Post # 1
HELP!!! I’m sure that many fellow Bees are in the same boat with me right now but I need to know how you’re handling it. Here’s the back story (as quickly as possible)…. when we first got engaged, Fiance and I sat down and talked about our initial vision for the wedding. I said I’d really like to keep it to 150-200 TOPS! (I live in a small town and everyone knows everyone and honestly that number could probably triple…. but I REFUSE to let that happen…. anyway…) He said he’d be completely happy if there wasn’t even that many. He said “50, 75, 100… I’m good with those numbers.” And so it began my quest for our small intimate affair. Happiness and sunshine were falling down…. UNTIL…. We go to look at a venue and his mother tags along UNINVITED and as soon as we get there she starts saying, “Oh this will never work. This is way too small!” I kind of ignore her comments and continue the tour of the venue and I tell the woman that we were thinking 100-150 people MAX and Future Mother-In-Law says “OMG seriously?? Honey, we have at least 250 HAVE TO invite people but there’s actually more on the list!” By the way, 5 months into our engagement and she still has not given me a guest list or even a hard number until then….. although I have asked NUMEROUS times! When she said that though, you could have knocked me over with a feather and honestly Fiance too. But now, she has him convinced that we have to have ALL those people there….. so bring on the gloom and doom. I’ve tried sitting down with Fiance with hard numbers and saying look this is what it’s going to cost and yes I want your family there but my family cannot afford to have 300-350 people at our wedding …. because oh yeah Future Mother-In-Law hasn’t offered one red cent to pay for anything!!! (We’ve cut our guest list so much that it’s only immediate family and the wedding party.) I think it hurts FI’s feelings though because even though I have said this isn’t the case I think he feels like I don’t want his family there. Even if they offered to chip in I don’t want 300 people at my wedding! It’s circus… (No offense to any bees who have that many guests. It’s just not for me.) I’ve tried talking to Future Mother-In-Law and she just gives me a patronizing smile and just tries to “Honey” and “Sugar” me into what she wants to do. I don’t want to be a crazy bridezilla or hurt FI’s feelings but what do I do? We literally cannot afford it or want it. HELP ME BEES!!!
Post # 3
I think the only thing you can do in this case is present your Fiance (and through him, FMIL) with cold hard facts. If they haven’t done so already, get a solid no-more-then-xyz-dollars figure from your parents so you know exactly what your budget is. Then start gathering estimates for the essentials – venue, food, officiant, invitations, etc – a present them with a realistic view of the costs.
The most important thing here is that you and your Fiance have to agree what you 2 want! If he’s now set on having that many, and yet you are firmly in the 150 or less catagory, then maybe this is a place to compromise (IF and only if finances allow it). Maybe sit him down and say: “Look, we started out agreeing to 100-150. Now *you and FMIL* want 300-350. How about we meet in the middle at 200-250?”
Post # 4
I feel your pain as I was in the same boat as you. My suggestion is to tell her a specific number of guests she is allowed to invite. Once you and your Fiance have come up with a firm number of guest stick with it regardless of the excuses you will get from her. I got from Future Mother-In-Law “I know these people will not come but we have to invite them” and the “well her husband never comes to things”. My Fiance was on the same page as me until he talked to his mom and she gave him the excuses and then he wanted to let her invite extras which I put my foot down and I would not take it back for anything in the world. Stick to your guns but compromise a little up the guest list by 25 or so.
Post # 5
I think you and your Fiance need to come to an agreement about the size of your wedding- a number that you both are committed to.
Once you have that, it is up to each of you to reinforce your vision every time numbers come up. “We’re sorry Future Mother-In-Law, but we have decided on 150 people. That means you will have to decide which (insert#) people you are going to invite.”
Post # 6
Here’s my advice:
1. The number one issue here is not your guest list, its your fiance being ready and willing to go to bat for you because you two are forming a new family. He needs to start making decisions in a way that benefits you guys as a couple. There’s a reason why when you get married you leave your parents and make your spouse the priority. You are the number 1 woman in his life now and he needs to be setting clear boundaries with his mother in a way that protects your interests. If you can’t trust him to do that for you before the wedding, you’re going to get railroaded on everything else – naming the kids, where you buy your house, how to raise your children, etc. The bottom line is paying for a wedding for 300-350 people goes counter to your decision as a couple and does NOT in any way benefit you as a family. You’re going to have to pay for this all somehow, and its definitely not fair if the burden is placed on you or your parents. If he doesn’t stand up to his mom and start being firm with her, you NEED to go see a marriage counselor for some pre-marital counseling. I cannot stress this enough – this was one of the most stressful things about our wedding planning until my Fiance “got it” and started protecting me and our family from being pressured to do things. It is NOT, NOT, NOT fair if he’s putting you in the position of always being the bad guy or if he’s making you talk to his mother. She may be hurt, but SHE WILL GET OVER IT.
2. We had the same guest list issues and we stuck to our guns to have a small wedding of 60 people. How? We told our moms that if they were more than welcome to host their own wedding shower, open house, reception, or brunch before OR after the wedding. They could invite whoever they wanted, do it however they wanted, and we would be happy to show up. But they had to pay for it. We could only afford what we could afford. Both moms took us up on it and my mom actually CANCELLED her reception once she realized she couldn’t cut her guest list down to less than 250 people. His mom is still hosting an open house at their church that we will be going to 2 weeks after the wedding. We still had to pay for plane tickets to his hometown, but we were GLAD to do that. Best $700 I’ve ever spent.
You can do it – just stay strong!
Post # 7
@ ginger123 – great way to put it
Post # 8
Thanks everyone for all your comments!!! I really appreciate it!
@Ginger123: That’s exactly the way I feel. I didn’t want to come right out and say that but I really kind of felt like Fiance wasn’t standing up for me and what we had agreed upon. He normally is on my side and it’s just cut and dry…. “Mom, this is what we want. Period.” But about the guest list he’s been wishy-washy. We sat down and talked last night about the guest list. Initially, we actually had a little spat and I just decided we’d talk about it later because after the day I had at work I really couldn’t handle much more…. plus I didn’t want to fight with Fiance. In our spat, I found out that they still haven’t even started the guest list!! This 250 is just some arbitrary number – which gave me some relief and p***ed me off at the same time! Anyway, fast forward about 20 minutes and we apologized to one another for the fight. I said I don’t want this to turn into a big arguement. I just want to marry you. Bottom Line. I just think we need to come to a consensus on the number that everyone can agree on or we have a ceremony with parents, grandparents, and siblings and if our parents want to have a party afterwards for their guest lists they can. (Thanks @Ginger123 for that one too!) We talked about my initial figures on price per person and what my family can afford. We talked about this venue that we both LOVE but he said may be too small. So I asked again how many did he think would be there? He said over 200 with a sad face (literally haha it was kinda cute). I said ok. And we talked about when we started out we had wanted a small wedding. He agreed. So HE was the one who started counting out his people….. we had less than 100 🙂 He did say that he felt like he was leaving a few people out but he also said that some of those people on the list of 100 could be cut and he wouldn’t care. He was shocked to find out that it was less than 100. I was secretly thrilled! (I know that’s probably bad haha) He was actually excited too though! So still working on the list and Future Mother-In-Law but I’m not close to a panic attack anymore!!!! 😀
THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE!!!!!!!
Post # 9
Good for you! Stick to your guns, otherwise you’ll be pouting through the whole process!