Post # 1
Last time this topic was discussed myself and anyone who didn’t think it was 100% necessary to have a seat for every guest were roundly criticised. I was told I wasn’t considering my guests needs, etc etc, and to be frank, it cause a lot of stress and second guessing. Sure, 90% of my family have had standing ceremonies, and sure my celebrant assured me most of the ceremonies she’s done had standing guests, but maybe we’re all just weird?
Well, I was looking at an Australian wedding on Style Me Pretty, and lo and behold… standing guests. So I started to scroll through outdoor ceremonies… more standing guests… more standing guests. In fact, I’ve only come across two where there were no standing guests, and one of those was an intimate wedding of what looked like 20.
Honestly if I was invited to any wedding where the ceremony wasn’t at a church, I’d automatically assume that more likely than not we would be standing at the ceremony. Thank you to these photos for reassuring me that our 50 seats will be just fine. And I hope this helps reassure other bees in a similar position!
Post # 3
We Australians are a pretty laid back bunch, so what is okay for us is not considered good practice in other parts of the world, just think of it as a cultural point of difference 😛
If your ceremony is short, and outdoors, and you are arriving on time, I don’t mind standing. If you (the bride) are going to be more than 15 mins late or have a 45 minute service of sorts then you best be understanding I am either taking off my heels or getting very grumpy.
Post # 4
I agree with you there! We did plan to have seats for everyone, but the night before the wedding we realized that it just wouldn’t work. We couldn’t rent (no one would’ve delivered them to our location and we had no other way to get them there) and we thought we could just move the chairs from the receptionm but with a ton of rain the night before it was impossible. So, anyone who didn’t need a chair stood. We had benches for those who needed them (it was small, we knew exactly who needed them, even those with invisible problems) and everyone was fine with it!
Post # 5
@Olivepepper: I definitely think it seems to be a cultural/regional thing. Just like gift registries etc. If anything, the Hive has opened my eyes to many things that I thought were 100% normal which apparently, to other people, are anything but! And yes, we’ll be keeping it short & sweet 🙂
Post # 6
The last wedding I went to had no chairs for the ceremony. They had it in a beautiful rose garden and weren’t allowed to have chairs on the lawn. I didn’t hear anyone complain about it and it didn’t bother me. The ceremony was very short though, less than 20 minutes. Any longer than 30 minutes and I think it is considerate to provide chairs for some guests.
Post # 7
I’m not Australian but I have to agree! I was one of the standing guests at most outdoor weddings I’ve been to, and even a few indoor ones. Everyone here automatically assumes that when there are few seats, they’re intended for the immediate family and those who find it really hard to stand, such as elderly people and very pregnant women 🙂 I’ve never heard of anyone being annoyed or surprised about there not being enough chairs.
I really don’t mind standing for the ceremony and cocktail hour but it’s definitely nice to have a place to plop down at the reception – standing in high heels for hours upon hours hurts! lol
Post # 8
Like any other argument on proper etiquette/what is “right” or “ok” e.g. standing guests, cash bars, not providing a meal at dinner time, honeymoon registries, etc, just because people do it doesn’t make it polite or mean all your guests are cool with it. I would be severely annoyed but I wouldn’t say anything to the bride and groom because I have manners.
Post # 9
I don’t know, just because someone else did it doesn’t make it okay. If I had to stand for a ceremony (and that will obviously include time before the ceremony and afterwards as well), I’d be pretty pissed, especially if I was in a dress and heels. It just seems like a pretty easy fix — rent enough chairs for everyone. It can’t be that much more money, time, or effort to make it not worth it for the comfort of your guests.
Post # 10
I’m thinking this is probably a regional thing. I’ve never been to a weeding where everyone didn’t have somewhere to sit. Not providing a chair for everyone would have never crossed my mind. I just assumed everyone had to have somewhere to sit. I think it would be a little annoying to be a guest and be expected to stand for the ceremony and the cocktail hour. Maybe if it’s relaxed it would be ok, but I would be annoyed if I had heels on. But I think it all has to do with what your guests expect. If it’s normal in your area to stand at wedding and people know to expect it then it’s fine. I think I just wouldn’t want to be unprepared. If I knew and wore flats then I wouldn’t care.
Post # 11
Just becaus they’re standing doesn’t mean they’re happy about it. What are they going to do, give the photographer the finger? If I had to stand for a twenty minute ceremony in heels, I would do it… But I would definitely be grumbling about it to my husband on the ride home.
Post # 12
@goingtotherooftopoflove: It is SO true that what seems normal in one culture is shocking for another lol I am French Canadian and my FI is English Canadian, and our wedding traditions are soooo different even though we are from the same country!! For example, a gift registry is normal for him (his friends all had one), but for me and my friends and family, it is unthinkable lol Although we understand the logic behind it now, it still is just impossible to bring ourselves to have one (we usually give cash to newlyweds). Also, we don’t have a bridal party. No bridesmaids, no groomsmen. And most of the time, we have an evening wedding and no meal (that works when everybody is living at a short distance of the wedding, of course). Oh and we have cash bars! Never been to an open bar wedding… Anyway, we had a lot of comprising to do to organize our wedding!
Post # 13
Thanks for this post, OP. Almost all the weddings I have ever been to have had seating for parents, grandparents, elderly and otherwise infirm guests, and everyone else stands. If there are extra seats, they’re often left empty too.
I see a lot of people are still getting bent out of shape about It in this thread, and I just want to remind everyone that what is the norm in your cultures etiquette handbook is not a global standard.
ETA: not trying to be snarky here, but a lot of etiquette discussed on the Bee just doesn’t apply down under!
Post # 14
I am from Australia 🙂 Most weddings that I have been to, have been outdoors and usually everyone is standing with maybe the exception of parents and grandparents. It’s the normal thing here so I’ve never see an issue with it or maybe I am bias because my wedding is on the beach where all my guests will be standing lol
Post # 15
Wow all these women complaining about having to stand for an hour or so in heels is cracking me up! Haven’t you ever gone shopping in heels, or to a club, or anywhere else besides a restaurant in heels? If heels make standing that unbearable.. meaning can’t handle at least 2-3 hrs buy some cute flats or a different heel. I think its more their attire that would be the issue if their uncomfortable, not standing for a ceremony…and I say that is their fault not your’s. Moral of the story buy shoes you can wear not just sit in.
Post # 16
I have been to three weddings recently where the guests mingled with cocktails BEFORE the ceremony and then stood for the vows when bride and groom arrived…..twice in Hawaii and once in CA. It seemed fine to me. The old people had chairs reserved for them