Outdoor Weddings

Do i need to have chairs?

We are having our ceremony in a gazebo at a park (out of town). We have about 250 pple attending. We are wanting to have about 20 chairs in the gazebo for immediate family and those who NEED to sit down. The rest we are wanting to stand around the gazebo.
I've been to 2 weddings where they were outdoors and chairs were not provided. Our ceremony will likely be about 10-15 mins long.
Should we be renting chairs??

Re: Do i need to have chairs?

  • cschuma2cschuma2 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited July 2010
    I don't mean to be rude, but put a little effort in.  The thread directly under this one (titled "chairs") discusses that every person needs a seat.  There are a bunch of other threads about this as well on this board.

    This is something that trix posted in another thread and she sums everything up quite well.

    [QUOTE]The manager is wrong.  Very, very wrong.  Let me tell you why, IMO, he's very, very wrong.  You're thinking your timeline. 15 minute ceremony.  Here's a guest's timeline:

    (I'm a church organist, so I'm probably involved in more weddings than the typical person~just so you know where I get my info.)

    Guests begin to arrive 20-30 minutes before your ceremony starts.  Then, it's the very, very rare wedding that actually begins on time.  Let's be charitable and say yours begins 10 minutes late.  Your guests have now been standing for 30-40 minutes, on the beach, in sand, and your wedding hasn't even started yet. 

    Now add your 15 minute ceremony, and include the time for processional/recessional.  Your guests have now been standing for a hour.  They now have to stand to leave the ceremony, perhaps wait in the receiving line, get into the reception venue.  So it's at least an hour and a quarter that you've made your guests stand.  Not good.

    Now:  let's go into logistics.  100 people, trying to stand to watch a ceremony just doesn't work.  Your 5'4" aunt ends up standing behind your FI's 6' frat brother.  She sees nothing.  Nothing.  That happened to me at my niece's wedding.  We all stood in a small space for the father/daughter dance.  I was behind tall people, and missed the whole thing.

    Seating for the elderly?  What about people who can't stand.  My DD had serious, life-saving surgery this year.  Had your wedding been in the 6 weeks after her surgery, she would not have been able to stand.  She's 26 years old.

    My 89 year old father would never, in a million years, take a chair while a lady was standing.  He also couldn't stand for over an hour. Posted by trix1223[/QUOTE]

    Please provide chairs for everyone.
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  • I thought about not having chairs, but there are a few arguments against that:
    1) people will be arriving before the ceremony and thus would be standing much longer than the 10-15 minutes of the ceremony
    2) people will have more difficulty arranging themselves appropriately -- especially with 250 guests -- without chairs to guide them
    3) shorter people will have almost no chance of seeing anything if they're not right at the front
    4) it's hard to determine who "needs" a chair -- many people who may not look like they have physical disabilities do have them
    5) it has the potential to simply leave a bad taste in people's mouths -- especially if the weather is too hot (this was a consideration for me, not sure if it applies to you)

    I think those are the major ones that I remember.  I know that, with lots of guests those few bucks per chair can add up to a lot, but I think it's worth it...especially if you'll have chairs to rent for the reception  and you may be able to  just reuse them (with a bit of muscle-work).

    Hope that helps!
  • Every butt needs a seat.
  • I agree that every butt needs a chair. And I think it would be very rude to have a limited number of chairs for a small group of family, etc and not the rest of your guests. 250 guests is a large wedding. If you are going to invite that many people, you owe it to your guests to provide them a chair.
  • Yes, you need to provide chairs. You can't know if someone has a private medical issue, etc. that might prevent them from standing, even for 10-15 minutes.
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  • nfp147nfp147 member
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Comments
    We're also having a short ceremony in a gazebo in a park and we're not providing chairs.  We are only having about 90 guests, so the crowd will be considerably smaller.
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  • I don't think it matters if you are having 10 people or 1000 people, EVERY guest should have a seat!  I, myself, am a very short person and would inevitably end up standing behind the tallest person there with nowhere for me to move to and therefore would see NOTHING!  Plus, like other pp's have said, you might not know if other people have medical issues or whatnot that prevents them from standing, especially with 250 people!

    I implore every one of you who is considering not having chairs, to PLEASE reconsider!  It is just a bad idea in my opinion.
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  • I think it's fine to not provide chairs for everyone, provided your ceremony is short. I went to a wedding where there weren't enough seats. DH and I got there early and sat, but we stood again once we realized there wouldn't be enough seats. Neither of us needs to sit, so we left the bench open for those that do.
  • Provide chairs!  I have been to 4 weddings where they did not, one was quick and 2 were relatively quick but the shoes still had to come off, you were still standing 30min IN HEELS even for just a quick 10min ceremony.  The other was a disaster!  It had just poured, starting the ceremony late to begin with.  When we all ran outside to get the ceremony going, the bride still wasn't ready to come out.  We stood there for over an hour, I was barefoot by this point.  I'm sorry, maybe I need to find better cute strappy heels, or my feet just suck, but it was horrible waiting for all that.  I'm getting married outside too and I will have enough seats for everyone! 
  • PLEASE get chairs. I have been to 2 weddings recently where there were not enough seats for everyone and standing in heels for even 10 minutes in grass SUCKS.
  • Having been to a wedding exactly like what you are descriibing....yes, yes you DO need a seat for everyone.  Unless you're ceremony is literally 5 minutes, people are going to want to sit and it's really rude to make your guests stand.
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  • What? I can't even imagine going to a wedding where there were no chairs. What about your elderly guests? For them, 10-15 minutes (plus the extra time for processionals and guest arrival) can be too much. And like a pp said, plenty of eldery gentlemen would never sit while a woman was standing. That aside, you want your guests to actually be able to see what's happening.
  • I went to a wedding that didn't have enough seating.  It was a short, outdoor ceremony, so it wasn't a big deal... but... I felt like a second rate guest.

    I arrived early, but I decided not to take a seat, because I knew they should be left for family and older guests.  All the friends stood in the back (40% of guests stood).

    Like I said.. it wasn't a big deal.. but I certainly felt like a second rate guest and I would hope you wouldn't want your guests to feel tiered.
  • No, you don't need chairs for everyone for a 10 minute ceremony.  I've been to many standing ceremonies here in ny and it's fine, as long as there are seats for the elderly/injured/exhausted/prego.  SOunds great!
  • This was my dilemma for my beach wedding.  My planner and the rental facilty advised to only get chairs for the ones that would need it. I truly felt that everyone needed a seat until I attended 2 ceremonies this weekend w/out chairs. Of course there are always people that will complain about how you choose to spend your money, but take this from a person die hard on having a chair for everyone...there is no way I would expect you to provide this for 250 people for a short ceremony. People stand at mixers/  meetings/ concerts, etc for an hour all the time and do not complain. I just decided to do a beach pillow scene.  Of course the common sensers would know that you obviously know the guests you are inviting and can poll for the amount of chairs needed.  Good Luck!
  • If I was forced to stand through a wedding I would sure think twice about continuing on to the reception. Be considerate. See if you can rent benches, at the very least.
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