@MrsN14: We invited 325, and had 230 guests show up.
1) Did you do a seating chart? Why or why not?
Yes. PLEASE, please please, do a seating chart. It cuts down on confusion and makes things much more organized. Your guests will really appreciate. No one wants to fight for tables and seats. It’s so easy for tables to be left half full and familys, couples, and groups of friends to be split up. You don’t want your guests to feel like it’s the middle school cafeteria all over again with people claiming seats and others having no where to sit and guests having to awkwardly ask if they can join a table or groups cramming 10 people to an 8 person table causing other tables to only have 3-4 people. They are not that hard. Ours took maybe 2 hours tops, and that’s including phone calls to parents to verify the arrangements.
2) Did you invite more people then the venue could hold, expecting declines? I know that’s a no-no but we know many overseas won’t come so may invite slightly over the limit.
We invited the exact amount of people our venue could hold and we could afford. I would not invite more. You should ALWAYS plan on 100% attendance. You’d be surprised how many people you are so sure won’t show actually do. There are lots of stories on the Bee supporting this.
3) Did you have more than one bar area set up?
We had one large bar that had somewhere between 2-4 bartenders. I honestly can’t remember how many. I’m not sure if it ever got crowded during cocktail hour, but during the rest of the reception it seemed to be able to accomodate the number of people just fine.
4) If you did a receiving line, how long did it take?
We did not do a receiving line and I would not recommend doing one with that amount of guests. It will take way too long. We did table visits, though admittingly, we did not get to everyone. I still feel terrible about that.
5) Did you do favors? I can’t find anything people would like without ending up spending thousands bc of the # of people.
Yes! We did used books and bookmarks. Our local library has a sale every few months and we bought tons for about $.50-$1.00 per book. We made cute little library book inserts to go on top and wrapped them up with twine.
6) Did you do escort cards for each person, couple, or family?
We did escort cards for each person. We split up some families so we definitly couldn’t do it by family. Also, each escort card had a mini carabiner attached. So doing them individually meant everyone got their own.
7) How long did it make you to address STDS,invites, etc?
One of my BMs helped with the STDs and they only took maybe an hour or two. I think we had around 160 that we sent out. Invites took a lot longer because I used a calligraphy pen (which I was picky about) and we tied all the cards together with ribbon. I’d work on them for several hours a day for 3-4 days.
I loved having a big wedding and it I really didn’t find it that difficult. Putting together favors, invites, escort cards, etc. did take longer, but I didn’t find it too bad. The only thing I regret was not being able to say to everyone. I lost a lot of time taking group pictures and wasn’t able to make it up. =(