Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Who's on first? (where to seat everyone)

One of the questions I am asked most often is about seating at the wedding. Especially now, it is more common than not to have divorced families, blended families and non-traditional families at a wedding ceremony and sometimes the seating arrangements can be.

Divorced Families
The first thing to consider when planning ceremony seating is the relationship(s) of those involved. If all the parties are cordial, there is no reason in the world that the mother and father of the bride and groom along with their current spouses should not sit together in the front row. The mother of the bride & groom should still be the last people seated before the processional, and should have the seat(s) of honor nearest the aisle, but how nice for everyone if both sets of parents share the front row? This is especially true when the step mom or dad has been part of the bride or groom's life since childhood.

Recognizing that this isn't always possible, an alternative is to have mom and step dad sit in the front row with the dad and step mom in the row behind. Grandparents can be seated in the row with their family.

In truly acrimonious situations, I have had heart-to-heart conversations with all parties involved, stressing the importance of "playing nice" on the wedding day. In most instances, the parents are more interested in their child's happiness than their own issues an are able to put aside their differences for this special day. In situations where the parents refuse to get along (SHAME ON THEM) for one day, the bride needs to make some hard decisions about who to include on her wedding day.

Non-Traditional Families
It is becoming more common to have same-sex parents, or families where the bride or groom may have been raised by an aunt or grandparent. In these instances, seating is actually very simple. The persons who raised the bride or groom should always have the seat of honor at the wedding. There is no reason that the front row at the ceremony cannot contain a mix of individuals.

Your wedding coordinator can work with you and your family to help determine the seating arrangements and can run interference for you when issues arise -- how PERFECT is that?

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