Post # 1
SO and I are doing a small bit of preplanning (oops!) and I’m curious as to how you ladies handle the guest list situaiton.
Personally I would prefer a smaller wedding of about 100-150 people so that we can provide full bar and great food for everyone, but SO has a large family and I would not want to offend anyone. We’ve decided that with our budget we can accomodate 200 guests. We agreed that besides our siblings, parents, and grandparents, we would invite all aunts, uncles, cousins & their families. We both have good relationships with our families, so these are ‘A list’. My list was around 30 and his was about 70.
That means we have about 100-125 invitations left. Here are the options I think we should look at when splitting up the remaining invites:
- Each side gets 100 invites total, regardless of family size
- We both get to invite family for ‘free’ then each side gets 50 invites
- I create list for my side, which I think will be under 100, then he gets the rest
I really want to handle this correctly from the beginning, because I don’t want anyone to feel offended or slighted. By The Way, I really like his family, and I know they won’t complain either way – I just want everyone to feel like this was fair. My parents and I are splitting costs 50/50. Although his may offer to help, I’m assuming for now that they won’t.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, or how you handled the awful guest list task!
Post # 3
Do each of you have a good relationship with your parents? The reason I say this is because maybe you can sit down with each of them individually and just explain the situation. Maybe they won’t need that many more invites if most family members have been accounted for on your list. If you will only be able to provide full bar and a great menu for under 150 guests, then try to stick to this. I just feel sometimes if you give people 100 invites they will find 100 people but if you have a good relationship and communicate you may find that 150 can be reasonable.
Post # 4
I think if you have 30 he has 70, I’d give you an extra few.. like split it up 50-75 in your favor for the extra invites.. or something.
I think it really depends the family situation? maybe each make a list or most important other people to come, and go by closeness… it’s sooo hard to say 🙁
Post # 5
@roxy821: We do have good relationships with our parents, I just know that excluding any family will be off limits – not worth the fighting or hurt feelings. So if we had only 150, that is only 25 for each side including our friends… But that is a great point about people pretty much wanting to fill spots regardless of if they need them. Thanks!
@mayflowerbride13: That sounds fair too. I’m sure they understand they have a big family, and of course I don’t want to ‘punish’ them for it by not allowing many others from their side. On the flip side, it doesn’t sound fair for my parents to host a party where a vast majority of the guests aren’t their own invites. Finding a happy medium would be a nice compromise – thanks!
Post # 6
My invites are extremely lopsided, so I can relate. I’m only inviting 2 immediate family members, everyone is deceased on my mother’s side and I don’t keep in touch with my father’s side…most of the 100 guests will be from FIs family. My friends only make up less than 1/3 LOL.
Post # 7
Dh and my lists were very lopsided. He had about 90 people my side had about 230. We didn’t do a numbers game we just invited who we had to invite. I don’t think it is fair to give each side x number of people when the differance is big because then important people may be left out on one side. I would calculate the numbers based on who NEEDS to be there and then divide up what is left between the two families.
So i think your option B would work best
Post # 8
I think all of you need to talk to one another and come up with something that you agree is equitable (even if it’s not necessarily equal.) Agreeing to invite family based on relationship lines rather than numbers is a good start: as long as all aunts, uncles, and first cousins are invited (regardless of numbers), both families are on equitable footing (i.e. your side wouldn’t start inviting second cousins once removed just because you have fewer numbers than his).
Once you move beyond family, I think this is where you guys need to focus the conversation. Given that your family is smaller and you guys are paying for pretty much everything, it seems equitable that you guys as a couple and your parents should get a larger share of non-family invitations. Maybe agree that his parents can invite a set number of good friends and work colleagues, etc., and the rest of the non-family invitations are up to you, Fiance, and your parents? This, incidentally, would give his parents the opportunity to step up and say “We would really like to be able to invite (fill-in-the-blank). If we contribute ($—-)/pay for the (alcohol/entertainment/other random budget line item, etc.), can we boost our number of invites?”
You also might want to talk about creating a “wish list” (I like this way of thinking about it better than “B-list”) of people that you will invite if you get declines from your primary list. Maybe part of your agreement about what is equitable is that FI’s family gets to use any declines from their large share of relative invitations to bring in people off their wish list?
Post # 9
I’m in similar situation, me and Fiance wrote out our lists and did numbers, with all the maybe to invite we were at around 125 total, Fiance had 75, and I had 50. It came down to me saying that regardless if we need to cute numbers for any reason it will not be on my side as it wouldn’t be fair. He agreed to that, and so far we won’t need to cut numbers anywhere for budgeting or space problems.
I would definitely split up the remaing invites in a 60%/40% or even 65%/35% way in favor of your side, not only is your family paying, but you are already making up the smaller amount of invites to begin with. maybe give him a total of 120-125 for his side and 75-80 for your side, that would account for his larger family and still allow you a fair amount of friends and invites to your parents.
Post # 10
Thanks for the input ladies! I definitely want to avoid the trap of inviting extras, and having too many people accept! Just seems like it would stink to be hoping for people to decline your invitation. And I hate making anyone feel left out, so I am stressing about this part a little bit. Yall are a very helpful resource 🙂
Post # 11
I’m in a similar situation and am concerned about the s**t hitting the fan with my parents. Fiance has a HUGE family and sees extended family for holidays whereas my family is super small and no contact with extended family. In our preliminary list, my family had like 45 people total including parents’ friends and our family while FI’s list was at about 100. What makes it worse for him is that his parents are divorced so he has extended family on both sides. My parents can’t really understand why we need to invite his second cousins and think it’s ridiculous, but it would really offend his familiy if they weren’t invited. Right now, we have almost no friends on our list because my parents (who are paying for 80% of the wedding) don’t want us to have more than 160 ppl at the wedding. Plus Fiance keeps thinking of people he “needs” to invite–including, no kidding, people who he barely remembers their names but that his grandma would flip out were not invited. I don’t want to cause a world war, but it’s really annoying to me because his family isn’t really paying enough in my opinion to justify having SO many people on the guest list to the point where I can’t invite all my friends. I have been trying to deal with this without letting on to my parents because I don’t want to add fuel to the fire. I am stressed about it though and not really sure what to do.
Post # 12
We decided that we could afford 100 guests. We made a list of my family and his family, and then close friends. That was it. No one got “spots” for invites, because it’s our wedding. Fiance has a HUGE family, and I really don’t, but we invited the people we’re close to and no one else. Hell, we’re inviting his stepmom’s mother and brother, but none of her other siblings. End of story.
Post # 13
Fiance is getting much more of the invites than I am, but that is because he is from a much bigger family than I am (he has over 30 cousins on just one side of his family and I have 4 all up) and it seems illogical to do a 50/50 split because then you’d have me inviting a work acquaintance I barely know to make up my numbers while he’d be trying to decide between a cousin he is close to or a friend he has known over 25 years.
His parents are contributing a bit financially as there are so many people from their family they want to invite, so I don’t mind too much. It’s not like anyone from my side is missing out, I get to invite everyone I want to invite and his parents are putting in so we can invite most of their family.
Post # 14
We are splitting it up 75 for me 75 for him, even though his family is a little larger. We want to invite 150 and my parents are paying for the reception. They have friends that they want to invite and we have 75 people from my side. So since my family was paying we felt it was only fair that it was spilt. Now, I did say if his parents wanted to invite more they can- if they pay for them.
Post # 15
@mayflowerbride13: +1, I’d also give a few extra invites to you and your fiance and then give each side of the family about 50 invites.
Post # 16
Our church only holds 175 so that dictated our guest list. We ended up inviting 202. About 20 or so were my family. About 15 were friends of mine. The rest were all his family and really close family friends.
His family is smaller than mine, he has 2 uncles, I have 9. He has 2 aunts I have 4. However, of the 15 tables at the reception, only 2 will be my family.