Year after year, planners and designers create new and inventive ways to lay out a ceremony. From a spiralized seating arrangement to luxurious sofas, there’s no one way design the space! Most limitations will occur in a house of worship or venue with permanent seating. But, when held in a backyard, garden, or barn, the options are almost limitless. When creating a layout, keep in mind the number of guests attending. You don’t want the space to be too compact, but seating guests farther away can make it harder to hear and see. Keep comfort and space constraints at the top of the list when making your arrangements. From traditional to trendy, here are some ideas to get you started!
Most couples will run to you with inspirational ideas they found online! Not all ideas will be a viable options when considering guest counts and space limitations. Utilizing the Aisle Planner Seating & Layout tool, you can draw your layout to-scale based on the exact measurements of the venue. For this wedding, chevron style seating was the prime choice due to the permanent garden layout. With the gazebo placed in the middle of the venue, a mix of benches and chairs surround the area on the both sides giving guests a closer view.
Pro Tip: We recommend that the aisle be at least 60″ wide to ensure the wedding party can walk comfortably. If more than two people are walking down the aisle together, consider widening the space to 84-96″.
While most couples come with ideas of their own, in most cases, they come to you as a professional for advice. In many cases, for ceremony seating, sometimes simpler is better, but that’s not always something your clients want to hear. By being proactive with your galleries in the design studio, you can show your couples numerous ways to add personality and creativity to the otherwise simple design. Be sure to include any surrounding trees or structures, as well as any aisle décor that may restrict the allotted aisle space.
Pro Tip: Setting the first row 72” from the ceremony structure or where the couple will be standing allows for movement of any readers or participants. And, your photographer and videographer will thank you too!
Changing up the seating options of an otherwise traditional layout can transform your space completely! From vintage benches to luxurious couches, give guests a unique seating experience. Benches create a wonderful, rustic “church pew” scene and can be a potential space saver as well. Make sure to allow enough space in front and behind benches so guests can stand up and sit down with ease.
In the Round
Having a wedding ceremony in the round consists of having guests stand or sit around the couple in a full or half circle. This unique layout can be a symbol of eternity and oneness. While the layout is most ideal outdoors, it can accommodate a group of any size. In fact, for a larger ceremony, it allows guests to feel closer together for this intimate gathering. Whether in a circle or straight rows, the distance between rows of chairs should be at least 24” to allow for comfortable seating and movement. Additionally, unless chairs lock into each other, leave a few inches between seats when placing them side by side.
By guiding couples with fantastic inspiration, being proactive with your next planning steps, and creating a layout to-scale of the ceremony set up options, Aisle Planner has all the tools to help you manage your clients’ expectations and delivery extraordinary experiences.
Pro Tip: For more ceremony design inspiration, visit our inspiration gallery!