Post # 1
I looked at a venue last weekend that works great for my budget, and the room is beautiful, but I’m worried about the size – it is smaller than I expected.
They said it could fit up to 250 people at rounds, plus a head table. Since I am having 175 people, I was expecting there plenty of extra elbow room. My biggest nightmare is people being crammed in like sardines, so I really thought this place could be the one!
While the dance floor is a great size for our group (not too big but not too small) the space in the dining area and in other parts of the room is lacking. I don’t see how you could get more than 175 in the dining area comfortably let alone 250!
Has anyone else had this experience?
Post # 3
No…but you just made me a little worried because I’m close to capacity for my venue! Looking forward to hearing other opinions now!
Post # 4
Good venues do not exaggerate their capacity. If you had 250 people exactly it might be tight, but it is in their best interest to be honest about how many guests they can handle. They don’t want a bunch of reviews saying the space was smaller than advertised, and they won’t want to deal with an overcrowded reception. It can be hard to picture it full of tables if you’re looking at it empty. You could search for pictures of other receptions there and count the tables if you want.
Another thing to consider is that some venues give you a max capacity without a dance floor. It’s possible that they can hold 250 if there’s no dance floor, and they’ll just put tables in that area, and the seating capacity is much lower if you leave the dance floor open.
Post # 4
I don’t think they exaggerate…but for example…our venue said maximum capacity was 200 for our reception, 20 round tables of 10. HOWEVER, we had 170 and people were crammed in! why? Because we had a dance floor, a lounge area, photo booth, candy buffet, and extra bars. So you have factor in all the other things you will have in that room as well.
Post # 5
Yes, some venues do. My wedding planner pointed out this once to me about my venue. They have an outdoor tent that they call the “marquee” and claim that it would fit about 400 people. My planner said she has done a few weddings in that tent with guest counts around 300 and said they were pretty darn near maximum capacity when you throw in tables and a dance floor.
So I guess it just depends on the venue and what they include when they say maximum capacity. Obviously a bunch of people standing around isn’t the same as seated guests and a dance floor with room to move about.
Post # 6
We definitely visited some venues that played this game. “well, yes, we can host 125 people…. but [20 of them have to sit up on this second level about 200 yards from everyone else/you can’t have a dance floor/it’ll just be cozy]. It was super annoying.
Post # 7
My venue claimed they could have a dinner party for 150, but I don’t see how that is possible. Maybe if you do a cocktail style reception without tables and seating for everyone and no dance floor… I’m having 100 people for a sit down meal, and it’s looking like a tight fit already.
Post # 8
We were very concerned about this with a venue we nearly booked. I had the event manager draw me diagrams of the floor layout and then looked at the space compared with the diagram.
Post # 9
Thanks everyone! This is really helpful. I will have to be much more specific going forward when asking about capacity.