Placement of Brides and Grooms for Ceremonies

I recently coordinated a Jewish/Christian ceremony for a bride and groom. Traditional Christian ceremonies generally have the groom standing to the right of his bride. One of the reasons given for this was so that the groom could keep his right hand - his "sword hand" - free to defend his lady love, should any crazy bride knappers come to whisk his bride away. Even though the modern day groom may be sadly lacking in swordmanship, we still seem to like to place him in a manner that keeps his sword hand free. 

In our house, we call that the "remote control hand."



Superheroes probably don't worry about their sword hand. Mostly because they can fly and also because they're superheroes. (photo via James McGhee Photography)


However, In Jewish ceremonies, when standing under a Chuppah, the bride traditionally stands to the right of the groom. ( Notes the Psalmist: “At your right hand stands the queen” ~ 45:10).  

For this particular ceremony, there were also two ceremonies within the ceremony, where the Bride and Groom walked to two different tables and faced their family and friends. Because of the various facets of the ceremony and the two religions represented, the Bride stood to the right of her Groom under the Chuppah. When they faced their family and friends during the wine ceremony and the unity candle lighting, the Groom was to the right of his Bride. 



Brooke and Steve. Now happily married, with no sword fighting injuries to speak of. (Photo via Seth Morris Photography)




After the wedding, I did some more research and discovered that while some people are very attached to traditional placements of Brides and Grooms during the ceremony, some people would rather be placed in the most visually pleasing way possible, for the resultant photos/videos. Some people simply don't care where they stand, they just want to marry the love of their life and celebrate with cake and champagne. 



Just happy to be married. Probably thinking about cake and champagne, too. (Photo via James McGhee Photography)


I'm curious - what are your thoughts regarding where Brides and Grooms should stand?


PS - Helpful hint: Regardless of what you decide for your own wedding, be sure and let your photographer and videographer know. Placement of cameras and lighting is often dictated by where the Bride and Groom will be standing.

(Side notes: I originally was going to title this "Where Does the Groom Stand?" but kept accidentally typing "What Does the Fox Say?" and stopping to do a little techno dance. I also sang "Brides to the left of me, grooms are to the right, here I am...stuck in the middle with you" throughout the entire writing of this post.  I also promised myself that I would go get cake when I finished writing. These are things you should know, in case you're thinking of hiring me to help out with your wedding. There is a soundtrack to everything, and I always want cake.)

1 comment:

TheThinker said...

The "sword hand free and bride on groom's left so he can defend her" thing makes no sense to me. Seriously, people need to think about what they're saying. If the groom is on the right from audience perspective and I charge the altar, the bride is on His right side in the way of his sword.
Myth status: busted.