(Closed) Standing ceremony- the good, the bad, the ugly

posted 7 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 16
7550 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2019

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MarriedToMyWork:  I definitely agree, especially with regards to the appearances may be deceiving when it comes to ability to stand for several minutes part.

OP, I agree with those who say you need a chair for every guest. I have been to a standing ceremony (Australia) and was very uncomfortable standing for that long, I think the ceremony was about 20 minutes. This was back when I was a lot younger (early teens) and a lot fitter, yet I still had trouble. Then I think later on in the reception we stood too so that made it worse. Please give your guests chairs!

Post # 17
1756 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I was in a wedding that was a standing ceremony- they had about 10 chairs for elderly guests or any guest that needed to sit.  Her ceremony was short and sweet, and most thought it was just fine to stand.  There was a seat for everyone at the reception.  I say it’s just fine to have a standing ceremony, as long as there are a few chairs just in case.

Post # 18
2792 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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greenie318: Well, I have been to standing ceremonies and I do think it’s a pretty big deal – you need chairs. For everyone. Please don’t invite me to your event and make me stand around in nice clothes (which usually means heels). Can you answer the question of how long your ceremony will be (not that it matters, you still need chairs)? 

Even if you don’t care about your guests’ comfort, think about the way it’s going to look: you’re going to have people spread out into big clumps, not nice rows. People will not be stading perfectly evenly, probably spilling into the “aisle” you intend to walk down. People will be shifting their weight front and back, side to side (it’s hard to stand perfectly still, especially in uncomfortable shoes) which will be distracting to you while you’re trying to say your vows. Your photographer may have trouble getting nice pictures.

Let’s say your $1000 estimate includes delivery and taxes, so we’ll say the actual cost of the chairs is $800. You can get chairs for $3 per chair. That means you’re inviting upwards of 250 guests. Cut your guest list before you decide against chairs for everyone. If your guest list is smaller it means you’re looking at more expensive chairs – get cheap ones. I’d rather sit in an ugly chair than no chair at all. 

ETA: If your ceremony is 20 minutes long (that’s considered a pretty “short” ceremony IMO) and people arrive 10 minutes early (as polite people do – often even earlier), your guests are standing around for 30 minutes. 

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by carolinabelle.
Post # 19
981 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA

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greenie318:  I can only speak for myself, but the specific ceremony I attended wasn’t a big deal because it was short and everyone there was able-bodied. How long were you planning on having yours? Because it sounds like you’re cutting chairs for cost reasons from a normal wedding (20+ minutes) rather than because the ceremony is extremely brief – which is probably a terrible idea for your guests, young or old, heels or flats. And not exactly polite, if you ask me.

Post # 20
6536 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’ve been to a back yard wedding with a standing ceremony. The ceremony itself was only like 20 minutes but since we arrived 15 minutes early and there was some mingling after, it was about an hour that we were on our feet, and it got really uncomfortable way before that time was up! A lot of other guests commented on it, but probably not to the bride and groom. Most folks were able bodied and between 25-40 years old but the brude’s grandmother looked like she was going to fall down,and  the parents with kids had a really hard time getting their kids to stand still and behave.

Post # 21
1742 posts
Bumble bee

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greenie318:  I think you are reading what you want to read into these replies.  Most of the people who have said it was OK have loaded their statements with caveats–it was OK for them as young, able-bodied people or it was OK (but still a little irritating) because the ceremony was literally five minutes long.

If you’re seeking validation for the decision to make guests of a variety of ages and health conditions stand for more than a few minutes, then I’m sorry, but I don’t think you’re going to get that here.  If you’re intending on a 10 minute ceremony with 15 young, healthy guests, then I think you’d better indicate that to the thread here.  We can’t read minds.

Post # 22
304 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Chairs are a nice gesture, but not neccessary, especially if you are trying to save $1k. Whatever you do, make it quick. No more than a 15 min ceremony and bring some chairs for the elderly, handicapped, pregnant, and infant-carrying folks. Otherwise, we were at one of these a few weekends ago and it was fine once we realized they were keeping it quick and to the point. <br /><br />

You can also ask yourself, is it worth $1k for people to sit for ‘x’ minutes? 

Post # 23
2056 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Went to one ceremony where there weren’t enough seats. It was awkward for everyone- not just those who couldn’t get seats, but those who were sitting and felt like they were rude while others were still standing.

One of the annoying things about a standing ceremony is that guests would not sort them selves out nicely. I’m not talking about nice rows or leaving an aisle. You’ll end up with shorter people in the back who won’t be able to see anything. What a shame for your guests to not actually see the ceremony.

Post # 24
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I have been to a ceremony without chairs. My sister and I were both pregnant and there were older folks and the ceremony even started late. All in all we were standing for almost an hour. It was miserable. I would advise cutting costs elsewhere or at least warning your guests that they will be standing. 

Post # 25
8373 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I’ve been to an outdoor ceremony where guests were asked to being their OWN seating. I had never experienced that before, but I much preferred having to bring my own chair than having to stand.

I also recently attended a 2.5-hour cocktail reception/awards ceremony hosted by a professional association, and no seating was provided. We had coats, purses, plates, and glasses to hold while milling about and talking and then paying attention to the awards ceremony.  My feet were killing me.  Granted, this event was much longer than your ceremony will be, but I absolutely hated having to stand for even a “ceremony-length” portion of that event.  Eventually, I had to go sit on the stairs around the corner from the action, because I literally couldn’t keep standing in heels.

Post # 26
5 posts

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greenie318:  I was at a wedding recently where the ceremony was held outdoors and the reception was indoors.  They only had probably 100 chairs for the ceremony while there were 200 guests. Half of the guests stood, but nobody cared.  The ceremony was probably only 10 minutes long.  It was on the grass and the weather was nice.  Indoors everybody had a chair though.  

ETA:  I also attended an outdoor wedding reception that used chairs in the front and then bales of hay in the back.  The hay had cloth on top and a few of us were able to sit together on one since they were long.  I think this may be a cheaper alternative?

However, I was a little paranoid that it would snag my dress lol so I kept standing up to smooth out my skirt just to make sure.  🙂

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by hellojesso.
Post # 27
3165 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

How long is your ceremony?

Post # 28
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I went to a standing only wedding and it was miserable.  It was also only ten minutes long.  Find cheaper chairs or cut costs else where because there needs to be a chair for every butt.

Post # 29
239 posts
Helper bee

I think it’s ridiculous to say you’re “having a hard time justifying the cost” of providing a damn chair for people who taken time out of their lives (and possibly travelled) to come and see you get married. 

Unless you’re literally spending $50 on your entire wedding from the dress to the reception, you have the money to provide chairs. Heck, even if your budget was $1100 and the chairs cost $1000, you should be spending the money on the chairs. If you want to dedicate all your money to the aesthetics of your wedding- elope. If you want to have guests at your wedding- their basic needs have to be met before you do anything else. 

If I came to a fancy wedding and reception that clearly cost several thousand dollars and I didn’t have a chair? I can’t even fathom what my reaction would be, because I literally can’t imagine anyone having the gall to do it in the first place!

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