Post # 1
We really have our heart set on this venue. It is dirt cheap, lets you bring own caterer, and has beautiful surroundings. However, they said that we could not rent chairs or place chairs on their grass for the ceremony. They said we have two options-
1. Have ceremony on lawn and have everyone stand and we would be allowed to be there 30 minutes.
Enough room for everyone.
Standing for 30 mins.
30 min time limit
2. Have guests be on patio overlookings ceremony and have ceremony be on grass area underneath.
At least some guests will get to sit.
Area is very scenic.
No time limit
Venue doesn’t know how many people can fit on patio, seated or otherwise.
Distance between us and guests (no aisle)
I am still kind of bitter about this, but we still want this venue for other reasons. I appeciate any advice or just someone to be angry with me. 🙂
Post # 3
That’s disappointing that it won’t be exactly like you imagined, but you can still have a beautiful ceremony with either option. I don’t think standing for 30 min is that bad, but you will definitely need at least a few chairs for guests who aren’t able to stand that long.
Post # 4
Thanks for the encouragement.
The problem is thought that they said NO chairs, even for the people that may need it like our grandparents.
The poll seems overwhelmingly in favor of standing in the open space. I’m curious to hear why from the perspective as a guest. Would everyone not mind standing for that long?
Post # 5
Is the reception going to be held indoors at the same location? If so, would the venue allow you to also have the ceremony indoors — in the same area that will be set up for the reception, even IF guests have to be seated at tables that are already set up for the reception? At least that way, everyone could be seated and you wouldn’t have a time limit.
Afterward, the bridal party could go outside on the balcony for pics and then out on the grass below for pics, while guests either stayed at the tables awaiting the reception or went outside onto the balcony (however many guests want to and would be able to fit) or out onto the grass to watch the bridal party having pics taken.
It’s not ideal, I know. However, I do not think you can expect any frail, elderly guests or other guests whose physical conditions will not allow them stand for long periods to be forced to stand for 30 minnutes.
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
This will depend on your guest list, but I know that over half of our family guests would not be comfortable standing for 1/2 hour. Also- as a guest, I wouldn’t want to have to stand for 1/2 an hour in heels, either. Especially if you have rain- I don’t want my heels sinking in mud.
Post # 7
Thanks for the input.
The reception is the same site. Space may be an issue inside (seats 140 theater style and we have about 80 guests), but the inside was always our backup plan in case of rain.
If it had been rainy, we would be outdoors. It just seems like such a waste to have the ceremony inside (weather permitting) at a lovely state park! I am really mad that they aren’t being mroe accomodating here. I wish I knew how many the balcony seated, but that may be a comprimise for those who need to sit.
Post # 8
People may not think that standing for 30 minutes is that bad, but I will offer another view on it. I was recently at a wedding where the ceremony was outdoor standing room only. However, no one arrives at the ceremony 30 seconds before it starts. You have to get there early, park your car, etc. In this case, we took a bus (provided by bride and groom) to get there, which arrived about 30-45 minutes before the ceremony.
It was such a hassle standing there. Our heels kept sinking in the grass and we all had to end up standing barefoot. Everyone was hot/sweating and there was no shade. During the ceremony, everyone was shifting around uncomfortably, even those of us that weren’t elderly or disabled. We were rushing inside when it was time for the reception.
I would vote for at least having SOME seating available.
Post # 9
I don’t know what I’d do.
In a pinch you could probably get away with borrowing/renting wheelchairs for elderly guests just for that portion, I know some would feel wierd using them but there’s absolutely nothing the venue could say about that, right?
If people are early can you gather inside or on the patio with seats so standing around is reduced?
Give guests the option of watching from above seated or standing room only? Kind of like a concert, seating on the balcony, standing room below?
Post # 10
Another bee just posted about hay bales…
Post # 11
I think it entirely depends on your guest list to be honest.
If it were my wedding with my guest list I would say chairs were a must as I have several elderly relatives that absolutely cannot under any circumstances stand for that long. It just isn’t possible. I also have many relatives that probably wouldn’t come simply because of the chair issue, they demand comfort.
If you think your guests are capable of standing that whole time (and longer as PP mentioned) then go for it. I have stood during a ceremony on the beach and it wasn’t that bad BUT the bride and groom made it clear that we would be standing so I wore the appropriate shoes.
Post # 12
Is it possible to have benches of some sort? I’m assuming the venue doesn’t want the legs of the chairs poking holes in the grass. Of course, if this is the case, you have to pick the right kind of benches.
Post # 13
@hotchildinthecity: I agree with this. 30(+) minutes is a long time for anybody to stand outside in the sun, not just the elderly and disabled.
Post # 14
@sailor: Agreed. I would not enjoy standing that long.
If its informal, perhaps picnic blankets? That doesn’t solve the elderly problem, though. 🙁
Post # 15
I will ask about benches/hay barrels covered in blankets maybe.
If they still don’t allow, we may just have to squeeze everyone on the patio even if there isn’t enough room for everyone to sit and have the ceremony with wedding party only below.
There are some picnic benches on patio, but again, the venue wasn’t sure how many could fit, though they say a lot of couples will do this.
I also like the idea of the split seating- option of watching above OR standing below.