Non-Traditional Wedding #5: Trendy Spaces

As we navigate the inevitable changes to the wedding landscape forced by postponements due to the Covid-19 epidemic, there will invariably be weddings that can't happen on a Saturday, and won't follow the traditional structure of 'ceremony, cocktails, dinner, dance'.  My goal with this blog series is to help you imagine how your wedding could look if you need to change the structure or format, particularly if you must postpone it to a non-Saturday.  Hopefully through this series, you'll find or adapt an idea that will work perfectly for you.  My wish for you is that you can get excited about your wedding again!

"Trendy Space"?  What do you mean? 

Celebrating your wedding in what I'm calling a 'trendy space' is a very fun, laid-back way to enjoy your special day with your guests in a less formal atmosphere.  When I think of trendy spaces, I'm thinking of brewpubs, gastropubs, wine bars, microbreweries, restaurants . . . anywhere that can accommodate your guests and has a fun atmosphere.  If you're postponing your wedding and your venue can't accommodate, this might be the option for you!

Time of Day:

  • this kind of event will work best at night, whether a Friday, or another night of the week
  • plan to have guests arrive after work - depending on how formal you want the wedding to be, they may need time to go home and change, or they may come as they are
    • you could plan to start your event with a meal or cocktail hour to give guests time to arrive after work, then have a later ceremony
    • OR, to give guests time to change after work, ask them to arrive at 7, have your ceremony first, then segue into a cocktail reception
    • OR, have a pre-ceremony cocktail/food time, then do your ceremony, then have more cocktails/food, or even a dance, if the space permits


  • depending on the venue, you'll likely end up having a fairly informal ceremony within the main space, though if there's a barrel cellar or tank room, it could make a VERY cool ceremony space, if there's room for your guests
  • consider having your guests gather in a circle around you, and turning 45 degrees at different points in the ceremony to ensure that everyone gets a view


  • depending on your space, they may have in-house music, or the ability to play recorded music through their speakers.  Some venues will even have live music at certain points through the week, and may be able to recommend their 'house' musicians
  • if you're having dinner or cocktails, live music suited to the venue would work well: a fiddle/guitar duo for an Irish Pub, strings  for a winery, etc.
  • depending on the space, there may be in-house games, such as pool tables or dart boards that you can take advantage of
  • if there's room, you can definitely still have a dance, if you desire, in which case you may bring in a band or DJ


Food & Beverage:

  • have fun with the menu of the venue - they likely have specialties that they're known for, or will work with you to create a special menu
  • if the venue doesn't have in-house catering, and the space is small, consider bringing food trucks to park outside
  • if the space is small, you may want to structure the event as a cocktail reception, with food stations or passed hors d'oeuvres
  • if you're at a winery or brewery, feature their flagship wines or beers, or create specialty cocktails featuring local ingredients

Things to Think About:

  • communicate the timeline to guests so that they know what to expect and when they'll be eating

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