Post # 1
My fiance and I are running into some big time stress. My parents are very well-known people in our community and as such they have a HUGE wedding list that consists of 450 people. Thankfully, they are willing to pay for the WHOLE wedding which is going to cost no less than $50,000. My fiance moved to Michigan (where we live now) about 7 years ago with her brother and parents, and as such they still haven’t had the time to create as many friendships and bonds as my family has, who have been here for 33 years. They do, however, have a big family and their wedding list consists of about 75 people including the family.
My fiance does not want a wedding this large, especially if its going to be my parent’s friends – people who she doesn’t really know. Not only this, her parents don’t know many of them either and they make remarks like “we don’t know these people” and “our friends are going to be completely drowned out by your fiances guest list” which obviously upset her. She has been depressed about this for several days and I am really beginning to get stressed out and worried.
I tried explaining that we are going to be surrounded by our close friends for the whole wedding and we probably wont even notice the other people at the wedding. She says she doesn’t care about that, but its the fact that she feels like someone else is calling the shots on HER wedding.
I tried explaining that this celebration is not only her and mine, but its also my parents’ and her parents’ as well. They are excited and happy for us and they want their friends to be with them to share in the celebration. She wasn’t comforted by this at all and she said that there is no way my parents have a close bond with that many people.
So I talked to my parents and asked them to remove some of the people my fiance doesn’t know. They seemed puzzled by the fact that she wanted less people because it would mean 1) fewer gifts for us and 2) a smaller less exciting party. Also, since they’re paying for it all, they didn’t see why we would care if a lot of people were there as long as every single person we wanted was there too. I explained that she has always wanted a small wedding with her close friends and family and that they were ruining it because they had such a large group. They were insulted and we got into a screaming match and my dad almost stormed out of the room. After calming down a little bit we went over the list and they were willing to remove 25 people. I’d like to note that originally their list had 550 people and now it has been reduced it to 425.
My fiance was thankful, but still very mentally and physically stressed. I care about her SO much and I don’t want anything more than for her to just be happy and joyful like the day I proposed to her. At the same time, my parents are paying for the wedding and they are not able to offend people by not inviting them when they’ve known them for 3 decades.
I don’t know what to do, I know the guest list is extremely stressful and I just need to figure out what to do ASAP to make her happy. Please help!
Groom To Be
Post # 3
Usually the bride’s family pays for the wedding, but exceptions aren’t unheard of. If they’re paying for it, they have a say over who they want to invite. 550 people seems insane in my eyes, but some people just know everybody in town! Remind your fiance that the day still includes YOU and HER getting MARRIED. It doesn’t really matter who’s watching and who isn’t. When she comes down that aisle I guarantee she’ll have eyes for only you. As far as finances go? If they wanna throw an all out bash and they’re willing to spend the money, they have every right to do it.
Post # 4
I see a couple of options:
1) You could have a smaller ceremony, and invite the other 450 people you don’t know to the reception only, so your parents will still be able to celebrate with them.
2) You could pay for the wedding yourselves, and then you only invite who you want.
3) Hire a planner to take care of the details. If you’re already spending $50,000 on the day, putting a couple thou towards a planner isn’t going to bust your budget.
Post # 5
If I were you, I’d pay for my own wedding and have the kind that my FI and I wanted instead of having to bow to parental pressure. But, that’s just me.
Have what you can afford, even if it means just immediate family only with a JoP!
Post # 6
The way I see it is that you’ll be spending the entire evening saying hello to all those people and never have a minute to actually enjoy your own wedding. Who would want that? Receptions go by so quickly that even with half the amount of guests you’d be meeting and greeting all night.
Don’t you want to eat and dance? Aren’t you looking forward to a few quiet minutes with her alone?
I honestly don’t get having to invite everyone you’ve ever known, even if you’ve lived in the same town your whole life. I agree that they can’t possibly be close personal friends with that many people.
If she’s that unhappy, I think this whole thing has to be revisited with some parameters set. If your parents don’t get their way, I’m assuming they’ll withdraw all their funds? Would you be able to pay for what you both want on your own?
Good luck with figuring this one out.
Post # 7
I had a big problem with this! My mom is very well known in her business “world” and would like to invite MANY friends/collegaues/clients that have invited her and my dad to their weddings/events/etc. Just part of mom’s gig I guess! But we are paying for this ourselves so I am going to save a couple tables, since tables are only of 6/8 for her! Hopefully that will be enough for her to select a few people that she would REALLY like there!!
Its really hard, best of luck!!
Post # 8
That sounds like an enormous amount of people. I understand where your fiance is coming from.
I’d say if there is absolutely no way to keep from having the gigantic wedding, that you should at least plan a couple smaller events where those closest to you can talk and congratulate you. Maybe have a larger/extended rehearsal dinner where family and very close friends are invited but no one else. Also, showers and bachelor/ette parties that are more fun/family/friends oriented.
If you’re not leaving for your honeymoon immediately, maybe have a morning after brunch with a smaller guest list. Anything so you can make the experience more intimate and centered around the both of you without causing offense to long time friends.
Post # 9
I agree about having a small ceremony and large reception. Or you could talk to your parents about a small private wedding the week before, and then a large reception. Another thing to point out is you could have a small rehearsal dinner the night before, so you still get to enjoy the personal family time.
I totally understand how your fiancee feels, because a wedding that huge would not be what I want. But I understand your parents too, and it’s nice that they want to throw you a fancy party and show you off to their friends. At the end of the day, however, your wedding is about you and your fiancee, and I think it’s worth stepping on some toes to exchange vows and have a nice dinner in the environment she wants. Do you think your parents would be open to a reception later?
Post # 10
I think a lot of couples in our generation are very uncomfortable with the idea of their wedding as their parents’s social event. So I definitely think what your fiancee is feeling is not uncommon. My parents are helping us out, but my fiance is totally uncomfortable with the idea of any sort of “social graces” type invitations being given out. We would have refused the money and paid for the wedding 100% on our own if my parents’ contribution was contingent on inviting their guests.
What they want to throw is fine for a couple who is into it, but if you do not want your wedding to be an event hosted by them, you need to let them know and let them take the money off the table.
As others have mentioned, if everyone is invited, it becomes your responsibility to greet every guest. It can make the event feel more awkward and less intimate, more about your parents’ friends and less about your love. If your fiancee is not comfortable with that, I think you need to talk to your parents and thank them for the gracious offer of money, but tell them you will have a small wedding on your own instead.