Actual Case Study: Centered Dance Floor: Blessed Sacrament Church
This is a large space – 60×120′. The ceilings are over 25′ in the center and angles on each side (sort of like a barn ceiling). We are not allowed to hang anything from the ceiling. A couple other design issues are the vending machines and recycling bins in the corner. The back wall has a number of double doors that not ideal backdrops for a head table.
Example #1a is how they normally set up the room. The dance floor is in the corner, the head table is straight across from the entrance and the cake table is right in front of the vending machines.
When the guests enter – with three separate design points, their focus will be jumping around the room. The head table and dance floor in particular will compete for their attention – both upon entering and once the dancing starts.
Now look at the sightlines from the entrance with a centered head table and dance floor (example 2a). The guests are drawn into the room with a strong center focal point and clean back drop. The centered dance floor unifies the design. It also concentrates the budget. By pipe and draping the entire back wall with ceiling height drape and lighting, then creating a light and fabric dance floor frame you can do more with less.
Which brings up argument # 2 for a centered dance floor – prime real estate. With a corner dance floor, it puts your best guests at a disadvantage. Note the three pink reserved tables (example 1b). Your parents, grandparents, etc are seated closest to the head table, but that only gives them front seats to the head table action. Then, when you have your first dance and for the rest of the evening, they are removed from the action.
Now look at the pink reserved tables in example 2b. The best guests have only to turn their chairs to be a front row participant in all the evenings events. Much more river front property. Also, note how more tables are exposed to the dance floor. This event floor plan engages more guests in all levels of the reception.