(Closed) Guest List Exploding (Or, My Dad’s Gone Insane)

posted 12 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Wow you would really think your DAD would be more understanding about your medical/social needs!! I’m so sorry this has happened to you. If I were you I would 1) tell him absolutely no. And if he persists 2) elope. Seriously. If you are going to hate your wedding day it is SO not worth it.


Post # 4
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010


Well first you have to calm down and gather your thoughts I find it helps to write what you want to say down first!

Then you need to talk to your dad – it is not your responsibility to take back his invites it is his job so you need to talk to him and explain why you want what you want – your condition, venue limitations and BUDGET! And tell him that you need him to send out an email saying the last email was sent in error (A lot of them will probably think it was weird to be invited to your wedding in the first place so likely they will not mind). Then you need to talk to him about how many people he can invite and that he cannot invite them personally and that you must invite them properly!

Good Luck and i am sorry you have to deal with this


Post # 5
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Eek!  Who is paying?  If you and your fiancé are paying, then it’s a little easier, you can simply tell him he is way out of line and that he needs to contact those people and tell them his last email was in error.  It might be unpleasant, but he has no ground to stand on.  If he’s paying, it’s a little trickier.  You need to talk about making joint decisions and consulting each other before acting on ideas, and let him know how you feel.  You might have to compromise a little on some of your ideas, too. However, if he seems hell-bent on doing the wedding “his way” without regard for your feelings, or if the compromises you’d need to make are making you dread the wedding, I think you should politely decline his financial contribution and find a way to do something smaller where YOU have full control.

Best of luck!!

Post # 6
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

OMG.  I can’t believe your dad did that!  Especially knowing about your Asperger’s.  That’s completely insane.

Is your dad paying for the wedding at all?  From your post, I would guess he isn’t.  If that’s the case, I think the way you explain to him how upset you really are is to be as blunt as you can.  Say something like:

“Dad, I am furious that you e-mailed 200 people, some of whom we don’t even know, and invited them to our wedding without consulting us.  That was completely out of line.  My fiance and I agreed on a small wedding because my Asperger’s makes it difficult for me to deal with large crowds.  We cannot afford to invite the 200 people you e-mailed, and our venue won’t fit all of them.  You need to contact those people and explain that you made a mistake and not everyone on the e-mail list will be invited.  I know that’s going to be embarrassing for you, but it’s your own fault for jumping the gun like that.  We are both incredibly upset about what you’ve done and we need you to fix it as soon as possible.  If you don’t, we will not be including ANY of the guests you’d like to have there.”

I know that sounds super-mean.  Normally I’m pretty good at writing out sugar-coated ways to deal with people, but what your dad did was just SO clueless that I don’t think sugar-coating is going to work!

Please let us know how this goes.  I hope it all works out!!

Post # 7
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I know exactly where you are coming from!  My Fiance and I figured we would have about 80 people at our wedding and that was all we wanted. Well as of yesterday, (our wedding is one month from today) we are sitting at 160 adults and 12 kids (we did not want kids at all but obviously had to have our neices and nephews since they are in the wedding and some family that are flying out of town have to bring their kiddos, which is fine).

We sent out 90 rsvp’s (well actually his mom sent out 40 of her own, which makes up about 60% of the guest!!!!) and only 8 people have said NO.  Of course we didn’t expect this turn out but at least we know people really want to come since we are getting married on a Friday at 5pm too.  We thought that might stop some people from coming but then we realized that if people want to make your wedding they will do whatever they have to do to do just that.

Fortunely Fiance mom has agreed to pay for her additional amount of people and their liquor and my parents are still going to pay the set amount that they said they will pay.  The Fiance and I will still end up paying about $3,000 out of pocket, which isn’t bad!

I am sorry to hear about all your troubles.

Post # 9
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Hmm.  If your dad is paying for the reception, things get a bit trickier.  Which is not to say you shouldn’t still be upset! What he did was completely boneheaded.

Does your dad have a copy of your venue contract? I would print one out for him (with catering costs if you have them) and show him that you can’t fit or afford all of the people he just invited.  Then explain that you are doing a traditional wedding because it means so much to the families, but that you’re very nervous about being the center of attention and the thought of being in front of that many strangers is incredibly upsetting.  Most of all, emphasize how hurt and upset you both are that he didn’t even consult with you before sending out this invitation. Tell him how hard you’ve been working to stay under the budget he gave you, and all of the things you’ve cut out to invite the 131 guests your families wants there, and how utterly impossible it would be to add an extra 200 people to your reception. 

Are your parents still married, btw?  If they’re not, are they still on good terms?  Your mom might be a good ally in this. 

If your dad refuses to take back his e-mail invitation, I would talk to your fiance again about eloping.  I know he wanted something more traditional, but you deserve to be happy and comfortable on your wedding day!

Post # 10
5988 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

good grief!!!!!!!!!!!!!  what is wrong with your dad!!!!!!  seriously, i would tell him its going to be a small weddingor everything will be cancelled.. oh, and i would consider eloping as well – you can still elope and have a traditional church wedding, just not with a crowd, which is romantic isnt it?

goodluck and sending hugs, this sounds like a horrific situation and i hope you find a balance to make you happy


Post # 11
153 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

It sounds like your dad is actually very excited for you to get married.  You definitely need to talk with him (in person would be best if you live close by) and tell him this is your wedding, and set out expectations for what you and your Fiance want. 

It sounds like he wants to be involved, so give him other jobs to do to be involved, besides making the guest list.  Maybe he can host an engagement party to invite those 200 people to, but if that makes you uncomfortable also, then you will just have to be firm and set clear boundaries.

Post # 12
354 posts
Helper bee

Dear Dad,

Thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm for our wedding.  This is very important day for all of us and I’m very concerned about a number of things.

1)  As you know, I have Aspergers syndrome. One of the main reasons we decided to keep the wedding small is because large crowds will exerbate my condition.  Weddings are stressful enough and honestly, a huge crowd is more than I can handle on that day.  I fear that this day that I am so much looking forward to will be wracked with anxiety on my part if there are too many people present. 

2)  The venue we have booked has capacity restrictions (see contract attached).  We can not accomodate all of the people you have emailed.

3) I have been taking the following cost-saving measures (list in detail) to ensure we stay within budget with our existing list.  We can not add the additional people from your email list without blowing up the budget exponentially.

Here is what I suggest:

1)  We go through with the wedding with the guest list as it was before your email was sent out.

2)  After we return from the honeymoon, you host a casual party for those on your email list to celebrate our nuptials and mingle with one another.  This allows them to share in our joy, but not add to stress and expenses of the wedding.  You can let them know gracefully while we would love to celebrate with them that we are bound by the venue’s rules on headcount and we look forward to seeing them at this party.

Love, Your daughter



Post # 13
354 posts
Helper bee

Also, I’d start talking to Fiance and letting him know that you really respect his desire to have a traditional wedding ceremony but that your dad’s behavior is stressing you out and that if your dad won’t agree to uninvite his email list, you will need to forgo his financial support and plan a wedding/reception on a budget that does not include your dad’s contribution.   Your Fiance loves you — he’s not going to want all the bells and whistles if it comes at the expense of your condition!

Post # 14
792 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I think you should elope and then have a party later… but alas… things just aren’t always that easy.

Post # 15
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

Yep.,  Dad is really excited about your wedding, but imho what I’d give my dad would be a DIY DAD PROJECT.

A project..him MAKING something for the wedding that will ABSORB ALL HIS SPARE TIME.

Keep him away from phoning people and inviting people and licking and stamping envelopes.

Tell dad you’re happy with the guest list as it is, and then give him a big job to do.

That would have made my dad the happiest guy in the world.  My dad loved projects.

This could work for an eager groom too. 

Post # 16
11 posts

Yikes! What a situation. I feel your pain. I second sf carrie’s letter.

However, some dads are more clueless than others. My dad, for instance. He’s very loving and sweet, but he only thinks in black and white terms. And he can do socially very awkward things — like accidentally emailing his ENTIRE contact list about who should or should not be invited to my graduation party (this actually happened).

So if diplomacy doesn’t work, tell your dad, politely, that it’s not happening. You realize he’s excited and you are very glad that he supports the marriage, but you are not on display on your wedding day (that’s what photographs are for), you are getting married. It should be a joyful and solemn rite, not a carnival (etc). As in: “Dad, I love you, but if there are more than (insert # here) of people at the ceremony/ reception, I will get scared and I won’t be there. I’ll be at the courthouse, eloping. And that would defeat the entire purpose, right?”

However, in all fairness, if your dad is paying for the reception, maybe he feels like he should have been in on the guest list from the start. Could this be a reaction to feeling neglected (again, just going based on how my dad would feel)? If so, maybe it would remedy this whole situation just to acknowledge that he felt left out, and that maybe going forward you can plan this celebration *together*.


And yes, he should email the guests who are not invited to let them know they are not invited, OR he should pay to have a reception in a bigger venue, which you can leave early, and tell the extras that they are NOT invited to the ceremony (if you want to be really sure of this one, change the time of the ceremony or get legally married on the quiet beforehand to reduce your anxiety). He probably feels like since he’s hosting the food part, he gets to invite anyone he wants.

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