(Closed) Guest list & wedding planning STRESS! Not sure what to do…. HELP!

posted 13 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
661 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2000

I agree with your reasoning with option 2…"which if I did get an invite like that to a wedding I think a. they either just want family there. or B. maybe they are on a tight buget". That sounds the best of the 3.

She needs to pitch in more for these friends of hers or they are not invited. The rehearsal dinner also seems like a creative, generous (on your part) solution.

Remember, you and the groom can decide together, where to put your foot down in the most tactful, loving way. Hurt feelings heal and relationships can get stronger when honest, reasonable boundaries are firmly set.

 As far as the wedding expenses, I’m paying for most, including traditional groom things. 

Post # 4
3625 posts
Sugar bee

First of all,take a deep breath and try to relax. Wedding planning should be fun,but so far I think the stress is ruining that fun time for you. :o(

Its a shame you didn’t have your budget together first before you did all your planning, and maybe some of this would have been avoided. It would have been easier to work within those parameters than to do the impossible right now. I’ve just been through this with my own daughter (last week as a matter of fact) and my older daughter’s is next May. Very different circumstances for each one.

The only thing the groom’s father paid for was the rehearsal dinner….we paid for everything else. For next year’s wedding,future in laws have offered to pay for not only rehearsal dinner,but night of wedding suite,invitations,photograhy and splitting liquor tab. Any help they’re offering,we’re taking! It isn’t always the norm,tho,so we’re very happy to have the help.

For both weddings,I asked each couple to make a guest list first.to get an idea of what they wanted. Oddly enough,both came up with just about the same amount! We personally only invited close family and very few friends. Groom’s family did the same.

Same thing for next year’s wedding…friends of bride & groom make up the majority,close family,few friends for both sets of parents.  It just isn’t necessary to invite everyone you ever met or people you haven’t seen in years,or those who invited you to THEIR children’s weddings. That’s how the guest list gets out of hand.

If the overall cost will be split 3 ways,so should the guest list. It’s the bride and groom’s day,so I feel THEY should have the largest guest list…we gave them our share,as did the other parents.

You mentioned you found a venue already….does it have a minimum guest requirement or maximum capacity? That might be a way out…

I honestly wouldn’t be bullied into inviting more people than you can afford. Is the groom’s mother continuing to add on instead if subtracting? They say you can expect 20% to decline or cancel,but you can’t depend on that figure.

There’s a list on the net about who traditionally pays for what.the older ways and now the more modern. How large is the bridal party that the rehearsal would cost $3000.??

Post # 6
43 posts

The guest list is the absolute hardest thing.  I would get so frustrated with my fiancee’s family.  We ended up setting a rule, which was I deal with my family, and he deals with his.  This helped a lot during the guest list craziness.  Our families have different definitions of "family;" under his definition, my side of our guest list would have another 80+ people on it.  It didn’t help when I threw this out there.

I don’t know if this would work, but figured I’d suggest it.  We asked our parents to rank their friends 1 to 3 (1 being most important to them).  We made no promises about whether we’d invite anyone on their list, but we wanted to know who was most important to them.  They were honest when they put together the list.  We invited the 1s.  I don’t know if this would work, and we’re also paying for the wedding ourselves so our parents don’t have say. 

You may also ask your fiancee to talk to his parents, rather than putting you in the middle.  It really puts you in a difficult position.

Post # 7
4194 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

My parents are paying for my wedding so I have no say in who gets invited and my Mom is taking this opportunity to invite all of her close (and not so close) friends and very distant family members who I have never met. We didn’t even want a big wedding, so this still makes me mad, even though I’m not paying. Plus, with her list so big, I can’t invite even half of my close friends – only a few in addition to the bridal party.

I’m going to ask my mom to b-list some of her friends (she refuses to do this for family) which she seems willing to do. Your problem is that the STD’s have already been sent to these strangers, so they have to get an invite. I like your idea of the ceremony-only invite, but it’s a lot harder than it sounds to get that one approved.

I’m a little confused why you are speaking directly with your Mother-In-Law about this? You and your finace should discuss what you want to do in private and the message about your final decision should be delivered by him to her. If there is no way she will cut any people out and you wind up with more than you can afford, consider a dry reception or a brunch with a cash bar and only passed finger food. Maybe if you tell her you will have to do this without any guest list cuts she will be willing to give you more $.

Good luck!

Post # 8
1652 posts
Bumble bee

Man.  Well I think she overstepped her boundaries by disregarding your budget and inviting pretty random people, before consulting you.  You’ve reasonably told her you can’t accommodate that many guests.  If she is unwilling or aunable to put the money in for them, I think you asking her to call them is reasonable.  (But of course she won’t do it.  That would be embarrassing.  Why have accountability and integrity, when you have to be bothered with taking your lumps???) 

I’m not sure if I would just invite them to the ceremony.  I’m thinking with the STD’s and probably whatver your Future Mother-In-Law said word of mouth, they probably have the impression that they’ll be invited to the reception.  But I suppose it’s something.

Of course if you don’t invited them, what will your Future Mother-In-Law say to them when they call her to b*tch??  Aaah. 


Post # 9
25 posts


that’s one suggestion…have a separate invite for those ppl LOL!!!

hope that suggestion brightened your day a bit by making you laugh =))

i had the exact same problem, but only difference was that my hubby wasn’t on my side, he keeps saying "well if it makes my (his) parents happy" I had to give in with the guest list, but I made no other compromises afterwards…Mother-In-Law doesn’t like my bridesmaid dress color – "they’re not your bridesmaids so suck it up" etc.

 I really hope you find a solution, cuz even though I sucked it up, I’m still bitter about it…3 months after the wedding

oh, and I don’t know if this would apply to your situation, but I made absolutely NO wedding talk with the in laws…learned that the first time we discussed the guestlist with them…oh plus…they weren’t paying a cent for it so even more worth it not discussing with them.

Post # 11
1407 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Your Future Mother-In-Law seems like she wants it to be clear to all her guests that she knows how to throw a party. That’s why she wants a big, showy rehearsal dinner – everyone knows she paid for it.

I’ve had a lot of dealings with nasty people in my life, and one thing I have learned is you can’t change them, so you have to learn to play their game. Maybe you could approach it like this: "FMIL, Fiance and I were thinking that we would much rather have a wonderful reception for all our guests to enjoy without cutting corners, than have a lavish rehearsal dinner. We think it was so kind of you to make the rehearsal dinner such a lovely party, but due to the number of guests, we’ve decided that the best way to make the reception as great as we all want is to allocate the rehearsal funds to the reception for the bar / band / etc. My parents would love to host a low-key rehearsal dinner at their home, and I know Fiance would be so proud to say in his speech, ‘Everyone thank my mom for the great band / the delicious drinks!’ "

Basically, kill her with kindness! (((Tsrfrust)))

Post # 12
3793 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I think one thing that should help take some of the stress from you is that your fiance should be dealing with his mother– not you.

You don’t know their family dynamics the way he does and you are not able to be as frank with her as your fiance can.  All of a sudden you seem like a bad guy because you are rejecting their friends and family.

I’d make it a policy to discuss these things as a couple, come up with your proposed solution and then have fiance present the solution to his mom.  It would be much nicer if she was willing to give a tiny bit on the list, but it seems as if she’s not.  

Hopefully when Fiance talks to her, she’ll be willing to put some rehearsal dinner money toward the wedding.

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