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Couple not sitting together at the reception

Macy, on May 23, 2020 at 10:40 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 33
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I recently started dating this guy who's sister is getting married in a couple of months. His sister told him that he should bring me as a date and I obviously said yes! I haven't met any of his friends or family yet. Now my bf told me that I'm going to sit at a table with his friends and he's sitting at the main table with the bride and groom. I don't feel comfortable with the idea of not getting to sit with him especially with not having met any of his friends and family before. Is it normal for a couple not to sit next to each other at a wedding? I also understand that the bride might not want me to the main table because our relationship is still so fresh but why'd I get invited at all then? What do you all think?

33 Comments

Latest activity by FutureBride2021, on June 4, 2020 at 11:11 AM
  • Mindy
    Super November 2020
    Mindy ·
    • Flag
    It happens when one person is in the wedding party and there is a head table. I’ve been in that situation before, but usually they seat the guests of the party together. 🤷🏼‍♀️
    A lot of people are going away from that and either including the party’s guests at the head table or going to a sweetheart table for the bride and groom and everyone else sits with their SO. It really is the bride and groom’s preference.
    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Super September 2019
    Courtney ·
    • Flag
    I think splitting couples up should be avoided. If there isn’t room for peoples partners at the head table they can have a sweetheart table. We sat all couples together and sat at a table with our family.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Expert May 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    My fiancé’s best man is sitting at the head table. I am not close with the best mans wife, nor is she in the wedding. So she is sitting at a table with people she doesn’t know, however I did make sure that her seat was as close to her husband and head table as I could. I’m hoping it will be close enough to her husband to have her comfortable. I’m doing my best to hope she stays comfortable. Hopefully this will happen for you as well. It’s hard because the head table is for the wedding party. But I completely understand I wouldn’t feel comfortable being all alone. My wedding is also very small 23 guests, and I have her table almost connected to the head table, if that makes sense lol they will be like a 3 seat distance from eachother.

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  • Michelle
    Expert May 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    I like this idea of the sweetheart table. I’ve never heard of this. I’m going to look at this option! That way I don’t have to feel bad.....

    • Reply
  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag

    This is very common when the bride and groom decide to have a head table rather sweetheart table. This is exacting why we didn't choose to do a head table. Other rather eating, most people don't sit that their table the entire time so you should still be able to hang out with your boyfriend at the wedding. I am wondering if I am going to be in a similar situation at my husband's friend's wedding. My husband is a groomsman and he isn't sure if they are doing a sweetheart table or head table. I don't know any of his friend's family or most of the friend's other friends so I am hoping they do a sweetheart table.

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  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Legend March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    This happened to me too years ago (except I was in the wedding party and my boyfriend had to sit with strangers all night. We got into a fight about it but it wasn’t my choice/fault). We didn’t have a wedding party but if we did I would have absolutely done a sweetheart table for this very experience. Couples should not be separated. 😥
    • Reply
  • M
    Macy ·
    • Flag
    Thank you for your replies! I know everyone else is getting to sit with their so's and my boyfriend's younger sister's bf is getting to sit at the head table. Which just kinda makes me feel like I'm not that welcome to the wedding at all. Everyone else gets to sit with their so's and I'm being sat with people I've never met before. Or am I being overly sensitive about this?


    Also does this also mean that I don't get to sit next to my bf at the church either?
    • Reply
  • PandaInLove
    Expert August 2017
    PandaInLove ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Is your bf's sister's boyfriend also in the wedding party?


    I would think if the wedding party is going to stand with the couple during the ceremony then you wouldn't be able to sit with your bf since he will be standing with the couple. Though I am curious to know if the sister's boyfriend is part of the wedding party also.
    • Reply
  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
    • Flag
    I’m not a fan of splitting couples, but this is extremely common when couples choose to have a head table. Make an effort to meet his friends and family before the wedding. If she’s having a rehearsal dinner, you will likely meet some of them then.
    • Reply
  • PandaInLove
    Expert August 2017
    PandaInLove ·
    • Flag
    I also dont like the idea of splitting couples. I had a sweetheart table for my own wedding but have been in weddings where my husband had to sit by himself with some strangers. It was pretty uncomfortable for us, I can imagine others would feel the same.
    • Reply
  • Megan
    Expert November 2022
    Megan ·
    • Flag
    I get this, I agree I wouldn't want someone new at the head table if not in my party but it would be super awkward to be with people I didn't know. I feel like it would be great if possible to maybe set up something so people could meet ahead of time so it's not quite as weird. With this is mind, I plan on only having a sweetheart table because I didn't really want my best friend's husband who I only met once at my bridal table, and I didn't want my sister in law alone with three kids while her husband was at the head table.
    • Reply
  • Megan
    Savvy October 2021
    Megan ·
    • Flag
    This is common. Although there are other options like a king table or sweetheart table that more couples are doing. Same thing happened to me with my FH it wasn’t my favorite thing, but once the dance floor opened we were together the rest of the night. I’d recommend tying to meet some of the friends/family.
    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    A lot of people used to do this. Fewer do now because most people in wedding parties, and their SO, do not like it. If a person chooses to go to a wedding alone, fine. I have been to many weddings alone, and had a good time, when my then SO or now hubby had a conflict. But if I am asked to be in a wedding party now and for many years, and bride says my hubby is invited but will be seated elsewhere, or the bride is claiming an additional 6 hours outside the wedding as her time, on wedding day, I decline being BM or MOH. To invite someone's SO, then keep them apart for anything other than the ceremony and pictures, is disrespectful of our relationship. To seat people a few seats away at a single table dinner party is one thing. But at a wedding you stay at your seat whenever not dancing. Or else you move to your SO, and displace someone else.
    The bride and groom can do what they want. And you and your bf, or just you, can refuse to go, and not accept their lack of respect for your relationship.
    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    Yeah, unfortunately this happens when couples opt for a head table. I personally am not a fan of these because I would hate to separate couples. Kings tables, which include all the wedding party and their SOs are another option, but then you just have a billion people at 1 table and you can't really talk to everyone anyway, so it's really just as awkward display (how I feel about head tables too, honestly). We did a sweetheart table. That way our bridal party were able to sit with their friends, families, and SOs and enjoy the reception like the rest of the guests rather than feeling "all eyes on them."
    • Reply
  • Stacia
    Just Said Yes October 2020
    Stacia ·
    • Flag

    I personally think that its a little weird. When we still were including our friends in our wedding I had planned to sit whatever date they brought with them. There was only 1 couple in the bridal party that was married and no one else was in a serious relationship. However, you probably won't be at the table very long so I wouldn't stress it too much. I went to a wedding last year for the first time since I was a little kid and we barely sat at our table, literally just to eat and that was it. It was a pretty casual wedding with a buffet style reception, so if they are serving food to the tables you may be there a little longer.

    • Reply
  • Sara
    Expert August 2021
    Sara ·
    • Flag
    Eh it's not a big deal. Meet new people! It's only for dinner and I feel like you should be fine getting through dinner. We are not having our bridal parties significant other up with us. There wouldn't be room and we don't want to do a sweetheart table.
    • Reply
  • M
    Macy ·
    • Flag
    I'm actually debating wheter I should just not go since I don't feel very welcome to the wedding (their little sister bf is not a part of the bridal party but still gets to sit next to her) and I'd feel weird sitting alone with people I barely know.


    I also haven't been to a wedding since I was a little kid so would I be able to hang out with my bf at all during the reception?
    • Reply
  • Elizabeth
    Super June 2021
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag

    I'm not a fan of splitting couples up, but it definitely happens a lot. We're doing a head table, but with the wedding party SOs so this doesn't happen. And regarding your question about the ceremony, I don't think you'll sit with him either because he'll be standing. But, you should be able to be with him during the rest of the reception!

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Expert May 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    If you don’t feel comfortable don’t go I guess. Maybe you can just attend after dinner dancing? I’m not sure if that is appropriate to ask your boyfriend to do that? Maybe others can put input in on that. I personally would be completely happy allowing that at my wedding, as long as the venue allows it. I wouldn’t feel put off looking into it, but again my wedding is smaller.

    I’ve been trying to re arrange my seating based on this topic, so thank you for the discussion. I’ve been able to see a different side and I really don’t want her to be uncomfortable. I suppose the other thing is he will also be off for photos at some point, without you.

    • Reply
  • Lily
    Savvy May 2016
    Lily ·
    • Flag
    I went to a wedding where my boyfriend was seated at the head table and I was back by myself at another table. Plus, I spent most of the day alone as I didn't really know anyone outside of the wedding party and they all left to get pictures together. It wasn't very fun, but I was there to support him and it wasn't about me so I just made the best of it.
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