When this blog first started, there were a lot of tips and advice on weddings. While the blog now leans more toward design and the occasional random musing on my part, I still receive many questions on a daily basis. So, I decided to bring back the tips and advice every now and then, even though the majority of the wedding articles will start residing in our newsletter. But more on that later!
Many of the questions you'll see and have seen here are those from real brides and real clients, and are often results of real parties we've either witnessed or been a part of. So, without further adieu...
Q: My guest list has grown exponentially, yet our reception space is limited to a certain sized tent. What are some ways to make it work with dinner, buffet, cake, and bar?
Soiree: My answer is to break the space up in a way that creates a natural flow, yet keeps things as intimate as possible. For starters, keep only dinner tables and the cake under the tent. Then look at other options for the other items. Here are my suggestions:
* For large guest lists, always make sure the bar is easily accessible and is conducive to receiving drink-in-hand status as fast as possible. Try having two or three bars in separate areas (either under their own tents, or just near your reception tent), all stocked with the same types of alcohol. Or, have one larger bar with several bartenders. The minimum is 1 bartender per 35 people.
* Avoid lines like the plague. If you'll be having a buffet dinner, do whatever you can to reduce the amount of time your guests spend in line waiting for their food. Consider an entirely different tent (connected to your reception tent or separate- just make sure it's not too far away) for your food tables, or even tapas stations in various areas of your reception space.
* Create intimate areas for chatting. Everyone loves a good dance party, but at a wedding especially, people love to talk and catch up. Create spaces that are conducive for this: small bistro tables that seat 2-4 people, bench + bistro combos that would accommodate up to 5 or so people, etc. I like to keep these areas as close to bar(s) as possible, making it easy to get a beverage and then sit and observe the party.
The fact of the matter is, even if you have separate "spaces" created for your party, as long as none of them are in an area too far away from another, you'll have actually created a more dynamic environment than if you'd stuffed everything under a too-small tent. I find it also adds to the excitement and the anticipation of what-happens-next. Your guests will love it!
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