During a wedding ceremony, I definitely have the best ‘seat.’ As an officiant, I get to see all the faces and all the feelings of all the participants – those who are getting married as well as the guests. I get to see close-up the tender and sometimes hilarious moments that arise in the moment they arise – the ones that sometimes the photographers don’t even capture - the smiles, the laughter, the tears, the excitement, the nervousness, the love.
That’s my unique position as an officiant and I feel uniquely blessed.
In today’s world, many couples have let go of the traditional seating of guests, forgoing the usual ‘sides’ and allowing everyone to sit wherever they want to sit. But I’ve noticed that those closest to the couple - the parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles – typically still sit on the same side that their family member (bride or groom) is standing. So when we get to the part in the ceremony when the couple faces one other to exchange vows and rings, the closest relatives are in the perfect place to view the face of…not their own family member, but the one he/she is marrying.
As a close family member, it’s a wonderful site to behold – the face of the person whom your son/grandson/brother or daughter/granddaughter/sister is marrying. But if you want so see the face of your own son/grandson/brother or daughter/granddaughter/sister as they exchange vows and rings, you might want to consider sitting on the other side.
It’s just a thought, certainly not traditional, and one that I am sharing with my couples these days. Maybe it’s time to shake up the seating!