Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Wedding Planning

Seating at the Wedding Ceremony

The bride's family and guests sit on the left and the groom's on the right during the wedding ceremony. If one of you are expecting more guests than the other, you should ask guests to sit evenly distributed throughout the church.

You should reserve seats for your immediate family. Seats can be reserved by marking them with ribbons or flowers.


Photo by Stacie Kirkwood Photography

The first and second rows are reserved for the immediate family, parents, siblings and grandparents. If your parents are divorced, the parent you lived with sits in the first row with your stepparent. Your other parent and their family sit in the second row. The third through six rows are usually reserved for uncles, aunts, cousins, godparents and any other special guests.

In a Christian ceremony, the mother of the bride is always seated last. (The groom's mother is seated right before the bride's mother). Once the bride's mother has taken her seat, the ceremony begins.

Traditionally, in a Christian ceremony the bride's family is seated on the left (when the guests enter from the back). The groom's family is seated on the right. For a Jewish wedding, it is reversed. If either the bride or the groom have a much larger family than the other, it is a good idea to seat the guests on either side so it looks balanced.

If it is a formal wedding, the ushers will escort the female guests to their seats while her male escort follows them. If your ceremony is informal, the ushers can greet your guests at the door and say, "Please follow me". For every 50 guests, you should have one usher.

Massachusetts bridal makeup artistsDivorced Families? The "rule" is that the parent who primarily raised you sits in the front row with his/her spouse. Your other parent and his/her spouse sits in the third row. The second row is usually reserved for siblings, grandparents and close relatives. If everyone is comfortable sitting with each other, why not have everyone sit in the front row? If you're not comfortable with this, have one set of parents sit in first row and another sit in second row.

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