(Closed) Invites, Finances, and One MAJOR Vent! Help Bees!

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
7561 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

You need to take back the control on the guest list. Tell your Future Mother-In-Law that she gets X number of people. If she has more, they won’t get invited. Agree on this number with your Fiance and have him deal with his mother. I understand that you guys want everyone to get along, but his family should only be inviting about half the people, especially if they’re not contributing. 

Post # 4
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Future Mother-In-Law shouldn’t be involved in making the guest list. YOU and your Fiance should be making the guest list. You weren’t in control of the shower invites, but this is YOUR wedding – your Fiance needs to tell this – firmly – to his mother.

Post # 5
2247 posts
Buzzing bee

Tell him that either he and his parents fork over the money for these people, or they don’t get invited.  Period.

Post # 6
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I agree. It’s a tough conversation, but set a limit and tell her to give you a list of the number you agree to (I’d go back to the originally negotiated 125). Then invite those people, and ONLY those people. You cannot let her push you and your parents around like that. She’s  not just being inconsiderate, she’s taking you for a ride.

It’s so hard to put your foot down, but once you do, trust me, it feels good.

Post # 7
1361 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Tell Future Mother-In-Law to cut the list to 75 (or whatever number you give her) or else you will do the cutting yourself.  I’m sure she’d rather choose herself instead of having you cut people essentially randomly!

Post # 8
2894 posts
Sugar bee

@Pinksapphire:  Agreed!

It’s obvious that you know it’s out of control, but you can still take back control. You just have to be forceful, and yes, you’re allowed to be. I told my Mother-In-Law that any guests they wish to invite that exceed the number we budgeted for would only be invited if they cough up the money. Surprisingly, they agreed AND they suddenly had fewer requests for who “had” to come. At this point you have to say no, no matter how much she doesn’t like it.

Post # 9
1217 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I’m in the exact same situation – well, pretty similar.

I have FINALLY gotten over my anxiety, so here’s some advice:

1) Aside from money, don’t stress over the number of guests. I was obsessed with having 100 guests – I saw pictures of beautiful rustic/bohemian intimate weddings on wedding blogs and had my mind made up that I wanted a really small wedding, where we would have time to interact with every person and make every person feel special. Our guest list crept up (due to my FILs), and I got very upset when I realized our wedding wasn’t going to be “intimate.” But everyone kept telling me that our day will pass so quickly that it won’t make a difference to my Fiance and I if we invited 50 guests or 150 or 200 – we will be surrounded by love, and (hopefully!) everyone will enjoy the celebration. My Fiance is Persian, and the Persians believe the more the merrier – they invite everyone they know to weddings. Even though that’s not how I feel personally, I have come to be OK with them inviting people I don’t know or I don’t know well, because they are in one way or another important to my Future In-Laws and that is important to me.

2) Since our guest list grew so much, I had to cut a LOT of things that I’ve had my heart set on for months. Such as: flowers (our floral budget is now $300), vintage furniture rental (that’s what most brides do at our outdoor wedding venue!), a sweets table (just ordering 2 cakes for so many people puts us at ~$600), uplighting, beer and wine now instead of open bar, etc. That made me pretty upset… But I kept reminding myself of the mantra of “A Practical Wedding” – people will remember how your wedding felt, not how it looked. Many bees have said it on these wedding boards, but it’s so true – only recent brides tend to remember chair covers, flower arrangements, etc. But everyone will remember if they had a good time! Just keep that in mind 🙂

3) We had the same issue with inviting people to the shower – for us it was the engagement party. The Future In-Laws threw the party, invited a lot of people we weren’t planning on inviting to the wedding, and those people bought us gifts. Awkward. So we ended up inviting them. And you know what? They’ll probably come to the wedding too. But this goes back to #1 – in some way or another, they are important to my Future In-Laws. And when it comes down to it, I would rather keep a good relationship with my Future In-Laws than worry about which (extra) faces are there the day of the wedding. And I secretly hope that those people gift us the Le Creuset cookware  from our registry 🙂

4) You DEFINITELY need to work things out with your Fiance. That’s the most important thing above all, or else there wouldn’t be a wedding!! My Fiance got super frustrated when we were going through what you’re going through, and he said “fine, you work it out with my parents. Leave me out of this!” When really, the advice I got from most of the bees here was that your Fiance should deal directly with his family’s issues, and you should deal with yours. He and I came up with a gameplan, which helped us both destress, and executed the gameplan (I’ll describe below), and after a few more tough conversations with his parents it was all over. Now that our save-the-dates are in the mail we don’t even worry or talk about it anymore. But in general, be very careful with family – I’m sure his family is really important to him, and in the worst moments, be careful not to badmouth his family. I am guilty of that, and it always leads to arguments that I really wish I could take back.

5) So, for the finances, since those are really at the heart of the argument. In our situation, my parents are paying for most of the wedding, since they are better off than my Future In-Laws. Still, they cannot afford to spend a fortune on the wedding, so they’ve given us a total limit of $x and anything beyond that we have to come up with ourselves. We are paying for the rehearsal dinner, and various parts of the wedding, and we are also paying a lot for our honeymoon. His parents offered to pay for the alcohol and all of the Persian decorations. And that’s it. After the guest list doubled and tripled, and our budget truly became bare-bones, we decided that we needed to ask his parents to help out. Especially since their guest list makes up 75% of the people invited. At that point, I read all over the internet about how most brides and grooms allocate the guest list between themselves and their families. I wish from the beginning we had split the guest list 33%/33%/33% so everyone would have a fair share of the guests, and then we could’ve met our target number of guests. But we didn’t. So what he and I decided to tell his parents was, since they have chosen to invite much more people than we had budgeted for, they would need to help cover the cost of the extra people. Any cent over our budget ($x), we will ask them to cover. The bride’s family traditionally pays for the wedding – and it sounds like you and your family are STILL paying for the ceremony and the reception, so if they pitch in for the cost of food, drinks, etc. for having extra guests at the reception, that isn’t really a deviation from the norm. I also told my Future In-Laws that my parents felt that it was unfair to be shouldering the entire cost of the wedding, when they had invited a modest number of people- and when we brought that up, they felt guilty and agreed to help contribute. Because they realized that they were given the choice of inviting extras and paying, or sticking to their closest friends and family. In the end, they cut some people from their list, and so we are still WAY beyond the number of guests we originally planned on, but we are expecting them to help out with the finances.

6) Show your Future In-Laws your budget. I keep a really detailed spreadsheet of our expenses – what we’ve already paid for deposits, how much we expect food, drinks, parking, etc. to be for each guest, and how much my parents and I are contributing. I don’t know if you’ve just talked about it with your Future In-Laws or if you’ve shared your budget with them, but that should really help. My Future In-Laws thought that when we were complaining about the budget, it was because we were too elaborate on the “extras” like flowers and decorations, and that the marginal cost of inviting extra guests was pretty low. They were surprised when they found out that the majority of our budget is going directly to the reception – food, drinks, alcohol, cake.

Good luck! And remember that no matter what happens, you are getting married to the love of your life!! I always tell my Fiance that I don’t care who shows up at the wedding as long as he does. And it’s true.

Post # 10
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

You know what, I understand your frustation but I would go about it this way, firmly and “nicely” say well I intended to invite 75 people and budgeted for that if you invite all these people how will they eat, are you going to assist with the budget to accommodate? Go from there…..as long as “she” is paying for them to eat then dont stress about it, people love weddings.

Post # 11
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Also I see that she wouldn’t contribute so then tell her no…thats it.

Post # 12
69 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@Mrs.Pinkalicious:  I agree with the other poster who said go back to 125. give both sets of parents 25 invites each (or determine your own number). Say any other guests they wish to invite will have to be paid for by them (give them a price per person), and get your fiance to back you up. Its not fair of them to make a massive list of “must have” guests that you dnot know if they arent going to contribute

Someone else had a great point about showing them the budget – makes it easier to undertstand how mcuh money there is and where its going

Post # 13
100 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Oh how I understand; only my situation is with my dear sweet inclusive Fiance, who has exploded the lst from 150 to 240. I put my foot down last night and said:

Dear sweet inclusive Fiance, I understand that we are throwing the biggest party of our lives, and I love that you are excited about it; however, you are busting my budget. Here are the additional costs, thus far:

Food: 90 * $25 = $2250

Booze: 90 * $20 = $1800

New ceremony space (because we outgrew our other!)= $1500

9 extra tablecloths and  plate / silver rentals / centerpieces= $950

Total for the extra 90 he already verbally invited = $6950

So then I said, dear sweet fiance, we are going to have to raise the budget to $18,000 because of all the incidentals, etc. Our budget WAS $10,000!

We are paying for the wedding ourselves; it scared the shit out of him, and I don’t think he will be adding anymore guests 🙂

*of course, I am hoping for 175.

Men respond to numbers. I would tell him that your parents can only afford to pay for 125, so you two will have to pick up the slack- then breakdown the costs for him (it’s ok to guesstimate on the high side).

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