Wedding 911

Son of a....

So we went to visit FI's grands, and, consequently, our venue, this weekend. For those that don't want to post stalk: we are getting married at the school house/community center in his grandparents small town, ceremony and reception in the same room. My invite list ballooned from 50-->60-->70-->80 due to parental pressure, trying to follow etiquette (+1s etc). Invites went out last weekend, already having problems with people wanting to RSVP for more than invited.
ANYWAYS, we did figure out the first problem (what to do with people during the transition: we are going to have pews set up in the hallways, and the buffet set up in the kitchen, so they can go get food and/or sit and chat). But I have a bigger, or should I say, smaller, problem.
The room won't hold 79 people for the reception with round tables. Comfortably I think it will hold 64. I think if we wanted we could squeeze in 72 (8-9 tables, basically). The room is 26ft wide and 60ft long with a divider in the middle that is pulled back (it used to be the room for the 3rd and 4th grades). In my memory it could hold like 100 people easily. I didn't measure the last time I was there. Yes I realize how stupid that was. Oh and idiot me just realizedd that 79 doesn't include us,the photographers, the nephew, the officiant, or the catering team.
So now I'm at an impasse. Obviously I can wait until our RSVPs all come in before I start panicking... Maybe only 64 will show up! But so far my RSVP rate has been OVER 100% due to aforementioned rude people. Obviously this makes "we can't accommodate so and so" a lot easier for me to say. But this seems like poor planning. Does anyone have any better (and reasonable) suggestions?
Things I won't do: Change the venue, postpone the wedding, uninvite people. Those ships have all sailed. Things I will do: change the tables (would long ones do better), squeeze an extra person in at a few tables (Grandma said she wouldn't mind), stand up the entire time, give all the vendors an extra "I'm an asshole" tip and fix them a fabulous table in the kitchen. Thoughts other than me being remarkably stupid? Cuz I got that one. My friend was even like "hubby and I will lose weight if that will help!" (In jest.... She's just like that...)

Re: Son of a....

  • Wegl13 said:
    So we went to visit FI's grands, and, consequently, our venue, this weekend. For those that don't want to post stalk: we are getting married at the school house/community center in his grandparents small town, ceremony and reception in the same room. My invite list ballooned from 50-->60-->70-->80 due to parental pressure, trying to follow etiquette (+1s etc). Invites went out last weekend, already having problems with people wanting to RSVP for more than invited.
    ANYWAYS, we did figure out the first problem (what to do with people during the transition: we are going to have pews set up in the hallways, and the buffet set up in the kitchen, so they can go get food and/or sit and chat). But I have a bigger, or should I say, smaller, problem.
    The room won't hold 79 people for the reception with round tables. Comfortably I think it will hold 64. I think if we wanted we could squeeze in 72 (8-9 tables, basically). The room is 26ft wide and 60ft long with a divider in the middle that is pulled back (it used to be the room for the 3rd and 4th grades). In my memory it could hold like 100 people easily. I didn't measure the last time I was there. Yes I realize how stupid that was. Oh and idiot me just realizedd that 79 doesn't include us,the photographers, the nephew, the officiant, or the catering team.
    So now I'm at an impasse. Obviously I can wait until our RSVPs all come in before I start panicking... Maybe only 64 will show up! But so far my RSVP rate has been OVER 100% due to aforementioned rude people. Obviously this makes "we can't accommodate so and so" a lot easier for me to say. But this seems like poor planning. Does anyone have any better (and reasonable) suggestions?
    Things I won't do: Change the venue, postpone the wedding, uninvite people. Those ships have all sailed. Things I will do: change the tables (would long ones do better), squeeze an extra person in at a few tables (Grandma said she wouldn't mind), stand up the entire time, give all the vendors an extra "I'm an asshole" tip and fix them a fabulous table in the kitchen. Thoughts other than me being remarkably stupid? Cuz I got that one. My friend was even like "hubby and I will lose weight if that will help!" (In jest.... She's just like that...)
    I actually don't hate this idea.  (the bolded)

    But I think having Long tables would probably be your best bet.  I think long tables take up less room, so have more room around them for people.
    bahamabride2015lace&lemonslovegood90
  • simcal18simcal18 member
    500 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments First Answer
    edited October 2014

    Okay. First of all--deep breaths!

    Second--have you checked the fire code at the venue to make sure that it can legally hold all of the people that you're going to have there? If not, call them up ASAP or you risk having to turn people away at the door.

    Third--there is absolutely nothing wrong with seating your vendors in the kitchen. They are your vendors, not your guests. As long as you pay/tip them properly, treat them decently, and feed them according to their contract, you're golden.

    Fourth--yes, long tables in place of round ones will likely help you. How much depends on the specific dimensions of your room. You can use these handy calculators and layout generators to help you figure out the best layout for your space:

    http://www.banquettables.pro/space-and-capacity-calculator http://www.banquettables.pro/layout-generator

    Fifth--take a deep breath again. There are brides that get 100% attendance all the time, but it's unlikely, and chances are you'll get some no RSVPs at some point, which will give you a little more space to work with. Things may be a bit cramped, but so long as you're good under the fire code (see #2 again), everything will work out. Good luck!

    ETA paragraphs BC the Knot hates them
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Seat your vendors in the kitchen.  Could having a long king's table on one side of the room (you and your WP + SOs) help alleviate the amount of people who need to sit at the round tables?  Could that make your table count work?

    If a king's table won't work, then try to configure the room with long tables.

    I also don't want to add to any potential stress.  But are you having dancing?  If so, where will the dance floor be?

  • Okay so that banquet table calculator apparently is more generous than I am. So that makes me feel WAY BETTER HOORAY!
    I have not contacted fire code people. This building is basically publicly owned but Papa has a key to it and until very recently was in charge of the whole shebang. We can basically do whatever we want because the only people "turning people away"... Well they are the grandparents of the groom.
    We are not having dancing, I don't think. We are going to have a spotlight first dance because "forever and ever amen" is the sweetest song ever, and then we are just going to play music the rest of the time. Some of it is danceable, some of it isn't- if people want to dance we aren't going to stop them but most of my side of the family is baptist so they don't dance where other people can see them.
    We thought about doing two sets of banquet tables in U-shapes with the interior of the U facing the middle of the room. We could sit in the middle of one side of the U and then we'd get to sit with a lot more of our friends and family. Then we could have the "dance floor" and cake and speeches in the middle of the room and the only people it would super suck for is the people in the very middle of the U (who would have to turn around during any of the wedding events). Does this seem like a workable plan?
    Thanks for all the help and sanity checks. I've never been the type that planned my wedding from being a little girl and neither FI or I are particularly good at hosting parties. We are way more excited about planning our move into the new house. We will probably never invite anyone over or leave to go anywhere once we get married. ;-)
  • There should be a sign on the premises stating how many people are permissible.  Some have two numbers--with tables, and without.  Make sure you're looking at the right number.
  • Set up a tent outside?
  • So just FYI we ended up having ~50 people RSVP and everything worked out just hunky dory- in fact we were able to have all the food and drinks and a teeny dance area as well. Apparently people are smaller than I thought and rectangular tables are an awesome idea. Also I know this was two months ago when I posted but I lol'd again @atlastmrsg‌ suggestion: I got married in an old schoolhouse, in a very small town in south Alabama. A church group uses it on Sundays and sometimes my husbands family has reunions there. Our wedding was probably the first such event there ever. Needless to say, there wasn't any indication of a fire code for how many people it can safely have in it. We kind of had to guess and also cross our fingers a lot. I'm so glad (and very lucky) it worked as well as it did.
    CMGragain
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