Post # 1
I am from the Midwest. I moved to Florida about 5 years ago. Two years ago I met the man of my dreams and we are planning a Sept 2014 Wedding.
We have started putting together the guest list and well…I’m sure you all know how it goes lol.
Here is my problem. FI is a hometown guy and has a bigger guest list than I do, some of which I don’t know or have only met once or twice. He has not responded to cutting the list very well. I want him to have all of them attend, but that is just not realistic since we are paying for this ourselves.
I am still very close with my friends and family at home. I still talk to them and see them about twice a year when I visit my parents. Naturally I want to include them in our big day…and I want some people on my side of the ceremony.
Is there a polite way to ask my out of state guests if they plan on attending before I send out STD’s? Most of them have small children and I know it is hard to travel with little ones, not to mention the $. I already know which family members will come and which ones are getting courtesy invites. They were all pretty open about it.
I’m really just trying to make some room for my FI’s list. I already cut 15% of my list so far to make room for him and I’m still at more than I would like to be. He has not cut yet. He is going to have to do it whether he likes it or not, but at least I can try to soften the blow.
Any advice, thoughts, similar situations?
Post # 3
@partyplanner83: Honestly I’d send out the save the dates and then see what the responses are from there. We had an OOT wedding as well and after we sent out the STDs we got quite a few emails, calls, etc from people saying “I just don’t think we can make it”.
Edit: I also recommend creating an “A” and “B” list. Like reserve the “A” list for family and close friends, and the “B” list can be just friends, any co-workers, etc, that will get a spot on the official guest list if people from the “A” list can’t attend.
Post # 4
Honestly, my advice is to talk to your fiance and explain that it’s not fair that you’re cutting your already-smaller list to accomodate his larger one. If he wants to invite that many people, perhaps his parents should be chipping in and contributing. I would stand my ground on this and not cut any further. This day is about uniting both of you, not you continuing to cut to accomodate him with no concessions on his side. It’s just not fair.
But to answer your question, I don’t think there is a polite way to ask if people are coming. Just send save the dates to people you are 100% sure you are going to invite – out of towners, etc.
Our wedding involved significant travel for most of our guests, but still about 75% of those who were OOT came.
Post # 5
Unfortunately, there’s no polite why to ask people if they plan to attend before you send STDs or invitations. Besides, people’s plans change. They might find out later that they can come and then what?
I think the best solution is to sit down and figure out how many people you can afford and then divvy up the guest list. For instance, if you can afford 100 people, then he gets 40 seats, you get 40 seats, and the last 20 seats are for mutual friends. If you don’t fill up yours or if he has a slightly larger family, then you can think about giving him some of yours. It might not be even in the end, but at least you’ll start on even ground.
Post # 6
@PacificMrs: Hmmm. I’ve always been against the ‘B’ list and I’m not sure how it would work with OOT guests since they need to make travel arangements. I was against First Looks too, but I’m doing one and I think it’s for the best…another post lol
What do you recommend? We already have a “no touch” list for family and very close friends. I was thinking taking our Max number and subtracting the “no touch” list and then dividing the remaining in half. We each get half and whatever doesn’t fit goes on “b” list?
@abbie017: I know you’re right. I’ve tried to talk to him about it and it just isn’t sinking in as much as I would hope. He’s ready to cut $ anywhere else but people and unfortunately the head count is what ties up the most cash. I am just going to have to outsmart him. Thanks for the statistic from yours? Were they families with small children by chance or just OOT in general?
Post # 7
@partyplanner83: We had a kid-free wedding, so that actually helped us a bit. People with young children opted to stay home, since they couldn’t bring the kids to the wedding. We only had a couple families where this was an issue though. It honestly came down to finances for most people – could they afford the travel and the hotel and a wedding gift.
Guests on my side had a 500 mile trip to get to me, and DH’s side had about 900 miles to travel – so it was pretty significant for everyone. I was shocked when so many people did actually come!
Post # 8
@abbie017: I’m having a semi child free wedding. We want to offer a chilcare option for the OOT’s that come…mostly because his sister is coming with two little ones. I have three couples with kids under the age of 5 on my out of state side. Pizza, Wii games, that sort of thing for them. So the kids aren’t part of my headcount. Maybe it sounds harsh but FI and I both agree that if you live in the area you should be able to find a babysitter for one night.
I would miss my Midwesterns terribly if they were unable to come, but I understand all of the reasons why they wouldn’t. I know that I can see them the next time I go home, but it still isn’t the same. I just want to iron out as much as I can early, so when Jan hits and its time for STD’s we’ve already had the fight about it lol.
Post # 9
@partyplanner83: I don’t think you should ask prior to sending out StDs. I agree with the above advice about making an A and B list. Put family and the people you MUST have there on the A list, then make your B list. Once you get “no” responses you can invite the B listers. I’m in a similar situation, FI is from Ohio and I’m from Florida…wedding is in Florida. He also has a larger family and is older…so just more people in general. We stuck to 150, and though I honestly don’t know how many are “mine” and how many are “his”, I think it’s pretty even.
Post # 10
@partyplanner83: I think you’re doing all you can! I agree that local guests can find their own childcare – they probably already have a babysitter they know and trust and should be able to make plans with adequate notice.
If you give your Midwest friends and family enough notice, I’m sure most of them will do their best to make it. Weddings are a big deal, and people like to celebrate with their friends. I would give them as much notice as you can so they can budget accordingly. Next time you talk to some of them, casually drop that you’re going to have the wedding where you live, and see if they volunteer that they’d try to make it. It obviously isn’t a commitment, but if they say off the bat “oh, it’s too expensive” or “it’s too far,” you know how they’d be leaning on responses. We sent out our STDs about 9 months ahead of time, but most guests already knew what the date was when we set it a few months prior to that.
Post # 11
@RunsWithBears: I think that I’m going to have to do something like that, re-evaluate the ‘must have’ list and take everyone off that isn’t a family member or in the wedding party. Then split it up and have him make it work. To be honest I probably won’t have much of a ‘b’ list and then its all up to him what he does with his half. Most of our mutual friends are part of the wedding party anyway. I know that if I start “giving” mine over to him he will find someone to fill the chair. 150 is MAX If I can get away with less I’m going to do my best.
FI is really interested in doing all of this stuff, I am thankful for that. I put him on DJ duty and he is doing well researching that. I just need to get the $ under control for dinner.
Post # 12
@abbie017: I’ve definately told all of them the date and that it is in FL. I’ve had some positive responses. But like you said, it’s not a commitment.
Post # 13
@partyplanner83: my FI has a huge family and lots of friends. i have a very small family. we set our budget based on 130 people. i am inviting 50 and i told him, he could fill in the rest with his guest list.
the first thing to do if figure out how much you can afford then make the guest list.
your sides don’t have to be even. but you shouldn’t have to cut people who you really want to be there because he has family or friends who live closer.
if people decline, you can always invite people from his side if you are willing to spend the money.