Connecticut

Standing for ceremony?

I really dont post much, im more of a lurker but I really need some opinions. I am getting married at Elizabeth Park in Hartford, with the ceremony at the Pond House. The park is very strict with wedding ceremonies. We are not allowed to decorate, have an isle runner or even chairs. Not having chairs is the thing that I am really second guessing. We are allowed about 10 chairs total and there are some park benches people can sit on but the majority will have to stand. Our ceremony is only going to be 15 minutes. Would you be annoyed if you had to stand?

Our other option is to have the ceremony inside the reception hall and have everyone sit at their tables.

Re: Standing for ceremony?

  • Mona8Mona8 member
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    edited December 2011
    Since the ceremony is only 15 minutes long, it wouldn't be a huge deal for me to have to stand. But having said that- I would definitely prefer being able to sit. I'm also short so I'd be concerned about getting stuck in the back or behind someone tall and then not being able to see any of the ceremony. If you're having a smaller wedding and there are some seats available then maybe this won't be a problem, but if there will be alot of people there then my guess is that some won't be able to see the ceremony.
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  • calindicalindi member
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    edited December 2011
    I think the general rule is that if the ceremony is short & sweet, and not uncomfortably hot or rainy, then it's okay to have people stand.  As long as you have a place to sit for the elderly or infirm, then you'll be fine!

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  • edited December 2011
    I agree with Calindi - People should be able to tolerate standing for 15 minutes.
  • tannymcgeetannymcgee member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Honestly I really dislike standing ceremonys; it is uncomfortable and I am short so I usually can't tell what is going on.  However as PPs have said, it isn't the end of the world.  
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  • banana468banana468 member
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    edited December 2011
    I really dislike this and I think your guests may find it rude.  It's really not acceptable to ask them to stand for the ceremony.

    And for those saying it's only 15 minutes, if you really think about it, it isn't.

    Your ceremony begins at say, 3PM.

    Guests begin to arrive at 2:30.  They'll stand until the ceremony begins - 30 minutes.

    Your ceremony begins - and on time?  Yes the goal is to start on time but most ceremonies start at least a few minutes late.  Additional 5-10 minutes

    Your ceremony duration. - 15 minutes

    Then your guests mill and talk to each other - 10 to 15 minutes.

    When you add it up, you'll have some guests standing for over an hour.  And having just a few chairs is not OK.  When I was expecting I couldn't stand all that long - particularly if I was dressed up and in heels.  Now that we have our daughter, I don't want to stand and hold her for that long.  She's only 3 mos but she's not getting any lighter.  Plus some younger people have issues making it very uncomfortable for them to stand but they're expected to give up their seats for older relatives.

    Please just re-think this and come up with a different plan.  Get married at a different location and take photos in that park if you want, but please don't ask your guests to stand.  I think the reason you're re-thinking it is because you know it's just not a good idea.
  • edited December 2011
    i would mind if its longer than 30 min.  and i am sure older people would be really tired. but if its a short one (15min) i wouldn't worry
  • estegemanestegeman member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I guess I would be worried that the venue thinks this is acceptable.  I would definitely look into getting a different venue.  It seems as though they do not cater to weddings at all.  Do you really want to get married somewhere where they dont allow decorations or even chairs for your guests?
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  • banana468banana468 member
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    edited December 2011
    I think estegeman makes a huge point.  Why would you want to deal with a venue that puts your guests as an inconvenience?
  • starrbuk13starrbuk13 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    while it wouldn't bother me to stand (i've been to a ceremony like that before, it was fine, honestly), maybe you should look into another option?  the hartford area has a lot of various places to have your ceremony and then you could always go back to Elizabeth Park for pictures after.  (personally, i'm not a fan of ceremonies at E-Park.  I live within walking distance to the park and in the spring/summer, i see a lot of them going on when we walk our dogs down there.  i'm not a fan of the fact that you basically have a public ceremony...there's always screaming children and cars going by and people watching etc etc.)

    maybe look into the Old State House in downtown Hartford, or Bushnell park?
  • edited December 2011
    Lauren -

    PS - I LOVED the Pond house - I can totally see why you'd want your ceremony and reception there. Whatever you choose, ENJOY!
  • TBee99TBee99 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I was in a ceremony last year where we (all the wedding party) had to stand for the entire thing. It wasn't that long (maybe 20 minutes) and was fine for us, however, I do agree you should have places for older guests to sit, because that may be a long time for them.
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  • edited December 2011
    I agree with all PPs, that while standing for 15 minutes may not be an total inconvenience, if some arrive early and find there are not enough chairs available they may not be pleased.  I generally prefer to sit, and while I'm not that short I understand because many of my friends are shorter than me and taller than me both sides of that coin.

    And the fact that a venue is completely unwilling to accommodate you or your guests is not a good sign.  Are you set on having an outdoor ceremony or would you be able to tolerate the indoor option they gave you (it is what we are doing as well, since we did not see the point in having people go one place for 15 minutes and then another).  If not, I would check into similar outdoor options that are more flexible.
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  • banana468banana468 member
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_connecticut_standing-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:65Discussion:b1f0b7b6-ee5c-4eb8-9c1b-cbcb3b7c524dPost:36a93b8d-b65c-4327-bfc9-a67d32777618">Re: Standing for ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I was in a ceremony last year where we (all the wedding party) had to stand for the entire thing. It wasn't that long (maybe 20 minutes) and was fine for us, however, I do agree you should have places for older guests to sit, because that may be a long time for them.
    Posted by TBee99[/QUOTE]

    The thing is, why just the older guests?  When I was pregnant I couldn't stand that long but I was young.  Now if you're inviting children and I have to  hold my daughter, it gets rather heavy.

    One knottie has a husband with a leg problem.  He won't discuss it a ton but it means he can't stand for long periods of time.  You can't see the issue but it's there.

    My friend's mom is not elderly but she just had two hips replaced.  Before that she was falling often but "looked" OK.  And again, since she isn't elderly no one would put her on the list of 'needing a chair'.

    Then there are the unexpected issues.  What about the sprained ankles that come up unexpectedly? 

    When you only have that finite number of chairs, how do you decide who is "worthy" of a seat?   Isn't it better to not treat some better than others and to make sure there's a seat for everyone?
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone! I am going to call my coordinator and see if their are any other options. Moving the ceremony inside is our backup plan in case it rains or the weather is to hot but with doing that we cut a half hour off our cocktail hour because we only have the room from 630-1130 therefore the ceremony will have to start at 630 instead of 6. The difficult part with planning this is that while the Pond House is located in Elizabeth Park they are not in control of the actual Park only their resturant. We have to go through the town of Hartford to get married in the park and they have strict rules on disturbing the environment. Since it is public property we are not allowed to "reserve" a space.Hopefully after talking to my coordinator we will figure something out.
  • edited December 2011
    OP, I posted on the July 2011 forum as well, but we are also doing Elizabeth Park. We are having a 10 minute ceremony and are including a map of the park with a suggested "route" to check out before the ceremony. We will also have backup chairs available in case someone doesn't respond to our request in the invitation to let us know seating is required. (think lawn chairs, camp chairs, etc...we are having a more casual ceremony)

    We are also having a large coach bus bring people from the hotel and they will have the option to hang there in the air conditioning until right before the ceremony. A groomsman will be in charge of letting everyone on the bus know when to head to the ceremony site to minimize standing time.

    I've been to standing ceremonies before and I haven't had a problem with them. I think the important thing is to make sure people know in advance, have other options for seating (we will have blankets in addition to backup chairs for those who want them) and pay attention to time! The only reason we are doing the outdoor vs. indoor is becasue we have a somewhat casual family (FI's family is certainly casual!) and we also want to maximize our time for the guests to be at the wedding. 


    I case of rain we will be in the pond house, but I hope that is not the case because we will be scrambling to contact everyone as the ceremony will be pushed back! As I'm writing this, another thing to mention on the insert!

    While I understand the concerns about standing vs. sitting I think much can be done to minimize standing time. I also don't think it is rude as long as people know in advance.

    It is a challenging "venue" because it is not really a venue, it is a state park. 
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  • edited December 2011
    Obviously it's not ideal, but people will manage.
    It'd be polite to give them a heads up.
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  • ktanddevangktanddevang member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I have been to a wedding at Elizabeth Park and we stood. Honestly it was one of my favorite wedding ceremonies I have been to and I have never really thought about the fact we were standing. I assume that your guest list is not huge, and at the one we went to there was plenty of room on the benches for the people who needed to sit. I don't think it is a problem.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thank you Coza for all the info, it is really helpful!!!
  • edited December 2011
    no problem, I hope everything works out!
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