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The Bride's Guide Blog

Quick Change

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Posted by Matthew Robbins, Contributor

With many large weddings, sometimes you have to use the same space to hold the ceremony and reception. The challenge there is that you have to change or transform the ceremony space very quickly into an area suitable for dinner and dancing. This always happens during cocktail hour, and the transformation must be seamless and efficient!

For a recent wedding, we tried a new approach for designing a ceremony space. Our biggest issue came from the band—their equipment needed to be in place and ready to go before the ceremony. How did we deal with this? We created a platform for the ceremony in front of the band's equipment, then installed a huge fabric curtain.


This was no ordinary event fabric. We used an amazing linen with a botanical pattern in blue, flax, and oatmeal tones which were part of the overall palette for ceremony and dinner. The curtain created a decorative backdrop but also disguised the band equipment. After the ceremony we pushed the curtain behind the band, removed the large, front portion of the stage, and voila! The band had the perfect backdrop as well.


The other detail I love is the "meadow" we installed around the entire platform. Every inch of it was covered in summer blooms growing from the ground up to the top edge of the platform. I wanted the bride to feel as though she was floating above a lush garden. This decorative touch also provided coverage for any unattractive wires or electrical equipment the band needed. 


Again, after the ceremony we removed many of these pieces and used them as large accent pieces in the room for dinner. Once we added some ambient light, they framed the dining area perfectly. It was a wonderful, efficient, and clever solution!


One important detail to remember is that we maintained the color palette
from ceremony into dinner. The tones were all related, so it was no
problem to incorporate ceremony details such as the hanging fabric or
the flowers surrounding the platform. Enjoy the photos and let me know
what you think about these ideas!

Comments (5)

  • Thanks for sharing the details of this quick flip Matthew! What a great way to save money on decor, because nothing has to be transported to a second site and everything from the ceremony is reused!

  • Exactly! If you can use everything in the same room after the ceremony it really helps reduce some of the time, stress and budget for changing the space for dinner.

  • Great ideas as always!!

  • That is a truly beautiful wedding. Looks great in pictures as well as in person I'm sure. Using the same room isn't always an option as a church wedding was important to my wife and I.

  • Beautiful and a great, practical idea. Thank you for sharing it.

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