Post # 1
We are trying to have a budget wedding, more of a party really. We’re going to ask if we can do it in his parents’ backyard (it’s our backyard too because we rent one of the apartments from them– it’s a huge and pretty yard). So technically we could invite a ton of people, but the food and seating for a lot of people will be costly, and we can’t use the “oops, our venue only allows X number of guests)” excuse.
Between both of our immediate families we have 13 people. He has a huge family and wants to invite all of his aunts, uncles, and cousins- there are 27 of them. He’s not inviting any great-aunts or family friends.
My extended family list includes great-aunts and uncles and a couple family friends that I grew up with, and it’s still less than his list. If I knock all those extra people off the list and just have my aunts, uncles and cousins (like his list) that’s only 12 people. I don’t necessarily want to cut those other people out but we have to do it somewhere and cutting any of his family is not an option.
And we have 20-25 friends we’d like to be there, and we’ll have to cut some of them too.
There is no way that we can NOT invite the aunts and uncles period, and I know we can’t only invite his favorites and leave others out, so I guess I’m not really asking for advice, just commiseration. Every time I think about the food and seats I get SO anxious and then I find myself getting irrationally angry that his family is so damn big, and that he gets to “keep” all of them while I have to cut my family.
Post # 3
@lampshade: You sound like me! But my case is even more extreme.. Including my aunts, uncles, and cousins, my family comes to less than SOs IMMEDIATE family, ie brothers/sisters/parents/stepparents and their kids. If we let his extended family ie aunts and cousins but NOT their kids come, it will add an extra 30-50 people to our list.
I don’t think it’s fair that you might have to cut some of your family members to make room for his. Maybe you can come up with a number and cut the number of invited guests on each side evenly in half?
Also, if you’re doing a backyard party, you don’t really need to have a SEAT for every body attending! If it’s casual, have a few tables to stand at, maybe a couple of benches? If it’s super casual and the yard is big, lay blankets out picnic style!
Post # 4
I feel for you. Food and drinks is the main expense for me, too. It feels like a vicious circle. I am still hemming and hawwing because we haven’t sent out our invitations yet. We have 120 guests but ideally I want 80 to show up! (20 of those are church friends of my FMIL who neither of us know)
What helped me with the anxiety was having a definite budget total, and an ideal number of guests. Divide what you can afford on food from your total by guest count and research what options you have. If you are not using a professional caterer, everyone loves burgers and hot dogs. (Or veggie ones.) In bulk, that may be affordable.
We went with a reception venue because my FI didn’t want an outdoor reception. I would have totally done a BBQ otherwise.
Post # 5
@jessicadarling: We can’t really cut from his family without cutting them all because his father has FIVE brothers and sisters and they all have families and a couple of the kids are grown up and have families too. And he is pretty close with all of them and they will definitely all come! His mother’s side of the family is a lot smaller and not so close, so hopefully they decline, buuuut they all went to his sister’s lavish wedding…
For seating we were thinking picnic tables would be adorable but they are expensive. We were going to look into how much it would cost to build them ourselves. We have one right now and we might be able to borrow some too, who knows. Blankets would definitely be cheaper though- I’ll keep that idea in mind!
@Britterscotch: Ahhh, your church friends of FMIL comment just reminded me that his parents will probably invite all their friends 🙁
We were thinking pizza, grilled fruit, whatever cold salads we can come up with from our garden, and sheetcake for the food and were gonna try and DIY that– another thing that a huge guest list makes VERY difficult.
Post # 6
Another suggestion is if you have any family members who enjoy cooking, divvy it up. My mother can’t afford to technically give us a large chunk of money for the wedding, but she took over making the favors. Maybe someone will take over the fruit, another the pizza, etc. ?
Post # 7
You ladies are awesome. Thank you! I’m so busy freaking out that little ideas like that aren’t occurring to me!