Wedding Etiquette Forum

AHH - too few people coming and not meeting venue quota - what to do?

Hi all,My fiancé and I are in a bit of a pickle. When we booked our venue, our venue coordinator (whom we LOVE) told us that the decline rate for the venue is lower than average -- about 13%. The minimum number of guests for the venue is 125,  so just to be safe, we invited 155 (that would allow a 25% decline rate and we would still be fine). Well, we've just gotten all our RSVPs back and we've come in at 109 -- a 30% decline rate. We think a lot of problem is the economy, since many of our friends would have to fly to attend.So we don't know what to do. We're going to be paying for 16 guests who aren't there, which is a cost of about $5,000. That makes us so sad. I'm going to talk to my coordinator tomorrow but I'm guessing she'll tell us she has to charge us. My fiancé and I are frustrated that we didn't invite more people, but we really thought we were inviting enough to hit the quota. He says we should invite more people now, but of course I know that's a big faux-pas, and we'd have to get answers from them in the next few days, which doesn't seem fair either. So I guess we will just have to pay and deal with it.Does anyone have any thoughts as to how we could handle this or what we should do? Or any advice as to how to talk to our coordinator? Thank you, all.Cheers,Melinda

Re: AHH - too few people coming and not meeting venue quota - what to do?

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    If you still have to pay the money regardless could you put it towards some nice upgrades instead of throwing it into a pit of nothingness?  Like upgrade the bar or linens or something?
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    do you have coworkers and any casual friends, who you could explain the situation to and it wouldn't be awkard that you didn't invite them in the first place, and tell them it would be fun if they came now?  i see what you're saying about that being a faux pas tho... but i wouldn't be offended if someone invited me later to a wedding, bc they had extra room, as long as it wasn't someone i was SUPER close to in the first place.
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    Can you upgrade the food to something nicer so you'd still hit the minimum she wants?
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    ditto pp's... most placed have a dollar amount as the minimum quota instead of headcount. You should be able to upgrade your food or drinks and make the minimum amount hopefully! GL!
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    definitely look into upgrades for the 109this is the sucky thing about venues with minimum numbers - it's tough to predict what your guests will do
    The Bee Hive Est. June 30, 2007
    "So I sing a song of love, Julia"

    BFAR:We Defined Our Own Success!

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    Ooh, excellent idea about the upgrades. I think we could possibly upgrade to a nicer wine / alcohol selection (I believe the food is all the same). And yeah, we'll brainstorm about friends we could invite last minute. I mean, the friends who aren't invited know they aren't invited (it's not like our wedding is a secret), so it may not be rude for us to explain the situation and ask if they would like to come. THANKS!! You guys always come to the rescue...CheersM
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    In order to hit our minimum, we had to pay full price ($92) for kids and vendors. It was annoying, but at least we weren't paying for empty seats. Could you talk to her about some upgrades, as PP has said?
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    I would say extend invitations to family and friends that didn't make the first cut. People understand in this day and age with budgets and guest lists.
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    ask the venue if you can upgrade something.  the bar, cocktail hour there must be something to upgrade? If not, honestly just do not sweat it.  You are not paying more than you expected to, there just is not random people at your wedding you really do not care about.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    The cost for 16 people is $5000?  Over $300pp seems like a lot to me.I agree with all the others to try to upgrade other things.
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    Yes- for upgrades- maybe you could do a martini bar, a champagne toast, sweet table, late night snack, etc.  Talk to your venue about what add-ons they might have.
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