Some guests will have to stand for ceremony,

posted 1 year ago in Venue
Post # 16
266 posts
Helper bee

I’ve been to soooo many weddings where half the guests are standing. My own wedding will be the same. 

 The elderly, pregnant women and just women in general (as they’re in heels) normally sit down.  

Post # 17
156 posts
Blushing bee

We had a standing ceremony with chairs available for anyone who wanted one.  It was a backyard wedding so much more casual than what you’re describing, but my advice would be to keep it as short as possible.  You’re estimating 15-20 minutes..that would be stretching it for my comfort.  Especially considering every wedding in the world is at least 5-10 mins behind schedule..and as pp’s have mentioned, guests will arrive earlier than the start time and be waiting probably for 10-20 minutes before the ceremony even starts.  So realistically, it’s more like 30-45 minutes of standing, minimum.  Cut the ceremony to 10 minutes.  15 if you MUST but please start exactly on time.

Post # 18
1859 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I made sure there were enough seats for my guests at my wedding.  However, without telling anyone, my Mother-In-Law roped off 3 rows of seats for all her extended family members behind the seats reserved for her and my husband’s immediate family.  Then, she forgot to tell them those seats were for them.  So the seats remained roped off for the whole ceremony and a bunch of people had to stand.  I didn’t find out about this until afterward, but I talked to all the people who ended up standing and they all said it was no big deal to stand for 20 minutes.  I don’t think they were just being nice- it really seemed like they didn’t mind. 

(My Mother-In-Law is horrified by all the wedding photos where the seats behind my parents are completely filled and it looks like no one from my husband’s family showed up- even though he had more family there than I did… She realized her mistake partway through the ceremony and wanted to interrupt the ceremony to tell people to fill in the seats, but my Father-In-Law didn’t let her.  I find the whole thing hilarious, to be honest…)

Post # 19
563 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I would say at least half the weddings I have been to have been like this. It didn’t worry me at all. People who are unable to stand are offered the seats, and everyone else stands. I don’t think it’s a big deal for a relatively short ceremony.

Post # 20
5398 posts
Bee Keeper

Honestly the venue should have told you that. Obviously you expected the max count tp include chairs. Hell. I didn’t ask our venue if it included chairs thats insane. They have to figure something out for you. 

Post # 21
585 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!

I’ve had to stand and wasn’t warned, and it was hot, so it was an unpleasant surprise. I’m glad I was wearing sandals!

Post # 22
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I know everyone is saying cut your guest list but I think that’s a terrible idea! Personally, I’d be really upset if a friend or family member didn’t invite me to their ceremony just because there wasn’t a chair for me, I’d much rather stand and get to attend their wedding! Only you know your crowd and what they’d prefer.

Post # 23
179 posts
Blushing bee

I have been to a couple of ceremonies recently where we had to stand (for a good half hour plus for the last one). The coordinators just kind of shepherded everyone into the space and made sure those who were supposed to have seats did; it was pretty obvious there were not enough seats for everyone though.

I am typically not a fan, less because of the physical standing part and more because unless you are at the front, you can’t see a thing. If you can address that, I think it’s fine.

Post # 25
1510 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2021

View original reply
bluejaybride :  That space is beyong gorgeous! Still a bit nervous to think of chairs on those stairs… but I can see why you don’t want to give it up.  

Post # 26
660 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

Wow that is really unique!! 
Bearing in mind I’m from Australia so there are cultural differences but I think its fair to say people stood at ALL of the weddings I’ve been to.  Even when there were sufficient chairs, some people stood at the back.  I think it is fine.  It may even be safer to stand on the stairs – maybe with some chairs for elderly at the front.

Post # 27
3 posts

I think it looks incredibly cool and unique and there would be plenty to look at and enjoy while standing (and standing would be the least people would remember with all the other cool stuff!). A friend of mine pointed out to me (while I was explaining my chair-less situation) that sometimes chairs simply help people figure out where to be/soothe awkwardness of where to place yourself in the event… but if you have someone directing people, that would ease difficulty there, perhaps. Also, for our backyard wedding we’re definitely telling people to wear shoes they’d be comfortable in, since we’ll be in the grass. Maybe a modified version of that that suits your situation on your website, or told by word of mouth, i.e., there may be some standing, to avoid people wearing uncomfortable shoes and help them know what’s up/what to plan for? 

Post # 28
382 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
bluejaybride :  Ahh.  I thought we were talking about a traditional venue and format (even with the stairs), so the rainforest building at a zoo changes things.  It also explains why you are attached to that location.  What a pretty and unique place to get married.  

Since your wedding is at a zoo, guests will expect walking and standing and know not to wear uncomfortable shoes.  Older, pregnant, and injured people that aren’t able to walk around a zoo probably won’t go in any event.  While I’ve never been to a wedding with a standing ceremony, I’ve never been to a wedding at a zoo either.  And standing at a zoo makes sense.  

I think the most helpful thing you can do is manage expectations and be sure to let everyone know in advance that there will be walking and some extended standing.  

Edit: The questions I asked were already answered.

Post # 30
725 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

I had to comment because my venue is so similar to yours, visually at least! We are getting married in a tropical conservatory in London. It has over 2,000 plant and tree species inside it, plus various fish and terrapins. When I saw your pics for a second I thought it was the same place!

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