Our wedding is in August. Because it is a destination wedding (Las Vegas) we decided to send out a save the date this weekend via Evite to let everyone know well in advance that it would involve some travel and planning ahead. Unfortunately I fucked this one up really badly.
We have a smallish wedding chapel for our ceremony that holds at most 90 people. We have a guest list of 85 people. We are also getting married in Las Vegas. Apparently everyone on our guest list feels like since individual names were not mentioned on the save the date (my error for sending out a mass Evite instead of proper paper save the dates via USPS) they get to bring their whole family, first dates, and strangers they meet on the plane ride to the wedding. Our thought was that people who are married, engaged, or have been part of a couple for more than 6 months get to bring their significant other. No one gets to bring kids…in fact part of the reason we liked the idea of a Vegas wedding was because it would encourage people to leave the little ones at home!
We now have people reserving spots for whole families, including several children, and asking if they can bring a date even though they aren’t in a relationship. I called my parents to ask how to deal with this and they advised that we can give the chapel several months advanced notice and they can just deal with it. I don’t want to do that though, in part because we signed a contract for a wedding chapel that allows for seating for 70 people and standing room for 20 more and in part because I don’t want to pay for 30 extra people to eat and drink on my tab.
At this point I need to do some damage control. I am trying to come up with some wording for our website indicating that children are not allowed to let people know that kids need to be left at home and hopefully that will help some, but now I have to figure out how to call people and tell them they can’t bring their cousin/blind date/best friend to the wedding with them. I don’t want to be the bitch who calls and screams at them for assuming they can bring extra people but I don’t want to be gentle about it and get ignored either. What is the best way for me to explain to people they can bring their entourage to Vegas if they want but it is only those on our guest list who are welcome at the wedding?