Dining outdoors versus Indoors

Education, Weddings

One of the many decisions we need to make when organizing a wedding is whether to have guests dine outside prior to entering the ballroom for dancing, or to have dinner and dancing all in the ballroom. While both options have their advantages and disadvantages, ultimately the decision will come down to the specific preferences and needs of the wedding couple. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of each option to help guide your decision-making process.

Dining Outside Prior to Entering the Ballroom


  1. Scenic Views: One of the main reasons people do weddings in Arizona are the spectacular mountain views, which can enhance the overall ambiance of the event.
  2. More Space: Having guests dine outside can provide more space for the reception, allowing for more creative layouts and decor options, such as soft seating throughout the ballroom.
  3. Unique Experience: Dining outside can be a unique and memorable experience for guests, as it provides a change of scenery and a break from the traditional ballroom setting.


  1. Weather Dependence: Dining outside is heavily dependent on the weather, which can be unpredictable and potentially ruin the experience for guests.
  2. Logistics: Hosting a dinner outside requires additional logistics, such as setting up tables, chairs, and lighting, which can be more time-consuming and expensive. It typically means you are flipping your ceremony lawn during cocktail hour, into a dining area, which can often take longer than one hour. 
  3. Noise Pollution: Depending on the location, dining outside may be subject to noise pollution, such as traffic, nearby hotel guests passing through, or other outdoor activities, which can disrupt the event’s ambiance.

Dinner and Dancing All in the Ballroom


  1. Consistent Experience: Having dinner and dancing all in the ballroom provides guests with a consistent experience, as they do not have to move around and change locations. It also is likely less expensive, since you are only doing decor for one space, versus two. 
  2. Weatherproof: Hosting everything in the ballroom is not weather-dependent, which eliminates the risk of weather-related disruptions.
  3. Simplified Logistics: Hosting everything in one location simplifies the logistics and reduces the workload of the event staff. For example, a DJ will not have to take time setting up two sound systems, or moving one from location to location, which, without another entertainment option, could provide a gap in the music. 


  1. Limited Space: Having dinner and dancing all in the ballroom can be limiting in terms of layout and decor options, which can impact the overall ambiance of the event.
  2. Monotonous Experience: A continuous experience in one space may become monotonous for guests, especially if the event is longer than a few hours.

In conclusion, both options have their benefits and drawbacks, and the decision ultimately depends on the couple’s preferences and the specifics of the event. As a wedding planner, it is our  job to weigh the pros and cons of each option and advise the couple accordingly. The venue logistics will heavily influence this decision. No matter what decision is made, the goal should be to create a memorable and enjoyable experience for the couple and their guests.

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