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Kelsey
Curious July 2022 Alberta

Venue first or guest list first?

Kelsey, on July 25, 2019 at 12:42 Posted in Wedding reception 0 14
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Hello! My partner and I got engaged 2 weeks ago so we are just in the baby stages of planning our wedding for 2021.

We've made a guest list and it came out to about 130 people, not too bad. So we are now looking at reception venues (I heard that's the first thing you do) that can accommodate that many guests, mostly hotel ballrooms. But I realized, since invitations haven't been sent out, and won't be for some time, what happens if we put down a deposit on a room for 130 people, and then only 100 people can come? We could have gotten the 100 person ballroom for cheaper! But of course I don't want to book the 100 person room, expecting 30 people to decline. Do you just get the big room and hope for the best?

14 Comments

Latest activity by Ashley, on August 26, 2019 at 16:00
  • Ashley
    VIP August 2020 Ontario
    Ashley ·
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    Tell the hall that there are less people. i would be contacting them and saying 100 people instead of 130. its always easier to add a few chairs then paying for a bunch of people who arent coming. check hotels they have reception sites as well as golf courses they are really nice too and wont break the bank!

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  • Dionne
    Frequent user August 2019 Ontario
    Dionne ·
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    When we were looking at venues we decided we would look for a place that could accommodate up to 150, with our max number being 120. We asked the venue to give us a quote on 130 people (somewhere in the middle). With 2 weeks until our wedding we have 118 confirmed, including us and our vendors. We did have a B list and with the exception of 1 couple our B-listers understood and gladly accepted our invite. We have invited some friends to come and party with us after dinner and they will have sliders, poutine, a candy buffet and desert station to take advantage of. Congrats and good luck with your planning!

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  • Sara
    Curious September 2019 British Columbia
    Sara ·
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    Budget first!! Then you will know how much you want to spend which will determine everything else.

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  • Taylor
    Devoted October 2021 Alberta
    Taylor ·
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    My venue asked for a minimum expected. For me that was only 15 people and my max being 25. The food serves 25 people but she is only charging me for the 15. If only 5 people show up then I still pay for 15. Just be open with the venue. You have tons of time yet.

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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
    • Dispute

    Guest list will just determine who your inviting not knowing if some decline. Though you may have a larger room, it won't effect the less amount showing up as the meals won't be paid for them if you go plated.

    There is some chance that declines will come through and having a B list prepared 2 months before to send out the next back to get your numbers up may be an idea to consider.

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  • S
    Expert September 2020 Quebec
    Shannon ·
    • Dispute

    I was kinda in the same boat. We ended up going with the minimum amount, with the option to add more if need be. We definitely save around 20$ per person. Adds up when your having a larger wedding.

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  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
    • Dispute
    The room we booked has a minimum of 80 guests but can go as high as 120. Maybe find out what your minimum number would be for each room and base it on that. Our guest list only comes to 97 so we're hoping not too many say no.
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  • Tori
    Top October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori ·
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    We made a rough guest list and it came out to about 300 and the venue fits more like 210... they said they would squeeze up to 250 for us though Smiley laugh

    So we had 2 rounds of invitations. We knew we would get enough No's or at least close to enough no's to invite everybody but didn't want to risk it. I would say we kept adding as we went and go rid of some too though.

    In your case I would find a place that fits 100 and have 2 rounds of invites.

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  • Kelsie
    Master July 2021 Ontario
    Kelsie ·
    • Dispute

    Hey Kelsey!

    Congratulations on your engagement. Welcome to the Community!

    I agree with the ladies - go with the larger venue. My FH and I had the same issue when we got engaged, we fell in love with our venue - which accommodated 200-350 people. At first, we worried we would not have enough people to invite. 200 was minimum.

    Our current list is 325 - so trust me! It's possible to invite more people as time goes on!

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  • Casey
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Casey ·
    • Dispute

    Congrats on your engagement! Welcome to Wedding Wire!! Smiley smile

    I agree with what some of the other ladies have said, It is better to go bigger than to try and squish people in if you have all 130 RSVP!

    And you guys may have done a quick count, but there is always a chance that more people will be added! We had 120 originally, and have 150 invited because there were a lot we forgot about!

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  • Miav
    Devoted September 2020 Alberta
    Miav ·
    • Dispute

    I highly recommend getting the bigger space. Most guests that receive wedding invites usually attend, and it is better to have a bigger space booked than having to trim the guest list nearer to your big day as that can be really stressful

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
    • Dispute

    I'd definitely high-ball it. Ours was 150-160 at first but we ended up inviting 140. There is a good probability that approximately 15% of your guests will decline, but sometimes everyone RSVPs yes!

    Also don't forget to include yourselves/wedding party in guest count!

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  • Becky
    VIP September 2019 Ontario
    Becky ·
    • Dispute

    I would rather go bigger than smaller- just because I thought people were going to decline and out of 110 only 4 declined... I was surprised and mixed emotions happy I put enough money away for the full amount of people but was hoping few more would decline lol I also had people expect to have a plus one even though it was never stated on the invitation. We had to say no as we couldn't afford it. In the next few years relationships will occur or change in your life and if you want to add more you won't be able to.


    btw CONGRATULATIONS !!

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  • Missa
    Frequent user August 2019 New Brunswick
    Missa ·
    • Dispute

    I would personally go with the ballroom that can accommodate 130. Is there a big difference in the price?

    When we did the first draft of our guest list, we we had approximately 150 guests, but after talking to my family, my FH's family and over the 2 years we have friends who got into serious relationship and wanted a plus one etc, our guest list ended up being closer to 175-180. Now that the RSVPs are in, we know that we will be 130 in total, but some guests asked to have a plus one that we never anticipated, etc. I personally was happy that I didn't have to worry about the space and saying no to people.

    However, its completely up to you! I just didn't want to deal with the stress - alot can change in 2 years!

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