Devoted September 2021

Question: Proper ceremony seating etiquette?

Sylvia, on February 26, 2021 at 7:53 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 4

Hi all!

I have a question/problem I want to try to figure out.

What is proper seating etiquette before the ceremony begins? My wedding website states that seating begins at 5:15 pm, with the ceremony starting at 5:30.

I would like guests who arrive earlier than 5:15 to wait before entering the ceremony area and be seated due to us taking our photos nearby with family and wedding party after our first look. I kind of wait to avoid people take an early glimpse at us if that makes sense.

Would it be okay to have guests sort of lingering and chat before we open seating? There is a tent area with benches used at a rain backup that I am sure guests can sit in, but not quite sure. Or should we simply let guests who may arrive a little later come in and take their seats?

Thank you kindly! Smiley smile


Latest activity by Gen, on February 27, 2021 at 9:48 AM
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    Guests are seated up to 30 minutes before the ceremony (for a 5:30 ceremony, many will arrive at 5-5:15) and should not be forced to congregate in an area away from the ceremony seating. Why are you opposed to guests possibly seeing you before? If you don't want to be seen, don't take pictures in the ceremony seating area but have it accessible with your ushers/groomsmen to seat guests. Pictures should be done long before seating begins.

    • Reply
  • M
    Super June 2021
    Melanie ·
    • Flag

    Can you push the time you take pictures up? You should be hidden away before guests arrive! Seating should be open to guests whenever they arrive.

    The ceremony time on my invitation is 5:00 (I don't plan to walk out until 5:10ish) and I plan to have pictures finished and be back inside for makeup touch ups by 4:15 at the latest.

    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah Online ·
    • Flag
    I went to a wedding where we hung around a bar before we were allowed to be seated in the ceremony space. People mingled and got a drink before the ceremony. No one really seemed to mind.
    • Reply
  • Gen
    Champion June 2019
    Gen ·
    • Flag
    If your website specifically says that seating starts at 5:15 then I think that’s fine! If they show up earlier and expect a seat, that’s their bad lol
    • Reply

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