Today’s informative guest post comes to us from Leigh Karsch of La Petite Fleur Weddings, based in Philadelphia, PA! Enjoy:

Flip, turn, somersault… these are all terms (albeit, the last one’s kind of a ‘stretch’) that industry pros use when referring to the process of changing a space— typically mid-event, while guests are celebrating— to serve a different purpose for the same affair.  In the wonderful world of weddings, a ‘flip or turn’ is necessary when both the ceremony and reception are held in the same space—literally in the same ballroom, pavilion, deck, etc.— at a venue. Subsequently, ‘flipping’ the space typically occurs during cocktail hour (which isn’t a full hour since guests need time to travel to and from the spaces).  So, you can see why these industry terms are pretty appropriate, because in order to make something like this happen, there is a bit of acrobatics (and sometimes even smoke and mirrors) involved.

Read the full post after the cut!

If you are considering hosting your ceremony and reception in the same location, then Aisle Tell You a few helpful hints to ‘flipping without flipping-out’ that will help keep your stomach and wallet from taking a turn for the worse!

The first question you want to ask yourself and your venue: can my ceremony and reception occur in two different spaces that are completely independent of one another? If not and the space/room needs to be ‘flipped,” then can the ‘flip’ occur without guests seeing the transformation? While watching a ‘flip’ may be interesting to some people, it’s not a fitting form of entertainment for cocktails. Think for a moment— do you really want the magic of your day unveiled before your guests’ eyes? Of course not, which is why discretion is essential!  If the space or ballroom that’s being transformed can’t be closed-off, or isn’t out-of-sight on a separate floor, then do draping! Draping is functional and fashionable! Your décor and venue partners will make magic happen behind the “curtains,” which inherently infuse an event with more elegance!

Second, be sure to communicate with your partners! Talk with your venue about how its staff approaches a ‘flip’ and what, if any, draping options may be included as part of your contract. Also, it’s just as important— probably even more so— to discuss the ‘flip’ as soon as possible with your floral & décor partner.  This partner plays a leading role in the production of your event.  If the ceremony décor includes an arbor or chuppah, which needs to be broken-down, that means something different, something more, than removing chair clusters or repurposing ceremony arrangements. And, if your room transformation also involves catering breaking-down ceremony chairs and bringing-in, dressing and setting tables— your floral & décor partner has even less time to work magic. That said, depending upon your vision, your the pretty-pro may need a smidge more than the 30-40 minutes afforded for ‘flipping’ a space during cocktails. So, you may need to consider and, therefore, talk with your venue about an extended cocktail hour.

Third, consider how a ‘flip’ may impact the scope of your décor plan and, ultimately, your vision for your special day. To create a fabulous affair, with attention paid to every detail, your professional partners need time— enough time.  That said, the venue and floral & décor professionals need to plan accordingly and, subsequently, incorporate additional staff to off-set the small amount of prep time allotted by a ‘flip.’

Finally, it may be more convenient to host your entire wedding in one location, but it’s not necessarily more cost-efficient. Don’t kid yourself by thinking you’re saving money by not needing to invest in a separate ceremony location and transportation to move the bridal party between locations (don’t forget about the photos).  Depending upon the set-up of your venue and its capacity in different areas, you may wind-up investing in draping (it is fabulous though!), additional catering and floral & décor staffing to facilitate the ‘flip,” and possibly an extended cocktail hour.

Photo Credits: Sweetwater Portraits, SAS Becker Creative Photography and Kerry Harrison Photography

Thanks Leigh! For more information about La Petite Fleur Weddings, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Leigh? Add them to the comments below!