Post # 1
This is certain to break a number of etiquite rules, but I am considering having a seating chart for our ceremony. We will be getting married in a small church that technically seats 70 athough we are probably going to try to stuff in about 85 people. There are two main things I am thinking about:
a) We would like to keep family up front, which actually means splitting up the first half of the pews for family.
b) To get to many people in the church, we will have to probably put guests shoulder-to-shoulder in the pews.
Even if we have an idea of where people might sit, I’m not sure how to make it happen. People expect that at a reception – not so much at a ceremony.
Have any of you had to deal with a situation like this? How did you pull it off?
Post # 3
What do you do when someone comes in at the last minute whose seating arrangement is in the middle of a pew? Not everyone arrives to your ceremony at the same time, so I could see this being really complicated and slightly awkward if anyone were to be even ten seconds late. We had a few stragglers rushing in at the last minute right before I walked down the aisle, and I think it would have created some minor chaos had they been trying to figure out a seating chart…
Here’s an idea: Could you possibly have the first few pews roped off and labeled “For immediate family only”? If you have a certain family friend you want to sit up there, too, just let them know ahead of time that you consider them part of your immediate fam. We also had limited seating and this is what we did; it worked great.
Post # 4
You could ribbon off the pews you want to save with a little sign that says Reserved for Closest Family or something to that effect. I would really avoid a seating chart if you can.
Post # 5
Will ushers help? Have them count in the right number of people per row and ensure that the row is full. I also agree to set up a reserve section for immediate family. That should help.
But this type of planning is really beyond me … I have people people seated in random chairs and blankets …
Post # 6
Thank you all for the ideas! I really like the idea of roping off certain areas for family, and then having ushers help with everone else.
Brideatbeach – you make a very good point that it would be akward if people had to get up to let someone else in. Maybe ushers could help by having people skoot over to fit a few more in?
Very pretty pictures – I really like these ideas!
Post # 7
I think a seating chart would be weird and awkward. I definitely think reserved seating for family and ushers is all you need.