Pssst! Brides, want to keep your friends and family on the edge of their seats? Start your wedding off with something unique. Whether your end goal is to create a more intimate atmosphere or to just be different than the typical couple, these alternative ceremony layouts are sure to make your guests sit up and take notice.
Need to fit a bunch of guests in a small space without it feeling overly cramped? Try tiered riser seating like you'd see in a sports arena, suggests Sandy Hammer, Co-Founder of collaborative event planning platform AllSeated. "If you're working with limited square footage where traditional seating won't accommodate all your friends and family, bleachers can be a savior, as well as offer a unique look," she explains. "It's especially good for narrow spaces, as it allows the guests in the back to be elevated so they can see."
A Circular Ceremony
Arrange your ceremony chairs in a circle to get up close and personal with wedding guests (and them, you!). "A circular ceremony, also called a ceremony in the round, creates an intimate setting and a better visual experience for your loved ones since you can see the couple from all angles instead of just from the back," notes Hammer. The only potential downside of this setup, which could be a plus for some brides, is a shorter aisle. "Have the wedding processional circle around the wedding canopy so that guests get a good glimpse of you as you make your entrance," advises Hammer. Voila, problem solved!
Throw your friends and family for a loop (literally) and put a twist on tradition by setting your ceremony chairs up in a spiral. As Hammer points out, this type of seating gives your guests a unique viewpoint and also has the effect of making everyone feel more inclusive because they can see other people's faces as opposed to the back of their heads.
Even if you're a fan of the classic ceremony rows, you can still mix things up (and eliminate any awkward/empty gaps) with assigned seats. Leave a personalized note on each guest's chair to make your friends and family feel special and welcome right off the bat, recommends Hammer.