Post # 1
I’m hoping some brides can help me out on this dilemma!!
My fiance and I have booked a church for our November 2012 wedding. The church has a beautiful, old chapel as well a a new, modern church (attached to each other). I’m in love with the chapel area – it is stunning and intimate with beautiful, intricate wooden statues and stained glass windows. The chapel can sit 140 guests comfortably and there is also some space in the back where we can set up folding chairs that should be able to accompany additional guests so that no one will have to stand during the ceremony.
The church section can easily fit 400+ guests.
My fiance and I are looking at inviting around 270 guests to our wedding. We’ve been told that, on average, 10-20% of invited guests are not able to attend, which would put us at around 240ish guests attending the ceremony (included are 12 members of our bridal party plus my fiance and I).
Our ceremony is set to start at 2:00 pm with our reception beginning at 6:00 pm in a different location.
Do most of the invited guests attend both the ceremony AND the reception? Or do you find a certain percent of the guests only attend the reception (family friends, friends, etc.)?
We are in the process of figuring out where we need to hold the ceremony – the church or the chapel – and I’m trying to see if there is any realistic way that we can get married in the chapel area!
Any thoughts on this would be MUCH appreciated!!!
Thanks ladies!! 🙂
Post # 3
Honestly, I feel for you, but I can’t see enough people not attending the ceremony to make the chapel work. I have heard that you can expect 10% to decline, and I’d say another 10% don’t make it to the church, but you have to account for every invitation you send possibly attending.
We’re in the same boat – the chapel seats 150, and the sanctuary seats 1200, so we’re stuck in the enormous church. Find ways to make it feel smaller, such as lighting and having lots of ushers so everyone sits closer together.
Post # 4
Normally, from my experience less attend the ceremony than the reception. I don’t know the actual percentage. On your RSVP’s could you include an RSVP for the ceremony, and one for the reception?
Post # 5
I think you’re really pushing it with those numbers. I think to expect that 100 people who are coming to the reception won’t come to the ceremony is unrealistic. I would choose the modern church to be on the safe side and have your guests be comfortable.
Post # 6
If you have the option for a larger church in the same location, I would take it. I understand your struggle with this- as I’m going through the same thing. However, the two churches are in completely different locations…and we’re still going with the smaller one because it is the church that I have attended my entire life. So we’re doing just family for a small intimate ceremony.
Post # 7
You need a seat for every invited butt. Period.
Is there a reason you’re having such a long gap in between the ceremony and reception? Do you have activities planned for guests in between them?
Post # 8
An RSVP “yes” means that you’ll be attending the wedding. That includes both the ceremony and the reception. I’ve never understood guests who only show for the party. Frankly, I wouldn’t be okay with that unless there were extenuating circumstances. If you’ve been invited to share in our special day and you accept said invite, then I expect you to be there for every aspect. Just showing up to eat my food, drink my booze and listen to my music isn’t cool with me.
Every one of our guests that attended our reception also attended our ceremony (it is the most important part, afterall). Then again, we didn’t have a long gap so I don’t know what kind of difference that would have made. Even though the gap may cause some people to skip the ceremony (still not cool in my book but some people are rude like that), you still need to account for everyone. You’d be better off going with the venue that holds the most people. No-one wants to go to a wedding and be told that they have to stand outside because the room has reached capacity.