top of page

How to tailor the perfect setting for your ceremony

Written by Jessie Belle

Hi there, I’m Jessie Belle - regular columnist and number one fan of Geelong Wedding Guide Magazine. As an experienced celebrant I have a bunch of handy tips and tricks tucked neatly under my pink puffy sleeves! I love sharing my knowledge to give couples the most amazing experience on their wedding day and I want to share it with you. Strap yourself in and let me hold your hand as you navigate ceremony seating. 


By now you might have discovered that there are many elements to your wedding day that you never thought you’d have to consider - and ceremony seating may not have been something high on your priority list. Let me help alleviate the guesswork and give you the best options to suit your ceremony vibe and aesthetic. 


“But hang on Jessie, that’s something our venue or stylist will deal with, right?”  

The short answer is yes, and any coordinator worth their weight will do a great job too. But I have popped some handy tips together below to help you decide what style is right for you, I want to arm you with some ideas so you can share them with your wedding team.  




Seating your guests depends on many factors, such as the size of the ceremony location, how many seats your venue can hold and your guest numbers. It’s important to have a conversation with your venue to see how all these factors will impact your decision making. 


Here are some ceremony seating options: 


  1. All guests seated - this creates a more formal setting for the ceremony and suits traditional ceremonies. The benefit is that your celebrant doesn’t have to worry about seating guests as everyone has a place. 

  2. All guests standing - this creates a more relaxed and inclusive setting for your ceremony. You may like to provide a couple of seats for those who need it and the rest stand around in a semicircle, engulfing the couple in what I like to call a ‘circle of love’ - like a warm embrace! 

  3. Some guests seated, some guests standing - this is currently the most popular option for ceremonies. You can choose to seat half your guests and the remaining guests gather and stand behind the last row of chairs. This creates a more relaxed feel. I often witness guests cuddling up to one another as they feel the love during the ceremony and its super cute! 




Once you’ve decided on your style, the next step is arranging -and yes, you have a choice! 

  1. Traditional - chairs in straight rows with an aisle down the middle. This will create a more formal feel for your ceremony. 

  2. Modern - chairs positioned in a slight curve to create more of a semicircle with an aisle in the middle. This will bring an inclusive and intimate vibe and the guests on the outer edges will have a better view of the couple. 

  3. Rule Breaking - chairs are positioned in a semi-circle without an aisle down the middle! This is for the couple who have chosen not to walk down the aisle and have been mingling with their guests before the ceremony. I don’t have a favourite child but if I did… 



Hopefully by now, you can picture the perfect seating for your ceremony. Now here is the fun bit, deciding who sits where. If you have interesting family dynamics, this is very important to get right and to never leave to chance. Let me tell you some of the best ways to make sure all your guests are well looked after: 

  1. Name Tags - simple yet effective. Make a name tag for each chair so there is zero confusion as to who sits where. You can do this for the first row, first two rows or you can name every single chair. 

  2. Chaperone - everyone loves to feel a little spesh so perhaps you’d like to ask a family member to invite the important guests to take their seats. The chaperone may use a list of who sits where and invite them forward. This will offer a warm and welcoming approach for guests.  

  3. Reserved signs - pop some reserved signs on the seats you wish to keep free for certain guests and let those guests know that there is a seat reserved just for them.  


It’s important to let family members know which side of the aisle to sit on as this is a common question I get from the guests when they arrive. Decide on this with your partner beforehand so that the celebrant can direct traffic. 




  1. Ask your celebrant or a nominated guest to fill all the available seats as it creates a warm and welcoming environment, and your photographer/ videographer will love you!  

  2. Venues will allow enough aisle space for two people to comfortably walk side by side down the aisle, however be sure to ask them to make the aisle wider if you have chosen three of you to walk arm-in-arm down the aisle. 

  3. If you have any guests that need specific accessibility, ask your venue to leave a space by the aisle so that they can get to their spot easily. 

  4. Ask your venue to space the seats closer together so that it feels more inclusive, and guests can snuggle into each other and feel the love! 


Hopefully you’ve picked up a few new ideas to make your ceremony feel amazing. Remember to always consult your venue and your team for their advice to create the most magical day. Have the best wedding day ever and soak up every moment.  

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
bottom of page