During a wedding rehearsal you show up and learn the traditional steps that go into a wedding ceremony. As the bridal party, you follow in line down the aisle and the parents are shown the exact seats they will sit in. You join your groom in the front, hold his hand and face forward as the officiant conducts the ceremony. Most of the time these standards aren't questioned, it is the proper way to be married.
What makes a lot of weddings memorable and stand out is when the couple thinks outside the box and deviates from the plan. One of the main traditions that I have always questioned is the placement of the bridal party. Your closest friends and family in your bridal party are standing at your right hand but most of the time are unable to see you say your I Do's because of the angle of their line. Also, your guests spend the entire 45 minute ceremony mostly looking at your backs.
I suggest for a change, facing your crowd. Have your officiant stand down below - either off to the side or down towards your guests. Make sure he is not blocking anyone's view, but this will aim the spotlight more on you and your groom and less of your officiant. Your guests will be able to experience the ceremony along with you much more by seeing your faces and your words will be able to be heard.
I understand that this may not be comfortable for every bride. By facing your guests you have everyone looking at you, and stage fright might kick in. Being a past bride I understand that nerves take hold and this new idea could be uncomfortable. You will be thankful once you choose to face your friends and family, when you hear all of the compliments. Your guests will enjoy a much more intimate ceremony and feel that they play a much more important role in your big day. Don't be afraid to look around the crowd every now and then, make eye contact with family and let them know you are glad they are there.
How did you deviate from the traditional wedding picture of a ceremony?