How can I make sure guests please DON’T stand for the Bride?

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everyone (except for me, my dad, and everyone sitting under the balcony)
One of the unspoken wedding traditions that drives me nuts is when everyone stands up for the bride.

I know it's an old tradition and it's a respect thing (or something like that. I'm not totally positive of the background). But why just for the Bride?

Is anyone planning/have you seen anyone address this? Do you ask the guests to remain seated? Do you ask them to stand as the groom comes down the aisle? -beccamink

Your shorter guests certainly will thank you for this! (As one Offbeat Bride Tribe member said, “So out of respect of the shorter individuals, everyone can SIT THE FUCK DOWN.”) Our best suggestion would be to put a note in the program or have your officiant say something (possibly something funny) to let guests know.

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Comments on How can I make sure guests please DON’T stand for the Bride?

  1. I went to a wedding once where the majority of the guests had to stand up mainly because of poor seating arrangements. I say regardless of whether you want your guests to stand up or not, be sure there are enough seats for everyone, especially if it’s an outdoor affair and there’s a chance that the weather may not be ideal (as was the case with the wedding I just mentioned).

  2. For several reasons, including the standing thing, my husband and I walked down the aisle together. People stood, but they stood for both of us. I really loved holding his hand on that walk, and it was nice to have the attention on the two of us, rather than a single one. If the attention for just the bride is an issue for you, you could share the spotlight.

    If it’s the standing part you’re concerned about, and you want to make sure all of your guests stay seated, I would suggest as others have mentioned, and ask the officiant to start you off with a few announcements and requests, including that of staying seated. The problem with putting it in a program is that 1) that means you have to have a program (which we didn’t), and 2) people are notorious for not reading directions. If the officiant announces it just before the processional, it’ll be harder to forget.

    My Grandmother has been in a wheel chair my whole life. I have attended many a wedding and watched her feel she had to laboriously stand for the bride, not only that but even then she cant see anything.
    I decided long ago that I would request for people to stay seated especially for her.

    • That’s part of why I don’t want people standing at mine, either. I’m thankfully not yet tethered to a wheelchair, but I have mobility issues that make transitions between standing and sitting both graceless and painful. Standing itself is painful (and makes me lightheaded and sometimes involves fainting if it goes on too long), so when everyone stands for the bride, I don’t. Then I feel conspicuous. As if crowds and lots of people I don’t know weren’t anxiety-producing enough, then I’m also freaking out about people thinking the worst of me because my disabilities are mostly invisible. And then I feel guilty both for being disrespectful, and for taking attention away from the bride. As you can imagine, it’s a crappy downward spiral.

      For all those reasons, I don’t want anyone standing for me. I don’t want anyone to feel that way at my wedding. I haven’t yet decided whether to walk down the aisle, and to be perfectly honest I think we are going to plan the ceremony with it and with an option of me starting at the front like the groom does, so that I can choose that day depending on how I feel and a host of other issues.

      We are planning on having me (and the groom) sit for the ceremony. And I just had the thought that I kind of want to sit facing the crowd, thereby having the officiant’s back to them, because let’s face it they’re there to see the bride and groom, and no one is looking at the officiant’s face anyway lol.

      • You could do everything set at “2/3” or “3/4” with your shoulder turned out toward the audience at a bit of an angle. Think of scenes in a movie (older Jimmy Stewart flix are a good example) where 3 or 4 actors have to be seen by a camera. With a narrow seating arrangement to force the perspective, like a theater ‘orchestra’ section you’ll know everyone can see while you’re seated, and most folks can see the stuff the officiant will do (passing rings etc.) without having to see your backs for the whole ceremony.

      • It is pretty normal here for catholic weddings that the bride and groom get to sit down during the readings etc. We were sitting to the side, slightly back, angled across the altar so we could see both the priest at the front and the congregation.

        what we did:
        Walk down the aisle, stand for the opening blessing, be seated for the readings and sermon, stand for vows and then go and sign the official documents before walking out. we were probably seated for 70% of the (45 minute) ceremony, plus we got to look at all of our guests.
        I only recommend not doing this if looking at any of your guests will make you cry (I had to avoid looking at my mum the whole time because if she started crying I was going to be stuffed too).

        If you want to be seated for vows I would consider arranging the chairs so you can be looking towards each other (we were just next to each other looking out).

  4. My husband and I walked down the aisle together and I was a little miffed our guests didn’t think to stand for both of us!

  5. Typically isn’t the standing for the bride cued by the mother-of-the bride in the front row? At least, that’s how it worked at our wedding…the guests waited for her to stand and then everyone else stood, so maybe if she hadn’t then people wouldn’t.

    But I second the idea of having a short announcement..especially with people in wheelchairs, an easy “please remain seated so that everyone can see the processional” would probably work well.

  6. You can’t make grown adults do (or not do) whatever you tell them. I discovered this the hard way when my BMs ignored plenty of my requests before and during my wedding. All you can do is ask everybody before the bride walks down the aisle, and speak to a few key people others will take cues from (eg family and close friends) before the big day – if they sit down, hopefully others will get the picture.

    Like I said though, adults think they know better than some rule or request. You can’t make anyone do anything, but if they are the only one standing they may feel a little dense.

  7. I was just going to ask the officiant to say something about no flash photos and “Please could everyone remain seated as the mother of the bride is rather short and would like to be able to see everyone”

    (My Mum will be walking me down the aisle and her height is a family joke)

  8. I actually wanted people to stand for me, and no one did — even though I’d made a point to tell people the day before to please stand up!

    I think people will stand if they see other people stand. If you don’t want people to stand up, tell as many people as you can “hey, don’t stand up when I start walking in” and everyone else will probably take their cue from the people who don’t stand.

  9. I always felt like the first people to stand were people who wanted to snap a photo of the bride, followed by people whose view was blocked by the standers, followed by more people whose view was blocked by the new standers, and then more people stand because they feel awkward sitting when so many are standing… I always see a few people who remain seated, though.

  10. Duct tape? 😉 It could be a way to ‘give a job’ to someone if you’re stuck for tasks for kids to do, etc. Rugrats carrying signs are popular for “Here comes the bride!” and such, so if you do that, on the back you can say “Really, don’t get up. She’s short” or something else cute/funny to reiterate that staying seated is preferred. People might well start chuckling before you walk, which can help with avoiding weepers too.

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