Please Be Seated…And Be Happy About It

by admin on February 4, 2013

Last fall Angie and Kevin had a quiet family-only civil ceremony which they announced to friends (including myself and Jenny) over dinner at their house in October. Angie said she didn’t tell us earlier as she did not want to take attention away from Jenny’s wedding as Jenny was to be married to Jon in November of the same year.

Jenny and Jon’s wedding was a hectic DIY wedding and the bride, groom and wedding party were doing a lot of the work themselves. I was a bridesmaid and involved in many ways but not with the seating chart. Angie was a supportive friend and went to florist appointments as well as attended and helped MC the bachelorette party hosted by the MOH at my apartment.

The day of the wedding several mini-disasters are averted, including missing half of the table seating tags! A laptop is found and an OLD version of the seating chart is displayed onscreen in the bar area, a high-tech but creative solution to the problem. The guests mingle for about an hour in the general bar area, having plenty of time to chat with whomever they please and see where they are to sit. Eventually the crowd is herded into the reception hall and seat themselves as assigned.

As the wedding party are lining up for the big entrance to some music, Angie goes up to the groom to mention that she is clearly not seated at the table she was supposed to be with all our mutual friends. (She was two tables over and still close to the head table.) The groom tells her in an exasperated tone to sit where she is assigned and “make some new friends”. Angie goes to sit down obviously unhappy.

Later on in the evening I go over to Angie’s table to discuss and maybe defuse the situation. Not finding her I talk to Kevin, her husband, and explain that there was a mix-up with the seating chart and that their seating is not a personal statement of their relationship to the bride. He was not convinced.  I mentioned that my own date was not even at the table with people he knew rather he was at the “wedding party date table” with people he didn’t know and was having a good time. I explained also that the groom was under a lot of pressure from trying to keep the little problems that cropped up away from the bride. In different circumstances I’m sure he would have been more polite. Personally I would have sat at my table and not rocked the boat.

They were free to sit where they wanted once dinner and speeches were over, and I did see them talking to their friends later on in the evening. Angie is seen here and there having indignant conversations with guests as well as parents of the bride regarding the seating arrangements. She leaves later with the issue unresolved.

Months after the wedding Angie has not spoken to the bride and they (and I) saw each other at a recent get together for another girlfriend’s birthday. They seemed to be talking in a conciliatory way when the bride burst out loudly saying that it was her freaking day and that it was not about Angie. The bride then leaves the party leaving Angie, the birthday girl and a few others to discuss the event. Again I try to explain in neutral terms that the seating is not a political statement. Angie doesn’t buy it stating she is owed an apology for the slight.

I would like to know what the ehell readers think should have happened, was Angie slighted? Was the groom rude? Did i do wrong by talking to Kevin?  And what should a slighted guest do in this situation? 0204-13

Angie needs to get over herself.  She has turned the wedding into a spectacle and drama about her poor, damaged ego.   I and my husband were once seated way in the back of the reception hall, far, far away from the head table.   BUT we were far, far away from the huge speakers the DJ had that blared deafeningly and we were steps away from the shrimp cocktail.   Our table companions were a hoot, too.   One can either wallow in self pity over the often erroneous perception of decline of status or one can make the best of the situation and be the kind of guest your hosts love to invite repeatedly to other functions.

{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Mae February 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I agree with Admin- Angie needs to get over herself! The fact that she felt the need to discuss it months later, at mutual friends’s birthday, makes me think she is a bit of a drama queen. She made the friend’s birthday about her too

Reply

Diana February 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I agree that Angie needs to get over herself. No matter what circumstances (seating chart issues or not) she should never have been upset about where she was sat.
My husband and I were once invited to a wedding of two of our friends from college. The bride’s father was very ill (he passed away a week or two after the wedding), and as such, most of the wedding & reception was thrown together at the last minute, so that he would be able to attend (which he did, and it was wonderful to see). The reception venue was booked only a few weeks before the wedding, and the seating chart was made up the night before by the bride’s mother. Because of the rushed circumstances of the wedding, they couldn’t find a hall big enough to accommodate all their guests, so they booked a restaurant with one big room & one smaller adjoining room. My husband and I, along with a few other couples from college, and some other of the bride & groom’s friends, were seated in the adjoining room. We couldn’t see, or hear, what was going on in the main room at all. Every once in a while, we would hear a loud cheer, pop our heads out, and realize that we had just missed some big moment (cake cutting, 1st dance, etc.). But it was fine, we understood the circumstances, and we were just happy that we got to attend, and the the bride’s dad was able to be there for the wedding. We ended up having a really great time with all the other people who were with us in the little room, which we dubbed ‘the kids table), and I still look back on that wedding with a lot of fond memories.

Reply

June First February 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

It’s too bad the bride internalized this and then blurted it out at the gf’s birthday party.
That’s really the only misstep she made.
Why on earth would Angie start complaining to the groom as the wedding party is about to be announced?? What is he going to do about it then?

Maybe there’s something else going on here between the bride and Angie. Did Angie ever get thanked for her help leading up to the wedding? That’s really the only thing I can think of, unless Angie wanted to be a bridesmaid and she wasn’t asked. And those aren’t valid reasons to behave like that at the reception. Yikes!

Reply

Sarah February 5, 2013 at 11:23 am

I’m guessing the bride didn’t just burst out with these hidden feelings. I’m inclicned to think Angie brought up the wedding and after the bride trying to calmly explain the situation and passify angie, couldn’t take it anymore when angie kept badgering her and that is likely what brought about the exclamation of it being her day.

Reply

Nikki February 7, 2013 at 10:54 am

I am inclined to agree with Sarah. It seems to me to have been an occasion where the bride was trying to explain the situation (which was bound to be a failure based on what the OP has already told us), and Angie refused to believe her and kept pushing her. It wouldn’t surprise me that the bride would feel pushed into a corner at that point and would make a (rather small by comparison, IMHO) misstep such as she did.

Reply

June First February 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Oh, I agree that the bride’s misstep was small. But blurting it out and then leaving kind of opened the door for the others to talk. I guess we’re all extrapolating from what the OP wrote.

Personally, I think the best thing the bride could have done if Angie was complaining about it months later at a mutual friend’s birthday party is to say quietly, “We’ve already gone over this, Angie. We didn’t create the seating chart to spite you. (suddenly cheerful) So, Jenny! How else are you celebrating your birthday this weekend??”

Reply

June First February 13, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Ooops. I didn’t realize “Jenny” was one of the names OP used. I was using it as a placeholder for the friend’s name.

WildIrishRose February 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I must be some sort of weirdo, because it never occurred to me to get upset about where I was seated at a reception, or whether or not alcohol was served at a reception, or to try to equate the value of my gift with the dinner being served at a reception, or any of that nonsense. What’s wrong with people, anyway?

Reply

spyderqueen February 5, 2013 at 9:39 am

That is because you are a decent person, WildIrishRose.

But yeah, I don’t understand seating drama.

Then again, the last time I was in any sort of “assigned” seat situation was when my sister had her “Yay, we got married party” (where she studiously avoided the phrase “reception”); I wasn’t sitting anywhere near the bride and groom, and my parents were even further away. His family was a little closer, but we knew this wasn’t a slight, this was a BIG deal for his family and my family doesn’t really stand on ceremony (I’m her only sister and I didn’t even come to see her *actually* get married). I have no IDEA how my sister managed to put her seating arrangements together, considering she carefully grouped people based on who was familiar with each other and who was likely to get along with people they didn’t know very well, and considered what the volume level would be like for some tables and set some people in quieter areas than others. I think she should write a book on how to do things based entirely on that event, but didn’t suggest it because I didn’t want a death glare from her because she had made it kinda clear she never wanted to go through that stress again.

Reply

No Wedding February 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I’ve only been to one wedding that had a seating chart. Every other one I’ve been to, the head table was reserved for the bridal party and everyone else just seated themselves and there didn’t seem to be a problem with that.

The few times I accompanied my X (I was invited) to weddings in which he served as a member of the bridal party I always felt awkward. He sat with the bridal party obviously and I’d end up at another table. Many times the only people I knew was the X and the bride and groom, and I have a bit of a social phobia, so talking to new people makes me very nervous. But I sucked it up and dealt with it, so should have Angie!

Reply

Wendy B. February 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Not only does Angie need to get over herself, everyone else needs to stop feeding her entitled attitude. Every time she starts up on how she was treated, whoever she is talking to need to say, “That was a while ago and is water under the bridge. Would you like some bean dip?”

It seems Angie may actually be jealous that Jen had a “big day” and she didn’t…she was trying to feed off of her friend’s day and when things didn’t go as she planned, she threw a fit. It may be time for the bride to put some distance between herself and Angie.

Diana: You reminded me of going to my cousin’s wedding. Somehow we ended up at a back table with her other aunt and uncle and a couple we didn’t know (supposedly one of her best friends from college). By the end of the evening the teens had built a creative tower of pop cans and the rest of us were laughing until our stomachs hurt from silliness…we kept forgetting there were other things going on around us!

Reply

Lakey February 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Being an adult means understanding that you don’t always get what you want in life. Angie didn’t get to sit with the people she expected to sit with, she spent her time at the reception grumbling to people instead of enjoying herself, and is still griping months later?

“And what should a slighted guest do in this situation? ”
Easy. Get over it. I’m a somewhat shy and socially awkward adult who has often been at events, or been seated around people I didn’t know. In almost all cases people are friendly and include you. I went on one of those bus trips through Europe alone and had a great time.

I feel sorry for Angie, and I wouldn’t waste any more time pandering to her grudge.

Reply

KatiaT February 4, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I have mixed feelings regarding this. I get that it wasn’t Angie’s day, but Jenny and Jon’s seating issues shouldn’t be brushed off so easily. I get that it’s hectic, and there were problems. But since it is your wedding, you need to control it, fix the issues that arise, and not snap at people to just sit where they are told, especially since Angie has helped out the couple during planning. It’s J & J’s faults for not planning their wedding out properly. Seating arrangements are huge, because you know the people you’re inviting and how they will treat the situation if slighted. Angie and her husband over-reacted. But they should have been treated with more respect. The wedding is not for the bride or groom, it’s for the guests. You can get married without guests. Once you invite guests, they should be your priority in making sure they enjoy the celebrations.

Reply

Agania February 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Katia T,
You have a point but Angie should have left the groom alone and approached the MOB or similar. Yes, guests are the priority but really, what was the groom going to do about it just before they were announced? Angie needed to be a good guest and sit where she was assigned. A least she was seated with her husband. People table hop after the main course anyway. Dragging it up months later is not scoring her any points or sympathy. She need to pull her head in and get over it.

Reply

LEMon February 4, 2013 at 11:11 pm

But they had resolved the issue. They went with an older plan, yes, because that was all they had. But they had a plan and stuff happened, and they had to improvise. One cannot recreate all the changes made to the seating chart in seconds. She had a seat – it just wasn’t good enough for her.

I’m trying to think what the groom could have done. Should he have been more polite? Yes. But should she have been making a fuss over this issue at that point in the event? No since nothing could be done at that point.

Reply

Bint February 5, 2013 at 8:53 am

Are you serious? Angie was seated with her husband amongst friends of the bride and groom. This is not a slight under any circumstances. Angie was *extremely* rude for:

1. Whining about her seating position. I wanna sit with my friiiiiiiiends! What is she, six?
2. Whining to the GROOM. He has just got married! He’s about to have his wedding breakfast and Angie thinks he should find her a better place to sit?
3. Assuming this was a slight. Maybe the bride and groom couldn’t fit anyone else on that table, had to move one couple, and thought Angie and Kevin would get on really well with the other table.
4. Implicitly insulting every other guest at the table she was given by demanding to be moved.
5. Not speaking to the bride afterwards, sulking and whining at a party. Good grief.

There was no ‘problem’ here. The bride and groom drew up a seating chart of all their guests, all of whom sat together and enjoyed the same hospitality. They should not have to ‘fix’ the fact that one spoiled, silly woman did not like where she was placed. To say this was their fault for ‘not planning their wedding properly’ is ridiculous. What if someone moaned that they didn’t want to sit by the door? Or someone felt they couldn’t see well enough? Should the groom postpone the wedding breakfast and deal with them too?

I think the groom treated Angie with more respect than she deserved. Having a strop over her seat to the man whose wedding it is! She made a total fool of herself and I’m surprised nobody’s told her so. Rude as the bride was to shout at Angie, what she actually said to her was bang on.

Reply

delislice February 12, 2013 at 9:07 am

“The wedding is not for the bride and groom, it’s for the guests?” Yeah, no way that could explode.

Actually, the wedding *is* for the bride and groom … but not necessarily *about* the bride and groom. Which is sometimes what leads to bridezillas and groomonsters.

The guests are, ideally, people you care about so much that you want them to share in your special day. A wedding is not *for* the guests, nor is it *about* the guests.

The bride and groom should not be so focused on their own pleasure that they force outdoor ceremonies in the rain, too-small or too-large locations, or avoidable long waits.

The guests should not be so focused on their own pleasure that they forget what the day is all about.

The wedding is for the bride and groom, and about the joining of two or more existing families and the creating of a new one. It’s about publicly declaring your commitment to each other, and having the people you love witness that declaration.

Reply

Gee February 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Angie sounds like a drama queen. Better off without her company in the future, I’d say.

Reply

JediKaiti February 4, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Angie is WAY off base and needs to apologize to Jenny for being such a self-centered cretin and blowing up a lousy chair at Jenny’s wedding and then continuing to do so. I am sure by now Jenny is regretting having invited Angie at all.

Reply

LEMon February 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Gee, has Angie never had something go wrong at the last minute and had to do the best she could? The hosts did the best they could, but things had gone wrong. Angie needs to apologize and let this go fast or she is going to severely damage lots of friendships.

Even if the hosts had seated her in a less than desirable spot on purpose, she still should have focused on being a good guest and not made a fuss about it. As the admin points out, that is how one shows one’s class and character.

Reply

Shiny Gloria February 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm

At one niece’s wedding my husband and were not only seated as far from the wedding party as possible, we were also seated at a table by ourselves behind a large freestanding column with a huge arrangement on it. We waited a few minutes, saw two empty seats at a table with other family members and quietly moved to that table. I doubt that the wedding couple noticed, we never said anything about it, and the other family members were happy to have us join them.

I suppose we could have complained, but what good would it have done? I did mention that my name was wrong on my place card, and got some lame excuse. That bothered me more than the seating.

Reply

Vera February 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Angie should have just shut up and sat down.

Personally, I hate seating charts. The bride and groom having enough on the plate without having to decide where I sit and quite frankly, as an adult, I can figure out where to sit on my own.

Reply

Jane February 5, 2013 at 11:12 am

I agree. This is why I didn’t have a seating chart at my wedding – they cause too much unnecessary drama.

Reply

AS February 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm

The main reason for seating charts (at least at our wedding) was to make sure that couples get to sit together, everyone gets to sit with at least someone who knows someone else, and finally, introducing people who we think might get along making them chat with each other. I have noticed way too often that people who come in later (very often the people who are busy with organizing / helping out, etc.) have to take some random seat with a random group where everyone knows each other except them; and often couples get separated because they cannot find seats together. Everyone can figure out where to sit, but no one is going to try and figure out where other people are going to sit, and make sure everyone is comfortable.

Reply

June First February 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm

AS–This was my thinking before our wedding, but I was overruled by DH and MOG. They gave the “everyone can be an adult and figure it out themselves” argument. As it turns out, just having an assigned head table worked out fine.

Reply

Kate February 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm

It’s not the reason I’m having a cocktail reception, but it’s certainly an advantage! We are just having a head table and assorted seating around the room, particularly for older guests who need to sit down more often.

Reply

Cami February 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

AS — I agree with you. Whenever there is not a seating chart, we somehow end up in the back of the hall seated with people who pretend we don’t exist – after we’ve just given of our time and talent helping out the HC. One time that has gone down in our family lore, we had two weddings one weekend and chose to attend Wedding #2 because the bride and groom had asked for our help. It involved out of state travel, hotel and food costs, etc. We ran around helping for hours that day. When all was said and done, we couldn’t even find two seats at the same table and both seats we did find were in an adjoining room instead of the main room. We could neither see nor hear the festivities and both of us were at tables with people who ignored our existence except to protest vociferously when we tried to drag a chair to the tables so we could sit together. We ended up STANDING, then leaving early and wished we’d gone to the other wedding at which we’d have just been guests having a good time instead of unpaid help thrown to the back of the bus.

Reply

Jdbar93 February 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm

The closest thing I’ve had to a seating disaster was the wedding that my wife and I once attended one of her co-worker’s weddings. We were supposed to sit at a “co-workers” table that could seat 8, but was going to only have 5 occupants. Unfortunately, 1 got sick and didn’t make it, and then the other 2 bailed without giving notice, leaving my wife and I sitting by ourselves at this big huge table. To make it even more interesting, our table was the one closest to the buffet, so we got all kinds of great looks from the other guests as they saw our “private table.” The bride was incredibly apologetic, but it wasn’t at all her fault so we just had a good laugh at the situation.

Reply

InNM February 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm

It may have been that Angie felt her sense of self-importance inflated because she had helped with the wedding planning, and thought that, without her, the wedding would not have been as grand as it was. Thus, in her mind, she deserved a place of honor.
I’m *trying* to plan my own wedding now (trying being the operative word, because school and life keep interrupting), and one of the items I saw on this very site says that you should treat family and friends like vendors, offering to pay them for their time. I think that is very wise. I, too, am on a budget, and I don’t have money to spread around and pad everyone’s pockets; but by negotiating some “payment” or barter, you set up the terms and agreements of using their services, including how said person will be compensated (whether by actual cash, time, or acknowledgements at the wedding). Unfortunately, some people love playing the martyr so that they can be showered with accolades of how wonderful and great they are, and they are put in the spotlight. Negotiating the terms up front prevents you from playing into their game too much, I think.

Reply

WillyNilly February 5, 2013 at 12:22 am

I think there are other things going on here that we aren’t hearing about since this is all second hand. I also wonder if Angie was feeling slighted over other things and this was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I had 200 guests at my wedding and honestly the seating plan took my less then 45 minutes and was one of the easiest parts of planning. I have heard its not that easy for everyone, but I find it hard to believe its truly *hard*. Something could have been whipped up from the old draft, instead of just using a plan that obviously already been rejected (hence it no longer being the current chart) if the bride or groom had just sat for 15 minutes and thought about it.

If Jenny and Jon couldn’t handle making their guests the priority for the day then they shouldn’t have had so many (like Angie’s own wedding). You don’t need guests to be married. At its core all a wedding reception is, is a party. That’s it, nothing more – a party. And to snap at your guests like you are more important? Kevin was rude and wrong. His moment was the ceremony, the reception is all about the guests. The least he could have done was been gracious “I know Angie, we are so sorry the chart is screwed up. Please just bear with us and sit at that table for dinner.”

And the Jen the bride was straight up nasty and conceited to months later, when Angie is being “conciliatory”, to burst out and make someone else’s birthday all about her long past wedding and then flounce out. That behavior alone makes me think there were bigger issues at hand and they stemmed from a bridezilla, not a guestzilla.

Reply

PrettySticks February 5, 2013 at 11:23 am

This! Absolutely. Yes, of course Angie should have sucked it up, but I doubt she would have been so upset about it had the groom acted like a proper host and not like his guests were a burden. Now, she feels slighted by the seating AND she’s been snapped at by the groom.

For all we know, the bride may have made a big deal to Angie about the table where she thought she’d be sitting, saying she was seating her very best friends together. Or maybe she honestly thought the bride would be unhappy if she weren’t at that table. (Off-topic, but fun, example: I was at a wedding where the bride was very nervous standing up and making a thank you speech to all the guests from the head table. A friend had said the bride should look at her during the speech and she’d make goofy faces to loosen her up. So the bride made sure the friend was at a table right in her sightline. The friend did make her laugh during her speech, and it turned out very cute.:))

But whatever the reasoning, the groom saying exactly what WillyNilly suggests would have ended the whole thing. And it shouldn’t even have been said necessarily to mollify Angie, but because it was the truth. Having a bridesmaid semi-explain to her husband later is really not the same thing. Snafus are going to happen; how one responds to those snafus is what’s important, and the groom did not respond well.

And yes, obviously Angie should have let it go. But I think she would have, had the groom not blown her off so rudely.

Reply

Lizza February 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I really don’t think Jen was being “nasty” to tell Angie to get over it – it was months later, and Angie obviously brought it up. At that point, what else can you say? It’s water under the bridge and nothing can be changed at that point. And yes, while the groom could have been more polite, but Angie could have chosen a much better time to talk to him. What is he supposed to do when he’s in line, waiting for the grand march?

Reply

WillyNilly February 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Where do you get Angie brought it up months later? That’s not “obvious” at all. the OP says:

“Months after the wedding Angie has not spoken to the bride and they (and I) saw each other at a recent get together for another girlfriend’s birthday. They seemed to be talking in a conciliatory way when the bride burst out loudly saying that it was her freaking day and that it was not about Angie. The bride then leaves the party leaving Angie, the birthday girl and a few others to discuss the event.”

That says to me Angie isn’t bringing the seating, or anything else up to the bride at all. She hasn’t spoken to the bride and at the party was acting “conciliatory” which to me means polite “how have you been?” type chatting. The *bride* is the one who brought it up months later with a public outburst and the *bride* made a scene at the mutual friend’s birthday party; clearly the bride is the one who is holding onto the issue and trying to rehash it.

Reply

AS February 5, 2013 at 6:53 pm

@WillyNilly: “They seemed to be talking in a conciliatory way …” tells me that the OP was not in the conversation, and probably saw the two of them talk from a distance where she could not hear either of them until Jenny burst out. If OP heard the conversation, the wording he/she used is too strange. If Jenny was going to burst out without Angie starting the conversation, she probably would have burst out as soon as she saw Angie at the party and not after a seemingly conciliatory conversation. We have seen enough bizarre things on this site, but someone bursting out without any provocation after chatting for a while with a person would be unique. Or the person is Schizophrenic; but I would not do a random diagnosis without even knowing the person or having any other evidence.

Reply

aikigirl February 5, 2013 at 7:15 pm

It said they ” seemed to be talking in a conciliatory way”. This is a third party observation. The third party doesn’t even say whether she heard what the conversation was about. She may have observed this from across the room and assumed it was conciliatory but in reality the bride was trying to be as polite as possible and finally had enough. There is absolutely no indication who brought up the subject at the birthday party, it could have been either party and there is no indication of the trajectory of the conversation. For all we know the bride has been dealing with this as politely as possible for the last few months and no amount of reasonable talk was getting through to Angie.

Reply

DannysGirl February 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I pictured Angie giving a classic non-apology:

Angie: Jen, I’m sorry that all my help wasn’t good enough that you had to seat me with strangers. I thought it was an oversight that I wasn’t placed with our mutual friends. When I tried to fix it, your husband blew up at me. That was when I knew how much I *really* meant to you.

Jen: Angie, I am tired of discussing this! How many times can I say that the seating arrangement was not a reflection of our friendship? It was my freakin’ day; it was not all about you, Angie!!

In other words, Angie sounds conciliatory, but she’s still holding a grudge. That’s how I read the OP.

Reply

Ponytail February 6, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Let me get this straight – the bride and groom have just got married and you think they should sit down for ’15 minutes’ to try and remember where everybody was sitting, even though the place tags have been lost ? For what you claim is a ‘party’ ? Either it’s an important, formal event, in which case Angie should maybe have spoken to someone else, or it is indeed just a party, in which case, what is Angie fussing about ?
Not that I’m having a big wedding, but if I were, as welcome as all my guests would be, you better believe they would not be ‘the priority of the day’ – that’d be my fiance and the legal ceremony.

Reply

Lynne February 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm

My thoughts exactly, Ponytail! Thank you for voicing them.

Reply

scotslass February 16, 2013 at 8:37 am

Thank you, Ponytail! You sound as if you have your head screwed on right and I hope you have a wonderful wedding!

Reply

NostalgicGal February 5, 2013 at 12:40 am

Even if the wedding could have never gone down without Angie, she needs to get over it. And going to the groom right before they’re to go out to complain, is strike one. Strike two is the going around the reception complaining to many others it seems about this. Strike three is the party disrupting some months later.

If Angie is feeling she missed the spotlight then maybe for their anniversary they can host a reception? In any other way to look at this though over the J&J wedding, that ship has sailed and she needs to just get on with life. Nothing else will cause the tape to be rewound and it played over. Life doesn’t have redos.

Reply

ferretrick February 5, 2013 at 6:37 am

So not only did Angie make the wedding all about her and this perceived slight, she also makes another friend’s birthday party all about her and chooses someone else’s special event to continue to pick at this minor issue, driving the bride from the party? Grow. Up.

Reply

GC Girl February 5, 2013 at 9:16 am

Angie needs to lighten up, it’s only a seat! The wedding sounded a little disorganized so if the worst you can complain is you’re not sitting with your friends, then I think the wedding party did well.

I attended my cousin’s wedding where my most of my family was at one table and I was seated at another table with strangers on the other side of the room. When my mother saw this, she sniffed and said to me “What does that say about you?”. I replied, “That unlike your group, the bride thinks I play well with others.” :P (my mom knew I was joking with her and laughed) I was fine, the wedding was great and my table mates were very interesting.

Reply

Shoegal February 5, 2013 at 9:29 am

Weddings are exceedingly political – and unfortunately, seating charts feed into the drama. Numbering the tables – where the tables are placed – all give indication as to your status to the bride and groom- if you are seated in an area that is far below your own perceived status – well, you feel slighted. I think this happens alot – it happened to me. At my cousin’s wedding I was seated at the very last table with a coworker of the bride and the photographer. My entire immediate family were seated at the table next to mine. I made the best of it and got to know the other people seated at my table and I certainly did not complain to anybody about it but I felt somehow slighted.

My mother traveled a distance to my other cousin’s wedding and was seated behind a column at the very last table – it was served last and after they ran out of champagne for the toast – was given water to toast with. My sisters told me how visibly hurt she was. Perhaps it is all an oversight – and whoever devised the seating chart had no intention of hurting anyone – but – it happens.

Angie wasn’t wrong to feel slighted – but she shouldn’t have gone around and complained to everyone at the reception – and I’m sorry – she should not have complained to the groom either. Of all the people, he was going to be the last person to fix the situation. He could have been nicer about it – but he was probably being pulled in a million different directions and trying desperately to be where he was supposed to be. Yes – Angie needs to get over herself – and let it go. She is going on far too long about it even months afterwards. She might have been happier about the turn of events if the bride or groom had made an effort to talk to her about it. They both seem ungracious hosts if they spout off about it being their day.

Reply

Mary February 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

I still don’t know how I feel about seating charts. We didn’t have one. But honestly I had only been to less than ten weddings before I for married and none had seating charts.
Regarding the table numbers…. I attended a wedding where each table was labeled not with a number but with a city or landmark (complete with photo) that held significance to the couple. Hubby and I were assigned (with my college friends) to the table labeled with our university town.
Yes you still have to deal with people being offended by the placement of their table, but this offered a solution to the number situation.

Reply

Bint February 5, 2013 at 10:13 am

“Angie wasn’t wrong to feel slighted”

I truly believe she was. She was ‘close to the head table’. Why on earth should the bride and groom have to talk to her about placing her and her husband at a table? Why? It *was* their day and she interrupted the groom to MOAN about her seat for one dinner?!

I cannot understand how anyone thinks Angie should be pandered to in any way at all. Her behaviour was unbelievably pathetic and childish, and her reaction was just shameful. Complaining about your seat while still at the reception! Yes, what a lovely person she sounds.

Reply

Kate February 5, 2013 at 11:11 pm

I’ve been in that situation once, but I think my fiance and I were on the ‘odds and ends’ table because it was a fairly small wedding, mostly the bride and groom’s families. We had each other to talk to which was fine. The only issue was, one main meal was far more popular than the other so by the time our table was served, we didn’t have a choice of meal.

Reply

Beth F February 5, 2013 at 9:35 am

I’m kinda glad that Angie wasn’t a guest at my wedding. Not only did we not have a seating chart, we totally forgot to set aside a reserved table for our immediate family. In the end I think my dh and I were the only ones who noticed it. :)

Reply

AthenaC February 5, 2013 at 10:22 am

LOL!! That reminds me of a wedding I went to recently where our circle of friends (through which we knew the bride and groom) were all seated at one table …. except for my husband and I. We were seated with a bunch of people we didn’t know. But we chatted with them and overall had a great time. And of course we had plenty of time after dinner to socialize with everyone we already knew. Later on, the bride asked how I liked where we were sitting, and I told her the truth – that I had very much enjoyed the people at our table. She then told me that since it was impossible to put our entire circle at one table, my husband and I were put somewhere else because “You guys are more social and we knew you could handle it.” :)

Reply

Cami February 9, 2013 at 9:44 am

Wow. You’re more social, so you get shunted off elsewhere. Apparently it pays to be anti-social.

Reply

AthenaC February 11, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Being anti-social is a liaiblity; it never “pays” to be anti-social.

Why would you want to be cloistered with only people you already know and see regularly?

Reply

AS February 13, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Cami: You seem to have totally missed the point that AthenaC made. The happy couple put AthenaC and her hubby at a different table because the couple knew that they could handle it. And chances are that the couple actually put a lot of thought into whether or not they would get along with the other people on the table where they are being seated. On the one hand, it could seem like “shunning them to a different table”. But it could also mean that the couple is treating Athena and her DH in a sort of an inner circle of friends who they can depend on to take care of some of the small logistic difficulties that arises at the wedding. AthenaC and her husband seem to have felt the latter, and the very fact that the bride asked and said what she did seems like she meant good too. I don’t see why one should only assume the negative implication in every situation.

Reply

Cheryl February 5, 2013 at 10:58 am

Ok, lets face it, DIY can be a good thing but in this instance, it sounds like the couple is disorganized and the groom could have answered differently and not so rudly. Angie, though, needs to get over it, the wedding is done and the day is over with, no harm. I do however, think that the groom should apologize for his short and insensitive answer at the wedding. Everyone maybe pressured but it does not give you a right to treat people with disrespect.

Reply

AS February 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm

That is why we were glad that our table arrangement was around the sweetheart table and hence no one can really say that a table was too far away than another (we didn’t have too many guests either, so it was convenient). And we didn’t have table numbers.

Angie was nice to start with, to make sure that the limelight was not taken off of Jenny. But I wonder if she felt bad about not having a big wedding, and was starting to be put off by Jamie and Jon’s big wedding. Maybe she was burning within, and putting her at a “less important” table was the last straw before she finally could not hold back her grudge, albeit displaced. I am not condoning her, and she surely needs to grow up. But I was just wondering if there could be a possible reason for it.

Reply

Stacey Frith-Smith February 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm

There is a balance between guest and host. The host owes courtesy and consideration to a guest and should make adequate provision for food, drink and ambiance. A guest owes a duty of respect and of gratitude to a host and should not feel the need to run around seeking favors and extra attention. The fact that both parties snapped at the birthday party months later lends credence to the idea that a little bit of ‘zilla was running amok on both sides of the equation. Couples aren’t the center of the universe, even on the day of their of their wedding. However, neither are the guests. Hopefully, some mutuality of affection will make it possible to avert drama, because we all are supposed to be mature enough to be generous in our allowances for the perceived misdeeds of others. Are we really so insecure that the number of the table we are assigned to or the proximity of our seating to that of the bridal party is the definitive statement of our relationship to the Happy Couple’s social and familial context, and thus of our own sense of significance? Hopefully, that is not the case.

Reply

Ashley February 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I’m glad that most of the weddings I have been to lately didn’t have a seating chart. Even if they did, I sit where I am asked to and make polite conversation with whoever I am seated near, like the grown up I was taught to be. Angie should have done the same

Reply

Harley Granny February 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm

This brought back a not very nice memory of my younger brother’s wedding.

I am the classic middle child, always wanting to keep the peace…this particular brother liked to push the envelope and it was very difficult to like him. I went to bat for him so many times I lost count.
We were tight then and still tight to this day.

Anyway….Imagine my surprise when I found out the my DH and I weren’t seated at the family table. And there were two of them. I’m seated at a table with two people I knew the bride didn’t like and their wives, my brother’s tattoo artist and some stripper he picked up for his date. AND my back was to the dance floor. Imagine how I felt when I turned around to the the rest of the family sitting together and in four of the seats were my mother’s boss, his wife and two of her other co workers.

I was extremely hurt but I never said a word until my sister asked what I had done to deserve such a snub. It was two weeks later that my younger brother called to apologise. It seems my other siblings took him to task.
And when my SIL asked why I made such a big deal about it, I proudly tell her that I didn’t make any deal out of it. I was asked a question, I answered and never brought it up again.

If you do assigned seating, then yes…it does somewhat mean something.

Reply

Angel February 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Harley Granny, in your case you have every right to feel slighted. I am so sorry that happened at your brother’s wedding :(

In the OP’s case though, her friend was in the wrong. She can feel slighted all that she wants but to act like a jackass is just not right. Ugh. People are idiots sometimes when it comes to weddings!!

Reply

Library Diva February 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Like I often say, you can’t control how you feel. Angie had every right to sit there thinking that she’d been slighted, that the bride looked fat in her dress, that the favors were tacky, etc…as long as no one ever knows these thoughts, ever. Where she went wrong was in trying so hard to do something about it and then never shutting up about this grave, grave insult for months. What does she want them to do about it, at this or any other point? She should have been more understanding. If she was in on the planning, she probably knew about the seating chart disaster and should have understood that under any circumstances, all the couple can do is their best. If you’ve got a group of ten friends and your tables seat eight, you won’t all get to sit together. Sheesh. Grow up, Angie!

Reply

OP Be Seated February 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm

OP here, I’m just amazed at the responses.
Ehell posters, you are classy to the core. The few of you that had similar experiences showed how this really should have been handled. Thank you. Posting this has been a cathartic experience, I will definately be taking some of your suggestions to heart.
Have a wonderfull day!

Reply

Casey February 5, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Angie is still holding onto this months later? Drama Queen!

Reply

Gellchom February 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Fail all around. Angie should not have made a fuss at the wedding — her choosing to bring it up to the groom at the moment she did was particularly egregious. The groom should not have spoken to her so rudely, though, and the HC should have been more organized. Whoever caused the fuss at the birthday party — also bad.

I agree with WillyNilly: assigning the tables is an important duty of good hosts, and, in my experience, a fun task. I love thinking about how much this group or that will enjoy having dinner together. Sometimes I keep a group together, sometimes I mix them up a bit, which takes a bit more planning but can lead to a better party, especially if everyone has already been to two or three events that weekend and have already been hanging out a lot with their usual group of cousins/school friends/hometown friends. Especially when I’m a friend, not family, I like it best when I’m seated with mostly people I haven’t met yet or would like to get to know better rather than only with my best friends that I talk to all the time anyway. It’s like how the best dinner parties have eclectic guest lists; the conversation is better.

But my main feeling on this is that although it is true that seating can carry an emotional load, anyone who has ever hosted an event themselves will be a LOT more understanding if they are seated at a table that wouldn’t be their first choice! Our friends and relatives very inconsiderately refuse to exist in neat groups of eight or ten. :-) You always have to have a sort of miscellaneous table, or put the sixth couple in a group at a different table (although actually in that case I’d split the group up and put 2 or 3 couples together at other tables). As in AthenaC’s experience, if you are the one moved, it probably is indeed because you are the one most likely to help some other table sparkle. Your hosts are treating you like true insiders, actually.

Reply

Rosie_Nicks February 6, 2013 at 8:58 am

Couls have bene worse – I went to my partner’s best friend’s wedding recently. My partner was the best man but was seated way over at hte back of the room in a corner, he didn’t even hear when they asked for hte best man to come up to the front to do his speech! Not the bride & groom’s fault on this occasion – the seating plan was done by the mother, and all the richest guests (on her estimate) were closest to the front.Not an ounce of class in that woman, who also sent out a (typed) letter to all the guests to ‘inform’ them that the bride and groom wanted money, not presents.The happy couple had no idea she’d done that either!

Reply

Kate February 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm

That is an absolute etiquette shocker! My understanding was that the bridal party are either seated at the same table as the bride and groom or right next to them.
As for favouring the ‘richer’ guests – what, did the mother think they would walk in, notice their prime seating positions and immediately retrieve their card from the wishing well to put another $100 note in??

Reply

gellchom February 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm

The bridal party aren’t always seated with or near the bride and groom or even all together.
I’m not saying that’s not how it is in your community and I’m sure many others, Kate, but it’s not a universal custom, let alone a rule. In our community, in fact, it would be very unusual. Usually, the attendants are just seated wherever you’d seat them if they weren’t attendants — e.g., cousins with cousins, school friends with school friends, or however you’re arranging your tables. That may be because of the heavy focus on the families at Jewish weddings; the attendants are more minor players, I think. And I’ve definitely never seen a wedding here with the attendants seated all together but their spouses elsewhere, as I read about on this site from time to time.

Reply

Shannon February 6, 2013 at 9:17 am

Oh heavens. First off, yes, the bride and groom are the hosts. But they also have their hands full – if it’s not a matter of life or death, leave them out of it! They want to enjoy the party they’ve worked so hard to put together. At my own wedding, guests shielded me from the super-dramatic argument a bridesmaid was having with her boyfriend and simply escorted the boyfriend out of the reception. At no point was anyone rude enough to expect me to intervene. Angie should never have bugged the groom about it, nor should she have complained to everyone else at the reception. She just made herself look bad.

I do have sympathy in that I’ve been stuck with some real turkeys in terms of seat assignments. I don’t know which was worse – the time I was a bridesmaid but was still seated in Siberia and the last to receive food (by then it was coming up on 10:00 and they were out of a lot of stuff); or the time I was seated by the kitchen doors, in the back of the room, behind a pillar, with the teenage cousins. Both times I made the best of it.

I’m also sympathetic to Angie in that the couple sounded super disorganized, and disorganized weddings can be really annoying. Too much time spent trying to figure out where to go and what to do, and putting out little fires, can be ridiculous.

For my own wedding, I avoided a lot of these issues by having open seating (it was a mingly casual buffet reception, not a seated dinner). My MIL requested seats for her family, which I didn’t want to do because it created a “some guests are more equal than others” vibe. But I relented, and…no one sat at their assigned table, anyway. So I had a bridesmaid surreptitiously remove the placecards and life went on.

Reply

TylerBelle February 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

At least Angie and her husband had a place of their own to be at. For I would rather sit at a table where first and foremost, I had a place with my name on it, not much mattering who all would be sitting with me. For as the groom said you could possibly “make some new friends” that way. Than to be left on my own to circle the room searching and hoping that I wouldn’t be told each seat I approached was saved, or worse, being asked to move if my tablemates wished to fit in more of people they knew better. Talk about a feeling of rejection.

She went up to the groom right before he was to be announced to family and friends? Did she actually expect him to *fix* things then and there? Angie should have focused on the more enjoyable positive times she could have had at the wedding.

Reply

Ellen February 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

If you go around looking for offense, you will find it everywhere. So strange that Angie should be so quiet about her own wedding to avoid “upstaging” the other bride, and then suddenly switch into high-demand gear over the seating arrangements.

To answer OP’s questions, Angie was not “slighted”. To behave as if she were simply reinforces the idea that the seating arrangements were some kind of popularity contest. Yes I think it was ill-advised to seek out the “slighted” guests and engage with their silliness. Giving attention to such things merely magnifies them, and feeds the person’s idea that this is an important issue.

If a guest is seated with people they do not know, the gracious thing to do is make pleasant conversation, beginning with how they all know the wedding couple. If your dinner companions are actively unpleasant, then smile until it is time to move around and mingle. The hosts of any event are not responsible for orchestrating their guests’ entire social lives, only for providing a welcoming atmosphere for the group.

Anyone who is unable to make pleasant conversation with other adults for the length of a meal, should not be allowed by their keepers to attend a party without supervision.

Reply

Hanna February 7, 2013 at 10:10 am

People really care about this sort of thing? I am older, and have been to a few weddings myself and not one–NOT ONCE–have I ever been to a wedding with assigned seatings other than the bridal party and parents.

Reply

Bint February 8, 2013 at 6:08 am

I’ve never been to a wedding without it.

Reply

Tracy February 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I’ve never been to a wedding with assigned seating other than the bridal party. But I’ve never been to a large wedding with a sit-down dinner either – only tiny weddings with a sit-down dinner, larger buffet-style weddings, or weddings of all sizes with an appetizer/cake/punch reception. I can see that sit-down dinners with a pre-selected menu would be almost impossible without assigned seating, but since they are the exception in my area, that probably explains the lack of it.

Reply

Enna February 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Angie needs to get over herself but the bride shouldn’t have got so wond up about it either. The only time that it would be right to critise the bride and groom over the seating arranagements is if they knowingly sat people together who didn’t get along e.g. if it was a divorced couple who had a very messy divorce.

Reply

Enna February 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

P.S if by some weird twist of fate the bride and groom don’t know two ppl don’t get along anymore and someone notices this, then try to tactfully point it out to the soon to be married couple – they wouldn’t want their day ruined by a fight: if they don’t care then they are selfish.

Reply

gellchom February 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm

You know, SOMEONE has to sit at the tables in the back, behind columns, near the kitchen, near the speakers, etc. Try not to take it personally.
What upsets me most is when people complain that they were seated with elderly Aunt Gus. Aunt Gus is a guest just as much as they are. Do these people ever stop to wonder if THEY are being pleasant company for HER? If they feel they somehow rate higher than the others at their table, I guess they can at least take comfort in the thought that if they were at a “better” table, the other guests there might not like that they are stuck with THEM.
Hanna, I’m surprised that you’ve never been to a wedding with assigned tables. I guess that varies an awful lot by community, too. I’ve been to hundreds of weddings (I’m a clergy spouse), and I rarely see unassigned seating. I can tell you that the few times I’ve seen it, it usually hasn’t worked well, primarily for the “junior high school cafeteria” reasons TylerBelle mentioned — it really can feel awkward, and I always hear people complaining about it out of the hosts’ hearing — and also because you really need a lot more seats than guests that way, and you have to have people constantly clearing away used dishes, glasses, and napkins so it’s clear when a place has been vacated.

Reply

Shannon February 11, 2013 at 10:09 am

“You know, SOMEONE has to sit at the tables in the back, behind columns, near the kitchen, near the speakers, etc.”

I’m guessing that was a dig at me. I make an effort to be as easygoing and pleasant as possible at weddings, and am not generally picky about where I sit.

But, yes, in retrospect I do think the seating was personal. I was recently divorced, and the bride and groom were not comfortable with that. They were also upset that my ex was not able to attend (because he was overseas – if he had come to the wedding we would have been very cordial and caused no issues for anyone). I noticed a definite effort to put me as far away from the action as possible, and I was not seated with any of the friends who were attending. Instead I was in the far back of the room with only one other adult at the table (another single woman). They were more than happy to accept my gift and never thank me for it, though.

I felt like a leper and have had very little to do with those friends since.

Reply

Gellchom February 13, 2013 at 10:29 am

Oh, Shannon, sorry, no, it wasn’t directed at anyone specifically, much less you! Just in general. I was actually thinking of things I’ve heard others say. There certainly was absolutely nothing in your post suggesting you were anything less than gracious. And I sure didn’t mean it as a dig. It’s just one of those things that looks different to you when you have been the host trying to figure out seating.

I also agree that, given the facts you’ve added, it does sound like the hosts were being inconsiderate. I’m just saying that being seated at a “bad” table, without more, does not by itself mean anything. Even the way you were seated — I don’t blame you for not liking it, and in context, I think you’re right. But without that context, I would tell someone else to try not to take even that seating personally. Guests just don’t come in neat sets of 8 or 10 person units. Most times there just have to be a few weird groupings. Those guests just have to be good sports. And it’s easier to be a good sport about it when you’ve been in the host’s position yourself.

Reply

Daisy February 8, 2013 at 10:36 am

Why do so many people simply relish the opportunity to feel slighted? If I go to an event with a seating chart, I park my tookus in the chair assigned to me and smile, smile, smile. I don’t know if I’m at that table because the bride’s Auntie Agatha unexpectedly brought her 6 kids, or because there’s someone at my table who’s expressed a real interest in meeting me (I always go with that one!) What I do know is that if I take a look at my table companions and then immediately dash off to complain about my assignment, I’m gratuitously insulting every other person at that table. There’s no excuse for that, however much I’d rather sit with the “cool” kids.

Reply

just4kicks February 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I’m putting my two cents in here to defend the Bride at the party months later. It sounds like Angie (what a special snowflake!) cornered the Bride to bitch, once again, about her seat at the wedding. I’ve come to this conclusion by reading one of the last couple of sentences from the OP which said, after the Bride had her (I’m sorry, but rightful!) outburst, the Bride left. Then it says Angie was STILL insisting she was owed an apology. Also, if I WAS the groom in the story, I would have told Angie to sit down as well. The man just got married when a guest comes running up to him to complain?!? Oh, hell no.

Reply

LilyG February 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm

My hubby and I once sat at a wedding table full of Chicago politicos who had known Harold Washington (this was in Detroit), none of whom we knew. We had the best time! It turned out we were there by mistake but it was a great, wonderful serendipitous mistake. The conversation was intelligent & lively and everyone was a terrific dancer. It was the best wedding we’ve ever been to, including our own!

Reply

Adira February 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm

The only mistake Angie made was making a lot of noise about it. I would have just quietly left, no fanfare.
Social anxiety is real. I wouldn’t be able to eat anything anyway, and I would be miserable. No point in staying for that.

Reply

Ellen February 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I know social anxiety is real, my mother suffered terribly from it the last 20 years of her life. My tongue in cheek comment about “keepers” has a basis in reality. She refused to get treatment and this terrible, isolating problem robbed her of so much joy she could have had in life. It got worse and worse to the point that she would not even go out for lunch with old friends because she didn’t want strangers seeing her in the restaurant, or fly to see her grandchildren baptized because she would have to interact with strangers in the airport.
Really, if you can’t talk to anyone except people you already know, to the point that you have to miss out on things you would otherwise enjoy, please I beg you get treatment. I am not making fun, I am remembering my poor mom. I would not wish that on anyone.

Reply

Adira February 14, 2013 at 11:20 am

Thank you. I’m lucky that my GP prescribed something for me that helps when I have to go shopping and whatnot.
I don’t mind meeting new people, one at a time. But a whole table full? In a room with maybe two hundred people in it? When I don’t know anyone? Too stressful and intimidating for me.

Reply

Bint February 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

Social anxiety is dreadful, I agree, but I doubt Angie has it, given her nerve in moaning to the groom, the reception guests and the party guests.

Also, we’ve discussed this on Ehell before and the fact is that if you just leave, you stick the hosts with the cost of your meal when they may have no idea this would be an issue for you. That’s not ok, social anxiety or not.

Reply

Adira February 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Would they rather their guest be hiding in the bathroom, shaking and on the verge of tears? Because that’s what usually happens to me when forced into crowded situations where I don[t know anybody. I can’t get away fast enough. Of course, my friends know me, and would never do that to me.

I don’t know if Angie has SA or not, but there’s not a thing wrong with leaving a reception where you are miserable. Mental illness is no different than physical illness; would you advise a guest to stay if they had a migraine?

Reply

Marozia February 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I agree with everyone’s comments that ‘Angie should grow up’ and ‘stop being a drama queen’. However, I do have to ask why were Angie & Kevin put at a separate table but all mutual friends were seated together? Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to scatter the friends around the other tables as so not to leave people out of the loop? I can see were Angie & Kevin felt slighted, but again, this celebration is for the bride & groom, not for Angie & Kevin.

Reply


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: