Weddings are rife with tradition. Tradition is not all bad — it preserves memories, emphasizes significance, and respects the past. But traditional can also be the platform for disunity, particularly in regard to weddings.
When planning for this big day, the bride and groom have to either intentionally implement or deliberately disregard the many traditions involved in the wedding ceremony and reception. Are you going to have a pure white wedding dress? Will you throw your flower bouquet? Are the bridesmaids and groomsmen going to match identically? Will you wear a veil? Will you save your big reveal for the actual ceremony? The list never ends.
His and her sides for the wedding ceremony exemplify a wedding custom that can, and should, be relinquished. Not convinced? Keep reading to find out why.
First and foremost, consider the purpose of a wedding ceremony. The ceremony officially recognizes and celebrates the union of two people as they commit themselves to each other, coming together as one. As the bride and groom join so intimately, separate seating contradicts the underlying themes of unity and love. Take a step back from how societal traditions have brainwashed you to believe his and her sides are normal and you’ll realize the absurdity of this ritual.
Allowing both the bride and groom’s family and friends to sit where they desire gives members a chance to mingle. All the guests gathered at a wedding ceremony share a common affection and excitement for the union taking place in front of their eyes. This commonality provides a solid foundation for conversation and cheer. A wedding presents a unique opportunity to meet new people that are also connected to your loved one and their new spouse in some way.
While the bride and groom’s families traditionally undergo the greatest separation at wedding events, this makes little sense. These two families will continue to see each other over the years for events such as baby showers, birthday parties, graduations, and more. So getting know each other and initiating amicable relations from the beginning will pave the way for further unity in the future.
The black-and-white nature of his and her sides at weddings actually cause more confusion than open seating would. Arriving guests no longer have to worry about which side is correct or become embarrassed if they accidentally sit on the wrong side. Guests who are friends of both the bride and the groom do not need to feel baffled or guilty about offending either the bride or the groom by where they sit.
You don’t even need ushers to enforce open seating. Just create and feature a charming sign with a catchy saying to explain the seating arrangements. For example:
“Choose a seat, not a side,
We’re all family once the knot is tied!”
“She said Yes! Now we’ll say I do!
Please pick any seat. We’re now one family, not two!”
“Now that we are together forever,
Please feel free to sit wherever!”
“Family and friends of the bride and the groom,
Please sit together, there’s plenty of room!”
“Today two families are becoming one,
So pick a seat, not a side!”
“Come as you are,
Stay as long as you can,
We’re all family now,
So no seating plan!”
Open seating actually reduces confusion and allows guests to sit wherever they are comfortable.
If the bride and groom have different numbers of guests, their respective sides can appear unbalanced. Fewer guests does not necessarily translate into fewer friends — their friends could live far away or their extended family could be very large. No matter the case, allowing guests to choose where they sit gives more people better views of the ceremony while placed in a more aesthetically pleasing fashion.
Even when forsaking his and her sides, you can continue to respect your family by reserving the first few rows for immediate family such as siblings, parents, and grandparents. Not only a matter of respect, this choice ensures that the most important people in the bride and groom’s lives have a clear view of the ceremony. Such an act also appeases more traditional relatives. While the rest of the guests have open seating, these relatives can still feel valued.
Where your guests sit at your wedding ceremony does not need to be a big deal. The focus of the wedding should be about love, not fickle traditions. While some traditions are meaningful and worth maintaining, the tradition of his and her sides can and should be relinquished. Ignoring this tradition just makes sense, as it presents only benefits. The ultimate decision is yours to make, but don’t fret over such a small detail. Allow your guests to sit wherever they desire at your ceremony and dismiss any other thought from your mind.