Wedding Etiquette Forum

A bit of a vent

So, based on what I had read here, plan for 100% attendance.  Despite wanting a small wedding, mine and FI's parents are funding the entire shebang.  FI's parents had a ridiculously large guest list......around 120 people, not including any of FI's friends.  Mine was much smaller, but in total, we invited around 200 people.  Knowing we had a fairly large number, we looked places that could accommodate that size, and FI and I were both sad because some places we would have really liked to have our ceremony/reception were out, because the capacity was only between 125-150.

Flash forward to 18 days before the wedding.....out of 200 invited, we are barely going to break 100 guests.  My side has had almost no declines, but out of my FIL's guest list, only 53 are coming.  Oddly enough, FI and I are going to get the wedding we want, because we only wanted around 100-115 guests, but, we booked a space that can hold up to 250, and I feel like we are barely going to fill it.  I'm also sad that if my FIL's had been more realistic about sending invites (we sent at least 15 to italy, where all those invited were 80+ years old) we could have booked a more intimate venue.  I think that they were counting on a lot of people who had attended FI's sisters weddings would come to ours, but his sisters got married 9 and 7 years ago, so a lot of the elderly people who came to theirs have aged, and travel is out of the question for them (out of 120 guests for his sisters' wedding, about 75 came to both events).  Anyway, not much to be done about it now, I just wanted to vent a bit that we now have this huge reception space, and I feel like we will struggle to make it not look empty.

Re: A bit of a vent

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    kipnuskipnus member
    First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited June 2013
    I think you're going to enjoy having a more intimate wedding. Are there some partitions/screens that could be put up to section off an area and make things seem cozier?
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    Maybe you can ask your reception site to arrange the venue in way to better minimize your space. Also expand your dance floor and maybe ask the caterer to add a fruit/ cookie table to take up space. since you have to pay for fewer people. I know the inlaws' lack of foresight is frustrating but remember the day is about you and your FI. You can have the small intimate wedding you wanted and spend more time with each guest!
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    Can you sit say 8 people at a 10 top so the tables themselves fill the room a bit more? I doubt anyone will mind the extra seating room. 
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    My venue can hold up to 200 people I think and we're only having around 100. Talk to your venue - they should have some ideas for making the space feel not-so-empty.
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    We had a room that supposedly could fit 300. I had 75 guests and we filled the area. It'll be fine.
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    Our coordinator told us to expect 80 percent attendance. But I suppose it's better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.
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    At least you're getting the special feel you want! With the money you're saving by not hosting so many guests, maybe your parents can re-direct some fund to the florist, who can help fill the space w/ trees, etc.... (our rooom is also a little big, and that's working for us).


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    SB1512SB1512 member
    5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment First Anniversary
    Thanks for all the suggestions!  I'm feeling less upset about the space issue.  We can't move the bar, but we will have a bigger dance floor, and we will definitely do tables of 8 instead of 10.

    @scribe, I never said my in-laws did anything wrong.  What does upset me is that they said up front, based on attendance at their daughters weddings, this person and this person, etc wouldn't come, and the invites were just a courtesy (ie: people in italy, distant relatives, and people they were inviting because FI's parents believe weddings are tit for tat).  However, because I wanted to prepare for 100% attendance I planned a wedding in a space that could accommodate everyone.  Looking back, I wish FI and I (well, FI because it's his family) had pushed for wedding announcements to be sent instead of courtesy invites, which would have cut their list down to around 85 people probably, and we could have looked at some really neat places for a reception with a smaller guest list.

    But, as I said, what's done is done, so I can't do anything but make the best of it, and be happy that I am getting the small wedding I wanted from the start!
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