Parents inviting guests? Why is this even a thing?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Did you/would you allow your parents to invite friends to your wedding?
    No! : (16 votes)
    14 %
    Only friends who are close to me and I know, or family friends. : (40 votes)
    34 %
    They can invite whatever friends they want, with a limit on the number. : (45 votes)
    39 %
    The can invite whatever friends they want, unlimited number! : (15 votes)
    13 %
  • Post # 2
    208 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    For me, personally, I would be highly uncomfortable with a whole lot of people I didn’t know.  Luckily, my mom is as anti-social as me 😛


    In general, I think it is appropriate (but not necessary) for the parents to invite some friends, if they are paying for it and if the venue can accomadate it.  If the number needs cut though, they should be some of the first to go.

    Post # 3
    1626 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    I gave my mom a couple of people simply because she’s my mom. But I did tell her no to her work friends, who she tried to invite (and who I have known since I was little, but only through Take Your Child To Work day, once a year, when I was small) because even though they were her “work family”, I don’t know them from Adam. I just told her we were at the max of our list, even though we weren’t. And then I told her there were no shows and she felt sad for me, haha. I’m a B, but that’s okay. It weirded out both me and DH to have total strangers that are only friends with my mom watch us get married. Plus I didn’t want to feed them. 

    My MIL and her family are all in California. Granted, she sent us a list of like 40 people to invite (haha we wanted a 60 person max wedding T__T), but we picked and chose the ones we would invite, and then only like 6 of them came so..Cuz flying across the country and renting a car and hotels and stuff is expensive.

    ETA: My inlaws paid for like 95% of the wedding, so I didn’t feel bad not letting my mom invite a million people, either. 

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  .
    Post # 4
    42117 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    nawella:  Historically, weddings have been social occasions to which  family, neighbours, close work colleagues, friends etc were invited. When the bride’s parents paid for the wedding they determined the guest list in consultation with the bride and groom.

    As society became more mobile, and children moved away from home for college and work, the bride and groom were no longer as close to their parents’ contemporaries as they used to be.

    Couples also started to pay for their own weddings The bride was no longer financially helpless and dependent on her parents, nor was she, in most cases, moving directly from her parents’ home to the marital home.

    Paying for your own wedding gives you more control over the guest list.

    Post # 5
    6678 posts
    Bee Keeper

    The rationale is that a wedding is not just about the couple, but a joining together of two families and a milestone in the life of the parents as well.   Whether parents are hosting or the couple is throwing their own wedding, it is possible  to honor the role parents have had in your life and all they have done for you, by sharing the day with those closest to them as well.   

    Depending on the size of the wedding and the limitations of space and budget, such invitations might  be limited by number or by relationship to the engaged couple. Sometimes both sets of parents will offer to pay for their own guests if cost is an issue and not space.  As long as this does not favor one side over the other, I see nothing wrong with that. 

    Our parents had a few tables of friends at our wedding. Most of them knew either H or me, but several of them did not.  I was happy to meet them on the day and happy that it gave our parents pleasure to be able to include these people. 

    Post # 6
    795 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    Since we’re paying for the wedding ourselves we invited immediate family and close friends only. Neither set of parents had any say in the guest list.    

    Post # 7
    550 posts
    Busy bee

    To be honest. I’d never heard of this until my FI came to me and said ‘My folks want to invite 6 people.’ Um pardon? Remember the whole ‘only close family and super close friends’ rule we came up with? Apparently my sister’s MIL did this as well. It must be a MOG thing, my mom would never think of it. And she is contributing more then his mom. 

    Post # 8
    21 posts
    • Wedding: August 2014

    My parents and their connections took over our guest list like a Mongel horde and they did it when my brother got married back in 05 too. Took me a while to stand up to them and get things trimmed down to a much more reasonable number, but it was a good thing to learn early on as I am still having to hold my ground on things like insisting there be enough chairs for everone to sit on at the ceremony (and not just make them stand around). Such fun eh?

    Post # 9
    544 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    It is a thing for us because we are (were) having an intimate DW with 18 close family and friends.  My fiance’s parents bullied us into inviting friends along, a couple, they hadn’t seen in 25 years and my fiancé has never met.  That’s a thing to me.  So now we have our invited guests and that couple.  We are paying for everything ourselves but not everyone’s travel.  Our DW isn’t free or even cheap either.  I was pretty upset but what can I do? They are coming now.  Oh,  and we have yet to receive a thank you from my fiancé’s parents.  

    Post # 10
    1649 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    I’m okay with parents inviting guests. After all it was my mom and dad who cared for me and provided for me for 17 years; they always tell me I’m their biggest accomplishment so why can’t they have a few friends invited to their child’s wedding?


    That being said, I don’t understand parents who dominate the invitee list. They should be a little more considerate. 

    Post # 13
    9204 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2018

    This is historically very common, especially when the parents are paying. My parents are paying for the wedding but I doubt they will do this. I had close family friends on the guest list, who are very close with my parents, one of whom is my godmother and another is my sister’s godfather. Surprisingly my parents said it is not necessary to invite them as I am not that close to them anymore and so in cutting down the list it would be ok to not invite them. I was surprised as I thought they would want them there so they would have friends, not just family there. So I am very glad I don’t have this ‘parents inviting all their friends’ problem!

    Post # 14
    1231 posts
    Bumble bee

    A wedding is not just a couple celebrating, but a family celebrating.  For my parents to celebrate they also should celebrate with the people that are important to them. I am not engaged yet, but I expect our parents to invite some friends. Knowing my parents,  they will probably be contributing financially too.

    Post # 15
    1583 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    My mom and FI’s mom are contributing and I don’t mind letting them invite some people.  Mom is inviting her Rummoli group and FI’s mom is inviting her bridge group. Have had to say no to mom on a few people.  She wants to invite half the town because they were good to her when dad died 20 years ago.

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