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Ceremony Traditions

Ceremony Traditions: Open Seating

Should I Do Open Seating Ceremony For My Wedding?


Traditionally, in a non-denominational wedding or majority of religious weddings, bride is left and groom is right. In the jewish traditions, as well as a few others, bride is on the right and groom is on the left. Unless extremely religious or preferring to go with tradition, open is seating for ceremony is typically most popular for most weddings.

By open seating, I mean during the ceremony, the guests sit on either side that they please. You’ll see signs like “pick a seat, not a side” or some variant of don’t pick a side, just pick a seat that’s not in the first row.


Is there a preference? Not Really.  If you prefer to have guests seat on either side, then go for it. What’s truly important is the first row. Typically we have reserved signs on the first row, whether it be just one on both sides or each seat assigned in the first row. Be sure to inform the family that has assigned seating in the front that are not in the bridal party (walking down the aisle) so they know to look up front. Family and guests typically know not to sit in the front row because that’s usually reserved for the processional/bridal party but a pretty reserved sign is always useful.

Should I Make My Ceremony Unplugged?

Heck Yes. No matter the vendor, I can 99.9% guarantee that all vendors would recommend an unplugged wedding.


What is an unplugged wedding? Unplugged means we create signs, we have the officiant announce, and we might even inform guests during rehearsal dinner that during the WHOLE ceremony, the guests keep their phones in their pockets/purses and allow photographers and videographers get the real beautiful shots. I know all guests will be EXTREMELY excited to watch you walk down the aisle but their phones out in photos really truly RUIN PHOTOS. I have witnessed way too many wedding photos tarnished with hands and phones in the way. Unplugged is becoming a lot more popular trend for ceremonies and rightfully so, who wants to see the hands of their guests with a phone instead of your beautiful kiss dip in the middle of the aisle.

Processional Order and Who Is In My Procession?

If you are having a non-religious/non-denominational ceremony (this is the disclaimer), then it can be whomever you want in your processional order. You can have the officiant already standing up there or you can have he/she walk down first. Then you can have your grandparents on either side walking or can be seated all the way in the front. Then you can have bride’s mom walking with siblings/uncles/ushers/groomsmen (who can walk back into line up) or mom can walk with her daughter and husband at the end. Next up is the groom, who can either walk with his parents or his parents walk halfway and he meets them to walk together. Then it’s bridal party which can be paired up or separated! Or have them already stand up there or no bridal party at all! It truly is completely up to your preference, I promise.

One Note To Make About Flower Girls and Ring Bearers!

I’ve seen a lot of scenarios with ring bearers and flower girls and a safe age that will walk in a straight line is over the age of five…BUT, to be completely honest, they are quite an adorable addition to the procession and add a lot of character SO if they are under the age of five, please be sure to practice with them before the wedding day (at rehearsal) and to save a seat for the parents of the flower girl/ring bearer at the front SO if they run, they will run to the front when they see their parent.  AND if they are an infant, put them into an adorable wagon and have the ring bearer walk her in, cuteness overload!!!

Disclaimer: This is all based on a non-denominational/non-religious wedding. If you are having a religious wedding, then please contact separately.



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