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Ceremony at reception site- guests seated at tables?

So I was at the ceremony/reception venue yesterday working out the timing/chairs/tables logistics.  Basically it came to my attention that I going to have to spend way more money than
I was planning to pull off both in the same venue.

The place does not have enough chairs to fill the ceremony room and reception room at the same time so on top of paying extra to rent the ceremony room I'd have to rent chairs. If I wanted to do the ceremony in the ballroom and "flip" it during cocktail hour I would have to find people to do the "flipping" and I'd have to pay my vendors more money to arrive earlier so they are all set-up before the ceremony.

So I have started to consider having the ceremony *right* before the reception in the reception room but without the "flip".  Guests would arrive and find their table assignments and chairs would be turned to face the front head table. The aisle would be down a clear path between tables down the middle of the room. We would have the DJ set up so we could use his system to project the ceremony for all to hear.

After the ceremony the bridal party and family would go outside for a few more pics (30 min or so) and the DJ would have announced that people could get hors d'oerves and drinks (small area outside ballroom) and our DIY photobooth will be available for use.  DJ would ask everyone to "refresh" their drinks about 5-10min before we are announced back in the room. The toasts happen right away and dinner is served.

Would you think that odd or just simple/casual wedding?  Have you been to one like this? By the way- the venue is the Oxford Community Arts Center. I don't want the hassle of renting chairs, etc when the ceremony is less than 30 min and his mom (a pastor) is the one officiating! 

Thanks- sorry such a long post :)

Re: Ceremony at reception site- guests seated at tables?

  • edited December 2011
    I went to a wedding at the Flying Lizard in Covington that had a similar set-up and really, it was fine. The guests got their escort cards, went to their tables, the ceremony happened, then while pictures were being taken we went downstairs for  cocktail hour. Yes it was different, but I didn't bat an eye at it and I doubt your guests will either.

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  • edited December 2011
    @lamar0607: We're using the same venue! I think your idea is great. I went to a very similar wedding last summer and it really wasn't a big deal. After the ceremony, we mingled and got drinks and were instructed to be seated when the bridal party was ready to make their entrance. I don't remember anyone commenting on it being strange.

    Knowing the space, I think this may be your best option. The ballroom room gets so much wonderful natural light and will make for a beautiful ceremony space. Also, the Arts Center has a weird policy about vendors they've never worked with arriving early, so the alternative can really end up costing you a lot of money.
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  • edited December 2011
    Mieka&Jon- by the uniqueness of your name I think I recall you from High School if you happened to grow up in Oxford! I'll have to Private Message you :)

    Thanks for the confidence boost. The space does make it difficult to plan the logistics easily...
  • cincychick35cincychick35 member
    edited December 2011
    We are doing the same thing!  I am glad to hear someone else is doing it too!  We are having a very small (40 people) ceremony and reception and thought this was the best option.  It will be easier to just have both functions in the same room!
  • Jeff SchaeferJeff Schaefer member
    edited December 2011
    I've seen it numerous times and it works just fine.  No need for seperate rooms, and no need to flip.

    Oxford Community Arts Center is a very pretty location.

  • edited December 2011
    I think it will be fine. We are doing something similiar, except with the flip. But we considered doing it the way you have described. I would not worry too much. If anything, you will probably be glad you did it that way because not having to worry about the flip will make things easier and smoother.
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