(Closed) FMIL – Guest List – Impolite to ask to see if not paying for it?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
2589 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

I’m not sure why she needs to see the guest list–just explain to her that you have it all figured out and that she has x amount of seats for her friends: no more, no less.

Post # 4
Member
2742 posts
Sugar bee

I’m sorry, she wants to see you and your FH’s guest list? Why? To see if her sister is in on it? To make sure she doesn’t invite people not on your list? Well, I don’t know how to be diplomatic but I guess you could tell your FH to tell his parents that because you guys are paying and it’s so expensive, they get to invite only X number of people and that’s it. Ixnay on the etiquette book.

Post # 5
Member
1057 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I’d tell her to wait to discuss things like that until your FH gets back. If it’s important to her she’ll be patient, even if the end result is “no.”

Side note: I’d be pissed paying $50 a head for people I’ve never met. It’s one thing if she’s paying for them but that’s not the case.

Post # 6
Member
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

i would say you guys could sit down together to go over it… or you could have her send you her guest list and you can compare the 2 and discuss why certain people werent invited.  I personally gave both mothers the option of sending me their guest list… I actually included more people than either parent contributed from family and family friends

Post # 7
Member
10288 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think its totally acceptable for her to ask to see the GL though you have every right to put your foot down to unwanted guests. 

The whole concept of parents inviting their friends that the couple doesnt even know, baffles me. My parents are paying for half of our wedding and the only people they suggested be invited that weren’t on our original guest list are my step fathers brothers kids (who i dont really know). I was fine adding them because everyone knows that they won’t actually come to our wedding. My FIL’s didnt request that we invite anyone that we weren’t already planning on. We did invite her boss and her best friend but we were never asked to do so.

As for “Normally, FMIL aren’t supposed to get so involved, right?”– my FMIL is very involved in our wedding but thats because I wanted her to be. They are paying for a few things here and there (flowers, rehearsal dinner, cake (I think)) but even if they weren’t, it was important for me to share the experience with her. She doesn’t have any girls so I have made it a point to include her in just about everything that my mom is included in. 

I guess it comes down to your relationship with her. My FMIL rocks so I have no issues sharing all the details with her. 

Post # 8
Member
14 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I wouldn’t show her the actual guest list and would assure her the family members are all invited.  If you MUST show her your guest list, don’t budge on adding more people simply because she wants them there.  You may have to give her a reality check about how much it actually costs to add guests to your list (and it’s not just the plate of food – it will add costs to your invitations, centerpieces, etc).

Also, tell her you are not making any decisions without your FH’s involvement.  After all, isn’t that what marriage is all about?  And this is just the beginning…time to teach FMIL about boundaries.  If you let her manipulate you now, she’ll continue doing it in the future. 

Post # 9
Member
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

My FMIL asked me yesterday if we were going to give them a number of people they could invite.  I politely said, ‘FI and I have decided on our guest list and we are not inviting anyone past first cousin, it is important to us not to have people there we barely know and we both feel we are only close enough with family to that point to invite them; my parents are also paying for the wedding and we want to be respectful of a budget, so inviting more people would put us in an uncomfortable situation with our budget’.  She let it go (for now).

Post # 10
Member
1940 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I don’t understand why she would want to see the list.  Is it that she just wants to make sure you added the people you asked for her to or is she wanted to see if you have any open seats?  If it is just that she is worried about her sister tell her that it was returned by the post office and you will send it again.  My Aunt’s STD got lost in the mail too and she didn’t tell me she just told everyone else in the family that she couldn’t believe I didn’t invite her to the wedding.  I think it is normal for some people to not understand the difference. 

I say that if she is just worried about you inviting the people she wants explain how many she is allowed to invite and that you will send that exact amount. 

Post # 11
Member
1872 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I have a differing opinion on her inviting guests to your wedding but let me say up front that you handled it well in giving her a set number of seats and the discretion of who sits in them.

Although you are paying for it and yes, ultimately you have the final word of who’s invited, I do think that you’re right to acknowledge that it’s an event that’s important for your parents as well. Parents have social relationships that they want to maintain that may be outside of their kids and NOT inviting their friends to their kids’ weddings could be a bit of a gaffe, depending on their relationship. My parents are inviting a *few* business associates to ours, for example. Again, does that mean you HAVE to invite whom she wants? No. But I think you did the right hting by offering her a set number of seats.

But it has to remain that those are the set number of seats. If this woman acts like a child when she doesn’t have her way, treat her like one and tune her out when she tantrums. Find some zen and just let her do her thing–it’s a performance; all you have to do is watch. DO NOT give her guest list because chances are she will use it as bargaining power. Either she’ll count up the number of YOUR family’s guests and whine or she’ll say, “why are you inviting HIM–do you have to invite HIM? Do we have to invite XX’s girlfriend?” etc. etc. So DO NOT give her the guest list.

My suggestion is to simply say something like, “We’ve finalized the number of slots everyone has, but we’re still fine-tuning the guest list. I’m waiting for FI to get back so we can make it final (if that makes sense to say wiht his timeline). We sent STDs only to people we knew were vital to have, which is a small percentage of the total. I’m sorry your sister didn’t get hers, by the way. Why don’t you give me the address again and I’ll send her another?”

Then ask her for her guest list–repeatedly–until you get it. And if she comes up with 20 guests and you’ve only allowed her 10, then get medieval and warn her if she doesn’t cut it down herself, you’ll do it for her and just invite the first 10 people.

Post # 12
Member
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@JennyW1: My FI and I made our guest list together.  No one we don’t know or haven’t had long term relationships with are invited (including extended family). Period.  I can’t imagine just letting any of our parents invite people we don’t know to OUR wedding.  I think that if parents want to invite their own personal friends, that is very selfish of them.  Some of my parents’ friends are invited, but they are people I grew up with.  My FI has no family friends coming, I know it’s hard for his mom because his family is more heavily weighted on his dad’s side (20-6 to be exact, they are divorced), but we can’t help they got divorced and she wants to bring people to beef up her side’s presence at the wedding. It’s not happening.

I agree that the OP is being more than fair by giving them a set number of seats to fill.  IMO it’s quite generous in fact, much more so than my FI and I are being.

Post # 13
Member
1872 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

@mcnetn3: I didn’t mean to say that not allowing parents to invite their friends was the “wrong” thing to do. Sorry if it sounded like that! I just think that it’s very nice of the OP to do that for her FMIL and I support brides allowing family members to have some discretion with who they want to invite, so long as it doesn’t make them uncomfortable to do so and it isn’t a strain financially. I did also want to just point out why parents might do something like that because I hear so much negativity directed towards parents who want to invite people of their own social circle–like it’s an outrage or something. I’m certainly not advocating everyone accomodate their parents, though, just an understanding.

But thank you for pointing out how what I wrote sounded; I sometimes don’t really have a good barometer.

Post # 14
Member
36 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I would go ahead and show her the guest list, but in doing so reinforce that your budget is small and more people can’t be invited.  I’d let her look at it so that she knows exactly who is invited so she doesn’t make silly verbal committments to any friends/family who aren’t on the list.  Be firm but very sweet, letting her know that you’re also sacrificing having all of your friends there because it isn’t in the budget. 

I created my guest list on Google Docs and ‘shared’ it with my mom and FMIL so they could see it.  I wouldn’t give your FMIL editing rights, but I gave them the rights to change the list (this is an option you have to enable) to fill in a designated number of empty slots with guests of their choice, reminding them at the top of the document the number we’re keeping it under.  This was great because they felt involved in creating the list, and since we haven’t sent out invites yet, they can go back and edit their selections if need be. 

Post # 15
Member
690 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I would just explain to her that her sister’s STD was returned and that it was a postal issue and will be resent and resolved. The guest list doesn’t actually have anything to do with the issue at hand.

Post # 16
Member
548 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I am in total agreement with mcnetn3.  My fiance and I are paying for most of this shindig on our own.  FI’s dad will be helping us a little bit (FMIL and FFIL are divorced) so he is the only one I would make accommodations for.  I told my own mom which family members I’m inviting just to make sure I didn’t forget anyone, and I did in fact for get one uncle and aunt.  I gladly added them.  My FI told me which family members he wanted to invite.  On my side of things, I didn’t invite any family that I haven’t talked to for 15 years….I’m sorry, but if we don’t care enough about each other to keep in touch, I don’t need to pay 45 bucks a plate for you to eat…so the majority of my mom and dad’s family aren’t coming…my parents don’t even keep in touch with me.

My FI and I agreed that the only people who are going to see our guest list are myself, him, and POSSIBLY his dad.  I’m not paying for people I don’t know and my FI doesn’t know to come.  I wouldn’t want to go to someone’s wedding I didn’t know…unless it was as a +1.  I put up once that I wasn’t showing my parents of FILs my guest list and someone said “Ummmm…good luck with that.”  How are they going to see it?  It’s in my house, in my binder, so unless I show it to them, they’re aren’t seeing it.  Sorry if I’m being a witch, but this is my FI and my wedding and no one elses.  It my opinion and in our case, it is NOT a joining of families…we’re inviting more friends than family.

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