chairs at ceremony dilemma – advice please!

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
9856 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

I would bite the bullet and rent the chairs.  I wouldn’t want to stand through a ceremony, especially not in heels (which I always wear to weddings).

Post # 3
1441 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Please get the chairs.  It is not right to ask people to stand for the ceremony.  Even if people aren’t visibly disabled, plenty of people can’t stand for that long due to various physical issues you may not know about.  Also, no one will be able to see.  Think of it like a concert but the artist is on the same level as the crowd…. not good.

Post # 4
6446 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Everyone gets a chair- no exceptions.

As someone with back problems, I would likely go sit in the car or inside if I realized o was expected to stand.

Post # 5
305 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Also, if everyone is standing, they can’t stand when you’re walking down the aisle.  I wouldn’t add something else on to your plate like picking up and setting up the chairs yourselves- I think your wedding day is going to be hectic enough, you should be relaxing and enjoying it as much as possible.  I tried to get our budget down as much as possible by figuring out what we could do and I eventually just decided it wasn’t worth my time the day of our wedding. 

Post # 6
8847 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I know $500 seems like a lot for a wedding on a budget… but what do you want people to remember about your ceremony: the love and joy and support they felt for you, or them being distracted by their feet being sore / not being able to see / wondering when it’s going to end so they can sit down / etc ?  The ceremony really is the highlight of the whole event, so in order to make it as good as possible for everyone involved, I’d spring for the chairs so everyone can focus on you.

Do you have a couple uncles or somebody who could do the Uhaul, setup, and breakdown?  That’s what I’d do.  And if not, just spring for the delivery and setup.  You and your wedding party / parents will be SO busy that day, you don’t want to have to deal with this too.

Post # 7
576 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Why not just take a couple of trucks if they don’t fit in one? Or a few cars, too? Chairs would fit in the back seat.

Post # 8
2675 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

I had a similar issue except indoors or outdoors I needed the chairs for my ceremony. For 120 chairs, drop off, set up, take down, pick up = $700. It sucks, but I’m not going to ask 120 people to stand for my wedding ceremony.

We were told initially if other couples got married the same day as us (they have up to three weddings a day in three time slots) that we could split the cost. This seemed a lot better, it would have been 1/3 the cost, but no other weddings are happening at our location that day so we have to suck it up and pay the total alone.

Unless you know your guests well enough to know that most of them would be fine standing outside for that long, I really wouldn’t recommend it.

Post # 9
11593 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Rent the chairs.

I was at a wedding recently that had the guests standing.  People were shuffling on their feet and making noise.  As a shorter person, I wasn’t able to see most of the ceremony, only hear it.  I felt like I missed the actual wedding part of the day, to be honest.  It was a let down.

There are also people who have medical conditions that you may not be aware of, but which prevent them from standing for long periods of time.  It’s not fair to assume everyone who isn’t elderly will be able to stand for the duration of your ceremony – plus the time waiting and the time after.  Most people get to ceremonies 20-30 minutes early, so you’re now asking people to stand for 45 minutes, which may be a challenge for some, and an annoyance for most.

Post # 10
74 posts
Worker bee

Under no circumstances should the guests stand! I also think you should just bite the bullet and not stress about picking them up, setting them up and then returning them. I would choose either of these two options depending on what is reasonable to you: 1) rent chairs and pay for the service, or 2) if you can’t or dont want to pay for the chairs, have an indoor ceremony with provided chairs, which would be less of a gamble with the weather!

Post # 11
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014


Chairs are a must! It should be an enjoyable experience not an annoying one. If I was standing I would constantly be saying “is it over yet?”

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  saritacg7.
Post # 12
3833 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Skittles131:   Everyone will need a chair.  It isn’t just the 20-30 minute ceremony – you need to count the time from their arrival, which may be another 20-30 minutes ahead of time.  

Or perhaps move the ceremony inside where there are already chairs?  

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