(Closed) guests sitting at dinner tables for ceremony

posted 11 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
8943 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Our wedding was at the same place as the reception and we had chairs swapped out for tables after the ceremony was over.

Post # 4
399 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

does your venue offer a space to hold a cocktail hour? this way, they would have time to flip the room if you wanted to set up for a ceremony and then move to more of a reception feel. this is what we did for our wedding – our ceremony and reception were in the same exact space and the venue flipped the room in less than an hour.

that being said, i don’t think it’s a huge deal to have people sitting at tables. i’d make sure that no one’s back is facing the ceremony space. also, if i were a guest, i’d want the reception to move pretty quickly so i wasn’t sitting in one space for like 3 hours straight or something

Post # 7
2 posts
  • Wedding: June 2011

We are also using this set-up.  Our venue is a small, stone lodge set on a small lake.  I plan to have the ceremony, funnel everyone outside for a receiving line, then direct them back inside for cocktail hour.  During the receiving line, servers will set up the hors d’oueveres and the bar area.  To me, this seems fine.  Our only other option was to have the ceremony outside,and the remainder inside, but that involves more work for the DJ, and renting additional equipment.

Post # 8
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

We are doing this at our wedding. Same area is being used so everyone is going to be at their dinner spots…it’s a lot more comfier for them too 🙂

Post # 9
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Laurel Rock Farms, PA

If the weather is bad then our ceremony will be inside and our guest will be at the tables.  I would rather not but if so oh well.  Everyone should be “old enough” to respect the table decor and not get “bored”…. should be are the key words!!

Post # 10
24 posts

I am doing this.  I have an aisle phobia so this makes me and everyone else more comfortable.  I am making a semi aisle between the “family tables” and an archway.  I like the idea of not needing to suffle everyone everywhere.  Go for it!

Post # 11
205 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@Mrs. Meowerson:My friend did that, I was a bridesmaid. It worked out just fine! !

Post # 12
809 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

My sister’s friend did this because it rained and their ceremony was supposed to be outside.  I think the key is to just make sure everyone will be able to see from their tables!

Post # 14
744 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Like BrookeClouser, that is my rain plan. Our ceremony and reception will be at the same site, with the ceremony outdoors and the reception inside. If it rains, however, we’ll just have to move the ceremony indoors, and probably just have everyone seated at their tables.

I have been to one wedding where they did this due to an issue with their original ceremony location being unexpectedly under construction. It worked out well enough, but I felt it was a little difficult to see and hear, and I felt sort of removed from the the ceremony in some way. It felt a little bit like attending a dinner theater performance. So it’s not my favorite way to set things up.

I like the suggestions from PPs about having the seats set up more traditionally, and then have guests move to a different area for cocktail hour while the tables are set up in what was previously the ceremony space.

Post # 15
2018 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

this was my venue’s rain plan, and i said no thanks. i feel like with the tables, all of your guests would be really far away from you. if we have to have the ceremony inside, our guests will go out under the covered veranda while the venue moves the chairs and sets up the tables.

Post # 16
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I know this thread is old, but this is my exact situation and I need help! I am planning on a Texas December wedding. Could be 40 degrees outside, could be 80. It can change in a day. The ceremony is scheduled to be outdoors, and the reception indoors no matter the weather. If it’s a little brisk, I will still do it outdoors (short ceremony), but if it is freezing or raining, in we go. My wedding coordinator is pressuring me to have the guests seated at their reception seats. They are 8 person circle tables though, and the room seats 160 (even though we have about 80). I just always pictured walking down the aisle with people seated traditionally, and I’m worried people in the back won’t be able to see/hear. I’m really stressing out about it!

I know it’s a little awkward, but would it be so awful to push the tables back, then set up chairs for the ceremony at the front of the room, then have guests standby as we move it all back? I just think it’s better than people feeling super removed? Ugh. There’s no where for them to go in the meantime though if they can’t go outsit due to weather.

Did any of you end up having to have the ceremony indoors with people seated at their reception seats? Did it work out? Did you hate it?!

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