Post # 1
We’re having a standing ceremony in a public park. We understand this is not going to be for everyone, and that’s okay with us. The vast majority of our friends and family will be fine with it. We do not have any elderly or physically challenged folks that will feel excluded.
We plan to include in our website and invites the specifics:
1) .5 mile walk to site
2) standing ceremony – 20 minute max
3) wear comfortable shoes/clothes
And most importantly, we’re writing a note to our guests stating, we understand that it’s not for everyone so we’ll be happy to see you for dinner and merriment after if it’s not your cup of tea.
Here’s my question(s):
– has anyone been to a standing ceremony? What did you like/not like? What could have been better or differently to make guests more comfortable, besides the obvious, sitting in a/c ; )
Post # 3
I forgot to add that we’ll bring about 8 chairs for anyone that really needed to sit, there are a couple of benches too.
Post # 4
I went to a ceremony in a public park that had limited seating – about half the guests had to stand. I loved it – it was so intimate and relaxed. As long as you have a few chairs for those that really need it, you should be fine. I don’t know that you need that extra note ("we understand…" to your guests, especially if you have those few chairs handy! the note seems a bit off putting to me…..
the main thing that would have been nice would have been some water, but that was mostly because it was 90 degrees!! The other thing was that we didn’t really know we were supposed to stand and ended up blocking the aisle, so I think the heads up you are giving and maybe someone how can help the guests figure out where to stand would be great 🙂
Post # 5
I think as long as people are aware of it and come prepared, that it shoudl be ok! 🙂 You should do the ceremony the way you want, and it seems you’ve got a few chairs to accomodate those who can’t stand 🙂
I say go for it!
Post # 6
I went to a standing ceremony as a teenager that sounds a lot like what you’re planning. To be completely honest, it wasn’t my favorite wedding experience ever — I’m short, and whenever I go to a standing-room-only event I can never see what’s going on because inconsiderate tall people always manage to plant themselves in front of me 😉 Also, the groom’s brother played a really long trumpet solo, which my family agreed was sweet but a bit much considering that people were huddling together trying to keep warm as the wind picked up.
I don’t think there’s much you can do to help short people see the ceremony, but otherwise I think you’re doing a lot to help your guests be comfortable by keeping the ceremony short and providing chairs for those who need it. My only bit of advice would be to put some sort of "reserved for guests unable to stand during the ceremony" sign on the chair. Yeah, you’d think people would sort of get that without a sign, but oftentimes people just see that there are a limited number of chairs and make a mad stampede to claim one of the seats without considering whether others might need them more!
I’d also suggest putting up balloons or signs along the route you want people to walk so they’ll know they’re going the right way. At this particular outdoor wedding, no one did that, and it definitely would have helped.
Post # 7
I saw a wedding that had a standing ceremony on the beach and it looked grogeous. Grandparents were in chairs, but everyone else stood up.
If someone can stand in line at the grocery store, etc…a 20 or even 30 minutes ceremony should be fine for people to walk to. Besides standing…all the other "inconveniences" would be characteristic of an outdoor ceremony (heat, etc) Maybe just provide fans/parasoles/water.
But it sounds wonderful!
Post # 8
I’ve known people that have done standing ceremonies and they had no problems.
We were originally going to do a standing ceremony and decided against it once I thought about our grandparents and how it would be uncomfortable for them.
Having the chairs you mentioned is a great idea. We decided to do 2 rows on each side for the elderly and for our parents. (Once our guest count got to 80, we changed it to seating for everyone.)
Post # 9
I was at a wedding in which I had to stand. I was 7 months pregnant and had a hard time. My husband went over to the reception area and grabbed a chair for me. if possible, I would recommend having chairs. You could informally poll your guests and see if they care. If they’d prefer chairs, I think you should have them.
If you still have them, I would at least do research into who will need a chair. The elderly, might not be the only ones.
Post # 10
We are also having a standing ceremony of the same length. I was uncertain about this, but I went to one of my BM’s weddings in September 08 – she also had a standing ceremony – and it was perfect. They had about 130 people, we’ll be haivng about the same number. We will have about 8 chairs for those who want to sit, and everyone will be in a loose circle around us. Our wedding is on the beach, so we are hoping that it will work well.
Post # 11
Just an additional thought — If it’s possible it might be nice for you, your groom, and the officiant to stand in the middle of a circle of your guests, rather then have them stand in "rows." It would make it easier for the shorter people ( 🙂 MelissaB!) and also make it much more intimate. The only thing that could be hard is for photos — so maybe a semi circle would work better.
I would suggest a table with water or lemonade if the temperatures are going to be high. Also make sure you use appropriate signage so that people know where they are going. I love the new thing people are doing with hand painted signs pointing their guests in the right direction.
Post # 12
@ankile……My dad got remarried and had a standing beach ceremony with about that many people. It was great- but my strong recommendation to you is to have a microphone system. With that many people and the waves, only the front half were able to hear anything that was said during the ceremony.
Post # 13
I think it’s fine to have a standing ceremony…and I like your idea of informing the guests beforehand. the only standing ceremony I’ve been to was on the deck of a boat. It was a historic ship that sails the lakes in Seattle and they were married by the captain. I don’t remember the length, but I don’t think anyone had trouble (though people could lean on the rails). The idea of having some folding chairs nearby sounds pretty good…though maybe just warning people in advance will be sufficient.
It sounds lovely!
Post # 14
We are having a standing ceremony on the beach which I felt REALLY weird about at first because I just wasn’t used to that! But now I’m getting much more comfortable with the idea, especially because it is fairly common for beach weddings, & we are only having 10 guest with a short ceremony, so I think it will be nice & intimate.