Post # 1
My FI and I are in a disagreement over whether vendors are included in the maximum headcount allowed by the venue.
My feeling is, if a vendor will be occupying a seat/served a meal, they are included. (Ie, photographer)
But the catering staff (who will be in the kitchen and serving food) would not be included. (I hope not, because that could add 5-10 people easily!) and the band/DJ… ?
How does this work? Help!
Post # 2
What is the headcount for?
If it is for capacity (i.e.firecode) you include everyone.
If it is for meals, you include vendors you are feeding a proper meal unless they have a separate headcount for them. So yes to photographers and the DJ or band (double check your contract – most require a meal). The caterer’s/venue’s own staff would not be (usually caterers eat leftovers after everyone has been served). You may want to distinguish that X number will be for vendors because they will either hold those plates to serve them at a different time (I know many DJs prefer to eat at their booth and don’t require a table seat, but your caterer still needs to know they require a meal) or if your bar cost is rolled into it will maybe offer a discount since they shouldn’t be partaking in the open bar.
Post # 3
ask your venue. The max headcount may be seated guests (because there are only so many tables you can fit), or it may be a fire code thing. Only way to know is to ask.
Post # 4
This isn’t really a philosophical issue where you can argue your position. Call the venue and ask.