Post # 17
I totally understand your hurt, however I’m sure you have just been unlucky, it’s the way averages can work, I think you have picked a day when a surprisingly high number of people have other commitments or don’t have time off work. Just like you can throw four 1s in a row with a die.
l agree with pps not to bulk numbers with other guests’ hangers on. We only had 12 people at our wedding by choice and it was wonderful and everybody had a great time. The only thing small numbers probably preclude is dancing.
I would lobby charmingly with your caterers to gain upgrades to your food and drink provision per head so it is sensational and you don’t resent the minimum spend so much. They should be willing not to screw you by making a windfall margin because of your low numbers.
Post # 17
Sorry. It stinks when you plan something and people aren’t able to make it.
A few questions:
1. You said the wedding is local – is it local to your guests? Because I’m not sure what people would have to save for besides a couple of bucks for gas money and maybe parking money. If there are things like that or an entrance fee for wherever you are hosting the wedding, could you cover that cost for them of that was a factor?
2. Did they all say no or have you just not heard back? 9 months is way too early to send invites. What was your rsvp deadline? Was that early too? Save the dates are for notifying people that an invitation will be forthcoming. Invites go out 6-8 weeks in advance. Many people don’t know what their schedule might look like that far in advance or be hesitant to commit that early. Or they might have forgotten all about the invitation sitting in their drawer for months. If you haven’t gotten concrete answers from everyone, make some calls.
3. Is your wedding this weekend and are you in the US? Is that is why it is too late? Cause it is a holiday weekend, one where many have traditional annual plans. No matter how much notice you give, many won’t cancel their plans. Stinks, but is to be expected.
4. While you shouldn’t just invite random friends of friends, if any of the 14 are single and didn’t get a plus one this is the perfect opportunity to call them up and extend one.
Post # 18
I totally agree with upgrading your food and beverage, and you shouldn’t have to ‘lobby charmingly’ unless your wedding is a week or less out. Rather than ask about the minimum number, ask what the minimum food and beverage spend is. Get that number first. Then get other menu options and change your menu. As a former caterer, I would have zero problem with this, and in fact offered it to any bride or group who were falling short so they weren’t giving money to us for nothing.
Post # 19
Thanks for all you responses! Answers to some of the questions:
The wedding is June 17th which is a Saturday and I’m in Canada so no special holidays that week
My RSVP deadline was May 1st with May 17th being the deadline set by the venue and caterer for getting final numbers to them
I have received definite no’s from everyone but 6 people, all of whom I called to see if they were coming (they all said no).
The wedding is local and about 70% of the invited guest live in town or one town over (40 minute drive at most). The out of town guests are all relatives and all of them made it to my sister’s wedding two years ago in August but none are coming to mine.
I’m at a loss as to what I’ve done wrong, or as it was mentioned maybe it was just bad luck. I had a mini break down last night and cried my eyes out because none of my grandparents are going to be there to see me get married, but things always look brighter in the morning and now I’m determined to have to best wedding ever for the 14 guests who are coming!
Post # 20
Can you avoid empty chairs by having the venue only set up the number of chairs that will be needed? Unless they are church pews, I would think they could do that for you. Same with reception tables. Things will look less empty if it looks like it was meant to be that way. Small weddings are just as wonderful as big weddings, and I am sure yours will be beautiful.
Post # 21
Did you get a reason from any of them? Its so weird that 30 people (including your grandparents and family) would RSVP no if they live in driving distance. Just makes me wonder if there’s something else going on.
Post # 22
Look at it this way: less guests means that you can spend more per guest! Hello, fancy chargers or more expensive chairs that most people wouldn’t want to spend on if it meant paying for 50+ guests. Look on Pinterest for “small weddings” and see how intimate and wonderful they are 🙂 A friend of mine had a very small wedding with their immediate family only and their dog. It was so beautiful and intimate. I loved looking at all of the photos.
Post # 23
I wish I could have had a small wedding with 14-20 people. You get to put so much more thought into decorations and spend money on other fin things!
Don’t get discouraged, I think it will be more fun this way!
Post # 24
A small number is ok, a lot of people didn’t come to my wedding but it was a holiday weekend so I was expecting that. Really sucks that it isn’t a holiday but people still can’t come, but I guess it’s just bad luck.
What reasons did your grandparents give for not coming though? That seems weird. Other guests sure but what could your grandparents have possibly planned 9 months in advance that they couldn’t have said “oh we are on vacation that weekend can you pick another date?” before you booked.??
Post # 25
There’s got to me more to the story. Are people giving you reasons for declining? (not that one is necessarily needed but if this many people are saying no it just seems strange)
Post # 26
You didn’t do anything wrong. The fact of the matter is it’s just the luck of the draw sometimes. I have one very close friend who hates weddings. HATES! I’m not even sure I can convince her to come to mine if I have one. I have another friend who loves weddings and she has been my plus one to many weddings despite her knowing no one else. She’s a blast to hang with and we always have fun. I was just invited to a wedding the same day as yours and while I like my cousin I’m going to decline. In theory I can make the two hour drive and there are hotel rooms left, but I’m planning a trip the following week and want that weekend to myself at home to take care of some other stuff. It’s not a reflection on him, but on what is going on in my life.
I know this is a very special moment in your life to you and it is hard to not take personally, but to everyone else it is one event in a lifetime of events for all the people we know and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.
Post # 27
I’ve received some feedback from guests who declined, it’s been all different reasons. My one set of grandparents isn’t coming because my grandma fell at my sister’s wedding and now she’s terrified of doing the same at mine (totally different situations though, my sister had a farm wedding outside and the ground was very uneven, mine is inside or on paved areas…) and my other grandparents don’t want to travel (they live out of town). Other reasons have been “we just bought a house” “our car broke down” and “a family member died last month so we’re too sad to celebrate”. I’m starting to get paranoid that no one really likes me because those all seem like strange excuses to me.
The one thing I can think of is we’re having a fully vegetarian dinner so maybe people don’t like that? No one has said that’s the reason they’re not coming though, and I did provide coupons to a local BBQ joint for anyone needing meat before or after the wedding.
Post # 28
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
Any of those things could happen so their reasons could be completely valid but they do sound a little suspicious. If the majority of your guests aren’t vegetarians then maybe the menu is a contributing factor. That doesn’t make it ok and certainly wouldn’t prevent me from attending a wedding but I can see how that might not interest others, especially if some of the responses are from people you aren’t particularly close with.
Post # 29
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
I still think you’ll have an amazing day. 😊 If we could start fresh with planning I’d love a 20 person or less event.
Post # 30
If the menu is enough reason for someone to decline coming, then that is terrible. Does a vegetarian menu excite me? Nope. But I bet it would still be decent and one meal that doesn’t rock my world isn’t going to hurt me.
Sounds like it’s mostly just rotten luck, and I’m so sorry to hear that you have been so disappointed! That is a huge blow but I agree – reset your expectations. You said the most important people will be there, which helps. Will this smaller number make anything cheaper, or are all the prices already locked in? I agree with setting up fewer tables and chairs. You could maybe reach out to people and let them know they can bring a date if they couldn’t already, to add a handful of people without being totally random. I do understand reluctance about paying for people you’ve never met though!