Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Top tables

As the recession deepens, and gloom tightens its grip on
the world, my thoughts have been turning to the question
of top tables at wedding receptions. I wonder if they have
had their day. It is a singular fact that those unfortunates
parked at the top table—namely, the bride, groom, best
man and bridesmaids—are isolated from the conviviality
at all the other tables, and also, being lined up in a row
rather than seated round a table facing each other, have
only the person next to them to talk to. Which soon palls.
The bride and groom, for instance, well aware that they
have just embarked on a lifetime of having to talk to each
other, can’t see why they should have to do it now, when
all their friends and relations are merrily chatting a few
feet away. Tiring of being perched up there like pigeons
on a branch, before long the top-tablers descend from
their elevated position and start roaming the reception
room in search of good company. In my experience, the
reception is usually barely half an hour old before the top
table has been completely vacated. To make the
obligatory speeches they have to return to the top table,
and once that's done they're off again.

Here at oppthumb.com, the general view is that the
wedding party should be seated down on the floor, in the
middle of all the other tables, so that people can come and
go from them, rather than the other way round, and they
may justly be the centre of attention. Let them stand up
and speak from where they sit. The inertia of tradition
has, I fear, kept this top-table business in place for far too
long, to the detriment of post-nuptial pleasure, social
progress and the public good.

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