Post # 1
My fiancé and I have decided to have a semi-destination wedding, to get away for the extreme traffic and sky-high costs of where we live. Our selected destination is Florida (Orlando) which is only a 1.5 hour flight for a majority of our guests, with airfare as low as $90 round trip. We wanted to make it as affordable and easy as possible for people who really wanted to be there, to do so, while still having it be a destination.
Anyway my mother (whose family is absolutely HUGE) has told me that most of her relatives will not be making it to our wedding. Apparently when she told them we were getting married in Florida, they grumbled about the cost and inconvenince, and said they would not be coming. I am completely fine with this. TBH their presence would be lovely, but their absence wouldn’t bother me. My immideate family and closest friends are all coming, and that is what I care about.
However, my mother has insisted that in light of this information, we consider venues with a very small max capacity. I tried to explain that we can’t get a venue that seats less than half of our guest list, even if they say they won’t come. They might change their minds, and if they show, we need to be able to accomdoate them. She suggested we call the relatives and ask are they coming or not, (before having sent invitations of any kind) and then allow this pre-RSVP to dictate the size venue we get.
I think that would be rediciously rude. “Hey, are you coming? Because if not, I will save some cash on a smaller space. K thanks” Additionally what if someone felt like they were on the spot, said “no” but then later realized they really could go…but they have already pre-RSVP’d and then what can they do?
She disagrees vehimently, and I am worried she will start calling them soon. Am I in the wrong here? How do I explain this to her?
PS – And, while we’re at it: in your experience what percentage of guests will attend a domestic destination wedding (aka: no overseas flights involved, or expensive all inclusive hotel prices)?
Thank you in advance for all of your help!!
Post # 2
You are not in the wrong, you are very smart to plan for the ‘just in case’. There is no way to get around that. You’re best off telling your mom the venue is booked, and you can’t cancel it anyways so no need to ruffle feathers.
There is no magic number to say how many people will come. Just plan for 100% and pat yourself on the back later when you save some money (or upgrade your bar/add late night snack/etc for the guests who do confirm).
Post # 3
I agree with you about not booking a venue and hoping that people don’t come because well that is just foolish.
It might be worth however finding a venue that will let you book a minimum number and upgrade if you get a lot of yes rsvp’s. That way you can budget for everyone attending but not be on the hook if a large number of guests rsvp no.
Post # 4
I think getting pre-RSVPs defies the whole purpose of sending them invites. It’s just weird. As for % I don’t know.
Post # 5
Do not reserve a venue with a capacity smaller than your guest list. Just don’t, no matter what anyone says about attending or not.
You may want to ask possible venues about their minimum requirement, as you may get into that territory if you have a high number of declines.
Why not scale down to a smaller wedding – with a small guest list?
Post # 6
You are right, really rude idea.
Post # 7
If your mother is paying, let her do what she wants. If not, do what you want. IMO, if they’ve already said they’re not coming and you don’t care if they do, then don’t invite them, and if someone changes their mind and really wants to come then you can invite them later. That might be poor etiquette but whatever.
We invited 192 guests to our wedding, which was a 6 hour drive for us, 2 hour drive for about 80 guests, and anywhere from the same city to another continent for the rest, and about 95 came. So about 50%. I would have loved to book a smaller venue.
Post # 8
actually we have managed to drop our list of 85-ish friends, coworkers, etc. down to a mere 20, which was really painful. But unfortunately my mothers Italian family is 70 people strong. Unless I want to be ejected from the family, I need to invite all of them. And that, by the by, is only aunts, uncles, and first counsins! Not a single second cousin, or great aunt, or whatever.
It is what would be considered “the bare minimum” in our family 🙁 Believe me, I WISH I could not invite all of those people, invite a few more friends, and then have a list around 100. I don’t care very much about cousin so-and-so who I haven’t seen in three years, and am cutting my dear friend from college for. But, alas! That’s wedding planning eh?
Post # 9
Just another thing to consider in your venue search is whether there are places that have different spaces they would let you switch between – ie one that accommodates all invitees but also has a room that is better suited to smaller numbers should you have low # of RSVPs and they would let you change rooms before a certain date. We had a domestic destination wedding and had almost 100% acceptance but we’re Aussie and people here are used to travelling and get time off work easily
Post # 10
Don’t book a venue that can’t accomodate your full guest list. It would be a nightmare if you cannot fit everyone who came in your venue.
Can you book a venue that will only charge based on the RSVP? Our venue can accommodate up to 200 guests but we only need to give them the final guest list a couple of weeks before the wedding and then we pay per head. The minimum is 50 guests (if we have 35 people we still pay 50).
Post # 11
First of all, I think that’s really sad that you’ve had to cut your friend list down so much. I would urge you to reconsider that, since it is YOUR wedding, after all.
But I think you’re absolutely right re: venue size. We’re having a wedding that requires travel and my parents complained that so many of their list wouldn’t be able to go; well, they’re all coming, and we’ve actually had to order extra tables. Sometimes parents don’t know best.
Post # 12
There have been panicked posts here before from bees who went over venue capacity due to assuming people wouldn’t come. Don’t set yourself up for stress like that. At my venue I need to give them a minimum number of guaranteed people but can increase that number up until something like a week before.
Post # 13
We had a domestic destination wedding, sort of.. Only 4 guests plus us live in Seattle, the rest areal over North America.
we invited 72 people. 40 attended.
wehad a venue that was perfect for 40 (our original guesstimate), could fit up to 52.. And if somehow we had more than 52 we could move the whole wedding to another space of the venue (much less pretty though).
i think you are in the right. Your mom needs to stop micromanaging.
Post # 14
Hmm I don’t know, personally I think I understand why your mom would want you to do that. Perhaps to do with a smaller venue = smaller cost, or maybe she’s worried that if you have a large venue with a max capacity of 500 people, and only 100 show up, the place would look too empty? If it were me I wouldn’t want an empty venue with only a handful of people. I’ll feel better if it’s a 100 people in a 150 max setting. You didn’t say what her actual reasons are, why she’s worried about this. Or is she just trying to indirectly tell you not to invite so many people?
In my culture it’s perfectly fine to ask them beforehand, just call them and ask if they have any intention at all to come in a nice way, because things have to be booked and such. I don’t think I would feel you being rude if you want to be sure so you can plan your wedding, it’s your day right? And I’m just a guest who only need to attend. Or maybe you could send your invitations much earlier so you can get an approximate amount?
Tbh I’m also in a dilemma about this lol, there’s a venue that’s way more affordable but has a max capacity of 700-800 people, and I’m only having 200 max. I worry it might feel way too empty. Or I could go for one that seats 180 people and cut the guest list which I can do easily. But it’s double the price of the first!
Post # 15
she sounds slightly on the domineering side… Don’t give in. Ask her not to call people because you feel it would be rude.