(Closed) Married bees..what were you final guest numbers? I’m kinda miffed at the “money”

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
14969 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Oh man, sorry, that sucks.  I’ve never heard of a venue to do that, though.   None of the 8-10 I visited required a a final head count until 2-3 weeks before the event.  I think we invited 170, and 150 RSVPed yes, 146 of them came (one family was iffy for a while, pending another understandable event) and 1 came that didnt RSVP.  For the ‘final’ count, we gave them the 146 in case the 4 didnt show since they said they always prep extra and they’d be prepared if more people did end up coming (but dont charge us unless they did).

Post # 4
2853 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012


Yeah, I’ve never heard of a venue requiring a final number so early.

Post # 5
3570 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

That really sucks.  I guess they wanted a guarantee number at the beginning.  We didn’t have to give our numbers until 3 days before, and even then we had some no-shows.  We lost a little over $1,000 because of it, and I was furious.

Post # 6
405 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

omg I can’t believe that there are venues that only let you increase.  I had a great venue that let me give them my final count 3 days beforehand.  We invited 312, 246 rsvp’d yes, and 1 person didn’t show up. 

Post # 7
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Wow I’m surprised that the venue was so strict about the numbers that they would require a headcount before RSVPs were received & final headcount determined.  I’m really sorry to hear about the 40 no-shows.  That sucks 🙁 It’s simple, if you don’t plan on coming, don’t RSVP yes!

We initially planned on 50-75 so signed our contract with a minimum guarantee of 50.  Ended up inviting 182 + a handful of kids (under 12).  We had 138 RSVP “yes” + 9 kids (half price) + 6 vendors (DJ/priests/photographer @ half-price).  Gave the final headcount to the venue a week before (with a heads up that our #s had more than doubled).  We ended up with 6 no-shows and thought that was pretty rough.

As much as we try not to focus on money, the reality is that money & budgeting is a significant part of wedding planning.  Between the venue over-charging you & all of the no-shows you have every right to be upset about having to pay for people that weren’t even there.

Post # 8
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

The contract we had with our venue had a specified head count on there. That number could not decress but could only increase. We almost got in the same situation as you, we originally told them 180 because that’s how many we were inviting, but THANKFULLY Fiance and I said to each other that we were hoping for 150 yes-es in a year and the wedding coordinator heard us and said, “oh then we will change your contract to 150”, nothing had been signed yet. PHEW

But no, our FINAL head count isn’t due until 2 weeks prior to the event. But whatever head count we had on our contract is the minimum head count.

Post # 9
5110 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2011

I really have no advice for this. I am just sorry. When you break the money down like that yes it is a lot of money and that is sad when you think about everything you could have done withthat, but I guess you just have to remember how awesome your wedding was. You said yourslef that it was perfect for you!!

Post # 10
4335 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

wow, 40 people didn’t show up?! that is crazy! I’m so sorry for you. 🙁

Post # 12
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012 - Salvage One, Chicago

I’m so sorry!  I almost had that happen with our caterer.  After we worked out what we wanted, etc and were about to sign the contract way back last October I triple checked it and saw that like you, once we gave them a number, we couldn’t go below it.  I had our count at 200 because that’s how many we were inviting.  Thank god I checked and was able to lower it to 160 before we signed the contract!   Did the venue include food?  If it did, for that amount of descrepancy they should have at least given you the food you were charged for!

Post # 13
1091 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

That’s bizarre you’d need a definitive number like that so early.  We had to give our venue a minimum when we signed, but we knew we’d be inviting at least 200, and the venue’s minimum was 100, so we just signed for 100 and they said it would be no problem to up it to capacity (450) if need be (good grief I hope not!).  We don’t give them a final head count until 2 weeks out.

Post # 14
10285 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’ve contacted and personally visited a boat load of venues when we were looking and I’ve NEVER heard of a venue requiring a guaranteed head count that early on. Most will ask for an estimate to make sure they can accomidate your party but noone required anything to be concrete until like 2-3 weeks before the event. It’s majorly sucky that your venue has this ridiculous practice. 

It always sucks when guests who RSVP’ed that they were coming don’t show. It’s one thing if something unexpected came up (like an illness or something) but 40 people not coming is just rude. I’m sorry that happened and that you lost out on all of that money. I would be pissed too. 

To answer your question, we invited 83, had 63 RSVP, 1 person didn’t show who said she was coming and 3 people came who didn’t RSVP. The extra 3 were a little annoying just because they weren’t on the seating chart and we didn’t have any extra favors for them but we made it work and our venue didn’t charge us for their meals. We ended up paying for whatever they drank at the bar but I imagine it was such a small amount so it didn’t even make a difference. 

Post # 15
27 posts
  • Wedding: September 2011

That is so annoying!! I would be angry too. And I have never heard of a venue not letting you decrease the numbers! Glad to hear you had a great day though.

Our venue needed the final number one week before the date. We invited 130. 96 RSVP’d yes, and 95 showed up (one of my parents friends called to cancel the night before). But a bunch of people came late or didn’t show up to the ceremony at all which I personally think is rude, And maybe 2 people came after dinner was  served. We also invited one of the hubby’s friends to come for drinking and dancing (he insisted) and then he never showed!! So with all the no shows, so we lost about $300 in total.

But three people that RSVP’d no sent us checks of one hundred bucks each, so it kind of evend out in the end.

Post # 16
212 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

That is so much money and so rude in general 🙁  

Luckily I have a sister in the business who was able to offer this advice in advance – always underestimate by a lot in contracts b/c they’ll be more than happy to increase.  

I am sorry you had to find out this way and the venue was not more flexible with you.  On the bright side, congratulations – you have married your soul mate and in the end, it’s the most important part of the day that you cannot put a price on!!!

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