(Closed) Guest List getting out of control! Help please!

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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 # 5
83 posts
Worker bee

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 # 7
923 posts
Busy bee

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
477 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

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!


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