Three hours in, I now know this: Wedding table placements are hell.
People warned me. I didn’t believe him. I left it to the last minute. And here I am – procrastinating even more by writing about it.
In my mind, it was a simple matter of 3 simple groups:
1. My friends and family
2. His friends and family
3. Random business associates
I was kind of planning on just randomly grouping people who know each other together. I expected to be done in 20 minutes flat.
Man, was I naïve.
Anyone who has planned a wedding will know this – the seemingly harmless seating chart is the ultimate catalyst for long-forgotten gossip. You know those half-true, half-exaggerated stories you heard a decade ago? They’re about to come back and haunt you. What if Auntie So-and-So really did have a thing for her sister’s husband? Better not put them together. And what if What’s-her-name really was the one to write that HelloPeter report about What’s-his-name?
You also unintentionally and automatically start classifying your guests into less-innocent-than-planned categories. The most problematic are these:
1. The Sluts
Yup. I said sluts. So sue me. Everyone knows a few. These guys and girls are either way too confident – or way too insecure. Either way, they’ve fallen in lust and out of love with just about everyone within ten year age radius. Deciding where to put them is borderline impossible. Just bunching them together at the same table may look like an option – until you realise that they seem to hate their own kind even more than they hate that long list of exes. Think about the last time you saw one of your slut friends. I bet you anything they told you all about their latest conquest/heartbreak – and then proceeded to bad-mouth another Loose Lucy.
2. The Complainers
Mostly older people, we all have those relatives who seem to enjoy nothing more than playing a game of Blame the Waiter. In my family, we have a great aunt who is famous for entertaining restaurants with full-out screaming monologues about waiters “getting it wrong”. Perhaps she’s a bit senile, but the food usually does resemble what she ordered – changes and all. Still – she seems to like the attention and has perfected the performance. I suppose it doesn’t really matter where one puts these people – perhaps close to those guests who happen to be hard of hearing and won’t know or care about the fuss being made over some overcooked asparagus.
3. The Divorcees
Where most singletons have happily confirmed who their plus-one will be, our divorced ladies and gents have been down-right rude about it:
Me: Hi, Auntie X! Just calling to ask who you’ll be bringing to the wedding? We’re making name cards for each person.
Auntie X: What? Is there a problem?
Me: No, no problem. I’d just like the name of your date to my wedding.
Auntie X: How the f**k am I supposed to know who I’ll be bringing? It’s 3 weeks away! I don’t have a serious boyfriend – I’m still deciding! Do you want to start a family feud?
Right. If anyone is about to “start a family feud”, it’s this lady – with a penchant for dating, um, inappropriately young lads who may or may not have had histories with her daughters, I now have to blindly decide whether putting her with the rest of the family is a good, normal decision – or a spectacularly bad one.
4. The Crushes
Every wedding is going to have a somewhat inappropriate guest or two. I once went to one where the woman next to me literally spent the entire reception longingly staring at the groom. I didn’t know her from a bar of soap, but was quickly filled in on the gossip of her long-time and badly-hidden crush on the guy. Our wedding has someone sort-of similar. Though my husband-to-be has assured me that there never was or will be anything but friendship between them, I’ve never liked Little Miss Old Friend. Especially not when she wants to see my man “alone”. Call me insecure - I don’t think it’s appropriate. Yet, she’s invited. I just want her as far away from me as possible – preferably at an angle where she will be be blinded by the diamond on my finger.
Anyhoo – better get back to it.
If anyone has any tips for me, I’d really appreciate it…