Wednesday, 13 October 2010

I call upon these persons here present

I’ve been trying to compose this post in my head for about a week and it hasn’t gone well so we’ll see how it goes written down. I do have a point really so please be patient.

Wedding range in size from teeny tiny to grand swaths of people, however no matter what the size you need to have two people other than you and your partner to make the marriage legal. Someone has to witness the promises that you have made to each other.

In most traditional services the couple being wed stand with their backs to the guests. Bride on the left and groom on the right. The Bride’s friends and family then sit on the left and Groom’s friends and family are on the right (or vice versa if you are looking from the registrars point of view). This means that when the bride and groom turn to each other and when they are not staring lovingly into each other’s eyes and when the bride sneaks a nervous look behind her all she can see is the groom’s friends and family.

Now when we met with the registrar we had stated that we didn’t care where people sat. When I gave instructions to our usher (nephew) via #1 I again stated we don’t care where people sit let them sit anywhere. I do find that it is a bit of a popularity contest – the groom had more people on his side or the bride had more. However when I started walking down the aisle I noticed that we did indeed have a grooms side and a brides side.

We’d made ‘reserved’ signs to be placed on seats for Cee and her husband (there was a chance they might have been running late), the piper O's brother and my Dad. For some reason the reserved signs for Cee and her husband had been placed in the front two seats on O’s side (where his Mum and Dad really should have been sat). It was no great disaster and it meant that I had a friendly* face to look at as I made my small glimpses at all these people watching us publicly declare that we would love each other forever.

Are you still with me?

*Now friendly is really unfair to O’s side. I love his parent’s to pieces and it was lovely seeing them smile as they welcomed me into their family. I get on very well with his friends and seeing them helped me not to take things too seriously or get over emotional.

HOWEVER these are not MY people, I would have liked to see my friends and family – I want to know if my Mum cried (although perhaps we’d have both been in pieces). I’m sure there is some deep seated tradition about looking forward to the family you are joining and having your family behind you or some such nonsense.

But if you are still to be wed it is worth considering even planting one of your friendly faces within the groom’s side to pull funny faces at you (maybe it is just me).
If you have already been wed did you have a bride and a groom side and is it just me that thinks it is a bit unfair?

AND please have a word with your venue about how they lay out the seats (unless of course your seats are fixed). Our venue laid out rows of 3! Which is great for any single people but most of our guests were part of a couple and therefore had to split up and spread themselves out! An annoying little detail that there was nothing I could do about by the time I was at the top of the aisle.


  1. We had issues with this too. We were married somewhere where we had to decide on the morning if we'd be married outside. If we had been, we'd have been having a groom's side and a bride'd side, and all would have been well(we chose an equal number of guests).

    However, it rained a wee bit, so we decided on inside, which meant everyone was seated at their table for the wedding breakfast. they were obviously chosen so that our families were at the front three tables, but we were married in the corner of our venue with massive windows and a gorgeous view, which unfortunately meant out family were at the back 3 tables :S.

    SO i second your motion to plan for everything!

  2. There are always these weird things that you forget to plan for. I also hate the "bride's side/groom's side."

  3. Hello there! I just found your blog from Meghan's page.

    This very idea has me a little freaked for our December wedding. I definitely want there to be no "sides" since there will be a LOT more of his family/friends there than mine, and I don't want to notice that as I walk down the aisle. However, I think people are so ingrained into this tradition that they won't follow our suggestion to "sit wherever." I think it will make me a little sad...

  4. Ah, I'm going to remember this and position some friendly faces on the "Grooms" side. Brilliant tip!

    I'm not a fan of the sides thing anyway, but it's difficult to persuade people not to do what's traditional.

  5. Funny they put rows of 3, such a random number!

    I never really thought about this till you said but yeah when I looked around I was basiclly looking at the best man and ushers!


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