Post # 1
I guess it’s no surprise that the economy has affected everyone’s wallets, but I never would have anticipated it was this bad…
Of our 150 guests invited, we’re really looking at 60-75 at best. The venue has a minimum of 115 already, so we’re forced to pay for all those guests regardless if they’re there or not… While I know we shouldn’t let it bother us, we can’t help it; will the large ballroom look empty? We’re going to pay for an extra $4K for people who aren’t there?
Our wedding is October 16th–and we’ve seriously considered moving the venue. We’re having such a hard time dealing with all the wedding hoopla and conformity, we’d be happier with our guests at a nice restaurant with food/wine/background music piped in. But is that CRAZY? I know we could pull it off… am I the only one experiencing this?
Post # 3
No it’s not crazy and yes it does happen. Today the economy is wacky. Some may even stress about the finances to the point of not getting a gift b/c they can’t afford it and thus not accepting the invite due to guilt.
Do they have a smaller area at the same venue you can use? If not, then look around. There is nothing wrong with a gorgeous restaurant and reception there! I know in my area there are gorgeous restaurants (Kurt’s, Canoe) which have a beautiful area for a wedding and multiple areas for different types and sizes of receptions!
Never fear, the hive is here to help you thru this! Also get some ideas from http://www.intimateweddings.com for help! I’m having an intimate wedding and love the ideas and suggestions!
I would first personally have a sit down with the venue coordinator and explain the situation and be honest about the financial devastation of having to pay an extra 4k for basically nothing. Sometimes honesty and straight-forwardness can also bring some compassion into a meeting you know? These days I firmly think many venues in order to keep their brides, will have and be a bit more leniant as to keep what business they DO have!
Nothing is wrong with an honest negotiation and sit down conference!
Post # 4
I’d recommend talking to your venue. We invited 135, and had 80 attend. Our venue had a minimum of 90. What we did was we called them and asked what could be thrown in if we had less than the minimum attending. In other words, we had to spend x amount regardless, so if we were going to get less than our money’s worth, could they add something on?
They told us that they could throw in plated salads for free (normally a dollar extra per person if you had a buffet) if less than 85 people came. It wasn’t a lot, but it was something! Maybe they’ll let you upgrade to a more expensive meal or add an extra hors d’ouerve so you’ll still be meeting the minimum dollar amount. Good luck!
Post # 5
you still have time to invite more people! Fill it up, you may as well since you are already paying for it and you have 2 months before your wedding.
Post # 6
Your RSVP number could be a little lower because the wedding is on a Friday which means people have to take off time which they might not have time to take off and lose pay so with this economy I think we all have to expect it.
Do you have a B list?
Post # 7
well 60/115 is a lot different than 80/90 … venues need to watch their backs too, it will be a lot of revenue lost for them to change the contract on their end (hence the minimum). I think you understand that so my only answer is ‘no’ I don’t think it will look weird. As far as changing venues, will you save more money by changing the venue or will you lose money because of forfeited deposits?
Also-do you have a ‘B’ guest list?
Post # 8
I agree with Bellenga’s suggestion of talking with your venue first to see if they can compromise on the minimum. I know that won’t address your fear that the ballroom will look empty, but at least you would be out less money. I think a minimum of 115 on 150 invited is a little tight already.
Have you really heard back from that many guests for October 16? Are you sure you’re not speaking too soon? Just had to ask.
You may want to reserach other options as well as use what you’ve found when you talk with your venue contact. At least you’ll know what your viable options are. And I think your guests will understand, so don’t worry about that. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time with everyone who is able to celebrate with you.
Post # 9
I’m really sorry about all this kmorris7, it’s a really sad situation to have to be in . I will send out good thoughts that mabe your venue will work with you concerning the guest count or maybe finding a better venue.
The economy has me worried the same thing will happen to me. I really do want everyone to be able to celebrate with us, and I hate the idea of them not being able to.
Post # 10
Unfortunately, we’ve exhausted our “B” list quite a bit already and I’m not really thrilled about inviting folks just for the sake of… where we’re at is just what it is.
My fiance and I are going to talk more about on Tuesday. The more and more I think about it, I actually would have preferred a smaller gathering from the get-go; it’s more our style anyways but I guess we figured we HAD to do the whole elaboarte ballroom, dancing, traditional expereince. We’re honestly trying to think of ways to make this totally non-traditional just to make it ours…
If we find a smaller venue, we may nix the DJ, which is fine. We would save a ton in the long run–although, we’d lose our deposits already made.
Post # 11
I just wanted to let you know that your not the only bride out there that this has happened to. Our wedding is in 6 days we invited 160 ‘expected’ 120 and in the end only had 92. Our venue also threw in some extra’s for us to help us out a little (table side wine service during dinner).
Post # 12
I’m sorry to hear that. Did your venue have a minimum?
I’m frustrated that we didn’t start planning small from the beginning! I still believe it’s not too late… we have two months from today and really, only need to tell the attending guests where to go after the ceremony.
Post # 13
If you changed venues, would your lost deposits be less than the $4k you’d be paying for nothing? And definitely make sure it’s only your deposits you’d be losing – every venue is different of course, but some charge you the full amount if you cancel within a certain time frame of the wedding.
If you’re not really saving much by moving, you could consider creating a fake wall in your current venue, to make the room smaller… use a curtain, or decorative room dividers. And don’t forget the hassle of telling all of your guests about the change of venue!
Post # 14
This also happened with us. We invited 290 total guests and only 200 are attending. Our problem is that children 6 & under are free which we have a total of 18 so we no longer met the venue minimum of 200. Because of this, our venue gave us a discount on the hors d’ouerves and he has cut costs in other ways which truly helped us out.
Ultimately, you cannot do anything about the declination rate. Now you have to work with what you have and use your negotiation skills with your venue to where you are not losing out on so much money.
Good luck! Keep us posted.
Post # 15
Is there anyone else you could invite like your co-workers, friends of friends, etc.? Like someone else said, see what you can get thrown in so you’re not just paying that money for nothing. I wouldn’t rule out looking for another space, but just keep in mind you’d also have to let people know about the change (printing new invites, letting your vendors know) and you might also incur costs if you break the contract at your venue.
Post # 16
If there is a better time to negotiate with vendor, it would be this one! I think you should approach the Venue Manager and ask if they can work something out. Maybe it is still in that venue but if they can offer you to move it in a smaller room? Maybe they have other alternative to their minimum policy?
I just hate the fact that you will have to lose your deposits 🙁 If you do find a smaller place that you absolutely adore, maybe you can compare the cost of:
A. losing your deposit to your old venue + paying for the new venue with less guest count
B. sticking with old venue + paying for guests who weren’t there