Becca M asks: “What happens if my final guest count ends up dramatically lower than the standard guest count for my reception space?”
Sarah says: “As Castle Farms is often considered a destination wedding location for many couples, it is common for the final guest count to be lower than the initial invitation list. In the summer season, we usually see about 80% of your invited guests RSVP to attend, while in the winter season that number can be closer to 50% with unpredictable weather and travel delays. Our advice: Don’t worry! There are several ways to manipulate a reception room to ensure it does not feel too large or too empty.
“Our guest tables typically seat 8 guests, but they are very comfortable with only 6 guests. With a lower guest count, you can seat 6 guests at each table and have more tables filling the space than if you seat 8 guests per table. When a reception room is filled close to capacity, a lot of the side tables (candy table, cake table, etc.) are pushed close to the wall to minimize the space they take up. If the room is not filled with guest tables, we are able to move those tables out and allow guests to access each side. We can also have more space around the food tables and bar, which makes it so much more comfortable for guests as they are getting dinner and drinks.
“Another really neat option you will have if you end up with a extra space is to create a separate cocktail space. Depending on your reception room and your final guest count, you could have one entire half of the room set up as the cocktail hour, with the bar, appetizers, and cocktail tables. Your dinner tables and head table could be on the other half of the room. Or, if you do not end up with enough extra space to use an entire half of a room, you can still space out cocktail tables and side tables (gift table, a table for advice or activities, etc.) so guests have that separate atmosphere during cocktail hour as opposed to sitting at their dinner tables.
“Do not worry if your guest count turns out to be a bit smaller than you had pictured for your reception space. There are several options to make sure the space remains intimate; simply talk with your Castle Venue Coordinator for ideas. The best part? Extra space means more room for dancing!”