Parents inviting people to wedding? What is the etiquette?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
926 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My mother did the same thing!  I told her I wanted small, she said “I’m paying for it so I can invite whomever I want” (not meanly)  Okay, I caved.  That’s a really good reason.  I asked her not to invite people that I didn’t know though, I’ve met most of her friends at least once.  If you and FI are paying for it, then you have to draw the line.  It’s your say so, and the moms need to understand that.  You should put your foot down and say you reached our limit, no more guests.  Just because you were invited to so and so’s wedding does not mean you have to invite them to yours.  Stand your ground!  You can’t go into debt over your mothers and their inconsiderate additions to the guest list.

Isn’t it kinda late to be adjusting the guest list?  Have all these “unwanted” guests received invitations?  Maybe most of them won’t come since they don’t know you or FI either.

Post # 4
8720 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’m a bit confused. Your wedding is in 2 weeks so what does it matter what etiquette is regarding this? Are you going to call people and tell them not to come? Did you not know these people were invited prior to mailing them an invitation? If your parents arent paying you should have spoken up but I think it is too late.

Post # 5
1302 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@gelaine22:  I agree – it is too late to make any changes to the guest list now. Are you just venting about the whole situation? I understand but try to make the best of it now and just have fun!

Post # 6
3424 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I know there are people in my life that have been there for my WHOLE life that my parent’s know and would want to invite that may have slipped my mind. So far, since our families are so ingrained, my parents have 3 sets of family friends (my Parent’s maid of honor and best man who are still bffs with them, my Bridesmaids family, who is super close to my mom & my dad’s bff’s family) coming to the wedding and I couldn’t be happier they are coming. I may give my parents 1-2 more sets of friends to invite, depending how how much my final budget comes out to. So far we have a guest list of 96 people. We are trying to keep it under 100

Post # 7
3217 posts
Sugar bee

He who pays, says.  You are the host of the event, and thus get to set the guest list.

But since you didn’t speak up prior to inviting people, you are stuck now.

It would have been perfectly polite to decline your parents request to invite cousins before they were invited.  But once you sent them an invitation, there is no polite way to uninvite them.


Post # 8
16 posts
  • Wedding: July 2008

@Quorina:  I think, at this point, you are stuck with your unwanted guests. Once the invite goes out, that’s it.  You own them.

Trust me, I know how you feel.  My MIL invited her cousins (my husband’s second cousins).   Basically people he didn’t even know, even though they were family.  But ready for this, they brought their grown children!   They weren’t even invited.  Never got an invite. Weren’t in the final head count.  The facility had to literally “make room” for them.  So, they got to eat and be there for free.  Well, not free, I’m pretty sure I was charged for them.   But still, be warned if you see a table looking “over crowded”.  I know I sure did.  I was like why does that table have 14 people squished together?   Craziness.   I swear, our mothers’ generation are clueless when it comes to this wedding business! 

Hang in there. Just keep reminding yourself, it’s your day.   it’s all about you and your love. 

Post # 9
362 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Sorry I didn’t read all of the previous posts so I might be out of the loop.

So did your mom and FMIL invite more people after you already finished your guest list? I’m assuming you would have to have your guest list ready for the venue and and caterer in advance. I’m sorry you’re going through this. This is exactly why I decided to have a destination wedding. I’m sure if I had a wedding in my home town then my parents will invite the whole world and we would have a 400 guests wedding which is ridiculous, in my opinion. I’m glad that only the people that actually care about me and my fiance will be willing to fly out and attend our wedding.

Post # 10
3633 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I disagree that it is a custom to allow your parents or anyone else an alloted amount of invitations, unless they are footing the bill. Since you and FI are hosting and paying, there was no need to let them come up with a guest list. It’s nice to do but certainly not obligatory. For example, DH and I paid for all of our wedding ourselves and each family was able to add a few guests. However, we approved all of them before they asked them for addresses and we knew all of the people invited quite well.

However, at this point, if wedding invitations have already been sent out, I think you are stuck. IMO, if your parents or his parents have already told them they are invited AND asked for addresses, you’re pretty much stuck because it’ll be really awkward to go back and say, “Oops.”

As far as the shower invitations are concerned, I think she was wrong. She should not have arbitrarily invited all of these extra guests without clearing it through you or the hostess (your cousin) first. But again, if the invitations are already out, you’re kind of out of luck.

Post # 11
150 posts
Blushing bee

Oh this reminds of my cousins wedding, where my aunt (her mother) didn’t tell her that she invited four other people that were already on their way to Las Vegas (to a smallish wedding of 50 people) until the day before. Part of the bridal party ended up sitting outside of the dining space in order to accomodate the four extra people. For some reason I was the only aghast by this, everyone else in my family said it was to be expected. Just thought I’d throw that in there, because I think the etiquette just depends on who you are and who you’re dealing with. Sorry for the stress and sending hugs! 

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