something like that?
Or keep the table NUMBERS 6 and 7 but locate them not next to each other in the room? Something like:
1 2 4 7
3 6 5
And if people are like, wtf is with these crazy table numbers? You just laugh and blame the caterers.
Post # 5
Wow what a freaking mess. Seat them as far apart as you can. Have your Fi explain to S if her husband shows up you will be force to call the police. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. I really feel out of respect for her husband she should have bowed out, being that Best Man is playing an important role in the wedding.
Post # 6
I think the real solution is for your fiance to have a gentle conversation with both Best Man and S, letting them know that you will not appreciate any scandal or drama at the wedding or the reception, and that whatever their past holds, it’s best left at the door for the day. These are grown adults and while it’s understandable that their past could leave them with some pretty strong and negative feelings, they should be able to control themselves for a few hours. Period. No need to stand on your head to get the table assignments done perfectly— if they’re acting up, they’re going to act up regardless of where you seat them, and if they’re on their best behavior, they should be able to be in close proximity to one another without causing any drama.
While your fiance is well aware of their past, he should not make reference to it during his chats with them. That just stirs up emotion. A simple “Mr Best Man, it’s very important to sianna1301 and me that we have a peaceful and happy day, and I trust that you will do your best to set aside any personal issues, including S, just for the day. What you do on other days doesn’t matter, but we will not allow anyone, including you or S, to create conflict at our wedding.”
Post # 7
@sianna1301: Wow, your Fiance really dropped the ball on this one. There is no way S should have been invited, and BM’s wife will in all likelihood bear a grudge against you both for a long, long time over this.
Have you already sent out invitations? Part of me thinks you should have your Fiance talk to S and retract the invitation. Just say it’s too awkward, given her history with Bridesmaid or Best Man, and he hopes she understands. Then apologize profusely to BM’s wife and ask her to come to your wedding.
If they do both end up coming, my only advice is to make sure they aren’t facing each other. Separate them as much as you can, but above all, seat them with their backs to each other.
Post # 8
I think you’re on the right track to split up both groups of friends. Maybe people will make new friends. You could also mix in some appropriately aged cousins, if you want. AND a conversation that they are expected to behave civilly. Crappy situation but I’m glad to hear that the jealous husband isn’t planning to come and start a fight – because that’s just not good for anyone.
Post # 9
@Sheepshead: I 2nd this! That way spouses won’t be coming up there to fight and there is no awkwardness in the air.
Post # 10
UPDATE: This is getting a tad out of hand and I now think I should’ve put this post under emotional because I feel like venting!! Sorry if this turns out long!!!
Fiance spoke to S today to let her know that she isn’t at the table with Best Man so she could relax. She then asked what table and who she would be sitting next to. Fiance told her that we’re still finishing the details but with half of my friends and a couple of their mutual friends. S then states that she “just has to be sat with” 2 of Fiance and her mutual friends…who we happen to have at the table with Best Man. I don’t feel like rewriting a seatting chart just because she wants to sit with specific people.
I know its not hard to rework a seating chart for only 50 people, but 90% are couples that I will not separate which means the “singles” must be spread out to accomodate the tables. She is coming as a single so when Fiance informed her that she probably will not be with those specific people, she evidently got “pissed” and “demanded” to be sat with who she wants.
WTH??? She demands to be sat where she wants, with who she wants…even though she is the one I had to already make concessions for because of her affair with the Best Man?!?!?! Is it too late to rescind her invite? UGH!!
Post # 11
I am typically always against uninviting someone because it is rude but in this case, do you think you could ask ‘S” nicely that due to the circumstances and her husband not even attending for said reason, that she not attend?
Post # 12
Ok, I feel bad now…I immediately put up the update when I got home from work (yes, I got texts from Fiance at work that S was “pissed”…not good! lol) But I neglected to put what I wanted to post first, oops, soo sorry, Bees!
I wanted to thank all of you for your suggestions and comments, and for letting me get this out there for another perspective!!
Post # 13
OMG tell “S” she is uninvited! What a crazy nutcase! She’ll sit where she’s told to and with whom you want, period! If she doesn’t like it, then she can do you and your fiancé a favor by not coming! Her presence will not be missed!
I can’t believe how ridiculous and rude some people can be!
Post # 14
ummm why are you bothering with seating charts with only 50 people?
Would the world crumble if people just sat wherever they wanted to?
Post # 15
@sylvia.riggle: The seating chart is to avoid drama with my only sister…that’s another story, but a seating chart would completely eliminate any problems with her.
Thanks Bees for all your input with this…I can’t believe I have a “guestzilla”!! lol
Post # 16
@sianna1301: You asked for an “etiquette rule that will help this”. There is one, but I am afraid it may upset other plans.
During the wedding ceremony, it is appropriate and traditional for the Bride’s family and the Groom’s family to be seated separately, typically on opposite sides of the church, traditionally with the Bride’s family on the left and the Groom’s on the right. Not necessary, but acceptable. However, at any post-ceremony events the two families should be mingled together. This is symbolic of the idea that your marriage joins the two families; and it is practical in letting members of the two families get to know each other since they can be expected to meet in the future through their continuing relationship with you: as guests in your house perhaps, at grand-children’s birthdays and graduation ceremonies and so on.
It is also a rule of formal etiquette, that married couples are never seated beside one another. The most formal standards extend this rule to close relatives such as sisters, parent and child, and so on. The idea is that these close relatives and couples can converse over the breakfast table and have a strong relationship already; a formal dinner is a chance for them to enjoy fresh conversations and create or strengthen other relationships.
While the world will not crumble “if people just sat whereever they wanted to”, arrange seating so that everyone has congenial dinner partners with whom they will have pleasant conversation without creating opportunity for conflict, is one of the ways a hostess shows care for her guests, and it calls for creativity and skilled insight similar to an artist’s skill and creativity in her art. Doing it well gives a hostess much pleasure and gratification; and creates a more pleasant experience for her guests.
What I would do in your situation (even if there were no “S”) would be to mingle my seven tables each with a balanced mix of Bride’s family, Groom’s family, bride’s friends and groom’s friends. I would choose the mix at each table based on common interests rather than family affiliation. Because most younger couples, and some older ones! are ignorant of the etiquette rule that they are supposed to be able to carry on a conversation with someone other than their spouse (not only to be able to, but obliged to initiate and work at creating the conversation if their dinner partner is shy or gauche) I would seat partners close to one another, but not side-by-side — so that any one-on-one conversation they attempt inherently draws in at least two more people at the table.
And then; because “S” has annoyed me with her gracelessness in not simply declining the invitation immediately once she knew Best Man would be there, and even moreso by interfering with my seating plan (Harrumh! Did Leonardo let La Giaconda tell him where to put his paint brush?!!!) I would seat “S” between Great Aunt Mildred whose only conversation is the shocking immorality of young women in these licentious times, and my teenage cousin Elmer who talks about Dungeons and Dragons. They are always the hardest elements to fit into my artwork anyway, and “S” might as well solve a problem for me given how many she is creating.