A quick survey of last year’s weddings I was at says that about 10% of wedding ceremonies had enough chairs for everyone to be seated. There’s nothing wrong with making people stand, but there’s a human brain thing that everyone is missing. Read on to understand.

It’s a popular and common wedding trend to hire a handful of chairs, 32 is a nice number that leaves four rows of eight chairs, split down the middle for an aisle, and the rest of the guests will be expected to stand. Not an unreasonable expectation of most adults. 32 or so chairs is more than enough for grandma and your parents and the odd person that really wants to be seated. And here arises the problem.

Everyone is too darn polite.

It’s not a terrible problem, I’d rather write about polite people than rude people. But this politeness thing has to stop somewhere! 🙂

The average couple might have two parents, four grandparents, eight uncles and aunties, and maybe two elderly friends of the family, that’s sixteen chairs possible filled. We’re halfway. And no-one else is sitting.

They’re waiting for better guests, or more family, or more important people, which is all really polite and awesome. But it’s also 3:40pm and the bride is due to walk down the aisle any second now and there’s three things in my mind:

  • The chairs cost money, on average $10-15 a chair to hire for a ceremony, so the standing polite people are burning a couple’s cold hard cash.
  • The chairs are empty and how’s that going to look in photos?
  • The chairs are empty, how would the couple feel when they glance at their guests and see all these empty chairs.

I know I’m overreacting to a simple issue. But why waste $12.50 per chair on super polite people?

In a recent wedding ceremony, a few moments before the bride arrived I asked guests to fill the remaining seats, no-one would, so I politely invited one couple to sit just so there were not two rows of empty chairs and the male guest was a bit offended that I would choose him. It got awkward, I left it, the seats were empty, I felt silly.

So here’s three solutions I thought of:

  1. Have fewer chairs: hire eight or so chairs, however many you need for family and elderly.
  2. Have more chairs: hire enough chairs for everyone to sit. Over order by about 10% maybe so that there’s room for groups and everyone to be seated together.
  3. Have your handful of 32/24 chairs: but put name tags on them and get ushers or siblings to sit people that you would like seated.

Am I overthinking this? Email me to let me know, or start the conversation on social media / FB / Twit.

By the way – the feature photo for this blog post is by Kylie at Just For Love Photography and the chairs are by Bree at Hodgepodge Hire, she’s got some really cool vintage and different furniture you can hire for your wedding!

SODA