Etiquette

Change of budget and venue-need to cut guest list after STDS!

So this totally sucks and I hate contemplating cutting my guest list AFTER STD's were sent, but we are finding ourselves in quite the conundrum. My fiance and I were originally planning a wedding with 100 adults and 25 children. We sent out STDs a few months ago, and we still have 9 months to go for the wedding.

Recently, due to financial circumstances and a few unforseen things (me going back to school, our business not making enough and my family members jobs changing), we are entertaining the idea of limiting our guest list to parents/siblings/grandparents, cousins and aunts/uncles. It would be clear cut. If we switch our venue to my family member's back yard, it will only accomodate about 50 max anyway. That saves $1,500 on the venue rental!

I know friends will understand since we are limiting it strictly to family members. What I worry about is my fiance's extended family (who he hasn't talked to in years anyway!). What do you say?! Sorry, it's only close family due to budget constraints? What's the best way to handle this situation?

And no, sorry, I'm not doing a punch and cake reception. We were already planning a taco truck for cheap-cheap options and it's still too much $. We even moved it to the middle of the day, aren't doing favors, and limiting alcohol. Just need ideas on HOW to tell people. Thank you!! Laughing

Re: Change of budget and venue-need to cut guest list after STDS!

  • No matter how you put it, it's still going to disappoint people. Just tell people due to your financial situation you have to change you wedding plans.
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  • Yeah, haven't really been able to find a cheaper venue, it's in Santa Barbara where all my family members are, literally 25 of them, so it's definitely not the most cost effective location. We were planning on a state beach and it was still around 1,500.

    Not open to pushing off the date, mostly because our family members aren't going to accumulate a few thousand dollars more in a few months and we've been living off of 2,000 a month, so there's not much we can save from that standpoint, especially since we're without health insurance! Sorry, disappointing guests isn't more important than every day life.

    Thanks @ricksang, that's what I figured :)


  • I'd push back the date. Why is a pie and punch reception off the table? Remember, you want to hurt the least amount of people as possible (ie no one), so let's start brainstorming some easy money saving ideas now, okay?
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  • Also, if it helps we were originally having to plan this all on $5,000 and now it's much less. It's not like we had a 20k wedding planned and only have 10 now! haha. Thanks all!
  • In Response to Re: Change of budget and venue-need to cut guest list after STDS!:
    In Response to Re: Change of budget and venue-need to cut guest list after STDS! : It's not their responsibility to pay for your wedding in the first place... If I had already sent STDs, I would have a cake/punch reception.  It may not be ideal, but I'd rather have a lower key event than hurt my family by uninviting them.
    Posted by ILoveMilkDuds
    I agree... I think there may be ways to cut down in other areas in order to accommodate those who have already received STDs. It would really hurt people to be uninvited. 
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  • Wow, I wasn't really saying my family is responsible for paying for my wedding, merely that I obviously can't save a few thousand dollars given what I make each month (unless I want to wait a few years but that's ridiculous) and I can't really ask my family to save it either. Hence why postponing it is not a good solution for me. Might as well just elope :)

    I wish I could just cut areas!

    So far we are having photography donated by family member, I already have my dress, my grandma is making centerpieces, family members are pitching in to bring food for cocktails, beer kegs are donated, using ipod for music, moms hubby is doing the dance floor, and friends have speakers. We are doing it in the middle of the day to save on lighting, heaters and formality.

    Problem areas:
    Venue: $1,500
    Taco Truck: $7.50 per person, about $1,200
    Tables/Plastic Chairs/White Table Cloths/Umbrellas: $1,500
    Alcohol: $200
    Flowers: $300 and DIY
    Groom's Attire: $100
    Dress Alterations: $200
    Wedding party gifts?
    Ice: $150
    Cake/Cupcakes: $100

    Already way over budget and not even addressing ANY decor.

    I think people are going to have to be disappointed and just get over it. I would!
  • Sounds like you sent out STDs too early (6-9 months is the norm for those).   Nothing you can do about that now, except try to accomodate those people on your new, smaller budget.    Honestly, 100 adults and 25 kids is possible on a few thousand dollars.     If you go to the Budget Brides board you will see people doing a LOT on a VERY small budget (which honestly is what you're up against).

    Step 1:  Find a cheap venue (or free!) that will fit all of your guests.  Outdoor is okay, but you will need to provide seating, so someplace that has seating built in would be better so you don't have to rent chairs.  Is there a community amphitheater that you could use?  Outdoor classroom at a park?  

    Step 2:   Cut everything that you don't NEED.  This mostly means decorations.  You're already not doing favors, so that will help.  No attendants (or one each) will help, unless you've already asked more people than that.   You may need to skip flowers, or find really cheap ones at Sams Club.

    Step 3:   DIY everything.  I'm talking iPod, amateur photographer friend, consignment shop dress (or see if you can borrow one from a friend or sister), beer and wine from Sams/Costco.   Budget Brides board has a TON of ideas on how to save.

    If you REALLY REALLY REALLY have to cut your guest list, then you will need to send out cancellation notices to people who have received STDs, then re-invite those who you wish to invite.  If you do this, I would strongly advise changing your date.  Regardless, people will find out that a Taco Truck was more important to you than their presence at your wedding.
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  • I'd eliminate table cloths and umbrellas all together as well as alcohol.  It will be the middle of the day, people don't NEED to be drinking then (aside from the kegs you said have been donated).

    You could also make your own cupcakes.  I used to work for a cupcake bakery and none of our recipies were our own.  We got them from Magnolias Bakery online (I'll include the link below).  Then you'd only have to pay for ingredients.

    I don't think you need much decor if you are getting married on a beach, it will already be beautiful (P.S. I had no idea it cost that much to get a permit to marry on the beach).

    I'd also try to get a better deal of florals (PP suggested Costco) and perhaps even pass on bridal party gifts, just write them a really meaningful card.

    I know you are really against it, but it's incredibly rude to uninvite guests.  If you need to reduce to a cake/punch reception, I think it is your obligation to do so.  I don't know if I could continue being friends with someone who uninvited me.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/saras-secrets/magnolias-vanilla-cupcake-recipe/index.html
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    image 225 Invited so far!
    image 148 Are ready to party!
    image 77 Will be missing out!
    image 0 Are MIA!
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    There are tons of outdoor venues in Santa Barbara and Montecito.  Have you check all of the parks?  Santa Barbara City College?  I have a friend who got married on campus there.  How about a VFW or Lions Club hall?  Social hall of a church? Santa Barbara Bowl?  What kind of research have you done?



  • DramaGeekDramaGeek
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    member
    edited December 2011
    Here you go - I just cut your venue rental in half

    Other park options to look into - no price listed on the website, but they all say they're availble on 9/22/12

    I would also suggest looking into renting space at UCSB.  I don't know what their rental fee is (couldn't find it online) but their furniture rental is very reasonable.  White chairs are $0.95 each and 60" rounds, for seating 8 people, are $7.75 each.  That would mean you'd be at about $235 for tables and chairs if every single one of your invited guests showed up.  There's no way tablecloths are going to run you another $1300, so I would think at max you'd be looking at $500 for furniture instead of the $1500 you have budgeted.

    Based on what you said - moving to a family members home to lose the $1500 venue fee and cutting guests to 50 so you only pay $7.50x50 in food, you are looking to cut about $2000 from your budget.  If you use one of the venues I posted that rents for $700 or less, you just need to cut another $1300.  I would cut the flowers and alcohol for another $500.  Cut the food and do a cake and punch reception and you can still afford to invite everyone you have already invited.

    If there is no way to do it, then I suggest a very small ceremony with parents, siblings and grandparents ONLY followed by a nice dinner, hosted by you, for those guests.  In that case, send out new postcards that say something like "The marriage of Jane and John will not take place as previously announced.  Instead, the couple will be wed in a private ceremony."

  • Simply FatedSimply Fated
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited December 2011
    "I think people are going to have to be disappointed and just get over it. I would!" That's exactly what you should say! I suggest making it a status update on Facebook. And then get started on planning your decor because obviously that's way more important than hurting anyones feelings. At least your priorities are in order! Good luck!
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  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    In Response to Re: Change of budget and venue-need to cut guest list after STDS!:
    Here you go - I just cut your venue rental in half http://www.countyofsb.org/parks/parks02.aspx?id=13808 http://www.countyofsb.org/parks/parks02.aspx?id=13822 Other park options to look into - no price listed on the website, but they all say they're availble on 9/22/12 http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/eRecreation/Facilities/FacilitiesDetail.asp?FacilityId=174 http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/eRecreation/Facilities/FacilitiesDetail.asp?FacilityId=16 http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/eRecreation/Facilities/FacilitiesDetail.asp?FacilityId=29 http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/eRecreation/Facilities/FacilitiesDetail.asp?FacilityId=109 http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/eRecreation/Facilities/FacilitiesDetail.asp?FacilityId=101 http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/eRecreation/Facilities/FacilitiesDetail.asp?FacilityId=5 http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/eRecreation/Facilities/FacilitiesDetail.asp?FacilityId=8 I would also suggest looking into renting space at UCSB.  I don't know what their rental fee is (couldn't find it online) but their furniture rental is very reasonable.  White chairs are $0.95 each and 60" rounds, for seating 8 people, are $7.75 each.  That would mean you'd be at about $235 for tables and chairs if every single one of your invited guests showed up.  There's no way tablecloths are going to run you another $1300, so I would think at max you'd be looking at $500 for furniture instead of the $1500 you have budgeted. Based on what you said - moving to a family members home to lose the $1500 venue fee and cutting guests to 50 so you only pay $7.50x50 in food, you are looking to cut about $2000 from your budget.  If you use one of the venues I posted that rents for $700 or less, you just need to cut another $1300.  I would cut the flowers and alcohol for another $500.  Cut the food and do a cake and punch reception and you can still afford to invite everyone you have already invited. If there is no way to do it, then I suggest a very small ceremony with parents, siblings and grandparents ONLY followed by a nice dinner, hosted by you, for those guests.  In that case, send out new postcards that say something like "The marriage of Jane and John will not take place as previously announced.  Instead, the couple will be wed in a private ceremony."
    Posted by DramaGeek
    The Santa Barbara courthouse is beautiful, that would be a great location for a wedding.  It's also near a ton of hotels and right off the main street, plus only a few blocks from the beach.  I can also picture quite a few places on the UCSB campus that would be good for a wedding - the green by the faculty club is popular for events on campus, or in/by the UCen. 

    OP, if there's any way you can make it happen, you really should stick to your original guest list.  The rule is that everyone who gets an STD gets an invitation.  You risk alienating a lot of your friends and family, and it's ridiculous to do so if it's not absolutely necessary.



  • OP: I agree you should not cut from the guest list at this point. Some may have already booked hotels or asked for days off of work for your wedding. That might not be something they'd easily get over, as you suggested.

    I understand wanting to have your dream wedding, and feeling like cutting the list is the best route towards that. But it's not. It's rude and you will come off as rude if you do it. There are better alternatives! :)

    I suggest you push back your date. I know you said this wasn't an option because you wouldn't be saving any more money - but what it WOULD do is give you an opportunity to find better deals on the things you want, and you'd have time to rework this wedding within your new budget. Then you'd be able to accommodate all of the guests originally invited - because a Save the Date IS an invitation - and still have the wedding you originally wanted.

    Please check out what other posters have suggested - it seems like some of them went out of their way to find suitable alterntives for you, and I think that's really nice of them :)
  • In Response to Re: Change of budget and venue-need to cut guest list after STDS!:
    Guys.  She needs her taco truck, okay?  And the flowers.  And the groom has to have a hundred dollar outfit.  He can't wear a suit he already has, or BORROW ONE, EW. Hey, OP, at least you're being balls out honest that you care more about things like that than offending guests
    Posted by EaglesBride2012
    Well, to be fair... it's really just her FI's extended family (but he never sees them!! *stamps feet*) she's wanting to uninvite. So it's not like she'd be offending her own family or anything. And that's all that matters, duh.
  • I agree with the others that you should really try to make some cuts and find a different venue that will hold all of your original guest list OR postpone. You might have to give up some of your wants for the wedding but that's life. 

    The other thing you could do (but still isn't the best option) is to cancel the current plans completely and do a private parent/sibling/grandparent ONLY ceremony and take them out to dinner afterwards or cook for them.  You can a civil ceremony in a courthouse or in a living room for very little money.  As a guest, I would understand receiving a cancellation notice for the planned the wedding so that the B&G could have an intimate ceremony instead with their parents and siblings only as long as there were absolutely NO exceptions to include aunts, uncles, friends, etc.  Once exceptions are made, it becomes a sticky issue of  "labeling" your guests into important enough/not important enough, KWIM?  If you were to go this route, you would need to give up any parties and celebrations with people not invited to the ceremony.  Again, this is still not the ideal solution.
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  • OP, I'm in the same boat - change in job status, no insurance, change in budget and venue, and my STD"s have already been sent.  We are downgrading to an afternoon cake, punch, and finger foods reception - venue TBD, but any venue will be less than $500.  Photography is booked, so I can't cancel that, but cake, flowers, rentals, alcohol, etc, are all up in the air - I have plans to keep them cheap.  Truthfully, the alcohol is the most expensive part.  I'm going to put the champagne toast into my budget, and tell parents that if alcohol is important to them, then they can help pay for that.  However, I'm not asking them to pay - big dfference.  I wanted my venue, and what we had planned, so much.  I cried when I realized I could no longer have it, but I'd rather have what we can afford.

    Do what the PP's said and don't cut your guest list at all.  Find a cheaper location, have it midday, and cut the food down to cake punch and apps.  Forgo the taco truck.  This can be done - you just have to realize that the guests have been invited, and you can't uninvite them and keep your reception how you want it.

    You cannot have your cake and eat it too, in this situation, but that's exactly what you want.
  • Is anyone else wondering why ICE costs $150? It's water. When we throw a backyard BBQ, we make ice for a week and put it in baggies in the freezer. 

    If you sent me a STD, then changed your mind just because you wanted your big party instead of punch/cake, I'd be really upset. So prepare for that business.
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  • If sombody sent me a save the date then said I wasn't invited, I would assume they only wanted a gift from me.

    Invite everybody you sent the STD's to and make it work!  Costo sandwhich tray is a cheaper option for food if you must do something besides cake and punch.
  • What is a taco truck? For $1200, I'd cut that...
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    In Response to Re: Change of budget and venue-need to cut guest list after STDS!:
    If sombody sent me a save the date then said I wasn't invited, I would assume they only wanted a gift from me. Invite everybody you sent the STD's to and make it work!  Costo sandwhich tray is a cheaper option for food if you must do something besides cake and punch.
    Posted by Cortney1982
    True, and there is a Costco in Santa Barbara (Goleta).

    Really, OP, there are plenty of ways to make this work.  How sad that you're apparently so happily willing to throw your guests under the bus.

    On the other hand, great demonstration of how sending STDs aren't always a good idea and can back you into a corner.



  • In Response to Re: Change of budget and venue-need to cut guest list after STDS!:
    In Response to Re: Change of budget and venue-need to cut guest list after STDS! : True, and there is a Costco in Santa Barbara (Goleta). Really, OP, there are plenty of ways to make this work.  How sad that you're apparently so happily willing to throw your guests under the bus. On the other hand, great demonstration of how sending STDs aren't always a good idea and can back you into a corner.
    Posted by Viczaesar
    Or under her $1200 taco truck.
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  • In Response to Re: Change of budget and venue-need to cut guest list after STDS!:
    Wow, I wasn't really saying my family is responsible for paying for my wedding, merely that I obviously can't save a few thousand dollars given what I make each month (unless I want to wait a few years but that's ridiculous) and I can't really ask my family to save it either. Hence why postponing it is not a good solution for me. Might as well just elope :) I wish I could just cut areas! So far we are having photography donated by family member, I already have my dress, my grandma is making centerpieces, family members are pitching in to bring food for cocktails, beer kegs are donated, using ipod for music, moms hubby is doing the dance floor, and friends have speakers. We are doing it in the middle of the day to save on lighting, heaters and formality. Problem areas: Venue: $1,500 Taco Truck: $7.50 per person, about $1,200 Tables/Plastic Chairs/White Table Cloths/Umbrellas: $1,500 Alcohol: $200 Flowers: $300 and DIY Groom's Attire: $100 Dress Alterations: $200 Wedding party gifts? Ice: $150 Cake/Cupcakes: $100 Already way over budget and not even addressing ANY decor. I think people are going to have to be disappointed and just get over it. I would!
    Posted by jesshlzr
    Based on your numbers, I'd say the easiest place for you to cut money out is your venue and food. It may not sound like it, but if you did appetizers/finger food and maybe a few gallons of sangria (hello boxed wine!), I think you would save a fair amount of money. Make little sandwiches, dips and crackers, cheese etc the night before, and borrow some fridge space from friends. Refrigerate what you can beforehand to cut down on ice costs (I'd say maybe 10 bags tops ($30) for a signature drink and sodas) And you can def. save on flowers (only you get bouquet, or do small ones for BMs or DIY)

    I really think you should consider hosting a scaled-back wedding and invite all of the guests you'd sent STDs to (sounds ew haha) We briefly though about uninviting people just from the sheer stress of the cost, but I'm glad we didn't.
    This is a great time for you to really turn to your friends and family for help- not necessarily financially, but for help cutting costs with DIY food and decorations. I think you will regret not having your friends there to share your wedding day with you. And some of your invitees may not show.
    Good luck!
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