Not meeting minimum number

So we’re just finalising RSVPs and it’s clear that we are not going to meet the guaranteed minimum number for our venue. Guaranteed number equals what we are contractually obliged to pay so I’m super stressed we are going to be paying for a lot of food and drink that we won’t be having 😩. Has anyone had experience of this? It’s so upsetting the amount of declines that we weren’t expecting (people who said they would come when they got save the dates!!!) but what can we do? I’ve messaged the venue to see if we can allocate the difference to other things i.e upgrades, extra drinks, canapés that sort of thing but not sure the venue will go for it 😢 



  • MrsRendall2BMrsRendall2B Posts: 749 New bride
    edited February 2019
    I wouldn't worry too much! We're in a similar position where we've technically paid (or will be paying) for 60 adult day guests and at the moment we've invited about 50, if that and that's before any declines... 

    The way we're looking at it though is that we'd rather just keep it to people we actually really love and want to be there than just invite people because we feel like we should get our money's worth. It's a pretty poor reason to invite people and I know I'd probably be offended if someone invited me to their wedding just because they'd paid for it.

    As for extra food and drink, I'm sure the venue will only cater for the amount of people that are actually coming so don't think of it as going to waste.

    That said, I like your idea of asking if you can allocate the difference to other things  :) and I don't reasonably see how they can deny you that (although I'm sure they'll try) because technically if they're not having to order in as many ingredients, booze etc., they're saving themselves. Plus, they make a pretty hefty margin anyway!

    Long story short, don't worry, see if you can get some added extras and enjoy your day with the people you loved enough to invite and loved you enough to turn up. 
  • I had this with my prev wedding. They had a £10,500 food/beverage minimum that did not include other fees. We had 100 people RSVP yes - which meant we were looking at £150/ head spend! Even choosing their priciest menu options, we couldn't get the numbers to work out, and as we aren't big drinkers, we didn't want to just try and throw the extra money behind the bar (we already had an alcohol package purchased as it was). Even if we had, our friends aren't big drinkers so it wouldn't have helped our numbers.
    We ended up doing as @MrsRendall2B said, we just picked the best food option they offered (pheasant and fillet) added an evening meal package of stonefire pizzas and went with it. On the day, no one was hungry by evening so we ended up cancelling the pizzas (we had all all-day guests, no evening only, so everyone was still full). We spoke with the venue the next week, and they kindly agreed to settle up the bill for just what was spent and didn't charge us for the difference.
    I would just stick with your original plan, original numbers and go with it. So it works out to cost more per head.  Oh well. At least every "head" present is one that you really want there. And who knows, maybe after the day is over they'll consider cutting you a deal like our venue did.
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,949 New bride
    We are getting married on a bank holiday weekend and as such, we have to pay for a minimum of 60 adults. We are on about 55 but it's not a massive issue - venues just want to make sure they are making the maximum amount of money they can on popular dates. They don't want to do a 40 person wedding on a prime Saturday in August if they can do an 80 person wedding - plus those guests will all spend more on the bar, too.

    They may not give you extras as they actually ARE still losing out - assuming you have a paid bar, if you have significantly less guests than the minimum then their bar takings for that night will be down. They will probably lose more from the bar than whatever 5 chicken roast dinners or whatever costs them. Just giving their side, from someone who has worked in catering & hospitality!

  • You might be surprised as to what they're happy to offer! We initially were looking at being around 15 under the minimum numbers, and they said they would do it as a minimum spend for us instead, so as long as we hit that figure with all catering and drinks they didnt mind how it was done. They offered extra dessert bar options and swaps in the drinks package instead for us. 
    Fingers crossed your venue is accommodating! 
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