Image by Autumn Twilight exclusively for Mountainside Bride
Traditionally, the bride's and groom's families sit on opposite sides of the church during the wedding ceremony. In the Christian tradition the bride and her family is on the left. In the Jewish tradition, she's on the right.
But what if your family is huge and his is tiny?
What if you don't want a wildly unbalanced-looking church?
What if you'd rather have guests sit where they want to, irrespective of family ties?
Go for it!
Gone are the days when strict adherence to tradition rules the day. In today's modern weddings, you are free to mix things up and choose traditions or eschew others according to your tastes and personal needs.
In the case of seating guests at the ceremony, I particularly love the sign “Today two families become one, so pick a seat, not a side.”
It makes a clear statement about unity and family. It also allows you to fill your ceremony site evenly.
But Don't let go of your ushers just yet!
Just because you aren't following traditional seating protocol, doesn't mean you don't need ushers!
Let your ushers know that you want the church or ceremony site seated evenly starting from the front and working back. This will also make the ceremony site look fuller in pictures.
Take it from me: When guests are allowed to pick their own seats and scatter, your ceremony can look somewhat ill attended.
Also, make sure to save the front row or two for close family and VIPs.
If traditionalists in your family balk, your ushers can simply say it's your wish to fill the church evenly, and that it will allow everyone to be able to see and hear the ceremony more clearly.