Post # 1
Our ceremony will be outdoors (assuming the weather is nice…I’m knocking on wood and preparing for the worst already, lol), what I like to think of as a “fancy garden party” ceremony. Not too casual, but not too stuffy either. We want our wedding to focus on bringing all of our “people” together, and creating one new big family — not just bringing FI and me together.
FI’s side of the family has about 2x as many coming as my side. My question is — do we really need to have “sides” for the families to sit on? If we did that mine would take up maybe 3 rows and his would take up their entire side. Right now we’re planning on having baskets of programs on both sides of the aisle at the back where people walk in from, behind the last row of chairs, and having a nice big sign there that says something like “Choose a seat, don’t choose a side! We’re bringing two families together today — why separate them with an aisle? Sit wherever you’d like, and meet someone new.”
Will people be terribly confused? Will everyone think that’s bad etiquette? I have never really understood the concept of bride’s side/groom’s side seating anyway…if someone here can provide insight into this “tradition” please do!
Also, in this case, do we *really* need ushers? Our programs will be self-serve, and if guests don’t need to know which side to sit on, will people really have a conniption if no one is there to seat them? People can surely walk themselves to their seats without a formal escort, right?
Post # 3
I think that sounds fine. My church didn’t even allow us to do bride’s side/groom’s side (not that I wanted to – but it is one of their rules).
Ushers still wouldn’t be a bad thing just to kind of keep the sides a bit more even (as people may still naturally divide themselves) and ensure grandparents and such have spots inthe front (assuming you are doing that).
Post # 4
We’re not having sides (same situation, more of FI’s family is invited than mine), or ushers. The sign idea is cute, though I’d maybe try to shorten the wording a bit. You can definitely skip the ushers. Perhaps just have the groomsmen escort moms, grandmothers, etc. if you want to do that.
Post # 5
our wedding was a semi relaxed fancy garden party… my family is huge, my husbands is tiny. people just sat wherever they wanted, no explanation was necessary. also, we just had our programs and celbration (yay!) flags on a little table that the guests just picked up… so no ushers for us, either. worked perfectly!!
Post # 6
@Mrs.KMM: I think for the parents/grandparents/close aunts and uncles and cousins, we were just going to reserve 2-3 rows on either side of the aisle for them (hang “reserved” signs on the rows or something), parents and grandparents obviously get front row seats, but I think everyone would know that haha.
That is a good point about the rest of the guests naturally dividing themselves though…I hadn’t thought of that. Hmm.
Post # 7
It’s your wedding, do it the way you want! The idea of merging two families as one only seems right to spill over into the ceremony seating! I think it’s a great idea! I had previously been thinking the same thing — and I think we’ll do open ceremony seating with the GM’s helping the mothers/grandmothers, and maybe as FutureKMM: said to keep the sides from being uneven:)
Post # 8
I really like the idea of a sign – IF you don’t have ushers.
Here was my experience – I had 2/3rds of the guest list – FI had 1/3rd. I hoped and prayed that people would just sit up close – but people picked sides. My side was packed and people started sitting in the back on DH’s side – leaving a big gap in the middle of his section (between the family and the guests) – it looked SO weird.
Just went to a wedding this past weekend and the same thing happened – groom had more and everyone piled on his side, leaving her side sparse (no ushers).
If I were to do it all over – I would have insisted on ushers (DH didn’t want them and I thought word of mouth would be good enough).
Post # 9
@Kant: love the idea of the sign! I’m pretty sure (ok, hoping!) that it won’t be necessairy with our family and friends…. maybe I’ll bring this up with my FI….
Post # 9
I think people would sit where they could find a seat anyway. But with you having a sign, I’m sure it will work out even better.
Post # 11
Your idea sounds pretty good, but another way to ensure equal seating on both sides is to HAVE equal seating on both sides. Use as many chairs as you have positive RSVP’s, and split them evenly on both sides. His side might fill up first if people aren’t reading your note properly, but the remaining guests will have no choice but to sit in the remaining seats. I can’t remember the last wedding I attended that actually went by the traditional split sides anyway; I’ve always just sat where I found room. I wouldn’t worry too much about it hon, they’ll sit where you have the seats. Organize the seats and you’ll automatically organize your guests.
Post # 12
A cute idea from another bee:
It Must Be A Sign
Post # 13
@AB Bride: Oh that must be where I got the “pick a seat, don’t pick a side” line from, haha! I remember reading that post now that I see it again. Thanks for the link!
Post # 14
I think it’s fine my suggestion would be to not have the seats on either side then but all in front and together and have the bride walk in from the side.
Post # 15
I think that sounds like a cute plan 🙂 My husband had about 10-12 family members come, as opposed to my 80 something, & 95% of our friends are good friends to BOTH of us, not necessarily his friends or my friends, so we had the same deal.. My brothers were ushers so I told them I didn’t want sides, just to seat people wherever. When the ratio is so skewed, you don’t want to be doing sides. I can’t imagine why anyone would really care if you didn’t do designated bride’s side/groom’s side.