Post # 1
We are getting married in a small indoor space that only has room for 50 people seated and our guest list is about 80 people. We could either have everyone stand, or seat about 1/2 the people on benches and have the rest stand around the back and sides, or have the ceremony outside under a tent and have everyone seated. I REALLY didn’t want to have the ceremony outside because its in the middle of a very busy playground where there are always a hundred screaming kids. Also inside there is a piano that my niece was going to play during the ceremony. How important is it that everyone gets a seat? The majority of our guests are young, healthy people that have no problem standing for long periods of time. The ceremony will be about 20min and our wedding is pretty non-traditional in a lot of ways anyways so I don’t mind that its not the normal thing to do. Also it’s in New York City so we are always adapting to the lack of space everywhere 🙂 Still not sure what the right thing is to do.
Post # 2
This topic seems to come up frequently on the Bee. Most people do not want to stand around while you get married. They just don’t. Think about it—guests will start arriving 5-20 minutes early, and then have to stand for that length of time, plus whatever length of time you’re late, then for the ceremony, then for the recessional, and so on. That’s a lot more standing around than most people want to do.
Some people may look healthy but have health issues that make it uncomfortable or impossible to stand for long periods of time. Other people are like me and suffer from the condition where they don’t want to stand around in high heels for an hour before cocktails are served and the reception starts.
Lastly, if you only have chairs for half of your guests, be prepared for some whispered irritation. You’ll essentially be asking your guests to discretely but viscously play musical chairs and some will be butt hurt when they lose out and have to stand.
Post # 3
wkidder: I think that like with most things if you have to ask, you already know the answer. You should have seats to accomodate your guests.
Post # 4
If your ceremony is only going to be about 20 mins long, people can stand. Sh*t, people stand in lines longer than that for taco trucks for f*cks sake.
However, if there are older guests, or any physically handicapped persons, get them chairs -or- if your ceremony is going to be longer than 20 mins, it’s probably best to just get everyone chairs.
Post # 5
This topic always manages to get heated. You need a chair for every guest. As someone else mentioned, it’s not just the ceremony time — people usually get to a wedding 15ish minutes early, wedding often start late, after the ceremony ends, it usually take awhile after the recessional for everyone to make their way out, especially if you’re doing a receiving line. Many/most women will be wearing heels that they likely won’t want to stand in for long periods of time.
Post # 6
Umm, are you going to break fire code regulations by having that many people inside? Your venue may be well within their rights to boot you out or restrict access to those first fifty people there if you have too many people show up.
Post # 7
No advice, but I hope you can figure something out that won’t upset anyone! I am dealing with a space issue too…the worst part It’s an outdoor space and I can’t even get to it to measure until the snow is gone! ugh.
Post # 8
I love when threads like this come up, “Its only 20 minutes” yeah right. A) guest get there early B) thats assuming that everything goes 100% according to the timeline, but in real world sometimes things go wrong and there are delays.
Post # 9
wkidder: we are in exactly the same predicament so I’m reading these replies with interest too 🙁
Post # 10
I wouldn’t mind standing. Although I understand what people say by it would be hard to concentrate on the ceremony when you’re standing. The problem is with 80 people.. the main thing is being able to see the ceremony. People may be upset by not being able to see over one another. I’d be upset with that more than anything else.
Post # 11
Honestly, I went to a wedding recently where all the guests stood for a short, 20 minute ceremony. I unfortunately couldn’t see most of the ceremony because there were taller people in front of me, and people were constantly shifting around and making noises. It wasn’t as special for me to hear someone get married, as it would have been to actually see them get married.
Post # 12
wkidder: I am young and even when I was a normal weight and looked healthy I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I hate standing in long queues because my lower back starts to hurt (Apparently I get this from my mother she has the same issues), if I am walking around and moving it isn’t so bad but just standing I would be seriously sore after arriving 20 mins early and then a 20 min ceremony. Not to mention if I’m in heels I would be really upset, they hurt like hell after standing still for that long…
Post # 15
wkidder: Its not the right thing to do. Either change your venue to a place where all your guests are offered a chair or cut down your guest list so that everyone gets a chair.
also, please don’t assume just because someone is young and appears healthy it’s okay t.o make them stand. I am far from old but standing in one spot often aggravates a back/leg issue I have and what you are suggesting would be horribly uncomfortable for me.
beyond that, it’s just rude to offer only half your guests a chair. Guest comfor should be prioritized over the setting.
Post # 13
I wouldn’t dream of not having a seat for everyone, even if a few people might be okay with standing, the majority of your guests won’t be okay with it.
Post # 14
LadyMoriarty: For “f*cks” sake I don’t eat out of food trucks and I wouldn’t wait standing in line for any food for 20 minutes. Not to mention it’s not exactly up to the bride and groom to decide how long I should be standing around. Read PPs who have pointed out that a 20 minute ceremony equates to much longer actual standing time.
OP, I’m agreeing with the majority, you need to have enough chairs for everyone. A couple points – if you plan to do the typical reserved seating in the front rows for family members or reserve seats for older guests you’re essentially tiering your guests. The “important” people get a seat but the lesser folks don’t. Secondly, people in the back may not be able to see. You’re setting yourself up for potentially ugly ceremony pictures of people standing with arms crossed, miserable looks on their faces. And people standing up are more likely to lean into the aisle or stand there, potentially blocking your photographer from important pictures of you and your groom.
Why did you invite 30 extra people when you knew the capacity? Or if all 80 people were essential guests, why did you choose this venue?