Post # 1
Our ceremony is at a church about 10 minutes away from our reception venue. Right now I’m stuck on these logistics.
When you drive up to our reception venue, the parking lot is directly in front of our building. So naturally, people may want to go through the main doors into our reception hall. HOWEVER, cocktail hour usually takes place on the back patio.
Far right picture, in this series.
How will we get guests to go to the back patio first? Would a sign with an arrow that points them to walk around to the back? Is this weird? What if they miss it? I think during cocktail hour the caterer will be setting up the tables (salad will be there when they come in), and I don’t think people wandering around wondering where to go will be good.
Saying they actually do make it to the patio for cocktail hour, here’s another question. When and how will they bring their gifts to the gift table? I’ve always brought my gift in to the reception (but maybe people will bring them to the ceremony? Should I have a place available at both?). I was thinking the gift table would be inside the reception place, but if the guests bring it with them when they come from their car, that might not work. Unless we have them walk through the reception space to the outside. And then come back in for dinner?
Help me think through this process! This is tough for me since I’ve only been to my reception venue once (pretty much a destination wedding for me although it’s located where I grew up).
Just found another picture… hopefully this will show better how the parking lot is on the left, then the barn, then the patio.
Post # 3
@whitemochi622: If you prefer that they not go inside:
1. place a pretty ribbon on the doors of the reception venue so it looks like it is tied off. You can’t actually tie off the doors as that would be a fire hazard.
2. have a sign that directs your guests around the side of the building to the patio.
3. have a gift table outside and inside ( even better would be if your guests have their gifts delivered before the wedding- a hint for you in the future)
You may not be able to prevent guests from going inside. Where are the washrooms?
Post # 4
@julies1949: I didn’t even think of that. The washrooms are inside. Hmm. So maybe I shouldn’t really try to prevent them from going inside.
Now that I’m looking at my own pictures more, i wonder if they really shouldn’t walk around the building. It looks like there is gravel between the sidewalk and the patio. Maybe they will HAVE to go through the building!
Post # 5
@whitemochi622: You can do signs or your coordinator should be present and can direct people to happy hour. Beautiful venue!
Post # 6
@Lbward6: Thank you! Sometimes I am hesitant about my venue choice because of these logistics (I am feeling like it doesn’t “flow” well)… but this may just be because I am trying to do it long distance.
There is an event coordinator there but I’m not sure how much I can bug her with all these questions! Everything is pretty much over email. I think she is used to all in one weddings, where the ceremony is done out on the lawn or in the orchards. I feel like I my situation is weird because I am getting married in a church instead, but maybe she will still have ideas, too.