Mastering The Art of Destination Wedding Floorplans
When you are in charge of planning or designing a wedding in a far-off destination, having a strong command of the floorplan is an imperative first step in creating the perfect look and flow. When the wedding is in your area, you have the luxury of multiple visits to be sure you are getting the details down pat.
But for destination weddings, you may only get one chance to see the venue before your work begins. So how can you ensure that you’ll be on the right track for your plans?
Here are top three lessons I’ve learned from years of planning destination weddings.
- Double check the measurements provided by the venue
If you are lucky, your destination venue has existing floorplans or blueprints with accurate measurements (and they’re on AllSeated!).
But, more often than not, these floorplan documents provided by the venue can be off – maybe by a little bit, maybe by a lot. When you have the opportunity to do a site visit, grab your chance to take your own measurements to verify that the floorplan provided by the venue correct.
Pay special attention to check the positioning of doorways or fixtures as in my experience these are often misplaced or mislabeled on a venue plan.
- Confirm the measurements of the tables, chairs, bars and other hard goods provided by the venue
Items that you may consider “standard” in your home base may not be so standard in a different market or in a specific venue. I recently had a situation in which the destination venue assured me that their tables were 6’x30” (standard 6’ tables in New York City, where I’m based), but in reality, they were 6’x24”.
Of course, if you have the wrong table sizing accounted for in your floor plan, things won’t line up on the day of the event. Not to mention, your linens may be the wrong size or you won’t be able to fit the number of guests at a table as you intended.
- Inquire about how the venue sets the table and serves the food
If you are unfamiliar with what the venue commonly puts on the tables, you’ll have no way of accurately knowing what size tables to use or how much you can add to the table. For example, I like to seat 10 guests at a 60” round table. I also like to use 12” or 13” charger plates.
The only way to make that happen is to have a table without bread plates or a bread basket. This is a request that is common in the New York market and can be easily honored. However, I have produced weddings in other markets where the wait staff is not able to include French style bread service once the salad plate is on the table.
Why does this matter?
If I need to fit a bread basket and bread plates on the table plus the large charger plates, I may need to use a 72” round table to accommodate 10 guests… and my entire floorplan must be different as a result!
The more you know and understand about the destination venue ahead of time, the more empowered you’ll be to make the changes you need to properly plan or design your clients’ destination wedding. Surprises during the setup are always unwelcome, but even more so when you are far from home.
About Lindsay Landman:
Named one of the top planners in the world by Vogue, Lindsay Landman has been producing innovative weddings and special events across the globe since 2001 with her New York City-based Lindsay Landman Events. This December, Lindsay is teaching a 5-week course on Destination Wedding Planning at the Event Leadership Institute.