ceremony and reception – one venue or two?

ceremony and reception - one venue or two - bride outside venue waiting for ceremony

People are asking themselves, ceremony and reception – one venue or two? Although there are several reasons why having two separate locations are required, it is becoming more popular to host the entire event at one venue. There are the more obvious religious and traditional reasons, although many are weighing the pros and cons for either option more and more. 

if you're leaning towards two venues

There are many things to consider with this choice that I do not always feel have been thought through. A few factors such as distance, time, setup, and travel. I think more often than not it is about the right venue for what you are envisioning, and can it accommodate the entire event? Perhaps the ceremony you have always dreamed of is at a place of significance to you, your partner, and family. This could be anything from a Church, family property, other place of worship, or the place you got engaged. Well, in these cases a venue change is required and there is no problem with that, you just plan the day accordingly. Think about the time needed to setup the two venues, transportation needed to get from the first venue to the second, and the cost associated to creating two designs.

how about one venue then

Does your venue have a different area for ceremony and reception, or will it take place in the same space? What will guests be doing between the ceremony and the reception? Where will they go? If one is outside, then what happens if weather is not on your side? All important questions! 

If the ceremony and reception are to take place in the same space, there is also additional costs that I feel is usually overlooked. The time it takes to tear down a room and reset it completely for dinner is a huge undertaking. The amount of staff needed to make this happen in a timely manner is more than you may think. Also, who is moving what? Does the decor and floral companies need to keep staff there to assist with the change? Will your wedding planner provide additional staff to accommodate this? Will the venue have somewhere for the guests to go while this is all happening? 

so where do you begin

Ask yourself the first question, is there one particular place that you just have to get married? If yes, then research your options for hosting the entire event on the one property. And if space allows for this then you are pretty set. If it doesn’t then you need to go down the path of two venues. 

With either choice, there are many options out there. Do your research, ask questions, and enjoy the process. The venue selection after all does set the stage for the day.

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