Saturday, June 16, 2007


I received a very interesting question, which I wanted to devote to an entire post, since it's an important issue regarding to seating arrangements:

"In my culture, it is traditional for the Bride and Groom to be seated together on a couch/throne thoughout the reception. People come up and greet them and take pictures.....the B&G don't even eat! We are planning to do something like this for our wedding here in the US. It will be in the context of a "cultural" wedding with both Indian and American guests...are we being rude to our American guests??"

This comment was in response to my "Seating Slip-Ups" line of posts, I believe most directly related to the "Nutcracker Effect" discussion. As some of you may remember, the Nutcracker Effect was when, with the use of a sweetheart table, the bride and groom inadvertently make it seem as if the bride/groom are above their guests-both literally and figuratively.

I wanted to respond to this question, because it raises a very interesting and important element to the discussion -- ie a cultural component.

I would say this to this reader, as well as others in a similar position: I do NOT think that, in celebrating the traditions of your culture, that you are doing anything rude by sitting as bride/groom together on a couch/throne during the reception. Most likely, and first of all, many of your guests will understand and recognize that this IS a cultural tradition, and second of all, this tradition encourages your guests to interact with you, and vice versa--which will create a sense of unity, rather than separation.

The concern I have about this seating arrangement only is when the arrangement stems from rude bridal behavior--and the idea of isolation (ie a bride/groom creating an effect of being on a different level than the guests). This type of tradition in your culture seems both inclusive and a wonderful way of allowing mingling with your guests -- it's basically the opposite of your going around the room with your husband to greet people.

In short, I think this cultural tradition is great--definitely don't feel uncomfortable to celebrate your culture in this manner. It sounds as if you are a very gracious bride--and one who thinks about the feelings of your friends and family--therefore you will have NOTHING to worry about, because your graciousness will shine through on the big day!

Stay tuned!