Abbey Clancey and Peter Crouch were criticised by well-known tabloid for not sitting on the top table with their parents, choosing to sit with their friends instead. I must admit, even by tabloid standards, this did sound like a regular hoo-ha over nothing.
Tradition also dictates that the parents of the bride sit either side of the couple. Last wedding I went to, this was 100% necessary in order to stop the groom's parents fighting each other. But it doesn't always have to be this way.
The couple were also accused of segregation by serving different desserts to their male and female guests. Men got fudge brownies while the ladies had cheesecakes. There is nothing new in this. The Beckhams did this at their wedding more than a decade ago, serving their gentleman guests sticky toffee pudding while the ladies had Fruits of Forest.
Personally, I'm not in favour of this. It sounds like the couple are trying to make a trendy, quirky statement with their dessert, but I think it's just asking for trouble. You're bound to get a few guests who want the other dessert and will get peeved that they can't have it simply because of their sex. (As a hardcore feminist, I'm in favour of equality even when it comes to dessert!)
I get quite tired of rules of ettiquette at times. Whilst there's nothing wrong in good manners and decorum, stupid rules about how men and women must be seated alternately around the table is absolute RUBBISH! What if you've got a big group of friends, all of the same gender, who want to sit together? And how about gay friends and their partners? Must they be forced apart just to acommodate a rule? Have you got friends you haven't seen for ages coming to your big day? Would rather sit next to them than your mother whom you see all the time? Then do so!
What about the kind of wine you serve? You must have a white, a red and a sparking for the toast. Oh really? What if you prefer rose? Supposing you don't drink at all and would rather not serve any alcohol at all. (In this circumstance, it is polite to let guests know in advance that this will be the case.)
Anyone who tells you in matters like this that your choice is wrong can't love you very much. It is your day and you should get to celebrate it in whatever manner you chose.