Post # 1
(this keeps getting marked as spam??)
HELP! Our original reception venue for our 10-5 wedding this year closed and now we’re stuck between two places that are two blocks apart, similar in price, similar in size and capacity but slightly different vibes.
The first venue has a patio overlooking a pretty city park/square and a speakeasy we can host our cocktail hour in BUT the main area is a little more banquety than we would like. I can’t find a picture of the speakeasy but it is very warm with red walls and lots of wood. Below is a picture that looks out onto the patio doors. We would do longer tables and black linens.
The Second venue has great lighting, great cocktails and a great vibe but would be a more cocktail-style arrangement which wasn’t our initial plan but we kind of like the idea now. Below is a picture I took standing on the dance floor area. Not pictured is a side area for food set-up and optional round tables.
What kinds of thoughts/questions/considerations helped you choose when you were torn? Which would you choose? The pros/cons list for each is pretty even! Fiance and I keep flip flopping but we’re always leaning towards opposites.
I feel like everything is on hold until we make this decision and it needs to be ASAP!
Post # 2
I’m so sorry this happened to you!!! What a stressful time too so close to the wedding. 🙁 based on the pictures and descriptions, they both sound and look AWESOME. I like quirky weddings and the speakeasy sounds perfectly quirky and fun! I know you said the main area was a little banquet-esque but is there enough room for guests to dance, mingle, etc? If so, I’d go with that one. I bet guests will talk about how unique and interesting a speakeasy would be even long after your wedding. However, you can’t really go wrong with either choice. Best of luck and again I’m sorry your reception venue closed so close to the wedding!
Post # 3
As a guest, I actually don’t like cocktail style weddings (assuming you mean limited seating and heavy hors d’oeuvres instead of a full meal). I like having a home base to put my stuff. I don’t want to stand and eat or balance my plate and my drink and my purse. I like not having to chase down enough food to constitute a full meal. And as someone with dietary restrictions now, I almost never get enough to eat at cocktail-style receptions because I’m always told “Oh, we have 2 apps that meet your restrictions” and I just don’t want to make a meal out of deviled eggs and plain crudites, whereas caterers will make me a full dinner plate of food within my restriction for a proper dinner (such as they did at the wedding I attended today).
Don’t get me wrong – I love apps and cocktails and mingling…for the cocktail hour. I just don’t want a full-on multiple hour reception of it. I want to have a set place to hold my stuff and set my drink and sit down when I need a break from dancing or whatever.
Post # 5
Thanks so much! They’re definitely both incredible venues – especially for the price! I do think the speakeasy would be really cool and a bit of a wow factor. We can keep it open the whole night so people can go back there to mingle if they want to get away from the main dinner area. There’s definitely room to dance in the main area and I think we can rearrange the tables a lot to ensure there’s space to mingle – especially near the bar.
It’ll be tough to choose either way. The cocktail venue is definitely better for mingling overall and more relaxed which is a vibe we’re going for. Hm…
Post # 6
This is a good point, I hadn’t thought of the dietary restrictions causing that issue but wow that’s tough. I never would have even wanted a cocktail style reception because, as you stated, I prefer to have a designated area at events but the event coordinator at this venue really sold it to us. Your points push me towards the speakeasy venue though.
Post # 7
I actually prefer the cocktail style! My only question is about food. If your guests will only be fed minimally, that might impact it a bit. Will you offer a full meal or just appetizers?
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!
What time is the wedding going to be now? Cocktail will work totally fine if you do it outside of mealtimes, but some people might prefer a full meal if you do it at dinner or lunch. Something to consider. I love the look of the second venue, by the way!
Post # 9
It would be during traditional mealtime – probably 5-6 cocktail hour, 6-10/11 reception. We’d load up on lots of apps though.
See above. I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around whether or not apps throughout the night could replace a meal.
Post # 10
I don’t love cocktail events – they can get really noisy, my feet hurt from standing in heels, and the meals end up feeling less balanced. I’d go with the speakeasy for sure.
Post # 11
How many guests will there be? This will make a difference. A small event, cocktail style might work. Anymore than 30-40 people and it will be difficult to serve everyone properly.
It seems as though both venues work for your desired colours/ambience/theme, this seems to be more of an ‘experience’ question. Rather than concentrating so much on the look and vibe, consider concentrating on the guest experience. With hours of 5-11pm, most guests will prefer a meal over apps only. I went to a beautiful wedding that was approx 4-10pm, apps only (except no one was aware there was no meal) and everyone was STARVING by the end. In theory it sounded fun, but in actuality no amount of decor or vibe could convince me it wasn’t the worst wedding I’d ever attended. If you do go the cocktail party route, be sure your guests understand that and can eat a proper meal before they arrive.