Can We Ask Our Guests to Stand During Our Beach Wedding Ceremony?

Etiquette
asking guests to stand during the ceremony

Photo: KT Merry

If you're opting for a simple wedding ceremony, it's understandable that you'd prefer to do without the hassle of renting additional chairs for the ceremony. But will your guests find that rude? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your ceremony questions in our daily post.

We're having a low-key beach wedding and want to keep things simple. Is it OK to ask our guests to stand during the ceremony?

While it is a bit unusual, asking guests to stand during the ceremony is perfectly acceptable, as long as you keep your guests' comfort in mind and make decisions accordingly. To ensure your "standing" ceremony goes smoothly, follow our best advice:

• Keep the ceremony under 15 minutes to minimize guests' discomfort. And be sure to start the ceremony on time—if guests have to wait 20 minutes for the festivities to begin, then you're forcing them to stand for more than 30 minutes, which will become uncomfortable.
• Keep your guest list small, preferably under 50. Standing ceremonies work best at more intimate weddings.
• Provide enough chairs for any older or disabled guests in attendance. Place "reserved" signs on the seats so they'll know exactly where to sit.
• Give guests a heads-up about the standing ceremony—that way they'll know what to expect and can dress accordingly (read: leave your stilettos at home!). A good place to convey this information is on your wedding website.
• Serve chilled drinks like sparkling water and juice to guests as they arrive, especially if it's a warm day.

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