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We thought we were inviting 50 less than we apparently need to invite!

So our venue (church fellowship room) sort of lied to us and said they could hold 250 when they only have tables for 200. We sent out STDs to 111 addresses and figured about 230 people, but now that we're working invitations, FI realized all his cousins he thought were about 15-16 are actually more like 18-19 with SOs... pushing our guest list to over 280! It's a little late in the game for changing venues... the fire marshall says the venue will hold 750 (I can't imagine how!) so I guess it's just tables that are the issue. I just needed to vent, but what would you do?? My mom is going to FLIP out. I think we can manage budget-wise. I'm stressing. :) Any comments are welcome!

Re: We thought we were inviting 50 less than we apparently need to invite!

  • Can you use differently shaped tables? Long banquet tables can seat more people in the same amount of space that round tables can, for the most part. 
  • Avion22Avion22 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    Do you have a contract with the church hall?  

    Do THEY restrict you to 200 people?  Or only have tables/chairs for 200?  If the contract promised tables/chairs to seat 250, then they are obligated to provide that.  If there is no contract, then it sounds like you'll be renting more tables/chairs for your guests.
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  • Is the problem that there is no room for more tables or just that they don't have the tables? You may have to look into renting additional tables/chairs to seat them all.

    Another thing to think about is how many people will actually attend out of the number you invite. There's a lot of different formulas out there if you google it, as far as how to estimate what percentage of your guest list will actually attend. I've invited 200 people, but I'm planning on about 150, which would be 25% not attending.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Avion22Avion22 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_we-thought-we-were-inviting-50-less-than-we-apparently-need-to-invite?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:42938501-4513-4bd8-b99b-e85f33b1fd93Post:39bfbacc-b86d-4f26-bc9d-589456e265c0">Re: We thought we were inviting 50 less than we apparently need to invite!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Is the problem that there is no room for more tables or just that they don't have the tables? You may have to look into renting additional tables/chairs to seat them all. Another thing to think about is how many people will actually attend out of the number you invite. There's a lot of different formulas out there if you google it, as far as how to estimate what percentage of your guest list will actually attend. I've invited 200 people, but I'm planning on about 150, which would be 25% not attending.
    Posted by finleyac[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Just a note to be cautious with "formulas" that suposedly predict how many people will attend your wedding.   You really should plan to have the space and budget for 100%.  Even though your mom says that Aunt Margaret will never fly down from Canada, she might decide this is the perfect time to catch up with the rest of the family, and decide to come.    So at least make sure that you have an OPTION to accomodate everyone before the invitations go out.  If some people can't make it, then you'll have budget and space to spare.

    </div>
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  • Agree with Avion (again) that you can't count on any formulas.  My DD had 96% attendance rate at her wedding in the middle of a Michigan Winter.  ootmother's DD had more like 99% attendance and I think she has said they invited 200 people.

    OP - take a good hard look at your guest list.  If you can truly only fit 200 then you need to make some tough choices.  As a MOB I'd be flipping too!!  Don't overinvite and don't count on any formula.  ootmother and I would have been in serious trouble if we had done that!
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited May 2012
    Your venue did not lie to you.   All venues have different maximums for different types of events.  For example: A cocktail reception does not need as many tables and chairs so you can fit more people in the room.  A seminar doesn't need a dance floor so you can add more chairs.  Buffets needs tables to display the food, sit-downs dinners do not.  That gives you room for more tables. 

    In addition to that the venue is completely within their right to limit their numbers well below the what the fire Marshall says are save.   While the room might be big enough to hold 'x' amount of people, maybe the kitchen is not big enough to handle that amount?  There are ton of other reasons why they don't want to max out the capacity.

    Anyway, I can't wrap my head around not knowing the ages of cousins to the point you need to add 50 people.  That's crazy.  Did you consult your FILs on the list? 

     At this point I guess you need to ask the venue about renting extra tables and chairs if there truly the room to put them.






    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. 
  • Dinner served family style or buffets will need less space than a plate/served dinner. If you are doing plated/served dinner the waiters need more room to move. If it is family style, they need less room because they aren't moving between the tables as much, the same if you do buffet.  If you were considering having a plated/served dinner you might consider doing family style or buffet and be able to squeeze in a few more tables.   DD had round tables around the room, the band was at the far end.  They had their "head table" down the middle of the room and it was long and narrow, not round. They seated wedding party & dates on either side. They were seated in the middle on one side.  This allowed the entire wedding party and dates/spouses to be seated together and took up less room.

    The cake cutting was in an another room so while all the guests were watching that, the ead table was removed, the round tables that had been in front of the band were moved where the head tables had been. That freed up dancing room.  Extra chairs were placed along the sides of the room for anyone wanting a quick place to sit.

    It worked very well, allowed them to seat more for dinner by using what became the dance floor.

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_we-thought-we-were-inviting-50-less-than-we-apparently-need-to-invite?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:42938501-4513-4bd8-b99b-e85f33b1fd93Post:d6c25630-51d4-46ad-bdc7-07675371c512">We thought we were inviting 50 less than we apparently need to invite!</a>:
    [QUOTE]So our venue (church fellowship room) sort of lied to us and said they could hold 250 when they only have tables for 200. <strong>We sent out STDs to 111 addresses and figured about 230 people, but now that we're working invitations, </strong>FI realized all his cousins he thought were about 15-16 are actually more like 18-19 with SOs... pushing our guest list to over 280! It's a little late in the game for changing venues... the fire marshall says the venue will hold 750 (I can't imagine how!) so I guess it's just tables that are the issue. I just needed to vent, but what would you do?? My mom is going to FLIP out. I think we can manage budget-wise. I'm stressing. :) Any comments are welcome!
    Posted by batfacepattermonth[/QUOTE]

    Honestly, you need to make cuts to the guest list or find a new venue if there is absolutely no way for them to figure out seating everybody by trying different tables or something. Do NOT rely on the "decline formulas" floating around on the internet to just solve this problem for you ... you don't want to end up being the wedding that had 100% attendance and no way to accommodate everybody because Google told you only 73% would show up.

    Anybody that received an STD at this point needs to receive an invitation-just need to point that out before you make any cuts to your guest list. If there's anybody you didn't send them to, think long and hard about actually inviting them at this point. Also, if you were originally planning on letting people bring their children, if the STD was only addressed to the parents ("Mr. and Mrs. Smith" as opposed to "The Smith Family"), cutting the kids might be another option to consider.

    *I felt sorry for my husband before I met him. Take a number.*
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_we-thought-we-were-inviting-50-less-than-we-apparently-need-to-invite?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:42938501-4513-4bd8-b99b-e85f33b1fd93Post:4a107a73-359a-4143-a949-3709fb299fab">Re:We thought we were inviting 50 less than we apparently need to invite!</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:We thought we were inviting 50 less than we apparently need to invite!: This is a great suggestion. <strong>You can also do seating around the edge of the room as a last result. As a guest, I'd rather have a chair without a table than no chair at all</strong>. But if you haven't sent invites yet, my first inclination would be to trim the guest list.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    If I were a guest and had to eat my meal on a chair along the side of the room without a table....overlooking other people who were fortunate enough to be assigned a table....I'd feel it was a tiered wedding and I was a second class guest.  I would also be incredibly  mad and feel that the bride was all about gifts and wanted to squeeze in as many people as she could. 

    I think the OP really needs to figure out the seating now.  If the venue doesn't have longer tables, find out about renting them.  Or change the style.  Instead of a sitdown, have a cocktail reception. Or, like mentioned, trim that guest list!
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