Post # 1
DF and I have been having a huge debate over the guest list and it is driving me crazy. He will not stand up to his family and tell them what we want. My parents are paying for the wedding and have requested 2 things: no more than 130 people and no children (since we have to pay almost full price for them.)
Most of our friends who have children are happily leaving them at home, and our one friend who doesn’t have a sitter is bringing her son and we are finding her a local sitter. However, his brother has 4 kids and they are intending to bring them (despite the fact that our website says, “If you have children that you have to bring we will find you a babysitter.” So DF is not putting his foot down and just saying no- he casually says, “There aren’t going to be many kids there…” “Won’t you have more fun without them…” and they know what he’s saying and they ignore him. (They also like to cause fights with other family members over things that are silly and I am worried they will be like that to us and his brother will drop out of the wedding. BUT that isn’t the whole issue.
DF’s mom called last night and said, “I invited 14 of my family members I’ll send you their addresses- is that okay?” That puts our guest list at 134- not including his brothers 4 kids. Well, obviously it would be rude not to send them an invite if you already invited them, but why didn’t she ask first? This wouldn’t be such a problem if her side of the family (his mom and dad are divorced) didn’t bad mouth his dad all the time and spread rumors, and another one of her brother’s bankrupted the business he had with FFIL. His dad already said he’d be very uncomfortable with them at the wedding, and when DF brought that up with her mom she just laughed and said, “We’ll give him a drink or two and dance around him in a cirlce.” (Which she probably would do, if his dad shows up when he finds out.) She clearly has no respect for his feelings of really wanting his dad there, and how his dad feels. (Which is one reason they divorced.)
The last thing about this is- we are all for close family coming. However, he has only met one couple once in his life (he thinks he did anyway) and the others he barely knows. My mom didn’t want to invite her own brother and my cousins, whom we were very close to growing up, but I told her I wanted them there. If these were aunts and uncles that he was close to I would understand, and he tried to tell his mom that but she thinks this is going to be a big family reunion where they can all rekindled their bond. (Because they have all had a wierd thing going on for 20 years or so and never spoke until this last year.) I feel bad because my side of people is larger than his, but that’s mostly because the wedding is in my hometown and we have a lot of family friends there (all of whom DF has spent more time with than his mom’s family!)
What is the best way to put your foot down? Or should I just hope they RSVP with a no? (Especially since they barely know him and have never met me?) We have already started crossing off friends we were thinking about inviting to make room for them… and my mom had the idea that we send out one batch of invites later so that it gives them less time to plan flights (these random people live in NM, FL and AZ and our wedding is in Maine.) which is mean, but an alternative I am thinking about. It may work nicely, since his mom is so scatterbrained and never remembers to do anything. (And not sending them a STD.)
I am sure a lot of people are dealing (or trying to deal) with the same thing… suggestions? I want the stress to go away 🙂
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ
With 134 invites, you probably won’t get 130 RSVPs, so I think you’re safe, however…
If they aren’t paying for anything, tell them you’ll add any additional names to your B list unless they want to contribute financially. I would tell her before she goes ahead and invites more people w/o your OK. This way when you get “nos,” you can invite from her B list (or not).
I don’t have family giving me more invitees than I can handle, but I do have people in my family who I’m not sure I want there. They are going to be on my B list, so if I have 10 “nos”, I can invite 10 people from my B list.
Post # 4
give them a certain ammount of invites adn that’s it. Period or tell them to pay for them. You are in control of the invites I assume so don’t send them any.
Post # 5
we must be talking about the same woman. my stepmom sent me a list of 63 people she wanted invited for our 150 person wedding! it’s a nightmare. i can’t believe your fmil verbally invited people without talking to you first. that is very inconsiderate. i think that before anything happens with your fmil you need to talk with your fi and get on the same page. personally, i think the limits around the guest list are going to need to come directly from him. has he thought about how mad other guests are going to get when they see that 4 kids were invited to a no-kids wedding, but theirs were excluded? that could get very messy.
i would suggest you sit down with your fi and really hash out guidelines for dealing with this. it is very hard to do. in my case, it was just easier to allow about 35 invites because i knew that most people wouldn’t come. at some point, though, you just have to say no. i’ve reached that point and am getting better at it. “what, grandma, you want me to invite my 4th cousin who lives in UT that i haven’t seen in 6 years and wouldn’t recognize in a crowd?” “no.” they’ll get over it.
Post # 6
First off, I agree with the PP’s.
Second, you need to set your FI down and talk about this. He’s not respecting you OR your parents by NOT confronting his family. You two need to talk about his family not listening and respecting the limit on the list or the “no kids” rule.
hope it works out for you! good luck!
Post # 7
Maybe his family should consider paying for some of it. But I will say, weddings are for families… a celebration of two people being united… but still a celebration for family members. So to not invite family’s children is probably going to cause some problems. I wouldn’t start off your marriage on the wrong foot by getting on his family’s bad side. I say allow their children (because it’s family.. how would you feel if you weren’t invited to a family members wedding?)
I only say this because I went through the same experience. I didn’t want kids at my wedding. And his family got extremely upset, until finally I was like, you’re right. ALL family should be included in our celebration and I need to be ok with that. Plus, I didn’t want them to hate me because of one decision I made for my one wedding day.
I still think that to accomodate everyone, they need to shell out some money as well. Maybe you can talk to your fiance so HE can tell his family y’all need help. Hope this helps 🙂
Post # 8
Thank you for all of your suggestions! Unfortunately his parents don’t have any money- or at least his dad doesn’t. (His mom does but she won’t even buy his little sister a dress for the wedding- yet she walks around in brand new UGGs. Luckily, she is helping with the rehearsal.)
I am putting my foot down with the kids- my cousins children weren’t invited and if we decide to invite my step sister her kids aren’t invited- it’s not the safest place for children -right on the edge of a rocky cliff into the ocean- especially with an open bar.
I don’t think his SIL will pay attention to them. Plus, she always gets her way or throws a fit and I don’t think it’s fair to bend just to make her happy. Especially since everyone else has made arrangements for their kids. (One of our friends mother’s just passed away and she was fine with bringing her son and having a babysitter for him.)
Here’s an example of how his brother and wife behave. His grandmother is 91, and very elderly. She has some rental houses she rents in the summer with the help of her son. She let them stay for free with their 4 kids and they made a huge mess that they didn’t clean up in the house. (Which was being rented the following week.) When his grandmother mentioned to them that they made a mess and needed to clean they got angry with her and told her not to tell them how to raise their children and how to clean and won’t speak to her or visit her anymore. (And his grandmother is the sweetest, kindest woman ever.) When I e-mailed his brother telling him about the babysitters he said, “Just hire a clown. That will keep the kids busy.” I hope that was a joke!
So I feel like they blatently disrespect people’s wishes and it makes me really not want just to satisfy what they want, and go against my parents wishes.
I have talked to him multiple times about talking with his family (I had this discussion with him back in Dec. when his mom started talking about all the people she wanted to ask) but he makes excuses. I think he likes to disagree with me just because he feels like he is defending his family- but he’s defending his mom and not his dad! I know he wants him to come more than any of the randoms, and his mom would rather have her family than have his dad be there or be happy.
I don’t think it’s my place to talk to her- she’s not my mom. I have no trouble telling my mom what I think- he’s just so cautious to make someone mad, and personally I don’t feel like family should be mad because of this.
Personally, I wouldn’t feel that bad if family didn’t invite me to their wedding- we got invited to a random cousin of DF’s wedding and neither of us wanted to go- nor did we even know who any of the family was when we got there. (This was the wedding where FMIL started telling everyone they HAD to come to our wedding since we came to theirs without asking us.)
Post # 9
I think you should just have agreed on exactly how many invites his side can have and then if they go over just politely say sorry they hall only takes 130 ppl. Also I agree with previous poster that if you want 130 people to show up, you usually invite slightly more than that because not every single invited person will come.
Post # 10
It’s so difficult for him to even decide if he wants these people there- he would much rather have his dad be happy. And I can’t blame him.
We would actually rather have like 115 show up, but we have budgeted for 130 and that’s it. (130 is already giving my dad a panic attack- we haven’t told him about Fi’s brother being difficult with the kids.) Which is why we have 123 invited (and know that at least 100 will definitely come). We have some extra friends we were thinking about inviting, but they will be off the list due to the newest additions.
The thing with deciding how many each of us gets is a little tricky- most of my parents friends became our friends when he moved to Maine and met me. So although they are on “my side” they are all people he knows better than his old friends or distant family- we keep in touch with them and them us, whereas the others have no contact with us what-so-ever. So the his-side, my-side doesn’t really come into play except for with his mom. (His dad has one friend he wants there and that’s it. His grandmother and uncle on that side are a given because he lived with them when he moved to Maine and they’re very close.)
How many over your desired amount do you suggest inviting? I would hate to invite more and have them all say yes! (Of course they all won’t but it’s a concern…)
Post # 11
Rule 1: Assume if you invite them, they will come.
I would have your fiancee sit down w/his folks and ask them if they would be wiling to pay for X# of people. He can say that Mr. andMrs. Brides Parents will be willing to split the guest list w/us 50-50 but anything over that, they can’t financailly accomodate. Tell them that w/in that 50-50 are both your friends; and you and she have decided if we want to go over our quota that we will pay for them. Then you tell your parents, you would like 25% of your family quota to go for friends. Are they able to fit their guest list in their allotted number? If not, can they pony up the additional costs to invite everyone on their list? If not, he needs to tell them, “Look they are paying for the wedding, and I don’t want to put more on their plate without offering to cover those costs.”
If his folks are willing to pay, make sure the venue sends them a contract for X% of people payable by a certain date. You don’t want your parents stuck w/the bill at the end of the reception! Get it in writing. If they agree, let them invite until the cows come home if the hall can hold it.
Your parents will eat the cost of the invitations and flowers per table. The music is the music, and that cost doesn’t increase with more people.
What type of rehearsal dinner are they paying for? The same rules should apply. His parents make a decision on how many people they are willing to pay for, and if there are people on your side that your folks want there because they are coming a distance, they have to cover those costs. Fair is fair.
Best of Luck!
Will that work?