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Seating arrangements w/ Father's girlfriend...

I need some help with this one...

My parents have been divorced about 10 years and neither are remarried. They got along pretty well (on and off) and will sometimes hang out together, and have for the most part been friendly for my sake.  My father has had a girlfriend for a few years, who I for one, am not a huge fan of.  I dont really hate the woman, but I dont feel much for her, one way or the other. Kind of cold and impersonal, and VERY bossy and possesive of my father.

I asked my father just this evening if he would be alright with having this gf of his sit in the row behind him at the wedding ceremony in the church, and just sit up front with my mom- just the two of them.  He completley freaked out on me, and told me what a slap in the face it was to the girlfriend, how she wont know ANYONE else (even though she's quite familiar with my fathers family, and would have ample people to sit with during the ceremony), and how it would look to have her sit behind him.  I said that for mine, and my mothers sake (who doesn't much care for this woman), it would be appropriate to have her sit in the second row (i'd prefer her to be farther back but hey...its all about compromise right?) for the ceremony, and then, FINE, she can sit at the parents table for the reception. All I want is my mom and dad together for the 20 minute ceremony.  She's never been warm to me, i've never met HER children, and she has had absolutely NOTHING to do with my upbringing or anything to do with me more than idle small talk at family gatherings.

He's not budging on this. Very adamant about how terrible it would be, and look, etc etc. Its still early in the wedding planning and I could get a couple deposits back, and I am feeling that we might change the whole plan eventually if he wont budge on this. Is it so much for me to just want my parents in the front row for the ceremony?  Please let me know if I'm being ridiculous.

Thanks...

Re: Seating arrangements w/ Father's girlfriend...

  • Clare13Clare13 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm sorry you have to deal with this.  Unfortunately who your father picks as his date to the wedding is not your choice and you really should not ask him to sit separately from them.  In the end it really will not matter if she is in the first or second row.  I would suggest sitting your mother and other important people to you and her on her side with her.  Think siblings, family friends, etc. who can support her during this time.  Then place your father and important people to you and him on the other side including his girlfriend.  Having just the your mom and dad in the front row will be awkward in the first place for everyone as they are divorced.  Think of it as inviting whoever is most important to you and their dates sit in the front row.  Good luck with this.  It's never easy when your parents arn't together and you want them to be. 
  • maybe984maybe984 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Sorry to say it... but your dad has a reason to be a little angry at your request.

    If your father has been with this woman for a "few years" as you put it... she inevitably means a lot to him. Even if she doesn't mean all that much to you, you still don't have the right to make them sit separately at your ceremony. Yes, it's "your day" but that sounds like a complete abuse of power. You're not going to tell anyone else who they can or can't sit with at your ceremony... are you? So why would you do that to your own father?

    I can understand how you feel, but you have to understand how your father and his girlfriend must feel. Try putting yourself in their shoes for a second. In the end, dealing with your dad's gf in the front row will probably be a lot less painful than making a big deal out of this.


  • edited December 2011
    Ditto PPs.  I think seating them together up front will cause less ruffling of feathers in the long run (think YEARS after the wedding when he will hold it against you that you didn't let her sit next to him) versus sucking it up and seating her with her date, who happens to be your father.
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  • edited December 2011
    Ditto PPs.  I have my own family drama question coming up soon... but it NEVER once occurred to me that I should make my divorced parents sit together, even if only for the 20 minute ceremony.  That's incredibly selfish.  They are adults and they made the decision to divorce; they decided not to be together.  Honestly? I would be grateful that they are as friendly as they are and they are both still a part of your life and want to be at your wedding.

    I completely understand not liking your dad's girlfriend (COMPLETELY understand.Wink) but it's not worth the fight.  Do you have aunts/uncles that could "buffer" teh situation at all?  Let you mom and her family sit in one row and your dad, girlfriend, and his family sit on the other side of the row?
  • Bridgebo117Bridgebo117 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I must say, I am quite surprised that people are reacting this harshly to my situation...  and I'm a bit offended its being said that I am "abusing my power" and acting totally selfish in this situation.

    It is a very personal thing to me, that I don't want a woman that has never invited me into her home once in three years, and becomes angry when my father spends time with me instead of her, to be up there with my mother.  I have no siblings, no living grandparents, and no living aunts or uncles on my mothers side. I am looking at this more in the perspective that it would be hurtful to my mother, who raised me almost single handedly, to share the moment of her only daughter with another woman.  I suggested the two row situation, and he promptly shot that down.  So, I am just quite distressed over this, and, knowing my family, it will be a very sticky situation.  So, go ahead and berate my question.  Just looking for a little help, is all.
  • sunkiss177sunkiss177 member
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011

    That sucks.  I wouldn’t want her up there either…

     

    Decide if it is worth the fight for you and just remember what goes around comes around.

    If it is not worth the fight; maybe have parents (and girlfriend) and next closet peopple sit together in the front row… at least it would be diluted. 

     

    If it is worth the fight, maybe invite her kids and let her sit with them.  You could bring up the fact that your father is walking you down the aisle and your mother is being seated as a honored guest.  The girlfriend would either have to be walked down special too (which might make her uncomfortable) or just be sitting in the front row when it all starts---also weird.  Then her and your mother get to sit their together as if they both had equally important roles in your life for at least 5 minutes when everyone comes down the aisle .  Since you dad is walking you down, he sits on the outside of the aisle once he sits so you either have to seat your fathers girlfriend after your mother in the aisle seat or have them sat girlfriend, mother, father or have your father and mother switch seats when you dad sits down…..all seem weird and like to much of a effort for a girlfriend you don’t like.  Sounds frustrating.  On the upside---you won’t see any of it so it might not matter.

     

    I had this happen is in a slighter way (i.e. same situation only with grandparents).  I let him bring and honor his girlfriend the same as him.  It wasn’t as bad since his wife was dead.  In the end it turned out fine.  The fact that she was there at all was what spoiled it (he is not supposed to dance, he has to bring her along when starting conversations with old friends….) but I didn’t even notice where they were sitting. 

  • sunkiss177sunkiss177 member
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011

    Oh also, I have seen brides walked down by both parents.  You could do this.  That way you get to be with you parents for part of it and they both feel important.  Let the girlfriend sit up there all alone in the front row with all the people looking at her wondering why she is up there. 

  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_minnesota-minneapolis-st-paul_seating-arrangements-w-fathers-girlfriend?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:81Discussion:831583aa-fb60-4e9e-931b-a48ac384aebfPost:6604aebb-62f6-4d9e-bae6-dee6c437bc41">Re: Seating arrangements w/ Father's girlfriend...</a>:
    [QUOTE]I must say, I<strong> am quite surprised that people are reacting this harshly to my situation...  and I'm a bit offended</strong> its being said that I am "abusing my power" and acting totally selfish in this situation. It is a very personal thing to me, that I don't want a woman that has never invited me into her home once in three years, and becomes angry when my father spends time with me instead of her, to be up there with my mother.  I have no siblings, no living grandparents, and no living aunts or uncles on my mothers side. I am looking at this more in the perspective that it would be hurtful to my mother, who raised me almost single handedly, to share the moment of her only daughter with another woman.  I suggested the two row situation, and he promptly shot that down.  So, I am just quite distressed over this, and, knowing my family, it will be a very sticky situation.  <strong>So, go ahead and berate my question.  Just looking for a little help, is all.
    </strong>Posted by Bridgebo117[/QUOTE]

    I don't think any of the PP berated your question or had any intent to offend you. You came on here asking for an honest opinion and that is what people gave you. I think that everyone that posted above was respectful and polite (and many said they understood why you were upset), but honestly it is poor etiquette to ask your dad to sit in a seperate row then his serious girlfriend, whether you like her or not. Like everyone else, I agree that it is a sucky situation and it's really too bad that you have to deal with a woman that hasn't been open to you being in a serious relationship with your dad, but you have to put that aside and care about how your dad is feeling in this situation. This is a big day for him, too, and he probably wants to share it with his girlfriend that is obviously very important to him.

    As for your mother, maybe find another way to honor her and make her feel involved in her daughter's big day, like walking you down the aisle with your dad.

    I hope that helped and you don't take it as berating you, even if it's probably still not what you wanted to hear.
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  • maybe984maybe984 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    It was certainly not my intention to berate or personally offend you. I am just being honest and stating the fact that I see where your father is coming from on this one.

    If you really have a problem with his girlfriend, that's another issue... but from the very beginning you stated you "dont feel much for her, one way or the other." If that really is the case, I think you  are being a little selfish here.

    If the issue is that you're afraid of how your mother feels... I want to ask... have you actually talked to your mother about this? If she has openly expressed an issue with this, then maybe it IS worth pushing... but you can't just assume that having your father's gf up there would bother her.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://minneapolis-stpaul.weddings.com/main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_minnesota-minneapolis-st-paul_seating-arrangements-w-fathers-girlfriend?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:81Discussion:831583aa-fb60-4e9e-931b-a48ac384aebfPost:6a64559d-b91c-4def-bcce-29d5a5e3be35">Re: Seating arrangements w/ Father's girlfriend...</a>:
    [QUOTE]but from the very beginning you stated you "dont feel much for her, one way or the other." If that really is the case, I think you  are being a little selfish here. If the issue is that you're afraid of how your mother feels... I want to ask... have you actually talked to your mother about this? If she has openly expressed an issue with this, then maybe it IS worth pushing... but you can't just assume that having your father's gf up there would bother her.
    Posted by maybe984[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Completely agree.  Even if you *do* have an issue with the gf, your wedding is not the time to bring that drama front and center.  Talk to your dad about the issues you're having <strong>outside of the wedding concerns</strong>.  

    </div>
  • VeittobeVeittobe member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Why not have your Mom in the front row next to the aisle and your Dad in the second row next to the aisle?  This way they both have the best view of you walking down the aisle and up front and center with your future husband.  This is what we are doing and what my brother did a few years ago.  It was the least offensive for everyone.  

    Good luck.  I totally understand your feelings about your Dad's new girlfriend.  I've been there. Heck, I'm still there sometimes.  But it gets easier to deal with as time goes on.  But you will definitely need patience.  And a lot of fricken luck.  

    I hope this works out for you!!  Just remember - all that matters is your Dad and Mom.  But unfortunately, excluding your Dad's GF will hurt your Dad.  
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  • RTrepanierRTrepanier member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I think you're being a tad unreasonable.  You should be asking yourself why this is such a big detail compared to having both of your parents there and friendly/civil in the first place. 

    On another note, I was also in your position when planning my wedding.  I chose to request in private that my dad's girlfriend be present, but not IN every picture with parents, just beacuse she is NOT my parent - but still is important to my dad.  I left the seating arrangements to them - as they are ADULTS and can sit wherever they want.  I would only recommend getting involved if your parents are not civil or your mom has hard feelings towards the gf - which does not sound like the case, so leave it to them and move on to other wedding things.
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