Seating at the Wedding Ceremony

ceremony seating who sits where

Wedding etiquette comes from tradition, and traditionally, weddings take place inside churches.  With this in mind, today’s post is going to take a look at who sits where during a wedding ceremony.

Wedding ceremony seating planning

As weddings were traditionally held in a church, wedding etiquette focuses on where people sit in the church.  However these guidelines can be applied to non-church weddings, if you’d like to take on some traditions. Or you can swap the guests side around so that they can see “their” special person’s face saying their vows.

Which side does the bride’s family go on at the ceremony?

First rule of thumb, the family of the bride should be seated on the left side and the groom’s family on the right side of the venue.  Similarly, the bride goes on the left side, and the groom goes on the right.

The couple’s parents should sit in the first pew, before the other important and significant guests. Seating arrangements in churches and other venues should be marked by organisers, with either ‘reserved’ or a name, so people will know where they should be seated. The mother of the bride should be guided to her seat in the first pew by an usher. If she remarried, her husband should walk just behind the mum and the usher. As a rule, in wedding ceremonies, he should let his wife lead.

How to seat divorced parents at a church wedding

If the parents of either the bride or the groom, or both, are divorced, both mum and dad can be seated along the front row with their current or new spouses. Flings, short-term girlfriends or boyfriends of parents are excluded and should not be seated there. Bags not getting into that discussion!

If the parents’ separation or divorce was a bitter one, and they still are not civil with each other, then the mum and dad should be seated in separate pews where they could hardly see each other.

Will you follow tradition, or let everyone sit wherever they want?

Do you want your guests to sit on the “side” they align with, or would you like them to sit wherever they want to?

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