Post # 1
Fiance and I went to our venue to meet with the owner yesterday to discuss all the little remaining details. We have just under 40 guests, and the venue owner suggested only putting out 20 chairs because he says people prefer to stand at the back.
I think this would look terrible, especially because our ceremony area is only small. I am entering from the back left hand side and don’t want to have to weave between people! Also, my cousin recently got married and had enough chairs for every guest, but people still stood at the back. The combination of empty chairs and people scattered around the back just looked messy. And if I did only have 20 or so chairs, it’s not exactly fair to those who do want to sit.
Fiance says I’m being ridiculous for worrying about it, but now I feel as though I’ll have to somehow tell our guests to sit down, when I always assumed it was common sense! We don’t have an usher, but perhaps I should arrange for a friend to direct people? I’d love to hear your opinions.
Post # 3
I don’t think you are overreacting at all. I would make sure there are enough chairs for everyone, and just before the processional, have the officiant ask everyone to take their seats, if neccessary.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2010 - Ocean View Villas/Jasmine Seafood Restaurant
I was at a wedding that clearly didn’t have enough chairs and no ushers.. and basically no one decided to sit because everyone wanted to leave them for the people who needed/wanted to sit. So it ended up leaving almost all the chairs empty. I think it’s nice to have someone invite guests to sit. We had our groomsmen and some of my cousins do it. It worked out well. I’m with you… a chair for at least the majority of the people. Some people may prefer to stand at the back, but if you clearly don’t have enough seats.. you’ll definitely get more people standing than you want. But even with people standing.. the ceremony was still beautiful. So seated or not, the ceremony won’t be ruined.
Post # 5
I would try to have enough chairs for every guest. Also, if you have ushers, you will be able to direct people to chairs, which is more subtle than having someone walk around telling others to sit down. I am sure it will turn out fine!
Post # 6
Not having enough chairs seems very odd to me. I would tell the venue you want enough chairs for all the guests. As a guest, I wouldn’t want to stand in the back. I’d want to sit and watch.
Post # 7
I would also recommend having enough chairs for everyone. There is a good chance if you don’t, that someone who could really use one, won’t get it.
As far as getting people to sit down, I think you’ve had some good suggestions. But I’d try not to let it get to you. You can only do so much. I’ve never seen a wedding where people were insistent on standing. But if for some reason your guests are, I would try to encourage sitting, but not force the issue.
Post # 8
My initial response would be to have enough chairs for everyone to sit if they’d like, as others have mentioned. However, if your venue doesn’t have enough room for 40 chairs or suggests otherwise, that could work also. I was in a wedding with about 120 guests. The ceremony location was quite small, though. The venue suggested that they set up a few rows of chairs for the families of the bride and groom and any readers, etc. involved in the ceremony. The rest of the guests were left to stand behind the chairs or to the side. And it worked out quite well! The DOC guided guests as to where to sit/stand and made sure an aisle was left for the bride to walk down. It even gave the ceremony an intimate feeling as the guests formed a sort of semi-circle around the bride and groom. So no matter where your guests end up, I’m sure you can make it work!
Post # 9
add an usher for sure and let them know to pass along your wishes
Post # 10
Nope, definitely not overreacting. I actually had the same problem at my venue. Are you having dinner at the same place? If so, ask the venue if they can use some of the dinner chairs for the ceremony and then move them back to the tables during cocktail hour (I am assuming you will have some sort of break between the ceremony and reception.) It shouldn’t take more than about 15 minutes to move 20 or so chairs.
Post # 11
@MrsA2be: We did the exact same thing. As long as there is someone to “direct traffic” I think it’s okay. I felt like all of my friends and family were part of the ceremony because they kind of formed a circle around us, as opposed to being “the audience”.
Post # 12
I wouldn’t want people standing at the back of my wedding either. How odd that they wouldn’t just sit down. I agree with others that someone directing traffic should be able to get people into seats.
Post # 13
We recently went to a wedding much like the one MrsA2be described, where there were only a few chairs and the majority of the guests were expected to stand in back and watch. In this case, though, there wasn’t a DOC or sign or anything to let us know what was going on, and so the guests were generally very confused as to where they were supposed to stand and who was invited to sit. I guess it’s ok for a really short, small ceremony with clear direction, but I know there were a few guests at the ceremony we attended that would have liked to sit and couldn’t, so have a few extra chairs in any case. Personally, I’d still go with a chair for each person.
Post # 14
Its different if there aren’t enough chairs at the reception since there is dancing and socialising going on.. but at the ceremony itself they really must be enough chairs for all invited guests.. its awkward otherwise.
Post # 15
I had a similarly small wedding. It will look awkward to have half your guests standing. Maybe not at a 120 guest wedding, but only 40 people-yeah. I think you also should have a friend ask guests to sit. (Although they should stand for your entrance.)
Post # 16
Thank you for the input, everyone. I’m glad to see it’s not just me that thinks it’s a bit odd!
@MightySapphire: At my cousin’s wedding where everyone was standing at the back, the few people who were sitting didn’t even stand up when the bride entered. I was so shocked as I thought that would be common sense. Add that to the list of things I’m worried about!