Post # 1
FI and I are anticipating 65-70 dear friends and family will attend our wedding. Though budget isn’t heavily dictating our guest count, we assembled our guest list based on who will be in our lives 10, 20, 30 years down the road, and ended up with a small[ish] list with which we are very satisfied. Our wedding is very personal, and it is important that people in attendance be those who will continue to encourage us and hold us accountable in our marriage.
Often when I discuss guest numbers and plans with my mom, she casually mentions, “If you need to fill the reception space up or have trouble meeting your minimum, I know so many people who would be delighted to attend.” Many of the people she’s thinking of are friends of my parents with whom I have little to no relationship or people who played some role in my growing-up years but who I haven’t seen in 5+ years. She did persuade me to invite my aunts, uncles, and cousins who I will have not seen in 7-8 years with the offer that my parents will pay for them (~7% of our total budget), but I am having a hard time budging on inviting the additional friends even with offers to pay for them, too.
Ultimately, my mom is VERY sympathetic to FI’s and my guest list preferences, and she would never guilt us into inviting additional people. And to be honest, inviting my parents’ friends would not necessarily occur at the exclusion of inviting more of our own if we so desired. But it is our strong preference to keep the guest list limited to people close to FI and me.
When I asked my mom about her feelings about the subject, noting that she had made such comments several times, she said that parents and children probably see the issue of who deserves an invite differently, that couples are having more elaborate weddings than they used to which preclude automatically inviting the whole community, and that when she looks back on her own wedding she recognizes that her idea of whom to include was probably different than that of her parents. I think this is less of an issue of being socially proper than it is of her not wanting to exclude some people and hurt their feelings — and possibly of her wanting to share in the occasion with some of her friends.
In the end, I recognize that the choice of whom to invite is up to me and FI. Even if we keep the guest list as is, can some of you help me understand my mom’s thought process? I don’t want to be insensitive to her feelings if she regards weddings as occasions to which pseudo-lost friends can (should?) be invited, and I want to be able to have open conversations without hurting her feelings.
Post # 3
Hold your ground, and don’t feel any guilt! We had 67 guests (plus us) at our wedding, and it was the perfect amount! We got to actually talk to everyone, it was our very best friends and closest family, and it was amazing. Our venue (a spacious modern art museum) didn’t feel empty at all – it was really cool!
Post # 4
We are having the same issues with FI’s parents. His family is very well known around here and his parents seem to think we need to invite these people they’re super close to because these people “care” so much about FI.. I’ve NEVER even met these people and FI hasn’t seen them in a super long time.. but his dad said he’s paying for them, so they can come.. it’s annoying! But our guestlist is huge (222) so I guess a couple more people won’t matter..
Post # 5
@HeatherE209: Wow, good luck with that! I’m wondering if there is any wisdom in choosing my battles here — say, “OK, choose your 6-8 most preferred friends and please be prepared to socialize with them throughout the evening.” All the names my mom is suggesting are lovely people, but with few exceptions it wouldn’t even occur to me to invite them to so much as a casual barbecue, much less my wedding.
I’d also prefer that everyone in attendance be someone my FI has at least HEARD OF, if not spent time with, and vice versa.
Post # 6
Okay, I admit it – im the mom of the bride. IMO~
Your mom means no harm. If you are looking to fill up space, she has some friends who would love to come see a beautiful bride and handsome groom get married. But if there is no space, no big deal – she and her friends understand. Its kind of like if you find that you are short on guests, us moms can find you some the same way we found guests to attend your birthday parties when you were a wee little one LOL or when we would set up playdates so you would have friends – its kind of hard sometimes to stop being a mom when you daughter brides grow up and become strong women – usually all we need is a “look” and we cut it out LOL
And as a mom, we understand and get it totally that the Bride and Groom want a personalized wedding – and thats great. We will make new friends at your wedding and have fun, because we love our daughter Brides so much! Unfortunately/fortunately for our generation, things were different…and it will be different when the next generation comes along – thats what life is about…
So, that being said ~
Even though we are paying 100% of our Daughter Brides wedding, we ARE not inviting close friends of ours, unless our bride and groom want them there. Its their wedding, not ours – when we had ours, it was a darn good one LOL However, when the grooms mom told me that their family (both his parents come from families of 8 and 10 respectively!) think of weddings as family reunions…
but we have handled it well and we still dont expect to invite our friends – otherwise the bride and groom couldnt invite theirs!!! Consider us generous, but im saving my true colors MOB greediness for if and when the grandbabies show up some day LOL