Post # 1
I’m sure this is a very common question/concern– I was searching on here for similar issues and oddly only found a post from 3 years ago, so I thought I’d start another one.
We’re getting married in a little less than a year and a half, but we’re trying to figure some things out now (like the venue) so we can get the best deal and have less stress later. We are very much on a budget (hoping to keep it below $8000) so it’s hard work finding stuff that will work for us.
My FI and I will be paying for everything in our wedding ourselves, except for my dress and the flowers, which my parents have offered to pay for. The thing is, my mom is certain that all the parents get a certain number of people out of our maximum number of guests, to invite the parents’ friends. She comes from a fairly traditional New England family and I guess this is what’s considered “correct” in the family, and she would like to invite some of her friends.
My FI thinks this is absurd, and his parents don’t have anyone they want to invite (because anyone they’re friends with, my FI likes/knows well enough to want to invite as HIS friend). I am bothered by the idea too, but the friends my mom wants to invite are people I know to some degree and grew up around. I just don’t feel like paying for them because I would never invite them myself.
I can see that my mom wants to share this special event with her close friends. But I still find the idea kind of annoying.
What do you think? Did your parents get a certain (small) number of guests they could pick, outside of relatives? Did they invite people you didn’t know well? Should I ask my parents to pay for food and such for these people who are their guests, not mine?
How did you handle this situation, basically?
Post # 3
@Creiddylad: if your mom wants her friends to come, she should pay for them. Tell her she can invite as many friends as she’s willing to pay for.
Post # 4
Giving your parents a certain amount of guests is a curtosy most couples offer. As long as you keep it to a number that is reasonable for your budget, and you know them, I really don’t see too much of a problem. If they are talking about 5 couples (10 guests) and it won’t throw you off budget, its a very nice thing to do.
That said, you flip the bill, you pick the guest list. If this is the battle you want to pick with your parents over the wedding, this can be the battle you choose to pick. You are paying, you have a limited budget, and at that point, your parents can make suggestions but not demands.
Post # 5
@Creiddylad: I agree with PP. If she is calling it “tradition” and forcing your hand by using that word, then remind her that you aren’t doing all “traditions.” If you were, she would be paying for the ENTIRE reception (and dress, and flowers, and photographer). If you are close to any of your moms friends, I would add them to the list and front the bill. If she is inviting people you don’t know, aren’t close to, or possibly, have never met, then she should pay for them.
Post # 6
My mom added a lot of her friends to the guest list. This may not be a popular stance on this on this site, but I invited her guests and I was glad I did. The thing is, I believed at the time (and believe more so, now that the wedding has come and gone) that it is an event to be shared with people from all phases of your life – and the same for your parents. This is a huge event for them too, and some of these people (long time friends of your parents) feel like they know you, having heard about you all your life, if they don’t actually know you (I know many of my parents close friends and was so pleased to have them there). Looking out at the guests at my wedding, I was glad for every single one of those people. I was grateful for all my guests, but the ones I “never see/hear from again” are NOT going to be the ones my parents invited. You want the memories of planning to be of you being gracious and inclusive, and open to all the good wishes from people who love you and have known you all your life. Everyone is just happy for you. For what its worth, my suggestion is that you consider including your parents guests.
Post # 7
I would definitely want my parents to pay. My mother has a friend who I’m super close with, so I would want her to be there and would pay. Her other friends are rude and annoying (much like my dear mother herself) so I would certainly make her pay if she was forcing me. To be quite frank though, I’d tell my mother where to go – that’s just me though! Mine is veryyy demanding.
Post # 8
@Creiddylad: My mom’s closest friends I call “Aunt”. I grew up with them. They saw me from being an infant on. It was a no brainer to me to invite them to our wedding. In totaly there were like 6 of them.
I see nothing wrong with asking your mother for her “list”, but telling her in a nice way your friends and your FI’s friends come first and if you need financial assitance will she mind giving a donation for them.
Post # 9
She should be able to invite them but she should also be paying for them. My parents are inviting like 60 friends but they are paying for them. FI’s parents are inviting like 25 friends but my parents are paying for theirs as well.
Post # 10
Tradition also says that whoever hosts the event has the final say in guest list. What I would do is just keep moving along with finding a venue for your guest list and within your budget. When the venue is settled, check to see what your capacity is like. If you have extra space, approach your family and say that you can invite some of their friends if they cover the extra cost of having those guests. If they’re okay with that arrangement, cool. If not, just stick with what you have already.
Post # 11
Tough one, I gave my parents and my FH parents a number to include in our wedding but we let them know that we don’t want to spend our time being introduced to people we barely know or ones that they had not even hung out with over the past year. A wedding is time to celebrate with people close to you and to be honest they are only getting a certain number of people to include because we are only paying for about half the wedding. That said, we are 36 and 35 and have a good idea now who our close friends are and which family we chose to stay close to. If we were payign for teh entire wedding ourselves, 95% of those people would not be invited.
Post # 12
@Creiddylad: I think it’s entirely up to you. DH and I paid for our wedding ourselves, but we let our parents invite whoever they wanted. If this ended up to be ridiculous, like inviting 50+ friends on each side, then we’d have said something. But I think in total we had maybe.. 20 people we didnt really know who came as friends from our parents.
We felt like this was their day too. And some friends were really close with my parents, it felt right having them their. For example, a co-worker of my mom’s who’d I’d never really met, had known my mom forever. They’d gone to each others weddings over 25 years ago. It would have been rude not to invite her, I think.
But again, I feel like it’s a special day for the parents too, not just us. That’s my opinion.
You do whatever you like!
Post # 13
My mom offered to pay for a tent so she could invite all her friends.
She’s a bigger bridezilla than I am.
Post # 14
I dealt with the same issue, but the other way around. I have a very large family (parents are divorced and remarried, so 4 extended families), and my parents knew we wanted to keep the guest list to around 120. My parents told us right away we didn’t need to invite any of their friends, especially since we aren’t particularly close with them anyways, and that was fine. My in-laws were not of the same opinion, and at first, I didn’t want to invite their friends since it wouldn’t be fair to my parents. Long story short, my MIL got really upset, and I agreed (it was only 6 people – not a huge deal).
It helped that I talked to my own parents about it and they were totally okay with the fact that the in-laws had friends there and they didn’t.
Post # 15
@Creiddylad: Yes I think you should ABSOLUTELY invite your moms friends… Now invite 10 of them…No…. but yes invite a couple of her closest friends.
This is your mom’s day just as much as yours. She has always dreamed of her daughters wedding probably just as much as you have dreamed of your wedding. She should be able to enjoy the wedding with some close friends there. If you think it will be too expensive, ask her to pitch in, because you want to include her friends but you are tight ona budget.
We are very tight on a budget, but I always knew I would invite a couple of my moms friends so she would have a great support group there and get to make memories with her closest friends there 🙂
Plus I am sure your moms friends are going to give you amazing gifts 🙂
Post # 16
We paid for our wedding ourselves and our parents didn’t ask to invite many people. It wasn’t that important to our parents to invite guests. We had a fairly small wedding and each parent invited a couple of guests but very few ended up being able to come since our wedding was out of town. We did make sure to invite our immediate families and extended families we see often and sat them at the tables with our parents.