Results are in - the majority (by a long shot) agrees that putting our guests in separate rooms is a Bad Idea. I agree. Even though there are some people's weddings where I wouldn't mind being in the separate room with the bar, those are all people whose weddings we are going to because they are family friends, etc., and I'm not close with the bride or groom. We're not inviting that many of those people to our wedding, so inevitably, some of our friends or family would wind up in the other room. If we did cocktail style seating, it would flow better because nobody would have official seats - but truth be told, I'm still afraid of cocktail style seating because there will be people coming that don't know many other people at the wedding and I don't want them standing awkwardly in the corner like they are at a middle school dance.
Mark really likes the idea of cocktail style, I think in large part because he has never had to wear high heels to an event, and also because the weddings we have been to have all involved being seated at a table with at least some people we don't know, and wanting to sit at the cool kids table with the people we do know. (I'm really chatty, so I think I'm the reason this keeps happening to us.) It avoids this feeling:
I think, no matter what, a venue in which all of your guests cannot fit in a single room is problematic. It means some people miss the toasts, the dancing, the cake cutting, etc., and while I don't have a problem with people wanting to miss that or hiding from the bouquet toss, I would hate for somebody to miss the toasts and then be like, "well, I couldn't get in the room." This will effectively rule out:
Maryvale (although we haven't actually seen the inside because the caterer stood us up.)
Oakland Manor w/o the tent
Possibly Liriodendron - they were not forthcoming in responding to my email in which I specifically asked if 130 people could fit in one space...but we're visiting it next Thursday anyway. Plus its really pretty, so I'm holding out hope.
Have any of the 4 people who responded that it would be fine to seat our guests separately been to a wedding where this worked?
Also, do we actually have 30 readers or are our 10 followers all voting 3 times?