(Closed) Rehersal dinner headtable

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
30398 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

My thoughts are that if she is hosting, she gets to make the decisions.

Post # 5
30398 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

We all ask for input or advice from time to time but we are not obligated to abide by it.

Post # 7
30398 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Don’t make the mistake of assumng that someone who does not abide by your input doesn’t care. Those are two completely separate things.

I am sure she cares- both about you and the rehearsal dinner.

Post # 8
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011


I didn’t even know there was a head table for a rehersal… or assigned seating for that matter.

I would ask her first why she asked you your opinion then decline saying you would like it to be done ______(way)… if you have a strong objection to it being done her way. Because seriously why in the world would you ask a bride something like that when you already have predetermined what you’re going to do. As a bride almost 2 months out, I have enough going on that I dont need pointless questions.

Post # 9
3274 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

@Captain013:  I didn’t even know there was a head table for a rehersal… or assigned seating for that matter. <this

I’ve also never heard of grandparents ever sitting at the top table in any situation.  Rehearsal dinner or wedding.

Post # 10
98 posts
Worker bee

@ashnardini:  IPart of me thinks I would go “ok FMIl that sounds great. So it will be my 3 BMS, 3 GMS, Grandma 1 and 2, Grandma 3 and 4, Grandma 5 and Aunt, now fiances Grandma, aunt etc. Include both sets of parents and us. Great so that makes 18 for the head table”

See what the response is.

Post # 11
6377 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

I didn’t even have a head table for my wedding (its my #1 pet peeve when it comes to weddings). I’ve certainly never heard of having one at the Rehearsal Dinner. At ours and all of the RD’s that I’ve ever been to, everyone just sat where they want. I don’t really think assigned seating is needed when the crowd is going to be on the smaller side.

Post # 14
1094 posts
Bumble bee

The traditional head-table seating at any dinner big enough to have a head table, is the host and hostess at the centre of the table, with their guests of honour to either side in order of precedence. It’s a gracious consideration for the hostess to ask you whether there are any guests in particular that you want to honour. If she should ask, you answer, and then you leave it to her to make all the arrangements.

I would probably do the same as your Mother-in-law. Age always takes precedence over beauty. If you had just said to her “Oh, please include my elderly maiden aunt” she would have found that something easy to accomodate. Snubbing your grandparents, and her parents (which — traditionally — is what sitting them at a lower table would be) is not something easy for a traditionally-minded hostess to accomodate. If she is doing the seating with strict adherence to protocol, your grandparents won’t be seated together at one side, but the two sides will be mixed together (and spouses won’t even be seated side-by-side) so you don’t have to worry about the table being unbalanced.

Her words about whose “job” the different parts of the celebration are, make it very clear that she has a sense of division of responsibility and is taking responsibility for this dinner. So these are not “suggestions” that you get to “decline”; they are her plans. A good guest falls in line with her hostesses plans, and at the very most can make suggestions that the hostess is free to decline. So, you do have a choice about these rehearsal dinner plans, but your choice is to be a good guest, or a difficult one. Or, of course, decline the invitation and not be a guest at all, but if you have already accepted the offer it is a little too late for that.

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