As part of our ongoing 52 Rituals/Traditions from around the world series we thought we might take a bit of a look at seating arrangements for the ceremony.
If you’re having a traditional church wedding or a large civil ceremony, but want to uphold some of the more formal or religious traditions around seating, you might want to consider the seating arrangements for the ceremony.
Traditionally, the bride's family and friends will be seated on the left hand side facing the front while the groom's family and friends are seated on the right.
The best way to ensure that people sit where you want them to is to have an usher showing people where to sit. This alleviates any confusion and let’s guests know that it is okay to sit down and that they are in the right spot. Often people will stand around for fear of sitting somewhere they are not supposed to. Ushers should where possible seat guests as they arrive, from front rows to back
Another option is to simply place flowers or ribbons on the ends of the first few rows so that guests know that this is seating for immediate family and special guests.
Row 1 (front left) Should be set aside for the Bride's Parents – it can be difficult to organise if the parents are divorced, but if they are on good terms then they can sit together in the front row. However if they are remarried or not on good terms, one parent and his/her new partner may like to sit a row or two back to keep things pleasant.;
Row 2 (front right) Should be set aside for the Groom's Parents – with the same considerations as above
Row 3. (second left) Should be set aside for the Bride's Grandparents and Siblings
Row 4. (second right) Should be set aside for the Groom's Grandparents and Siblings
Row 5. (third left) Should be set aside for the Bride's Special Guests
Row 6. (third right) Should be set aside for the Groom's Special Guests
All of the other rows can be filled with other guests in attendance as they please. It is best to have any young children toward the back so that if they need to be taken outside, it can be done without disruption to the service.
Of course all of this is nothing more than choice and if you decide to just mix it up a little and let guests sit anywhere then do what makes you happy!
The Wedding Gurus