Post # 1
Hi bees! I need your help!
So, I have a guest list dilemma! I am having my wedding and reception at my old church, where I am still a member, but no longer attend because of my busy schedule. My mom attends regularly, and I have a lot of people there that love me, especially the elderly folk.
The problem is, I was only planning on inviting a select few from there, considering our guest list was already up to 160 and we are on a tight budget. But since we are getting the church for free, my mom insists that we invite more people from the church that I have known for years. I don’t know what to do, and find that when I add one person from the church, I add about 5 more because of that single persons family members that I also know, etc. etc.
My mother insists on putting a little add in the bulletin board for everyone to see so that I don’t have to invite EVERYONE individually, and instead whoever wants to come can just come. The problem with this is, I won’t have a specific number as to how many will show, until they RSVP 2 weeks before, and I really don’t like that idea. I want to have a set number so that I know how much food we will need, and how big of a cake to get, etc.
This is so stressful and I’m starting to freak! I really don’t want to have 300 people, but I’m so lost and confused and I’m going to feel bad if I don’t invite a certain person, and invite another. Can anyone give me advice as to what to do?
Post # 3
Sorry this is so stressful for you!
IMO, I think your mom’s idea of giving the entire church notice about the wedding is simply not reasonable. You would have NO idea how many people to plan for until it was too late. Individual invitations are a must.
It sounds like you need to have a sit-down with your mom. I’m sure there are many people in the church who are important to you, but you and your mom have to draw the line somewhere. If you explain to those who weren’t invited that you had to make guest list cuts based upon the budget, but let them know they are still very special to you, I don’t think there would be too many hard feelings. Does everyone who gets married in your church invite the entire congregation? If not, then hopefully every single member won’t be expecting an invitation.
Post # 4
@meladoug: I know what you mean, and I actually did have a talk with my mom and she just doesn’t seem to get it. She’s very one sided when it comes to things and most of the time things have to be her way or she just doesn’t like it. But I did explain to her that I’m picking and choosing, eliminating, and only sending invites out. I’m not too sure if people who get married there invite the whole congregation or not, but I really don’t plan on it. I couldn’t afford it no matter how much help we get. There are 300 ppl alone in the church, and we have 160 all together in family and friends, so there simply just wouldn’t be room at our reception. I think I’m just gonna have to hurt some feelings lol But thanks for the advice! I really appreciate it!
Post # 5
There are some people I’ve known who have had their wedding at their church, and announced an open invite during service for everyone in the congregation to attend the ceremony only. Maybe you could do this? That way you won’t have to worry about the reception guest count getting out of hand, but still invite the people you’ve known for a long time. And apparently this is a common thing that couples who are involved in their churches do, so it’s not rude to invite them only to the ceremony. Maybe this would work for you?
Post # 6
@ttwo2: Oh my I never thought of that! Thanks for the idea, I might have to do that! That way no one feels excluded, but we don’t have to pay for the extra people to eat. On the other hand, I wanted our wedding to be more intimate, and my fiance doesn’t even know half of the people who are going to be there which I think isn’t a good thing. It is of course about US and not just about me, so I don’t know if I want to invite a ton of people that I only know, instead of making it a more intimate wedding like we had wanted. =/
Post # 7
ttwo2 great idea. I second that thought. If I were in your situation I would do this. I wonder how you make it clear that they can’t come to the reception though.
Post # 8
This is exactly why we DIDN’T get married at my parents church, which they have attended for over 25 years. It would have been 500 people, minimum, with no way of knowing how many mouths we would have to feed. It made her sad that we decided to get married in a different city, but I offered to let my mom throw her own reception after the wedding. She ended up cancelling THAT event because she couldn’t cut her guest list of church friends to below 250! After that incident, my mom tells me all the time how wise I was to not get married at home.
Is there anyway you can NOT get married at your parents’ church? The thing is, it puts your parents in a really tough situation to NOT invite people they’ve known for years through church. People at church will hear through the grapevine that you are getting married and will a) be expecting an invite from your mom, and b) offended when they realize they were not invited. If your mom invites just one person from church, there will 10 others pissed they didn’t get invited. And if she invites no one from church, everyone will wonder what the point of getting married there was. While you may not go to that church anymore, your mom has to face these people every week for the rest of her churchgoing life. It will make it so awkward for her. This is why we decided to take our wedding elsewhere.
It may be an added expense, but it might be worthwhile to look for another church in your area. This happens all the time and its not uncommon for people to get married at a neighboring church just to avoid this problem. Inviting everyone to the ceremony is fine, but what if people start asking your mom about a reception? Is your mom going to feel comfortable with her church friends coming to the wedding, only to be sent home afterwards? Its just a really sticky situation.
I know this is frustrating, and I’m probably not saying anything you want to hear, but its just from personal experience. Good luck!