May 2013 Weddings

I need advice!

Ok, so this is an idea that my mom originally had.  When she told me, I (having very little imagination sometimes) thought it was a terrible idea and immediately said no.  But I keep seeing this more on wedding tv shows and now I'm thinking it might solve all my problems...

My reception venue has an amazing, huge ballroom.  I fell in love with it.  We're inviting 150 and the ballroom holds 320, so we have PLENTY of room.  The tables will be set around a dance floor in the center.  The cocktail hour will be, practically in the ballroom- the ballroom has a large alcove that opens to a heated deck overlooking the ocean, all of which is used for cocktail hour.  I really liked that the cocktail hour space was open to the ballroom because it made it seem more like one big party and less like a wedding.  I really, really want that big, open, party feel.

There is a ceremony space that is totally separate.  It's not nearly as attractive, but I've come up with some ways of making it prettier with the florist.  This, of course, costs $.  The venue also has a ceremony fee because they need to set up and take down this separate room.

To the idea:
Have the ceremony on the dance floor in the center of all the tables.  People will sit at their assigned table before the ceremony, sit through our very brief ceremony and then go enjoy cocktail hour.

Here's my pros:
Creates that relaxed, big, open party feel
Eliminates ceremony fee
Eliminates the need for all that stuff from the florist just to make the other room look nice
We can have the whole wedding in the space I love

Cons:
People might feel weird, since they never have seen this before
They might not know what to do, although there really isn't anything to "do"

What do you girls think?  Sorry about the long post!

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Re: I need advice!

  • SRRL18SRRL18 member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments
    I have a love/hate relationship with those ceremony/reception in one room. It's great because it saves money, and we all love to save. I'm just not a fan on the guests sitting at their tables for the ceremony. It seems weird to me when I picture it. Is there a way to have the ceremony in the ballroom, but in the open area?
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  • hmmm.... tough decision.
    Yes, some guests will find it weird.
    If you love the idea- go for it!
    If you are just doing it to save money, I would only do it if it saved A LOT of money.
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  • My best friend did this and hers worked out nice. She had the tables around the ballroom floor but had the hotel staff set the chairs up on the ballroom floor with an isle - there was no where for them to sit at the table although they could choose where at the table they'd like to sit. When the ceremony was over they had the cocktail hour outside the main hall, closed the doors, put the chairs in their spots, turned on the uplighting and placed out the special decore (about 20 minutes) and cake while guests drank and socialized. When the doors opened again the room looked amazing and she could still have her big entrance!
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  • I really like that idea actually. Then once your guests get there they don't have to go anywhere :-) Also think it'd be a really fun and unique set up!
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  • I think if it's something you like, it could definitely work. The main problem that occurs with ceremonies in the reception space is that it's hard for people to see because their chairs face the opposite way and people standing up to get closer, thus blocking other people from seeing. It sounds like your space is quite large, so you can probably find a way to arrange it to minimize sight line problems. You seem pretty untraditional with wedding stuff anyways, so if you like it,  go for it.
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  • My ceremony and reception are in the same place, but we are having a regular isle with the chairs set up in rows for the ceremony; and then during the cocktail hour the venue will put the chairs at the tables for the reception. 
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  • I think it would be fine if you plan to have the cocktail hour in another area. Then your guest can come back to the ballroom and won't feel like they're stuck in one room for 4+ hours.
  • I love the idea. I also like as PP said how about put the chairs in the open space and making an aisle to walk down so its ceremony like but saving the money. :)
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  • We would keep everybody at their tables- I think if we moved things around it would be weird since the cocktail hour space is basically in the same room as the ballroom.

    I thought of another con... I really wanted to do a receiving line so that I didn't have to worry about table visits later.  Where would I do the receiving line?

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  • I went to a wedding back in february that did something similar. The only difference was that, instead of guests sitting at their tables, all the chairs were put in rows on the dance floor, with an aisle down the middle. When everyone went out for cocktail hour, the chairs were moved to the tables. It seemed to work out really well for everyone.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_may-2013-weddings_i-need-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20Club%20BoardsForum:ea657a87-d1dc-4588-999f-31c9deeef720Discussion:4032d0aa-58fb-464d-a013-95ce9adc980ePost:225e5b18-1c74-4cb3-a027-9a2f3db5fdaa">Re:I need advice!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I went to a wedding back in february that did something similar. The only difference was that, instead of guests sitting at their tables, all the chairs were put in rows on the dance floor, with an aisle down the middle. When everyone went out for cocktail hour, the chairs were moved to the tables. It seemed to work out really well for everyone.
    Posted by VJones1981[/QUOTE]

    <div>I like this idea a lot. That way, people would kind of have to pay attention during the ceremony part. At round tables, I think people could be a little more distracted if they cannot see as well. It sounds like a good idea to save money, and if you plan it well, you can definitely make it work.</div>
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