Elysia
Dedicated May 2022

Getting Rejected by Venues?

Elysia, on April 24, 2021 at 8:20 AM Posted in Planning 0 61
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Hi everyone! After cancelling our wedding, my fiancé and I are trying to plan things again. Our ideas of what we want have drastically changed, originally we were going to invite close to 60 people, now we plan to invite only 35. We live in PA in the Lehigh Valley area. Ideally, we’d like our wedding to be close to home, but we’re running into a lot of roadblocks.


I’ve messaged multiple venues, asking for more information. Each one got back to me straight up saying they wouldn’t do my wedding, that I should consider a larger guest list. I get my hopes up for the next venue to say something different, but so far that’s not the case. This is really disappointing, not everyone wants a big wedding, and one of the venues even had pages on their website saying they are known for their “small, intimate receptions”.
I’m not sure what to do here. We’re not changing our guest count, this is what we’ve decided on. Getting rejected by venues is taking the excitement out of planning. We’ve pretty much exhausted the options in our area and don’t know where to look now. Any ideas?

61 Comments

Latest activity by Sam, on May 18, 2021 at 9:35 AM
  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah Online ·
    • Flag
    Have you looked into private rooms in restaurants near you? Some have enough room for a full wedding reception, including a DJ, and they usually cater to smaller guest lists. Other than that, could you see if these venues would be open to your guest list on a Thursday, Friday, or Sunday?
    • Reply
  • B
    Super July 2017
    Becky Online ·
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    I agree with Sarah - check with local (nice) restaurants that have private rooms. We had 40 or so people at our rehearsal dinner and we got a private room at a restaurant for it - it was lovely and there was plenty of room for everyone (at this particular property there was also a patio associated with the private room, which was very nice).

    • Reply
  • Nicole
    Devoted August 2022
    Nicole Online ·
    • Flag
    I ran into this looking for a venue for 65 people. Most venues prioritize larger weddings on the weekends because it makes them more money. They'll have a food&beverage minimum that you can't possibly meet unless you have 150 people, or they'll just have a guest count minimum of 125 on a Saturday, etc.


    I found more success with non-traditional venues, such as inns, B&B's, restaurants, etc and searching for microwedding packages. Also, if you can consider a weekday or non-peak season then the traditional venues will often remove their minimums and be more flexible.
    • Reply
  • KYLIE
    Expert May 2019
    KYLIE ·
    • Flag
    Definitely look into classy restaurants! They’ll likely have better food than wedding factory venues and be more willing to work with you.
    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Legend March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    Have you asked for a non-Saturday night? We ran into high guest minimums too. But venues usually waive minimums for brunch wedding or weekday evening.
    • Reply
  • W
    Super September 2020
    Willow Online ·
    • Flag
    I'd look into neutral event spaces that don't cater to weddings specifically. Conference rooms, women's clubs, gardens, hotels, parks, city spaces.


    Good luck!
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    Look outside the box at non-wedding venues. Take a look at eventective.com, peerspace.com or the local parks department.

    • Reply
  • Grace
    Rockstar February 2022
    Grace ·
    • Flag
    My venue is an old hotel that converted the bottom floor into an event space and the upper floors into apartments. There are all sorts of spaces out there that are not exclusively used for weddings! Meeting halls, gardens with pavillions, buildings at local/state/national parks, some libraries or museums, local fire departments, and many more options. You will find something and it will probably be cheaper than the places that initially turned you down.
    • Reply
  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
    • Flag
    Would you ever consider looking on either Airbnb or VRBO to rent beautiful house/mansion and property for the day? You would definitely want to let the homeowners know of your intentions, but I think it would actually be a lot cheaper for you to do this, and you will have total control of everything. As long as you find a catering company that provides linens and tables in plate-ware etc., that would take a lot of the guesswork out for you. You could also work with a decor company and get a beautiful tent and go all out on the decor because he won’t be spending as much on a venue.The homeowners may require you to get some type of insurance, but this is really all dependent upon how the homeowners feel.
    • Reply
  • Katie
    VIP August 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    I've seen this on many venue and catering sites, they state in the website somewhere that you have to have x amount of people as a minimum or they won't do your wedding. it's unfortunately the world of weddings and they can do it because they know there is a thousand more brides that will have more than their minimum which means way more money. They don't want to do 100 little wedding in a year when they can do 20 big wedding and make the same amount.



    That's why we are just having our small intimate wedding in our backyard and having BBQ for dinner.
    • Reply
  • Elysia
    Dedicated May 2022
    Elysia ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    All the venues I reached out to gave me a hard no when I tried to negotiate. There’s a few nice restaurants near me, but they’re way outside of our budget, and they also don’t have ceremony space. We’re looking for somewhere to have both the ceremony and reception, and if I could find a restaurant that had that, I would book in a heartbeat. But there doesn’t seem to be anywhere in my area that has this.
    • Reply
  • Elysia
    Dedicated May 2022
    Elysia ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    I’ve been doing a lot of research on restaurants in my area and I can’t seem to find anywhere that fits what we’re looking for. For such a small wedding I’d hate to make our guests travel an hour or more away
    • Reply
  • Elysia
    Dedicated May 2022
    Elysia ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    In my experience, the b&bs and similar non-traditional venues in my area are actually more expensive. It’s been hard to find anything reasonable.
    • Reply
  • Elysia
    Dedicated May 2022
    Elysia ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    We actually wanted to do something earlier in the day. Our original wedding (which would have been in a few weeks) was going to be a brunch.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
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    A local parks department has inexpensive venues onsite that have tables, chairs, kitchen. You provide the catering (a local restaurant that does drop off catering is least inexpensive and has more food that is better quality/tasting) and other vendors. This will run you a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding venue.

    • Reply
  • Sexypoodle
    Master October 2021
    Sexypoodle ·
    • Flag
    Have the ceremony at a park. Then find a restaurant with a nice patio that overlooks the water or any views. What about a nice rooftop location with a city skyline? I think either of those would be nice for a brunch style reception. Do you know someone with a nice backyard? You’ll only need about four tables for 35 guestsz
    • Reply
  • Elysia
    Dedicated May 2022
    Elysia ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    So kind of like a park pavilion? I’ll look into that. I was really hoping for a venue where I don’t have to bring everything in and put it all together myself. I’m not really going to have any kind of help day of (besides myself and my fiancé).
    • Reply
  • E
    Beginner October 2022
    Erika ·
    • Flag
    You should check the Lancaster area if that’s not to far for you. I’m from PA as well and my cousin had a small wedding under 30 people and it was at a nice barn in that area, they had a hotel as well incase you or your guest want to stay overnight!
    • Reply
  • JM Sunshine
    August 2020
    JM Sunshine ·
    • Flag
    Aside from a park, you might also look into a local community center or VFW hall.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Yes most park departments own a variety of venues you can rent. Most have tables, chairs, and kitchen already provided. Your vendors will set up like it was any other facility and you just show up.

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