Guest list out of control, FI won't cut strangers??

posted 1 year ago in Family
Post # 2
9623 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

Sunshine024 :  I definitely think he has to cut down, since you did, as per your agreement. As for who he cuts.. his choice is bizarre but it is ultimately his choice I guess. Is there any room for you to cut a bit further and invite the guests he is cutting, if you are friends with them too?

Post # 3
762 posts
Busy bee

Oh my god 350 people is still insane – I would go mental!

It sounds like him and his family are being completely unreasonable. They’re not even paying for all these heads.. Don’t let them walk over you. 

Maybe you should decide on a final number and make his family pay for any people they want to invite that is over 50% of the total. 

Like, I wouldn’t even entertain the list as is stands. Take some control back Bee – your family are paying for this!!!

(I still don’t really understand why this is still how it is in the 21st Century…but that’s one for another day)

treat it like throwing out old clothes…if you haven’t spoken in a year they don’t make the cut. If you both can’t agree You need objective rules to play by so that fair decisions can be made.

Post # 4
1914 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Your family is paying for the wedding in a major way; that means they get a major say in decisions like this. Your Fiance is being unreasonable, and you can’t stand for it. You need to be firm. So, sit down and say, “You have to cut 50 people. My family is paying for this, and we’re already maxed out with the guest list. Weddings are about us and our family and friends, not about inviting people just because our parents think we should, or they invited you to something, or some other expectation. So, I would rather you cut the guests that you aren’t friendly with, rarely see, who have even been mean to you, and I’ve never met, rather than our mutual friends who we see regularly, and who will be hurt that we excluded them. However, regardless of who you cut, and remember that we will have to live with the repercussions of this, you must cut 50 guests. Please present me the list of who you will cut by Friday of this week.”

OP, if your Fiance has been this unreasonable thus far, there’s no way of knowing if he will get his head on straight to realize how important it is to invite your mutual friends who you actually spend time with, so you may have to lose out on those guests. The end goal is that your Fiance must, emphasize that he must (as in this isn’t something he can decide if he wants to do or not), cut 50 guests. When it comes down to it, if he refuses, I would just order the invitations, send them out to who fits on the guest list, but then you’ll have to worry about security for the door, because if this plays out like any of the scenarios I’ve experienced and seen recently, your Fiance and his family may try to secretly invite people who are not on the guest list through text and phone.

Post # 5
517 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Personally, I have always thought that you invite in circles.  If you are not inviting kids of neighbors or friends, then he can’t invite kids of neighbors or friends.  You are being totally reasonable. I had this same problem with my FH in the beginning.  Our guest list was nearly 300 originally, and we only had the money to pay for 200 at the absolute maximum.  We cut out kids of cousins, and people we hadn’t spoken to in over a year.  We were able to get our guest list down to 260 and we have 165 coming.

So basically, I would make him cut down.  A suggestion would be to take your original list before cuts tell him that each of you need to cut 30 people.  If they are mutual friends, you both need to agree on the cut before it’s OK to cut them.  Remind him that if you make the decision to cut, you need to cut in circles.  If he insists on cutting friends, this is when I would say it might be OK to make a B list (though I normally wouldn’t suggest it).  As people say no, you can invite those friends he is insisting on cutting.  If they are really your friends, they will understand.

Post # 6
1738 posts
Bumble bee

You should’ve started with a number and then made the guest list from there. You don’t just start writing names down of everyone you want there and then expect them all to actually be invited. I’d sit down with your family and decide on a budget which will help determine headcount. Then you can divide it up (maybe half and half if that works) and tell him a number of guests he can invite and let them go from there.

Post # 7
4398 posts
Honey bee

Personally, I would start the guest list over.  Start in circles.  

First circle is parents, grandparents, siblings, and wedding party.

If you are not up to 350, then move on to the next circle of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

If you are not up to 350 and want to invite children, then add in the children of all of the above.

If you are not up to 350 yet, then do mutual friends you both want there.

If you are not up to 350 yet, then divide whatever amount is remaining evenly between the two of you and each set of parents – no questions asked.  If he and his parents want to use it for acquaintances instead of friends, then so be it.  Be very clear that every one plays by the same rules and gets the same amount – no exceptions.

Post # 8
7857 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I agree with pp. It’s cute that your fi and his family feel like they have a right to dictate the guest list for a wedding they aren’t paying for, but no. Cuts have to be made. 

Post # 9
856 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I agree with the other PPs: toss the existing list and start over.

Invite in circles. For us, we wanted small so it was just siblings, their significant others, their children, parents, grandparents, and mutual friends. This meant I didn’t invite friends that I consider “mine” and vice versa.

Post # 10
1003 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

My husband can be terrible at this – want it all in one certain way. I finally tell him to pick his 2 favorite factors out of 3 or more – in this case, I’d tell him he gets to pick between space, money, or people, but he doesn’t get all 3. Basically, they want it a certain way but are doing ZERO legwork to help make it happen, but expect you to wave a magic wand and make it so. Yeah. NOT cool.

I agree with others. Scrap the entire list and start over. Do the core people, then divide the rest up between him/his family and you/your family. If there a 100 spots left, he doesn’t get 75 and you 25. Hell, I’d invite my own complete strangers before I handed over any of my share, just to prove a point. lol.

Have you also shown him hard cold numbers of what it will cost for those strangers? Super awesome of him and his family to dig their feet into this argument when it’s not THEIR thousands of dollars…. undecided while I was at splitting the list in half, I’d split the bill in half and hand it over!


By The Way, I would not even EXPECT an invite to a childhood friend’s wedding when I haven’t spoken to them in years. Nor would I even really care to go…

Post # 11
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

Sunshine024 :  Do not feel bad and stick to your guns girl! I am having the EXACT same issue. My side of the guest list is 64 and my Fiance’s is 96! 4 tables of those are people I have never met, even though my fiance and I have been together for over 10 years!

I straight out went to my Future Mother-In-Law (who was the main cause of this) and told her no. I told her unless she was goign to pay the full price for each of these extra people I had never met before to come, she had to cut half of them from the list.

She gets to decide who comes and doesnt, and the first choice she made was to cut the ‘family friends kids’ that grew up with my fiance.

Look over your guest list and decide who is the most important to have there. Then take the extra spaces left over and give half to your side and half to his side. Let them fill it with whomever they want, but any extra and they have to pay for. Then stick to your limit! If 350 is all you want then put your foot down.

I’m sorry your Fiance doesn’t haev your back on this. Maybe if you show him just how expensive it is for all these extra people he will understand? And if he continues to insist you have to invite those people you have never met? Insist yourself that then you need to meet them prior to the wedding. That way you can at least say you’ve met them beforehand!

Good luck! Stay Strong!

Post # 12
2839 posts
Sugar bee

Your husband and his family are being entitled, selfish jerks. Your family is paying, and it sounds like you’re doing most of the planning legwork. 

He can’t just stomp his foot until you solve the problem for them. If they won’t back down then make it their problem. Tell him he has no choice in the matter unless HE wants to find a new venue and his family wants to pay for those family friends. 


Post # 14
1164 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Sunshine024 :  I would tell him he needs to pay for those extra guests. You’ve cut your list, if he refuses to trim his down why should your family have to cover it?

Post # 15
3093 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

If he refuses to cut his guestlist down to the reasonable level you’ve requested, he and his parents can figure out how to pay for them.

300+ people at a wedding is absurd. Wouldn’t you rather be able to actually talk to your guests and look out into the crowd and pick out the smiling faces of the people who you genuinely give a shit about?

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