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Wedding Ceremony - Seating

For both the wedding and the reception, there will be certain seating needs. Take the wedding ceremony for example, you would have special seating that would be in the order of special guests, seating of the brides grandmother, and the grooms mother followed by the brides mother.

The brides parents will be seated in the front row on the left-hand side of the church while the grooms parents will also sit in the front row but on the right-hand side. Then, immediate family of the bride would be seated in the second ow back, again on the left and the same for the grooms immediate family.

Depending on the type of ceremony planned, you might have a place reserved for the bridesmaids and groomsmen after the immediate family. In this situation, you would need to have reserved seating cards placed on the pews so the ushers and guests know these would not be seats for the general guests. You might have other guests that would also have reserve seating such as family that is disabled, from out-of-town or great grandparents. To accommodate their needs, you would mail them special seating cards that would be presented to the usher upon arrival. At that point, they would be taken directly to the reserved seating section.

With many couples having divorced parents, the seating can be a little tricky, which would vary depending on the specific situation. For instance, if the mother and father were divorced but friends, they could still be seated on the front pew, as though still together. If the divorced parent is married or has a significant other, then the appropriate seating arrangement would be to have him or her sit in the second row.

Now, if the divorced parents are not on speaking terms, then the situation becomes even more difficult. In this case, you should have the mother sit in the front row and the father in the second row, organized so they are not directly behind one another. Then any immediate family of the mother would sit right behind her and any immediate family of the father, right behind him. If the mother or father were divorced and married or with a significant other, it would be appropriate and wise to seat the wife/husband or girlfriend/boyfriend in a pew several rows back.

While some of the seating situations can be a challenge, the most important thing to remember is that this is the bride and grooms wedding day. Therefore, others will simply need to put their differences aside. If you see trouble brewing, you should pull the parent(s) aside and be very honest with them.

Finally, if there were a widowed parent, then it would be perfectly fine for that mother or father to have a close family member, companion, or close friend sit with him or her in the front pew. Although that particular guest would play no role in the wedding, it does help the widowed parent to feel more comfortable with the situation.


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