Post # 1
I am a new bee preparing for my Sept. 2012 wedding. I would really appreciate some advice. Since I am new to these boards, I will give a bit of background. Here is my current situation:
Our venue can accommodate 140 if we have a sit-down meal or in the 175 range if we have a cocktail party with appetizers. (not as many large tables)
I realize that we would have to plan our ceremony time accordingly, with a full meal if it is between 5-7pm or we could have an evening event, with the ceremony starting around 7 and a cocktail party to follow.
My tentative guest list is around 60. FI’s is 110. His family is not contributing in any way, but they are adamant that they should be able invite almost everyone they know. (second cousins, FMIL’s co-workers, etc) . Future Mother-In-Law insists that “many of them won’t come anyway”. I am concerned that they will…they are ALL local, within 30 miles.
My mother has generously offered to pay for the entire event. I feel a bit like FI’s family is taking advantage of this by thoughtlessly adding to the guest list. I can assure you, it would be cut if half if they were picking up the tab.
I had originally planned to have a sit-down dinner, inviting 150 and hoping that 130ish attend. However, our guest list has now expanded to 180. We do not have to give a final count to the caterer until a few weeks before the wedding. My mother says that I should just wait to see how many “yes” RSVPs we receive and plan based on that. FI likes the idea of a nice sit-down dinner, yet it is his family that is creating the issue!
I would like to note that Fiance and his family are very kind people, just somewhat sheltered. Their family events are “the more the merrier” and “bring a dish” type of thing.So, what do you ladies think? Is it appropriate to have an evening wedding with a cocktail/appetizers reception? Or should I crack the whip with the guest list and do a sit-down dinner? I have included some photos of my venue, if that helps.
I would love to hear your thoughts!
*Edited to add pics
Post # 3
If you and your Fiance want a sit down dinner, and your venue can only accomodate 140, than I think that answers your question. You can only have 140 guests.
Perhaps you shoudl create an “A list” and a “B list” – with an earlier RSVP date. Once you see how many will/will not show from the A-list (as your Future Mother-In-Law thinks it won’t be many), you’ll know how many more (if any) you can invite from the B-list.
Marriage is about compromise and priotization – and that starts with the planning!
By the way your venue is gorgeous!
And good luck – my mother was the same way. She wanted to invite distant relatives I’d never met or heard of in my life, but that she thought were important and wanted to spread the news of her daughters marriage (“but they won’t come!”). She didn’t know that a more appropriate solution was to send an announcement afterward to those who we wanted to inform, but didn’t have space to invite. So perhaps that would also be something to mention to your Future Mother-In-Law.
Post # 4
I’m in a similar situation and Fiance ended up speaking with his mom to cut her guest list down. I think it’s only fair that each family invite approximately the same amount of guests if one is paying for almost everything.
Post # 5
I think your Fiance should talk to his mom and let her know that you two would like to plan a more formal event with a sit down dinner, and that inviting 180 people isn’t an option. And you have to draw the line somewhere with whome FI’s parents invite especially since your mum is paying. To me it sounds ridiculous. But that is just me.
Post # 6
I do have to add that the space would make an amazing cocktail reception.
Post # 7
I think either event style will work in that venue. However, if you and your intended would truly prefer a sit down dinner, then sit down with him and have a conversation about who from his mother’s list is important to him. After that, consider having a talk with her together about how to trim the list.
I second the PP’s suggestion about announcements after the wedding for anyone who she simply wants to inform. Your invitations, a meal on your family’s dime, and your stress aren’t worth it for her to simply let friends and distant family know about the wedding.
Post # 8
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I would do the sit down, and just tell his family point blank that they can only invite X numnber of people beyond the wedding party and immediate family for their side. Let you Future Mother-In-Law know that is she give you more names than that, you will only invite the first X number.
Post # 9
Thanks so much ladies! I really appreciate the thoughtful responses!!