On Having Your Ceremony and Reception at the Same Location

I have been receiving more and more requests from brides and grooms interested in having their ceremony AND reception in The Milano Room. In the same way many choose to write their own vows, ceremonies, as much as receptions, are about each couple’s personal style.

What could be better than creating your own unique nuptials WHILE saving time, money, and making things breezier for your honored guests? At The Milano Room, we love the idea. Here is our need-to-know guide for combining ceremony and reception locales.

FIRST – PLANNING IS JUST EASIER (and cheaper).  If you are doing your own planning, please, re-read that last sentence.

  • All of your vendors have one stop in which to dazzle with their music, flowers, videography, etc. Less room for error this way, and you save money.  Vendors won’t need to charge for added time, labor and travel.
  • Move flower arrangements and other decor from one area to the other. Take this Milano Room Tip: use your ceremony backdrop as a focal point for the reception or vice versa. Save a bit more!
  • You’ll have less hurdles in coordinating cohesive times, even matching dates, with two locations.
  • You won’t be required to include a reception card with your invitation. More savings!
  • You will save on transportation fees for limos and other rental transportation with one drop and pick up point..

SECOND — IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TWO OF YOU The Milano Room knows that modern brides need every moment of their celebration to be a very personal statement. Why not make the most meaningful part of the day the most uniquely yours? A venue, more than a House of Worship, art gallery, or public space allows flexibility in decor. Copious pillar candles that can be reassigned to the cocktail area or dining room have a romantic effect. Paper flower garlands are chic, inexpensive, and can be reused to decorate for the couple’s first dinner party!

You can MIX IT UP! I have met two couples recently who tinkered with the traditional timing of things; one by having the guests enjoy a     Cocktail Hour before the ceremony, while the bridal party took photos. A tea and lemonade station with a Milano Room Antipasto Platter would be a great choice for that scenario. Another couple actually chose to have the ceremony AFTER the reception. Both were fun-filled and showcased the couples’ unique personalities.

THIRD — YOUR HONORED GUESTS  WILL LOVE YOU EVEN MORE FOR HAVING THE CEREMONY AND THE RECEPTION IN ONE PLACE A reception is intended to be an extension of hospitality to your guests. It follows that couples would want to make the day as easy, and enjoyable for them as possible. Gaps between ceremony and reception are “acceptable,” but the truth is, your guests don’t like them.

Some guests will feel left out if they aren’t invited to the “I Do’s.” It is the reason we are all in our party clothes, after all! You can avoid hurt feelings by having the same guest list and moving everyone together through the festivities.

While you are taking post ceremony photos, guests are well-looked-after and entertained, leaving you to give that carefree smile of yours for the scrapbook.

A long gap between itinerary items poses a number of concerns. Our years of experience at The Milano Room have led us to always advise AGAINST taking on “a number of concerns.” You are expected to provide some amenities, or at least suggest activities for your guests when they have time to kill between your ceremony and reception. A hospitality suite, like any option to provide entertainment and refreshment, is an added expense. Too often, guests choose to kill that free time on a pub crawl, leading to a very messy reception replete with unsavory memories.

  • Having both your ceremony and reception in The Milano Room is a brilliant way to create the smoothest flow for you AND your guests between the moments of your Big Day (and keep some extra cash in your budget)!
  • You choose your colors, theme, and styles with such care that it makes sense to have them shine throughout your wedding event.

Contact The Milano Room today about YOUR ceremony and reception plans. We can’t wait to hear them!


Meaghan Towne

Director of Marketing and Group Celebrations
The Milano Room at Amici Italian Restaurant

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