Post # 1
Alright bees, I need your advice. The future in laws have finally seen fit to grace my FI and I with their proposed guest list.
Some back story, FIs parents are well off (my family is not), and are not offering to help us pay for our wedding (which is fine … would have been nice, but oh well) … but made sure right off the bat to tell us that there are people they need to invite (because their social status dictates they have to). They said they would pay for the per plate cost of the guests they want to invite (damn straight they are). And originally said around 20-30 people (and of course, most of those would be duplicates of FIs, so we were realistically expecting 10).
So after, 4 weeks of waiting for them to give us the guest list … they finally do … and its 75 people!!!! Only 10 of which are duplicates of FIs. FI and I are only inviting 50 people each … and we are paying for everything else to do with the wedding.
Now, yes, the FILs are paying for the per plate cost of their guests, above and beyond who FI would be inviting (these people wouldn’t be invited on FIs accord, they are are all the high and mighty friends of his parents)… but I certaintly don’t think that means they should be able to invite more people than the bride or groom. Whose wedding is this??
FI doesn’t know how to stand up to his parents … but I do not believe this is okay. I mean, our venue can only hold 130 people comfortably, before tables would need to be rearranged to accomodate other aspects of the reception (like dancing, garter and bouqet toss etc.) … and I personally don’t want a tonne of people, I want to share our day with the people that are important to FI and myself, not FIs parents … who are not hosting the reception, friends.
What would you do? Am I overreacting?
Post # 3
Well, I’d tell them that the venue can only hold a certain number of people and that they cannot invite more than that. They are offering to pay for their guests, so I think that it is not a HUGE issue.
That being said, I would totally be annoyed too. My parents are paying for my wedding and me and my mother got into it BIG time over guest list. FI and I want a small wedding. I told her 80 people… she told me 125. In the end, it worked out because we both have small families and FFIL had absolutely no one he wanted to invite. There are 86 people on the list and at least 4, for sure, aren’t going to come.
You need to compromise with them. Work it out. Don’t just say HELL NO right away, because you will, more than likely, just cause a huge pile of drama.
Post # 4
One thing you could do is suggest the future in-laws host a party for you to meet all their friends after returning from the honeymoon rather than inviting them all to the wedding. That way they aren’t limited by venue constraints and can entertain in the style befitting their circle — AND more importantly, you don’t have a wedding flooded with random people.
Post # 5
Yeah, I wouldn’t be comfortable with that either. Isn’t it strange that they’re willing to, essentially, host a dinner for 75 of their friends (i.e. pay for 75 plates at your reception) but they’re not willing to help their son with the costs of his wedding in general? Annoying, but of course it’s their prerogative and they’re not obligated to do anything. Apart from that, though, I’m with you in that I had strong feelings about who was invited to our wedding. I didn’t want people there that we didn’t know and that only served some sort of social purpose for the parents. I would definitely come up with a Plan B and SFCarrie’s is as good as any. It’s really not fair to you and your FI to have a bunch of strangers at your wedding, especially when they outnumber the people you really care about!
Post # 6
Yow. That’s a big list.
Personally, since they’re paying the per-plate fee, and as long as other associated fees were manageable (or contributed to), I would probably suck it up for the sake of harmony.
I would, however, let them know pretty assertively that they needed to cut X amount of people because of your venue’s capacity.
Post # 7
why do i get the feeling your FIL are from the south? weddings sometimes turn into spectacles because the need to impress the socialites in town. If they are offering to pay for them if they come, then thats something, although i get your need to want to have people there that actually would RECOGNIZE yall if they saw you (aside from the dress of course :)! )
see if theres negotiation room – contact your MIL directly and explain how you picture your day – i had a similar problem, and ended up having a nice “come to jesus” meeting and all seems to be well now, and the list is not the 150 they wanted but the 120 i wanted….
marriage is about compromise, see if theres some give on there part before blowing your lid. 🙂
Post # 8
WOWEE. That’s nuts.
spaganya is right, it is about comprimise. Unfortunately you will be in this family forever, so it’s probably better to start now.
What they are doing is certainly not fair. Maybe suggest the idea of a party for their friends at THEIR house on their bill.
I would definitely explain that you have a limited number of guests and possibly just say “It’s more important to me that OUR friends and family are comfortable and enjoy themselves.”
Post # 9
That is nuts! I would say you need to speak with your fi and get him to talk to them. Tell him they need to cut their list by so many. That you are glad they are willing on paying for these people but that it does not take into consideration costs for table rentals and floral centerpieces and invitations. These other expenses add up based on the per person count and that you can not afford their list being 75 people. Give them a number you do feel comfortable with.
Post # 10
Something similar happened to us (though though not with that many guests!) We just kept repeating that we wanted the day to be our celebration and didn’t want to be surrounded by strangers. Their friends can easily be told that it’s an intimate wedding, not a huge 300 person gala, and they can hardly be offended by a lack of an invitation to such a wedding. In our case, FMIL was upset but ultimately let it go.
In this type of situation I think it is hugely important for you and FI to be on the same page. He’s the one that needs to have this conversation with his parents (potentially over and over until they understand you’re not budging). In the course of your future marriage, there will surely be occasions when he needs to stand up to his parents, and if he can’t do it now, he better start learning. My FI didn’t see the problem of having “a few more people”, but by explaining how I felt and how important it was for me to have my wedding in the circle of close friends and family, how upset I would be if it was mostly strangers, etc, I was able to get him on board.
Post # 11
Have your FI tell them that 75 is an unacceptable list, and that you “planned for” the initial 20-30 they estimated the first time. In fact, give them a hard and fast number and say, “you can invite x amount of people to our wedding” and have them revise the list. If they don’t, tough noogies, nobody gets invited. That’s how it works–you have to lay down the law! They’re being unreasonable. Let them throw you guys an engagement party or something at their house for their “social circle” of friends. You and your FI have to start someplace in regards to not letting them do this sort of stuff, and now’s as good a time as any. It establishes a clear line, ya know?
Post # 12
Yes, even if the per plate is covered it could be (based on my area) an extra $600 in tables, $63 in tablecloths, $262.5 – $750 in chair rentals (+ cover prices if need be), 9 extra centerpieces, 75 extra favors if youre doing them, an extra $200 +/_ in invitations, added save the dates, she’s essentially adding thousands to your budget that are still un-covered.
Def. focus on your lists first, see how many you two are at, and give her the left overs for comfortable seating. Have her son tell her that there is only room left for x amount of people. I would tell her too that the budget was for the 10-20 and anything over that there is no money for, so can she pay the cost of having each person over that number outright.
Post # 13
If you don’t want them there regardless, I agree with PP: Tell them 130 people will fit, you have already invited 100, so they get 30. Otherwise I would tell them that the venue that you can afford can’t fit that many and if they would like you the book a bigger venue to accomodate your guests they will need to pay for that.
Post # 14
Oh, it gets so much better! I was on the brink of making the arrangements with the caterer to meet with them on Saturday to finalize the quote, sign the contract and put the depost. FI and I had decided we were going to do a buffet style reception, because it was what we could afford.
FMIL called FI tonight to see if we had started looking at caterers (hmm, wonder if they finally got the hint that we were asking for the guest list for a reason), and he told them we had, and explained the buffet style.
FMIL said that she does not want a buffet reception, its not practical, she wants a sit down reception (which would also add a good chunk of coin to the cost of the reception), but of course, they’ll pay for the increased cost of the sit down reception. NOT EVEN CONSIDERING that I have spent the last 6 weeks, organizing a reception and catering that flows with the overall vibe of the wedding (ie … low key). If we do a sit down reception, it would be weird to buy h’or d’ouevres from Costco (Sam’s Club) in the form of veggie and cheese trays … it would be weird to have coffee service with disposable coffee cups … all of which, would have been okay with our original motif for the reception, so if we go with that … I have to start planning from square one, and them covering the increased costs is not suffice … I’m prepared to tell them if they want to call the shots, they can pay for at least 3/4s of the receptions … not us pay 3/4s of the reception to have them call the shots.
Bah … I’m so frigging annoyed … at least FI is on my side and thinks his parents are being unfair … and unreasonable.
Post # 15
Girl, you just gotta tell them no! “Thank you for your input, but we’ll be doing it our way….” that is unless they fork up 20K, right? =
Post # 16
No, you are most definitely not overreacting!!! For them to invite more people than you or your FI simply because their social status dictates it is just ridiculous. Even IF they were paying for the wedding, I think I would feel uncomfortable not knowing a third of my guests! It’s a celebration of your love and the people who should be there are those that know and care about you two personally and want to be there to support you–not people who are there only because of their social standing or whatever. Good luck working it out!