(Closed) guest list stress – advice?

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

It’s generally acceptable to invite some people to the reception but not to the ceremony. Do the parents’ friends/coworkers really need to see you exchange vows or would they rather just hang at the reception anyway? Since you can accommodate 220 at the reception, you’d have more room on your guest list if you took this route.

Post # 4
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I think it would be reasonable to remind your parent’s that it is your wedding and that it should be more important that you have your close friends there rather than co-workers or friends only they know.  Your parents will have plenty of people they know at the wedding and recption to socialize with anyways because it is a family event.  I would approach his mother together  (you and your fiance) to show that it’s a joint decision that you two have made and explain that you aren’t trying to hurt her.

Post # 5
2586 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

If your parents are paying – they absolutely have a say in who gets invited.  If you don’t want those people invited, you’d have to thank them for offering to pay, but tell them it will be less stressful for you to do this your own way – and pay for it yourselves.  That means you get to invite – or not invite – who ever you’d prefer.

If you still want your parents to pay, I’d suggest going back through your guest list and REALLY think about which friends are still going to be in your life 5, 10 years from now.  Friends also understand – especially knowing your parents are paying, if you invite them later (if you end up with regrets from a lot of family members). 

Post # 6
1370 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I just went through this with our family, we did the guest list yesterday.  I have to say, I ended up just being bridezilla and got bitchy about it.  Now, Fiance and I are paying for 90% ourselves, but I don’t think I’d have done it any differently than I did regardless.

I flat out told the parents that we were sorry, but we had a core group to invite first, and once we had those decided on, then we’d tell them how many “outsiders” we could allow.  My mom especially criticized us, but Fiance and I both held firm as out numbers have exploded anyways, even without all my parents people.  There HAS to be an end point somewhere, and a wedding is NOT the place for random co-workers and people you have never met before in my opinion.

I am so sorry you are feeling this, it’s very fresh in my mind and I know how bad it sucks!


Post # 7
568 posts
Busy bee

is your ceremony at a church? not everyone will go to the ceremony if it is so you dont have to worry; especially if there’s a big gap between the ceremony and reception. most people will attend where the food is…

that’s my experience, especially w/catholic weddings.

Post # 8
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

We got lucky by putting a cap on the numbers with our venue.  It can seat 150 total, we decided to cap the numbers at 100 (actual invitations sent out) so we have about 75 in attendance.  Most of our family is from out of town and probably won’t come anyway, but our parents are supportive when it comes to having such an intimate wedding.

Post # 9
1798 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Your parents are paying, so they get a say in the guest list. but it is still your wedding. I would be frank with them and say that you’ve already cut your friends list and everyone on there is a close friend that you really want at your wedding. Explain to them that you don’t think it’s fair for you to cut people close to you so they can invite people who aren’t as close to them or you (coworkers, neighbors, etc).

Post # 10
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013


I feel in certain instances it’s okay to be a “bridezilla” (which is a term that is thrown around way too much.


I agree with the poster who suggested not inviting everyone to the wedding. You have at least 20 people you can shave off the ceremony invitees.

However I think you need to put your foot down somewhere. It’s reason for your parents and his to want to invite friends. It’s not reasonable for them to want to invite the neighboirs two streets over, the entire country club and friends from high school they haven’t seen in 15 years.
When we started discussing a guest list we decided our parents were allowed to invite 10 of their absolute closets friends. Under no circumstances did we want to invite people whom we’ve never met before. Thankful our parents were agreeable to this and we have been able to work that point out.
But somewhere along the way you have to come to terms with the fact that at least one person is going to become upset because they can’t get what they want. As brides we struggle with how to make everyone happy and sometimes forget how to make ourselves happy.
If this is going to cause so much stress on you then you need to voice your feelings and come to a reasonable agreement with your families.

Post # 11
1199 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@weddingn00b: your parents definitely have pull over your FH’s parents in who gets invited if they are paying for the reception!  I had the problem where FH’s parents wanted to invite the freaking WORLD to our wedding, but offered nothing in terms of how to pay for it all.

Meanwhile, my parents, paying for it all, had way less people to invite, and FH and I even less, and its OUR wedding!

We did have to guarantee a certain number to our venue so we did need many of his parents guests, but FH told Future Mother-In-Law that people still had to get cut.  She freaked out on him, but when he said that they could invite the extra people if they paid, she made some cuts real fast – which ended up as his grandparents friends.

You are not being a bridezilla, and I do think you should try talking to your parents to cut some coworkers in order for you to invite your friends (not your Future In-Laws friends though).

Post # 12
15 posts
  • Wedding: December 2011

Guest lists are tricky and you have to find something everyone can live with.


There were two rules I found helpful (and a good way of illustrating my points when needed)

1) Could this person pick both you and Fiance out of a line up? If the answer is no, they shouldnt be at your ceremony

2) If you and your Fiance had a child, would this person come and see that child before it was 1 year old?



Post # 13
5657 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2012

Maybe do an A and B list? Then as no’s come in, you can invite people on the B list. Then your parents may get to invite more friends.

Post # 14
3081 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I feel your pain! Guest lists are so frustrating. 

For what it’s worth, it doesn’t sound like you are being unreasonable in an respect. You have already cut your list down and aren’t getting everything that YOU want. Others have to make their compromises too. 

Yes, your parents are paying so they have a say, but within reason, as the other posters have pointed out. And to that point, because your parents are paying they do likely have precedence over your FI’s parents (although their wants should also be respected within reason). 

To make it even more difficult, I think that to the extent possible, you really should try to limit your list to as close to 200 invites as you can…do you really want the added stress of thinking about what to do if everyone says yes? 

Post # 15
870 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I feel you. We have a much smaller guest list (we both have small families) but we’re also concerned about the max number for our room. 

The absolute max is 100, the event coordinator said 90 is the most people that would still be comfortable, but that 80 was an ideal number for the room. We have 95 right now, and my mom is trying to add another 10 people to the list. (This is AFTER I asked her to give me her guest list of course.)

We’re basically doing an A and B list now. My mother is asking the people she wants to invite (from her home country) if they will actually be able to make it. (Getting visas, etc can be difficult). When we hear back from them we will send save the dates accordingly. 

That will mean removing friends from the list (who may still receive invites if enough RSVP nos come back.)

It’s so stressful though…

Post # 16
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Have you thought about cutting the kids?

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