DIY Weddings

"Love" table - with a word of caution

While scrolling through my facebook feed, I saw a "Love Table" from someone's wedding, and I thought I'd share the idea (along with a word of caution).  The wedding couple had a small table with 10-15 framed photos of important couples in their lives (mostly grandparents, parents, aunts/uncles).  There was a framed sign explaining the table (sorry I can't provide the exact text), and small signs next to each photo identifying each couple They chose (according to the description) couples that they love & admire, feel grateful for, and who set an example to them of real love.  It is a very sweet gesture to honor those whose relationships gave you an example of what a healthy and loving marriage could be. 

So here's my word of caution:
If you're going to have a table for COUPLES that you admire, and whose relationship provided you with an example for your own, then consider limiting it to relationships that you actually witnessed, and to couples where you've actually met both halves. 

There are other options available if you have more people to honor outside of couples whose relationship you witnessed and wish to emulate.  Having an "in loving memory" table would be appropriate for family members (or other loved ones) who departed too soon.  A table with a message that says "thank you" to those featured for their loving guidance or advice would be a very appropriate place to feature a mentor.  A "wall of honor" or "table of gratitude" or "table of admiration" to honor important people in your life who could or couldn't make it to the wedding is a sweet gesture.  Tailor your table to fit those who you wish to honor.  Or, you could always thank your guests uniformly for attending, and then make private gestures to those who are special in your life (that would actually be my preferred method).

The reason why I add the caution:
The table that I saw on facebook today contained a photo of my uncle and late aunt.  My aunt passed away when I was very young, so I don't remember much about her.  I've heard wonderful things about who she was as a person (poise, demeanor, etc.). 

The person whose wedding held the "love table" was my ex boyfriend.  My ex met my uncle a few times in person when we dated (and they are still facebook friends), but he never knew my aunt, and so he never witnessed their relationship or knew how they behaved/interacted/loved each other as a couple.   Listening to memories that my uncle shares and seeing memorial "Mother's day" facebook posts are not the same as witnessing a couple's marital endurance.  I'm not facebook friends with my ex (that relationship went down worse than the Hindenburg), but to see my aunt & uncle tagged in their table display for couples who have impacted them felt very odd.  Aside from the whole "my ex still worms his way into my family's presence every chance he gets" issue, it cheapens their admiration for the relationships that they DID witness by including one that they only heard about through a few filtered and well selected (and one-sided) stories.  It wasn't my aunt's participation in her marriage that my ex witnessed and admired, it was the sweet memorial musings of a widower that my ex enjoyed hearing and admired. 

Maybe nobody else will think it's creepy.....just something to consider and keep in mind if you choose to publicly honor a few selected people or relationships at your wedding. 

Re: "Love" table - with a word of caution

  • Upon second thought, it actually makes me really sad.  My ex has a HUGE family, but so many of them are/were in dysfunctional relationships, he had to reach all the way over into his ex's family to be able to contribute to the table.  
    Lala9414
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Whoa, your ex-BF used a picture of YOUR Aunt and Uncle at his wedding?  That is creepy and very weird.  Unless your ex-BF became super close to your Uncle and stayed close with him and he was in attendance at the wedding, I could maybe, slightly, possibly see him using their picture, but even then,no, just no.

    kimmiinthemittenJediElizabethsparklepants41
  • I agree, It is an odd first post!  It's the first time I saw a table of that sort, and initially I thought it was a really good idea.....but when I saw who created the table, and who was featured on the table, I was struck with a lot of "whaaaaaa?!!?!" emotions. 

    In case this is a new trend, I felt a little compelled to create the account specifically so I could point out the fact that you really need to tailor the table to the people you're honoring.  That is....if you feel comfortable putting a few of your invited guests on a pedestal. 
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I think it's a cute idea, although I'm a sentimental schmuck. I plan to have photos of family marriages at our wedding. I don't think I'd go outside of family, though, unless they were so close and so far back that they were like family. 
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    simcal18JediElizabeth
  • @spockforprez - I like the idea too, and if done well, can add a very personal/sentimental touch.  Family photos (or "so close they're like family") make sense. 

    Will you have a sign with a description on the table?  If so, do you have your wording planned out yet?  Care to share?
  • I don't like the idea at all.  You cannot judge other people's relationships.  My mother and her ex portrayed themselves as being blissfully happy to the outside world.  Those of us at home knew the truth was far different.  They divorced after four miserable years, but most people were surprised when it happened.
    My family is so full of divorced couples, this wouldn't work for us, anyway.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    OkapiFarmer
  • ThxSugarThxSugar member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited October 2015
    I thought about collecting wedding portraits from family members to hang on a hallway wall during our reception just because I love looking them. But my parents are divorced. I think it would be awkward AF to hang my parents' picture (which I love) and/or a picture of my mom and stepdad (who are still married) but I don't consider a great example of marriage. If it weren't for that I would do it.

    Eta: I wouldn't do it in a 'we strive to be like them' way. More like a 'here's our immediate families pictures, look how pretty/handsome and young they are. And man, that 60's/80's hair.'

    OkapiFarmer
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited October 2015
    I think this is a bad idea that's just asking for trouble. Is someone going to be excluded and get their feelings hurt? What if one set of parents are no longer married? What if someone is forgotten? 

    Jen4948marissaskissesSTARMOON44
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I think this is a bad idea that's just asking for trouble. Is someone going to be excluded and get their feelings hurt? What if one set of parents are no longer married? What if someone is forgotten? 
    That was exactly my thought process throughout reading that post. 

    CMGragain
  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    That's super weird he included a couple from outside his own family.


    I think this is a bad idea that's just asking for trouble. Is someone going to be excluded and get their feelings hurt? What if one set of parents are no longer married? What if someone is forgotten? 
    That was exactly my thought process throughout reading that post. 
    Eh. I think it's a know your crowd thing. I personally didn't have nice large photographs of the married couples I included on my display table, so I obviously talked to the people it most concerned to get those photos, and that would've been the time to talk about any discomfort or awkwardness or potential drama. I didn't think it was a huge deal. And it was a great way to use a side room in the venue that we weren't otherwise utilizing - and everyone really liked looking at the old old wedding photos we put on display - we got tons of compliments from family and non-family members alike after the fact.



    OkapiFarmer
  • @CMGragain - "you cannot judge other people's relationships."  A VERY valid point!  I am very curious how they defined "REAL love" (emphasis theirs) for their table display - because apparently their definition of real love involves quantifiable factors that are easily observable by 3rd parties?!  What standard or quality were all of the other couples in their lives missing to not make the cut for their display?  Why was their love not REAL?

    Knottie - "I wouldn't do it in a 'we strive to be like them' way. More like a 'here's our immediate families pictures, look how pretty/handsome and young they are. And man, that 60's/80's hair.'"  I think this is a great suggestion.  Old family wedding photos are fun to look at, and can add a touch of sentimentality to your wedding decoration. 

    You've all provided a lot of good input.  I hope anybody considering using old photographs of family weddings takes note! 

    I'm personally not a fan of publicly putting anyone on a pedestal (people are full of flaws, and you're just setting yourself up for disappointment when you idolize imperfect people or relationships), but I do still like the idea of including family photos as your wedding decoration (note:  YOUR family, not the family of someone else - and I do realize not every family will be able to do this easily if there are many divorces).  If you're going to label the photos or display, just be sure to word your description very carefully. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited October 2015
    I think "real love" is when someone stands by you when shit happens and your world falls apart.  It is not about the good times.  Real love is about long term commitment.  If it can be judged at all, it can only be judged at the end of a person's life, not the beginning or the middle.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    wandajune6
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    CMGragain said:
    I think "real love" is when someone stands by you when shit happens and your world falls apart.  It is not about the good times.  Real love is about long term commitment.  If it can be judged at all, it can only be judged at the end of a person's life, not the beginning or the middle.
    That's very much like what mom mom used to tell my sister and me when we were dating. Anyone can be there through the good times. But real love is when they stick by your side through all of the shit that life throws your way-- and wouldn't consider any other option.

    A funny thing about those tables- my (2nd?) cousin did one when he got married 5 years ago. He included a picture of my grandparents on the table. He assumed what a lot of my cousins assumed, that my grandmother was a widow. Not quite right- they were married 40 years but, instead of dying, my grandfather decided to bang and marry the cellist in his chamber music group. They never heard about him because he had lost interest in his "old" family by the time they were old enough to remember anything.

    Fortunately, my grandmother (divorced 30 years at this point) thought it was hilarious. I take it as a sign that she is an amazingly classy lady who never said a negative word about a horrible divorce- and was such a wonderful grandmother-type to all that it would never occur to them that someone could leave her.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    MesmrEwe
  • CMGragain said:
    I think "real love" is when someone stands by you when shit happens and your world falls apart.  It is not about the good times.  Real love is about long term commitment.  If it can be judged at all, it can only be judged at the end of a person's life, not the beginning or the middle.
    I think that's a really nice sentiment, but just like you can't judge someone's relationship from the outside (as you so wisely pointed out), you can't judge someone's motivations/feelings/reasons from the outside either.  Staying together through tough times definitely shows perseverance, and it shows dedication, and while those are factors in love, I wouldn't consider them the same.  You can't guarantee that "real love" is the cause or motivation for the perseverance or dedication. 

    I suppose it depends greatly on a person's area, culture, religion, or family dynamics, but for many people through history (and for many people still today), divorce is never an option, no matter how miserable they are.  And as it has also been pointed out - some people hide their misery from others really well. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Something else: those persons in the pictures, regardless of how good their relationships were with each other or with you, may simply not want photos of themselves used in "love tables" at your wedding, for reasons of privacy, not liking the photo themselves, or whatever reason. Before you use any photo, make sure the people in it, if they're still alive, will be OK with you so using the photo.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited October 2015
    I just read a very lovely book, "Dearest Dorothy, Are We There  Yet?"  One of the older couples in the book solved there problems like this.  When the arguments got hot, the husband would go to the no-longer-used outhouse and play his harmonica.  The wife would then pelt the outhouse with crab apples, or anything else that came to hand until she was tired.  The neighbors were used to the sight.  The couple was happy with this arrangement.  I have the feeling that the author based this on some real people she knew!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • I'm dying to know how he explained wanting his ex-GF's uncle and late wife (whom he'd never even met) on the Love Table to his bride.

    AddieCakewandajune6CaitFins
  • I agree the love table is a touchy thing to do in general, however if worded correctly I don't think honoring the widow for his love and devotion to his wife, even after death, is necessarily a bad thing. It is saying that he admires him for loving her sooo much that years after he still tells stories of her....that IS special and worth noting whether you believe it or not...I believe you are specifically having a hard time with it only because it was YOUR uncle and YOUR ex....had this been your young cousin who never met the aunt, who did the same thing you may feel differently than you do about the situation. That being said, I wouldn't want any of my ex'es to remain close with my family, so I do understand why it is wigging you out....but in general a normal person would not need to "caution" their choice in using a photo of a widow and the deceased wife they never met.

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