Summer is an especially hard time of year to get your personal space. Standing in line at the movies, water park, train, etc can all become close quarters when the temperature is 95+ degrees. When your wedding is during the summer months you need to plan a little extra to give your guests some breathing room at your event.
Seating: Make sure there is enough room between the chairs at the reception venue so people are not seated literally on top of one another. The minimum distance between tables (not including chairs) should be 5 ft. However, if you have a guest who is 6 ft 5 inches tall, that guest will need ample leg room and even more room to push their chair out backward to stand up so you will want to expand that distance. There is actually a room calculator which makes it very easy to decide on how close or how far your guests will be seated. It is always better to err on the side of caution so, if the numbers look a little tight you should either cut down your guest list or find another location. The seating chart is also important because you may have to take into account where taller or larger guests will be seated.
Dance Floor – The rule of thumb is 3 square ft per person. Of course there are guests who don’t dance (for whatever reason). Discuss this with your on-site event personnel since they will have an idea of how big or small of an area you might need base on their experience. In this case, less is not always more.
Green Room – If you have an area where all of the bridesmaids are going to be getting hair and makeup completed prior to the wedding, make sure it is large enough to hold everyone comfortably. Remember they are going to need to get dressed in their gowns as well so there should be a minimum of one bathroom, plenty of space to hang each gown, lots of electrical outlets for curling irons and blow dryers and a place for everyone to sit, not including sitting the bed. Sitting on the bed was a big no-no at my house. I can hear my mother saying it, right now, “Beds are for sleeping”.
Transportation– Some limos boast that they can hold “up to 22 people’. Don’t crowd 22 people into a limo on a hot summer day even if it is a stretch limo that can technically hold 22 people. If you want the bridal party to ride together you do have a couple of choices. One idea is to have all of the male attendants ride in one vehicle and the females in another. Another suggestion is to use a party bus (aka ‘Land Yacht’) or one of the larger SUV vehicles that is easier to get in and out of. No one should have to crawl over top of another guest in this kind of heat.
Having an intimate affair for less people does not mean you can skimp on the personal space. Intimate refers to the closeness of your relationship, not the size of the guest list. Think of it like this: your guests should all feel like they are seated in First Class.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago