There are numerous reasons to host your wedding ceremony and reception in a single location. Guests won’t need to travel between locations and neither will your wedding party. You only need to book and decorate one venue, which makes your big day easier to coordinate. With a ceremony and reception in the same place, you can also have a later ceremony because you may not need as much time between the two.
Use these tips to make sure your single-venue wedding goes off without a hitch!
- Clearly word your invitations so guests know you’re only using one venue. You may also want the officiant or DJ to make an announcement as your ceremony comes to a close.
- Divide your venue into two distinct spaces, one for your ceremony and the other for your reception. In a large, undefined space, this is generally fairly easy. This way, you won’t need to move chairs or rearrange décor.
- If your venue (and the weather) allows it, hold your ceremony outdoors and your reception indoors. You won’t give up space inside to keep the two pieces of your day separate.
- When using the same space for both ceremony and reception, consider exchanging vows on an elevated platform so everyone can see.
- Instead of saying “I do” at the front of the room (where your head table would be), consider standing on the dance floor. That way, more guests will have a great view.
- If guests will be seated at tables, rather than in rows of chairs, for your ceremony, add a few extra chairs right up front. Elderly guests will appreciate a spot where it’s easier to see and hear your vows.
- Make sure centerpieces and other décor items don’t block the view if guests are watching the ceremony from tables.
- Create an aisle with tables, rather than chairs. You’ll still enjoy the feeling of walking through your guests to the alter, without having to flip the space afterward.
- Keep an eye on the temperature of your space. With so many people in a single space for a long time, things can get stuffy. Air conditioning is ideal, even in spring and fall.
- Hire catering or venue staff who are familiar with your layout and have helped other couples flip the space between the ceremony and reception. They’ll know exactly how to arrange the space in a way that highlights your relationship and your venue, and keeps your guests comfortable.
- Get creative with how you keep your guests occupied while your venue is flipped from ceremony to reception. You’ll likely be taking photos during this time, but don’t leave guests hanging. Cocktail hours are now common; consider a more unique pastime, like a scavenger hunt, lawn games, puzzles or a food truck.