Post # 1
- Wedding: July 2017 - Vineyard on Long Island
Fiance and I made our guest list very shortly after getting engaged just so we could have an idea of where to start. We were aiming for (and fell right around) 150 people. In total, with +1’s for some people we want to give +1 to, our total is 168. However, almost every venue we’ve visited either has a max or min guest count of exactly 150! What are the odds!? (I guess, at this point, you’d say the odds are pretty good if you’ve already been through wedding planning in my region … apparently its common enough for us to have run into this number 9 times haha)
So I ask you, bees, with a guest list of 168, would you go with a venue that has a max of 150 and hope people decline, or a venue with a min of 150 expecting for everyone to be there?
*More information: our wedding will be about a 2-hour drive for most people in attendance. The wedding will be on a Saturday night to give guests plenty of time to travel, and we’ll be offering a post-rehearsal-welcome-pizza-dinner the Friday night before at the hotel.
Post # 3
with that big of a guest list and only 18 people needing to decline i’d say go with max 150. normally i would go against over booking but i think you are okay in this. be sure to include you and Fiance in numbers and ask if vendors count in total too.
we had a min of 80 for a semi destination (4 + hour drive for most) thinking we would hit it no prob. 150 invites later due to travel, expenses, school, work and popular weekend we are expecting only 65… so id go with max 150 if i were you.
Post # 4
I don’t agree with hoping people can decline. I would go for the 150 minimum. Most venues say that to actually guarantee an amount of money that you will spend. Ask them if you can upgrade something (more food, alcohol, better options, etc.) to hit the minimum amount of money equal to 150 people in attendance if you don’t get 150 people. Much better for everyone involved since you aren’t in an embarrassing situation if you get more than 150 and you get some better options!
Plus with the maximums, normally those are fire code dependant, so you also have to include the number of vendors and yourselves in that count, which could put you over 168 if you haven’t done so. That will increase the chance of being over the limit because then you will need more than 18 people to decline (depending on the number of vendors you have).
Post # 5
We didn’t meet our minimum. We upgraded what we could (top shelf alcohol, extra appetizers, etc), and still ended up paying a little extra to meet it. It was no big deal and I’d much rather do that than worrying that too many people come.
Post # 6
Agree with Anon721. If everyone accepts (and that DOES happen), you’re in a bind. If you go under the minimum, you can usually barter with the venue to get extra value for the money you’re contracted to pay. It’s really a minimum $$, rather than minimum person count, that they are usually looking for.!
Post # 7
As someone who works in this industry, I can say two things:
-Not everyone will come. I would bet dollars to donuts that you will wind up with under 150 if you invite 168, and that goes double for something like this where guests will be expected to drive a significant distance and spring for a hotel room. I have a hunch you will wind up WELL under 150.
-With that said, I would probably lean toward the larger venue anyway, provided it’s not cost-prohibitive. It is common to be pretty…liberal…with the official numbers a room can accomodate. Fire code and occupancy laws may say 150 people can squeeze in, but that doesn’t mean the room will feel comfortable and spacious with that many people in attendance.
I would suggest going to the larger venue of your choice and getting them to spell out a food and beverage minimum rather than a minimum guest count. If your numbers come in low, you can always add an extra appetizer station, upgraded desserts, etc. They don’t actually care if there are 30 people or 300 people, as long as they get their income.
Post # 8
I agree, the minimums aren’t necessarily # of people, it’s dollar based. Our venue has a minimum of 100, and if we are under that then we would have to pay the $1000 room rental fee as well as the $80/head.
I would go for the venue with the minimum 150 and upgrade a couple things.
Post # 9
Go for minimum of 150..
Our guest list 1 year out was 220 ish and grew to 275 by the time we sent the invitations.. Not that that will happen to you but we had a 225 minimum so we didn’t have a problem adding family friends/parents friends and what not so our list kept growing. That minimum only means you have to pay for 150 no matter what.. so if you are short a few not a huge deal. Better to be prepared then having to condense and maybe not be able to invite some people