Should married couples be split up in a wedding party???

macyJanuary 15, 2006

When choosing the wedding party what is the rule on splitting up married couples up and pairing them up with other married people? Is it ok to split up a couple that just got married to be in a wedding party (husband is in the wedding party and wife is not or vice versa)??? Does the husband or wife not in the wedding party have the right to take offence?

Reason why I am asking is cause Iam going to be married 5 months when a family member of mine is having their wedding and has asked me to be in their wedding party, but not my wife to be. Does she have the right to get offended and if so what should I tell the family member?

I have married couples in my wedding party but chose not to split them up and pair them up with others.

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Wedding etiquette websites don't have any information on this topic. And I have tried talked it over with my church, family and friends and got a mixed response. Some said that it is ok while others said it does not look right to split up a newly married couple, considering that this will be my first family event and my wife to be should not have to attend their wedding unescorted.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 6:33PM
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It is fine to split up a married couple even if they are in the same wedding party and are asked to walk with someone other than their mate. If a friend knows the husband, but has met the wife only once or twice, his bride (who chooses the female attendants) is not obligated to ask the wife to be a bridesmaid and vice versa.

This is one of those situations where common sense prevails. If a woman is a bridesmaid, her husband should be happy to be her escort to the wedding. The same holds for a man who is a groomsman. His wife accompanies him to the wedding, but she is a guest. I am a wedding coordinator and this happens all the time. If the spouse who is a guest complains, then the bride and groom could take offense that the person is being insecure and clingy and trying to dictate what happens at someone else's wedding.

If you want to be in your relative's wedding, then tell him that you would love to participate. Hopefully, your wife will enjoy the wedding as the escort of a member of the wedding party. If for some reason your wife is unable to attend the wedding with you, that is okay too.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 12:51AM
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I'll add another vote for it is fine to split up a married couple in the wedding party. I can understand a wife taking offence if her husband is so beloved to the couple as to be in the wedding party, but she isn't invited to the wedding. And I can understand a new young wife being nervous about sitting alone. I can understand her being disappointed at realizing she wouldn't spend the whole time next to her husband. I hold that anyone has a right to take offence for any reason they desire, however I don't immediately see the cause for offence in this instance.

If your wife is sufficiently upset by this, it would be better for you to quietly step down from being groomsman rather than to try to get her as a bridesmaid. Hurt family feelings sometimes last a long long time. Try to keep this from developing into a big family rift.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 6:56AM
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I do not believe that there should be any pressure to make your wife a bridesmaid.

Splitting up couples is one of the reasons some brides and grooms are going with a sweetheart table instead of the larger head table with all the attendants lined up and on show. (Of course, the sweetheart table has other reasons too!).

I would ask in a polite manner if there is assigned seating and if so could my wife be seated with ____, because she only knows a few people and ____ will make sure she is comfortable while I attend to my duties as part of the wedding party. Adding a sincere "Thanks, I really look forward to being part of your wedding, but also want to look after my wife.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 8:02AM
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I have never heard of any rule, or even any custom, of always including spouses in wedding parties -- nor have I ever, in at least two hundred weddings, noticed it being done.

Attendants are chosen because of their relationship to the bridal couple, not to each other. This isn't about your wife, or you. It's about the bride and groom. If the relative were your sister or brother, and having tons of attendants, including all the other sisters-in-law, I could sort of see her feeling hurt at being the only one excluded. But you didn't say that -- just that she feels that she is entitled to be an attendant because her fiance is.

What if you don't even know an old friend's new spouse? Would you include that stranger in your wedding? Or exclude your old friend?

The person one stands with or walks with during the recessional is irrelevant. No one takes it as a symbol of their relationship to each other -- no one even notices, let alone cares, for heaven's sake. They are thinking about the bride and groom.

As for seating at the reception, I would seat couples together. Personally, I don't like head tables anyway. If you eliminate that, and just seat everyone wherever you would if they were ordinary guests, you eliminate the whole problem of whether to expand your head table to include escorts or split up couples. The bride and groom sit with their parents, grandparents, siblings, or whatever group seems to work given numbers and "wild cards" like divorces, or as a last resort at a "sweetheart table." It really doesn't matter much -- most brides and grooms report barely sitting down at all!

I wouldn't even ask, no matter how politely, about the seating arrangements, or anything else. If the hosts split you up, tough it out politely -- just as you hope your guests won't complain to you about the seating arrangements, food, music, or whatever at your wedding that don't happen to suit them. How would you like to get requests not to be seated with Uncle Dudley, or away from the speakers, or something like that?

You ask twice if your fiance has the "right" to be offended. Feelings are not a matter of "rights." She feels whatever she feels -- but that's not the same as blurting out every feeling you have. In my opinion, you both would be making a huge mistake to complain about this -- especially her, as she is just joining the family. She will only end up sounding utterly narcissistic. My first thought would be, "Good grief, she's having her own wedding in a few months. How much attention does she need?" For some reason, people really remember others' behaviors around weddings. Even if your relative were breaking some kind of rule, I would not say a word. If they make a mistake, that's their bad karma -- not an excuse for your fiance to try to control their wedding plans.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 1:31PM
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Well I pretty much expected most people would be fine when it comes to splitting up a married couple for a bridal party. At first I felt the same way too. However, I left out the fact that my wife to be doesn't really get along with my family member, as he has disrespected her in the past. And thought that it doesn't really matter as she still feels the same way regardless the fact that she doesn't get a long with him. I was put in a very difficult situation and had to make a choice tring not to upset either one. Unfortunately one would get upset and I felt I had to say no to my family member. The option of saying no was always there, however I feel bad that I had to make a choice and hope that my family member can understand. I feel that this decision should not affect our future relationship as he knew that some people would turn him down.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 2:32PM
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If she doens't like him, and he has dissed her int he past,a dn she still holds it against him, why would she WANT to be in the wedding party?

I'd be relieved--and I might even decide to just send you on your own and stay home (and feel sorry for you, LOL!)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 11:11PM
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I believe that she has all the right to be offended, I have a similar situation, My wife of 21 yrs has been asked to be in the Bridal party of one of her gf that i do not like so much, I have not had enough strength yet to approach my wife and explain to her that I will not sit in a church and watch another man escort her down the aisles. In my mind others may not notice However as her husband I do notice that another man will be escorting her. Now there is a reason why I am 38 and have been married since i was 17 to the same women. Here is the secret I notice the Little Things. Never Ever Ask someone whom is Married to be in your Bridal Party without 1st realizing you may have to include her/his spouse, or they may not be able to because the spouse would be offended for the same reasons.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:10PM
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I'm not surprised that you are having a hard time getting up enough nerve to say something like this to your wife.

It was ridiculous enough that the OP's young fiance was so insecure that she thought she ought to be included in a wedding party of someone she doesn't even like just because her fiance is a groomsman.

And you're a 38-year-old man, and you've been married for 21 years! Don't you realize how controlling, insecure, narcissistic, and just plain silly you will sound if you say that you can't stand to see your wife walk with some random groomsman at someone else's wedding? Don't turn this into something that's about you. It's not.

It is completely irrelevant that the aisle is in a church. I'm sure you realize that walking down an aisle in a church with someone doesn't establish any kind of relationship. If you are saying that the imagery would be too emotional for you -- I think you really need to get over it.

Is this really about that at all? Or is it that it is the wedding of a "gf that [you] do not like so much"? Do you think that perhaps unconsciously you trying to annoy her, or to demand that your wife choose between you and her friend?

Your wife has stuck with you for 21 years; I assume she knows you well enough to reassure you herself and not let you dictate her decisions. But I can tell you that if my husband (of 28 years) said something like this to me, I'd be laughing so hard he'd have time to run away before I realized he was serious and got furious.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:50PM
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"But I can tell you that if my husband (of 28 years) said something like this to me, I'd be laughing so hard he'd have time to run away before I realized he was serious and got furious."

A HUGE AMEN to that!
(except I have a husband of 30 years!)

So childish.....

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 2:36PM
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No, really, Mike is it, you are offended because your wife is being escorted down the aisle by a groomsman (shaking my head in disbelieve)? Talk about being insecure. Are you still stuck emotionally in high school? I agree with the thought that you don't want your wife to be in the wedding at all just because you don't like the bride. How childish is that!? You are a grown man...start acting like one. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 3:41PM
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You know, reading Mike's post more closely, I see that he didn't (well, not explicitly) say he was going to ask his wife not to participate in her friend's wedding. He said:

"I have not had enough strength yet to approach my wife and explain to her that I will not sit in a church and watch another man escort her down the aisles."

Perfect. If I were "Mrs. Mike," I'd know just what to answer:

"Suit yourself. See you later."

I see you are getting emails of our responses, so -- seriously, Mike, is this post even for real? If so, please rethink this; don't say anything like this to your wife; just get over it, go, and behave yourself. If you can't be a good guest and supportive husband and keep this strictly to yourself, do everyone a favor and stay home. (Try asking one of the other attendants' spouses if s/he isn't offended not to have been an attendant -- I bet you'll just get an astounded look.)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 6:20PM
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I agree with Mike and it is a shame that most people don't think like him hence why maybe marriages do not last long.
Married couples should not be split up, its a wedding environment and couples are happier together. Only the ones that have children will know how hard it is to spend time together.
We were invited as a family to a wedding in the last month my husbands friend said he wants my husband to escort a bridesmaid. I do have a problem and its because of few reasons.
If you want to know ask but dont start to judge and trust me i am not a clingy person.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 2:51PM
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Gee, I wonder how I've managed to stay married for 30 years without being surgically attached to my DH? Neither of us would mind being split up, we even travel separately if it doesn't work out that both of us can/want to go.
I trust my husband and he can escort a hundred bridesmaids if he's asked to, it's not like they're going to be doing anything untoward in front of all the congregation.
FWIW, when we had only been married a year or so, friends and family were amazed at how laid back I was after DH was on three different news services being pounced on by a very pretty young lady at the street New Year's party. I could clearly see he was not the instigator and was not enjoying the experience; why would I be mad?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 1:56PM
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I know colleenoz, my husband and I have been married for 32 years and we have been separated at weddings a few times. We are still going strong. Why, because we are mature adults! We know weddings are not about us. As said before in this 7 year old post, it is about the relationship with the B&G. These insecure, immature people that can't be seated next to their spouse for a few hours need to grow up. They are just trying to make it difficult for the other spouse so they will say no to the B&G. How immature is that. Grow up people it is not about you! NancyLouise

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 7:17AM
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We've now been married almost 31 years. We've been to hundreds of weddings together, and at only a handful did we sit together during the ceremony -- because he's a clergyman, so usually he was officiating! Somehow my marriage and I have both survived.

I wonder if piranha would say I should stand next to him through all the ceremonies. :)

She doesn't say what her "few reasons" for her feelings are, but I suspect they are specific to the people involved. Or maybe she doesn't want to be in sole charge of the children while he does wedding party duties, which is understandable, but pretty minor.

Piranha, what if you were asked to be a bridesmaid for a girlfriend or cousin? Would you insist that your husband be in the wedding party, too?

I definitely don't think that more people thinking like Mike would mean better marriages. His post alarmed me; it sounded very controlling and narcissistic.

This post was edited by gellchom on Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 21:05

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 4:07PM
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It's totally ok to split up couples, esp when for example the best man is obviously a best friend of the groom and his wife is just a friend of the bride's but she's having her sister as the MOH. As long as someone doesn't get paired up with an ex, everyone should just try to accept the wishes of the bride and groom. As far as someone not being asked to be in the wedding if their spouse is, they just need to be secure with themselves, put a smile on their face and attend the wedding alone. This isn't 1940. Women don't need an escort to go anywhere. Jeez, weddings have enough issues without this petty stuff.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:38AM
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I agree with the posters that say it is okay to split. We have been married 45 years and early on my DH was Best Man in 3 weddings that I was not the Maid of Honor or a Bridesmaid. In all cases the wedding party sat at the head table and all spouses were seated together at a table.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 6:01PM
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If it is "offensive" for a married person to walk back up the aisle with someone other than their spouse, then if the groom chooses his best friend as best man, must the bride choose his wife -- whom she may not even know -- not only as a bridesmaid, but as maid of honor, instead of her own sister or friend? What if he chooses his father -- does she have to choose her mother-in-law?

What if the bride would like her married sister as her maid of honor, and the groom would like his married brother as best man? Are they supposed to fight it out?

Honestly, this is about the silliest thing I've ever read here.

This post was edited by gellchom on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 14:46

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 1:46PM
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