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Guest List & Fee Question

So in search of a new venue i have 1) come to the idea of cutting our guest list, keep in mind, FI and I both have large families, but my parents are also in the habit of inviting everyone and their mothers... and 2) noticed that many venues have higher fees than TGC had... that being said, Did you invite family members you were 99% were not going to come? (As in live far away and are in bad financial state and would not be able to travel) Also, first cousins that are closer (2.5 hours away), but you have not seen them in a long time and they have sort of fallen away from the family... Did you invite family members such as Great aunts and uncles and second cousins? (I know all of my great aunts/uncles and first cousins by name, but do not see them that often) I guess the easy answer is to just not invite them...but would it be weird to invite some aunts/uncles/cousins and not all of them? and pertaining to 2) What kind of administrative fee/club charge did your venue have? What is normal for this type of fee? I am coming across 18-20% which doesn't include gratuity, is that high?
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Re: Guest List & Fee Question

  • edited December 2011
    I did invite some aunts/uncles/cousins and not others.  I invited some cousins from different "families" for the sole purpose of transporting their parents, but left out some of their siblings.  This backfired in one case, the aunt isn't coming, but the cousins are anyway...  I haven't seen them in eons.  I never would have invited them if it weren't for the idea of driving his mother.  That decision is up to you, but if inviting all those extended family members means missing out on venues because your numbers are too big to fit in them, it's worth it to cut the list back.  The numbers you've mentioned are HUGE!  FI and I both have big families too - we are each the youngest of 6, and have tons of nieces and nephews...  Think about it this way: do you really want to share your most special day of your life with family you barely ever see?  Be careful with "fees" my venue includes their gratuity, but calls it a "Service Fee."  There is no fee to use the room itself, but it wasn't totally clear until I asked that the gratuity was going to be included. 
  • edited December 2011
    1) We are both from large families too, but our mothers' sides are small in both cases.  Anyways...we are inviting all aunts, uncles, and cousins.  No second cousins (they are all kids and our wedding is Adults Only).  Some great aunts/uncles, but only if they are close and our parents demand it.  I wouldn't bother inviting someone who you're sure is going to say no.  All you're doing is artificially inflating your guest list.2) We have looked at a few different places and the fees/taxes/gratuities add up to 27.25 and 29.25%, which is high but not unreasonable.  TGC was charging us 6.25% tax, 6% club charge and 14% gratuity, totaling 26.25%.  They also charged a room rental fee, which I'm not finding at the hotels I'm looking at.  All in all, I'm discovering that TGC was NOT the good deal I thought it was.  They had a lot of things that weren't included that most other places include in their prices.
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  • edited December 2011
    1) On my side of the family we are inviting some cousins and not others because we're just closer with some people.  On FI's side, they're really big into the whole "if you invite one you have to invite them all".  It sucks big time.  FI and I really tried to evaluate who we see, enjoy, and think we will be seeing in the future.As far as sending invites to people you don't think will come, sometimes it's just a nice gesture to let them know you're thinking about them.2)Our venue has 9% meals tax and 20% gratuity on top of the meal price.  This includes the room rental fees.
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  • Mrs BabsMrs Babs member
    edited December 2011
    Brookstone didn't have a room fee which was awesome! They do have 9% meals tax and 20% gratuity but I didn't find that to be completely unreasonable. We invited people that we weren't sure were going to come but sometimes you have to in these situations. We invited all aunts and uncles but there were some people that my parents added that DH didn't even know.

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  • edited December 2011
    I am not sure what you are looking for in a venue.. but we had our recpetion at the Westford Regency in Westford Ma.  They did not have any room rental fees, and depending on if you went with a package they included all taxes, fees and gratuity.  We went with their top package which included all of those fees and I found their prices very competitive, even lower than other places.  I forget when your date is, but they have a tent up from Memorial Day through Labor Day that fits 250 ish with a plated dinner.  We had 180 and had a ton of room.   They also have ballrooms, but I didn't really look at them because that wasn't what we were looking for.  Just a thought :)
  • Luv2Cook27Luv2Cook27 member
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    edited December 2011
    I am inviting great aunts and second cousins, however there are some Aunts, Uncles and First cousins I am not inviting, as I have not seen them in over 10 years.  I thought it was weird too, though I love my family, there are just some members that I would not feel comfortable having there.  As for the fee, At the Harris Pelham Inn, they charge 9% meals tax and 19% service charge (which they consider gratuity).  There is no room fee and they fit up to 275 people.Good Luck and Hope this helps
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  • edited December 2011
    I think the most important thing to keep in mind is being fair to either family.  My family is really tiny and my FI's is huge.  He is having a hard time understanding that not only do we have to make cuts, but that you have to be careful with who you cut, you can't cut one aunt but invite another.  We are even having trouble with his family understanding that "Adult only reception" means the 6 kids in his family can't come either.  I would just explain to those who might complain that the budget is small, my FI and I are paying 100% out of our pocket and I'm not having a bad honeymoon so that we can invite a relative we haven't seen in 10 years!  GL
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