Post # 1
Okay, my fiance and I have decided we can really only accomadate a small wedding of approximately 50 guests. But we have been having nonstop headaches trying to figure out how to invite/who to invite/who to not invite. Maybe someone can help me with a few particular problems.
1. KIDS: My fiance has 5 very young cousins who are very, very close to him. Additionally, they live in WI and we are in TN (so their parents cannot hire a sitter). Them being invited cannot be a question. However, a lot of our relatives whom we are not so close to have slightly older children, when we add all of the kids our guest list goes fro 50 to 100 pretty fast.
Can we invite parents without inviting children if select children will definitely be in attendance?
2. More specifically, I have a half-sister who I recently met (about 8 or 9 years ago) who has one child of her own, whom I have met; she remarried about 5 years ago and now has 3 more older kids(teens) and, of course, a new husband who I haven’t met. I definitely want my sister to be there but will she expect her step-children to be invited too?
3. DISTANT RELATIVES: My Future Mother-In-Law, also in WI, wants us to throw an engagement party for those distant and elder relatives who live in WI/IL “incase they can’t come” (her words.)
Will those relatives expect to be invited? Can we visit/celebrate our engagement somehow WHILE letting them know the we are having a very small wedding? What should I do about this??
4. There are close to 30 or 40 elder/distant relatives and family friends (on top of our base 30-40) who we do not expect to come but would like extend an invitation to regardless (we do not want anyone to feel snubbed). All the books say to plan like your entire guest list will show up, but I really don’t think I can afford to accomadate those extra 30-40 people who will expect an invitation even if they can’t come. My worry is that more will show up than I expect. What should i do?
I cannot gurantee that these are all the questions I have (I am a total wreck when it comes to the guest list) but this is all I can force my brain to verbalise at this point. Please help me! Guest list etiquette is so not my forte!
Post # 3
1) I would invite ALL kids or NO kids. Maybe the people from out of state can have their kids stay at a relative’s house who could find a sitter. Then, the kids can visit their relatives at least. Another option is to only invite FAMILY KIDS. We did not allow friends to bring their kids, only relatives.
2) Since they are a family now, I would assume that she would expect to bring her step children. unless you don’t invite ANY kids at all.
30 Distant relatives should not be invited to parties unless they are extended an invitation to the main event. Period.
4) If you are willing to risk them all coming, then invite them. Don’t count on any type of response!
It seems that you and your Fiance really need to sit down and work out your guest list. Maybe create groups of people “Immediate family”, “close friends”, “distant family”, “kids of family”, “kids of friends”.
Once you ahve your lists made, figure out which groups you can afford to invite.
Post # 4
Could you have the 5 young children that you are very, very close to be in the wedding party, so that you don’t have to include the other children? You don’t say where the wedding will be, perhaps you can arrange a visit with an informal open house to see your FMIL’s elder/distant relatives AFTER your wedding? Are you getting married at the end of December? or at another time (as it shows your date as Dec 28, 2011?
Perhaps you could send a nice wedding day photo/wedding announcement to the ones that you can’t invite/don’t expect will make it?
Post # 5
Yikes, I hated this part. Maybe you can just have immediate family but do a party with the extended ppl after so they can celebrate with you if they want to. my youngest cousin is 9 so I basically told all my friends with small children that were not having kids. Other than my niece and nephew who are in the wedding. Most ppl said they hadn’t intention of bringing their kids anyways 🙂
Post # 6
@LovelyLaura: Thanks. Do you think that we cannot throw this engagement party this my Future Mother-In-Law wants then if I am not sure guests will be invited? Should I just tell her no?
Can you maybe explain to me how th A/B list is supposed to work (haha, yes, I am THAT lost!)? Maybe that will help me understand what to do with the 30-40 extra guests that I’m not sure about.
I wonder if the only choice I really have is just to plan for a wedding of 100? I really don’t think that all of our distant relatives will come though and the first 75% of the deposit will be due before we will have recieved all of our RSVPs. That 75% will be based off of how many guests we are planning for. Could this be a potential problem?
I don’t know! I can’t think straight about the whole guest list thing! Blegh, any other advice you can offer will be helpful. Really, really helpful, haha.
Post # 7
@creativeplannertobee, @MrsRichard: Thank you both these are great ideas! All of my fiance’s cousins are girls lol, I guess I could have a Princess Di style group flower girls haha. Sorry, the wedding is not in December; its in June 2014.
Do you think its imperitave that the celebration take place after the wedding?
Post # 8
@mcp3x: When is your wedding date? When is the deposit due?
As for an A/B list, I have never heard of it. These were our lists:
Immediate family (mom/Dad/Sister/Brothers/nieces/nephews/grandparents)
Extended family (Aunts/Uncles/Cousins)
Distant family (Great aunts/uncles/second cousins etc.)
Not-so close friends
Children of friends
I suggest you make those lists and only invite those you can afford to accomodate. If your deposit ends up being more than you need to pay, maybe you can toss in a salad course, soup, or one hour open bar instead of paying for plates. I would contact your venue and ask about this matter.
ETA: due to restrictions, we eliminated “Chidren of friends”, “Distant family” and “Not-so-close friends”. We invited 155 total and 120 attended
Post # 9
Some one posted this….it really helped me 🙂
Post # 10
I love PP’s idea! Have the 5 kids as assorted flower girls/ring bearers, and have it child free. I would also find a sitter for the 5 kids–you can ask day cares if they have anyone (daycare workers are used to a 3:1 ratio for infants or a 4:1 ratio for toddlers or a 10:1 ratio for preschoolers, so they’ll be used to watching lots of kids at once) who would be willing to supervise kids during the reception so the parents don’t have to!
As for the elderly people, I would go just family. You can send a wedding announcement to the rest so they still feel included. Make sure it mentions what a small, intimate wedding you had!
Post # 11
@LovelyLaura: June 2014, deposit is due this June, the other 50 is due 4 months before the wedding. I like the idea of just allocating the money if necessary. I will contact my venue to find out what they would do about this issue.
I’ll try making those lists and see what kind of numbers I end up with. What should I do about people that my parents/his parents think that we need to invite that we can’t find room for? We have a lot of these if I decide to just keep it at around 50.
Post # 12
@BrandNewBride: Your advice is super helpful, would the wedding announcement go out after the wedding? I think it would be super cute to have all the kids involved.
@Kimy: I love this, I think I’ll show this to my fiance. This will help for sure!
Post # 13
@mcp3x: make a list for them. My mom’s friends and DH’s mom’s friends were “friends of the family”. They were invited as we had room, but we had to choose between them and our “not so close friends”. For this instance, we went with what would make our parents happy and I am glad in the end.
If you do not have room for them, then just explain to your parents. Hopefully they will understand or offer to help pay for the additional cost of their friends.
Post # 14
@mcp3x: In all honesty, it sounds like a 50 person wedding isn’t going to work without a lot of hassle. That is okay, that is what happened with us. We realized it wasn’t worth the hurt feelings and decided to have a less nice wedding with more people. We talked to our parents and told them that we could afford X, so while we would love to have “steak/random family friend/an open bar”, that is all we can do.
If I came to FI’s parents and said his side got 25 seats it wouldn’t work, but we tried to make it as fair as possible to invite the minimum needed to keep the peace. We are having a longer engagement and I am cutting out things important to me, but it works for us.
Post # 15
Yep! You send them out after the “I Do”s, and before the reception!
And I work in child care, so I have a little extra wisdom with that.
Post # 16
Our three children will be in the wedding, and then I have one of my sisters eldest in the wedding (hes 12) other than that, absolutely no children. she also has 6 children total and they are all under the age of 8 and are not coming. Luckily for us the dinner for children is considerably less than the entrees for everyone else.