Photo: Corbin Gurkin
Instead of straight rows, which everyone will be expecting, get creative with your ceremony seating and try a completely different arrangement. Your guests will be delighted, plus it will set a fun and unique tone for the rest of the celebration. Though there are some logistics to keep in mind as you're rethinking your ceremony set-up:
Sight lines: In a traditional ceremony layout, all guests face forward and know exactly where the couple will be positioned. Alternative layouts may leave guests guessing where the best seats are; also, some people will inevitably be left with less favorable seats.
Wedding party size: Think about where your bridesmaids and groomsmen will stand. In some seating arrangements, there may not be room for all your attendants to stand alongside you and your groom, so they may need to be seated, instead.
Finding their seats: Once guests arrive, you don't want them to be confused or hesitant to sit because they're not used to the seating layout. Whether you have ushers directing guests or signage explaining the set-up, make sure you communicate to guests what your expectations are for them.
Photographs: Think about where you and your groom will be standing during the ceremony, and what will be behind you as your backdrop in the ceremony photos. Consider where your photographer will be positioned to get the best shots and what you'll likely see in the background in those images.
Sound: Every guests will want to be able to clearly hear what's being said during the ceremony, so think about how far away the furthest guest will be seated from the action.
Position of the aisle: You'll need to figure out the best way for you and your wedding party to enter the wedding ceremony. Position the aisle in a spot that makes the most sense for your ceremony layout.
Now, here are the creative ideas!
Idea #1 (above): The Horseshoe
Chairs are arranged in a semicircle horseshoe shape, with an aisle leading right to the center. The couple stands in the middle, facing their guests.
Photo: Gideon Photo
Idea #2: The Spiral
This works for smaller, more intimate weddings, where a single row of chairs is arranged in a spiral shape. This way, you'd be able to see each guest as you walk between the chairs and make your way to the center.
Photo: Pen Carlson
Idea #3: The Square
Position your altar in the middle, then arrange the ceremony chairs on all four sides so that you're literally surrounded by your loved ones as you exchange vows.