Post # 17
We had something similar happen. We invited 164, expected 130, and ended up with 106. I was crushed that certain guests weren’t able to come. We did not have a B-list and really there wasn’t enough time to add people.
My mom was really worried that the smaller number of guests would not fill up the tent. The tent we had ordered, however, was barely big enough to seat 130 guests so the smaller number gave us some more room. We ended up getting rid of the head table, having a sweetheart table for us, and seating the bridal party with the rest of the guests.
We had long tables of up to 20 guests with a minimum of 15 guests per table. This gave us more wiggle room at each table in terms of seating. a swing of five seats per table was very helpful. Round tables of 8 or 10 wouldn’t have been that forgiving.
The smaller number of guests also gave me some flexibility with our budget so I went ahead and ordered a bunch of Japanese paper lanterns from Luna Bazaar. The lanterns helped fill the space above everyone’s head, making the tent feel much more intimate (brings the “ceiling” down so to speak).
If you can’t move rooms or venues, you can change how your room is laid out and decorated, which will allow you to express your personal style and make things appear more intimate. Talk to your venue. I bet you could negotiate for all sorts of things: draping the area over dancefloor with fabric and accenting with uplights, adding potted plants around the edges, or curtain walls like a PP mentioned.
Post # 18
I echo the other poster’s great ideas! I think the best thing would be to ask your venue for extras…that’s probably the easiest fix to your dilemma. I would then followup by inviting a few extras, and only as a last resort look into changing your venue. It is really difficult to get the information to the guests and go through all the details again, probably losing your deposit and then finding a new place that’s avaialble on your date!
Post # 19
here’s another idea: are you hosting any other events related to the wedding? oot brunch, rehearsal dinner, etc? could your venue accomodate those somehow and have that attributed somewhat towards the minimum? if it’s a time when the venue is usually not used anyway, they may not mind. no harm asking.
Post # 20
We’ve got something similar happening with our wedding, so we’re taking the opportunity to add some extra touches we might not have otherwise, e.g. food, decor, extra stuff in hospitality bags, etc.
Visually-speaking,I think the ballroom will be just fine with a smaller group. I’d recommend not spreading the tables out more than a handful of inches more than you would have it if was a full house/100% acceptance, and make sure it’s not super far from each other (one would think spreading them out to “fill up” the place looks better, but it really just makes it look more empty somehow). Also, depending on what kind of tables you have (round vs. banquet/long), you could even do a more intimate/creative style of seating, e.g. a couple long tables across from each other where everyoen sits around them and can chit chat or set up a large square of tables so everyone is sitting around the square and able to see each other, etc. That could be even more festive/fun in my opinion.
Regardless of how the tables are set up, your wedding may feel more intimate with less people, and you will defintiely be able to spend more time and have a moment to celebrate with each and every person who is able to attend instead of rushing around trying to catch up with everyone or say thank you or whatever!
Post # 21
our venue let us include our rehearsal dinner in the minimum (it was kind of favor to us) which was the only reason we met our minimum, which in hindsight was too high for us from the beginning. but if we hadn’t done that, we could have added something to make up for it – more food or desserts or a signature drink or a more expensive or different type of entree. definitely ask. i know for our place we couldn’t cancel without having to pay them the ENTIRE amount, which wouldn’t have made any sense.