Post # 1
I guess I’m just starting to think through the logistics of having the grandparents and parents walk up the aisle at the start of the ceremony and be seated, rather than seating themselves ahead of time. I have several dilemmas, so input on any is greatly appreciated!
1. My grandma (dad’s mom) and FI’s grandmawould have to walk alone, since they are both widows. However, I believe we will have 2 ushers, both from my mom’s side… so if we have the ushers escort them, the grandmas would never have met the men. Should I have someone from their own sides escort them so they’re more comfortable?
2. My mom’s parents as well as FI’s grandma (the same from #1) are all not in the best health. They might have trouble walking and standing. There’s nowhere for them to sit in the back while they wait to walk up, and they can’t stand there waiting. Plus I’m not sure my grandma and grandpa would be able to walk up escorting each other, so should I have a third person help them both? And I’m not sure they’d want eyes on them as they walk in anyway, I wonder if they might prefer to seat themselves to avoid the attention. But I had always seen this part as an honor, and I think my grandpa would too, so I don’t want to take that from him.
3. FI’s dad broke his leg very badly recently and will be in a wheelchair. Should we have his mom wheel him up the aisle? I wonder if the fact that he’s in a wheelchair while he’s normally very mobile would be embarrassing for him to be on the spot like that.
I will be walking up alone so my parents would be escorting each other. I’m beginning to wonder if I should just let them all sit down on their own when they get there… I’ve just never seen it done that way before.
Post # 3
Perhaps ask all involved what they would feel most comfortable doing. That may make the whole situation much easier to deal with logistically.
Do you and Fiance have any siblings that could walk your respective grandmothers down and assist if they need it due to health issues.
Is it possible to have a couple of folding chairs placed in the area where you all will be lining up before the walking down the aisle. Those with health issues would be able to sit there since it can take a while for the processional to get going.
The good news is that every wedding is so different and personal, that you can get away with seating all the VIPs however you would like to and whatever is most comfortable for those invloved and no one can say anthing. If they do, then clearly they need something else to worry about…feel free to direct them my way as I am a worry wort and could easily find something for them to worry about.
Post # 4
I totally understand your predicament. One of my grandmas (also a widow) is not in the best health, and I worry about her making the long-ish walk during the ceremony (the ceremony is outside, so it’s not just a matter of starting from the lobby of a church and walking 15 yards up to the altar). For whatever reason, it is a little uncomfortable for me to just ask her about it. But what I might do first is ask my aunt, who spends the most time with my grandma, what she thinks would be best or what she thinks my grandma might prefer – then she or I could talk to my grandma about it. I have also considered just nixing the ceremonial seating of the grandparents altogether, and just have the parents in the processional, but am not quite sure I’m at that point yet.
Maybe what you can do is have a talk with your mom about her parents? She may have some insight into what they would prefer. And have you talked to your Fiance about how his dad will feel about making an entrance in a wheelchair? Your Fiance may have a very clear understanding of how his dad would feel in that situation – and if your Fiance isn’t sure, maybe ask him if he’ll talk to his parents about how they’d prefer it to go. I think in situations like this, you really do need to make sure the people who will be walking up the aisle with all eyes on them, are okay with it, and won’t be embarrassed.
I think that if you do decide to just allow everyone to seat themselves before the ceremony, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, even if you’ve never seen it done before. But you may still want to make sure you are not hurting any feelings if you do that, since I do think that a lot of people would expect the grandparents to be in that position of honor in the processional, as you pointed out.
As far as the seating of the two widowed grandmothers by ushers, I don’t see any general reason why they would be uncomfortable being escorted by men from your mother’s family whom they’ve never met before – as long as they are introduced before the ceremony begins. It’s all about families coming together, after all, and as long as your ushers are courteous, I wouldn’t think it was out of line. But if the ladies are in fact uncomfortable walking with someone they don’t know well, then you should probably just get a sibling or cousin or close family friend from their own families to escort each of them.
Post # 5
Thanks for the responses!
I have no siblings, and FI’s only sibling is my Bridesmaid or Best Man. Unfortunately there is really no good place to put them in the back while they wait… it’s a small, oddly shaped chapel with no back lobby.
I’ve sort of asked relatives what they THINK my grandparents would prefer, but I’m afraid to ask directly mainly because 1) I feel like they will all have different preferences- some will want to walk, some won’t, some will want to be alone, some won’t, etc. and 2) our grandparents might just say whatever they think will make us happy, since that’s just how they all are, so I’m not sure I’ll even get the honest answer.
I probably will have to just ask though. I’ll just try to be clear that I really want them to be comfortable.
I think I will just straight up ask Future Father-In-Law what he wants. The grandparents, well, as I said to PP, not sure how asking directly will go… and my mom is super close to her parents but she’s thinking more of their health and safety than what they actually want.
My mom said that I should have her family escort the widows because they might be offended that I chose ushers only from my mom’s side when I could have easily picked at least one from FI’s side or my dad’s side. I’m a lot closer to my mom’s family for various reasons but I still worry my grandmas would be hurt by our usher choices. I just have no idea what random family member to ask to walk them up… especially since my mom thinks that my dad’s siblings will only show up for dinner, not the ceremony, lol.