(Closed) Wedding no-shows. How can I prevent loss of money?

posted 6 years ago in Married Life
  • poll: How many people "no -showed" or cancelled for your wedding after caterer numbers were due?

    Everyone attended!

    < 2 people

    3-5 people

    more than 5 people

  • Post # 16
    536 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    You don’t want to have to worry day of.  You will probably not know that day if people don’t show.  You definitely want to make sure there are enough seats and place settings set up.  If you are at an inclusive site not as bad, but if you are at a venue where you rent extra settings are not easily set up.

    Post # 17
    6586 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We had everyone show up- zero no shows. But you know your family/social circle- so what would you expect?

    Post # 18
    392 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    We had multiple families not come.  Maybe since we were having a larger wedding they thought that was okay? Not sure, it was rude in my opinion but not much I could do about it.  I would rather have more food than not enough.

    Post # 19
    625 posts
    Busy bee

    View original reply
    laur371:  The problem with underreporting and then adding guests to the count on the day of is that when are you going to have time to do this on day of? And how will you be counting the guests? Some people are late to the ceremony, some come to the ceremony but then can’t stay for the reception, some miss the whole ceremony but make it to the reception. We did not know who actually made it to the reception and who didn’t until after food was being served. 

    Post # 20
    389 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    Sometimes people don’t show. It sucks, but it is how it is. I wouldn’t reduce the numbers just incase everyone shows and bring extra uninvited guests. Better to have too much food then be the wedding everyone is talking about because they had to go to KFC after because they were so hungry.

    Post # 21
    2059 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    we had 30 no shows. it still makes me mad. unfortunately, i expected some of them to not show up (my dad’s family is really flakey), but i couldn’t really dismiss them just in case they actually did show.

    there’s really not much you can do. our caterer let us keep all the leftover food, so we didn’t lose any money in that area, but we still had to pay for all the empty chairs, place settings, etc.

    Post # 23
    223 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    View original reply
    laur371:  There was actually a “100 year flood” the day of our wedding which they didn’t see coming.  It prevented about 30 people from being able to make it because they were stranded in their homes.  So, we were just out that money.  At least we were still able to get married and it turned out beautiful!  Some things you just can’t plan for.  Things could easily come up for some of your guests but don’t take it personally.  Hopefully everyone can make it though!  

    Post # 25
    2430 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

    View original reply
    laur371:  Limit your guest list to people who actually WANT to come to your wedding.  Often the no-shows are people the couple isn’t that close to anyway, so they don’t feel bad about missing the event.  (Obviously this doesn’t account for emergency/unforseen issues cancelations) 

    We kept our guest list small for this exact reason, there was only 1 couple who canceled at the last minute and they did it for a good reason.  It was a cousin who’s brother (also a wedding guest who had recently fallen off the wagon into drugs, unbeknownst to me at the time) had blatantly stated on Facebook that he was going to pick a fight/cause a scene at my wedding with his brother about an unrelated issue the two were having.  So, they called my mom explained the situation and stated they didn’t want to be the cause of that sort of disruption and that they wouldn’t be able to make it.  He then sent me a very sweet email claiming a last minute work obligation as why they couldn’t come.  I knew it was BS when he sent it, but I appreciated his attempt to keep me out of the family drama and avoid the scene all together.  I didn’t get the full details until after the wedding. 

    Really, there’s nothing you can do to prevent this from happened besides being selective about who you invite.  

    As for the “reminder” I think this is rude.  Maybe posting on Facebook about how excited you are that it’s just one week away or something for those guests who are your friends there, but no, I don’t think an official reminder is appropriate in any capacity, these are supposed to be people who want to celebrate with you, if they can’t even remember the date it can’t be that important to them and they don’t belong there in the first place. 

    Post # 26
    2263 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I think I would be a lot more embarssed to run out of food for people who did show up than save the money by under cutting my cater.  The reason caters need to know in advance your numbers so they can order the amount they need from their venders to feed your guests.  They may slightly over order, but I wouldn’t place money on them being able to cover addtional people unless you have it in your contract. 

    Post # 27
    3791 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    View original reply
    laur371:  we were tracking a few people down the week that our numbers were due with our caterer, which was 3 weeks past the RSVP due date. I found out that some invites were never received, so that was great. However, the ones that we tracked down and got Yes’s from were some of the ones who actually no-showed without any explanation.

    I don’t think you can really avoid this, no matter what you do. We did get a couple extra meals for each type, just in case those that RSVP’d as not coming were able to make it. But, I don’t think any of those extras were used.

    We also lost out on money when we did pizzas later on. We had a large group stay until the end, but a lot of people (including my college friends, who shoudl have stayed longer) all left to go to the hotel bar before the pizza came out – so that was about 10-12 people that would have easily put a dent in the pizza. And, we didn’t even get to keep any pizza that was leftover at the end. Waste, but… we figured we’d have more stick around than what did.

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