Author Topic: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"  (Read 10389 times)

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Sleepynose

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Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« on: October 15, 2012, 04:02:39 PM »
My best friend is getting married and asked me to be a bridesmaid. I am fine with just about everything that entails, (dress, hair, shoes etc). The only thing that bothers me is that I'm married and would be expected to sit at the head table instead of with my husband (who is not a groomsman). This bothers me, because he would be sitting by himself and he would know no one there. He is also not thrilled with the idea. Should I decline being a bridesmaid and if so, how should I say it?

Cat-Fu

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 04:14:52 PM »
First off, are you certain there is going to *be* a head table? Sweetheart tables are very popular these days.

But this is your best friend, right? Is this something you are willing to cause a potentially irreversible rift over? It is really annoying to have to sit alone with a bunch of strangers at a wedding (I did it last month for my DH's childhood best friend's wedding in which my DH was a groomsman) but it's just one night, and eventually you get up and dance. I am pretty shy but I still usually manage as best I can.

If this is really a dealbreaker, I would be honest with your best friend, and give her the reason why. (I know it is recommended not to justify etc, but for close friends I think it's different).
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guihong

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 04:29:43 PM »
All of my attendants were married.  They sat at the head table with DH and me during dinner, then went to sit with their spouses after the toasts/pictures of the table.  Is that a workable compromise?

None of the spouses knew anyone there, but we sat them all at a couple of tables (with room for spouses) and they managed just fine.



Sleepynose

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 04:30:36 PM »
First off, are you certain there is going to *be* a head table? Sweetheart tables are very popular these days.

But this is your best friend, right? Is this something you are willing to cause a potentially irreversible rift over? It is really annoying to have to sit alone with a bunch of strangers at a wedding (I did it last month for my DH's childhood best friend's wedding in which my DH was a groomsman) but it's just one night, and eventually you get up and dance. I am pretty shy but I still usually manage as best I can.

If this is really a dealbreaker, I would be honest with your best friend, and give her the reason why. (I know it is recommended not to justify etc, but for close friends I think it's different).

So far that's what she said "Head table." Her wedding party including her and the groom is 16 people (7 bridesmaids, 7 groomsmen, and the bride and groom, a very long table) so she has considered a sweetheart table but still wants a separate table for bridesmaids on one side and a separate table for the groomsmen on the other near the sweetheart table. Personally I like sweetheart tables better; that's what I had at mine. She was a bridesmaid at my wedding and would have sat at a regular table with her boyfriend if he came (he is not the same person she is marrying).

She is my best friend, but knowing her it would not cause an irreversible rift, she is a pretty reasonable person. I spoke to my husband about it and he would rather not go at all if he sat with strangers most of the time. And going by myself would be pretty bad.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 04:33:11 PM by Sleepynose »

Knitterly

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 04:47:49 PM »
Many years ago, I went to a wedding where my husband (then fiance) was a groomsman and the *only* people I knew where in the bridal party sitting at the head table.  I was seated at a table that was basically made up of the spouses and signficant others of those in the wedding party.  It turned out very lovely.

In fact, I've only been to one wedding where there was not a head table (and that one was a very different culture where there was no real wedding party).  In each instance, married or otherwise partnered members of the wedding party were separated from their spouses, even when said bridal party members had children who were present at the wedding. 

If it is a typical reception with a dance afterwards, I know you will have lots of social time with your husband.  And there is also nothing keeping you at the head table all evening, so you'll be able to go over and chat with him between courses.

Is your husband typically unable to form new acquaintances comfortably?
I only ask because I find it strange that your husband would rather not go at all than be seated separately from you from what will likely be a maximum of 2 hours.

sparksals

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 04:56:30 PM »
For your best friend, I think that you should grin and bear it.  Head tables are very common and spouses should be able to sit apart for a couple hours max.   Your friend may be very hurt your husband skips her wedding b/c he doesn't want to sit with people he doesn't know for the dinner period. 

This topic has come up here several times before.  It gets very heated because some feel as you do - they don't like being apart from their spouse.  However, true etiquette states at dinner parties/receptions, spouses not be seated together so as to promote conversation with others around the table. 

If this is a deal breaker for you, then decline being in her wedding party.  Otherwise, if you say anything about not wanting to sit at the head table, it could cause a rift.  She already has plans for a head table, which is pretty standard and traditional, and being a dissenter may add stress to her she doesn't need.  It really is only for a couple hours, a very small amount of time on your best friend's wedding day.



jmarvellous

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 05:09:42 PM »
I was just in a wedding where partners or spouses of the wedding party were at the head table. It was hardly unwieldy or awkward. This is what I've seen most often and what I think you should suggest.

If my BF had had to sit elsewhere, it wouldn't have been a dealbreaker for us, so I guess I can't tell you whether it should be one for you. I guess the actual dinner part (before mingling) is generally so brief that we would tough it out to make a friend happy on a stressful day. As soon as the meal part ends, you two will be together again.  :D

MrsJWine

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 05:22:00 PM »
Is there a particular reason you can't go without your husband? This isn't your acquaintance's kid's Bar Mitzvah. It's your best friend's wedding. That's a huge thing. Unless there are some very special circumstances (severe anxiety, prohibitive expenses, etc), I think this is one of things you just do for you best friend.


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Mikayla

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 05:27:40 PM »
To be honest, I think your husband is putting you in a really tough position by saying he'd rather not go if he's with strangers "the whole time".  He won't be.  It's just dinner in the weddings I've been to, and maybe a couple of toasts. 

It's nice that your friend is reasonable and this wouldn't cause permanent damage, but I'd feel a little snowflaky asking her about it.  It strikes as being almost in the same category as a Best Man wanting to walk down the aisle with his wife, rather than the MOH. 




Hmmmmm

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 05:45:55 PM »
Is there a particular reason you can't go without your husband? This isn't your acquaintance's kid's Bar Mitzvah. It's your best friend's wedding. That's a huge thing. Unless there are some very special circumstances (severe anxiety, prohibitive expenses, etc), I think this is one of things you just do for you best friend.

POD.  Your DH's time alone would be at the church and the hour or so for dinner which most of that time will be spent eating or listening to toasts.  After that mingling begins and you guys can sit together then.   

Zilla

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2012, 05:46:04 PM »
This is your best friend but your husband doesn't know anyone at the wedding?  And I agree with others, why don't you let him stay home that way you don't have to worry about him sitting alone during the ceremony and during the meal/toast etc.  It sounds like it would be a stressful instead of fun time.  Make it a night about your best friend the bride for one night.



Tilt Fairy

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2012, 06:14:59 PM »
This is your best friend but your husband doesn't know anyone at the wedding?  And I agree with others, why don't you let him stay home that way you don't have to worry about him sitting alone during the ceremony and during the meal/toast etc.  It sounds like it would be a stressful instead of fun time.  Make it a night about your best friend the bride for one night.


^This ^. You're the bride's best friend so I'm sure you by yourself (without your husband attending) would know most of the bridal party and other guests intimately and still have an active and important part to play at the reception and even if you don't, lots of people will want to talk to/get to know you. The bride will probably spend half the time partying with you! It's your best friends wedding. You'll probably find you'll never be bored and have a good time. The best friend at a wedding is a pretty fun role. Everyone wants to talk to and involve the best friend!

I understand that your husband may not know as many people but if the bride is your best friend, couldn't you simply talk to her and say "John's a little nervous about being by himself, would it perhaps be possible to seat him next to people he may know?" or "people he could easily hit it off with?". Chances are your best friend the bride has probably thought all this through and seated him with the other male halves of the female members of her bridal party that are on the head table. Lots of weddings normally put some or all of the boyfriends/husbands together so they have something in common/know each other/get to know each other or can have some fun male bonding. She will probably have no trouble with (if she hasn't done so already) seating him with people who have similar interests as him/similar jobs/are a similar age etc..etc.. so he can feel as comfortable as possible. It's the thing I would try to do if I was ever a bride. Everyone is nervous and shy at weddings when they sit at a table with strangers. People are actually often relieved and grateful when the person next to them starts a conversation. Your husband will probably be making new friends in no time.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 06:20:31 PM by Tilt Fairy »

Giggity

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2012, 06:22:08 PM »
My best friend is getting married and asked me to be a bridesmaid. I am fine with just about everything that entails, (dress, hair, shoes etc). The only thing that bothers me is that I'm married and would be expected to sit at the head table instead of with my husband (who is not a groomsman). This bothers me, because he would be sitting by himself and he would know no one there. He is also not thrilled with the idea. Should I decline being a bridesmaid and if so, how should I say it?

It's only for a couple hours and it's your best friend. Your husband can take care of himself for that long.

Also, how would he not know anyone, if it's your best friend?
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katycoo

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2012, 06:43:28 PM »
I was BM for a good friend a few years ago.  At the wedding, my DH knew me, the bride, and had met the groom once or twice.  They are part of a separate circle of friends so we don't know their other friends.

I was at the head table, and consequently DH was at a table of strangers.  DH is pretty shy/anti-social.  The bride intentionally sat him with friendly people who knew he didn't know anyone and while I woudln't say he had 'fun', he wasn't miserable and bored all day.  He came with us when we had photos (only walking around the grounds) so he wasn't waiting alone, and just minded the bags and shoes.

Honestly, I wouldn't have let me DH decline on the basis of not knowing anyone.  I was there to stand for my friend, he was there as part of us.  Its one of those things you just suck up.  The bride will be part of my life fro a long time coming, and my DH could do the decent thing and be at her wedding.

sparksals

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2012, 06:56:06 PM »
Is there a particular reason you can't go without your husband? This isn't your acquaintance's kid's Bar Mitzvah.  It's your best friend's wedding. That's a huge thing. Unless there are some very special circumstances (severe anxiety, prohibitive expenses, etc), I think this is one of things you just do for you best friend.

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