Missouri-Kansas City

Contacting reception sites

Hi all! We got engaged in October and I already made our guest list as I've been brainstorming about reception sites. I think that we are looking at 250 to 300. Our whole list right now is 392 people. Someone told me that the general rule is that 2/3 of the people invited actually go. Is this true?

So because we're are shooting for 250ish-300, I looked at places like Union Station, Sawyer Room, etc. I've seen photos for Berg Event Space, River Market Event Place and some others, but they seem to hold 150 - 200 and I think those are too small for me. (Even though they look great in photos.)

I'm looking at reception places that are rich and unique themselves and I don't have to go overboard with decorations. I'm also trying to look at places downtown or close to downtown because we will have guests from all over - some from Greenwood, MO ... some from Tonganoxie, KS.

MY QUESTION: do you know if these reception places will simply tell you the asking price if you just call or e-mail them and ask? Or do they want to set an appointment to have a consultation with them?

I am wondering because both Justin and I live and work now in Madison, WI, but we're planning a KC wedding since we're originally from KCMO! I won't be able to set up too many consultations unless I make them all the same day when I am back in town for Christmas or something.

I feel like it's easier to "shop around" right now to compare prices and information, considering that I live 400 mi. away, but most websites say "schedule an appointment" or they just don't say anything about pricing.

PS - Here are my favorites based on the pictures I've seen:
- Union Station
- Sawyer Room
- The Midland
- Grand Pavilion
- The Little Theatre

Thank you in advance for any advice! Cool

Re: Contacting reception sites

  • kelleyku05kelleyku05 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011

    Many places make you come in, but if you tell them your circumstances and have a "phone consultation" I think they should be willing to offer up the information. 
    Also, try to really nail down your guest list.  You never can tell how many people will actually come and you don't want to book a venue and then not have enough room.  I got lucky with my wedding...I had 175 on the guest list and booked a venue that could comfortably hold 150.  I had a lot of out of towners, so I knew many wouldn't be able to make it.  Little did I know that anything over 110 would be put in another room that had a doorway that ajoined to the main room!  Only 104 guests ended up coming so we were all able to be in the same area.

  • edited December 2011
    Always aim for the high end with your guest list because you can adjust your numbers after that.  Ask also to have you emailed the PDF layout to show you how tables will be set up for however many people, the bar, dance floor, etc. 
  • edited December 2011
    I live in San Jose California and am planning a KC wedding in June. I emailed vendors and basically told them that I was visiting ___ weekend and needed to know the price breakdown before deciding if we could visit or not. We ended up only visiting the ones we were serious about and that were in our budget. It worked out great! Our guest list is only 150 so we are going with the River Market Event Place and could not be happier!

    Another place you should look at is Californos - great for large crowds and they take care of everything! Plus, the prices are amazing. Their website is awful, but I highly recommend you stop by and se for yourself.

    Best of luck to you!
  • edited December 2011
    I am planning my Kansas City January 2012 wedding from Ohio.  I found that most reception places gave me a price breakdown or I could find it online.  I looked at a variety of venues from downtown hotels to bars with private rooms like The Cashew and all were easy to work with on pricing without me having to be there in person.  I also gave them the date and they were willing to "hold" it for me until I got a chance to visit in person.  I selected my reception venue about 11 months out (Feb 2011) and it's in the winter so I was not competing much with other brides. But keep in mind if you are planning a wedding during wedding season - decide on your venue as soon as you can. 

    Once we narrowed down the list, I contact people to set up appointments the next time I was going to be in KC.  As long as you research and plan ahead, you should be fine with wedding planning at a distance.  I've taken 3 trips to KC in the last year, met with multiple vendors, and have been able to finalize everything.

    We settled on Boulevard Brewery which only holds up to 180 chairs so it wouldn't be big enough for you.  Perhaps a hotel ballroom is your best bet.  

    As for your guest list, I hired a Day Of Coordinator and she said that typically only 60%-65% of your invites will actually attend your wedding.  As someone mentioned above, it also depends on how many out of towners you will have.  

    Good luck!
    Wedding bliss since January 14, 2012!
  • edited December 2011
    Also take a look at the Vox Theater - it's HUGE and I think pretty affordable. They typically post photos on their Facebook page post-event as well.

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