Helen Twyman-Smith

(15 reviews)
Service Area
Southern Highlands, Macarthur, Narellan, Wollondilly, Wollongong  View Map
Business Hours
By Appointment
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Expert Advice

As a wedding professional, Helen Twyman-Smith offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.

Should we have signs at our ceremony to leave the front row vacant for immediate family?

I was thinking maybe this is tacky, but then maybe it's necessary. (Or am I really just overthinking it?) Someone suggested that this is the role of the celebrant - to ensure that it's family in the first row. Is that generally true?

Helen Twyman-Smith


As general wedding etiquette goes, guests just know that immediate family sit in the front row. 

If you want the celebrant to oversee this then you should ensure clear communication around it.

I generally ask my couples about this very subject in my wedding workshops prior to the day so we can iron out every element of the ceremony, not missing a thing.

If the couple seem confused about it I give them options.

A) Engage 1 or 2 people (maybe the groomsmen or family member from each side) to meet & greet guests and, if necessary, usher people to their seats. This adds a lovely touch and makes guests feel special.

B) The Celebrant can seek these people out, with the help of the groom, introduce themselves and guide them to their seats. Generally we haven't met all of the parents/immediate family/grandparents etc before the ceremony so this can get a little tricky.

C) The Celebrant can make a general announcement if the couple have requested it. Choose the wording carefully.

D) Signs on chairs - Done right, they can look quite lovely and add / enhance the decorative side of the ceremony.

E) Some couples opt to let it 'sort itself out' 

I hope you find this info helpful

Wishing you an enjoyable journey and an extra Special Wedding Day. XO

Is it OK to ask a celebrant to wear a costume at our wedding?

Hello! I've read some responses to celebrants dressing in a matching style etc. Is it rude to ask if they wouldn't mind wearing a costume? I've read somewhere a couple got married by batman and then the obvious Elvis option.. I like the idea of an iconic character and think it would be something to remember but wouldn't want to offend anyone or make it a bad experience. TIA

Helen Twyman-Smith

Absolutely, yes!

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