Photo: Caroline Fontenot
Finding the perfect wedding venue can be a challenge. From fitting your theme and vibe to accommodating your guest list to working with your budget, there is a seemingly never-ending list of criteria to meet! If you're inviting a crowd, or are hoping to break your wedding up into a series of moments that takes guests through a few different spaces, you may find yourself with a wedding reception that spans multiple rooms. This can end up working in your favor, giving you more flexibility and creating a unique experience for your guests, but there are still a few key tips to keep in mind. Here are the three things you should know if you're having a multi-room reception.
When Will They Move?
When you're working on your timeline with your planner or venue manager, set a specific time to move guests — and then make it 10 minutes earlier. If the cocktail hour and reception spaces are separated by doors or a hallway, it will take guests a little longer to catch on that you need them to sit down because they won't easily be able to see that other guests have found their seats. Some buffer time will allow the staff to gently encourage guests to head toward their tables instead of trying to herd them all at once. Setting a time will also let your staff know when they need the tables to be set and when the bartender can head over to wine service.
Where's the Bar?
Speaking of bartenders, if your reception room isn't quite big enough for your bar and your cake, you may want to leave the bar at cocktail hour open throughout the night so guests can get drinks once the dancing starts. If they can't see the bar from their seats, though, they might assume it is closed. Have your band or DJ remind everyone (after wine service is over and once dancing has begun) that the bar is open and serving drinks, and have servers who are pouring wine also mention to the table that guests can get beer or cocktails in the next room.
Where Will People Sit?
Are you having dinner in one space and dancing in another? Make sure you set up a few seating areas around the dance floor where guests can rest their feet and still feel like they're a part of the party. Lounge furniture is a great option, but consider also having one or two regular tables (with linens matching the dinner tables) where a group can sit with a slice of cake and Grandma doesn't have to eat out of her lap.