Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Issue with fitting guests

 There was some advice that I should rent a tent, or have a back-up tent, but where we live, and the distance between the venue and the rental place is a little out there. The tent alone would easily add about three thousand to our cost. The church is extremely important to my fiance, he has strong beliefs in the church, but he does not want to get married in the same church as his divorced parents had. I understand that, and I respect that.
We found a church in the near-by town that we may use if it rains. This is not the church that his parents were married in, so all is good there.
Now we are having another issue. I sat down this morning and made a wonderful excel chart for the guest list. The min is 68 and the max is 140 for guests. Now, we only fit 64 people on the first floor so that all the guests are sitting perpendicular to the head table. Now, we could make a tight squeeze and fit 90, but then the tables would be sitting parallel to the head table. Then, there is the problem of a weird seating arrangement with backs guests facing the head table. Now, for the second part, all the people that we can not fit downstairs we have to through upstairs, which I believe is not right, but my fiance see no problem with it.
We cut down the guest lists horribly, and our problem is that he comes from a divorced family with tons of step-siblings and half-siblings. Then my family is still married, but it is just flat out huge because of all my dad's siblings. The other problem is that we have work environments that are 'family' environments. He works for a city fire department and then he is on the volunteer family department in the town that we live. We all know each other way to well and he has been with them for years. Then, with my job I work at a preschool, and we are one big family as well. We are extremely close and there for one another no matter what, so it would kill me not saying that they could come and it would hurt them.
If thing's don't work out, then we have to find a different venue and we are out of $400. My fiance just used the word of mouth with the venue instead of signing papers, so we are in a little of a rough spot. He told us three hundred, but the other day on the phone he said 64 comfortable on the bottom, 90 for a tight squeeze, and fifty for the second floor but seventy for a tight squeeze.
Need some help here please.

Re: Issue with fitting guests

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    edited January 2013
    Could you skip a head table and just do a small sweetheart table? That might help with the table issue. You could seat your WP near you or among the guests. Additionally, you can do what's called a "Kings Table", which is placed among the guests instead of at the head of the room.

    Other than cutting the guest list or finding another venue, I'm not sure what to tell you. Personally, I wouldn't want to sit upstairs because I wouldn't feel like part of the gathering (unless it's an open floor plan and the upstairs is more like a loft/balcony).
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    I'm confused. Am I reading this wrong? If the venue had told you it would fit 300 originally and are now telling you a different number, why can't you ask for your money back since you need a larger space? Seems like they were not upfront with you. I wouldn't want half my guests on another floor either. Kind of splits up the party.
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    That sounds like a good idea, but were we are putting the head table will be later the dance floor, if we have a dance. We are seating all the parents and grandparents and then we only have the matron of honor (my sister) and his best friend sitting at the table. We also have the pastor, but if we put everyone with the whole group, we are going to have even less space. The stage is blocked off by a rail. My fiance is fighting hard not to change it, and I'm about to just say screw it and go to the court house and not even have a wedding. It upsets me, but I am not fighting him about this issue. This has been going on for months, and he doesn't care where people sit. His thinking is if people are really there for us they will not care where they sit or how they are sitting.
    I provided a link below of the venue, if you go under weddings and you can see the couple's head table. You can only have four rows of two tables or for a tight squeeze three rows of three tables for the first floor.

    http://thegrainerylodge.com/
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_issue-with-fitting-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:0763a34f-6c76-4d67-91fe-840c551dc0d6Post:8e2250f6-4fcc-4ea4-9d5c-887a21f3be43">Re: Issue with fitting guests</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm confused.<strong> Am I reading this wrong? If the venue had told you it would fit 300 originally and are now telling you a different number, why can't you ask for your money back since you need a larger space?</strong> Seems like they were not upfront with you. I wouldn't want half my guests on another floor either. Kind of splits up the party.
    Posted by Lored[/QUOTE]

    Because nothing is in writing.

    Look, OP, having some people downstairs and some people upstairs really isn't cool.  I think you   should try to ask for your money back, and if you can't get it, then I would personally eat it and find another venue, even though that really sucks.  Because honestly?  A place that doesn't do a contract and lies/miscommunicates about how many people fit makes me nervous.  I would not trust them to come through with anything.  What if they double book you?  You have no legal recourse.  You're screwed.

    image
    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
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    Ask him shy HE doesn't care about how or where his nearest and dearest are sitting.  Does he have a grasp that the reception is for the guests and not for him?
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    It sounds like you really need to find a new venue.  Can you explain the need to your FI in these terms- "If it doesn't matter where the guests sit, they'll understand, then how about we put all of your family (FI's family) on the second floor where they can't see anything?"  Maybe then he wil see the how wrong it is.

    I hope you can get your deposit back.
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    Your FI needs to put himself in the guests' situation. He would not enjoy himself at a wedding where he didn't have a place to sit or had to sit in another room. This day isn't just about the two of you; you still have to take your guests' comfort into consideration. My friend asked people to sit outside on picnic blankets when she ran out of room in her reception venue (a barn), and people are still pissed at her about it. Most people left halfway through dinner.

    You are right. You need to find a new venue. Since you don't have a contract with this one, you won't have to pay them any kind of penalty.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    The reception is all about the guests; their comfort should be your first concern (the purpose of a reception is to receive the guests of the ceremony, not to celebrate the bride and groom).



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    I say eat your $400 and find a new venue.  If this place is shady enough to be changing things up on you and refuses to give you a contract, you are going to find yourself in even deeper trouble down the road.  Chalk it up to a lesson learned that you always need to sign a contract before turning money over to vendors.

    And seriously - this is a hill to die on in my opinion.  Your FI needs to be more accommodating.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_issue-with-fitting-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:0763a34f-6c76-4d67-91fe-840c551dc0d6Post:45f8ed05-3fd1-4bb1-9d03-0549bf3384b9">Re: Issue with fitting guests</a>:
    [QUOTE]The reception is all about the guests; their comfort should be your first concern (the purpose of a reception is to receive the guests of the ceremony, not to celebrate the bride and groom).
    Posted by Viczaesar[/QUOTE]

    I agree with you a 100%. See but his Dad's side of the family does not see it this way and neither does my family. He keeps on telling me I can change it, but then he says I would like to have it there. I even tried having the service there and going to another place for the reception and he gets upset by that. He is more of a Groomzilla then anything else right now. He refuses to wear a tux and he says it's just about me and him the only two people that he cares about his me and him. Just imagine a stubborn old country boy and trying to argue with him being stuck in his old hillbilly ways.
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    Send him here.  We will set him straight.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    Well, I lost the fight, my own family is on his side. I guess I'll just have to suck it up and move on. It's not about the wedding, its about getting married. Now, I have to get creative. I was thinking of maybe having table games and coloring for the kids since I know there will be a good handful. There is a playground on the property as well. It's not worth fighting over, in all honesty, I have not had one single thing go the way I want to for this wedding. I'm just going through my hands up in the air, and just let it go. I guess its my fault wanting to have a nice formal wedding.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_issue-with-fitting-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:0763a34f-6c76-4d67-91fe-840c551dc0d6Post:4cd5d755-0dd0-4b5f-a8cb-43de93cc7633">Re:Issue with fitting guests</a>:
    [QUOTE]So your FI and your entire family are fine with treating your guests like crap? That would be a serious issue for me.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    Me too.  That really sucks that your family doesn't have your back.  I'd tell him that if he insists on using the space, his family has to be among the ones that sit in a separate room or other bad place, and he has to be the one to explain to them why and take the rap.
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    Looks like you're going to have to cut your guest list now.  
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_issue-with-fitting-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:0763a34f-6c76-4d67-91fe-840c551dc0d6Post:ef83e545-f244-4501-af8f-4e974487d59b">Issue with fitting guests</a>:
    [QUOTE] There was some advice that I should rent a tent, or have a back-up tent, but where we live, and the distance between the venue and the rental place is a little out there. The tent alone would easily add about three thousand to our cost. The church is extremely important to my fiance, he has strong beliefs in the church, but he does not want to get married in the same church as his divorced parents had. I understand that, and I respect that. We found a church in the near-by town that we may use if it rains. This is not the church that his parents were married in, so all is good there. Now we are having another issue. I sat down this morning and made a wonderful excel chart for the guest list. The min is 68 and the max is 140 for guests. Now, we only fit 64 people on the first floor so that all the guests are sitting perpendicular to the head table. Now, we could make a tight squeeze and fit 90, but then the tables would be sitting parallel to the head table. Then, there is the problem of a weird seating arrangement with backs guests facing the head table. Now, for the second part, all the people that we can not fit downstairs we have to through upstairs, which I believe is not right, but my fiance see no problem with it. We cut down the guest lists horribly, and our problem is that he comes from a divorced family with tons of step-siblings and half-siblings. Then my family is still married, but it is just flat out huge because of all my dad's siblings. The other problem is that we have work environments that are 'family' environments. He works for a city fire department and then he is on the volunteer family department in the town that we live. We all know each other way to well and he has been with them for years. Then, with my job I work at a preschool, and we are one big family as well. We are extremely close and there for one another no matter what, so it would kill me not saying that they could come and it would hurt them. If thing's don't work out, then we have to find a different venue and we are out of $400. My fiance just used the word of mouth with the venue instead of signing papers, so we are in a little of a rough spot. He told us three hundred, but the other day on the phone he said 64 comfortable on the bottom, 90 for a tight squeeze, and fifty for the second floor but seventy for a tight squeeze. Need some help here please.
    Posted by grizzly04[/QUOTE]
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    I hate to say this- but I think you may want to rethink getting married until you and FI get some couples counseling on how to communicate and compromise.  The fact that he is willing to dismiss your concerns about being rude to your guests or apparently comprise on any issue related to be wedding is a red flag.  You are opening yourself up to a lifetime of being pushed into decisions by your FI and your families that you don't agree with, even when you are in the right.  How will this translate into raising your family and any other major decisions?
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