Post # 1
Let me start by saying that my parents are paying for the bulk of the wedding (rental of reception space, flowers and all catering) and my FI’s family is paying for smaller stuff, photographer, favors and reception music. FI and I are paying for most everything else.
Anyway, we live in and are getting married in Rome, he is Italian, I am from the west coast. We have planned since the very beginning to have an intimate wedding for two reasons: we don’t want a bunch of people there we don’t know, and the catering bill per head is about 120 euros. OVer 150 dollars! THe number we both agreed to keep it to was 80 people total, 40 people each.
I have a good set of friends here in Rome who will be coming to the wedding as well as a couple very close friends from the states who will manage to make it over. My parents, step parents and one sister and her fam will be coming and that’s about it for my side.
He however, has several aunts and uncles, and many cousins, who are all invited (with their girlfriends/boyfriends). This already bothers me as none of my cousins are even invited, let alone plus guest. But I am ok with it because FI has fewer friends than I do that he feels close enough to invite. The problem is about ten of his parents’ friends that he is inviting. I don’t know these people, FI isn’t at all close with them, and they push his numbers over 55. (while I am hovering exactly at 40 as we decided).
If his parents were paying I wouldn’t say a thing. But mine are. Only two family friends on my side will be coming (even tho a few more than that are invited, but won’t be able to come). I guess I am frustrated that 1) I’ll have a bunch of people at my wedding I don’t know, yet four of my sisters and all my aunts and uncles won’t be there and 2) My parents will have to pay an extra 2250 dollars more than expected! I am frustrated, and feel very guilty. I don’t know how to tell my parents, and we cannot afford to cover it ourselves with all the other things we are paying for.
Don’t know what to do.
Post # 3
Seems like there’s lack of clarity in a couple of areas:
1. You agreed that you would each invite 40, and his side is up to 55… were they clear on the limit? If so, can’t you simply remind them that the budget only allows for 40? Maybe they’ll offer to pay the difference, or they’ll have to cut their list.
2. When you agree to an even split of the entire guest list, you don’t get to control who goes on the list — even if that means they have cousins/aunts/uncles and you don’t. A different approach would have been to make a combined list of all mutual friends and immediate family on both sides, drawing the line in the same place (i.e., all first cousins/aunts/uncles), regardless of how many each side gets. Then you split the difference for extras, including parents’ friends. Is it too late to change your approach?
Post # 4
Hmmmm….have these aunts/uncles/cousins actually been invited yet, or are they just on FI’s guest list. I would definitely put my foot down if I were you and reiterate the 40 person rule to your FI and his family…that’s only IF they haven’t been invited yet. Unfortunately, you can’t take back those invites 🙁
Post # 5
I agree w/ NotYourTypicalBride. Unfortunately you don’t have control of who he invites if it is an even split but you should sit down and talk with him about the 40 person rule. Is it possible his mother is pushing for the extra people? She perhaps may not know about the 40 person rule. If they were aware of the limit then you will have to remind them that the can only invite 40 and if they want more they will need to help pay the difference. If he loves and cares about your feelings he would understand that it isn’t that you don’t want them there, its the sheer price of the wedding that is the problem.
Post # 6
No, no one has been invited yet, but time is getting short.
I don’t mind that his cousins are invited and mine are not, because I have a lot more friends that are coming, and I’m not that close to my cousins anyway. I guess what makes it complicated is that I am able to invite a bunch of people for appearances sake, and I KNOW most of them will not be able to come. For him, that is not possible, as he is from here. So I’m trying to understand where he and (mostly) his family is coming from.
I think it would be fair that over 40 guests on his side, his family has to pay for. I suggested this to him, and he balked, saying his parents can’t afford that. (I admit, my family has a bit more money than his, but they are not RICH, plus they have to convert everything to euros). But if they can’t afford it, why should they get to invite them? I know at least in one particular case, some friends of theirs invited FI’s whole family to their daughter’s wedding. Does that mean that we HAVE to invite them? Ours is a small wedding… shoulnd’t that be a good enough excuse??
Post # 7
Well, you either have agreement on the 40 per side, or you don’t… is your FI not willing to reinforce the 40? Does he not understand that 15 extra guests put a financial hardship on your family?
If he isn’t willing to address it with his family, I might ask him then to explain to your parents that his family will be inviting 15 extra people and they can’t pay for it. Maybe that will help him see the light?
One thing is unclear to me, though – are you saying you can each INVITE 40, regardless of who is like to show up? If so, maybe that’s not the best way to do it? Typically you would figure out how many you can afford to attend, and then send more invitations knowing that some will decline. You take your best guess on the number of declines you’ll receive, knowing that you’ll be a little bit off in the end.
Example: I budgeted for 80-85 guests at my (semi-destination) wedding. We invited 103. At one point, based on verbal commitments, I thought we might go over 90. In the end, 76 showed up. Are you accounting for declines?
Post # 8
Hm…that is a tough one. But I would be more inclined to agree with you: if you had already decided on 40 people for each side, then its 40 people. He should either reduce his guest list or pay for the overage (him or his parents).
Post # 9
You could do the A-list/B-list thing, as a possible compromise. Although if your fiance’s friends and family live in Italy, more of them are likely to be able to make it than your friends and family coming from the states. The fact is, your budget is your budget, and your parents are paying. He needs to man up and tell his parents that they cannot expect your parents to pay for extra guests. I know it’s hard to keep the peace in this situation, but he needs to be firm.
I had a similar problem with FI’s parents’ guest list, and it was awkward even though I made him do most of the dirty work. They finally sent us a list in tiers, and told us to make the line where we needed to. They ended up with 6 fewer guests than my parents, because the next tier had 15 people. If his parents really want to celebrate with their friends, they could throw a party or something after the wedding (since everyone’s in the country anyway).
Post # 10
@RomaBride: Don’t make excuses for who is on your guest list versus his. My family lives over 3,000 miles away from me so naturally my guest list will be mostly friends since many family members can’t afford the cost to make the trip. My FI understands that and doesn’t mind at all. It is who is closest to you that matters, not if they are related or not.
I would just stand your ground at 40 people. If perhaps not everyone RSVP’s you can then maybe offer to give those invites to him to use for those that did not make the first cut? If he can’t accept that then he will have only 40 to invite and that is it. He will have to learn to deal with it.
Don’t feel bad. You are totally being reasonable about this issue.
Post # 11
I meant 40 people who are coming. (not always easy to estimate). but at least with my side it is relatively easy, because most people have already told me in advance (even tho the invites haven’t gone out yet, they got save the dates, and obviously had to book in advance) so I am actually inviting about 80 people, but i have calculated 35 to max 45 people will come. His side is different, most of the people he invite will come. (side note: i didn’t send STDs to his side, as it is not heard of in Italy.)
I agree with all of you, we need to stick to the 40-40 rule. What makes it difficult is that I am here with him in Rome, and my family is far away. Neither FI or anyone in his family even speak english, so i can’t exactly have him call my parents, altho that is a great idea! It is not his mom so much as his dad, who is all about appearances (this is a huge Italian trait). If anything this wedding is a huge challenge in our culture differences, and i suppose I should look at it as that.
I think I will sit down with them and explain just how much these extra people will cost, and see what their reaction is first. Maybe they will offer to pay if it is so important to them.
really appreciate all your advice!
Post # 12
Could you talk to him about his parents or even him covering the cost for the 15 extra guests? If he wants the extra people there he (or his family) should take care of the expense.
Post # 13
I don’t have much advice, but only to say, this happens a lot. Or at least with my fiance and I. My parents are paying for everything except catering. They are putting down $20,000 for the wedding! His parents may spend $4,000 but I doubt it since they can cater tons of people for not a lot of money at all. Anyway, my parents are out of town and that means most of their friends won’t come. The wedding is in my fiance’s hometown which means his parents want to invite the world. My parents got 50 people to invite, his parents got 50, and we got 100. That’s 200 people. Long story short (probably not) his parents wanted to invite an additional 50 people! I told my fiance the extra 50 would be invited IF and when we knew we could accomodate them (after the RSVPs come back). If not they can get a wedding announcement afterwards. Well he sulked about it because he said, “It’s not fair I want my parents to have their friends there too… they’re catering and I feel like they should have who they want there.” Baha, yes dear fiance, they have 50 of their friends there. The other 50 may or may not be able to come. But let’s not talk about fair when my parents are paying $20,000. I’m glad his parents are cetering but that is a fraction of the cost and we’re all splitting the guest list even stevens.
Just stick to your guns or make them pay more.