It is possible to make it feel like only your ceremony and reception is taking place.
grooms with their wedding party outside of city hall

Whether large hotels or sprawling wineries, there are plenty of wedding venues that will host more than one event in any given day. Some venues may have their signature way of keeping each event separate and private, while others may leave this in the hands of the hosts to coordinate. Wedding planner Marilyn Speight of Just a Little Ditty says, "While potentially challenging, there are ways to make your wedding feel more private if you're using a venue that allows multiple events to occur at the same time." Here are her top three tips.

Make the most of your venue's layout to ensure privacy.

Depending on your venue, there may be a number of ways to setup your ceremony and reception to ensure privacy. Speight says, "Maximize your layout. Is your wedding at a golf course where there's a tournament going on earlier in the day? Find out from the club which is the most private spot for photos. Is the wedding at a hotel where a corporate party is also happening at the same time? Make sure your guests are directed to different entrances and have accurate directional signage so there is no confusion or overlap." Beyond signage, it can also be helpful for the venue to provide directional staff. For example, there could be a waiter holding a tray of Champagne at a confusing entryway, letting guests know which elevator to take to the wedding reception.

Have the right team on board.

In addition to having seasoned staff working your wedding, you want to make sure you have the right number of hands on deck. Speight says, “Hire more staff. It may seem counterintuitive to have more people on board to make something feel more private or intimate, but ensuring your catering team, parking team, and all other vendors are well-staffed will make a world of difference. It will help them cater to your guests' every need. This way, you can avoid lines at the bar, a backup at valet, or a delayed dinner." All of these components make a wedding feel more private and special for your guests.

Customize the event so guests know they're in the right place.

Your wedding should feel like yours from the moment guests arrive at the first point of entry, barring any possible confusion over other events at the venue. Speight says, "Personalize the details. Perhaps the easiest way to elevate the intimacy of any event is to put your unique touch throughout. Think signature cocktails instead of generic bar offerings, custom napkins instead of basic ones with the venue's logo, or special place settings that show your personality and set a vibe for your wedding that sets your design apart while still working in a cohesive way with the venue aesthetic."


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