Post # 1
Hi everyone. I’m recently engaged and we’ve hit the first snag in wedding planning. My FH’s father recently passed away. They weren’t wealthy, but they weren’t in dire financial straits either and he was careful to leave his wife taken care of. Because of this, my fiance said that he doesn’t want his mom to “spend a dime”. I understand where he’s coming from and this would be fine with me, except that his guest list is almost 140 people, while mine is barely at 80. I think this isn’t quite fair to my parents, who want to contribute and are willing to foot most of the bill. His mother’s income isn’t bad and my mother is unemployed, so my dad is the sole provider at my house. I’m sure that if prompted, she’d be willing to pitch in at least a bit (which is all I ask) but FH is adamant. He doesn’t want to budge in either contribution or guest list cutting and is suggesting that we just pay for part of it ourselves. The last thing I want is to cause friction so early on, but just as he’s looking out for his mom, I have to look out for my parents. What should I do?
Post # 3
Who are the people on his guest list? I would be more inclined to make up the difference myself rather than cutting the list if it’s family and close friends vs. acquaintances.
Also, is it the case that your parents willing and able to pay for the wedding, but you don’t want them to have to? Or are there financial limitations here?
I honestly have no idea how our guest list breaks down in terms of my guests, his guests, my parents’ guests, and his parents’ guests – we didn’t run into this problem.
Post # 4
It’s mostly distant cousins and parents’ friends that have to get an invitation or they’d be offended. He even said that if some of those people actually came it would ruin his day. I’m not opposed to their being invited, I just think that the burden shouldn’t be placed solely on my family.
Post # 5
i know what you are talking about, my guest list is 20 and his is 120, but yet im paying for 3/4 of the wedding myself.
Post # 6
Well if your FI is adamant then he can foot the bill for his guests..
Post # 7
I think if your Fi doesn’t want to ask his mom that you have to back his choice. But he also has to scale his guestlist way back. Perhaps you two should start saving and working on a budget you can afford because you also seem uncomfortable about your parents contributing so much to your wedding also.
Post # 8
Well his mom isn’t under any obligation to help pay for the wedding. So if she hasn’t offered and he doesn’t want to ask then that’s the end of that matter.
If you feel the guest list is lopsided, then talk to your FI about it. Figure out how many people you want to invite total (or how many your parents will pay for), and then divide up the guest list from there: 1/3 your family, 1/3 his family, 1/3 friends. If he wants to have more people than you and he can discuss how you are going to pay for them. And maybe that means you and our FI paying for those additional guests if your parents can’t or won’t cover them. Or maybe that means you give up some of your spots.
Post # 9
If he doesn’t want to ask his mother, and she hasn’t offered, you shouldn’t pester him about it. No one is obligated to pay for a wedding except for you and your FI. Cut the guest list, if needed.
Post # 10
@bridepwning: I don’t think you’re obligated to invite ANYONE who you don’t actually want at your wedding. If I were you, I’d pick a size-limited venue, or just tell people that your guest list was limited by the venue and space considerations. I’ve heard there’s a rule that you can use – 25% bride’s family & family-friends, 25% grooms family and family-friends, 25% bride’s friends, 25% grooms friends. Maybe you can coax him towards a more equitable guest list distribution using that type of formula?
Post # 11
Thanks for the input everyone, I agree that no one “has” to pay for anything. Thankfully my parents are there to help us out. I think the most diplomatic plan will be setting the number at 160, split evenly between us. If it goes over when the RSVPs come in, we’ll discuss who will cover those people.
Post # 12
Honestly, I’d let him know that you have to cut down (or even out) the invite list for his side. That way it is fairer to your parents and he doesn’t have to worry about his Mother paying for anything (especially if he doesn’t WANT a bunch of those people to come anyway). Since no one other than yourselves are obligated to pay for your wedding, I would make sure to let him know that since YOUR parents graciously offered to do so, you need to try to keep the guest list down.
Post # 13
In this day and age family helping out is not a given at all… If you feel badly about your parents helping either dont take the money or only take a set amount so that if you go over that on the budget you and your Fi have to cover the rest!
I would not ask his mother though he does not want that and it is a fight better off not had… But you never know she might offer to help!
Post # 14
I’m sorry, but no one has to give you money for your wedding. If you two cannot afford a guest list that large then you two need to cut it down. It is wonderful that your parents have offered financial help, but that does not mean that your in laws have to as well.
Post # 15
I like the even split idea, but what do you mean about “if it goes over when the RSVPs come in”? Are you going to invite everyone currently on the list and leave the issue of who’s paying for who until later? (If so, I can’t stress enough what a risky proposition that is.)
Post # 16
You should pay for it yourself. It’s great that your parents want to contribute but funding this wedding is the sole responsibility of you and your fiancé. I wouldn’t be expecting anything from my MIL if my FIL just died. Perhaps he did leave her with enough to live off of but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s on her own now and that money is going to have to last her. Frankly, I think it’s pretty selfish to expect her to use the money that her dead husband left. It’s one thing if she offers financial assistance but it’s an entirely different animal if you seek it out.