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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Ceremony idea

So, I'm getting married on my soon-to-be father-in-law's ranch. We're having a big tent put up for the reception inside one of his horse corrals, and the ceremony is going to be right outside the corral on a nice, grassy area. It's a fairly small guest list, and we want to keep it light and casual (we're a really easy-going couple). My idea is to just have the guests gather around the podium where we'll be saying our vows as opposed to setting up chairs then having to move them back to the tent. We're not going to have a religious ceremony and aren't writing our own vows, so the whole thing won't take but maybe 10 minutes. We will be setting up an aisle of sorts with shepherd's hooks and flowers. I was interested in hearing people's thoughts about having guests stand for the ceremony as opposed to the traditional seating arrangement.

Re: Ceremony idea

  • I don't think you need traditional seating per se. But you do need seating. First of all, it's rude not to provide chairs (yes - even if it's short). Secondly, even in small groups standing makes it hard for people to see and not be distracted.

    If you don't like traditional seating, what about a semi circle? Or the two sides facing each other (since it's outside you could do this)?

    doeydo[Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Sorry, but everyone has to have a place to sit-even for 10 minutes.  Expecting your guests to stand is poor etiquette.
  • Even if your ceremony will be short, many guests will arrive early.  I always come to a wedding 15-20 minutes early ... if your ceremony only takes 20 minutes, I'd be standing on grass in heels for 40+ minutes.  I wouldn't like that, and I'm sure you will likely have some guests who are older or not in fantastic shape.  Please don't make your guests do that.

    I wouldn't mind terribly moving my own chair from ceremony to reception space, but some people might - or might forget - or might not be able to (I'm thinking of my grandparents who use walkers/wheelchairs).

    Our caterer isn't providing enough staff to clear and clean off all the tables (part of why they're so affordable....) so we're going to have the youth group from the church the ceremony is at come in for 1 hour to clear and rinse dishes in exchange for a donation to their missions group.  Perhaps there is an option like that?  If for a $100-$150 donation you could have 10 kids/adults come in for 20 or 30 minutes to move chairs while guests moved into the tent and grabbed a drink, etc?
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Sorry, but you need a seat for every butt.
  • I stood for a wedding once.  It was annoying.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Provide seats.

    There are many ways you could arrange those seats: semi- circle, full circle around you, FI and the minister. Use chairs, benches, hay/straw bales covered with a blanket. 
  • agree to use seats, it is rude not to.  Especially if there are older people in attendance. My grandma would have pissed if I made her stand, and my ceremony was 12 min tops.

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Another vote for seats. I had to stand once for a ceremony and it sucked. Even if your ceremony is only 10 minutes long, like a PP said, people will arrive early. So you'll have people standing around for at least 15 to 20 minutes, probably longer. 

  • Your seats could be benches. Ours was outdoors at a restaurant with a mixture of chairs of different types. It does not have to have the uniform look of the white (and uncomfortable) chairs. Some of your guests may be elderly or have issues with standing so provide chairs. PP have covered that pretty well.
  • Sounds like benches or the hay bales (covered) would work nicely in your setting. Standing is awkward. Even if the ceremony is 10min, guests come in and sit and wait before those 10min begin.
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    What Mitch said ^^^ above. Plus after having waited 10 min, watched 10 min, they are going to mingle for at least another 10 min before and after. Try it yourself in heels, wedges, flats, barefoot.
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