4 Wedding Attendance Considerations That Affect the Venue Size

Choosing the right size wedding venue is key to having a comfortable gathering and an intimate-feeling wedding day. But how can you ensure that you pick the correct size space rather than going too large or too small? One important way is to zero in on four attendance-related decisions before you head out to look at venues. 

1. Your Estimated Guest List

Certainly, the biggest factor when it comes to venue size is how many guests come. A couple who hasn't sat down and seriously considered their actual invitation list yet — in writing — may underestimate or overestimate their size needs. While you may want an intimate gathering, for instance, you may find that you actually want to invite (or feel you must invite) a much larger list than you realized. 

2. The Expected Range of Variation

The number invited, of course, is usually different from how many people come. Most couples can expect about 75-85% of their invited guests to come. But your list may vary from this standard. A wedding outside your local area could have a much higher rate of refusal. Or you may have a large, very tight family circle in which few people will say no. You may even have reason to believe uninvited guests will show up. 

3. Your Guest List Limitations

What are your rules about who can or can't come to the wedding? Will children be invited? If you don't address this question, parents are more likely to fill up seats by assuming their children can come. Are you sending 'plus one' invites? This can double or halve the number of people per invitation. Will anyone check invitations at the door? Is anyone invited to the ceremony but not the reception (or vice versa)? Work out the guest rules early to help avoid attendance surprises later. 

4. Vendors and Their Needs

Finally, guests aren't the only ones who will be in the wedding venue. Which outside vendors will work on the big day and what space do they need? A catered sit-down meal may need additional space for food preparation, servers mingling in the crowd, and cleanup staff moving around. Similarly, a live DJ, a string quartet, and someone playing songs from their phone all need different amounts of space to work. 

Where to Start

If you're having trouble narrowing down some of these decisions and factors regarding wedding day attendance, talk with an experienced wedding venue in your area. They can offer advice from personal experience with many other couples. Visit a venue today to start finding answers to your size questions.