We are having our ceremony & reception at the same location, an architectural salvage shop. We have the whole first floor, which has a "front" and "back" room. They are connected, but separated by the large center island, which is a coffee shop. We will have the food set up in warmers on the counter in this island, and the guests will be seated at the tables they will eat at.
It's been described to me as the tables will be rectangles, coming at an angle to form an aisle in between them. We are inviting around 60 people. Our close family, about 10 people or so, will be seated in chairs in front of the tables.
I'll come down the aisle, we'll get hitched, and then... This is where I'm needing some guidance.
Should we walk back down the aisle, to the area in back of the tables, and as we sign the marriage license, have our officiant instruct the tables that they may now proceed to the buffet? That kind of seems...abrupt. We should have already finished most if not all the photos before the guests arrive. But really, the food will be set up and ready throughout the ceremony, I'm not sure what reason there would be to delay eating.
The dancing will occur in the "back" room, separate from the table area, but still visible, so people may sit at the tables, or join the dancing in the back, after the meal.