08 Mar 4 Tips When Booking Two Different Venues for Ceremony and Reception
While destination weddings and other single-venue weddings have gained in popularity over the years, many couples continue to carry on the tradition of holding their wedding ceremony and reception in different locations. Whether it’s a church and ballroom combination, or beach ceremony followed by an intimate club gathering, having two venues opens up the creative possibilities for your wedding.
But two-venue weddings can also present convenience and logistical issues for guests. A little extra planning will help your special day run smoothly and keep you and your guests in a festive, celebratory mood. Take a look below at the four most important tips for booking two different venues on your wedding day:
1. Consider the proximity between venues
Your wedding guests were invited to help you celebrate a milestone in your life, and they’ve already invested a full day of their time, plus the cost of a gift and perhaps a new outfit. To show your appreciation, keep them in mind when choosing venues. You don’t want them to have to drive all over town or to some far-flung reception site after the ceremony. If you decide on two separate locations, it’s best to choose a reception venue somewhat close to the ceremony venue. As a rule of thumb, keep travel time to 30 minutes or less, and don’t forget to take local traffic trends into consideration.
2. Keep the time gap between the ceremony and reception reasonable
It’s traditional for photographers to take most of the wedding photos between the ceremony and reception, which is why there’s usually a bit of time gap between the events. But aside from incorporating the travel time from one location to the other, you shouldn’t leave too much of a time gap between events. In general, plan to have the reception start no later than 60-90 minutes after the ceremony concludes. If your guests have to wait, it’s considerate to offer a cocktail hour or something else for them to do before your grand entrance at the reception.
3. Communicate with your guests
Including both the ceremony and reception venue information on your invitation might seem the obvious way to let guests know about the location change, but don’t rely on assumptions. Include maps to both locations in the invitation and post them on your wedding website, if you have one. You can send a friendly email reminder as well. Additionally, if you are inviting elderly guests or others who might not have their own transportation, ensure they can ride with another relative or guest.
4. Aim for aesthetic continuity
You might find it quirky to hold your ceremony in a serious, understated church and your reception at a flashy modern club, but you’ll risk losing the aesthetic continuity that makes for a stunning wedding album. Choosing two venues with separate aesthetics also means you’ll need two sets of decorations, as pastel flower arrangements won’t fit the vibe of a neon-lit club. That’s why it’s better—and more cost effective—to stick to one aesthetic for both venues, whether it’s light and airy or dark and bold, and decorate accordingly.
Sound like too much hassle? Single-venue weddings are our specialty!
If planning a ceremony and reception in two separate venues seems like more stress than you’re willing to handle during this busy time, you might want to consider venues that offer space for both. Single-venue weddings offer the benefits of easier logistics, a seamless cocktail hour, and happier guests. At Factory of Dreams Hall North Park/San Diego, we offer an elegant venue and one-stop service for wedding ceremonies and receptions—right in the heart of North Park. Contact us today for more information about our wedding packages.