Post # 1
I’m sure a million people have had to deal with this issue before but here we go again and I really need help.
A month or so ago, we booked a local civic center for our venue. It was big enough and was a clean slate in terms of decorating (no pink ’80s style banquet chairs) and it was cheap. The deposit is only like $35. The theme/feel of my reception is very important to me (rustic, organic, natural, italian) and I think it is going to take a lot of decorating budget above and beyond centerpieces in order to decorate this place. Also, it has an 800 person capacity and we are only having 200 guests so it is going to be kinda empty.
Then, last week we went hope and met with our florist and he recommended that we go look at the local zoo. He said they have a pavillion (inside w/ a/c and a wrap around covered porch) and he felt that it would save us a lot in decor and it was what I was describing to him. So we went and looked at it and I LOVE it. I mean I LOVE it. I could put plain tables in there and be happy with it.
Our full guest list is 230 people, cutting it down some I can get it to right around 200, if I really start cutting (too far in my mom’s opinion) it would be around 175.
Based on the room size (42ft by 71 ft) under air, we are estimating we can only put about 20 8 person round tables. We also want to have a sweet heart table, cake table, buffet, dance floor (20ft by 20ft?) inside because June in Florida could be really hot outside.
So…. how much do I sacrifice here. I think I can cut my guest list some, but several of our family friends just the adult couples would be invited not the kids (not a big deal to me, more to my mom). Is taking a guest list from 220-200 all the way down to 160 unreasonable?
Here are pictures of the zoo:
Post # 3
First of all, if your venue holds 160 comfortably, then you don’t have to cut your guest list down to 160 because you can typically expect 20% of your guest list won’t be able to attend. Assuming this ratio holds true to you, then you could have a guest list of 200 and be fine.
The zoo venue is so beautiful – you should seriously consider it!
Post # 4
I agree with texasmeredith, not everyone you invite is going to show up. Also, just remember this is your wedding! You need to choose the place that makes you the happiest. It obviously sounds as though the zoo is where you’d like to be, so just chop down a bit of your list and go for what you want 🙂
Post # 5
I agree, go with the zoo – you shouldn’t have to cut the list too much once you consider those who won’t be able to attend. We are hoping for 120 but are inviting about 150, assuming that we’ll get some declines.
Post # 6
I say go with the zoo and cut the list. It’s your wedding so you should enjoy it! Some peoples feelings may get hurt but hopefully they’ll get over it and some people you invite may not be able to make it either
Post # 7
Thanks for the help.
My 175 cut down to bare bones guest list includes the Out of Town that we do not anticipate traveling to the wedding.
I also just talked to one of my BMs and she said that her family actually has some lighting that could be used in the plain boring civic center if we did decide to go that route.
Post # 9
Is the 20% rate of declined invites a standard or does it depend on the number of Out of Town guest, etc? I feel like our list (which is 75 people just immediate family, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) does not have a lot of extra people that would probably not come and therefore, our decline percent would maybe be more like 10% or so?
I should be really thankful to have so many people that care about us!
Post # 10
I would never rely on the ‘estimated no rate.’ While I had 80/135 show up, I knew a girl that had 124/127 attend. But I would say cut the list, make a B list, and go with the zoo.
Post # 11
I wish we had a zoo like that near us
Just gonna ditto what Johnsbride said – cut down the list, but keep a B list, and send those out when any “no”s come back.
Post # 12
I don’t think it’s worth cutting people for a place. People are more important.
Post # 13
If you won’t feel bad not having these people at your wedding, then I say you should cut some people and go with the zoo. The zoo is a great venue and I really wish I would have gone with one of the zoos here but they were a little out of my budget unfortunately. I definitely think you should do the zoo and you probably won’t have to cut many people because as many people have already mentioned, there are a lot of people that won’t be able to make it.
Post # 14
I’d say 10-20% is pretty standard… so I’d say look at your list and see if you would be OK cutting the people you would. I have sections of the “family” “close knit group of friends” “sorority sisters” and others so cutting can be easier later 😉 I’d trim it down a little bit and book the zoo. BUT… if those people you would trim are really important than perhaps stay with the orig. plan. I would personally choose people over venue… but I think your list is close for the zoo’s size.
Have they given you a max. capacity for a seated meal? Or have you thought of doing instead of a sweetheart table a “head table” for you and the wedding party? Or not doing a buffet?
Your list is so close when you take into account the can’t make it.
(plus, there’s an annoying trend right now of people canceling day of… I think you could do both your list and the zoo, but talk to the coordinator there or your own coordinator….)
Post # 15
i completely agree with chachacha.
i LOVE the zoo venue and as with the above posts, you can expect a 10-20% decline anyway. =)
Post # 16
Thanks so much for the help bees. I am still really undecided. The zoo has told us they can put 23-24 tables inside which is more than plenty, however, my mom thinks we really need a huge dance floor (21 by 21 ft?).
We have discussed putting the buffet table outside on the covered porch, however, it is June in Florida. Also, the caterers kitchen door is inside, which means they would have to be carrying the food through the reception (not too far) to the buffet unless they set up before everyone got there.
We are assuming to defininately have the bars set up outside because that will help space and get people outside. As you can see from the pics the front porch is huge and we are also going to rent high tops.
I am going to look seriously at the guest list today and let you guys know what I find!