Post # 1
So I’ve been ranting about how difficult it has been to find a venue I love and can afford. I was thinking of ways to cut, but really couldn’t cut guest list, didn’t want to sacrifice food quality and really wanted to keep the open bar. Instead of renting out two ballrooms at a hotel, one for ceremony and one for reception, I looked into doing both in the same room, but doing a cocktail hour in a different area so the ceremony layout could be transformed into the reception layout. My only concern with this is that the wow factor of coming in and seeing a reception room for the first time won’t be there as the guests would have just been in the room for the ceremony. I know it will look different, but its not something I ever thought of doing. Any of you out there had the ceremony and reception in the same room and can give some insight or thoughts.
Post # 3
We thought about doing it but it was too stressful thinking that possibly the room wouldn’t be flipped by the end of cocktail hour (plus the band wouldn’t be able to set up/sound test until after the ceremony was over) and our tables are pretty intricate and detailed so we didn’t want details to be missed because they were rushing. The reason we wanted to do it that way was because my fiance HATES being hot and so we were trying to avoid an outdoor ceremony. But we figured, for 20 minutes, it should be fine. We’re getting married in an historic club and they don’t have a second ball room really for weddings, so if we wanted to get married indoors, that would’ve been the only option.
Does your hotel do more than one wedding per day? Often, when you book at a hotel or resort, the ceremony space is included. Decor for the ceremony space isn’t usually included but the actual space is. What does the hotel suggest?
Post # 4
@cocobe: My sister’s wedding did this. The room really did look completely different after they had switched it, especially because the ceremony took place at let’s say the North end of the room, and when they switched it the North end was the dance floor and the dinner service was on the South end (which had been basically empty during the ceremony). So don’t worry about the “wow” factor, as the room will truly be transformed.
The only real downside to doing it this way is that it INEVITABLY takes longer to switch the room over than they say it will. My sister’s cocktail hour turned into cocktail hour-and-a-half, and by the time every table had a chance to get their food, people were starting to get a little woozy from too much drinking and not enough eating. This is obviously more of a factor with a larger wedding than a smaller one … and as long as you have a LOT of appetizers during the cocktail hour(s), people should survive!
Post # 5
As a guest, I’ve never gone “wow” when entering the reception venue, and it’s not for a lack of creativity or beauty of the room – I’m just not that type of person. And I really wouldn’t care if my guests went “wow” at a room. But, personally, I didn’t (and won’t be) want my ceremony and reception to be in the same room (or even building). The thought didn’t appeal to me and the reception halls in my area were too large for a wedding (it would have made the ceremony look pitifully small). But, as a guest, I wouldn’t care (I might even be pleased at the thought of a one-stop-day/night – no driving to the other location, which I sometimes hate). I guess I’m in the middle somewhere – my ceremony venue is five doors down from the reception venue. It’s in a historical downtown village, so everything is close by.
Do what works for you.
Post # 6
The hotel I am thinking of doing it in is an old historic hotel in Downtown LA the only surroundings are buildings and concrete so to try and find another location for the ceremony isnt ideal. They have (3) total ballrooms and then another bar-type area. Each ballroom is more grand so originaly we were quoted for the smallest one for the ceremony and the mid size one for the reception. That came to being over budget for us so I thought about doing everything in one room and the cocktail hour in the bar-type area. I guess the wow factor is not the main concern after seeing some of these replys. They did tell me that it would probably take 1.5 hours to transform as we will likely have about 180 people so that I am sure equals to a lot of tables. I didnt even think about the band thing or whoever else would need to set up ahead of time. I also hate the thought of guests being bored, I hate when weddings have a lull or seem to stall without any new activity. We will have tray passes appetizers and an open bar, but it still worries me. I really love the look and feel of this place and nothing else i’ve seen has done it for me so I am not sure if thats enough to just go with it even its not the ideal situation or look for something that doesnt blow me away as much, but will have separate areas for ceremony and reception…
Post # 7
@cocobe: That wait time inbetween the ceremony and reception is average, at least I’ve found. I’ve usually waited 1H30m to 2 hours, and that’s at different locations (not even including the drive time!). So, I don’t think that’s a major problem, and since you’ll have appetizers and drinks, I doubt the guests will be bothered and I’m sure they’ll understand.