Having your ceremony and reception at the same venue is the perfect way to maximize your venue budget and cut down on lag time between the two parts of the event. However, you probably want to create some definition between these two portions of your special day. Since everything will be happening at the same place, you’ll need to come up with ideas to smooth the transition from one area of the venue to the next. Check out these creative ways to separate your ceremony and reception at the same venue.
Create Indoor and Outdoor Zones
When you’re having a wedding at a gorgeous venue like Nanina’s in the Park, you have plenty of beautiful spaces to enjoy. Consider having the wedding itself outdoors in the gardens, then moving everyone indoors for the reception. This way, you’ll have two separate areas and a clear transition from one space to the next.
Offer Cocktails and Appetizers
If you need to have both the wedding and the reception indoors, you can work with the venue team to plan the setup for each part of the event. The ballroom can be arranged with rows of chairs and a staging area for the ceremony, and then you can dismiss your guests for cocktails and appetizers in another part of the estate while the ballroom is being prepared for the reception dinner. Your guests can even stroll the grounds and enjoy the scenery while the venue staff are setting up.
Use the Ceremony Space
You could also consider having the ballroom area already set up for the reception, complete with chairs and tables. Guests can simply sit at the tables during the brief ceremony, and then you can open the buffet and bar afterwards. Avoid making any food or drink available before the ceremony, or the beauty of the moment could be marred by clinking glasses and sounds of chewing.
Make an Announcement
It’s important to ensure that your guests know exactly where they’re supposed to go, and when they should go there. Whether it’s your wedding coordinator, an on-site event specialist, or a smooth-talking relative, you need someone to be the voice of the schedule for your wedding. This person can be the one who stands up at the front after the ceremony and invites the guests to move to the next area.
If you don’t have a designated master of ceremonies (MC), ask your officiant to speak to everyone when it’s time to move to the reception space or to enjoy the buffet. Your ushers can direct guests as they dismiss each row or table. As an extra clarification, you can also include wording in your wedding program about the transition between ceremony and reception.
Attractive signs, positioned strategically throughout the grounds and the building, will help your guests navigate from the ceremony to the cocktail party or reception space. Make sure that the signs are clearly visible, even as they coordinate with your wedding theme and decor.
At Nanina’s in the Park, our event specialists have facilitated many amazing, memorable weddings. They’re used to maneuvering guests between the ceremony and the reception, and they can share additional ideas for managing the transition. Contact Nanina’s in the Park to take a tour or to gather ideas about creative ways to separate your ceremony and reception at the same venue.