L
Just Said Yes September 2018

Not seated with husband at rehearsal dinner—weird?

LR, on September 5, 2018 at 6:50 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 34
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I’m the lady of honor at a close friend’s wedding and she casually texted me last night to let me know that due to 8 people per table seating, my husband and I would not be seated together for the evening. Instead, I will be at a table with the bride, groom, both sets of parents, and the best man (who is also the groom’s brother).

I’ve heard of this for weddings, and even my brother had his wedding party all at a long “head” table, but is this also common for rehearsal dinners? To me it was super strange and a bit rude to separate a married couple at a casual dinner that’s meant for fun.

34 Comments

Latest activity by Sarah, on September 6, 2018 at 4:54 PM
  • Sarah
    Master June 2016
    Sarah ·
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    No, this is weird. If this happened to me, I’d go, eat quick and then leave with my husband. Or I would decline attending the dinner.
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  • Victoria
    VIP October 2018
    Victoria ·
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    Sheesh, that's a bit harsh to do to your best friend.

    OP, I don't think it's common anymore, and if it is it shouldn't be. It's just dinner though. You can ask to be seated at your husband's table instead. I agree it's a bit rude, but she probably doesn't see it that way. She probably sees it as having her nearest and dearest closest to her for a meal. I'm sure you'll have e fun anyway, and you can always move during the evening to be near your husband.
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  • Sarah
    Master June 2016
    Sarah ·
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    I get very little time to enjoy my husband because our schedules don’t typically align. If I’m taking time out of my life to be there to rehearse for you (even though I’m plenty capable of walking in a straight line) I should be able to sit with my husband for dinner. My best friend is not more important than my husband.
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  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    Perhaps text her back and offer to swap seats with the Best Man's wife/gf/+1, so they can sit together, and you'll sit with your husband at his assigned table? Maybe she didn't want to "hurt your feelings" by not putting you at this "head table", so she picked this option to make sure you didn't feel "slighted".... Even if the BM doesn't have a "date" for the night, as the groom's brother she may feel like she has no option but to have him at that table. And, if she declines, then, it's just for an hour or so, so I'd go with her plan -- not ideal, but it's her wedding. Good luck!

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  • L
    Just Said Yes September 2018
    LR ·
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    This was essentially my exact reaction. My husband barely see each other during the week and this wedding has already taken me away from him for a weekend of bachelorette and shower events. To me this is absurd and I’m insulted that she would even think that I’d be remotely okay with it.
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  • C
    Super October 2018
    Cassandra ·
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    Actually, I am doing this. Only the people of the wedding party are sitting at the head table. If I let everyone sit at the head table, there will be a lot of space used up. Husbands, kids, etc.

    honestly, you only eat at the head table. Most of the time you are dancing, walking around and talking to people.

    It is the brides day, if they want you up there with them, I would. It wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t eat with my hubans for one meal.

    None of my people said anything and expected they were sitting without their SO
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  • L
    Just Said Yes September 2018
    LR ·
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    I was thinking about doing something like this, great idea. It’s really weird because the groom’s parents are throwing the dinner and I can’t get an answer out of her about who is responsible for the seating arrangements. Guess I’ll keep asking. So weird.
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  • Sara
    Expert October 2018
    Sara ·
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    She's talking about the rehearsal dinner, not the wedding reception.
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  • Sarah
    Master June 2016
    Sarah ·
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    OP is talking about the rehearsal dinner though. You’re having a head table for your rehearsal dinner? I mean, I personally dislike head tables for weddings too but I’ve never heard of one for a RD.
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  • C
    Super October 2018
    Cassandra ·
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    Oh sorry!! I read that wrong, rehearsal dinner, that is strange. I would tell her that you want to sit with your husband on the rehearsal. I’m not sure why she wouldn’t let you. I think rehearsals should be casual, have fun and relaxed.
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  • Kristen328
    Super September 2018
    Kristen328 ·
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    That's very strange. Never heard of a seating arrangement for a rehearsal dinner.
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  • Victoria
    VIP October 2018
    Victoria ·
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    Still harsh. If it's your best friend's wedding it would be very rude to stomp your feet and throw a fit because you couldn't sit near your husband for a 15 minute meal (at which point you can move) and just not go. It doesn't matter who is more important, if you did that it would make your best friend feel UNimportant and it's extremely hurtful to do that at anytime, especially the night before her wedding.
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  • Sarah
    Master June 2016
    Sarah ·
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    It would make me feel unimportant if my best friend felt it was ok to seat me away from my spouse. Maybe it’s harsh, but in my mind it’s equally harsh to have the “I’m the bride so do what I say” mentality. Being a bride doesn’t make you immune from being a thoughtful person.

    We don’t see eye to eye on this and that’s ok. I don’t think declining a RD is throwing a fit. Most people I know don’t even have them. For those that do, no one would keep spouses apart for dinner because all of us understand how important our time is.
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  • Rachel
    Super May 2019
    Rachel ·
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    She’s not married yet, she may not get what it means to be able to sit with your husband at wedding functions and dinners, especially when you don’t get to spend a lot of time with them. I was married before (currently planning my second wedding) and I remember that weddings felt different after I was married. They had more meaning to me and liked attending them with my now ex-husband.

    I know that now going into my second marriage and because of that, I’m making sure couples are all sat together for all events. We are having a more causal affair, but that’s just my personal opinion. I think couples get extra romantic at weddings and I’d like them to be able to give each other little smiles and squeeze each other’s hands throughout the wedding events.

    I know couples sometimes get separated for wedding receptions, but I have never heard of a rehearsal dinner being planned so thoroughly. Is it a big RD? Usually people just sit where they want at a rehearsal dinner.


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  • Happily Ever Mrs. H
    VIP October 2018
    Happily Ever Mrs. H ·
    • Flag

    For a rehearsal dinner? Yes.

    For a wedding? Not so unheard of, but can be awkward.

    I've never heard of assigned seating at a rehearsal dinner?


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  • Jennifer
    VIP October 2021
    Jennifer ·
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    I think if your friend knows the limited time you & your husband have together that she will be willing to either switch out someone( Single someone's!) or add an extra seat and make it a bit tighter at ONE table!
    I, personally, would NOT have assigned seating at the rehearsal dinner. A table set aside for the parents & B/G yes but the rest is meant to be fun, relaxed and NOT formal- even if it is in a more formal restaurant.
    Hopefully she understands.
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  • L
    Just Said Yes September 2018
    LR ·
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    I see both points, and totally understand how she may want her bestie seated with her (especially because there’s tensions with both sets of parents).

    Ordinarily I would be willing to accommodate and chalk it up to one night of discomfort, but up until this point the bride’s poor planning and indecisiveness has left me dealing with more issues and strife than I’d care to admit. I’ve already bent over backwards to pamper her crazy and abnormally cranky / fussy bridesmaids and missed a concert that my husband and I bought tickets to 6 months prior and couldn’t resell so I could accommodate and hold the last minute shower she decided that she wanted... which I had to plan in one week and fell two days after the “dream” bachelorette excursion I had already put together. I really let all of it go and took it with a smile, because I figured what the heck, weddings can be difficult and I wanted to be supportive.

    However, this latest seating things is after she already scheduled her final dress fitting on my birthday (which she knows I don’t even go to work on / usually take a vacation for), so it just makes me peeved and feeling not unimportant, but very uncared for and not valued as a friend.
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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
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    I think it's super weird. I usually don't see assigned seating in general at rehearsal dinners. I'd be mad if I wasn't seated with my fiance at a wedding, head tables are outdated.

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  • Kristen
    VIP August 2018
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    I agree that is is rude. I would never do that to my friend.

    If she specifically texted you about the seating then she gave you an opening to text her back and say something like "oh I can switch seats with someone else if that helps. That was husband and I can get some time together."

    If she doesn't get the hint then just suck it up. It is only one meal and hopefully the dinner has a fun vibe where people can move around and mingle and you guys won't be totally separate the entire evening.

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  • Jenna
    Super October 2019
    Jenna ·
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    Cassandra,

    Do all of their SO's know other people at the wedding? Please consider how uncomfortable it will be for them if they don't know anyone at the wedding. My FH was in a wedding this last weekend and if they had seated us separately for the reception I wouldn't know a single person at my table. I happened to get along with another groomsman's wife the night before at the rehearsal dinner, but it still would have been so rude to seat us apart. Not everyone is comfortable sitting with a group of just strangers for over an hour.

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