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Not Enough Wedding Guests :(

Originally, we were planning on having a wedding with 100-125 guests. I ended up booking a reception site that was the best (and one of very few) options for our ceremony site. The problem is they required having 150 adult guests. So when we sent out invitations we invited everyone anyone wanted to (about 200 adults). Both of our families live a few hours away (we are having the wedding halfway in between where we live). Right now it looks like not enough people will come to be able to make it to the 150 minimum (we will need to pay for 150 regardless). The wedding is 2 months away...what would you gals do?

Re: Not Enough Wedding Guests :(

  • KGold80KGold80 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    How many guests short do you think you will be? Can you ask them to come down on the minimum? If not and they make you pay for 150 guests, ask them to put the $$ elsewhere - better apps, better bar, etc. Another knottie had a similar situation recently and the venue really came through for them and didn't make them meet the minimum.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Depends on how low you think it will get.   Only 10 people below I wouldn't do anything.    50 people shy of the minimum I would ask for upgrades in food or bar. 

    Regardless I would contact the venue now and ask your options..  Some people have reported their venue didn't make they hit the minimum.  Others were able to get upgrades.  Others were stuck with the original contract.






    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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  • BlergbotBlergbot An enchanted land member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    If the wedding is only two months away, I think finding a new venue is probably out (though possible), but would the amount you'd lose in deposits really make up for the money you'd save anyway? I would just suck it up and pay for the non existant guests. It's a bummer, but try to focus on how you are able to party with everyone who is able to make it without worrying about going over your venue capacity.
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer

    Upgrade!

    Most venues are more concerned about hitting a dollar minimum than a seat minimum. Normally, they would make you pay for those unused seats. If you tell them your situation, ask if you can put the cost of those additional seats towards upgrades. For instance, this sounds like a great excuse for a ridiculous dessert table and an overabundance of champagne!

    The key is to make the venue feel like they're still coming out ahead.

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  • If your wedding is 2 months away, how do you have all of your RSVPs back already? Anyway... our venue had a guest minimum, but allowed us to upgrade if we did not meet the minimum. We could have added ceremony decorations, signature drinks, more dessert, better apps, etc.
    pinkshorts27grumbledoreashley8918
  • I agree with the others...it really depends on how many below you will be. A few to 10? That shouldn't be a big deal at all. 50? Yeah, I would be working with the venue to see if you can get something you like for the extra money you'l be spending to meet the minimum. Regardless, I hope the venue really works with you. I think having a minimum is always a scary proposition for a bride because you really don't know how many people will come until the end.
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  • Upgrade.  But yeah, I am questioning how you could possibly have RSVPs back at 8 weeks out.

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    ashley8918
  • bau1151bau1151 member
    Second Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment
    Thanks everyone, upgrading is a great idea. I didn't even think of that as an option. Hopefully we'll be able to work something out with the vendor.

    @aRachel21 I don't have all of them back yet, I just have enough declines and I'm expecting others who have not sent them in yet that running the numbers I know we will be under.
  • bau1151 said:
    Thanks everyone, upgrading is a great idea. I didn't even think of that as an option. Hopefully we'll be able to work something out with the vendor.

    @aRachel21 I don't have all of them back yet, I just have enough declines and I'm expecting others who have not sent them in yet that running the numbers I know we will be under.
    Hopefully your actual RSVP's will surprise you.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    bau1151 said:
    I don't have all of them back yet, I just have enough declines and I'm expecting others who have not sent them in yet that running the numbers I know we will be under.
    But why were they even DUE back so early?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    AddieCake said:
    bau1151 said:
    I don't have all of them back yet, I just have enough declines and I'm expecting others who have not sent them in yet that running the numbers I know we will be under.
    But why were they even DUE back so early?
    Yeah, they should have just gone in the mail.  OP, Sometimes when RSVPs go out too early, people decline because they aren't sure of their schedule so far out.  But the cat's already out of the bag at this point so you have to work with the situation you've got.

    I would wait to get all the RSVPs and really have a handle on how many guests you're dealing with.  Then talk to the venue and see if they will let you use that money on upgrades.  They should be okay with that as long as you are hitting the dollar minimum.

    Maybe there is a silver lining here.  Looks like you will get the smaller size wedding you wanted, in a venue you love, maybe with some food upgrades.
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • One of the venues I wanted to look at had a 150 guest minimum for a Saturday evening wedding - I don't know what would have happened if we had signed with them and then not met it - we didn't even try, just went with a venue I loved from the start that doesn't have minimums - yay!
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  • Yeah, this is a real early due date. You might get some back afterwards. Honestly, Id probably have it on my fridge, thinking I have a while to go to reply without realize the date was now.

    But, typically the venue just wants a minimum food order. Heck, the less people they have to accomodate for, the more profitable it is for them. They can order fewer chairs and tables and linens and use less staff etc...  They should allow you to convert the food to upgrades. Mine did.
    imageimageimage

    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ours had a 140 minimum. When I called just one week before and said we'd only have 118, they said for us just to pay for 120. We were lucky but you can consider it.
  • Did you have any single invitees who you might want to extend a guest to?  Otherwise the venue should let you put the money towards upgrades, like cocktail hour enhancements or a late-night snack.
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm assuming the OP sent her invitations out at 9 or 10 weeks out, but had a normal RSVP date that is no more than 4 weeks out from the wedding. 

    What everyone else said, upgrade the bar or apps or late night snacks.
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