Just Standing Around...

I've had many weddings recently where the 50+ guests stood around for the 15-20 minute wedding ceremony.  There was select seating for elderly family and friends but generally no more than 20 or so chairs up front.  These types of weddings have a nice casual vibe to them - almost like the marriage ceremony happens very organically. 

This can work well - and it can fail.  If you are considering this, here are some tips:

  • Truly keep the ceremony no more than 15 minutes long
  • Greet your guests with a drink (could be champagne, sparkling water, lemonade) when they arrive and plan for the guests mingling for about 15 minutes before your true ceremony start time
  • Don't mingle with your guests during that time or your ceremony will definitely start late!
  • Make sure you have a coordinator designated to clear the aisle or form an aisle when it's time for the processional
  • Place the ceremony musicians where they will be easily visible by your coordinator so the coordinator can cue the processional music when the time is right (it's sometimes hard to see when most are standing!)
  • Make sure the newlyweds have an escape route and destination after the recessional if there's no receiving line - otherwise they will get mobbed by their guests and a receiving line will happen spontaneously
If you follow those rules, this can work out very well and set the tone for a casually fun and upbeat reception.  Gay couples seem to enjoy this in particular because it breaks tradition and many of them don't want the grand entrance processional.

Are you having a wedding ceremony where the majority of the guests will stand rather than sit?  Do you have any other tips to add? Or do you prefer a more formal, seated wedding ceremony?

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