507 guests....and that's not including ALL of the children. I haven't went back in and changed the date from the 11th to the 10th, but it is still the 10th.
Originally we had made plans to have the ceremony underneath this pavilion, which would seat 250 people.
After the ceremony, we would have a tent set up for the reception to the right of this old barn.
[This is actually at the front entrance of the barn/pavilion]
Due to the fact that our date is set for a Friday evening, it's about 30 minutes from our hometown, many family members live out of town/state, elderly family members, weather conflicts, etc., we will probably shoot for about 350 attendees total that will actually show for the big day. So we are thinking, anyhow.
At this point, 1) we are considering taking the ceremony to a local church and maybe just do the reception as planned, 2) have a smaller ceremony for just close friends and family with a blow-out reception all still at the Botanical Gardens, 3) continue with the plan as set thus far, just make the ceremony short & sweet due to the fact that there will only be room for 250, [maybe 300 if the rain holds off and weather permits], but the remainder of our guests will have to stand and gather around, 4) leave the Botanical Garden idea completely and take the ceremony/reception to the Fiance's Dad/Step-Mom's plantation where we could have the ceremony underneath some oak trees with a tent reception set up nearby. There would be plenty of parking space and plenty of space to accommodate 500 guests if need be. However, the only problem here is the fact that we are talking June. The trees will give some shade [so hopefully no tent would be needed there], but we still risk the problem of it raining [and we wouldn't have shelter for the guests]. Lotssss to think about and decide on!
We just had no idea we would have so many people.
We've trimmed it down where we could [example: rather than sending out several invitations to church members, we are going to just send the church a single invite].
Any suggestions or ideas?