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Outdoor Weddings

Standing Guests during ceremony

I am planning an outdoor ceremony and a couple places that I am interested in, you can only have around 20 chairs for immediate family and elderly and the rest of the guests would have to stand. The ceremony is going to be 15-20 minutes tops and I was just wondering what everyone thinks, should I somehow notify the guests they will end up standing? Or somehow note it on the invitation or just not say anything?

Re: Standing Guests during ceremony

  • slubkinslubkin member
    edited November 2010
    Please don't make your guests stand.

    Here's a link to a post by a bride who did have her guests stand, so you can see some of the reasons why it wasn't a good idea.  (There are other reasons, too, but I won't go into them all here.)

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  • Please read the link the PP posted above.  You really should have seats for everyone.  Keep in mind that people will be dressed up, wearing nice shoes, and probably won't want to stand outside for an extended period of time.  And remember that many guests arrive early, so it will be longer than the 15-20 minute ceremony.

    Is it that the venue only provides 20 chairs, or they won't let you bring in extra chairs?  If your venue doesn't allow you to provide seating for every guest, I think you should look for a new venue.
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  • I agree with PPs.  Even though it doesn't seem like a very long time, not everyone is used to being on their feet so long.  Not everyone will be able to see what's going on.  Providing adequate seating for your guests is important.
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  • I just found your other post about this - for future reference, it's usually considered proper internet etiquette to indicate that you have posted the same thread elsewhere, usually by including 'XP' in the title and/or mentionining it in the post.

    Anyway, I saw someone mentioned that pictures could look like people just 'standing around waiting for the bus', so I wanted to share these:

    The second one is an example of how you can get some really awkward photos, which was mentioned in the linked thread, even though it's inside.
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  • I hate standing at weddings- it is uncomfortable and really difficult to see and hear what is going on. Please reconsider.
  • Wasn't this posted somewhere else?  Anyway I'll give you the same answer in short: Have chairs for everyone. 
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  • My answer from the ceremony board:

    I'm a church organist.  Your timeline is 15--20 minute ceremony.  You'll be sitting down somewhere:  back of venue, limo, somewhere.  But here's a guest's timeline from someone who has played at more weddings than you'll probably attend in your life.

    Guests begin arriving 10-30 minutes before the start time of the wedding.  I can't remember a single wedding that started on time.  Let's be charitable and say 10 minutes late.  Now you have your 15-20 minute ceremony.  Your guests have been standing up for possibly an hour.  Not a kind way to treat guests.

    Chair for every guest is just being a good host.  Please rethink a venue that doesn't care about the comfort of your guests.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • Please have chairs.  Women in heels will sink into the ground and people like me with circulatory problems may pass out. 
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  • I thought about the same thing, having my guest stand. Granted we are having a ceremony that shouldn't last more than about 5 minutes we have ran through it twice and that is what i want short sweet and to the point, renting chairs for 200 guest is an extra 500 dollars at my venue, but once I thought about it what is 500 dollars for chairs when the guest are going to be the ones who remember how cheap we were we made them stand and then drive to our reception that is across town. Think about your guest who are coming.
  • If the ceremony is 15-20 minutes it is fine to have people stand. How many are you thinking of inviting??? I am okay with not having as many chairs as there are people coming to the wedding...but only 20 chairs is a small amount.  We had 130 confirmed guests and had 85 chairs set up. It worked out fine. You don't need to notify the guests in the invitations, but your groomsmen/ushers could say something to the guests as they arrive.
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  • I know that no one else agrees but I have been to several weddings where they only had chairs for older guests and I didn't mind at all. The link to that other posts seems unrealistic for my family and friends... the just aren't that rude to stand right in the middle of the isle, and my sister and mother would have told people where to stand if they were in an inappropriate spot. If they have done weddings at this venue before they will have a plan for where people stand and it shouldn't be a big problem.
    I am having a beach wedding, which will be very small, and I have talked to most of the people invited about chairs and all of them have said they don't mind standing, but my wedding is going to be informal and it will be right outside our beach house so people won't have to go out there until right before I do, which means a shorter waiting period.
    I am not going to put that people will have to stand on my invitations, but almost everyone already knows my plan, so I'm not worried.
  • megk8ozmegk8oz member
    edited November 2010
    A chair for every butt. Anything else is pretty inconsiderate.

    Just because you will only see your guests standing for 15-20 minutes, doesn't mean that's how long they actually will be standing for. You must take into accout that they will be showing up at the very least 10 minutes before the actual start time and that precious and few are the ceremonies that start on time. Suddenly that "15-20 minutes" can easily morph into an hour.

    If your wedding is even slightly formal, I'm going to guess most of your guests will be in some type of dress shoe. If you really think it's "not a big deal" to have people stand the whole time, please go to your ceremony site-in a pair of dress shoes, and just stand in the same spot for an hour. Then see if you still feel the same way.

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  • I wasnt telling them to wear jeans and sneakers actually i was giving the option of wearing what the wished . I am having a casual wedding and would like to keep things light and fun. And those are your opinions i have mine!
  • A few problems with not giving everyone a seat:
    -Not everyone likes to advertize that they have a bad back or knee and so might feel akward about taking a seat.
    -Do the families of those who need seats also get seats, or would you make them sit apart from their spouses?
    -What about families with small children? it's hard enough to keep kids corralled together when you can sort of put them or your lap or sit them down with a coloring book, it is near impossible to guarantee a kid will stand quietly for more than a minute and half.

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