Wedding Reception Forum

Reception in same room as ceremony - cocktail hour in a different room..

I'm just trying to figure out the logistics of how this will all flow, and see if there are any suggestions on how to make it smoother.

Our ceremony and reception will be in a ballroom. We'll have the ceremony there first, then all the guests will be directed to another room next door for drinks and fruit trays while the venue sets up tables and food (this takes about an hour), and then everyone will come back to the reception for brunch.

The room for the cocktail hour is a good size, but I think it only holds enough tables for about 60% of our guests. Is this a problem? I'm assuming that many people will be standing and mingling, as most guests are family that don't get to see each other very often.

The alternative is to have the cocktail hour in the same room as the ceremony and reception, but this would require the tables to be set up completely behind the ceremony (which there is space to do), and it means that the staff would be setting up the buffet while the guests stand around and watch, so that's not ideal.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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Re: Reception in same room as ceremony - cocktail hour in a different room..

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    What you're describing sounds pretty standard to me. Most times when the 2 are in the same room, the staff have the tables partially set up and out of the way so that they can re-set the room quickly while guests are in another room during the cocktail hour.

    In my experience, seating during the cocktail hour is very limited, if it exists at all, so 60% is way more than normal, nothing to worry about. The only thing I would do differently is have more food than just fruit trays during that time, but I'm accustomed to cocktail hours that have tons of food.
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    I would also rely on the venue to tell you their experience with the logistics. 

    They probably do it every weekend!

    Are you having an abnormally large party for the venue? If not, I'm sure they are prepared to accomodate.
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