Post # 1
My fiance and I are looking at reception venues and came across one we both think is unique, elegant and absolutely wonderful. It a very large lobby of a historic auditorium near my hometown. It has a high ceiling,great windows, tall pillars, neat chandeliers, and marble floors.
But the downside is (and why is there always a downside?!?!) the lobby is only able to accommodate 160 guests, round tables only. We will have approx. 225-250. There is a mezzanine floor which is basically a wide balcony on two sides of the lobby. The mezzanine floor can hold the rest of our guests (up to 160) at long tables only. You can see all of the action on the main level.
My question is, if you were seated on the mezzanine, would you feel like you are part of the party, or would you feel like you were given the shaft and think you weren’t important enough to sit on the main level? I’m guessing people would only stay up there during dinner and then come down for dancing and mingling, so I don’t think it would be a huge problem. What would you think if you were seated there? And, if you were me, who would you seat on the mezzanine? Work friends? Guest of my parents who I don’t know? My friends who are younger and wouldn’t have trouble climbing the steps?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Post # 3
I think it’s not so bad as long as you can see everything from the mezzanine. Your idea of putting younger guests up there is a good idea, since they won’t have trouble with stairs and may be more likely to dance. I wouldn’t put any one up in the mezzanine who you think may not be as much into the dancing/mingling, because non-dancers may feel isolated if their assigned seats are so far away from the action. Maybe you could scatter some seating around the main level so the mezzanine people have somewhere to hang out?
Post # 4
Is there enough room on the main floor for everyone to be if they aren’t all seated? With the tables, will there be room for all the people who want to to dance?
I actually think it might be rather nice to provide a place for people to go if the music is too loud and they want to talk. Just make sure that you visit with people on both floors so no one feels like they’ve been exiled upstairs.
Post # 5
Here are some pictures of the layout and location of the mezzanine/balcony level.
The empty Lobby.
Set up for a reception.
And some shots of the mezzanine level:
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country
In short, yes I think you would feel "second rate". Anyone who’s ever been to a wedding like this will tell you that they feel like they were seated "in the kids section" when they were seated on a seperate level/room/area than the bride and groom. I’ve heard of this happening to 3 people at attended weddings, they were in short, insulted.
Post # 7
I was at a wedding where this was the case. I have to say when I walked in the room my first thought was " I hope we’re up there."
I suppose its all about who you are going to sit up there, college friends, work friends, etc. We had our own bar for dinner, so it wasn’t like we had to hike it anywhere for drinks.
Besides after dinner everone congregated downstairs and had a good time.
Post # 8
I have to disagree with Penguin. My husband and I went to a wedding held in an old theatre, and there was balcony seating up above the ballroom. We were thrilled that we got to sit up there because it was such a pretty view. It was neat to watch the first dance and everything from up above. All of the younger people (in their 20’s) were up there and we had a blast! We had our own bar and buffet table and we weren’t insulted to be up there.
I think it depends on the crowd… I can see how some people might be insulted to be seated on another level, but if you had some more easy-going, laid back people, they might enjoy being up there.
Post # 9
I went to a wedding like this and was really happy to be seated a little apart from everything so that I could chat with my friends. Then again, I got to choose to sit there. I think people will be fine; you’re stuck at your table during dinner no matter where you sit, and afterwards everybody gets up to dance/mingle.
Post # 10
I think it’s really cool! I would love to sit up there, a bit away from everything and watch it all unfold. It might bring attention to the idea you’re not as close to the couple as others, but people already know how close they are. If only you could not have assigned tables (but I am a big fan of assigned tables so everyone feels like they have a place to go).
Post # 11
Maybe you could put all your college or high school friends up there together? I know my friends would have a blast if they could all sit together, talk trash about my great aunt Mildred, and drink without fearing they were going to push their chair back into my grandma. If you have a large enough group of people who you think would like to be up there together (again, all the young people, or all your relatives), I think it could work out great.
Post # 12
I remember being seated on a different floor at a wedding, I’m talking lower level no view of upstairs and I felt a little like "WTF" It took forever to get our food and it seemed it was all the college friends and the "singles" table and such was down there. Outcasts….
In planning my own wedding however, I have found that sometimes these things aren’t avoidable – no other place can accomodate the number you need, every thing is booked, the place has sentament to you –
All that matters is everyone is in one place for your wedding, it’s only for dinner and if this is the place that really makes those butterflies in your tummy go crazy then do it. They can see you, hear the speeches, be apart of it all.
Maybe in the speeches given a dad or Bridesmaid or Best Man could comment on your friends "up top" and thank them not to peer down the brides gown….(okay or something more tactful, it would fly at my wedding but maybe not in some others)
Keeping them "in" the mix I think will be the best way to go and keep it the younger folk, who will have a good time together.
PS – the place is B-E-A-Utiful! Love it!
Post # 13
What a beautiful space. I think you should book it – after all those up above can still see the action down below. Get a good microphone system for speeches so they can hear what’s going on and make sure that once the dancing gets started, the MC invites them all to come down and watch or hit the dance floor! As for who to seat upstairs, I would suggest mainly younger people who can easily get around, work friends, maybe friends of your parents who you’ve never met before, etc.
And I think you can really minimize the "offended" factor by talking up the venue a lot before the wedding and letting people know that they will be seated upstairs and how it’s such a great open space, they’ll have a great view of the events from that vantage point, they’ll be seated with all their friends and the music won’t be too loud so they’ll be able to catch up easier, etc. Then they won’t be shocked at being "exiled." If anyone responds with surprise at being seated upstairs just level with them and say "listen, honestly I wish it were all in one big room but the space was otherwise perfect and we really needed to put people upstairs who wouldn’t have trouble going up and down stairs. I hope you understand! You’ll love the space once you see it." and leave it at that.
Post # 14
i think as long as there is an easy way to get up/ down from floor to floor (a big open stair or something not anything enclosed) it’ll be alright. maybe you two can enter from the upper level & descend so they get to see you up close (or some other "special" thing going on up there that others wouldnt get, maybe speeches?). id feel a little disconnected since you wont be able to see the action below while youre sitting down for dinner, they’d have to walk to the edge of the balcony to see the speeches, etc. i agree that if you do book it, (cos otherwise it looks great) i’d put some serious thought into the seating arrangements & where your particular guests would rather sit, like mentioned above.
what if all the young guests started up there for dinner, on the "lounge" level, then they move down for dancing, and the older guests or those who just want to chat/ watch the action can hang out in the lounge w the birds eye view?
Post # 15
I think it would be fine – the people on the mezzanine aren’t in something like another room entirely, where they can’t even see the rest of the guests. I would just make sure that the lower area actually accomodates all guests after dinner. While the presence of the tables and chairs lowers the allowable occupancy considerably under the fire codes, there will still be a maximum number allowed when tables have been removed. Will you be leaving some seating downstairs? And maybe its a better option to put people whom you don’t think will want to dance on the mezzanine; that way they can hang out up there and watch the action on the main floor after dinner, without having to relocate.
Post # 16
I don’t think I would be offended to sit on the upper level, as long as I could still see and hear everything. The only time I have ever taken offense to being in the "other area" is when I could not see or hear anything during the reception. It really gave me the impression that the bride and groom just didn’t care about us.