Author Topic: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"  (Read 10002 times)

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Giggity

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #30 on: October 16, 2012, 04:42:10 PM »
Miserable? As in, "wretchedly unhappy"?

That's an odd way to feel at a happy event.
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Fleur

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #31 on: October 16, 2012, 04:51:59 PM »
Miserable? As in, "wretchedly unhappy"?

That's an odd way to feel at a happy event.

Social anxiety can make people unhappy, yes. Plus weddings, while they are celebrating a very happy event, are sometimes stressful as there is a lot of pressure on people to have a good time. People can get very drunk, and there are all kinds of pitfalls. I honestly don't think the OP should feel obligated to go to this event. Her friend is no less married without her there.

camlan

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2012, 05:50:38 PM »
Miserable? As in, "wretchedly unhappy"?

That's an odd way to feel at a happy event.

Social anxiety can make people unhappy, yes. Plus weddings, while they are celebrating a very happy event, are sometimes stressful as there is a lot of pressure on people to have a good time. People can get very drunk, and there are all kinds of pitfalls. I honestly don't think the OP should feel obligated to go to this event. Her friend is no less married without her there.

The question isn't whether or not the OP should attend her best friend's wedding. The question is whether she should accept the invitation to be a bridesmaid.

If sitting at separate tables would cause the OP and her husband as much discomfort as it appears it would, then I think the OP should gently decline being a bridesmaid.

But I'd hope that wouldn't end the friendship. I'd hope the bride would still invite the OP and her DH to the wedding, and that they'd have a good time, because they'd be able to be together at dinner.
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O'Dell

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #33 on: October 16, 2012, 06:09:35 PM »
Miserable? As in, "wretchedly unhappy"?

That's an odd way to feel at a happy event.

Social anxiety can make people unhappy, yes. Plus weddings, while they are celebrating a very happy event, are sometimes stressful as there is a lot of pressure on people to have a good time. People can get very drunk, and there are all kinds of pitfalls. I honestly don't think the OP should feel obligated to go to this event. Her friend is no less married without her there.

The OP herself has stated: No he doesn't have any social disorder, it's more of a cultural difference. What we call a traditional wedding in the US is not what he is used to where he is from.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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Knitterly

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #34 on: October 16, 2012, 06:12:21 PM »
OP,  if you truly do not want to be seated separately from your husband, I think you can gracefully decline being a bridesmaid.  However, when you do, do not offer any reason.

You can simply say "Best Friend, you know that I am so happy for you.  I would love to be in your wedding party, but it's just something I cannot do at this time.  Husband and I are looking forward to attending your wedding, though."

You do not actually need to tell her that you cannot be in the wedding because you don't want your husband to sit alone for an hour or two.

However, if you have already accepted the role of bridesmaid, I don't think you should back out.  If you have not, then you are not obligated to accept the honour.  It is no different than if you did not have the time or the finances to commit.

Snooks

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2012, 06:20:12 AM »
I'm going to put this into the context of my wedding which was very low key, we didn't have any attendants but we did have a top table.  We each have one sibling, my sibling is single and DH's sibling is married (5+ years before us), we asked our siblings to be our witnesses and also to sit on the top table with us.  DH's sibling's first reaction when we mentioned we'd like them to sit with us at the top table was "What about spouse?".  Now that rubbed me the wrong way because it seemed so dismissive of the invitation to sit with us and be part of the wedding.  The spouse sat with the rest of DH's family who they spent every weekend with, DH's sibling disappeared from the top table in between every course, I wish we hadn't asked them to sit with us.

So from the bride's point of view she wants you to be part of the wedding and that's important to her, what you have to decide is how much you're happy to indulge her and put on a brave face.

With regards of how to deal with this I'd recommend a few things
1) Talk to your best friend and tell her the dilemma you're facing
2) Find out if any of the other attendants will be in the same position and see if your husband can be seated with another lone partner
3) Introduce your husband to any of the other guests you know and see if your husband can be seated with them

I had a friend from university who's partner couldn't make our wedding, which meant she was going to be totally alone at our wedding.  She knew one other person but they were going to be on another table so I spoke to my friends who were going to be on that table and explained the situation and asked them to adopt her for the day which they did.

There are ways of getting around these issues, it just depends on how much work you want to put into it.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2012, 06:34:42 AM »
I also think of this as thing you have to do for a good friend. Perhaps try thinking of it as a job you have been tasked to fulfill (eg standing up for your friend, witnessing the marriage certificate, holding her bouquet, making sure none of the guests get unruly, etc) rather than a "party", if you fear you will be miserable.

As for your husband, could you ask the Bride to seat him with some people who can make him feel welcome, and talk to him?

I know you have the option of stepping down, and letting the Bride know that you and your DH would simply like to attend as guests, but I personally think that should be a last resort. YMMV, but I'd personally be a little hurt if my best friend did this to me, without any explanation whatsoever, etc.

Sharnita

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #37 on: October 17, 2012, 03:02:58 PM »
that is pretty much what single people do on a regular basis.  Of course, the difference would be that when the formalities were over there would probably be an empty seat at his table that you might be able to sit in for a bit and you could spend a significant amount of time dancing, standing, etc. with him.

Honestly, if he can't cope with the realities single people deal with on a regular basis I think it is more his.your problem then the bride's.

Fleur

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2012, 03:13:01 PM »
that is pretty much what single people do on a regular basis.  Of course, the difference would be that when the formalities were over there would probably be an empty seat at his table that you might be able to sit in for a bit and you could spend a significant amount of time dancing, standing, etc. with him.

Honestly, if he can't cope with the realities single people deal with on a regular basis I think it is more his.your problem then the bride's.

I don't understand what the experience of single people has to do with this situation, as the OP and her husband are not single but a couple. You could say 'well xyz person has to do this, why can't you' about almost any situation. I'm not sure it is helpful to compare situations which are not alike.

TurtleDove

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #39 on: October 17, 2012, 03:45:25 PM »
[Sitting at the head table] bothers me, because [DH] would be sitting by himself and he would know no one there. He is also not thrilled with the idea.

This is from the OP.  I think what some posters are pointing out is that to many (most?) people, this is something we have all faced at some point or another.  In the business world, it is routine to attend events where you don't really know anyone.  I don't think anyone is trying to compare the OP and her DH to single people.  The point, as I see it, is that it's not really that odd of a situation to not know anyone at an event, and single people are always without an SO and they somehow survive.  Moreover, here the DH does know his wife and the bride, he simply would not be seated by them for however long dinner lasts.  If this is is hill to die on, then it is.  I think it comes across as rather SS. It also comes across as borderline rude that the DH would have no interest in anyone other than his wife.

Sharnita

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #40 on: October 17, 2012, 03:51:23 PM »
Exactly. This is not a vastly difficult situation. It might not be ideal but we deal with less than ideal pretty regularly. I am not sure the HC need to make adjustments to please DH.

Mikayla

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #41 on: October 17, 2012, 11:20:09 PM »
OP,  if you truly do not want to be seated separately from your husband, I think you can gracefully decline being a bridesmaid.  However, when you do, do not offer any reason.

You can simply say "Best Friend, you know that I am so happy for you.  I would love to be in your wedding party, but it's just something I cannot do at this time.  Husband and I are looking forward to attending your wedding, though."

You do not actually need to tell her that you cannot be in the wedding because you don't want your husband to sit alone for an hour or two.

However, if you have already accepted the role of bridesmaid, I don't think you should back out.  If you have not, then you are not obligated to accept the honour.  It is no different than if you did not have the time or the finances to commit.

Thank you for pointing this out!  I went back and re-read the op, and it's still not completely clear to me, but it almost sounds like OP has not actually agreed to do this.  In that case, like you say, she simply declines.

It's a different issue if she accepted, especially if this was a while ago or the wedding is approaching.

So I think we need clarification on these things. 

Deetee

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #42 on: October 17, 2012, 11:33:21 PM »
My answer changes if you or your husband would be truely miserable during the event due to social anxiety etc...

Otherwise, I think you and your husband should attend. One of the hallmarks of being an adult is the ability to attend a social event on ones own and make pleasant conversation with your seatmates at dinner.


Talley

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2012, 03:55:24 AM »
I suffer from social axiety, and I feel incredibly awkward in situations where I don't know anyone to the point of being unable to enjoy myself.

Yet I still have attended a few weddings (which were rather large affairs, so lots of people there) with my then BF (now DH) where I did only slightly knew the bride and groom, didn't even speak the same language as pretty much all of the people present, and where BF was in the bridal party, so not with me for quite a bit of time. Was I nervous about going there? You bet I was! But I still went because it meant a lot to BF. And it turned out that it also meant a lot to the respective bride and groom at each wedding. With a bit of effort I even managed to have a good time - and I did talk to people I had never met before!

Perhaps the OP's best friend, the bride, could look at the seating arrangement and seat the OP's husband with someone who can "take care" of him a little while the OP sits at the head table. Or perhaps the husbend could sit with someone the OP knows and they could meet up beforehand, so this person wouldn't be a total stranger? But the OP doesn't have to spend the whole evening nailed to her chair at the head table either, so once the formal part is over, I am sure she can mingle and join her husband. And while I didn't believe it before, I now know that even a few hours of sitting among complete strangers won't kill you  ;)


WillyNilly

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Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2012, 01:13:40 PM »
I'm totally on team OP & DH here. I have nothing nice to say about head tables - I think they are a terrible thing to do on several levels.

I also don't get people saying "its just for dinner". Most likely OP will have to be with the bride before the wedding & during the ceremony, so DH is arriving and sitting at church alone. Then the WP is whisked away for photos, so DH has to get to the reception and get through all of cocktail hour alone. Then comes main room, when finally he gets to see his wife... nope. Now its appetizer/salad course. Then toasts. Then dinner. Then special dances. Then cake/dessert course. Sitting at a different table combined with OP being a BM would probably mean well over 60-80% of the day apart. And since the OP doesn't live near her friend I'm betting this wedding means some travel... so now let's add in the possibility the day before the wedding the OP will also be called away (for nail appointments, etc) leaving her DH to fend for himself alone.

But! I think, unless its really really common in her area, the bride will be guided away from a head table by her caterer. She's talking about 16 people at one table, along one side "Last Supper" style. This is a logistical nightmare. It takes up a huge amount of space, its a hassle to serve and the people sitting at the ends will be miserable anyway. A better option is a sweetheart flanked by a bridesmaid's table and a groomsmen table. And with 7 in each party, that's a small table - the caterer will probably push to flush those out to 10-14 per table...which would mean each attendant + their SO.

Edited to fix typos (I typed it on my phone...)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2012, 01:54:00 PM by WillyNilly »