(Closed) Suggestions Appreciated on Huge Seating Problem

posted 9 years ago in Food
Post # 3
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I have a friend who is doing a family-only ceremony, followed by larger reception. No one from our group of friends thinks it’s strange — we knew she just prefers a more intimate setting for the ceremony.  In fact, most of the guys are glad they don’t have to sit through the ceremony haha

Our invitations are to a “reception celebrating the marriage” and that’s it (with the reception start time).

Honestly, I feel like this is your only option. Inviting guests but then having nowhere for them to fit in the room is rude.  As a host, your responsibility is to make your guests comfortable. Even inviting them but stating there’s limited room is not a good solution because then you’re putting the burden on your guests to decide whether or not they should chance coming to the ceremony and that’s also putting them in an uncomfortable / awkward situation.  

Post # 5
8375 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009


Why not have the ceremony in the largest room at the mansion — the one you planned to use for your reception, then have your reception in several of the smaller rooms. You could still make use of the the larger room for the dancing portion and other activities of the reception later in the evening. I attended a reception in a mansion, and many of the guests were at tables in the smaller rooms. We just went downstairs for all of the activities following dinner. It’s not ideal, but at least you could accommodate everyone for the ceremony. If the piano is an issue, perhaps it can be moved to the larger room?

Post # 6
286 posts
Helper bee

I know this is totally not ideal, at all. But have you considered telling people the size of the room, that seats will be allocated to family, elderly and then anyone who was formally invited to the ceremony, adding that if anyone really want’s to be there but there isn’t the space they would be welcome to stand at the back/sides of the room, but you’re more than happy for people to simply attend the reception? That will get the message across, not ailenate anyone but make it clear that there really won’t be much space?

If I saw that, I’d probably get the message that it would be best for me not to attend (if I weren’t a super close friend of yours) but I wouldn’t feel like I was unwelcome.

I know this might be considered “tacky” or whatever, but I doubt you’d get more than 3 people chosing to stand anyway…

Post # 7
9987 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

My goal is a beautiful, elegant wedding and reception that doesn’t offend anyone!

Honestly – this isn’t going to happen if you have a tiered reception.  I know you don’t want opinions like this, but I find inviting some people to a ceremony and not others, but having them all at a reception immediately following the ceremony as very, very rude.  It basically tells some guests that they weren’t good enough to make the cut for the ceremony, but they can come to the part where gifts are typically given.  Further, the reception is supposed to thank guests for attending your ceremony, so this defeats the purpose.

My suggestion would be to cut your guest list down to make sure everyone can fit in both parts of the night -ceremony and recepetion.  Otherwise, you could do a private (family only) ceremony earlier in the day, and cut the entire ceremony from the night portion.  A final choice is to move the ceremony into the ballroom where everyone will fit and lose out on the piano in the ceremony room.

Post # 8
2523 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Is there a space at the mansion that can accommodate everyone  for the ceremony, even if it doesnt have a piano? Personally I wouldn’t mind skipping the ceremony but others might. 

Also if you include printed inserts with your invites, make sure to face them away from the invite so the printer ink doesn’t rub off on the invites. 

Post # 9
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Is having a piano that much more important than allowing all your family and friends witness one of the happiest moments of your life?

If it is that’s fine. Have 2 separate invites and find the balance between having both family and friends their that will be seated comfortably in the room.

But i truly believe that you will regret not having everyone there to witness your “I DO’S”

Post # 10
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@SavBride:  Perhaps the solution is then to just ask those 8 close friends if they could stand in the back of the ceremony room until everyone else has taken a seat?  If there’s open chairs they can take them, otherwise stand.  If they’re your bff’s then they’ll understand. And that way family you know less well won’t be offended that there are no seats for them?

I also like @Brielle ‘s suggestion to reconfigure your use of rooms!

Post # 11
2121 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

only invite family and close friends, not the out of towners. its not ideal. but i think its far worse to invite someone and hint that they shouldnt attend as there wouldnt be space

only invite people for whom there is space

Post # 13
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think yours is a case where an A and B list makes sense.  

Invite the people who you really want/need to be there first relatively early.  Everyone else goes onto a B list.  Each time a “no” RSVPs comes in, send out an invitation to someone on the B list.  This way, you will always have room for the guests you invite.

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