Post # 1
My FI and I have been engaged for a few months now and have been at a crossroads about the guest list since the first days of the engagement. Originally, I wanted a smaller wedding limited to just really close friends and family members that I speak to on a constant basis. My FI and his family however have taken a somewhat different approach and gone with the inviting all his family and parents’ friends. Currently, I have 28 people on my list, and we have 24 mutual friends. On his side, he and his parents want to invite 85 people-only 9 of his are his friends! I get that his family is bigger than mine and I’m ok with his side having more people, but I just feel like it’s too big of a difference!! I’m doubly frustrated because everytime we talk about this, all we do is argue–and after he finally agreed to cut down the number by a bit (since my parents were paying for over 50% of the wedding) and talking to his parents. Instead, he came back with an even larger guest list for his side!!
After we got all the catering/rental costs down to pp, he said that his dad has agreed to pay additional costs over 120 people (I have no idea where they pulled this number from). I feel like that’s not even the point though!! I don’t want my own wedding to be filled with strangers. My FI has met every single person on my guestlist several times, but he’s never even mentioned the majority of people on his side’s list to me despite him saying that he’s very very close to all of them. I’ve always been really uncomfortable meeting new people and I don’t want my wedding to turn into a string of people coming up to me and introducing themselves as my FI’s second cousin or something and then having to make some small talk. It’s not that I’m shy…it’s just that I really dislike the process (I know, I sound horrible).
Am I being irrational here?! My FI keeps saying that he doesn’t understand why I wouldn’t want these people to be there and I already tried compromising and saying “ok, they could be maybe 50% of the guest list instead” but got shot down. I don’t even want to have this wedding anymore; it just seems like such a fiasco and horrible way to start off. My parents gave me a generous chunk of money to cover the wedding with the understanding that any money that I didn’t spend, I could keep. I just don’t want to spend any of the money they’re giving me on a wedding that I don’t actually want…I’d rather just keep it and pay off a student loan or something instead.
Any wise words of advice from people who have gone through this?!?
Post # 3
A lot of people say whoever pays for it get a lot of guest list control, but it sounds like both of your parents are helping. Personally, I don’t want a ton of people at my wedding that I have never met before or my FI has only met like once.
We are kind of running into something similar, when I asked FMIL to add her names to our list there were like 40 people on there that FI barely knew. They probably don’t need to/want to come to my wedding.
Post # 4
I ran into this from both sides, mine and his. It really defends on how determined/set you are. To me it was not worth the giant fight.
Post # 5
Just don’t make small talk at the wedding. I’m like you – I hate meet and greet and small talk, I feel terribly awkward. I’m running into a similar (though not as drastic) situation as you and I just sort of decided OK fine – invite all these people I don’t know, but on the day of the wedding I’m focusing on the people I am close to, not the people I don’t know. I will say “nice to meet you thank you for coming” and then go on my merry way. Done and done.
Post # 6
i know how you feel. At my wedding, there were so many people there that I did not know because FMIL wanted to invite the whole world. I dropped it since she was willing to pay for them to be there and it was either that or endless nights of talking about it.
My good friends and family were there so at the end thats all that mattered to me. Its funny because I look back at some pictures and say I don’t even remember seeing this person at my wedding! lol
Post # 7
I ran into this same issue with FMIL. I finally told her (it took me months to finally crack, but on a Sept. visit I did) that my wedding was not a family reunion nor was it a social gathering catered toward her college/high school friends (seriously, 30 + of the her guest list were friends of hers from college/high school). We only “cut” people we didn’t know (I ran down a list of some of FI’s distant cousins FMIL had put on her guest list and he didn’t know who half of them were) or hadn’t seen/talked to in a LONG TIME.
Long story short, I feel I NEED to greet each of my guests (I know, this is a very ambititous goal) ….GREET, not catch up on 10 long lost years!!
We have ended up inviting what I think is too many people, but she assures us will most likely not come….
The difference here is we (FI and I) are paying for the majority of the wedding and she never offered to pay x amount when numbers got too high for our budget 🙁
If this is something you feel strongly about, hold your ground!
Post # 8
Seriously, I know exactly how you are feeling. And its a horrible feeling. Both my parents and my FI’s mother come from large families. My dad is 1 of 5, my mom is 1 of 10 and my FMIL is 1 of 8!!! I have over 40 cousins on my moms side alone!!! All together we have almost 150 people that are just family. Its really quite insane. ‘
My dad gave us $7500 for our wedding and although I am extremely grateful for this, we knew that we could not have a wedding of 150+ (we want our friends to be there!!) on this amount of money. Now starts the drama. I started talking about cutting the guest list and inviting ONLY the people we wanted to be there. Yes, this would exclude some cousins, but some of his cousins I had never even heard of and some of my cousins I havent talked to in over 10 years!!! I always imagined having a smaller wedding (75-100 sounded nice) but it wasnt seeming possible.
Fast forward a few months and I have just decided to let go. His parents are going to foot the majority of the bill for the wedding so everyone who was on the original invite list stays and we still get to invite our friends and the people that mean the most to us. I had the same issue that it wasnt about the money it was about the principle of not having a million people you have never met at your wedding.
One suggestion I have is to do a receiving line. This way, you are SURE to say hello, thank you or nice to meet you to every single one of your guests. This is also a time when you can have someone bring you a little snack and drink. It doesnt take that long (keep the line moving!) and then once you are done you can take more time to focus on who matters to you!!!
Oy VEY weddings can be stressful! But I am trying to remember that no matter what it will be beautiful and memorable and Im sure yours will be too!
Post # 9
Your guestlist should consist only of people who are nearest and dearest to you, not random strangers. If you don’t know them or don’t care about them, why are you paying for them to attend, especially considering how expensive weddings can get?
Post # 10
we decided that we each get the same number of guests, and that worked for us. my family is bigger than his, but that didn’t make much of a difference. that just meant i didn’t get to invite as much as my family as we would have liked. oh well. that’s the only way we could keep it fair and small, and we had to keep it small because our venue has limited space. i do think that you should ease up on him if he says that some of his guest list is close to him. just because you don’t know them yet, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to know them. it’s your fi’s close family and friends. you’re marrying into his family now. i get that the wedding isn’t the best place to do that (i’ve been trying to meet our guest list before the wedding for this very reason), but sometimes you don’t really get that choice.
Post # 11
Remember, you don’t get another chance to invite people to your wedding. So if these people are important to your FI or his family, it might be worth extending the invitation. Don’t look at the money your parents gave you as what else it could be used for, focus on doing the right thing on your wedding day. Also, maybe try to reason with FI and the payment – ask his family to pay for their entire side and I’ll bet the guest list gets trimmed.
Post # 12
It would make me uncomfortable too. Sorry you have to have this disagreement!
Post # 13
This happened to me too, and I was VERY worried about it prior to the wedding. But then the most amazing thing happened – all those “strangers” attended, and they turned out to be the nicest people! They were very warm and generous and I really enjoyed meeting them. Now a year later we still keep in contact and I am so glad they they came and I wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying myself over it. Maybe it will turn out the same for you – hope so!
Post # 14
This has totally been a source of contention between the 2 of us. It will pop up again when the invites come. My FI’s family is huge in comparison to mine but we have a lot of family friends. My family is paying for most of the wedding and it drives me NUTS that not only are there more of his guests on our guest list, but there are people I don’t know. When we were gathering the list together I cried a few times, it was bananas (I cried out of genuine frustration so I’m not suggesting this as advice, I’m just saying it totally worked lol). I understand that there will be people I’ve never met before, people move, things happen, whatever. But if I’ve never even heard of them and we’ve been together for 6.5 years, they can’t be too important. Ugh! Not to mention the fact that my FI had to cut his mom off at the pass. Every time we go to visit her she ‘remembers’ someone else she needs to attend. She wanted to invite her co-worker, who he and I have never met- not gonna happen. I swear if we let her she’d invite anyone she’s ever met. If your on the line at the grocery store behind her, you may get an invite! I’m just hoping, that since the wedding is in my home town, that the guest list evens itself out. I’m sure it will. And if the people you invite on his side don’t know you and they don’t particularly know your FI well, they may be more inclined to skip the event so they don’t have to buy a gift. Good luck!
Post # 15
I won’t invite people that I don’t know personally and I also won’t be inviting people that will be nothing but “drama”…lol
Post # 16
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
I don’t think you have to be best buds with all of your guests, but it’s helpful if you’ve met them once before. I would be pretty adament about not having that many extra people if your fiance’s family were not contributing to the wedding. But since they are, I’m not sure. I think I’d just roll with it at that point.