Post # 1
hi bees! new to the forum but desperately need input on two issues.
Fiance and I agreed that we wanted a smallish wedding of 150 but when we sat down to write our actual guest list it came up to almost 200. this was including everyone we absolutely want there, with the exception of a "few" family members on his side that still needed to be added by his parents, so at that point we figured, okay, 200 MAX. Fiance told his parents that we wanted to keep the wedding to less than 200 and they flipped! They have added 30 more people to the list so now we are at about 220. My problem with this is that of the 30 people, less than 10 are immediate family members. The other 20 Fiance does not care to even have at the wedding. (I don’t know any of the 30 people). .The problem is, he is apprehensive to bring this up to his parents because they are totally not understanding our wishes to have a small wedding and they don’t seem to care either.
The other issue is, Fiance and I agreed we don’t want to invite children at the wedding which actually breaks my heart but for various reasons, it is just not do-able. We agreed and once he told his parents, again, they flipped. They told him we "have" to invite the extra 30 people on their list and that we "have" to let their friends and family bring all of their children (which to me means we have to let everyone bring their kids which is about 20 something of them). At this point I feel like we are not getting the small wedding that we wanted, and what upsets me even more is that my first choice for a venue has a capacity of 200. So not only will there be random people at the wedding, I can’t even have it where I wanted. Instead, I feel like his parents are dictating and planning this wedding (and no, they are not paying for it either). I hope this is not a sign of things to come, with him having difficulty prioritizing my/OUR wishes before his parents.
How can we somehow compromise so that he doesn’t have to argue with his family over this wedding, how/what should he say to his parents, and how can I still get the wedding of my dreams?
Post # 3
Edited after rereading your post and answering my own questions. I found that the best way to get the size wedding we wanted was by selecting a venue that could hold, maximum, 150 people, which was our ideal head count. That way, we had a really easy out for saying "Sorry, can’t invite that person!" It ended up working out much better, because of course our parents wanted to invite every person they’d ever met, and this way we got to tell them no without hurting any feelings. Just book the venue you like, and tell them, too bad, so sad.
Post # 4
I think Fiance needs to really put his foot down. I think with what you’ve told us, an argument may be unavoidable, but to make it less intense, he should just tell them flat out what you want.
If they’re not paying for it, then they shouldn’t get this much say in the matter. I think the best thing would be to sit down with them (all of you) and just have a true talk about all of your wishes in one shot. If it helps, make a list, jot down notes, whatever you need to be able to stand your ground. Just make sure that you and Fiance are super solid in what you want, and are backing each other up. Talk to him and make sure that he won’t give in to his parents and leave you stranded.
I’m sorry you have to deal with this!
Post # 5
thanks for the input so far..
we didn’t have any intentions of involving them in the planning process because we decided since it’s our day, we’ll go ahead and plan everything together, just the two of us. my parents are very supportive and are not imposing or enforcing anything on us in any way, thankfully.
they’re not paying for anything but after his first argument with them, they offered to give us some money to accomodate the extra people. i know that is in some ways, a good thing but it kind of goes against our wishes to just keep it to less than 200. i do feel conflicted, do i give in, just because they’re giving us money? will this become a problem later on down the road where they don’t understand their boundaries?
the tip about just picking a venue with a capacity is a good idea though! i fell in love with one recently and am hoping to make that place ours.
i should mention there is a language barrier between his parents and i, so while a converstaion altogether is possible it might not be the most efficient if things get heated and he has to translate the whole time
Post # 6
So sorry there are issues.
You said 200, max. If you invited just the folks (no children FO’s parents want to invite) that I think brings you to 220. Really that should be fine to not bring you over 200. Out of 220 invited guests, you are likley to get 20 declines.
As for the children, I think you should sit down and consider if you let his parents’ friends bring their children, how many other children would have to be included. And explain to them, if three of their side are invited, that means 20 extra from everywhere else need to be invited. Not gonna happen.
ido think you should try to be as kind as possible. But I’m a little angry for you. they ar not paying at all and they have the nerve to insist on inviting their friends’ children??? It’s one thing to push for certain family members, or even a close friend. But they need to back off. (And I realize that them offering to pay extra for their guests, isn’t going to cut it, because no matter cost, the venue you want can only hold 200.
Post # 7
I say, book the venue and then tell them you all need to work within the capacity constraints. also, keep in mind that not everyone will come. We limited our friends to only those that we are really close to and whom we know will make every effort to come. That said, many still can’t due to conflicts or financial constraints…if you invite 220, it’s pretty likely that you’ll have fewer than 200 yes-es.
I also think understanding or not, your Fiance needs to be a bit firm with his parents. It’s not just about logistics, it’s about their respecting your decisions as a couple. I agree that the fact that they offered to chip in for the extra guests is a nice gesture, but it’s not everything. Allowing up to 200 when you ideally wanted 150 is already a huge compromise…I don’t think you need to go any further.
Post # 8
I agree, book the venue and tell them your cap. 200 people is not an unreasonable cap by any means.
Another compromise may be to have a separate reception thrown by your fiance’s parents inviting all these extraneous people.
Post # 9
I agree with the others who suggested choosing a venue with an absolute cap. We did this, even before we talked to my in-laws, which proved to be the best decision we could have made. My Mother-In-Law threw a hissy fit where she complained about both no-kids AND the number. She was freaking out that we weren’t inviting people that we’d never even met or hadn’t seen in 15+ years. We had to spell it out to her that if we were inviting no more than 120 people, we couldn’t include their neighbors!
They didn’t offer us any monetary help to accomodate the extra people, but if they had, I would have stuck to my guns on it. My husband even told them that he appreciated their offer to pay for the extra people, but that it was important to us that we kept the guest list intimate and that it was a personal preference, not just a money issue. In my experience, it was really important to make sure that we kept stating this to them, because they always assumed that our decisions were motivated by money.
We used Chelseamorning’s suggestion of allowing my ILs to host a separate reception for their friends/extra people in their hometown. At the time, they decided that was a good option, however, they just kind of never brought it up again. Your ILs may like this idea and then you can give them free reign to invite whoever they want to that party.
Post # 10
You have found your perfect venue, which sets the tone for the entire day. You should absolutely move forward with booking this place and let the pieces fall where they may. Once you’re locked into a venue, so will your in-laws be.
I’m so sorry that you have to deal with this. It astounds me whenever I hear of parents taking over their children’s wedding plans. The people you’d expect to be the most supportive!
Post # 11
It has been said- let the venue determine the number. That gives a firm limit to the family as to where to draw lines in inviting people, but may also help his family when they may have questions from those who weren’t invited: "Well, the venue could only fit a smaller # of people".
Besides, 200 people is a LOT!
Good luck and know that wedding planning often makes people act crazy. It brings up a lot of "what will they think?" feelings from parents, so this behavior from your in laws probably won’t be regular behavior, In My Humble Opinion.