Post # 1
I need to vent about this. I’ve posted before about how FI’s mother keeps adding people to the guest list. People we’ve never met, and we likely never will. FI’s mother’s husband’s (parents are divorced and remarried) nieces and nephew’s (did you follow that?).
We are paying for 80% of this wedding ourselves, on a $10,000 budget. Both of our parents are chipping in $1,000 (which is generous of them, I’m not trying to be selfish!). It’s a semi-destination wedding, in a very small town with very few hotel rooms. We chose this location because it has meaning (where my family has vacationed since the 1940’s), and the semi-destination will keep the guest list down, thus the event cheaper.
I think I get so pissed about this because FMIL (whom I really, really do like a lot) keeps telling me to invite people. Not asking.
Every time I try to talk to FI about it, he reminds me that the wedding is kind of on my turf (my family lives in the area), and I will probably have more people at the wedding than he will. He put it like this on Sunday: “Whoever wants to make the effort to attend MY wedding is more than welcome to.” OUCH.
Basically, what we thought woudl be 130-150 people has ballooned into a 300 person invitee list.
Anyone have suggestions for how to handle this situation? Or should I just keep my mouth shut about it?
Post # 3
Tell her as nicely as possible that if you can’t keep the list below 130 than you’ll have to elope and cancel the wedding. I used NO and it worked wonders.
Post # 4
Is your FI aware of what it’s going to cost the two of you to feed and entertain all of these people? Is it possible that he doesn’t realize that expanding the guest list so dramatically will radically impact your wedding in a grilled chicken breasts to chicken McNuggets kind of way?
Post # 5
How many people will your venue hold? I think that is the easiest way to gently tell your FMIL that you can’t invite 300 people. You can also take the approach of, “lets go over the entire list and select an A and B list” and include your guests to be eligible for cuts so she doesn’t feel like you are making her cut “her” people.
Have you worked out how many people you can afford? Basically if you can’t afford to invite extended extended family, then you simply can’t afford it. I think you need to approach it gently, but since it is your money you have the ultimate power and I don’t think you should be guilt tripped into over-spending.
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2010 - Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
hm, sounds like a tough situation, and i’m sorry you’re having to deal with it. right off the bat, i think that you and FI should try and get on the same page–from some of his comments, it sounds like maybe there is some conflict he’s feeling about not having as many guests? it’s understandable in weddings that members of one family might attend in greater numbers than the other, so maybe the focus for him should be who he really wants to be there from his side of the family, as opposed to trying to make the numbers even.
once as you get on the same page with each other, it will be easier, if you choose to, talk with your FMIL gently and courteously. you can explain that because of logistics, space and budget constrictions, you (as a couple) unfortunately cannot invite x, y and z, as much as you would like to.
he needs to be on board with you about this, or it’s going to be you vs. FMIL, which is not fair (or pleasant, or pretty).
Post # 7
I think you need to start by splitting the invite list down the middle in terms of family. It seems like there might be some animosity re: this being where your family lives and possibly more of your family members being invited/attending. Therefore, have half of the invites (after friends) go to his family and half to yours.
And tell FMIL that since you are paying for the majority of the wedding, you need to keep the guest list at XXX, no questions asked.
Post # 8
Sit down with your list (and her) and tell her that you need to cut the list back to 150 TOPS. Then make a list of who you HAVE to invite, then who you really should invite, and then who you would like to invite (all of her distant long lost realatives that aren’t related!). That way you get who needs to be invited, and if there is room, some of her crazy extras, but if not, no biggy. then DON’T touch it again!
Post # 9
Ouch! That is quite a change in the guest list! But I can understand your FIs perspective too. I am sorry you are dealing with this. Can you ask her to limit her additions to the guest list to a certain number (no more than 30?)? Even if this is over the number you anticipated, you will probably have a higher than average attrition due to the location of the wedding. What is it about weddings that makes family suddenly think they “must” include that cousin that no one has seen in years?
Post # 10
Well first you and he have to get on the same page. If you both go over the budget together, that should make things more realistic to him, he’ll realize that the people you invite may come.. and then you have to pay for them. IMO, I don’t think its unreasonable to ask that the invites be sent to only those people that are most important to you. I know a wedding is about family too, but at the end of the day this is your wedding and I don’t think you should accomodate your FMIL with her random guests if it means you guys could go over budget. Obviously you don’t need to nix family or close family friends but there are always randoms. But, once you and FI are on the same page, have him discuss this with your FMIL. You don’t wanna be the bad guys!
Post # 11
Good suggestions everyone, especially by how many will the venue hold and how will the budget react.
I think it boils down to a control issue. It just raises my hackles that she’s calling these people and asking them for their mailing address because she want’s to invite them to our wedding. Before clearing it with us. So now these people are expecting an invite, and I’m not sure how to handle the situation…
Post # 12
I think she’ll have to just explain to them that you guys ended up choosing to have a small ceremony and reception. Have him talk to her and you won’t really have to handle the situation at all.
Post # 13
It’s awkward, but not your fault. It’s likely, though, that they’ll be miffed with her and not you, especially if they’re people to whom you’ve never spoken.
Post # 14
CHK, you are definitely not alone! I’m in the same boat with my FMIL. We get along wonderfully otherwise, but I’m finding that her assumptions about our wedding and her orders to “make sure” we do certain things are straining our relationship.
My FI and I are paying for the whole wedding and luckily, we are both on the same page about input from other people. We want something small and both feel that we can’t accomodate all of the step cousins and nephews that seem to keep multiplying as we get further into our planning. With his support, we’ve told my FMIL that the list will be very small and we will advise her of the final list that we’re able to invite as soon as we have everything decided (read: we do not want any additional input and will let you know when we’ve made up our minds about who’s coming).
She’s been trying to offer to pay for the guests she wants to add to which we tell her “thank you” and re-iterate that we will give her a copy of the FINAL list once it’s finished.
I think you might want to talk finances with your FI as well just so you two know what it means to the budget every time you add another person to your list. I would love to welcome “anyone who wants to make an effort to attend” as well, but that would leave us eating hot dogs on the balcony of our apartment with 400 of our frirends and family–not exactly the reception I always dreamed of. 🙂
Good luck to you and hang in there!
Post # 15
I should add that when she emails with people she’s invited, she keeps doing the “but they’ll never come- they’ll just send a gift!”. And all I can think is that the restaurant hosting the reception can hold 200, at the absolute max (that’s pushing it), and even if “only” 65% of our invitees, come- that’s 195 people!
ARGH! I get so mad that he wouldn’t elope!
Post # 16
I’ve definitely had people suggest inviting so-and-so because “they would never come”, so it’s like they don’t add to the guest list or something. Definitely the most important thing is to get on the same page with FI and figure out what you’re both comfortable with. Then he can help deal with FMIL.