As guests arrive to your ceremony they are many times in what I call awkward mode….meaning they just don’t quite know what to do with themselves yet. It’s before they’ve met anyone or reconnected with people. I love to give them something to do. This is one of the reasons I like to do a program even when a program isn’t totally necessary. I love anything that alleviates the awkward moments. A pre-ceremony drink table can do the same.
Although I’ve done a darling champagne bar before I actually don’t recommend doing anything alcoholic before you’ve given your guests a nibble. I do though love a lemonade bar or even just spa water in a pretty glass dispenser. If you live in Los Angeles or another busy city I also highly recommend doing a 15 minute hold on the ceremony. It’s all planned this way from the beginning so you don’t have to worry if your shuttle bus is running late or the freeway or valet is backed up. Everyone can arrive and de-stress and be ready to fully enjoy your ceremony.
The pre-ceremony drinks table gives them something to do and a place to congregate without feeling like they need to go sit in a chair facing straight ahead at nothing. In fact, I don’t even seat the guests till after the invitation time. I like to give people a chance to connect before sitting down. It warms people up and again, avoids the awkward moment of sitting and waiting for the ceremony to start. Some brides are wary to set their wishing tree or other fun guest “book” things out because people won’t have the time to sign it before hand but if you do a 15 minute hold than many people will have time to sign it AND again, it gives them something to do. Can you tell I really hate awkward moments at weddings? I think you have to help your guests avoid those and really get them comfortable and in a place to truly open up and enjoy your day. You’d be surprised how many people get nervous when they go to events.
Also, the pre-ceremony drink /sign in table gives you one more place to carry through your palette and décor. I love to deck this table out. It’s their first taste of your wedding style. Check out Tin Parade’s latest designs for the line of Table Banners by Tin Parade. You could be one of the first to get your hands on the I DO table banner just in time for your spring or summer wedding drink or dessert table. (make sure you go to the updates tab to see the I DO design)
Ryan Larson of Savoir Flair Wedding Design and co-designer of Tin Parade Vintage Party Goods