Post # 1
I am a recently engaged bee in the very beginning stages of wedding research and planning. As I read more and more on thw subject, I am rather shocked by the extent to which my FI and I are expected to go to be considered “gracious hosts”. I realize that by that very statement I set myself up to be perceived as a selfish bitchy bride, but rather I prefer to consider myself a budget conscious and PRIVATE person. I don’t like to share my business with the world and I also have very little money to spend on a wedding…
A few of the topics that I have already encountered resistance on are:
- Kid free weddings
- Every guest gets a plus one
- Top shelf liquor all night
- Entire extended family must be invited regardless of whether or not I know who they are
- I must provide extra favors for guests beyond free food, alcohol, and entertainment.
- I must spend my wedding day talking to every guest rather than enjoying a celebration meant for the joining od my life with my love’s
This is not to say I am opposed to all of these things. Any immediate family is welcome to bring their children. I woild obviously designate plus ones for anyone married, engaged, domestic partners, or who have been together for a loooog time as well as anyone who doesnt have family attending as well. I plan on having an open bar all night with a few choice premium liquors, but not the entire array. I plan on doing a receiving line so that the guests who would like to chat get their moment.
I would just rather be able to have a fun evening with my nearest and dearest rather than the social event of the season or a giant family reunion. I would rather spend my budget on Iincredible food for my guests instead of mediocre food for 250 people. I am being met with so much resistance that ive contemplated elopment even though thats the next to last way I would like to be married.
Direct quote from my mother (the one with the giant family) “There are plenty of ways to trim the expense but the guest list isjust not one of them.” Excuse me? Thats the best way to trim the expense. Would she rather I serve hot dogs and icecream?
So very frustrated with the whole scenario. Half of the guest list is people I cant even pick out of a family photo album or whom I have never met. All the while I’m just being told I am unreasonable and am creating unnecessary drama. I realize that the day isnt meant to be entirely about me, but are my wishes really that out of line and unimportant?
Post # 3
I think you sound perfectly reasonable. I would say if your mom is paying for the wedding let her invite everybody she knows. If you are I would give her and say this is who we’re inviting and I won’t discuss it further. If she wants to see her family she should throw a family reunion no impose on your wedding. We just invited grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a few other random extended family that we just really like (read less then 10 including spouses)
Post # 4
I had one rule about the guest list: I must KNOW the person invited, ACTUALLY LIKE the person invited, and FREQUENTLY SEE OR TALK TO the person invited. Extended family that I never see? Nope nope nope.
Post # 5
@marhealy: There’s this thing about weddings that no one gets…being invited or not invited to one is not the end of the world…but for some reason, the minute someone close to a person gets engaged and starts planning..
WELL…you’d better invite everyone you’ve ever met AND their cousins….even if you have to serve hot dogs and beans while they huddle under a pergola at the local park!
Tell your mother you appreciate her argument, but the next time she gets married she’s free to post a blanket invitation in the local paper and feed the guests from a trough if that’s what she wants to do….
you and your FI are shooting for an intimate and lovely evening where the guests in attendance will be treated to a delicious and thought out meal and good conversation, because that’s how you want to spend your money and that’s that…
Post # 6
i guess I have one question – who’s paying? Those who pay get a say, I’m afraid. We paid for our own wedding so made the decisions ourselves. If you’re paying the bill, you can be a good host without going overboard on the guest list and the premium alcohol.
Post # 7
The thing you learn is that there is someone that will complain about everything. Your venue is too hot. Your venue is too cold. I wanted to invited my brother’s wife’s cousin’s neighbor. I wanted to bring my quadruplets. The beef is too well-done. The beef is too raw. The food is too salty. The food is too bland.
Seriously, people will find a reason to complain about anything because people are judgemental and picky and this isn’t their event that they planned. I think your general requirements for your wedding are fine, although I do think it’s nice when the B&G take the time to greet all their guests individually. We did so as we had a smaller wedding (~70 guests) but I can see this being a problem for a larger wedding (e.g. ~300).
Post # 8
I agree that you first decide who to invite, and then you decide how you can host them. That does NOT mean that your mom should control the guest list, however!
Post # 9
I have gotten so many comments and some flat out complaints. Before we were even engaged my mom said “well I want to invite my aunts and uncles (so my great aunts and uncles, most of whom don’t know who I am)” I said “no” she didn’t care. I went off on her (not the right way to handle it btw). I said aunts, uncles and cousins. If you aren’t one of them (I still have a huge family) or our CLOSE friend you are not getting an invite. PERIOD. My mom can say what she wants. She is helping us with the wedding and being very generous, but if she wants someone else she can pay for it out of her pocket..not my wedding budget!
Post # 10
1. Kid free weddings are not a violation of the guidelines of etiquette
2. Etiquette requires you to invite both individuals of a couple that has declared itself a social unit by being married, engaged or living together. It does not require you to allow everyone to bring a partner.
3. The strictest standard of etiquette dictates that your guests not have to pay for things at your event–it does not demand that you provide endless amounts of anything. Now, if you are hosting a very formal event, what you offer in terms of food and drink should match that, but if you are not hosting a very formal event then there is no requirement for elaborate multi-course dinners, etc.
4. I am actually not entirely sure what standard etiquette says about favors, but they do not have to be elaborate in any case (again, assuming that you are not hosting a very formal event)
5. Etiquette does require that you thank everyone for attending and that you not disappear from your own reception for large portions of the evening. This may be accomplished via a receiving line.
You are dealing with the demands and expectations of others–as previous posters have suggested the question of who is paying will probably loom large in many of these discussions.
(I really should just starting signing my posts with “Disciple of aspasia and weddingmaven,” as I’ve learned so much from them and often repeat things that they’ve said in older threads! This is to say that if they post and correct me, listen to them! I am just the student…)
Post # 12
I fully understand embrace the “those who pay get a say” which is why I have held my tongue til I had a better grasp on my feelings and an understanding of this ridiculous wedding etiquette. We are all contributing to the budget (FI, Myself, FMI, and my parents)… but my mother by far takes up the majority of the guest list. FIs family is tiny and many wont attend. FMIL has exactly 7 people she wants to invite. My father has no extended family. FI and I combined have a total of 30 friends including their dates we want to invite.
My mother tries to Impress upon me that more guests = more gifts and “my family is loose with their checkbooks”. I appreciate that she is looking out for us in that way, but it also feels wrong to have a big wedding on the off chance that everyone will make up their costs with fat checks. And dont get me started on the “obligatory/courtesy invites”. For those folks, send an announcement. We have to eliminate a number of beautiful venues bc of those known-no-guests.
I suppose a lot of this is just frustration and venting, but I wholeheartedy appreciate every response (especially since I now know im not crazy!) As for the complaints I’m SURE I will get along the way… hopefully I can remain as levelheaded then as I am now instead of snapping “im sorry you disnt enjoy your complimentary meal/alcohol/etc” haha
I should be glad that this is the extent of my drama especially as compared to some of what you bees described. I can always impose a limit on her and let her chose who is really a “must have” vs “want”
Post # 13
@marhealy: Where have you been doing your research? Your perspective sounds TOTALLY reasonable to me. You haven’t been over on – I probably shouldn’t say the name – a wedding website that’s named after something you do to a rope? Don’t take in those sorts of resources, they are meant to make you spend all your money!
Check out the Bee, and also apracticalwedding.com for good, sane advice.
Post # 14
Oh I love the detailed breakdown! Also that it backs up my feelings on the matter! We aren’t going for the ever popular barn wedding mason jar extravaganza, but certainly informal fits. Regardless, I am irish and will want a hearty meat-n-potatoes kind of wedding if FI agrees with me.
@engleman10513: haha I love it. I am SO close…
Post # 15
@marhealy: In that case I think your mom gets an equal slice of the pie… I would write down all the close family that you actually want there and then say okay you can pick ten including spouses to add on. Then maybe she’s feel appeased at least. it’s not fair to your IL’s, FI and yourself to have to help foot the bill for a bunch of random people you know.
Post # 16
@cbgg: ohhhh yes that’s the one! As well as input from recently married friends and family, who were undoubtedly sucked into the giant family wedding mentality as well. Practical wedding website? Sounds like my cup of tea! Thank you so much!