After years of hard work and often millions of dollars, a building dedication ceremony lets the community celebrate the finished product. Before setting the date for the dedication, check with the contractor to make sure the building will be open to the public. When planning the event, make sure to plan around other local events, which might keep guests from attending.
Hiring a band or DJ to perform at the building dedication ceremony helps set the tone for the event. Pick music that fits the circumstances. For a building like a library, choose jazz or classical. Heavy metal probably won't fit with most dedication ceremonies. If the building has been erected on school grounds, enlist the school marching band. Think of the guests and what music will elevate the day's events. Work within the budget. A harpist will be less expensive than a full orchestra.
Depending on the budget and time allocated for the dedication ceremony, choose a menu to feed the guests. Throw a luncheon or dinner before or after the ceremony. Hire a caterer or enlist a group of volunteers to cook the meal. Utilize a kitchen if one is available on site, or have the food delivered. Waiters, either paid or volunteers, can serve guests hors d'œuvres and champagne on trays. For large parties, which might include the entire community, budgetary limits probably won't allow for feeding everyone, so think of possibly having a brunch for VIPs and honored guests.
Venue and Setting Up
Take into account space before deciding on the guest list, making sure to have enough chairs for everyone. Use a podium and dais for honored guests and speakers. Hang banners to commemorate the event. Arrange for ample parking for guests. Potentially provide transportation for VIPs and honored guests. Set up a space for media and video cameras to film the ceremony. Get proper permits if streets need to be closed for the dedication. Since most events are planned months in advance, have a backup venue ready in case of bad weather.
Decide how the dedication ceremony will unfold. Ribbon cutting requires both the ribbon and a pair of scissors. Guest speakers will need advance notice to prepare their remarks, which can reflect upon the history and future of the building. Will there be a religious component, like a prayer or passage read from the Bible? Select readings reflecting the event. Decide if there will be ceremonial wine poured on the ground. For a building to be used by children, like a school, library or hospital, consider having a group of children sing a song or make decorations for the ceremony.