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Wedding Ceremony Seating Basics

Wedding Ceremony Seating BasicsBy now most people know that the first two rows are reserved for family. But are you aware of some of the other wedding ceremony seating basics? Today we are talking about ceremony seating basics so that your family and friends have the best seats.

While your ceremony seating chart shouldn’t be as rigid as it is for your reception, it’s still best to know where certain people should be sitting. There are some traditional guidelines that help you place important people in the right spot. That being said, it’s almost 2020 and you don’t have to follow tradition if you don’t want. As long as you don’t snub anyone (like placing your 85-year-old grandmother behind a post), you can seat people wherever you want.


Who should sit on the right or left side of the aisle?

You may be aware of the bride’s and groom’s guests being seated on separate sides of the aisle. This is an old tradition that is often being foregone. But if you want to stick to tradition, the rules go as followed:

In Christian ceremonies, the bride’s side of the guest list sits on the left and the groom’s side sits on the right side of the church. (This is opposite for Jewish services.) If one side of the family has more guests than the other, your ushers can help seat people to even things out.


7 Wedding Ceremony Seating Basics

1. Immediate and Extended Family

Your immediate and extended family should have the first four or five rows reserved for them. You can also include other special guests in this grouping if you’d like. These rows can be reserved by tying ribbons across those rows or putting up reserved signs. If your wedding party isn’t standing u[ at the altar with you, they typically sit on the first row after the procession.


2. Seating Immediate Family

Right before the ceremony begins is when your immediate family should be seated. If you have any siblings that are not in the wedding party, they should be seated before grandparents and great-grandparents. You can choose to seat your siblings in the first row with your parents or the second row with your grandparents.


3. Step-Relatives

If you have any step-relatives, make sure that your ushers know who they are. When escorting in relatives, step-relatives are seated first. An example would be a step-sibling being seated before a birth sibling.


4. Divorced Parents

In the event of parents being divorced, it’s the parent who primarily raised the bride or groom that is sat in the front row with their partner. The other parent and their partner are seated in the third row. This is how it’s traditionally done, but if you want to have both birth parents or even all four parents (birth and step) in the front row, then that’s fine too. This should be a discussion had and decided on with all involved well before your wedding day though.


5. Elderly Guests

Your elderly guests should be seated near the front so that they can see and hear the best. Also, any guests in wheelchairs or on crutches should be seated on the ends of the rows.


6. Brothers of the Couple

Usually, brothers of the couple seat their mothers. If a brother is in the wedding party, he can seat his mother and then take his place with the other groomsmen. Or the head usher can also seat mothers if you’d prefer or don’t have any brothers.


7. Different Types of Ceremonies

In a Christian ceremony, the bride’s mother is always seated last. This is usually what signals that the ceremony is about to begin. The mother of the groom is seated right before the mother of the bride.

In Jewish ceremonies, all parents stand under the chuppah with the couple.


Check out our post on tips for mailing wedding invitations to ensure that your beautiful invites get sent out without a hitch.


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