Choosing a side is usually the domain of politics, state of origin, Shake Shack orders, and 3 people in a share house arguments, and yet…most of the not-ordering-burgers-right-at-this-minute couples I work with ask the question: “What side do I have to stand on?”
Like a lot of wedding stuff, the tradition of the bride standing on the left and the groom on the right (or bride stage right, and groom stage left if you want to get a bit jazz hands about it) made sense back in the ye olde days of yore when they came up with it, but these days it’s all a bit less…matter-y.
Y’see the lefty/righty preference came about during a time when “marriage by capture” was, like, an actual thing. The groom was positioned on the right so he could keep his right hand (aka, his sword-fighting-hand) free in cause he needed to defend his bride from some cheeky suitors who might try to straight-up-kidnap her for their own marryin’ purposes, OR so he could ‘defend’ the bride from her own family who might be trying to steal their girl back after groomy kidnapped her in the first place. Adding further to all this chaos, turns out the ‘Best Man’ was in on it too – traditionally the best man’s role was to be there as groomy’s armed and alert sidekick, the Robin to groomy’s Batman, in case one of the aforementioned scuffles broke out. That’s a lot more pressure than remembering the rings, amiright?
This newfound knowledge begs the question then, does the side you stand on even matter these days?
And the answer?
Unless you’re a swash-buckling bride-stealer….probs not. But there are some more relevant and thoroughly modern reasons that standing on a particular side MIGHT be something to consider:
- Because….the FAM BAM: No matter how many chalkboard signs you erect that say “choose a seat, not a side”, your family probably/definitely will choose both a seat AND a side. So during your ceremony you might want to stand in front of them so you can see them clearly right there in front of you – sending you all the good vibes, love, solidarity and support throughout. That’s tops. Go for it. On the flip side, you might want to stand diagonally opposite your fam so that when you turn to face your beloved to say really nice things to them and maybe exchange some bling, you can see them over your about-to-be-spouses shoulder and they can look straight at your smiling/sobbing face. Cue cute smiles and knowing nods. This is also tops. Go for it.
- Because…your, like, FACE (or something): Now I think BOTH sides, of both of you, are gorgeous, but you might have a preference for your ‘best side’ (or maybe someone lost an eyebrow in the pre-wedding shenanigans and you’d like to hide that). You two are looking A-quadruple-plus, you’ve probably found one helluva photographer, and you’ve gathered at least one person you love a lot (and possibly many more + some friends of your mum’s that you’ve never met) to make this moment one to remember – it’s only right that you want to put your best-side forward. This is indeed also tops. Go for it.
- Because…FARSHUN: Asymmetrical hair, a bit of fancy suit or dress detailing, one particularly lary shoe or earring, granny’s heirloom ring…whatever it is that’s a total lewk-maker, bring it to the front. Getting your favourite bits n pieces on display? This is (not surprisingly) also considered tops. Go for it.
- Because…YOU ARE A SWASH-BUCKLER: Say no more, my friend. You know what to do. (Also I can’t wait for your wedding). TOPS I tell you. Go for it.
So that’s that. You can choose whatever you’re most comfortable with. And of course, if you so choose you can just flit around your partner like a super amped Tinkerbell switching sides, and stances, hopping around and trying to physically grab hold of everyone participating in the ceremony (I maaaay know a lot about this approach from my personal bride-ing experience). Side-swapping?! That’s tops. Go for it.
If you want to know more about wedding traditions, how to choose a side (eg: at Shake Shack – get them all), or how to make a ceremony that’s comfortable and right for YOU, then get in touch! x