Post # 1
So, last night, I was talking with my future mother-in-law about the guest list for our wedding. My parents are paying for the entire reception (except the DJ, which my fiancee and I are covering). Our guest list, as of right now, is over 600, without the addtional 150 people from my fiancee’s parents. Last night, she asked how many people were on the list and then said, "I’ve heard so many people say that if there’s over 250-300 people, the whole thing is really impersonal." So, when I said that the list is over 600, she said, "Well, you just have to cut it. That’s way too many people." Which, obviously, hurt my feelers a little bit. Actually, a lot. We are getting married in my small hometown, where I grew up and where my dad’s lived his whole life. We have a lot of family and friends. One of our biggest priorities as a couple is to be surrounded by the people we share our lives with, and that happens to be a lot of people. I guess my question is: how are all of you brides-to-be out there handling the off-hand comments that make you feel really crappy?
Post # 3
Hi Miss CGB! Welcome to weddingbee and congratulations!
My parents live in Hamilton, so I understand your delimma! Is your fiance’s mom from the same area? Does she understand the small town MT mentality? It seems like she is planning on adding 150 to the guest list, so she must know that with her additions alone that this would not be a small wedding.
You’ve already said that your biggest priority is to be surrounded by friends and family… so the guest list is really important to you. Are your parents on board with the plan? If they are, and they are paying, then it shouldn’t be too big of a problem (except for the hurtful comment).
Hopefully, your fiance will be able to run interference with his family to help find a mutual beneficial compromise with his mom. The thing with weddings is that there will be compromises along the way… It’s inevitible. The trick is picking your battles of when you really want to fight for something, and when to let something go or find a middle ground. By making priorities, you’ll know when to do each one!
Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Post # 4
I now have a standard response of, "Oh, cool!" when someone tries to give input. Those who know me really well know that means to back off (nicely, of course), and those who don’t know me as closely think that I am entertaining their advice.
I decided about two weeks after we got engaged that this wedding would be planned by us and only us, and if I want advice, I’ll go looking for it.
After that decision, things have been great!
Just try not to let things get personal…easier said than done, right? I think most people have good intentions….but we as brides tend to get annoyed. 🙂
Post # 5
I realize that a lot of people have a lot to say when it’s not even their wedding. As long as you are happy with it, then go with it. You wouldn’t want to change things around just because someone feels a certain way. It’s definitely YOUR big day, that means you can do what is important and meaningful to you and your FI.
Post # 6
Wow! I don’t think I even KNOW 600 people! I have to say, I think the opposite of FMIL. A wedding isn’t impersonal unless you totally detach your personalities and "community" from the wedding. (By community, I mean, the people, persons and things that made you the happy couple you are!). 600+ people is a lot but seriously? talk about a PARTY! What makes a celebration "intimate" isn’t the number (or lack of) people there to enjoy, it’s having everyone you love with you.
As for dealing with unsolicited comments, I’d say something like "Ya know, I’ve heard that idea but that makes me want to go ahead with my plans even more. We’re ready to prove those misconceptions wrong!"
Post # 7
I think she might just be shocked that you’re inviting that many people.
I’ve made a few comments like that, where I was shocked (or saying something that was my opinion) and shoved my foot in my mouth.
I guess all you can really do is smile and say "well, we really want all our friends to be there." Or, if it were me (and I can be downright blunt), I would’ve said, "Well, it’s a good thing my parents are paying for it!"
Honestly, your parents are paying, if they wanted to invite the whole town, they could!
I hope it gets better 🙂
Post # 8
I am thinking the same thing as doctorgirl that maybe she just doesn’t understand the small town mentality? I grew up in a small town (<3000), and even though I’m not getting married there, my mom is throwing us a barbeque there sometime this summer to celebrate. My FFIL and MIL were really surprised (and I think a little weirded out) by the fact that they were expecting to invite 500-600 people to an informal barbeque in the park. Maybe just explaining that in small towns everyone knows each other and WANTS to be there might help. People will not only be offended if they’re not invited (even though they’re my 2nd grade teacher that I only see once a year because she lives two blocks down from my parents ) but nothing else is going on so your wedding will be the talk of the town for at least a couple weeks.
I say, as long as your parents are down with the guest list, don’t put too much stock in your FMIL’s words. Try to explain what community means when you’re from a small town, but if she doesn’t get on board that’s her problem. I honestly think it’s a little rude for her to have a 150 person guest list but say that over 300 is impersonal.
Post # 9
Thank you, thank you, thank you! That makes me feel better. Of course, I’ve been hearing all of the "stats" on the percentage of people who show up in relation to how many you invite. If we invite 700 people (guess!), and 60 percent show up, we’ll have 420 guests. Which is pretty much on target for what we were expecting. We’ve got a great deal on a caterer, and a location, so we’re not paying a ton of money to have a bunch of people. In fact, my parents are the ones who keep adding to the list! And, you are so right, in small towns, it’s hard NOT to invite someone. And, my family loves to party!
Post # 10
Hey Miss Cowgirl,
I live in Missoula too! I didn’t grow up here so my situation is not the same but I understand how guest lists can get big. I think it’s all up to the bride and groom and what kind of wedding they want to have. Your FMIL may not be in line with you but if she isn’t paying then she really has no say in how many people come. Whenever I get an offhand comment that hurts my feelings I either brush it off because I know that whoever made the comment can’t understand why I am making the decisions I am unless they have been in my shoes. Or I just say something along the lines of "we’re making decisions based on who we are and the type of wedding we want"
Post # 11
It’s your wedding! And it sounds like it will be an awesome party!! Just keep remembering what you have in mind for your day and don’t let her, or anyone, ruin that for you.
Post # 12
The person you don’t invite inevitably becomes your child’s algebra teacher or your bank teller. And 20 years later they still remember that they were the 601st person on your 600 person wedding. Its just easier to invite them!
Maybe throw it back at your FMIL and ask her if she can think of any ways to make guests feel even more welcome and appreciated? It sounds like something she is concerned with, so maybe she has a way to overcome the concern?
Post # 13
I have to laugh because our side of the family kept telling us to have a small wedding for economic reasons and we just couldn’t because grooms side is HUGE and everyone had an opinion but couldn’t relate that if I invited my aunts (2) then he should be able to invite his aunts (12) and then you get into their children husbands etc…
Now that we are a week away as it turns out the guest list is really pretty darn much the same 83 on one side and 77 on the other side.
I think who ever is paying gets last dibs on how big the list will be… and really a small wedding and her list was 150!! hahaha
You will learn not to share any wedding details unless you are ready for negative comments. because trust me SOMEONE will give you thier opinion
Post # 14
If you have all ready discussed the list with your fiancee and he is ok with everything then don’t worry about what she says. Personally, in a situation like that I would probably say something like “yeah we’ll see.” It’s not like you have to run the guest list by her anyway. So you keep your 600 guests and let her think you will cut some of them out lol!