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Wedding 911

148 days until wedding, may need to change venues, too many likely guests

I have seen various posts about people over-inviting because they expected a smaller turnout, and I have seen posters pile on the OP and dish out the ridicule. I welcome advice and constructive feedback but not ridicule—I am painfully aware of my blunder and sorely regret it. That said:

 I fell in love with a set of venues, one for the ceremony and one for the reception, and decided to grab those while we could. We’re having a destination wedding of sorts in Las Vegas and are discovering that my side of the family has more people eager to attend than expected, despite most coming from the other side of the country. I sent save-the-dates so that those far-flung people would have plenty of time to get time off from work and book travel arrangements. Now it sounds like every one of them will respond positively to an invitation when the time comes, thus exceeding the capacity of our church and possibly our reception space. We’re considering 1) restricting the ceremony to close family and the wedding party, assuming the reception venue will still be big enough; 2) scrapping the ceremony and just having the reception with the same caveat, and 3) scrapping both venues and gambling on starting over with a shortened timeline. Has anyone else out there made this mistake and recovered? How did it go? Again, constructive feedback, please and thank you.

Re: 148 days until wedding, may need to change venues, too many likely guests

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I have seen various posts about people over-inviting because they expected a smaller turnout, and I have seen posters pile on the OP and dish out the ridicule. I welcome advice and constructive feedback but not ridicule—I am painfully aware of my blunder and sorely regret it. That said:

     I fell in love with a set of venues, one for the ceremony and one for the reception, and decided to grab those while we could. We’re having a destination wedding of sorts in Las Vegas and are discovering that my side of the family has more people eager to attend than expected, despite most coming from the other side of the country. I sent save-the-dates so that those far-flung people would have plenty of time to get time off from work and book travel arrangements. Now it sounds like every one of them will respond positively to an invitation when the time comes, thus exceeding the capacity of our church and possibly our reception space. We’re considering 1) restricting the ceremony to close family and the wedding party, assuming the reception venue will still be big enough; 2) scrapping the ceremony and just having the reception with the same caveat, and 3) scrapping both venues and gambling on starting over with a shortened timeline. Has anyone else out there made this mistake and recovered? How did it go? Again, constructive feedback, please and thank you.
    You don't get to tell people how to respond. If you're not really looking for honest feedback, don't post at all.

    You should always plan for 100% attendance. If your current venues don't account for that, it's time to scrap them and find a new venue that will fit everyone. 

    Look, either the venue or having people there is more important. (For most of us, it's people), but one or the other need to be your priority. If the venue was the priority, you should have planned your guest list around that. It seems like you do want to invite people, so that's the priority. A dream venue is not a dream venue if it doesn't fit your guest list. On the bright side, 148 days is nearly 5 months. You have plenty of time to find a venue that does work for your wedding. 
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Since you already sent save the dates to that many people, you're committed to inviting them. You can't make the ceremony smaller without being pretty rude.

    This means you need to come up with new venues to hold all the people you invited.

    That is, unless you send them all a notice that plans have changed and you will now be having a small wedding. You send back any gifts received already from anyone now uninvited, and you have to actually change your plans. That means at least a significant date change, if not a venue change.
    charlotte989875
  • You have to invite the people who received your STDs. It really, really hurts to not receive an invite after that. So if you think all the people are coming, yes, you have to change your venue. Keep it in Las Vegas, since that's where you told people it would be, but find a place that can accommodate your entire guest list.
    MesmrEwecharlotte989875
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You've already invited people to your ceremony and reception by way of a STD. You can't disinvite them because you screwed up. You should find a new venue that can fit the amount of people you've invited. 

    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I have seen various posts about people over-inviting because they expected a smaller turnout, and I have seen posters pile on the OP and dish out the ridicule. I welcome advice and constructive feedback but not ridicule—I am painfully aware of my blunder and sorely regret it. That said:

     I fell in love with a set of venues, one for the ceremony and one for the reception, and decided to grab those while we could. We’re having a destination wedding of sorts in Las Vegas and are discovering that my side of the family has more people eager to attend than expected, despite most coming from the other side of the country. I sent save-the-dates so that those far-flung people would have plenty of time to get time off from work and book travel arrangements. Now it sounds like every one of them will respond positively to an invitation when the time comes, thus exceeding the capacity of our church and possibly our reception space. We’re considering 1) restricting the ceremony to close family and the wedding party, assuming the reception venue will still be big enough; 2) scrapping the ceremony and just having the reception with the same caveat, and 3) scrapping both venues and gambling on starting over with a shortened timeline. Has anyone else out there made this mistake and recovered? How did it go? Again, constructive feedback, please and thank you.
    There is no way to restrict guests that have already been invited, so that rules out option 1.  I don't even understand how you get married but "scrap the ceremony".  Your third option is truly your only option.  

    You sent STD's so people could plan ahead.  It sounds like many have, and I can't imagine they would be happy to hear that they scheduled vacation days around an event from which you now want to disinvite them.
    InLoveInQueens
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    PPs have it covered. You can't uninvited people after you have invited them so start looking for a different venue. FWIW, we planned DD's wedding in a major city in 5 months. You can do it.
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited April 7
    If I was traveling across country for my cousin's wedding, I'd be PISSED if all I got to do was go to the reception. 

    The answer is, you have some decisions to make.  First, you can just choose to change venues banking on they're all going to attend.  OR, you keep your venues as planned and after your RSVP deadline if they can't fit, you adjust then and get everyone the new venue information ASAP (have this well researched out so the transition is fluid and efficient with contacts for everyone so they get the information timely)..  What I'd do is likely the last minute change and eat the cost of doing so.  BUT, a lot also depends on the contracts you signed - READ the fine print!!!

    Brides in the future: This is why STD cards ONLY go out to VIP's!!!(The people you cannot imagine NOT being there and/or have a role in the day).  


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    InLoveInQueensshort+sassy
  • I just don’t understand why someone would send an STD to everyone if they didn’t want everyone to make plans and attend o_O
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    MobKazInLoveInQueensMyNameIsNot
  • I’d recommend talking to your venues now about their capacity. If they cannot accommodate your entire invite list it’s time to look for new venues. Las Vegas is a big place with lots of venues, it’s possible your venue has other locations/properties so I’d talk to them ASAP. 

    As PPs have said, it’s super rude to rescind an invite, which is what you’d be doing with the other plans. Just think of it this way; you care about these people enough to invite them to your wedding, they care enough about the two of you to attend your destination wedding, do you really want to risk hurting them because so many people care about you and want to celebrate you? 
    short+sassyInLoveInQueens
  • If there are people you did not send an STD to, it is okay to cut them now.  As long as they haven't been verbally invited to the wedding either.  But an STD=an Invite.  And that's an invite to everything.  Because it's also rude to invite someone to just the ceremony or just the reception.

    If you all have a better idea now of approximately how many people will be attending, talk to your all's venues.  Maybe they have bigger rooms they can use.  Maybe they have other locations.  But unfortunately, if not, you'll need to cancel and start from scratch. for one or both.  A good thing about Las Vegas is they are a major convention city.  They have event rooms galore for groups of all sizes.

    Pro tip: if the reception venue is large enough, but the ceremony site isn't, then just have the ceremony at the reception venue.
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    charlotte989875InLoveInQueens
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