Cover photo: Zealandia, February 2016
Regardless of whether your wedding is inside or outside; formal or informal; in a reception venue or in a church, there are some basic things to consider in setting up your venue. Most venues will have real expertise in what works in their particular location. Your Celebrant should also be able to add real value to this conversation in terms of who needs to be where and when for the ceremony that you have created. We'll turn to event "design" in a future blog but, for now, a few basics to consider:
1. Are you going to have an aisle? How long and how wide should it be? Many people don’t think of these questions. Think about your arrival and departure: do you want it to be short or long? How many attendants do you have? You don’t want them “squashed up” in too short an aisle. Similarly, think about the width of the aisle. If your dress is quite wide or your groom of a size worthy of an All Black, will you both be able to walk comfortably down the aisle? Do you want both of your parents to walk down the aisle with you or your children? So the aisle design is more important than you might think.
Seating – do you have it and how much? Traditionally seating is provided for every guest and many locations such as chapels and other indoor venues will automatically provide it. Others prefer their family/friends gathered around them in a more intimate or casual environment. Remember that you might need to ensure they do come close to you though – people seem to automatically “stand back”! You want them to feel they are part of the ceremony and be able to hear it.
3. Sound system – even inside, a sound system is important if you have more than 20 - 30 guests outside of 50 - 60 inside. The acoustics in some venues also make voices difficult to project. Check that your Celebrant has a sound system. My system also allows for the recording of ceremony and for linking music via Bluetooth.
4. Music – make sure you have a designated person in charge of the music and that they know exactly which piece of music you want at which particular time. You don’t want to arrive to the music you have selected to leave with! A device with a playlist for each key element of the ceremony works really well and ideally is linked via Bluetooth to the sound system. Don't forget to have someone to queue the music person. You don't want awkward moments waiting for the music to start!