Post # 1
FI and I agreed on a guest list of 50 people, after long discussions about finances, feelings, and expectations.
However, I get the feeling that there has been and will be some behind-the-back inviting from his mom and sister. I don’t get the feeling their intentions are malicious, they just don’t understand that for each person that walks in the door, I (yes, I, not my parents, not FI and I, but I) will be forking out $50-60. My budget is very limited because my parents are funding the honeymoon and no one else is opening their wallet. FI and I just bought a house and then he bought my engagement ring and wedding band. We could put off marrying for 2-3 years to afford a large, lavish wedding but it’s not what we want.
I’m planning on making a seating chart because of divorces in the family and folks that just plain shouldn’t be sitting next to each other.
If I only set up 50 chairs and each chair has a nametag (what are these called? the little name things put at the place setting?) and uninvited guests show up… Who looks bad?
Will this make me look like a serious bridezilla, b*tch of a hostess?
Post # 3
I think it is very reasonable to expect a pretty accurate accounting of the invited. To invite people to a wedding that is not their own is just plain rude, and would be even ruder to show up without a written invitation. I would do as you plan, set out place cards (escort cards) then if there are extras that show up it will be up to them to take care of it.
You do not look like a bridezilla for keeping yourself within what you can afford.
Post # 4
I have these visions of people showing up who weren’t invited and everyone asking me where they’re supposed to sit and why they don’t have a chair, you know? Nothing would kill the romance of the day faster than dealing with crashers and everyone pointing at me, like “It’s your fault they don’t have a place to sit!”
Post # 5
I think you need to casually mention to your FMIL that you are so excited with how well your seating chart has worked out, there is exactly enough seats for everyone and they fit so well at the tables, no empty chairs to make the room look empty! And how excited you are about the escort cards you’re making, and how much you’re looking forward to everyone having their seat, etc.
Might clue her in to the fact that her friends won’t have a place to sit before it happens.
Post # 6
Aren’t you going to send out invitations? Why would anyone show up to a wedding they didn’t receive an invitation to?
Post # 7
@ddw: has the right approach! I agree totally!
Post # 8
For some reason it seems like some FIL’s dont understand the word budget and that space/ money is limited. I would do what you are thinking (escort cards) and when they dont have an a place no one will be looking at you they will be looking at FMIL because SHE is the one who invited them not you.
I don’t know if you want these people there or not but would it be an option to tell FMIL that you are more than happy to invited people she wants if she is willing to pay for their meals.
Post # 9
Well, assuming you’re having this somewhere and it will be catered, you will need an accurate head count a couple weeks before the wedding anyway. At that point, if it’s way higher than you were expecting, talk to your MIL about it and explain to her that you were not expecting these additional guests, and (if you can swing it) that you’d like to accommodate them, but will need her help covering the additional expense.
Post # 10
It’ll be in a banquet hall attached to a private club, like a VFW type hall. We’re having a buffet, his family’s restaurant is doing the food. We’re still paying for it, but at least the money is going to his family’s restaurant.
We will be sending out invitations, but not to everyone FMIL and FSILs think should be invited. It’s a small town and I don’t think not getting an invitation would deter some folks from showing up.
FMIL cannot open her wallet for the wedding, reception, etc. She’s made that clear.
I like daydreamwanderer’s idea to mention the plan in advance. I think I’ll try to weave that into conversation at some point.
I just want to see what people would think. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m just worried that if crashers do come and they don’t have a chair/place setting, I don’t want to look like a bad guy.
It feels like a shady move to make sure that there are only just enough chairs and that each chair has a place card when I know that his sister and mom are pushing for extra people to be invited (and likely inviting them word-of-mouth behind my back). But quite frankly, I don’t want to go over budget and beyond what I’m comfortable with so if they can’t respect that… this is what I feel I have to resort to… :/
Does it seem shady to you bees?
Post # 11
I would say you and FH need to sit down and have a flat out not beating around the bush conversation about your budget, your guest list etc. Explain to her that due to limited finances it is what it is… that you arent trying to disrespect anyone, but it has to be strict. Explain to her your seating chart escort cards etc. (to make it clear youll notice if someone tried to slip in the back door). But tiptoeing around the situation may not make it better… Good luck
Post # 12
I agree with eseds. And if anything, I think this conversation needs to be led by your FI. This is his family and there should be NO QUESTION that the guest list is up to you and your FI because your resources are extremely limited. As you mentioned, they don’t have malicious intent, they just don’t quite get it. So they need to be told, calmly and lovingly, that they aren’t going to be the ones doing the inviting.
Post # 13
it looks extremely bad on your FMIL already that she’s inviting people to a wedding she’s not even helping to pay for, regardless whether they show up or not. wow. i really feel for you. my advice is to stick to your guns, after all it’s your money and your wedding. i’m not a big fan of “ettiquette” but this is just wrong.
Post # 14
My biggest fear with having just enough chairs is if uninvited guests arrive before invited guests and just casually take someone’s chair — then your real guests won’t have a seat!
I think you still may want to consider a contingency plan (whether that’s casual security to only let in invited guests, extra chairs in a closet that can be pulled out only at your word, or something)