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Offbeat Weddings

Coffee house wedding!

Hey everyone!

So I'm brand new here, just recently got engaged and just set a date! We are getting married in September '12 and I couldnt be more excited!

So heres the deal - I really really dont want a traditional wedding. I really dont want a hotel wedding or a church wedding or anything like that, so I have been searching for offbeat venues.  Ive contacted a few art galleries and edgy rental spaces, and then last night came across a coffee house that rents out the space after hours.  You cant really get more Seattle than a coffee house! We went and checked out the space today, it has exposed brick walls super high ceilings with wood planks, exposed air duct thingies, it was really really cool! exactly what i have been looking for

we talked with the owner and he pretty much said we can do whatever we want for food and alcohol, we can self cater or bring in whoever we want.  we can supply the booze and their staff will serve it for no extra charge! also we can use all the tables and chairs located in the cafe, so dont have to bring in rentals!

the place is small though.. even though our guest list is only going to be 40-50 people, it isnt a big place.  basically one big room with the front and one side all big windows right on a busy street corner. It just seems really small i think cause its one room.. you see everything when you walk in.. if that makes sense? im planning on having my ceremony and reception in the same area - have people sit at their tables and have the ceremony then, then serve food.  But im worried there wont be room for a dance floor, and also if it would be weird dancing in a coffee house with the big glass windows.  Also, is a coffee house too weird? The place is so exactly my style, but it definately looks like a coffee house.. would have to spruce it up a bit to make it look less like a cafe.

what do you guys think of the dance floor/glass window issue? i may be able to drape fabric over the windows, i havent asked the owner that yet.  and what do you think of coffee cafe in general? its great budget wise too (low hourly fee which includes staff).  i love the space but im worried about it being public or just plain too strange! thanks!
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Re: Coffee house wedding!

  • Congrats on your engagement and welcome to the board!
    OMG! I love Seattle and coffee and coffee houses in Seattle! Can I come to your wedding?

    First, have you asked the manager what the capacity limit is for people. If he says 50 or more for fire code standards than you're golden. If he says less, than you need to trim your guest list or look for another venue.

    Second, ask if you can cover the windows with a curtain or hang fanbric. It's hard to tell what will work without seeing the windows. I like that idea. You will know better what to ask but maybe there's a way to cover the windows, especially when it gets dark and it's just a giant reflection.

    Third, we used the same space for our ceremony and recpetion but our guests left the space and went outside for cocktails while we did photos and the room was changed over for the reception. Have they done weddings there before? If so, I would ask how they handle it and what it looks like? You won't need a huge dance floor. Push the tables closer to each other and empty out a small space in the center. As guests leave, have the servers take the table and chairs away. (Maybe 2 or 3) and then you'll have more room.

    Fourth, can I come? Just kidding -- only a little. Happy planning and stick around here and let us know how it goes!
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  • Great!! I love the coffee house idea too but didnt know if it was really a good idea or maybe i just have finally lost my mind.. hah! 

    i told him we were thinking 50-60 and he said thats perfect.  he said for standing cocktail parties they can hold 125.  granted thats probably 125 sardine-style, but 50 shouldnt be a problem.  they have more than that many in tables and chairs for their normal lunch crowd.  

    i actually just emailed him asking about covering the windows. there are a lot of bums in that neighborhood might be a little awkward getting married with bums peeking in the windows or watching me dance like a fool!!

    they have had weddings there before.  they set the ceremony chairs up to one side and had the couple get married in front of one of the windows, then when it was over had people go to the other side of the cafe for food while they moved the chairs back into table form.  i think we are just going to do our photos beforehand, im not superstitious at all about the dress thing, and i dont want to leave my guests with a cocktail hour.  its pretty much just my parents and close relatives and his, so no need to be too formal!

    i will definately keep you posted on the progress!! thanks for your support
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  • I think it sounds like a great venue. Is there enough parking (and will people feel comfortable parking their cars in that neighborhood?)?

    I agree with covering the windows; that could be very classy. I also like the idea of having the chairs set up ceremony-style for your ceremony, instead of everyone just sitting at their dining table. If people are sitting at their dining tables, they might not be able to see and/or might need to shift into an uncomfortable position to see. With ceremony-style chairs, they'll probably be able to see and they'll feel like they're at a wedding. Plus it's nice to have a little variety in an all-in-one space.
  • In Response to Coffee house wedding!:

    I think that this sounds fantastic! Plus, it will probably smell deliciously like coffee all night :) But seriously, the exposed brick and ducts sound beautiful, and you could easily dress it up to look less like a coffee shop with twinkle lights, candles and flowers. I agree that ceremony seating might be better than just having everyone sitting at their tables if you could manage it. It sounds like a great deal, especially considering how hard it is to find a place that lets you bring your own catering/alcohol. I say go for it!
  • Yay! Thanks everyone it really makes me feel better about the place! I talked with the owner today and he said I can cover the windows, pretty much do whatever I want decor wise.  I can bring in uplighting and decorate however i want! So i think im for sure going to go for this venue! It just makes so much more sense money wise rather than taking a more expensive place with a high food minimum.  Im only having 50 people doesnt make sense to have 4k into the food (which is what most places I found require)!  Thanks everyone
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  • It sounds like dancing may be difficult. Keep in mind, maybe not everyone will dance :)
  • I'm really late to the party, but let me just say that I think your venue is probably one of the coolest things ever (next to an old movie theater.) My DH and I are coffee freaks! We met at a coffee house and spent most of our life in coffee houses! So, again- total awesomeness. (Hell, our invitations featured a drawing of DH and I at the coffeehouse we met at!)

    My wedding was in a park hall. I had chairs set up in the front for the ceremony and then everyone just walked to their tables, which where in the back area. The only thing that I felt bad about was that later in the evening, I had to take down the front 3 tables to make room for the dance floor. (There was plenty of seating for the guest to move- I just felt awkward and bad for asking them to move.)

    My DH and I did go to a wedding that we were seated at our dinner tables during the ceremony and I got to say, I actually really enjoyed it. They had the tables lit by candlelight and the only other light in the room was focused at the alter. It was a pretty small affair, though (about 40 some people) so everyone could see what was going on at each table.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your wedding!
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