(Closed) Baffled by the idea – parents having their own guest list??

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
8446 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@ANGELaaimt:  Can’t blame you, especially if you’re footing the bill.  My mother had a whole slew of friends she wanted to invite, so I told her if she paid for them she could invite them.  Regardless, I feel that the people paying for the wedding are the ones who should have a say.

Post # 4
3755 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

If the parents aren’t contributing at all then they should have no say in the guest list. However I think it’s a thing if the parents are paying for the wedding, they are supposed to be able to invite people. My Future Mother-In-Law told me the other night that she keeps telling everyone to “Save the Date”… I’m like, wait, who are you telling????? Fiance doesn’t have a lot of family that doesn’t already know the date so who knows who she’s telling. And she’s not contributing to the wedding, and we’re trying to keep the guest list down. I can’t wait to see who she has on her list….

Post # 5
2716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Those who pay, get a say.  If his parents aren’t paying, then they don’t get a say in the guest list. 

Post # 6
900 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@ANGELaaimt:  It’s not a “supposed to” thing.  I think that whoever is hosting the wedding determines the guest list, but for me personally….I wanted to work with my family and my husband’s family to make a guest list we were all happy with.

But we were in the position to be able to work with our parents, because they are all reasonable and nice people.  We didn’t really have any problems in terms of guest list, and we wanted to keep our wedding at a “medium size” (around 100 people), which considering we both have huge families, required some trimming of the fat.  Be we were all able to do it together.

I’d say that’s more a testament to how amazing our parents are than anything else.

Post # 7
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I feel your pain! We are currently going through this issue with my parents (not his at all) for our destination wedding. To my parents credit, the few people they want to invite are old friends of the family whom have “known” me for my entire life yet I haven’t seen them as much in the last 20 years. However, I’ve had to bite my tongue a few times because they are contributing half to our Destination Wedding AND are throwing us a traditional Chinese wedding banquet (where they have the run of the guest list and we get the leftovers for friends). It’s just been challenging as my mother doesn’t understand the concept of “well I just mentioned it to them and they said they wanted to come” is her extending an invitation. Most people don’t just invite themselves to a wedding. Also, our Destination Wedding venue has a limited number and we already have a relatively long B list for our friends. It’s an ongoing compromise with ongoing tension. Sigh. Let’s just say that Fiance is not thrilled.

If they’re not contributing at all, I think you have every right to reject inviting any of their friends while explaining you have a limited amount of seats.

Post # 8
1578 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Country Club

My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding. They have a list of who needs to be invited…namely family that I don’t really know but “needs” to be invited even though they won’t show up.


edit: 900th post 😀

Post # 10
5494 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2011

I don’t buy the whole, whoever pays for the wedding makes the guest list thing.  By that rule, if parents are footing 100% of the bill then the bride and groom dont’ get a say in the guestlist at all which is obviously ridiculous.  

I think couples should remember that it’s not just a special day for them but for their families.  Their families want to share the joy of their children getting married with their friends and family members.  

DH’s parents didn’t contribute to our wedding at all but we asked them for their guest list anyways.  We wanted them to share the day with people who are important in their lives and to have fun at our wedding.

Post # 11
9119 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Our parents are paying for our formal wedding. Even if they weren’t, we would allow them to invite who they want.

Seems polite to offer it to parents.

Post # 12
1729 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Meowkers:  Yes, but you don’t want a room full of people you’ve never met…that’s what often happens when parents take charge. A wedding should be the bride and groom’s nearest and dearest.

Post # 13
1328 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

If the parents aren’t paying I would still ask them for guest list suggestions, or ask if there was anyone I left out that they would really like there to join the celebration.  But with the understanding that since you are paying for it you have the final say on who/how many are invited.

Post # 14
1162 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

As PPs have mentioned, this is only expected when parents are substantially contributing financially to the wedding.


@missmorganista:  woo hoo! Almost 1000 🙂 

Post # 15
1638 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@ANGELaaimt:  My Darling Husband and I paid for our wedding and we invited friends of our parents because we knew them personally. All my Moms BFFs are called Auntie to give you an idea. My kids will call my dear friends Aunt too.

That being said, we drew the line at strangers. Only their friends who we knew in an intimate way were invited.

My mom got to invite about 20 people to the wedding and I was happy to have them all there.

Post # 16
817 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo

i think this is pretty much how most weddings work. We came up with a guest list of ~150 people that included family out to cousins, friends with plus ones for all friends not just couples, and the friends of our parents’ who we have/have had a relationship with or knew they would want to invite. Then we told our parents they could each invite 15-20 people. Fastforward 2 months and our guest list is 180 (the max for our venue), our single friends are not getting plus ones unless they will know no one else, we have removed friends of ours from the list, and we still have 30 more people invited than we planned. AND both sets of parents have tried to add other people who they “forgot” the first time around. From what my friends say, this is pretty standard.

I have tried guilt-tripping, pointing out friends of ours who are not coming, etc. Finally I pointed out that, although they are both contributing towards the wedding, due to their additions to the guest list we are now grossly over budget. That money is coming out of our pockets, and it’s not to pay for our friends. So my mom offered to pay for her friends separately, not as part of the initial $ amount they gave us. I gave up.

Sorry that’s not more encouraging, but know you are not alone!

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