Post # 16
I strongly vote for third option. If the tables are already set up but pushed off the side, moving them and the chairs into place will take 5 minutes or less. Keep guests distracted and off to the side with food and drinks and you’ll be good.
Full disclosure, we did exactly this. There were zero complaints and many (honest friends who would actually tell me the truth) said they were so into grabbing food that they barely noticed anything. And then by the time they looked back, the tables were in place. Just make sure to have the tables completely set with centerpieces and everything.
Post # 17
I choose option 2 or 3. My cousin had her wedding in the same room as her reception as it was raining that day so she couldnt have it outside, but it didnt take 30 minutes to change over. It took maybe 5-10 minutes and then the room was open for cocktail hour. Regardless though 30 minutes isnt that long in another room.
Post # 18
How bad are we talking about with the outside (option 2)?
We’re basically doing option 3 for our at-home wedding. Since we have some separation between lawn/patio/indoor spaces, we can shoo people indoors and onto part of the patio while the change-over happens on the lawn. As a PP said, with the tables already set up, that should be the quickest-change option. I can understand your hesitation though if it’s all in one big room.
If you do option 1, please don’t put some people at tables and others in rows, that’s too weird. You could have everyone at tables like Vegas dinner show style, if you’re into that idea. We aren’t doing that but we considered it:
Post # 19
Second option I think! People don’t mind milling around with a cocktail chatting, and 30mins will go quickly. Also a good opportunity for people to chat xo
Post # 20
Definitely the second option- most pepole won’t notice the surroundings too much if they have a drink in hand and can mingle. Also, it makes it feel like the ceremony and reception are two different events than one whole thing that blends together.
Post # 21
I think both are fine, but I kind of like having a separate area for the cocktail hour. So i lean ever so slightly towards that. But I do think you’d still need to have some chairs out there for people who aren’t able to stand for 30-45m.
Post # 23
I think being able to sit and leave the room following for the change over is totally fine – people will want to get up and stretch, socialize, washroom breaks, take photos afterwards anyways .. as long as there are a couple chairs if people need to sit (ex. older guests) you should be good !
Post # 24
I think that if your cocktail hour is only going to be 30 mins, then having the guests in a separate area is fine.
We went to a wedding last year that did that, but their cocktail hour was over 2 hours in a crowded small room with no seating which was no fun. For 30 mins, I’d say you’re ok and better if you can provide some seating for guests that may not be able to stand for long.
Post # 25
Second option. I think the mix of people in rows and tables is odd. I doubt anyone will care about the scenery for cocktail hour, they usually talk and mingle anyway!
Post # 26
flip the room! (: as a guest I appreciate the clarity of where do I sit & when and standing up and mingling is fun after sitting through something lovely and emotional because you get to share what you thought & how nice it all was and there’s built in small talk. A+ for standing mingling in an ugly setting (so long as it isn’t next to a dumpster/something noxious)
Post # 27
Would rather sit in the row of chairs and leave, come back after room change. I guess I’m more traditional and like the look of chairs in rows.
Post # 28
First option…but why can’t the family be seated at tables (albeit the closest tables to the ceremony?)
Post # 29
The second option for sure. I’ve been to a wedding that did the first option and it was sooo awkward. I also was RIGHT next to the bride (~4 feet away) and was facing the opposite direction, which was really uncomfortable. I’d much rather mingle outside between the two, as long as there are a few seats for elderly/disabled guests.
Post # 30
I’d like option 2 better because people generally won’t stand up to mingle if they’re already at thier seat. They’ll chat with the people at thier own table. I’d like to say hi to more people who I wouldn’t necessarily be at the table with for dinner. Don’t get me wrong, some people will stand and walk around, but the majority won’t.