A common question I get from my clients is: “during the ceremony, where does everyone sit, and does it matter?” Some clients like to keep it traditional and follow the few simple guidelines I’ve listed below, while others want to keep their event more casual and break some common rules, and both are totally fine. Theirs no wrong answer. It’s your wedding. However, if you do want to keep to tradition, here is the best way to seat your guests at the ceremony:
-At a christian wedding, the bride’s family and guests are seated to the left of the center aisle (when facing front) — so that they are on the same side as the bride when she stands at the altar — while guests of the groom are seated to the right.
-At a Jewish wedding, the bride’s family and guests sit to the right of the center aisle — so that they are on the same side as the bride during the ceremony — while guests of the groom sit to the left.
-If either the bride or groom has many more guests that the other, seating should be balanced on each side rather than dividing guests strictly according to whom they are affiliated with.
-It is customary to reserve the first couple of rows for immediate family members.
-At a Jewish wedding, both sets of parents stand under the huppah at the altar during the ceremony.
-If the bride or groom has a brother, this close family member should seat parents and grandparents. If there are no brothers in the families, this responsibility falls to the head usher.
-It is a gracious gesture to have guests escorted to their seats. This service may be performed by groomsmen before they take their places at the altar and/or by close friends or relatives who have been selected as ushers. Ideally, you should have at least one usher for every fifty guests.