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Event Inspiration/Articles/Planning/Ask the Experts: Small Wedding Venue

Ask the Experts: Small Wedding Venue

Marta Block


Question:I'm having my wedding at a small venue but I still want my guests to be able to dance. What can I do? 

A: Not knowing the exact layout of your room, I can't give specific advice, but I can offer some general suggestions. For starters, make sure to talk to the venue manager and see if she has any ideas. You'll want to double check to make sure they don't require that a portable dance floor be put down, or if they do, that you can afford it. You'll also want to ask about any space in the building that you haven't seen. For example, is there a patio or corridor you could use to open up the space a little? Think about the kind of dancing that you want. Do you want everyone to dance, or are you really just looking for a first dance and a father/daughter and mother/son dance? If you want everyone to dance, you'll want to go with a DJ for a small space.

If you just want a few traditional dances, you may be able to use a pianist and vocalist. Make sure the DJ or the pianist/vocalist sees the space and understands the limitations. Your DJ may have special equipment for a smaller space. I would not recommend trying to serve a full meal at tables in a small space. Schedule your wedding for a time that people won't be expecting a full meal and can make do on heavy appetizers. That way you can have tall cocktail tables instead of having everyone sit (make sure there are enough chairs on hand for older or handicapped guests though).

Talk to the venue manager and your florist about ideas for making the space feel bigger. For example, they may be able to hang mirrors to open up the room, and your florist will want to know that you don't have room for large centerpieces. Issues like this are one of the reasons it's so important to have a complete idea of what kind of wedding you want, before you start committing to venues and vendors.