Seating Wedding Guests at the Ceremony

When seating wedding guests, you do not have to follow strict rules. Modern couples can now leave much of the seating up to the wedding guests and their preferences with the exception of a few guidelines.

If you choose to follow a traditional Christian wedding, then the bride's family will be seated on the left of the church as you are looking from the back and the groom's family will be seated on the right. If your guests don't specify or inform you of whom they are in attendance for, then it doesn't matter where they are seated.

Wedding etiquette still dictates that a woman is escorted down the aisle with the usher or groomsmen offering her their right arm. If you have a group of women, any elderly woman should be escorted before the others and seated toward the front of the church.

You may find that one side of the church has more people seated on it than the other. If that is the case, instruct your ushers to try to balance out both sides with wedding guests. If people don't specifically request to be seated on the bride's or groom's side, the ushers may use their discretion to get the seating a more balanced look.

When it comes to family, specifically any immediate family or stepfamily, talk with them ahead of time about where they will sit. If parents are divorced, then the parent who was the primary caregiver will be seated in the front along with their spouse if there is one and the other parent will sit one to two rows back. However, these things should be discussed with family ahead of time so that you can avoid hurt feelings and any embarrassing moments. Try to take into consideration that this is an important day for them as well, and be as accommodating as possible. Then make sure your ushers know where to seat them.

Last of all, the mothers of the bride and groom deserve a little special treatment. The mother of the groom should be seated and then the mother of the bride should be seated last. This is generally the signal that the ceremony is about to start and everyone should be in their places.

Brief your ushers once more on any important information before wedding guests arrive, and let them take over. As long as your loved ones are in attendance, your walk down the aisle will be a smooth one.

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