Jo
Devoted March 2020

Nervous about venue minimum.

Jo, on September 23, 2019 at 5:53 PM Posted in Planning 1 17
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So our venue requires a minimum of 130 guests to attend. At the moment we have 144 people on the guest list (including me and my FH). We have really invited everyone we want there. Most people (except 5) are local but our wedding is the Saturday before thanksgiving so it is kind of hard to figure out who will most likely be able to go. My FH and I have friends from college we could invite, but it would feel like an obligation and not because we want them there.

Do you think we are inviting enough people? Or any advice on what to do if we are not? I’m stressing a lot about this because if we don’t hit 130 people we have to pay the per person cost and then there’s a fee on top of that.

EDIT: Just to clarify, our venue does not have a minimum cost that we need to spend so we cannot upgrade any packages to meet a minimum. It is a minimum capacity amount of 130 people.

17 Comments

  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle ·
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    Maybe you can provide people with plus ones if you haven't already, should you not get enough people?
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  • earias
    Champion December 2017
    earias ·
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    Usually the minimum is a food and beverage minimum, not necessarily a guest number minimum. In that case, you would pay as though 130 guests attended. Most venues allow you to use this money to upgrade and add items such as an additional app during cocktail hour or a late night snack. Have you asked your venue if this is an option?

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  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly Online ·
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    Usually it’s a monetary minimum rather than a guest minimum. Could you upgrade your food or bar package if you have less than 130 people? RSVPs are one of those things that can vary so much and there are people with 100% yes responses and people with less than 50%. So I would hate to tell you to invite more and more people RSVP yes than you can afford to host.
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  • Jo
    Devoted March 2020
    Jo ·
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    The venue is not a price minimum because all food, drinks, etc are included. It is a 130 person minimum so we couldn’t upgrade anything to meet the minimum. I really didn’t think not having enough people would be an issue because my sister had 180 people at her wedding!
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  • Jo
    Devoted March 2020
    Jo ·
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    All food, drinks, and everything is included in the price per person so they have a capacity minimum of 130 person and a max of 150. We can’t upgrade to meet any minimum. The contract says we would have to pay the price per person for any amount under 130 and “any additional fees” so I’d just like to reach 130 lol. And That’s what I’m nervous about - Inviting extra and then everyone says yes and then we have a wedding we didn’t budget for or more people than the venue can hold!
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  • Yoice
    Rockstar March 2019
    Yoice ·
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    Exactly this!
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  • Anna
    Expert August 2020
    Anna ·
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    That's a really narrow window for minimum/maximum numbers- jeez!. It's always hard to gauge RSVP #s vs invites. I'm sure lots of others using your venue have the same concerns. This happened to my co-worker and they just decided to eat the fees. The only other option is to invite extra people and you've already stated you don't want to do that.

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  • Yoice
    Rockstar March 2019
    Yoice ·
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    Wow that is a very fine line between minimum and maximum amount. I would be nervous if that’s the case specially if you have to pay 130 plus a fee. I don’t think you have much room to play with in order to add more than 144. I say send invites early so you get replies soon and then send a second round to list b if need it to meet the requirements.
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  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
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    Provided you could afford it if 130 come, talk to the vendor. They understand unpredictable numbers near holidays. What most ( and every catering service I ever worked) will agree to, is that if you are under numbers, say 20, instead of wasted money for 20 meals never to be eaten, but paid for, they will give you an upgrade, extra things. So maybe now you get to choose hot apps at cocktail hour, instead of crackers and cheese. Or 2 hours after dinner they bring out a tray of baklava, a tray of filled pastries, and fresh coffee, for a one hour extra dessert time. You still pay the money. But you get something for it. . . . You are right in not just inviting extra due to numbers, though if you start out saying no to some dates, if you get a lit if declines, you can let some people know, privately by phone, that you will issue an invitation for a date you did not think you had room for. That is not considered B listing, to add a companion invitation for someone already invited.

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  • Jo
    Devoted March 2020
    Jo ·
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    We might just have to do that! I Know the additional fees are small, so it wouldn’t be that much anyways. I know at my sisters wedding they expected a lot of people to RSVP no because it was a DW but they had almost 90% say yes. Mine is local so hopefully I have the same response!
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  • P
    Dedicated April 2020
    Paris ·
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    My venue has a 125 minimum so no matter if 115 people come we still have to pay for 125. So far we have 150 people on the guest list, I think you have the right amount to play it safe.
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  • Jo
    Devoted March 2020
    Jo ·
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    That is a great suggestion!! Hopefully we’ll have the 130 people but we will definitely talk to the vendor if we don’t. I figured we couldn’t add plus ones after we sent out the invites but that’s also good to know that we can just in case. Thanks so much!
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  • Andrea
    Expert May 2020
    Andrea ·
    • Flag
    I agree that’s frustrating to have a 20 person window. Our venue is by $$ so if we don’t meet the minimum I can just add more high end touches.
    Have you spoke to your vendor, are there other things not food related they can upgrade? High end bar? Chivari chairs? Upgraded linens? Anything would be better than having to pay for people that aren’t there. If they’re making you pay for the extra food, you should absolutely take it to go. My cousins wedding had a similar situation and you better believe my aunt got all that food! And if they know you’re going to ask for all of the extra food prepared, maybe they’ll cut you a deal.
    I personally wouldn’t want to add guests that didn’t make the initial list so if you can’t add anything else, I would just take the loss. There’s really nothing else you can do.
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  • Renee
    Super November 2020
    Renee ·
    • Flag
    My venues minimum is 100, we pay for that amount no matter what. From what I've seen on here and past experiences, about 3/4 of ppl rsvp yes. We've got 149 ppl on our list so far. I'd suggest possibly inviting some more people to get closer to 130
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  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
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    Added: a lot of venue's say they will not upgrade, at the time they originally meet with you. Because they do not want people hopelessly far from their minimums booking, and having half the numbers. Because half as many, getting upgrades, still buy less booze, require fewer rentals, whatever. But once you are booked as a person reasonably likely to meet minimum, the relax things and will provide some upgrades. They want you to go away happy, and praise and tip them, and refer other business. Just because they start saying no upgrades, to screen out those who simply need a smaller venue, does not mean that cannot change. Just make sure you ask for things that are not staff intensive to make or serve.
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  • Kimberly
    Expert October 2019
    Kimberly ·
    • Flag

    If you don't meet the minimum could you put the difference someplace else? FH and i looked a venue with a guest minimum and she told us i we didn't have the minimum # of guests we would still have to pay the minimum but we could use it towards an extra food station or dessert station in it's place.

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  • Lauren
    Super September 2019
    Lauren ·
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    We have a minimum of 250 including vendors. We invited 310 with 6 vendors. In the end we have a total of 247 including our vendors. We don't mind paying for the extra 3 spaces. We had a few more declines than we expected.
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