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Jewish Wedding Seating for Dummies

June 18, 2017 | by David Kilimnick

You will recognize the Bride’s Girlfriend Table from the quantity of hi-pitched ‘wooohs’.

Wedding season is here, and that means gifts, diets and worrying about what table you will be sitting at.

If you’re invited to a Jewish wedding and not familiar with the seating etiquette, never fear, David’s here with my Jewish Wedding Seating for Dummies.

Young Marrieds Table: where they talk about the cost of Jewish school tuition and babysitting.

Close Friends Table

These are the eight people that really care to be there. You do not want to be sat at this table, unless you want to sit alone. They will not be sitting at the table, they will be dancing the whole night. They will abandon you, while they wait by the door for their friends to come into the ballroom for the first dance. Then they will recruit you to join them in a shtick, and you will be wearing a costume, representing a bad date she had.

Bride’s Girlfriends Table

This is the table where people are having the most fun. This table is generally populated with a lot of hi-pitched ‘wooohs’ and a lot of pictures in leaning form. They are extremely happy to celebrate their close friend that they will not be seeing for the next two years because she will be moving to a suburb.

They also seem to be very happy to not be around guys. The one thing that the newlywed’s friend tables have in common is that nobody at either table wants to be sitting with guys.

Groom’s Guy Friends Table

As a single man, you question why you even showed up for your friend, the groom, who can care less about your future.

Singles Table

This is a table that the newlyweds handpicked, by figuring out who has dated and then sitting them together. You will be able to identify this table when you notice nobody talking, and then a random individual running off to the bathroom to cry. That brings newlyweds happiness.

Young Married Couples Table

This is for people who are trying to come to grips with the fact that having children costs money. If you are going to join this table, make sure you know the cost of Jewish day school admission, and babysitting. It also doesn’t hurt to mention a random pre-school as an option for decent education. Do not bring up any conversation about sports or clothing. Agreements have been made that for the next 16 years, all conversation will be focused on education and health-care plans.

Parents’ Friends Tables

These are the tables of people that will be giving gifts.

This is 90% of the wedding guests. If you are getting married, you might as well have no friends. This event is for your parents. They want to see you under the canopy. That is why it took 8 months to organize the question, ‘Will you marry me with this ring?’

Wife’s Side Tables

All tables are separated at a wedding. Be sure you know which side you are on, so that you can mock the correct mother’s outfit.

Husband’s Side Tables

This is the uninterested side of the room.

Buffet Table

It looks like the best table to sit at. However, that is the serving station. If you can get away with it, then go ahead. If you are somehow lucky enough to choose your own seating, your goal should be whatever allows you access to the chicken stuffed with rice.

Work Friends Table

These are all the people who have no idea how to wear a Kippah.

CrossFit Sports Club Buddies Table

These are the people showing up in shorts and dancing the whole time. As they are not just a fitness center, but a family, they had to close down the gym today. Hence, they are exploiting the wedding for their WOD (workout of the day). They are using the dancing for the aerobics, adding in line-dancing and kicks whenever possible. Then they are getting in the anaerobic by putting the bride and groom on their shoulders, substituting in for the day’s squats. And then doing the chairlift, working together as a group to do a snatch.

No Place Card Table

You got invited at the last minute. Somebody backed out. Or maybe you weren’t even invited. Whatever the reason, you should have eaten more at the smorgasbord.

They bring out this table a good 20 minutes into the table seating, to save face. They set up the table in the corner, to add to the feeling of punishment. Maybe you wronged them at some point. They probably know you are cheap and aren’t going to give a decent gift anyways.

The Dancers Table

These are the people that are there to bring simcha, happiness to the bride and groom. They do this, by dancing and not knowing who the bride and the groom are.

I respect these, usually younger people, who go out of their way and put their pride on the line. It is beautiful, but they should try to know a bit about the bride and groom. It does get awkward when the wrong grandparents are hoisted in the air. Watching them pulled while clawing to the table, seeing them yelling and screaming does have me worry. I am not an attorney, but legally, isn’t this kidnapping?

If you are a dancer, make sure to not shove the bride and groom to the side, so that you can prep for your breakdance toprock.

There are other tables, such as the Kids Table. But if you don’t like chicken fingers, you better pray they do not sit you there.

No matter what table you are at, it is your job to bring simcha to the bride and the groom. So, forget about your table, look at the cameras and smile.

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