Post # 1
Would really love advice on this. This is my second wedding, and his first. FMIL has two sons, and my FH is the first in the family to be married. I understand that she (FMIL) wants the big wedding, but my side has about 35-50 guests and FMIL has 150+ that she wants invited. When I spoke with her about cutting down the numbers, (as we are paying for this ourselves, and my parents have already done this)her (FMIL) response was, if people ask why they are not invited, I will just tell them that you have already been married before. I almost wanted to die! Tell me your opinion, we just can’t afford that many people, am I stupid to think that if they want to invite 3 times as many people, that they should pay for their own guests? What is the appropriate thing to do here?
Post # 3
I think that if they want a 150 guests, they should buck up. But, if the point of your small wedding is that you prefer an intimate wedding, then it’s non-negotiable.
Post # 4
WOW… her long list is inappropriate but her response to you what even more so. I can’t believe she said that to you. I would suggest you have your fiance speak to her about her attitude. I know my husband wouldn’t stand for his mother talking to me like that.
Now, on to the matter at hand, the list. Do you want a small wedding simply because of budget, or is that just the feel you are going for? If you really prefer a smaller intimate wedding then tell her they are allowed to invite X number of people and that’s it. End of story. Now, if you are happy to have more people, but just can’t afford it, then you have another option. Let her know that you and your fiance will pay for X number of people and any additional guests are on them. But let her know that she will not just be covering food for the extras.. she will cover EVERY.SINGLE.COST associated with that person being there (food, alcohol, invitation, additional centerpieces, etc, etc).
Post # 5
You are definitely not stupid to think that. The only people that have a say in who comes to the wedding is the people who are paying for the wedding, and it sounds like FMIL is trying to dictate your guest list without actually contributing anything!
You can always tell her that she can throw a party the day after your wedding and invite all the people who weren’t able to be invited to the reception.
Post # 6
I am open to them inviting any number of guests. The more the merrier, we just can’t afford their numbers.
Post # 7
If she isn’t paying, she doesn’t get invites. Simple as that. You could be accomidating of course, but it isn’t required. That’s an insane amount of people – just tell her that it isn’t possible.
Post # 8
Y’all are paying for the wedding…you have the kind of wedding YOU want to have. If she wants to have extra people tell her she can take up the extra cost. I say give her a number for how many people you feel comfortable with her inviting and tell her that if anyone asks why they weren’t invited just to say that “space is very limited” or “they decided to have a very intimate wedding”. It’s totally inappropriate of her to mention that this is your 2nd marriage. If you don’t feel comfortable having this conversation then maybe ask your FI to have it. Best of Luck!
Post # 9
I was quite literally in the exact same situation not long ago. My second wedding his first, he has one sibling who isn’t married yet. I was adamant from the beginning that we have a “small, intimate wedding” not only because my parents had already paid for the “big white wedding” once and I was absolutely not going to ask them to do it again, but also because I felt it wasn’t something I wanted either. Having done it already I knew what I wanted and wsa experienced in what I didnt’ want. My fiance agreed that he wanted something small and not overblown. His mother on the other hand had a list of about 100 people which was about twice what we had on our list.
In the end it came down to compromise and a little finagling. So, we chose a venue that could only hold a specific amount of people (slightly more than we wanted, but enough that she had to play the “I can’t invite X if I don’t invite Y so both get crossed off” game.) We also compromised our number to include the people she felt essential and she offered to pay for half of the wedding in order to get what she wanted. This allowed us to have more in our budget for the the things that were the most important.
I would suggest a compromise, and definitely take into account your fiance’s thoughts as well. The one thing that helped us immesnely when “cutting her list” was looking at people that knew us as a couple, vs people who didn’t know me AT ALL… anyone who my fiance hadn’t seen nor heard from in YEARS was out too. After all, it is a celebration about you as a couple… not a free meal for some long lost neighbor from back in the day right?
If compromising doesn’t work… offer to let her pay for her share of guests and see how it goes.