Seeing over 300 weddings here, each with unique styles and setups, we have gathered some tips and tricks when planning your layout. Our previous post is a great resource for you to begin using allseated.com to layout your ceremony and reception. We encourage you to go back and read it. For now, let's chat about the logistics we believe all Host's should take into consideration when planning their layout...
- Things to consider:
- Guest traffic and flow
- Shade or cover for outdoor events
LOADING & UNLOADING
DJ Service: We often see that look on the DJ's face when he first arrives, peeks into the room filled with tables, chairs, china, floral arrangements only to have his spot pointed out in the faaaaaar corner on the opposite side of the door. I have to tell you these DJ's have mad Ninja skills and usually accomplish the maneuver with little attention drawn to them, but may we make a suggestion? For example, inside The Barn, you could place the DJ on the left side of the brick wall, creating the above scenario, or you could place them on the right of the brick wall allowing him to load in and out with ease. This gives your DJ the ability to pull right up to the South loading door and allows for more time to prepare and less time precariously hauling their equipment through the room.
Arrival times: Create a timeline of vendors planned arrival. If two vendors will need to utilize the same loading area-space their arrival times. Ask vendors to unload their equipment, move their car to the vendor parking area, THEN setup. We have seen how thinking through the vendor arrival times helps put everyone in an upbeat and positive mood for your event before it even starts! Every client wants their vendors to be on-point and as the Host, you can do a lot to help them focus on what they do best rather than combatting difficult situations.
When utilizing The Barn (indoor facility) remember there are two loading doors. If your Dj will be positioned closest to one door and your Photo Booth will be closer to another door, be sure to relay this information to them. That way they can utilize both doors for a seamless setup.
Placement of services that your guests will need access to will need larger walkways to and from and should be placed so it is easy to access. We often see the photo booth and bar next to the dance floor. While this is a good idea, if there isn't room for guests to congregate near either of those it doesn't work as well as it seems on paper. If the dance floor is full, not allowing other guests to get to the photo booth for their picture before they have to leave, you may end up with 100's of photo's of your dancing crew and none of Aunt Mary. A great spot for the photo booth is close enough to the action and a place guests will walk past as they leave your event. Giving them one last opportunity to snag a photo before they head out.
Plan an alternative route for guests to get to and from areas of interest; buffet line, dance floor, bar without walking in front of the head table or through the dance floor. This will give them the opportunity to get to other areas even when photographs are being taken or the dance floor is full as they play Thriller (did that just age me?).
SHADE OR COVER
Be sure to ask your vendors if they need shade or cover during your event. If you hold your reception in the Country Village there are several options when it comes to providing a shaded or covered area for your vendors, but you will want to think ahead.
- The East patio is the first to be shaded and can be a great place to put your cake to be sure you don't have any issues with melting.
- We also know the porch cottage has shade as you reach early evening.
- The rocky area over by the school house will be shaded in the early evening as well.
- You will not have shade on the North side of the Country Village until later into the evening. During Summer months when the sun doesn't set until 10pm, you may not see shade until close to 9pm.
- We encourage couples to take a look at the sunset times to prepare for shade. Our Country Village will typically be fully shaded 2 hours prior to sunset and will begin to see shade into the grass area up to 4.5 hours prior to sunset. Remember we do have those 5 umbrella tables with ivory umbrellas for the tables that may not be shaded during the first part of your reception.
Outdoor Ceremony- I mentioned above when you will see shade in the country village. In front of the chapel you will see that the left side of the sidewalk is shaded by the tall pine tree up to 5 hours before sunset and the right side begins to have shade 3-4 hours prior to sunset. Behind the chapel is not shaded. The East side of the chapel is shaded all day and can be a great spot for photo's earlier in the day.
DJ - Remember, if you are striving for the dance party to be the focal part of your event, The Barn is the perfect location. Inside The Barn offers many amenities that can make it more enjoyable for you and your guests. The Barn is heated and air conditioned. The sliding barn doors allow you to set a dancing atmosphere even if the sun is out until 10pm. The dance music can be played as long as you would like and at a much higher level. Outdoors is the perfect location for that garden party feel.
Drinks- In the Summer months be sure to offer guests the ability to grab water near your ceremony area. If guests arrive early and are waiting outside, having the ability to refresh themselves and stay hydrated is important. We have a large trough you are welcome to set on the sidewalk or patio areas filled with water bottles. We always hear guests expressing how grateful they are for that cool h20 as they wait.
Send-off- Back up your getaway car next to the white cottage (office) and have your guests line the walkway in front of the cottage. This gives your photographer the perfect location to catch you running through your line of guests with either the pond, chapel, and/or barn in the backdrop!
We hope you find these tips helpful and look forward to seeing the wonderful celebrations that take place out here this year!
Photos for reference: