Author Topic: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"  (Read 9460 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Fleur

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 428
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2012, 01:38:11 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 curch alone. Then the WP is whisked away for photos, so DH has to get to the wedding 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 miserale 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.

I hadn't even thought of some of the points that you raise, but I totally agree with all of it. I, too, dislike the head table, I find it showy in a bad way and rather awkward to boot.

Bethalize

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4660
    • Toxic People Survival Checklist
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #46 on: October 22, 2012, 05:39:33 PM »
I am of the view that if you break one tradition you might as well break them all. If you want married bridesmaids instead of unmarried young women (to help confuse the evil spirits!) then why demand they sit at the head table?

kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12184
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #47 on: October 22, 2012, 11:11:33 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...)


I find this to be pretty insulting.  We had a head table at our reception 30+ years ago - it was simply the way that things were done then, and no one batted an eye.  Considerate HCs made sure that the SOs of attendants were seated with people that they already knew, and they were not separated for "hours".  Of course, this was also during the era that BMs were not expected to spend the better part of the wedding day at the spa, and posed photos of the WP did not usually take more than about a half-hour.

And I've never seen a venue where 14 people can be seated at a round table.  IMO, it's more like 8 or 10.  So I really don't buy your argument that this can be solved so easily.

sparksals

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17262
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #48 on: October 23, 2012, 02:32:37 AM »
Pod!  I found it insulting too. 


WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #49 on: October 23, 2012, 08:39:32 AM »
I've never seen a table at a wedding that couldn't hold at least 12 people, usually they are ovals seating 10-14 (but even rounds can seat 12, and with 7 BMs chances are at least 2 will be flying solo).  Caterers will push strongly to not have less then 8 at a table and even that they aren't thrilled with.

I'm not sure what you found insulting though I apologize for hurting feelings. I dislike head tables though and I can't apologize for that. I think they are impractical and I think its not kind to separate your closest friends from their SO's while allowing yourself and every other guest the option of sitting with theirs. And I do think its a bummer for the friend on the very end. YMMV.

Having worked the industry they *are* a logistical nightmare. There's a reason caterers started the sweetheart table trend (a lot of reception "traditions" are actually in place for practical reasons). 16 people at a head table would require 3 6-foot tables (and that would still be tight). That's a huge chunk of floor space with no place for servers to cut through, so they have to maneuver behind the guests, inching to the side with heavy trays in hand. Tables they can walk around are much easier. If the WP was smaller maybe it'd be a different story but we are talking about a huge group here. A head table with 2-3 attendants on each side is not comparable to 7 attendants each.

And maybe they did work socially in the past but the reality is, posed pictures do tend to run entire cocktail hour these days, or they are for 1-3 hours pre-ceremony, and the courses and speeches and special dances do take up much of the reception time, and bridesmaids often do spend 1-5 hours at salons (or the brides home, or hotel room, etc) either the morning of or the day before getting ready. Sure there are breaks in between courses & speeches, etc, but then its back to your table.

And the reality is people want to sit with their SO's. One can say its traditional for couples to not sit together at formal dinner parties, but if that's the tradition being followed then it should be across the board - the bride & groom should sit separately, their parents should be seated apart, their grandparents & relatives and all their other friends etc should then be seated at separate tables from their spouses & dates. Because at a traditional dinner party hosts didn't just separate their guests, they separated themselves too. Its fine to use any element of formal hosting but one should be consistent in its application.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 09:01:26 AM by WillyNilly »

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21246
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #50 on: October 23, 2012, 09:00:53 AM »
OK - so if there ws no wedding and they were just home for the weekend the wife would never go for an errand without her husband, never gets her hair done without him coming along, etc?

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #51 on: October 23, 2012, 09:20:21 AM »
OK - so if there ws no wedding and they were just home for the weekend the wife would never go for an errand without her husband, never gets her hair done without him coming along, etc?

Huh?  If they were home the husband could amuse himself in any number of ways of his own choice - spend time with his friends, engage in his hobbies, watch TV, etc.  If he's at a wedding he's not at home, so its not really comparable.  The DH in this case would be asked to socialize, with strangers, alone, for at least a few cumulative hours at a wedding.  At home he might be without his wife, but he's not being asked to socialize nor is his time being dictated in anyway.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21246
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #52 on: October 23, 2012, 09:35:32 AM »
OK - so if there ws no wedding and they were just home for the weekend the wife would never go for an errand without her husband, never gets her hair done without him coming along, etc?

Huh?  If they were home the husband could amuse himself in any number of ways of his own choice - spend time with his friends, engage in his hobbies, watch TV, etc.  If he's at a wedding he's not at home, so its not really comparable.  The DH in this case would be asked to socialize, with strangers, alone, for at least a few cumulative hours at a wedding.  At home he might be without his wife, but he's not being asked to socialize nor is his time being dictated in anyway.

I am talking about the day before - when you lament he may also be without his wife.  He isn't being asked to do any of those things and yet you are counting those hours as part of his suffering.  He might even be at work during that time, who knows.

If we are going to consider the hours they might be apart the day before the wedding then we need to be realistic about the reality that they might be apart anyway and that during the time she is at the salon he probably won't have to socialize with anyone.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #53 on: October 23, 2012, 09:44:48 AM »
OK - so if there ws no wedding and they were just home for the weekend the wife would never go for an errand without her husband, never gets her hair done without him coming along, etc?

Huh?  If they were home the husband could amuse himself in any number of ways of his own choice - spend time with his friends, engage in his hobbies, watch TV, etc.  If he's at a wedding he's not at home, so its not really comparable.  The DH in this case would be asked to socialize, with strangers, alone, for at least a few cumulative hours at a wedding.  At home he might be without his wife, but he's not being asked to socialize nor is his time being dictated in anyway.

I am talking about the day before - when you lament he may also be without his wife.  He isn't being asked to do any of those things and yet you are counting those hours as part of his suffering.  He might even be at work during that time, who knows.

If we are going to consider the hours they might be apart the day before the wedding then we need to be realistic about the reality that they might be apart anyway and that during the time she is at the salon he probably won't have to socialize with anyone.

That was if there was travel involved.  If he's home (or doing his normal routine) the day before is no biggie, obviously.  But if they are out of town (its not clear if the OP lives near her BFF, she only says they don't see each other often and are more phone friends) then the OP's DH isn't at home getting to do whatever he wants, such as his hobbies, or spending time with his friends, or sitting on his sofa watching his TV.  He's in a hotel or the like, either alone or socializing with strangers.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21246
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #54 on: October 23, 2012, 09:46:15 AM »
Most hotels these days have invested in tvs.

SoCalVal

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2081
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #55 on: October 23, 2012, 03:45:17 PM »
I think that people are being a little hard on the OP. I can totally feel where she is coming from, weddings are stressful events and can cause severe social anxiety: I have felt miserable at a lot of weddings. A true friend would understand that. If I was the one getting married, I wouldn't want my friend to be unhappy just to celebrate 'my day'.

I agree with you.  I don't think the OP is wrong in stating she'd be miserable.  I have a lot of social anxiety and pretty much KNOW when a social gathering will be a tough one for me.  It's often not a self-fulfilling prophecy; there are just things you know.  When I am very interested in an activity, I really don't care or notice that I don't know anyone else because I'm way too into the activity; when it's something that's purely social, I, more often than not, really don't enjoy it (e.g., cooking and baking classes or activities don't require me to know anyone because I am so into the class or activity and I almost always attend these knowing no one).

Slightly O/T -- I expect that I *will* be somewhat miserable at MY wedding reception.  Why?  Because I hate hate HATE being the center of attention and get worn out from constant and prolonged social interaction.  However, I'm not going into this expecting it's a foregone conclusion; I just know that this is not a situation I prefer (I'm doing the BWW for DF; I wanted just us, two witnesses and the priest...seriously).  I'll do the best I can to weather the situation, but I also won't be surprised if I'm not enjoying it either.



MerryCat

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1838
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #56 on: November 07, 2012, 11:20:50 PM »
OP, I think that if you'd be that uncomfortable away from your husband then you should decline the bridesmaid position, preferably ASAP so that the bride can make other plans. I realize that social anxieties can make it miserable to be alone, and I'm sure that if you explain it to the bride she'll understand too. But it would be SS to ask her to change things around. If she offers, of her own accord, that is another thing altogether.

stargazer

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5405
Re: Married Bridesmaids VS "The Head Table"
« Reply #57 on: November 08, 2012, 01:08:04 AM »
My circle tables sat SIX.  Maximum of eight but that would have been pushing it.  I was able to have spouses at my head table because I had so few attendants but I have had to sit separately and so has my husband and it's not an issue.  Once we got to our table, most of our time was spent mingling with other guests anyway so at that point the OP and husband could be together again except for maybe actually the eating of dinner.