Post # 1
My son is getting married in mid-September of this year. My husband and I were so happy to hear about the wedding and we are looking forward to celebrating the marriage of our son.
We are financially contributing to the wedding and the bride’s parents told us that we would not be able to have our own guest list. Only the bride’s parents, the bride and our son will be allowed to invite guests and they are splitting the list three ways.
The bride’s father is paying for a destination wedding where he is paying for two nights hotel accomodations for all of the guests, a welcome dinner and of course, the reception.
They asked us to pay for the rehearsal dinner but we didn’t think that it made sense for us to host one since there’s going to be a welcome dinner already taking place and we also didn’t choose to have such an extravagant wedding abroad. We are also asked to pay for the bar and the flowers for the reception.
I asked if I would be able to invite a few of my friends and they told me that the only way that we would be able to do this was if we paid for our guests dinners at both the welcome dinner and the wedding reception and that we would have pay for any of the activities and tours that are taking place during the wedding weekend.
This seems a little bit unreasonable to us. We would like to have a few our friends to be able to attend the wedding as our son is our only child but it seems like the only way that we’re going to be able to do this is if we spend a lot of money.
Is this the norm? Do the grooms parents not get a guest list for destination weddings unless they are financially contributing?
Post # 3
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
No, that’s not the norm! I can’t imagine excluding the groom’s family like that–contribute to the cost of the wedding, but don’t invite anyone unless you also pay per plate? I’ve never heard of this. It is understandable that the bride’s family, who seem to be shouldering most of the expenses, would want to limit additional guests, but to not allow you any seems unusually harsh.
Post # 4
Hmmmm, that does sound a little weird. My future in-laws are contributing, but even if they weren’t, I would let them invite people. I think it’s okay to have a limit on many people you can invite, but I think it’s rude to say that you can’t invite anyone.
Post # 5
Wait, they are paying for the whole wedding? Including activities and stuff for all “their” own guests?
This sounds like a move my parents tried to pull. So we declined their money.
I think it’s the right thing to do to have everybody have a guest list. I dont’ think it’s fair to say “well i’m paying so we get to invite all OUR family and friends, but none of the groom’s side fo the family” cuz I just think that’s bad manners. Even if they ARE paying.
My parents did this. They’d pay for X, Y, Z, but not my husband’s family. So we said “no” to their money. It felt wrong to take it, knowing the strings attached.
While it’s still wrong, if your son is going to accept their money along with his new Fiance, they need to talk to the brides’ parents about being more reasonable.
Now, you ARE financially contributing. You are paying for the bar and flowers. Bar for HIS guests. I don’t see why he has to pay for the accomodations for all the guests. What happened to guests paying their own way for the hotel when they go to a destination wedding?
Is it super small? While I tend to agree that whoever pays gets more pull in the way of the wedding, I don’t think it’s right to use money as a way to alienate the families and make it so that only one side of the family actually attends the wedding.
You didn’t choose the extravagant abroad wedding, but your son and his Fiance did. What is their take on it? If i was the bride, I simply woudln’t (and didn’t) allow this to happen b/c it’s simply financial manipulation. You can be gracious as parents and host the wedding, but if it’s at the expense of the other family/groom’s parents, I think it’s downright rude.
Post # 6
That sounds strange. I don’t really understand why this even sounds ok to everyone else. Maybe they assume your son and your guest list would be one in the same? That would be the only justification I could see. If that isn’t the case, I think you’ll have to address it directly. There should be no reason their guests have more value than yours!
Post # 7
Wow, at least there are clear communication lines open. 🙂
Umm not sure how you are supposed to deal with this. It seems like there should be a way for you to compromise with them, but given their list of demands I’m not sure.
Post # 8
Everyone should be able to invite at least a certain number of people, I think…
Post # 9
Wow. I think the bride’s family is being a bit ridiculous and unreasonable. You should be able to invite a few people – it is your son’s wedding after all. So are you not paying for anything at all? You said that they basically told you what you were going to pay for but you didn’t say whether or not you agreed to it (except for the rehearsal dinner). The one thing I will say is that it is assumed the groom’s parents host the rehearsal dinner. I don’t understand this “welcome dinner” thing, though. When is the “welcome dinner” in relation to the wedding?
I can see how, if you aren’t paying a dime for anything wedding-related except your own expenses (flights/hotel/etc.), the bride’s family would have more right to tell you you have no input on the guestlist. Other than that, though, I think it’s really unreasonable. You can’t fault THEM for the fact that it is a destination wedding. That’s probably what your son and his Fiance wanted.
Edit: I reread this and it sounds like I’m saying I agree with the bride’s parents if you aren’t paying for anything but I was just saying that that’s the only reason I could think of that they would do that. I DO NOT think that it is the nice or right thing to do.
Post # 10
This seems weird to me. Doesn’t your son want some of his family at his wedding? Our wedding will be my first chance for me to meet some of my fiance’s family; and I could never imagine not inviting them.
Post # 11
Wow. Why is there even a groom at all if his family is treated like crap by the bride’s family? Usually, the entire guest list is done by the bride and groom themselves, and in most cases, they pay for the wedding themselves too. What you are describing that they are doing is wrong on all levels. If the bride’s family is allowed to have their own guest list on top of whomever the bride and groom plan to invite then the groom’s family must have all the same privileges. The fact that you are paying for the wedding, whether all or a portion, automatically means that you get a final say. Whether the wedding is a destination affair or not, is moot.
But given their plans for a welcome dinner, there is no point in you hosting a rehearsal dinner as that is generally considered the same thing. Talk to the bride and groom, and put your foot down with her family as well and don’t let anyone bully you as they are doing right now. If they still don’t allow you any say or contribution beyond what they dictate to be acceptable in their minds, retract any finances you were intending to put toward this event. If they can’t treat you with proper respect, then they don’t deserve to receive any, however unfortunate it is that your son is caught in the middle of this manipulation game.
Post # 12
That’s really odd. So the wedding is only the bride’s family and friends of the bride and groom? This is when your son needs to stand up to his soon to be father in law and say that he wants his family at his wedding.
Post # 13
They asked us to pay for the bar and the flowers – we’re not in a financial position to do so. The bride and my son wanted a small wedding with a little bit under 60 people.
The brides parents make a lot more money than we do and are able to afford to pay for all 60 guests to stay in a hotel, participate in a variety of activities for the weding weekend.
We just wanted to have a few of our friends there as well but they say that it is rude for us to expect them to pay for our friends. If they were getting married in the country that would be one thing but the bride wants a destination wedding in France and that’s what her father is paying for.
My son agrees that me and his father should be responsible for paying for our own guests and that his in-laws should not have to pay for this.
We can afford to host something at home after the wedding – should we just organize our own reception? I don’t want to cause any conflict but I am already beginning to feel left out of this whole process. I thought that they would have at least asked us whether or not we were okay with a destination wedding.
Post # 14
Wow – this sounds horrible…how come they are allowed to celebrate your child’s marriage with their friends and you’re not?! And you’re paying for the bar for their guests? Sounds completely unacceptable to me. If they want to say you don’t get a guest list, then they should be paying for the WHOLE thing. That’s definitely not the norm. My inlaws offered to pay for their guests, which my parents graciously accepted, but my parents would have paid for them anyway (my guest list would have been shortened, not my parents’ or my inlaws’). I feel so bad for you – your happy time shouldn’t have to be spoiled by such a headache!
Post # 15
Wait, whoa – so the bride’s parents are paying for all the guests’ hotel rooms? That’s just bizarre. I was assuming guests would pay for their own rooms. Wedding costs (food/beverage/etc. per person) is what I thought you meant when you said “paying for their guests” – this whole thing just got even crazier. Why don’t your guests just pay for themselves like guests at normal weddings? Maybe I’m misunderstanding something here…
Post # 16
I find the whole situation weird but “I thought that they would have at least asked us whether or not we were okay with a destination wedding.” This is your son’s wedding and its obviously what he and his Fiance want.
I don’t know, if you aren’t in the position to pay for anything and all of the costs will be covered by the bride’s parents maybe you could have your guests pay their way as I believe is accepted for most Destination Wedding.
“We can afford to host something at home after the wedding – should we just organize our own reception?” Would your son want you to?