Post # 1
My fiance and I are having our Oct wedding ceremony and reception at the same location.
Weather allowing, we would like to hold our ceremony outdoors on the lawn. In which case, we are thinking of not having but a few chairs setup for our elderly relatives, and asking that everyone else sit on a blanket OR stand. Is this acceptable?
If weather does not allow, we will hold the ceremony in the same space as the reception. In which case, we’re thinking standing only.
We are looking to keep the ceremony fairly short, as it will be non-demoninational. We’d like everything to feel more intimate and relaxed.
Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
I went to a wedding where everyone was standing because it was outside. I think it’s okay as long as the wedding isn’t long and the weather isn’t extreme. At that wedding, it was 100 degrees and no shade. Not a fun day.
Post # 4
It also depends on how many people you have – 100 people standing around, and people won’t be able to see or be comfortable. Also, you have to keep it very short – less than fifteen minutes – otherwise, people get very antsy. Make sure you have good amplification for the ceremony, too, as people standing can block the flow of sound.
I also have to add that a wedding ceremony can be intimate and relaxed with people sitting down… (sorry, I’m just not a fan of standing at ceremonies.. especially women in heels!)
Post # 5
ok a few thoughts. In general I think you should provide seating for all guests at the ceremony no matter how long or short it is. Even those who aren’t elderly may have problems that make standing difficult. Furthermore, speaking from experience, standing in heels for any prolonged period of time is not fun. In your situation, standing in heels on a lawn is even worse. And although you may think oh 10 minutes isn’t so long, you have to remember that people will probably get there early so they’ll be standing for longer. Also, are you having a cocktail hour where people will once again be standing? it just seems like a lot of standing to me and that can often distract your guests from the ceremony.
Post # 6
Someone else posted something similar a while back. I think the problem with this is not standing through the actual ceremony, but before/after. No one shows up right when the ceremony starts and leaves the instant it ends. People could end up standing around for quite some time.
Post # 7
I think it also depends on how long the ceremony is. If your ceremony is over 30 minutes or so, some people might get tired or their feet might start hurting from standing in the grass.
Post # 8
I went to an outdoor wedding in June of this year that had a standing ceremony – they had 2 rows of chairs for the older guests but only about 4 people sat!
The wedding had ~160 people and it was lovely and intimate as they walked down the aisle and people spread about to make the aisle and everyone was semi-circled around where they said their vows!
The only downside is it was REALLY hot and there was no shade… but the ceremony was short ~15 min and so as soon as it was over everyone booked it to the shade. But with an Oct. wedding the weather should be lovely!
I say go for it!
Post # 9
Thank you all for the feedback.
It slipped my mind that people would have to stand prior, during and after the ceremony which would be much longer than the actual ceremony.
Has anyone attended a wedding where the ceremony and reception took place in the same space, i.e. same chairs used, etc? I’m wondering how that worked??
Post # 10
hotchildinthecity has it right… it’s not the length of the ceremony so much as people arriving to be on time and waiting around. I see you are getting married in Seattle…do you mind if I ask where? That might help to determine a better response (e.g do you need to rent chairs from them, an outside vendor, etc… is this a cost based decision and so on).
If you planned on offering drinks beforehand (non-alcoholic is fine) it would seem to promote mingling and standing a bit better than people just standing around waiting for the ceremony to begin.
Also…I’ve been to weddings where the same chairs where used for the ceremony and then the reception…they just moved everyone into another room/area for the cocktail hour while the room was turned from ceremony to reception. Totally worked.
Post # 11
We had our ceremony and reception in the same location with the same chairs. Pretty much what we did was have people come out onto the front lawn for some appetizers and pictures while the waistaff did the old switch-a-roo on the location where we were having the dinner.
Post # 12
BDubya, our ceremony and reception are in the same place. We’re basically putting the chairs for the ceremony on the dance floor, and that’s where people will sit for ceremony. Short cocktail mingle will be off to the side while the venue staff move all the chairs from the dance floor to the tables in the eating spot. Then bride and groom re-enter and the reception begins!
Most venues are pretty practiced at “turning” the space in order to accommodate this, if you ask them they probably have a plan for doing it.
Post # 13
I completely agree with everything meowkers said. And please don’t make an assumption that just elderly folks need a seat. There might be someone, you’re unaware of, who isn’t feeling well enough to stand. I went to a wedding where they ran out of seats. I was pregnant. My husband had to drag a chair from somewhere for me to sit. I just wasn’t up for standing the entire time.
Post # 14
Yes, we’re getting married at the Cove at Normandy Park. It’s a community venue south of Seattle.
The venue does not allow for chairs to be taken outside 🙁 So we would need to rent chairs from an outside vendor.
Our concern is… renting the chairs, and then the weather not allowing for an outdoor ceremony.
If we then opt to have the ceremony in the reception space, the rented chairs are not allowed indoors.
Post # 15
MissAsB and Mz. Puppie…. great suggestions!
There is a lovely patio at our venue where we could have cocktails setup for after the ceremony, while the chairs get rearranged for the reception.
Unfortunately, our venue does not offer any arrangements other than setting up prior to the event. I’ll have to arrange for family OR our catering staff to arrange the chairs.
Post # 16
@BDubya….PRETTY! Have you priced out vendors for the outside chairs? How many do you need? You may want to check into some vendors for a quote and then see what their cancellation policy is…you may end up just losing a small deposit. We all know the weather in Seattle that time of year is unpredictable… it could be BEAUTIFUL and it would be amazing to have your ceremony outside. If it isn’t a huge burden on your budget I say you should go for it…we had an outdoor ceremony in Bend, OR (in a meadow near a lake so not even at a venue) but knew we wanted to provide chairs for everyone. We were able to rent chairs for $1.50 each and then also rented a few market umbrellas (one for the musician, 2 for the guests) in case it was sunny and hot… it ended up being drizzly and unseasonably cool (at least at the location) but we toughed it out. Keep in mind things in Seattle go on rain or shine…a couple of sprinkles shouldn’t deter you from doing what you want…but rain like today…yes, that would require an indoor ceremony! 🙂