Post # 1
I really need your help/advice ;(
My fiance and I were planning on having a small wedding – about 100 to 130 guests. My family is all flying in from out of town and so are most of my friends. My list is currently at ~50, many of whom probably won’t be able to make it.
My fiance’s list is at 120 people – about 40 of his friends and 80 of his parents’ friends. I had a REALLY hard time accepting that they insisted on inviting so many people, especially since my parents are paying for 100% of the wedding except the rehearsal dinner, which my Fiance and I are paying for. (His parents are not well-off, and we will probably need to help them financially in a few years once they retire.)
Now his parents are upset at me for keeping the guest list at that number because they have MORE people they want to add to the guest list! They are Iranian and there is a large Iranian community, and they have lots of get-togethers, so they keep thinking of friends who they have forgotten. I keep telling them and my fiance no – I would really strongly prefer to have an intimate wedding with guests who are important to my fiance and I, and a few of our parents’ closest friends but to keep it at that.
They are calling me nit-picky with the guest list, and it hurts me so much because my parents are spending $20,000 on everything and his parents just keep on inviting more people! Plus, it is going to be hard to stay within our $20,000 budget if we have more than 150 guests (I’m assuming ~20 won’t be able to make it), so I won’t be able to have flowers or much decorations, and we won’t be able to serve any appetizers during cocktail hour.
Ugghhh what do I do??!!!
Post # 3
You have to draw a line in the stand and stick to it. There’s no other way to delicately put it. They’ll get upset, but either you become a doormat and let them have their way at your parents’ expense, or you learn to say “no” and repeat as necessary. Many of us have had to do this while wedding planning. It’s not fun nor easy, but it has to be done.
Post # 4
Your Fiance needs to tell them no, this is not for you to stress over. Doing this yourself would put you in an awkward position with his family. When it came to our wedding planning process we each dealt with our own for this reason.
Also your parents do not have to pay a single cent more. His family can cover the costs for their guests if they are so anxious about inviting more people. Otherwise these people will come and have nothing to eat and nowhere to sit. Oooh weell…..
Post # 5
I think you have two options. The first is to have your fiance tell his parents that the reason why you cannot possibly invite more guests is because it will make you go over your budget and that there is no way you and your fiance can come up with additional. Tell them it’s costing $x00.00 per person. This way you can can a fancy but smaller wedding.
The second option is invite everyone but you will have to compromise on venue, decorations, food, and everything. You can still throw a party for several hundred guests on $20,000. It just won’t be as fancy and the guests might have to work the night before and prior to the ceremony/reception to help set-up. The thing about other cultures (including mine) is that everyone will help out. It is expected. Maybe talk to your future in laws and see if any of their friends are able to help with flowers, lighting, cooking…
I’ve gone to two types of weddings. The first type has 500+ plus guests in a banquet hall where the food is catered by all the aunts in the family and the flowers are done by the guests the night before. It’s not fancy but everyone is there and everyone has a great time. The second type is smaller and at a nicer venue and all the guests have to do is get dressed up and show up while there’s a team of people doing all the cooking and set-up.
I’m not pushing one type over another. I decided to go with the fancy but smaller wedding when my brother’s wedding, just 9 months before mine, was over 500 guests.
Post # 6
If you have a budget, especially since your parents are paying for it, they don’t have an obligation to pay for more guests unless they want to. I think Fiance needs to understand this, and once he does, he needs to have a talk with your FIL’s.
Post # 7
Um, they should NOT get to invite that many people to a wedding they are not helping to pay for! You and Fiance need to put your foot down. Have him tell them they need to cut their part of the list to, say, 40, and if they don’t do it, you will cut the list yourself based on your own discretion.
Post # 8
Have your fiance talk to them and explain that your parents cannot accommodate that many people. It might come down to him telling them that they will have to pay for the extra guests. I bet if they think they will have to pay, they will suddenly find these people aren’t that important.
Post # 9
Wow you are completely in the right here! But it sounds like since it’s not being well received you should have your Fiance talk to them. You need him to be 100% on your side in this, and maybe he has a better way of getting through to them.
Sorry you’re going through this, but stand your ground. You’re right.
Post # 10
Oh hell no! Your fiance needs to talk to them ASAP. Their assumption that they can just invite whoever they want without paying for those extra guests is unacceptable.
Post # 11
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
If you want a guest list of 120, here’s what you do:
30 guests each for: FI’s family, Fiance (his friends), your family, your friends.
Those are 30 people, not 30 invites. They can have a B list.
(FI & I did 25 for families, 40 for our friends)
Since you’re sending out the invites, you have the control. How many people does your venue hold? You can’t over invite, and his family’s invites can’t be 75% of the guest list- 25% is fair.
If they send you 80 names, send it back- which 30 are your top? Probably best for you and Fiance to sit down, tell them how you can not afford more than 120 guests, etc. Your parents have given you a generous gift, and like a PP said, you do not need to spend a cent more.
They could always host a reception at their home, at their expense, after the wedding if it’s so important for all of these people to celebrate your wedding.
Post # 12
Wow it’s so nice of them to spend someone else’s money and yet not put anything in towards it! I would think that people who are not in the position to help pay for a wedding would be a bit more humble and want to compromise.
Tell them you’re at your max and that anyone additional would have to be paid for by them. Let them be on the line for all these people they assume can be accomodated just because they (not you) want them there. The biggest thing is to have your fiance on your side about this otherwise that’s a whole new problem you need to address before you get married.
Post # 13
Honestly, I’d get your fiance’s help to tell them that their guest list can’t be the size of the ENTIRE wedding. And they want to invite more people than your fiancé? Without contributing at all… I’d really stick to my guns here and put my foot down.
Post # 14
Thanks for the advice everyone, I feel a lot better! These conversations with the Father-In-Law always make me feel awful and like I’m the only one who thinks it’s getting out-of-hand.
My fiance talked to them this morning and they said they will pay for additional guests (?! I’m not sure why they weren’t pitching in before) – but I still would rather have a smaller, more intimate wedding – do y’all think that is OK? I know that a wedding is for the family, not just the bride and groom – so I don’t want anyone’s feelings to be hurt… Except it really does hurt MY feelings that they won’t respect my wish of a smaller, more intimate wedding. I also feel bad because my family is flying into town from all over the country, and this is their chance to get to know the Father-In-Law family – but instead the Father-In-Law will have to spend most of the time “hosting” their 100+ guests. Also, most of my friends are coming from out of town too, and I’d really like to spend most of the weekend of the wedding spending precious time with them and my relatives!
@profiterole You’re totally right – we kind of have to decide whether to have a smaller, fancy wedding or a large more DIY wedding. We are already DIYing a lot of the details – invitations, flowers (bouquets PLUS arrangements), decorations, desserts, etc. And I am worried that having a huge wedding wouldn’t satisfy everyone, since in Houston Iranaian weddings are a HUGE deal and they’re usually really fancy. So in the end, if we had a huge wedding, I don’t think too many peoples’ expectations would be met.
The hardest part of all of this is neither my parents nor my Fiance will take a side – so it’s basically this awful disagreement between my FI’s parents and I. And my Fiance said he is tired of guest list issues, and he won’t talk about it anymore. Do you think I should just give up and let them invite extra people and pay for them? This is such a white girl/first-world problem and I know it’s dumb, but I am honestly really shy and intimidated by the idea of having over 200 guests at our wedding!
@rebwana That’s a good idea, if we stick with the small wedding – our venue actually can hold 200-300 guests, because it’s outdoors… So unfortunately I can’t use the argument that the venue is too small.
Post # 15
have you and your fiance talked about what kind of wedding you both envision? It sounds like he just doesn’t want to rock the boat.
I could easily add 100 more people to my guest list but my Fiance and I both want a smaller (under 150), nicer affair. It sounds like you and your fiance may not be on the same page and personally I think that is the first step. Seems he just wants to please his parents.
Give them a number (30) and tell them that’s it. BUT you have to have your fiance’s support in this or they will just keep on arguing.
and, FWIW, my mom is trying to pull the “I”ll pay for extra guests BS” too, so I feel you there. She has money to pay for her friends to come but not to help out with flowers or the officiant, etc. WTH?
Post # 16
@MsVoyageur: I always find it incredibly peculiar when I see people having issues with their parents or others inviting people to their wedding. As in, why the heck are other people inviting people to your wedding!?!
And that includes if you and your Fiance want to have a smaller more intimate wedding, even if others are throwing money at you. Choose your priorities – smaller intimate wedding you want (not that I think 100-150 is small by any means…that makes mine seem minute or tiny, lol!) or more funding but more guests.
People say the wedding is for family, but my take is the wedding is for the couple and the guests they invite. Not everyone who has the potential to be invited, who knows someone who is invited, who is not invited or never will be invited, and so on!
Time to put your foot down, or rather, time for your Fiance to put his foot down with his parents. Even if he does, chances are they will still “blame” you given their reactions so far, but you need to present as a united front and your Fiance needs to be clear with them that this is a MUTUAL decision and he is in agreement with you. You are adults, you are free to make choices for yourselves and not bend to everyone else. It is not fair to you to essentially put you in the bad guy position with his parents, here, even if he is “tired of it”. If he put his foot down, he would not have to keep getting wrapped up in this over and over! If you and he let them railroad you over this….it won’t get better in the future.