(Closed) Guest list help. I need advice!!!

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I feel your pain!  Except we’re the opposite–I have a huge family and my Fiance doesn’t.  We’re paying for most of it and my parents are also contributing some.  We’re trying to keep it under 75 guests, and so early on we decided to invite only immediate family and aunts and uncles (and friends).  I felt very bad about this, but I have 24 first cousins, all but 2 of them are married, and most have 3-8 kids of their own.  So just my cousins and their spouses alone would have been nearly 50 people–not including their own kids, my aunts, uncles, and our own parents and siblings.  We told my parents early on that we could not invite the cousins, and luckily they completely understood and passed the word along to my aunts and uncles, who were also very understanding.   We’re getting married in Yosemite, and a few of my cousins (who I would have loved to invite!) are now planning vacations there because “it would be a fun time to go to a national park.”  That sounds creepy, but I’m actually really thrilled and hope  that we can sneak them in to the reception and ceremony if some of actual invitees can’t make it.  At any rate, I think the key is setting some sort of reasonable blanket rule–like no cousins or whatever, and stick with it so that no one thinks they’re being excluded.  But of course that doesn’t help your situation–your finace has far more aunts and uncles than I do and you still wind up with more than 1/3 being from his family, Do either of your families live further away?  Or have you met some of his relatives, but not others?  If that’s the case, then maybe you could justify not inviting the ones you haven’t met.  Either way, I’d say your best bet is to spread the word through his family grapevine that you would love to invite everyone, but that unfortunately you must keep the guest list small due to budget concerns.  I think it depends on the family dynamics, but hopefully they will be gracious and realize that it’s your wedding and that you simply can’t invite everyone. 

Post # 4
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

We are having a larger guest list, but we had this trouble too. FI’s family is large but his parents aren’t really contributing to the wedding. You need to be firm, because it isn’t right that they take up more than their share of the list while not paying. Tell you Future In-Laws that you want their family to be able to attend but that you cannot afford all of them, and politely ask them to prioritize. Can they not invite the kids? Can they not invite significant others? Can they only invite the local relatives? Etc. Don’t let your Future In-Laws take up your whole list. It’s your wedding. 🙂

Post # 5
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

Your Future In-Laws will just have to prioritize, unless you want to cut some of your friends out for their family. You can always give them first dibs on the B-list.

Post # 7
2641 posts
Sugar bee

I think they rule of thumb is to expect something like 15% to decline.  I think I invited about 220 ppl and had 180 show.

So roughly then both sets of parents are getting maybe 30 invites.  So if your mom’s family consists of one sister, who are all the people your mom is looking to invite?  Her own freinds?  I think some of this can’t be broken down into, they’re paying so they simply get more invites.  (Maybe I say that because the tradition is for the brides fmily to pay.  IDK.)  Perhaps having a son FFILs didn’t see they needed to save for a wedding. But having a daughter, your parents did.??  But I think regardless of who pays family does kind of trump “others”.  It’s not your FI’s or his parent’s fault they have a larger family.  Or perhaps that they don’t have enough money to contribute.

Each case has it’s particulars that can sway one’s opinion, but I think if family is important to your Fiance, he should be able to get to invite them. 

Post # 9
129 posts
Blushing bee

That’s a tough situation.  One one hand, you want to be able to invite your fair share of guests to share in the wedding, but on the other hand, your Fiance shouldn’t be penalized for having a larger family.  If his family’s guest list is only going over the 1/3 allocation by a few people, then I’d let it slide.  However, if his share of guests would significantly go over that 1/3, I agree with having FI’s family “draw a line” and decide who they’re going to prioritize. 

Post # 10
1104 posts
Bumble bee

We had a similar problem. Venue fit 100. My family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, first cousins) equals 60. DH’s family is like 12. We didn’t do an even split or anything. We invited DH’s whole family, I had met all of them and they are reasonably close since there’s so few. For my family, I made the tough decision to not invite everyone. The grandparents were invited, plus 2 aunts/uncles from each side, and their families. These were the aunts/uncles who are close to my parents, whose children I grew up with, etc. There are other aunts/uncles who have never lived in the same house as my parents due to the massive families (mum was living out of home when her youngest siblings were born) and some of my cousins I wouldn’t recognise if I ran into them on the street. If I’d had the space and money I would have invited everyone, bc it does make for a great party when we’re all together and I didn’t like offending anyone, but it just wasn’t possible for us. We made the decision to have more friends, people who know us well as a couple and have supported us during our relationship and will continue to do so, which was more important to us. Mostly the families have all been very understanding – a couple even hosted a post-wedding lunch for us a couple of weeks ago to celebrate, which was lovely. If anyone was offended they didn’t tell us (which was nice of them). Good luck – these aren’t easy decisions at all!

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