Seating for wedding reception question

sk!mom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2000
IMO, seating charts are a must so, yes. Many venues require them and most wedding planners encourage them if they don’t require.

DD’s wedding was only 200. Her groom and his mom thought a seating chart was unnecessary. DD disagreed so deferred to the planner who said, “the biggest wedding reception hassle/complaint is when people who came together can’t sit together. The larger the wedding. The greater the chaos without a seating chart.” DD made one and everyone was happy.

I have actually left a reception before due to DH and I not being able to find two seats together. In one case, we were with another couple and we all left and went out to dinner together because we couldn’t find 4 seats.
 
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Lilsia

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
its a choice, half full vs. half empty. I have a friend who only sees the negative in people, ends friendship’s left and right, because she’s tired of being used, talked about, manipulated. What she can’t see is that the common denominator is herself. She is back on Facebook for the millionth time, I give it two weeks before she perceives insults and slights, and reports about it in our group text. Never positive.
After reading everything that the OP has posted, you still think that the bride's family gives one fig about the groom's family? They are putting the parent's co workers over the groom's aunts, uncles, and cousins. It is clear that almost everyone can see this for what it is except for like 3 of you.
 

Lilsia

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
No one was told by my husband or me they would be invited. My cousin gets my grandmother's mail. She saw her save the date and she didn't receive one. They also invited one cousin, but not the brother so I got a call asking if they needed the address. It was a few questions like that. Several couples from out of state were excited when they got the save the date, but then got the invite and saw they couldn't bring their children when others could. That resulted in more calls.

I recognize my son is in a tough position. His MIL has stated she is paying so she gets what she wants. I also acknowledge my son could pay for his own wedding if he wanted more influence on decisions. I get it, but I'm disappointed.



Exactly. I'm really listening to everyone's advice. I don't want to do or say the wrong thing. The MIL erupted when we didn't want to host 350 people at the rehearsal dinner. She wanted to have her own rehearsal dinner with just their family in response, and told us to do our own. I'm afraid to cause another blow up.
You might have to have a heart to heart with you son. This is going to set the tone for his whole marriage with the MIL thinking that she can manipulate them. I don't know why anyone would think that they should have control of things just because they offered the gift of money. You might all even have to sit down and hash things out. Even if the MIL does not like it, she needs to hear about how they are snubbing your family, and that is not right at all. You all deserve to have your family at the wedding and it has nothing to do with who is paying for it. The MIL sounds like a bully.
 

Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

Chugging along the path of life
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
It is clear that almost everyone can see this for what it is except for like 3 of you.
I'm glad I can amuse you with my comments but as for this above quote may I remind you of your previous quip to another poster when they disagreed with you?
just other opinions. Since when are we not supposed to have differences of opinions here?
 

Lilsia

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
All of these issues make me glad that hubby and I just went to the court house. People forget that the marriage is the important part, not the wedding. I can't even imagine doing what the MIL is doing to my own daughters. We will just give them a set amount of money and they can plan their own weddings when the time comes, or just take that money and do whatever they want with it. I don't understand these controlling people.
 

Wendy31

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
This is not about your opinion, but how you are so adamantly defending the MIL's actions. You keep making excuses for her snubbing the groom's family. Why?
Right.

I think the OP is handling everything very graciously, but I also understand her hurt & feeling like her family has been slighted.

350 guests - 100 business associates = 250 guests

250 guests - 37 of the groom’s family guests = 213 bride’s family guests & maybe the bride & groom’s guests

That’s not right.

I don’t care who’s hosting or who’s paying, consideration & thoughtfulness should be given to & for all guests.

Unless my fiancé’s mother is just toxic & has some kind of strained relationship w/ her son (& I don’t think the OP is or does), as a bride, I should try to ensure that my future mother-in-law feels like she & her family have been included in the wedding & aren’t just an afterthought. I mean, she’s the mother of my soon-to-be husband, &, if I love my husband, I’m going to at least try to have a decent relationship w/ his mother.

And, as the bride’s mother, I would hope I’d be gracious & kind & not forget that the wedding is not just for my daughter & my family but also includes my future son-in-law & his family - even if I’m paying & hosting. I mean, as a host, it’s kind of my responsibility to be sure that my guests feel welcomed, considered, & included.

Even if the bride & groom were paying for the wedding themselves, I’d still think that, within reason, feelings on both sides should be considered, & everyone should be treated kindly & w/ respect.

I also see how the groom was possibly put in between a rock & a hard place. I don’t know how young he is, but it can be really hard to navigate these kinds of things - most especially when family & soon-to-be family is involved.

Again, the OP is being very gracious about everything.

And we can go back & forth all day long about who’s paying & what the groom should have done or said or whether or not the bride’s mother had any kind of ill intent or if the groom was responsible for the groom’s family being cut or if the non-invited guests on the groom’s family were wrong to have called the OP… whatever, unlike the OP, the bride’s mother has not been gracious or considerate.
 

Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

Chugging along the path of life
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
This is not about your opinion, but how you are so adamantly defending the MIL's actions. You keep making excuses for her snubbing the groom's family. Why?
I was just saying it's not really a fair discussion if someone disagrees and you're like "why can't we have differing opinions" but then later on call out people like they are incapable of seeing the truth (from your opinion even if it's shared by others) just because they don't share your opinion, aren't they allowed to have a differing opinion too just like yourself.

I'm not defending the mother-in-law (I've made my own comments about her just to a lesser viciousness than some posters), but I'm not like a shark circling the waters like it feels some of the undercurrent of the comments are like. I don't automatically leap to someone being malicious, trying to belittle, embarrass, gossip, etc and I don't have enough information to come to that conclusion. But that in itself doesn't mean I agree with things (I feel like I've made that part throughout mostly clear) they've done.

My main focus has honestly really been the son and not in a mean way it just reminds me like a boyfriend cheats on the girl and the girl blames the other girl if that makes any sense. I think it's just creating unnecessary drama by shifting this all over to the other family. Or perhaps maybe it's just that I see it as a classic trope. I give the OP credit she's really not trying to make things worse but I do see that some of the comments on this thread have the vibe of egging her on in creating something with the in-laws. However neither would I want the OP's relationship with her son to be marred by any talks to be had (and I don't think they would from the feelings I get from the OP).
 

Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

Chugging along the path of life
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
I also see how the groom was possibly put in between a rock & a hard place. I don’t know how young he is, but it can be really hard to navigate these kinds of things - most especially when family & soon-to-be family is involved
Which is why it's a classic trope to me to go after the jugular of the soon to be in-law family. Geez give the wedding couple credit for how difficult it can be to balance different families. I see way too much about the other family and less about the actual couple getting married and that is usually how these wedding threads devolve with people losing sight who the dang event is even for. And clearly, like I said this wedding is not really shaping up to be about the groom OR the bride but rather other stuff.
 

HopperFan

"It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
I gave the list to my son split up into tiers. We weren't given a specific number of invites and I wasn't sure how many invites we were allowed. Tier 1 was close family only (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) and only two of our friends my kids have spent Christmas Eve with for years. Tier 2 was more family and friends.

My issue with the kids is to either invite them or don't or do an age cut off that is consistent. Don't selectively say one family can bring them but another can't. We had to field more than one call about that. People did get feelings hurt. My son said they cut the kids they didn't know. SMH. They don't know 100 of the mother's associates either.

I don't remember hearing much about save the dates. I think I got a few questions from people that didn't receive them, but was told they were still finalizing the guest list.

Yes, fully acknowledge my son is allowing this to happen. That's not something anyone needs to tip toe around. While he says he didn't see the invitations and wasn't in charge of guest lists, I have a hard time believing that. At any point, he could say enough is enough.
Completely agree unless there is they are perhaps ring bearer or flower girls, it should be one way or another. Last wedding I went to only 3 nieces, flower girls and junior bridesmaid were there. I've been to weddings with kids that were fine but it was more casual, I've been to formal weddings with kids and they ruined the ceremony. Each person has a vision for what works for them but to pick individual kids (if they are in the family or close) can lend to hard feelings.

DD wedding was ZERO children, there were no exceptions. Other than 2 close cousins 17 and 19 ~ there was no one under 21. A few folks didn't come because of it - that is fine, I have sent DH to weddings alone when our children were small and not invited. It's okay.

Exactly. I'm really listening to everyone's advice. I don't want to do or say the wrong thing. The MIL erupted when we didn't want to host 350 people at the rehearsal dinner. She wanted to have her own rehearsal dinner with just their family in response, and told us to do our own. I'm afraid to cause another blow up.
Honestly this might have worked.

All of SIL's family is out of state plus good family friends. I am of the school that the rehearsal dinner is for those at the rehearsal, parents, grandparents and siblings. While MIL and I have different thought processes on most things - she agreed with me. So the dinner was small at a restaurant close to venue. BUT she had set up at her house a huge buffet, bar with bartender and was hosting a big "dinner" for all the out of town guests and friends, and some local friends. I think she even had a DJ. She left the rehearsal dinner and went home to join the party at her house. Honestly I'm sure her home party cost way more than was spent on rehearsal dinner.

I don't see an issue with a lopsided guest list. People have different size families and friend groups. What I have an issue with is cutting people from the smaller side of an already lopsided list.
This often happens when one side simply doesn't have enough family or friends. When BIL got married he had more guests come from out of town than bride had who grew up in the town. I just went to wedding where the bride's family came from all over the country while the groom's family was very small, all there, just not many of them. Lopsided is sometimes just life.
I’m with you on the numbers. 350 is insane. The venue would need to be huge (especially considering the dance floor needs to big enough for a dance off…lol). No wonder they were eliminating table assignments, they probably don’t have enough seats for everyone to remain seated. I foresee high top standing room only areas.

IMO, seating charts are a must so, yes. Many venues require them and most wedding planners encourage them if they don’t require.

DD’s wedding was only 200. Her groom and his mom thought a seating chart was unnecessary. DD disagreed so deferred to the planner who said, “the biggest wedding reception hassle/complaint is when people who came together can’t sit together. The larger the wedding. The greater the chaos without a seating chart.” DD made one and everyone was happy.

I have actually left a reception before due to DH and I not being able to find two seats together. In one case, we were with another couple and we all left and went out to dinner together because we couldn’t find 4 seats.
Honestly, I can not imagine that a venue that seats that many and the planners aren't demanding the seating chart. It will ultimately fall on them to field all the complaints they will get otherwise. OP you really need to set a seating chart and be clear that "these folks are to be sat together" no exceptions, make it work. I am actually visualizing that the MIL is doing a seating chart and what might happen is she might break your guests up and scatter among her tables so her numbers work in groups she wants if you don't give them instructions. I know we ended up with a table or two we technically didn't need but didn't want to break up groups. So a few tables had less, but we wanted guests happy where they were sat.
 

mjkacmom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
After reading everything that the OP has posted, you still think that the bride's family gives one fig about the groom's family? They are putting the parent's co workers over the groom's aunts, uncles, and cousins. It is clear that almost everyone can see this for what it is except for like 3 of you.
I don’t know if the bride’s fami,y offered up money for the wedding vs. offering to host a wedding, there is a difference. I see nothing evil about the dance off although I think it’s a dumb idea and wouldn’t participate. My family and DH’s family got along great, but we never had any holidays together, there is no way I’d ever have a come to Jesus conversation with my about to be in-laws, heck my oldest has been dating her boyfriend for close to 6 years and iv never met his parents (and she lives with her boyfriend’s mom 40 minutes away). I’ll deal with my kids, their SO’s can deal with their own families. Both my family and DH’s family have zero issues with toxic family members, zero drama, everyone gets along great, including step families. Just leave things alone.
 

mom2rtk

Invented the term "Characterpalooza"
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
This often happens when one side simply doesn't have enough family or friends. When BIL got married he had more guests come from out of town than bride had who grew up in the town. I just went to wedding where the bride's family came from all over the country while the groom's family was very small, all there, just not many of them. Lopsided is sometimes just life.
Once again, my issue wasn't with it being lopsided. Lots of reasons that would be the case. My issue was with bride's family cutting part of the already much smaller groom's list.
 

HopperFan

"It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
Once again, my issue wasn't with it being lopsided. Lots of reasons that would be the case. My issue was with bride's family cutting part of the already much smaller groom's list.
I was agreeing with you with some examples we experienced. :hug:
 

Pea-n-Me

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Normally I stay away from wedding threads with a ten foot pole. But this one sucked me in.

I think my jaw dropped several times when I was reading it. 😲

I really am reading through everyone's replies and taking it all in. DD18 tested positive for COVID on Sunday so I'm trying to juggle taking care of her and working. And there's also the Depp trial :) This thread is actually way more focus on the wedding than we've given it at home. It's been good to type out my feelings about it, though. I appreciate that everyone is taking the time to read and respond.

Here are my plans: No drama! No on the dance. Making a seating arrangement. Will be happy for whatever tables they reserve for us. Will enjoy the wedding.
You are a good person and good Mom. :hug:

DH and I paid for our own small wedding and there was little to no drama. DD says she doesn’t want a wedding, or something super small and intimate. She’d rather buy a house. With DS’s girlfriend I could see some of the future wedding drama waves swirling, but that point is moot since they are no longer together. If it happens in the future will remember how wise @lifesavacation was! 🤞🏻

Good luck with this! 😅
 

Disneybuckeye

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 24, 2010
I'm still baffled by the idea of such a large wedding not having a seating chart.

You and me both. I am glad the OP is taking care of her 37 guests so at least they are not in the seating free for all.

OP I would make sure you know where your assigned tables are and that there will be signs on them. I would also see if a few family members can get in there quickly to hold down the fort so to speak. I can see people who cannot find spots to sit with their desired parties trying to take over an open table and refuse to move.
 

NotUrsula

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
I'm still baffled by the idea of such a large wedding not having a seating chart.

I agree, if it's a plated meal. Where I grew up, wedding receptions almost never included full meals (although that is changing now with influences from outside the region). The standard there used to be that only a handful of dining tables were provided for elderly guests, and everyone else just steadily noshed standing up between dances, because apps were the only food provided (but a LOT of apps, you understand, served continuously for the entire event.) My family has been involved with the wedding industry there since the 1960s and I started helping out when I was about 12, but I was in my late 20s before I ever saw a wedding with an actual meal service; it was done at the insistance of the groom's family, who were from the NE.

IME, not having a set "spot" to keep returning to throughout the night does facilitate getting the guests to mingle more widely, but when you're just randomly standing next to someone between dances, you don't feel the need to make conversation the way you would at a meal that is going to last quite a while. Most people are fine with 3 minutes of small talk with a stranger, but an hour or more is daunting.
 








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