Post # 1
I figured our wedding would be on the larger side, due to my insanely big family, but I just totaled up the numbers in my Excel spreadsheet (after adding in my Mom’s suggestions) and we come out to 208!! This does not even include FI’s full list or his mother’s! (He gave me his must haves off the top of his head, but still needs to seriously sit down and think if he missed anyone.)
I’m not sure what to do. I had been hoping to have between 125-150 max. Also, we’re paying for a lot of the wedding ourselves, so budget is a worry. With my family though, it’s so tough b/c I have tons of very close cousins, and they’re kind of a package deal (can’t invite some but not others) because everyone is so close. It also doesn’t seem fair to FI to ask him to pay half of our portion of costs since my family is making up the bulk of the list.
What’s a bride to do? I feel so stuck!
Post # 3
That’s tough! I was in the same boat as you. In the end, we split our budget three ways (my parents, FI’s parents, and us) and let our parents invite whoever they wanted. We did include the Rehearsal Dinner in the budget, so that helped us with the un-evenness of the guest list. (My family is much bigger too!)
In order to keep our list down, we also decided to only invite SOs if they have been together for about 6 months OR if they were flying in from out of town and don’t have good friends at the wedding. We did extend the “+1” to all bridal party members.
Hope this helps!
Post # 4
I had this come up too – after my fiance’ had to take a lower-paying job, the wedding we had been planning for two years had to change!
I know it seems like your spiraling out of control – but start at the center of your spiral…start counting those closest to you, then work outwards, until you meet your max number of guests. If your paying for the majority of the wedding, it’s YOUR choice! If mom and dad or whoever wants to chip in, give everyone a specific number of guests they can invite. What it comes down to is that it’s YOUR day – don’t worry about hurting people’s feelings or feeling obligated to invite folks. As long as you and your man are happy, that’s all that matters! Good luck and congrats!
Post # 5
Thanks for the advice bees! I love knowing I can count on you 🙂 My mom just sent an email explaining why she thinks at least 20 of the people on the list won’t come. She doesn’t seem to get that FI and I feel that banking on them not coming is not safe strategy. We need to shrink the list. On the other hand, when I go through it, I can only come up with about 10 who I’d feel comfortable cutting! Oh boy oh boy oh boy…
Post # 6
I totally feel your pain! I just finally finished addressing our wedding invitations… and we have 195 invited. We wanted to be around 140. I’ve given up being stressed. It is what it is, and I’m just hoping we have a 20% decline rate!
Post # 7
This thread is coming at just the right time!! Between my parents, my FI’s parents, and our guest list, it is SO out of control it’s not even funny. We added it up tonight and we were at 360 🙁 We knew it was going to be huge because we have huge families and a ton of close friends, but this is getting ridiculous!!
Post # 8
Mums original guest list… 310.. We cut that sucker down to 150… and even now its ballooned to 174. Im hoping for a good decline rate to get it back 150. At the moment I am not too worried as our venue can fit up to 180. But i was exteremly stressing over the numbers and we realised we just had to cut cost elsewhere. Financial circumstances have changed which has been able to help us to have the extra guests. but I can def understand the stress your going through.
To start off our inital guest list I cut out anyone I hadnt seen in 5 years. (including cousins) ones that FH and I both hadnt met. Ones that were expecting an invite because they had invited my parents to their sons/daughters wedding and some of Mum and Dads family friends that we just cant stand.
Hope you can come up with your own method. Or simply state to your parents. We can only afford for x amount. If you would like the guests to come, please make up the differance.
Post # 9
@ccranetobe Wow, 310 to 174 is amazing! This gives me hope that I might be able to make cuts. We’re at 220 now that FMIL’s picks have been added. I really don’t want to send more than 175 (MAX) invites! It’s so hard! *insert giant whine here*
@SDHoneyBee, for both of our sakes, I hope we figure out how to make cuts!!
@Blueshoes2, I do like the idea of giving up being stressed. I may have to take that and run with it!!!
Post # 10
Ours is seriously out of control. We wanted 125 to 150 people, and we will be lucky to get under 200 now, as we are inviting 280. We are also having issues with people inviting extras, too. I’ve decided to just – LET. GO.
Post # 11
Oh my gosh! I am so happy to hear other bees are having the same problem! And even happier no one is biting my head off for saying this, like they do on theknot! lol
How much of a decline rate can we expect girls?? I need about 70 people to turn me down! Who knew we would want people to say no to our big day!
Post # 12
Ours is outta control too. We can’t use the excuse that there was no room because both sets of parents know our venue holds 400 people. Right now we’re at 260 which I still think is an insane #. How can I possibly talk to close to 300 people in one day?!?
FI and I made a list and then our parents made it double!! We went back to both sets of parents & highlighted their add ons (Yellow for my parents guests Green for FIL’s). We explained to them that we could only afford the people on our orig. list and if they wanted to invite all the people highlighted then they would have to pay for them (including the extra invites, favors, etc.).
Post # 13
What a pickle you’re in. How big is your family really… when you think about your immediate family and extended family (first aunts, uncles and cousins to be specific).
I ran into the same issue b/c I have a very large family that’s interconnected. But figure out a solution to making sure our invites were 200 or less (which is what we originally planned for). This was HARD b/c some real tough decisions were made but it’s absolutely neccessary or else things will balloon waaaay beyond what you can afford.
It’s easy for parents to want to go crazy with invites at a wedding. Just because someone invited your 2nd cousins from who knows where to their wedding doesn’t mean you need to do the same… just keep it in mind. 🙂
Maybe it would help you to meke an “A-list” and a “B-list”.
A-List people being immediate family, 1st round of extended family, parents closest family friends and good friends (we’re talking people that you actually talk and hang out with on a semi-frequent basis… not old college roommates you haven’t talked to in a few years).In this A-List try to narrow it down to total around your original head count. (it’s okay go to a little over).
B-List is everyone else… like parent’s add-on who you don’t really know, basically B-list family members (2nd cousins you only see once every couple of years), friends who you’ve known for a while but don’t hang out with too often, co-workers, family friends you aren’t too close with, etc.
Send out STD to A-List people only. A-List people also get invites a little earlier and need to RSVP earlier as well. Once you get an idea of who’s coming… then you can start inviting B-List people.
Post # 14
Thanks everyone for sharing your guest list stories and advice! Somehow it feels better knowing that I’m not alone in this! My Mom was actually in town for the weekend and we had a small argument about this! She felt like I was asking her to cut too many when I kept a lot of relatives on my dad’s side (that’s the huge, extremely interconnected, package deal side of my family). When I counted up her invites and told her she had about 60, that somehow made her feel better and she was willing to cut a few. We ended up going with an A and B list, like Bunny22 recommended. I even moved a couple of dad’s cousins to the B list to make her feel better.
The really frustrating part for me was that I mostly moved my friends, FI’s friends, and FMIL’s non-priority invites to the B list. So it seems unfair. But Mom was willing to let a few of her friends slide over to B list. Sooooo, we got it down to about 185. Which seems more reasonable than 225. But this is def going to be a work in progress!!
PS @Bunny22, I think I counted exactly 100 family members on my side of the list, not including those who we never see.
Post # 15
Boy can I relate! We originally estimated about 150, and our final guest list is at 367.
Post # 16
Phew… progress has been made. Baby steps…. 🙂
How do you feel about having to move yours and FI’s friends out of the list versus your parent’s friends getting included? Seems kind of unfair. 🙁
What may help you now is if you and FI (no parents involved) mark people who are “on the fence”. These are people who are on the A-List now but are people you see being moved to B-List when you start making more final decisions. You’ll be suprised to see how many people are on the fence. Just remember that ultimately you and FI make the decisions on the guest list and you can’t worry about offending people… it is what it is.
You’ll be constantly changing the guest list in the next few months… taking people out and adding people in so don’t stress over it too much now. You have a lot of time to figure this out so don’t worry.
Since you and FI are budget sensitive, maybe you may want to consider limiting the amount of friends your parents can invited. For instance your parents get to invite 10 friends total betwen the 2 of them. Budget is really important and you don’t want to over-extend yourself financially just so you can avoid offending people who don’t know very well.
If your parents insist that their friends get to go then maybe you’ll need to ask them to chip in more money so they can be accomodated. Seems only fair, esp. since FI’s paying for half and dosen’t get to invite more people.
Just throwing out some options for you and FI to think about.