Post # 1
I need some advice – We are having a short outdoor ceremony at our reception site. The two options we have for having chairs would be to rent an extra 120 chairs or to use the chairs from the tables at the reception. I think it would be so much work moving the chairs back and forth not to mention awkward to have family doing it while the guest enjoy the Champagne celebration after the ceremony (the site won’t move them). But I really don’t want to have to pay the extra money to rent more chairs and chair covers.
I was at a wedding last summer where they had people standing but no one stood near the bride and groom there was this huge space between the bride and groom and the guest which I found to be very awkward. We were thinking of sort of nicely roping off an area and having ushers assit people to ensure guests come up closer – but I don’t know is it tacky to have your guests stand?
I am really struggling with this – thanks for any suggestions
Post # 3
I can totally see where you are coming from not wanting to spend the extra $$ (it isn’t very efficient for just 20-30min ceremony). However, i do think it is common courtesy to provide seats for your guests. Especially for older people it might be hard to stand, but even for younger guests who can handle it physically I wouldn’t recommend this.
If you want to save money, you could not get chair covers or maybe not have the ceremony outside. Or maybe you can pay someone to move chairs rather than having family do it?
Post # 4
I don’t think it’s tacky. As long as it’s not an hour long ceremony..go for it! Just let everyone know ahead of time, so they’ll wear comfortable shoes.
Post # 5
Forcing guests to stand at a ceremony is not acceptable. What about older people? They can’t be standing around like that, regardless of how short the ceremony is. I think you need to rent the extra chairs. You don’t need chair covers.
My venue doesn’t allow the furniture (including) chairs to be used outside of the building so we have to rent chairs for the ceremony. It wasn’t even an option or a thought in my mind to make people stand.
Post # 6
Funny story – we had a shortish outside ceremony, and DID rent chairs. But, my officiant never told my guests to sit down after they rose for me and my dad to enter…so yeah, money went to waste there…sigh. Worse part, I didn’t know until watching the wedding video!
Post # 7
I don’t think it’s tacky, but although your ceremony may be short, your guests will be standing long before the ceremony starts.
Post # 8
I don’t think it’s ‘tacky’ either (we all just got “in trouble” for using that word yesterday, LOL!)
I am in the same predicament. What a HASSLE! And way out of the budget to rent more chairs.
What type of feeling does your venue have?
We are doing ours at a refurbished barn, so hay bails with great covers would be appropriate.
Post # 9
Its what we’re doing and everyone I’ve talked to thinks it will be fine! We do have room and the extra chairs available for 3 rows of chairs so we’ll reserve row one for parents and sisters and the second two we’ll ask that people let the seniors sit first. Our ceremony site is a little different in that its an outdoor plaza with brick planters, steps, trees, benches. At first I was totally unsure about it, but I saw pictures of another bride do it and it made me feel better. We are definitely keeping the ceremony short and sweet so people in the back won’t be standing for long. And I have a rain/cold plan set up to move the ceremony into the glass-in pavilion/reception space if I need it. And in fact, it’s looking like I will need it because this stupid winter doesn’t seem to want to go away. grrr!
I’ll attach some pics of the other bride so you can see how it worked.
Post # 10
as a guest, i wouldn’t like to stand. not only are you standing during the ceremony, but i always get there early so i’d be standing way before, and if i wasn’t warned then i’d probably be wearing not so comfy shoes. and the others are right, you’d want to make sure to have chairs for older guests no matter what.
Post # 11
Okay, let me try again. The first pic of the wedding shows what you can see is the first row of people taking thier seats, and then the guy in the suit whose back you can see, he is in the second or third row.
And the second pic just shows the empty space from farther back looking towards the fountain that we’ll be standing in front of.
Post # 12
Thanks for all the responses so far. The venue is a ski hill that looks down towards the river valley. I would completely have chairs for our elderly guests regardless.
@gocubbies – a refurbished barn sounds so great – making use of the haybails is a great idea.
@amac25 – that plaza is beautiful – and so many ledges and benches for sitting before and during the ceremony
I haven’t been to the venue during the winter but plan on visiting to see if they have benches or something that the skiers/boarders use to put on their gear and see if those might be availalbe to use on out wedding day. But if they are not wanted to know everyones thoughts on no chairs.
Post # 13
My venue doesn’t allow for chairs outside except a few for our older guests.
My Future Mother-In-Law mentioned going to plenty of weddings where evryone stood. We’ll keep it short & sweet (15 min max) and open the bar before the ceremony starts so people won’t feel their shoes as much.
Post # 14
Personally, I think having a seating area (regardless of what it is) is the best thing to do. I just personally wouldn’t want to stand, it seems awkward to me.
Like another poster mentioned I saw people use bails of hay covered with blankets & it was so cute! Also, benches would prob be more affordable & they are awesome!! Or, even blankets and have a picnic style ceremony, this could be done very cute!
Take a look at Mrs. Gummy Bear’s set up (I’m in love with this women’s wedding!!)…swoon!!! [attachment=728108,94028]
Post # 15
We have the exact same problem. I have three ideas.
1) Do a couple rows of chairs for elderly and everyone else stands.
2) Do all chairs and talk to a few guys and groomsmen beforehand to sign them up to move them to our tent (which is about 15 feet away so not so bad, but still 150 chairs!)
3) Make it a picnic style. We’d still have a few rows of chairs in one area for the elderly, but put something on the invitations asking people to bring blankets and they can sit picnic style during the ceremony.
At my sister’s wedding it ended up raining and the venue couldn’t move all the chairs fast enough. She ended up with a couple rows of people sitting and everyone else gathered around standing. She said she loved how intimate it felt. I love the picnic idea a lot but I’m not sure how to phrase it on the invitation and I’m worried about sight lines with the couple rows of chairs.
Post # 16
Oops here’s the photo I was trying to attach!