One aspect of a wedding that is quite important is the seating arrangement. What kind of layout will you choose to accommodate everyone? What kind of seating style can you utilize that will suit your venue or location? Remember not all places can accommodate the same as another place; for example, an outdoor location could possibly be more appealing for a large seating arrangement while a hotel banquet room might be a bit smaller.
Being that the ceremony is probably the most sacred part of the wedding, making sure all of your guests are comfortably seated for the duration of the event is important. You want the guests to be able to SEE the two of you share your vows and exchange rings, but you also want them to feel cozy since they will probably be seated for quite a while.
Here are some seating options you might consider, from traditional to alternative:
1. Traditional Standard
With the parents of the bride sitting in the first row on the left and the groom’s parents sitting in the first row on the right, and the immediate family to sit behind the first row, and the rest of the guests typically seat themselves on whoever's side they are here for. (i.e. if you know the bride, you sit on the left). Sometimes the bride and groom will encourage both families and guests to sit wherever they would like, as a symbol of merging families and friends.
This is a pretty cool idea that typically works best for more intimate weddings with a smaller guest list, but can accommodate larger weddings if your location has enough space. A single row of chairs are laid out in a spiral shape leaving an open path for the bride and groom to stroll past all their guests as they walk through the aisle to the center to be wed.
With an alter centered in the middle, you would arrange all of the chairs to surround the ceremony on all four sides; with an aisle leading up to the altar that splits one of the sections in half to make room for the bride and groom.
With an aisle leading right to the center, chairs are arranged in a semicircle horseshoe shape for all guests to have a good view of the bride and groom. The bride and groom stand in the center facing their guests.
Similar to the square format, this seating calls for four exterior quadrants that enclose a central area for the altar, the bride and the groom. This layout, however, makes more of a circular enclosure, and allows for an aisle without splitting a quadrant of chairs.
6. Circle within a Circle
The bride a groom are surrounded by a circular arrangement of guest seating, and inside the guest seating is a smaller circle of chairs for their parents and bridal party. Best seat in the house.
Some of these are great ideas, some may not be what you are looking for! Either way we hope you find the seating style you desire to make your wedding a huge success!