(Closed) Guest List Drama

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

That is a tough one.  I would want to say both sides should get the same number of guests, but there are a lot of cases where one side just has more people to invite.  Are both sides equal in size?  If one family is larger, they should get more guests, regardless of who is paying.  But there would have to be defined limit that is sensitive to the budget.  Maybe decide on the types of people that get invites, like all immediate family member, parents, grandparents, aunts, cousins, etc, get invited, but wierd fourth cousins and distant relatives don’t.  You can invite that family friend that is like a family member, but maybe all of your FFIL’s golf buddies shouldn’t get invited. 

Post # 4
Member
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

This sucks, but yes, I think whoever’s paying does have a little more pull over who gets invited.  My parents are paying and there are going to be random coworkers of my dad’s there who I’ve never met before, and I’m not complaining (to them at least!).  They are being very generous and giving us a beautiful wedding, it’s their money, they can do what they want (within reason, of course).  Luckily my parents were okay with my FI’s side inviting everyone they wanted as well, it’s just that more people on my side can come because they’re local.  We ended up inviting way more people than I wanted (and we could seat), but because so many people are from out of town and the way the economy is, we’re having a very high "No" rate, so it doesn’t matter in the end.

Good luck!  The guest list was one of the most stressful parts of the initial planning!

Post # 5
Member
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I aboslutely understand why the family who’s paying feels they have more control and should be able to invite more.  However, isn’t a wedding about joining two people together?  Is it a less significant moment for the person’s family who’s not paying?

My advice is to get the guidelines on the table up front.  Talk to the parents who are paying and decide now how the guest list should be divided, so you can communicate it to the parents who aren’t paying so they know how many spots they have.

If their list ends up being more than the agreed upon number, then they can decide if they want to contribute financially to the wedding costs to accommodate their extra guests.   Nowadays, a blend of financial contributions is becoming more common, especially with wedding costs escalating…

Post # 6
Member
71 posts
Worker bee

oh.. what a sticky situation.. i would think that the paying party had more of a say.. but you don’t want to hurt any feelings while at it…. geez.. i donno.. i hope it works out forya!!

Post # 7
Member
2293 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

We put together a set of "rules" for guests for both our families, which is basically that no relatives beyond first cousins are invited, and no friends of parents unless at least one of us knows them well enough to recognize them on sight.  The main reason for that is we didn’t want a huge wedding, and also didn’t want a bunch of people we don’t even know – and even though my parents are kindly paying for quite a bit of the reception, it’s our party – and we don’t see why people who don’t even know us should be (or would want to be) invited.

This set of "rules" resulted in a guest list (before we added our friends) of about 100 – 70 of whom were from my side of the family, 30 from his.  His famiy is just a lot smaller, and his parents are not terribly social.  Luckily with the addition of our friends, the size is still affordable, and fits into our venue, although I think it’s a little larger than I would have liked.

I think this system worked better than dividing the guest list in half, as you simply can’t help having more aunts and uncles than your FI, or vice versa.  Even though the numbers are uneven, the system is inherently fair, as both families get to invite the people who are closest to them.  If this kind of system gives you a list that’s too big, then clearly you have to cut it somehow, but I would recommend it as a starting point.  And of course, if you do this have have a lot of room left in your venue (and your parents’ wallet), and you don’t mind them inviting a cast of thousands of their friends, I don’t see anything wrong with giving them more spaces since they are paying.  As long as your FI’s family doesn’t have to exclude half his aunts and uncles so you parents can invite some friends you don’t even know that they feel they owe a dinner…  That strikes me as quite unfair.

Post # 8
Member
13 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Wow, I love the comments on this post!  I feel that the people paying should be able to invite anyone they want as long as it’s ok with the bride & groom.  And everyone else should follow the ‘rules’.  The rules are such a great idea. I wish I had used rules!

When I created my list, I set up rules for myself, but didn’t apply them to my FILs.  They added people to the list that even my FH hasn’t seen in 15 years.  Fortunately, these people live out of state and will probably not make it.  It made me really upset, though, that I cut people out of the list that I really want to be there, second cousins, co-workers, softball teammates, and they are inviting everyone they know.  And it bothers me that much more because the FILs are not helping pay for thewedding.  In my case, the people paying have fewer invites, and to me that’s sad, even though many of the FILs invites won’t come.

I vote: stick to the rules you create and give your parents a couple of extra ‘thank you’ invites.

Post # 9
Member
378 posts
Helper bee

Our situation is pretty much the same as emilie01’s. My parents are paying for the reception costs (food and drink) and therefore when they want to invite their bosses, go for it. It just worked out that my side wanted to invite more. 

Post # 10
Member
16 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I am in a similar situation and we did is so that both sides had the same number. Granted, our families are about the same size so that made it easier.  At first, we had a capped limit on both and then my parents added 10. If FI’s parents didn’t have 10 more to add, I wouldn’t have had an issue – but since FIs parents had a B list, we let them add ten too.

 For us, what it came down to is that my parents aren’t giving just me a wedding, but one for me and FI.  And it wouldn’t be fair to HIM to say that my parents/side could have more than his.

 Different family sizes though – that would be tough! Good luck!

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