Wedding circle seating #Ceremony Advice#aisle#ceremony April 3 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatariel My fiance and I both want a non-traditional wedding ceremony, without the procession. The ceremony and reception will be held at an restaurant in NYC. I've read somewhere we could have our guests stand in a circle around us with a small wedding. However, we are inviting about 50+ people and am not sure if this could still work with this many people. Do you have any thoughts on this or any other alternative ideas to a non processional wedding? -Dorothy As those who've read Offbeat Bride know, I loves me some circles, and of course it's only fitting that I'd be all for couples trading in the aisle approach for circle time. Doing your wedding in the round is a great symbol (you start your wedding inside a ring!) and also a nice way to avoid the hierarchy of rows of seats. As you can see from the picture here (from Vania's Island celebration), you can make some pretty big circles with lots of guests. That said, if you're in a smaller enclosed space, I can imagine it could get kinda of tight. In that case, I would vote for two circles around you — a seated inner circle, and a standing outer circle around the chairs. It still means you have to split your guests into two tiers, but that's better than rows. Making some of your guests stand wouldn't work for a long ceremony, but it's good encouragement to keep things short 'n' sweet. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. @offbeatariel @offbeatbride PREVIOUS Vania & Joe's crafty, vegan, island "commitment celebration" NEXT When Men Aren't Wedded to their Own Name Show/Hide comments [ 11 ] Thanks for the mention! I liked the circle idea and 2 circles would be a great solution – ours was just a wee bit too big when we had to speak up over the sound of the waves in the water. Reply We totally did the circle (lo, these many almost 7 seven years ago) and I had so many people saying how much they loved being "up close and personal" with us. Our officiant actually had us pause and look around at all of our friends in turn, which was great. We used bamboo that we cut from our site to mark the aisle and the circle – simple and inexpensive, plus totally organic/recycle-able. 1 agrees Reply It's not circular seating, but one of the coolest weddings I've been to didn't have an aisle. It was held in an old hall with a stage at one end. The guests gathered in front of the stage and the curtain went up, revealing the bride, groom, and wedding party all standing in place facing the audience. It was gorgeous and dramatic. And hey, I'm a first time commenter on here, but I'm really excited for your reading in Bellingham this weekend! 2 agree Reply […] your guests sit in a circle (here's more info about weddings in the round), with your officiant in the center. Your officiant introduces the two of you and your families. […] Reply I attended a handfasting ceremony that took place in a wooded backyard. Everyone stood in a circle holding hands. The best part of the ceremony was when everyone gave personal blessings and advise to the couple (one guy spoke Klingon); the worst part for my date was that you couldn't break the sacred circle until the ceremony was finished and there were 50 people wishing the couple well… he really had to pee. Reply We're doing a handfasting ceremony up a canyon. Everyone will be standing in the sacred circle. We'll have a chair for my aunt and a few extra for anyone not wanting to stand for the whole 15 minute ceremony. The circle idea works especially well with the weird 'stem mom and mom' dynamics and who would sit where. Reply We are having 2 flower girls and 2 ring bearers, and now I don't want to even have chairs at the ceremony (unless guests-all family or family of bridal party- bring their lawnchairs to sit in). Now I'm not sure how to let the kids "do their job" without having an aisle. Maybe we could start by guests gathering on two sides of the arbor making an aisle, and when we all get to the front, they can all scootch together and arrange themselves however they want. Would that make any sense? Any other ideas? Reply I have a feeling the flower children would LOVE running in a circle spreading petals..let them know they have the important job of "finishing" the circle as/after people gather 'round! 3 agree Reply I love the idea of circular seating. Where should our parents sit? Opposite each other? Reply We did our wedding in a circle, and we had 120 people. It was beautiful, and everyone said they could hear fine (no mics). 1 agrees Reply Were the guests standing or seated in a circle? We have an outdoor venue that does not allow chairs or amplified sound and we have only about 50 people. If it worked for you I'm sure it will work for us, just want some reassurance! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. 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