a new tradition perhaps?

froggy05June 6, 2004

I just got home from my friend's wedding and during the ceremony they did something i've never seen done. The pastor and the bride and groom switched places, so the bride and groom were facing the guests while saying their vows and the guests saw the pastor's back. I thought this was a great thing to do, because we got to see the emotion, the love, the beauty on their faces. Is this something new or has any of you been to wedding where this has been done?

I'm definitelly considering "borrowing" the idea and using it at my wedding.

~Froggy

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grace3

At both DS's and DD's weddings last year the pastor (same pastor married them both) had the B&G turn to face each other, and so the guests saw their profiles. Even if the pastor's back would have been to us, we still would have only seen the B&G's profiles, and in fact, we wouldn't have been able to see them as well if the pastor had been in that position.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2004 at 3:47PM
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Snapdragon

That's one I've never seen, but just as grace3 describes, my priest had me and my hubby turn to each other so we were sideways to him and the guests when we gave our vows. We got some really wonderful photos that way!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2004 at 10:55AM
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OshkoshBride

Froggy,
I saw this done at a wedding in Lousianna six years ago and remember thinking what a cool idea. Go for it!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2004 at 8:14PM
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sweet_pea10

It is becoming increasingly common for the minister to stand in front. It really depends on the location of the ceremony. In some locations, there is ample room for the wedding party and for the bride and groom to move in front of the minister. In other locations, there is limited space, so the couple usually faces each other with their profile to the congregation.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2004 at 11:15PM
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talley_sue_nyc

There's an interesting symbolism switch here.

When the pastor stood in front of the altar, and the B&G faced the altar (and him), the pastor was standing there in the stead of God, as God's representative, and the vows were said TO God (as represented by the pastor and the altar).

When the pastor changes position so that the B&G face the congregation, it changes it bit into theater or performance.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2004 at 11:02AM
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froggy05

Talley Sue,

i respectfully disagree that it is theatrical when the B&G changes place with the pastor. I thought it was really nice for the audience to see the B&G say their wows facing the audience instead of seeing their back.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2004 at 1:31PM
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Snapdragon

I don't know, it seems to me that since the bride and groom are giving their vows to EACH OTHER not the guests, who are there to witness the marriage, it makes more sense for them to face one another so I prefer the traditional setup with the priest facing out and the couple turning to face one another.

Still if the officiant allows the other way, then I guess it's up to the bride and groom how they'd like to do the vows. Like I said, I just think it makes sense to face each other. For me, when giving my vows to spend a lifetime with my husband, it was so romantic and sweet and very powerful to be saying them while looking into his eyes!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2004 at 2:13PM
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duckie

Froggy,

I believe when you think of the congregation as 'audience', you are perhaps getting theatrical.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2004 at 6:35PM
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froggy05

ok i meant guests, and of course i also menat htat saying the vows to each other, its the rest of the ceremony that they do facing the congregation...
maybe the traditional way is better...

    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 12:38AM
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duckie

I don't really think one way is necessarily better than the other. Spending most of the ceremony facing the alter tends to be more tradionally religious than spending most of the ceremony than facing out toward the congregation. Whatever way works out best for the couple and the minister/church is probably the best.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 5:43AM
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alibaba

We were married outside, and we faced our guests with the minister in between (his back was to them). We did turn and face eachother during the vows, but it was nice to be able to see our families faces, and see how happy they were too!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 10:41PM
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gellchom

Maybe consider the view. (No, I'm not thinking of the rear end of the officiant.) Many wedding gowns have a lot of interest in the back. I wouldn't advise a bride to invest in one of those if she weren't going to have her back to the guests during the ceremony, because that's when you really see it.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2004 at 3:23PM
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Snapdragon

Gellchom, you have a very good point! I think alot of gowns are made with the extras in the back for just that reason. Mine had a row of buttons and lace and lace medallions on the back, which I hardly ever noticed til I started seeing photos taken during the ceremony!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2004 at 10:56PM
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alibaba

It's funny that you mention the back gellchom - when I bought my dress it had a very long train, with tons of embellishment. Because I was getting married outside, the thought of dragging it through the mud was not very appealing, so I decided to wack it off. The seamstress wanted $500 to re-attach the beads and lace to the new hem line. Since the dress only cost $400, I decided against it. I was little disappointed because I thought everyone would see my "plain" back. So, it worked out well for me that we faced our guests the whole time!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 11:35AM
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anita9

"the pastor was standing there in the stead of God, as God's representative, and the vows were said TO God (as represented by the pastor and the altar)."

You could also look at facing the guests as the bride & groom considering their family and friends as a representation of God, rather than the pastor or altar. Since so many Americans consider themselves to be religious but choose not to attend church, it's possible that many of them look at it that way. Lots of people consider themselves to have a relationship with God but not with organized religion. Lots of people include religious language in their ceremony but choose a non-religious officiant.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 3:13PM
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spewey

I would think with the priest facing the altar, no one in the party could hear him except the B&G.

We faced each other during the vows. I thought this was common practice, as we make vows to each other, not to the priest/rabbi/shaman/whatever.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 2:33PM
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