(Closed) The opposite of cutting the guest list…600 plus people

posted 5 years ago in Beehive
Post # 32
964 posts
Busy bee

Well, I’ve been in the business for 30 years so I hope you don’t mind me mentioning a few things you may not have thought of.

– what happens if someone is in the cash bar line when their table is called for the buffet line? Presumably, they abandon drink in favor of food? They eat their meal with no beverage and start all over in the cash bar line-up when they’re done eating?

– you’ve said repeatedly that not enough food/people starving is your biggest no no. How will you control people going to the buffet for seconds before others have even had firsts? Will you have someone standing guard and keeping track somehow of who has eaten and who hasn’t?

– even with a buffet, the number of staff required for clearing, bussing, keeping water pitchers full (which I presume you’ll have on the table so people don’t have to line up for a glass of water), manning the buffet line, kitchen staff, etc is quite large. Is that all covered in your venue cost??

– people are going to get pretty upset at having to spend so much time in line-ups (for food and drinks) and will most likely order 2 or 3 drinks at a time when at the bar. Which will slow the bar line even further. Again, staffing for 600 cash bar is up there. I usually recommend 1 bartender per 150 guests and one barback per 3 bartenders (barback keeps all your supplies and coolers full: beer, liquor, ice, garnish, changing out pop and  CO, bringing clean glasses from the back, etc etc)

– are you sure the venue has agreed to hold all adjacent rooms until your final count?? Will they charge you some nominal fee if you don’t use them? I’ve never heard of a venue holding rooms *just in case* without some kind of compensation. What percentage are you allowing for *didn’t RSVP but showed up any way* in your venue capacity?

– how on earth will you manage making the rounds of greeting and thanking all your guests personally? That’s one of the most important parts of a receptions, is *making the rounds*.

– the no-assigned-seating is super awkward and uncomfortable for people. No one knows where to go or what to do, it puts people in very awkward positions and just creates mass confusion. It is not a guest-friendly concept in the least. It is not doing them a favor by any means.

I just have so many uncomfortable feelings when I think of your entire scenario. You make it sound as though you are inviting all these people as a grand gesture to them, that you want everyone to feel invited and welcome, but what you are doing achieves the exact opposite. Nothing says *cattle* quite like *Bring your money and stand in really long line-ups for the most basic amenities. Also, I put waaaaaay more thought into what gifts you could purchase for us than where you would be most comfortable sitting*.

I can see that you are really resistant to how this might come off but I’m telling you straight out. It comes off like *let’s see how many potential gift-givers we can cram in here for as little money as possible.*

Post # 33
1461 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

IceStormRed:  my neighbor’s are from India and they had 500+ at their wedding and it was pretty much they norm in their family. If you want to do that, I think it’s awesome! 

Post # 34
451 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

IceStormRed:  Wow…I’m sorry but this all sounds sooo messed up. Expected declining rates are usually 10-20%, so at 20% declining that is still 480 people. You say you are only expecting 200-300 at an over 50% decline rate? I just don’t see that happening. I honestly believe your idealistic expectations and the realistic expectations are so far off.  That and the actual cost of everything that you haven’t thought of or come across yet and you are having this July 8? In 2 months?

I’m mostly bothered by your Fiance not having any input and your statement “My fiance is actually not a big people person but he knew what he was getting into when he proposed to me.” OMG this poor man..does he even have a choice in this matter??? IT’S HIS WEDDING. TOO!<br />

Wood coasters you are going to cut yourselves for 300-600 people for favors? ARe you going to make sure they are all bug free, treated with clear coating, etc? Yeah I for one would just roll my eyes and leave that one there. 

Ok i’m stopping now…there are soooooo many delusions of grandeur and bad ettiquette here without the “wedding” taking place, reading your ‘pinterest registry’ post that this is sounding much more of political fundraiser, who cares what my Fiance wants, lets have a huge party not a wedding” type of wedding. Sorry, just my opinion that this is way out of control and does not seem like a wedding at all!

It’s clear in all your replies in all your posts, you are going to do what you want. No one else can tell you anything as you have it all made up in your head already. I wish you nothing but the best with your planning, your wedding and everything else that comes with it. 


Post # 35
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

IceStormRed:  Who in their right mind is against assigned seating for a 600 person event. I’d consider listening to interchangeable rather than your mom.. Who is presumably not an event planner.

It is glaringly obvious at this point that you’re inviting 600 people for the gifts, as you’ve put more effort into the Pinterest ‘registry’ than you have thinking about how to be a good host.

Post # 37
3194 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Meant2Bee:  agreed. it’s possible to make it work.

however, you will need multiple buffets (and thus multiple buffet lines), multiple bars, assigned seating, and multiple event planners, servers, and traffic management folks to keep things running smoothly and conveniently. i went to a 300 person wedding for an indian friend of mine a few years ago, and they had four buffet lines and two bars, so the number of people didn’t bother me in the slightest.

Post # 38
2510 posts
Sugar bee

IceStormRed:  A receiving line for 300 people! Yikes! (Not saying don’t do it, but I’ve heard of receiving lines lasting a long time in general at like 100 people weddings)

Post # 41
1097 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I didn’t realize you mentioned a cash bar so I wanted to chime in on that.

I’m of the mindset that you don’t invite guests you cannot properly host. That includes food and drink. If you can’t afford an open bar, could you do just soda and water? Or that + just beer and wine (without the hard liquors)?

I don’t think it’s fair to say you’re inviting 600 people so you can’t afford to serve them drinks. Obviously that is a lot of money to provides drinks for that many people…which is why you don’t invite that many people if you can’t properly serve them. And you chose to invite that many.

I would revisit your budget, see if you can decrease in other areas or if you can contribute more money to drinks so that you can properly host your guests. 

Post # 44
3734 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

I think this sounds like SO much fun! I have a “the more the merrier” mindset too, and I think you’re going to have a great time. Sounds like you’ve prepared for lots of things and chose a venue that knows how to handle those kinds of numbers, and I honestly think you’ve got it covered! We didnt do a seating chart either, although we only had 180 guests. But honestly, your guests are intelligent adults, and can figure out where to sit… I really dont think this is a big deal, and I prefer to choose where I sit and who I sit with rather than being told like im 5 lol! And cash bars are a regional thing, they happen ALL the time where I’m from, I have actaully heard people get flack for having an open bar here before.

Your venue knows what theyre doing, and sounds like you’ve asked all the right questions… not sure why you’re having to justify your decisions over and over again, but hey, whatever! I really hope you have a beaufiul day, your whole weekend sounds like so much fun, I wish I could come celebrate with you! Congratulations girl!

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