I have a lot of pet peeves (poly cotton linens, bad lighting, cheap stationery, chair covers, clunky wine glasses, those cheapo aisle runners, to name a few), but most of my pet peeves come down to throwing money at them to make them go away. This tip won’t.
My Pet Peeve: empty chairs on the first two rows during the ceremony. I hate, Hate, HATE seeing this in the pictures. It shows up when photos are taken up by the bride and groom. The empty chairs are usually right over their shoulders.
Yes, your guests know that family has claimed the first 2 rows of seats, but chances are your family doesn’t consist of two perfectly even numbers that the chairs just happen to be set for. This should be though of, your immediately family should be assigned seats, signs should be made for said seats, and the exact number of chairs should be placed in each row for those people.
The more complex your ceremony, the larger your family is, the more important this is. For instance, this wedding below was staged “in the round” and it took some mathematical maneuvering to make sure that all 27 family members that needed seats had them on the front row.
This is what their chart looked like. Last names have been removed for the blog, but on the wedding day each reserved seat had a sign on it and guests knew not to sit there.
This makes things SO much easier on the wedding day for the family on both sides, and it also looks great in photos. No empty chairs gaping like black holes in your ceremony photos!