Post # 1
My fiance and I are looking for a venue that we can add some antique/country flair to, and that can contain up to 180 guests. We’re coming up with a lot of blase hotels.
We’ve found just one place in our price range that seems to have more character than the standard hotel. The problem with that place is that it requires us to use two separate rooms on two different floors in order to contain all of our guests.
I don’t think the 2-room thing is an insurmountable obstacle. On the contrary, I feel that older guests might appreciate having a quiet area to retreat to once the dancing gets started on the lower floor. The guests would only be separated during the meal, which lasts 45 minutes to an hour. They would be free to mingle for the rest of the evening.
My fiance makes some good points, however. He’s concerned that the guests who are not seated in the room with the head table during dinner will feel left out. He worries about the logistics of including everybody in the cake cutting and toasting. I understand where he is coming from, but I maintain that these details can be worked out with a little planning. I love this venue, and haven’t seen another one in our price range that appeals to me. I’m willing to budge from this venue, but all of the other candidates seem totally blah by comparison.
We have less than a week to decide if we’re going to make a deposit on this venue that I like. We’re trying to determine whether the two-room setup would work for us. Have any other bees had a reception where the guests had to sit in two rooms during part of the evening? How did it work out for you? Do you have suggetions for how we could organize the itinerary such that everybody can participate in the toasts and introductions of the bridal party? Thanks!
Post # 3
I wouldn’t be able to book that venue. Two rooms that are connecting is one thing but an entirely different floor is another. Your Fiance is right, any guests who end up in the “B” room will probably be a bit underwhelmed. They didn’t make the cut to fit in the main room so they were thrown into the overflow. I know this isn’t how you see it but they probably will. I would personally keep looking.
Post # 4
@Binoculars: I personally think it’s fine. What is the layout like? I’ve seen some venues where there are two rooms, but the one upstairs overlooks the downstairs room. If that’s the case, (or if there’s even a balcony/stairs with a view of the other room), you could always just announce for the upstairs guests to stand there to watch the activities as they go on.
Post # 5
Thanks for the feedback. The “B” room is gorgeous. The entire building is a historic Henry Ford factory. However, the upstairs is only connected to the downstairs via a staircase. They would have a beautiful view of the grounds (on a river), but not even a glimpse of the downstairs festivities.
My vision is that the toasting and cake cutting and introductions and dancing would all happen at times when everybody was together. So the people seated upstairs would only have to miss out on watching the bride and groom eat. We’d even go upstairs to mingle with people there during dinner.
I’m glad I got your feedback, though. If enough people say that they would feel slighted by being seated upstairs, then I have to take that into consideration. It may be my wedding, but the whole point is for guests to be comfortable and share our day with us. So, thank you!
Post # 6
@Binoculars: I would suggest adding a poll to your post. Might get more responses and it would be easier to see the breakdown of opinions. 🙂
Post # 8
Last summer I attended a wedding where people were spread out over a couple of rooms and while they were connected, it prevented a lot of people from having a very good view. Honestly, I was family of the groom and felt left out and like a second class citizen. No matter how great the venue, cut your list to fit a single room or shop elsewhere.
Post # 9
yeah I’m with your fiance on this one… I think it would prove harder than you think to integrate the two rooms, and get people together for the important moments… and I do think people in the B room would feel left out. Sorry to disappoint you but I think he’s right!
Post # 10
My reception venue is a stand-alone venue with 2 floors. There are plenty of bathrooms on both floors and an elevator for those needing one so no one gets left out.
Downstairs is where you do dinner and cake. Tables an decor, pretty much standard, with 2 buffet lines. Buffets are the deal at 99% of weddings in my area and I love a buffet so it works great.
Upstairs is all the after dinner activities. The bar is upstairs, the dance area, lounge area, and there is plenty of room for dessert, cake, candy bar, late night snack, etc. with a huge wrap-around deck for getting some fresh air.
I don’t see why 2 rooms wouldn’t work! Have dinner, meet-and-greets, and cake in one room, then have the other room for dancing, lounging, garter/bouquet toss, or whatever activites you choose to have.
Post # 11
I wouldn’t feel good about booking that venue personally. The whole reason I go to weddings is to celebrate with the couple, not to just sit in a room and have dinner! I do think people would feel very left out – I know I would. Good luck either way!
Post # 12
I had a friend who did this….they were able to fit everyone together for dinner, but the dancing was on the second floor. The second floor didn’t overlook the first floor at all. I thought it was kind of….awkward. There wasn’t enough room on the second floor for people to watch while people danced. I would say there was enough seating for about 20-30 people. But, with the cake table, sweets table, and bar upstairs, it just got crowded. So people weren’t able to mingle and watch all the dancing.
Will you plan to have everyone crowd around in one room for you bride/groom and parent dances?
I felt like when I left the dance floor and went downstairs, it was so quiet that it felt like I had left the party. It just didn’t feel cohesive to me, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
If I were a guest seated for dinner in a separate room, I would definitely feel slighted–like I wasn’t important enough to be seated with everyone else!
Post # 13
I went to a wedding that was held in two rooms on the same floor. The guests in room A with the head table were mostly close relatives and friends (including me and my family) were in the second room.
The problem is that if you out the older relatives in room A, they will often stick to their seats all night and for all the main events, the room B guests will end up standing in the doorway or missing out entirely. If you put the older people in room B, they may appreciate the quiet but will also miss out on most of the events and if they do come down, will have no where to sit which is uncomfortable.
Post # 14
There are plenty of ways to take a “blah” venue and give it personality. I would definitely choose more of a blank slate venue and spend a bit more dressing it up if it meant all the guests could spend the whole reception together.
If I found out I was eating on an entirely different floor than the bride and groom, I’d feel kind of slighted.