Post # 1
So, my fiance and I were initially told we’d be able to host a reception party of about 175-190. We recently went and set up the room the way we want to find out that we can only seat 120 people (including us and our wedding party). We cut our 200 people guest list down to 140. I know that not every one is going to show up, but I don’t want to invite more people than we can seat, so I’m looking for creative ways to make more room.
It’s in a small barn and each side of the barn has a covered patio-ish area. We have already decided to put the bar on one side and the food on another side (a buffet line with servers, so no bugs will get in). One of our options was to seat some people outside. My fiance is a volunteer firefighter and he said we could seat his firefighter friends outside because they’ll take up two tables, but I feel like that is SO rude because the doors to the barn have to remain shut while music is playing due to noise regulations. So, I thought we could maybe seat ourselves and our wedding party/parents outside near the bar, and set up some chairs inside for us to sit on later after dinner. Do y’all think that would be weird/rude?
Post # 3
Is the setup using round tables or rectangular tables? I would try and see if you could find other table/seating options to fit more people.
Talk to your parents and wedding party to see if they mind sitting outside. This isn’t your fault because you were told the capacity was different at first.
I’m so sorry, this is stressful!
Post # 4
@Joyfully – we originally planned on using round because the venue offers the use of round tables as part of the package, but we used a computer program to see if different table sizes would be better, but we come out about the same no matter what.
the bridal party/family won’t mind sitting outside – I just don’t want our guests to think we’re excluding ourselves since they did come for us after all!
Post # 5
If you have 140 guests invited, do you expect all of them to come? Are some OOT-ers that may not make it? Why did the venue say that you could fit 175-190–Do they have another idea for set up that will allow for 140 guests? Maybe you could leave the doors open during dinner with softer dining music, then once everyone has eaten, you can have close the doors and turn up the dancing music?
Post # 6
If you want to invite a total of 140 people, and you only have room for 120, I would send invitations to 120, and, as the “regret” responses arrive, immediately begin sending invitations to the other 20. Just make sure to send your invitations out a little early (I sent mine the last week of Februrary through the first few days of March with a May 1 reply date for a May 22 wedding.) Also, when you identify the 20 whose invitations will not be sent in the first round, try to select guests who are out of town or who otherwise do not know the majority of people who are attending your wedding, so that they won’t discover that their invitations are arriving a couple of weeks after others first received theirs. It is absolutely not wrong to have a “B,” list, but you do not want individuals to know that they are on it. 🙂
Post # 7
@Brielle: We are planning on doing an A/B list system, and the 140 are absolute must invites. We put the other 60 that we cut on the B list.
@creativeplannertobee: I am anticipating that 66 of my 70 people will show (all but 8 are family members, who will definitely be there). My fiance has several Out of Town friends, but he SWEARS they will come and he says he CANNOT cut anybody else. And, the venue is often used for lectures, conferences where they may not typically use tables, so I’m guessing that maybe 175-190 people would fit if they were sitting in rows of chairs. We didn’t think to question the number when we booked it because we assumed that number included table space. And, I would be worried about playing even soft music and leaving the doors open during dinner. The owner is very strict about that because there are several houses neighboring the barn and apparently the owners are quick to call with complaints. I suppose if nothing else, we can leave the doors open during dinner and play no music until after the wedding party has eaten and gotten back inside.
Post # 8
Is there anyway to push tables close enough together just for dinner and then after, spread them out farther? I know a lot of people dine and dash at weddings and skip out on dancing with the younger guests. Also, have you tried to ‘zig-zag’ the tables to make an extra fit in at the end?
I know we had this problem at a wedding I was in a year ago and people did end up having to stand. But even after the dinner, people tended to not even care once the music started going.
Post # 9
That’s a bummer 🙁 Often when venues talk about number of people they don’t include a dance floor, or as you said, theyre thinking about a conference style setup (as technically, that is the max capacity). But it sounds like if they’re saying max is 175-190 then 120 with tables and a dance floor sounds about right. Do you have a planner or coordinator at the venue? Can they help you out? Because Im sure theyve run into this before and may have some helpful ideas for “stretching” the space. Good luck!!
Post # 10
maybe the 175-190 capacity is for cocktail reception set up and not sit down dinner set up.
are you including tables on the dance floor? after dinner you can push them back to make space as most people after dinner like to mingle at the bar or dance.
Post # 11
What about long picnic style tables with benches? That will maximize your numbers. Can you change venues? Or style of meal?
Post # 12
I would send out all of your invitations you have to consider a 20% decline rate I think you will be ok. I was really surprised/disapointed at some of the people who arent attending my wedding exspecially since my big italian family is so close. My mo has now started a B list and is very excited about it. LOL
Post # 13
I was also surprised at the number of people who actually couldn’t make it. I would send the 140 and then you can start with your b-list invites.
If your family doesn’t mind sitting outside, that’s an idea!