Dinner theater ceremony: Say your vows among the tables of your reception venue

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Photos by Helmut Walker Photography

What if you got married in your venue space, surrounded by all of your guests at their tables? It's legit, and may be right up your alley. We loooove this idea from Tricia and Barrett's wedding, not only because it saves set-up time and ceremony space costs, but it also brings everyone together in a big, warm circle of love during the ceremony. Bonus: no need to travel to get from ceremony locale to the reception. Hell, guests won't even need to leave their seat!

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Check out the other details from Tricia and Barrett's flower-free art gallery wedding!

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  1. This was how my wedding was done, too. Half of the room was food tables/dancing area and the other half was seating for the ceremony and dinner. It helped with the dilemma of divorced families feeling obligated to sit on "a side."

    1 agrees
  2. We are doing this! We call it Dinner Theater style ๐Ÿ™‚ Our venue was a little hesitant to go along with it but we squashed that by giving them money! I'm a little nervous about the people who's chairs will face away from where the ceremony will take place but I'll cross that hurdle later.

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    • DINNER THEATER STYLE! I love this so much that I changed the title of this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • I found a picture from a corporate event done by the rental company I'm using with a huge tent full of round tables of 8 and a stage upfront for a presentation. All the chairs were already set up pointing towards the action when the attendees arrived. Then, when the show was over everyone who was facing away from the table just flipped their chair around toward the table for the meal. I thought it was kinda genius! Maybe this will work for you!

      Ooh, found 'em!
      http://allneedzrental.com/images/events/raytheon%203.JPG

      http://allneedzrental.com/images/events/raytheon%2056.JPG

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    • Hello Kristen: I am wanting to create the Dinner Theater style wedding this fall at my inside venue. Have you gotten married yet? How did it all work out, is there any tips you can give me while planning? thanks!

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      • We are doing this at our wedding (not married yet) but the venue we're going through actually does this all the time and it is their preferred method of seating. The reason for this, is the ceremony and reception are done in the same place, and this allows for minimal transition time in between the two. Instead of spending hours to set up all the tables, they spend half an hour to set up just a remaining few. As for the people who's chairs are facing the wrong way, they can just turn their chair around for the ceremony. Hope this helps!

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  3. We surprised my parents with a 25-year anniversary party and gave them the option of renewing their vows. There was a fireplace at the inn, so we set up the tables with the option of everyone having a good view of the fireplace. They stood in front, and all was well.

    My best friend also had a dessert only reception at an art museum with a similar focal point. Everyone stayed seated at their tables. I was the MOH so I was up front, but it saved her very recently divorced parents the strangeness of having to sit side by side in a "front row."

  4. we're doing this! I like that it keeps things feeling sort of cozy and intimate. saw it done at my friends' wedding at an art gallery a few years ago, and then remembered it during the awkward shuffle the guests had to do at another wedding I attended recently, where the venue had workers basically kick all the guests out of the room into the lobby, while they did their magic to set up the tables and chairs. Since we have not magic-working venue people, and I prefer not to lift furniture while in my poofiest of poofy white dresses, we're opting for dinner theater style ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. We're doing something similar. Because the ceremony and reception are in the same location, they set up tables for the guests to sit at during the ceremony (except for a couple rows of front-row chairs for immediate family), that way the transition time is minimal. They only have to set the tables, instead of putting up the tables, doing all the linens, and then setting them all.

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  6. Why oh why have I never thought of this? My fiance and I desperately want our ceremony and reception in the same place and we found a venue big enough but were thinking we'd set up the chairs on one side, tables on the other, and then have guests bring chairs to the tables afterward – but blam, dinner theater style! Problem solved! Also, love the glassware!

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  7. I have gone to a wedding like this. The ceremony started about forty-five minutes late and then we had to wait another hour+ to be fed while the bridal party took pictures. Nobody wants to sit in front of an empty plate for two hours, you know? If I was going to do something like this, I would definitely roll out some food ASAP.

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  8. This looks like it could be amazing. I love the Dinner Theatre aspect, especially because I envisioned people eating first, then doing the ceremony after people have had a chance to get food and settle in. Has anyone done this that way, where everyone gets food, eats for a bit, and THEN the couple stands up and does a ceremony? It could provide a good break between food and cake.

  9. I think this is a wonderful way to kill 2 birds with one stone. I think this is what my fiance & I need to do being our venue is not too small, but big enough for a party of 50. So I'm going to ask them to be sure if it is possible to do the Dinner Theatre Ceremony style. Hope everyone's big day turn out or did turn out great. Cheers ladies. ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. We are doing this too. The ceremony will only be about 10 mins so everyone will be at their tables, thinking of putting chairs in front for parents and siblings, not sure about that yet. To save more $ so we do not have to book the room longer we are doing it during cocktail hour, that is saving $600 at our venue. About 10 – 15 mins after cocktail hour starts we will have the ceremony, then continue on the cocktail hr. then go into the rest of the evening.

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