Post # 1
This is inspired by another bee’s post on her qualifications for cutting her guest list, it really got me thinking!
The scenario: My mom is one of 4 kids. I love my aunts and uncles and their (mostly all grown) children. They will OBVIOUSLY be invited to the wedding. The predicament is about the extended family. My mom has over a dozen aunts/uncles. They each had 3-6 kids, all whom have children on their own. My mom is dying to invite them all, which means our guest list would be nearly 300 people.
i would love to have that kind of wedding, but there’s just absolutely no way we can afford it. It is quite the sore point currently and no approach has really made my mom see reason. She isn’t forceful or throwing a tantrum, she’s just hurt and adamant that we can find a way around it. Frankly, I’m not willing to sacrifice everything else in the wedding just to have that many folka (most of whom I do not know, and only see at funerals) attend.
I have done what I can to find an inexpensive venue, minimize flower expenses, reuse centerpieces from cousins weddings, etc etc. My fiancé recently lost his job, so it is imperative that we minimize costs as much as possible. Neither of us is interested in eloping or getting married at a courthouse (nothing against those! Just not for us) but we are willing to push back the wedding if he doesn’t find amother job soon.
I would like to cut the guest list to 120 invites. I plan on inviting couples as a unit if they are engaged. Bridal party can bring dates regardless of status as a thank you to being in my wedding. we have very few friends outside of our bridal party who will be invited, all are engaged or married. My cousins (they’re all either married or teenagers- i am referring to the kids)all have each other to socialize with and do not need to bring a friend. We have also decided that the absolute furthest realtion allowed on the list is my mothers first cousins. Their children, regardless of age, are not invited.
Can anyone else come up with any other ideas to help me trim the list? I am hoping for rational, hard and fast rules that can be enforced and lay down the “no exceptions” explanation.
Thank you all so much!
Post # 2
I am kind of the same boat. My dad is 1 of 9 and my mom is 1 of 4. Just getting out to my cousin’s and their children brings up the guest list to 150 people. Because of this, none of my parents aunts and uncles are invited to our wedding, and the only cousin of my father that is invited has been our neighbor since before I was born, and is invitied under the neighbor policy, not a family policy.
I would look at limiting to your mom’s aunts and uncles and thier spouces. Inviting her cousins is a nice, but it branchs out your guest list too quickly. As long as you have a clear line as to where you stoped inviting people, no one can get that upset.
Post # 3
I think you’ve found the perfect solution and 120 guests is a reasonable number. Unless you’re paying 200$ per person and refuse to cut that to 100$ per person to invite 240 guests, it’s a simple matter of not having the money. You’d like to, but you can’t. The end. I wouldn’t take your mother’s disappointment personally, disappointment is a part of life. I’m disappointed I don’t drive a Ferrari, boo hoo!
Post # 5
We are inviting a whopping 4 children, 2 of them won’t even really be “children” as they will be 17 at the time. Another is a flower girl, and I’ll find a use for the last one.. maybe an usher?
We aren’t giving everyone a +1, but couples and those in long term relationships will get a +1.
We are inviting some coworkers, but only the ones we are close to, and of our, our bosses.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
I put it this way to my FIL: A wedding is not about celebrating your life with everyone who is related to you. A wedding is about celebrating a relationship with the people to whom that relationship is meaningful in some way. If you don’t know her cousins very well at all, there’s no reason they should be invited, especially on your dime- not because they’re not part of the family, but because watching you get married to your fiance won’t be meaningful to them! Tell your mother that you are only inviting people who have contributed a lot to your life or to your relationship, because without them you wouldn’t be the person you are marrying your fiance. Your wedding is NOT a family reunion- but you can definitely help her organize one if that’s important to her!
“Mom, I know you really wanted all of your family to be invited to my wedding, but the facts are that we just can’t afford it. Even if we could, watching me and Joe get married really won’t be very meaningful to them. They really don’t know me at all, and they know even less about my relationship. I know it would be exciting for you to have them all in one place, and I would love to help you organize a family reunion so that you can still have that. However, my wedding isn’t the time or place for that, and that’s just the way that has to be.”
Post # 6
Misswhowedding: Good idea!
I also considered booking a venue that meets the criteria that FH and I decided upon, with a capacity of, say, 150. Then once we have decided who WE really want at our wedding and what we can afford, we tell each of our parents that they have X number of people they can invite, but THEY have to cover the cost of inviting those people. I think it sounds harsh and snotty, but that way we could all get something of what we want even if we aren’t each entirely satisfied.
Post # 7
canadajane: lol no I am totally planning to serve a tasty but far from gourmet meal, have call brands of liquor and domestic beers instead of the top shelf stuff my family prefers (you cant taste the difference once you’re drunk anyways!), calling in favors, DIYing the bajesus out of everything… Whatever it takes!
jenilynevette: all great things! We even went so far as to skip flower girls/ring bearers and use the groomsmen as ushers. Luckily we have no coworkers. I’m a nanny, so yeah I’ll invite the family, but that’s 2 people who are my only friends in the area (I live away from my fam right now) so they are a given.
MeiFrancis: if I had a dollar for every time I’ve used the “not a family reunion” explanation, we COULD have everyone there lol. I feel the exact same way, to the T. Its almost eerie! i get the response “well we have had so many deaths and other sad events lately that everyone just wants to be able to celebrate something happy together.” I get that, but I can’t pay for it! I really hope I can continue to use that reasoning as delicately as you stated it (wonderful, btw), but I fear that soon I’m going to have to hulk out on her. 🙁
Post # 8
Only engaged couples? One if my husband’s bestfriends has been with his girlfriend for 9 years and they have children together. I hate the engaged ” rule” because not all committed relationship look like that.
The only rule I used was “nearest & dearest” and “those I wanted to celebrate with.” Create your guest list. Stop talking about your wedding to people that aren’t paying for it or not invited. Shutdown convos when your wedding comes up. Once you make up your mind don’t entertain people trying to squeeze themselvesin.
Post # 9
I think mother’s first cousins are too far out. I would stick to your aunts, uncles, and cousins. You said it yourself-you barely know these people and your FI lost his job. Are you kidding me? You should not have to pay for those people.
You invite your family (immediate, then aunts uncles and cousins) and friends (allow plus ones as you see fit until your guest cap)
Your mother can throw her family reunion another time.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
MissusMarcin: can you help her organize a different event- like a cookout or a potluck- to get everyone together?
Post # 11
You can do immediate family, no kids and close friends. I had to deal with the mothers and their family reunion wishes. As i told advised by friends and family….it is YOUR wedding. At the end of the day after she’s had a good laugh with 2nd cousin sally and they have all gone home you are left with the bills. One day of debt isnt the way to start your new life. Maybe you can offer to send out announcements to the family who wasnt invited.
Post # 12
My response would be “it costs $ for each person. Currently, we can afford 120 guests. If you would like additional invitations beyond what you have already received, it will cost you this much per head.”
Once she starts doing the math, I think she’ll have a change of heart. Or she’ll hand you cash, and everyone will be happy.
Post # 13
Invite only the ones who know you and your FI, who you’ve at least talked to in the last year and tell your mom to throw a family reunion later.
Post # 14
CurlyCue: I’m sorry, I definitely did not mean that I would exclude anyone in a serious relationship like that from attending the wedding with their partner… It just doesn’t apply to any of my family members or friends So I didn’t occur to me! I absolutely would include long term significant others, domestic partners, live ina, etc. I would have to set qualifications though, to be fair To the other guests. However, I can’t stop talking about the wedding with my parents, in laws, nor can I disregard their feelings entirely… We are all contributing in some way and “those who pay, play” does apply to SOME extent.
BluebonnetBride: lol I should make sure to save that exact wording for when I finally snap! Concise without hurting feelings and gets what I need done!
Post # 15
I’m having a difficult time comprehending what your mom doesn’t understand about not being able to afford more people. Seriously, I’m not being cute. “We can’t afford it,” is a discussion stopper. Especially if she’s not contributing financially. The way to open the discussion back up is for her to pay for the people she wants.
I also like MeiFrancis‘ idea of having your mom host a different family gathering as a way to include everyone that she wants and that she pays for. Otherwise, it just can’t happen, no matter how much she may sulk about it. : /