Post # 1
Something very crucial to picking the right venue and planning the right budget is having a good estimate of the number of guests you expect to have on your wonderful day. Yes, it is your wonderful day, but your parents want to share it with their friends as well!
Since Fiance and I are both still in school we need to keep our guest list to a minimum. He didn’t believe we had that many friends and thought we could keep the wedding under 100 people (yeah right!) until I made him sit down and make a list. Together, our friends (without dates unless they are married, engaged, living together or in extra long-term relationships) total 160 people! These are only friends we have really kept in touch with for the past 2 years or so.
We are cutting down as much as possible because we want to keep the whole guest list around 200 max – but how do I ask my mother and Future In-Laws to cut down as well? Did you all give them an initial guest number limit or let them make their lists first and then break the bad news to them if you saw that their numbers were getting out of hand?
I appreciate your help/thoughts! Thanks!!
Post # 3
My parents are paying for the wedding, so they pretty much got their way with the guest list… I ended up having to cut out friends while my great-step-uncle (no lie) will be attending. …family first, they say…
I did get my mom to cut out some of the younger extended cousins, though I personally added them back into the list because of all of my family, I’m closest with some of them.
My suggestion would be to approach your mother early. Each write up a loose list to get an idea of the numbers, then sit down and come to a compromise. I think people understand the size constraints of a wedding more than we think.
Post # 4
We told the parents how many they could have and then let them figure out who they had to cut. There’s a lot of huffing and puffing about it but then ultimately everyone figures it out.
Post # 5
Since Fiance and I are paying for the wedding ourselves, we knew there was only so much we could afford…especially with our new house in the picture! So we created a list of his immediate family, my immediate family, and our mutual friends. We had wanted a very intimate wedding from the get go so we knew we wanted to be as close to 150 pp as possible. We asked his parents to create a list for us, we added our mutual friends and the remaining available seats went to my side of the family. It was a very delicate balance (which we are still trying to balance right now) between the two family, but in the end, I gave my parents a certain number of heads that they could not go over. If they chose to invite Mr & Mrs X & Family, well then that would be 4 people off of their allotment. It’s definitely a tricky situation, but depending on who is financing it, that party generally has more say in the matter. Sad but true. Good luck! Oh, and if your parents are anything like mine, they’ll tell you they have a guest list of 500 minimally and everyone is family so they can’t cut anyone! That’s when you break out the List A, List B, and List C!
Post # 6
This question is so perfectly timed to my situation! I initially wanted to keep it to like 175-200 people but then my mother (who is a teacher) started inviting everyone that she has ever had a conversation with, so we’re up to about 290 right now. They’re paying for it and she keeps nagging me to have an adult-only reception because kids are expensive. But the only kids who would potentially be coming are kids of our friends. So we’ve had the discussion (with my dad on my side) that even though they’re paying for it, this is OUR wedding, and we’d rather have our friends there than my 8th grade principal. So I’ve passed out the list to them and they’re doing their own A,B,C list.
Post # 7
this was a big battle that me and my fiance fought with his mom…and then subsequently lost..so i’m cutting my personal friends as a result 🙁 he has a huge family..which i understand family is first. but then his mom is also insisting on inviting her entire church (whom neither of us know at all) and she won’t budge on it. even though she’s not paying for the wedding, we are. so. that was that. not sure how other people were able to handle and set numbers for their parents..but it didn’t work for us 🙁
Post # 8
My parents are paying for most of the wedding with his parents contributing to the typical costs paid for by the groom’s parents. That being said – we are having a total limit of 200. We thought that would be perfect…however…after we got everyone’s list in – it was around 350!! (and my mother hadn’t included the kids on her list). After some well placed hints in my father’s ear — she cut 20 people. WE will revisit her list later. I did advise my father if they wanted to go over the 200 total…that we would have to increase the budget as it is planned for only so many.
So as you can see…I still have this dilemma…and hopefully will get it figured out in time to send out the save the dates!
Post # 9
We’d originally made up our guest list, just to see how many people we were looking at. I think we came in around 250 or so, including who our parents needed to invite. That seemed too big for the kind of party we were invisioning and the amount we budgeted for.
The venue we loved & chose only fits 150 – so we cut out any children & some groups of more distant relatives. Having a venue that is limiting is much more helpful than I thought.
One of our keys for whether to invite certain friends was whether or not that friend has met us as a couple. We’ve been dating almost 5 years, and if a "friend" hadn’t met my Fiance, then they couldn’t be too much of a friend (barring overseas guests and a few exeptions).
We’re paying for most of our wedding with my parents helping when/if we need it. I thought the people that my parents included on the list were reasonable, people I’ve known all my life or very close friends of my parents who we know. But some brides aren’t so lucky.
Now we’re down to 150 and everyone’s satisfied with the list!!!
Post # 10
wow. i am glad to hear that i am ot the only having troubles getting a reasonable list together! thanks for the advice.
letting them know our total "goal" number first and having them creat A, B, and C lists sounds great. Luckily, Fiance doesn’t have that alrge of a family, but his parent’s church is huge! ugh.
HappiestOne – I can’t believe you were able to go from 250 to 150 guests! That is a talent! 😉
At first I felt rude to say that some of my guests can’t bring dates, but then we decided, why are we going to pay nearly $100 for someone we don’t know, and someone you may just be bringing to the wedding because you don’t want to come alone? OOTers can definitely bring dates. But most of our friends belong to certain "friend coherts" and know each other really well. So, we figure this will also force them to carpool if they don’t want to come alone, and perhaps help out the environment in our own little way? 🙂
Post # 11
Heh, my guy was the exact same way! "We don’t know that many people!" Uh, yeah right, think again, dude. When you write ’em all down, you realize how a couple here and a couple there starts to add up!
Because we paid for everything ourselves, we had a lot of control. We made our list which included relatives that we felt should be invited (i.e., no cousin’s cousin on my third aunt’s side kind of people), and presented that list to our parents. We told them that if we’d FORGOTTEN anyone we’d add them on, no problem, but otherwise, they were limited to adding 2 couples apiece (for three sets of parents, and while that sounds strict, our list really was quite inclusive, even some long time friends of our parents were on there from the beginning), and after that, they would need to pay us back per head for people they were inviting that we didn’t know. (So if they were doing a "reciprocal invite" — you asked me to your kid’s wedding, so you can come to mine — they needed to help us out since we don’t know those people!) It worked out pretty well, particuarly when they started to understand how much we were paying for things (which they didn’t have a concept of until we explained, item by item).
Post # 12
Honestly, cutting out children made the biggest difference. Since we’re getting married a little later in life (I’ll be 32 and he’ll be 38) almost all our friends his age have multiple children (One has 7!!! and several couples have 4…or 3!) and many of my cousins do as well.
We DO like kids a lot & every year we have a big Halloween party for all our friends and their kiddies – but we couldn’t justify adding SEVEN more (little) people to the list just to invite ONE couple.
We consulted with some of our closest pals with children and they thought they’d prefer a night without the kids. We were happy to oblige!
Post # 13
haha. children are becoming a big question for us as well. but i have a few nieces and nephews whom I adore and I am going to have in the wedding party – so it is rude that some kids are allowed and others aren’t? it cuts the guest list down by around 25 (mini) people!
our venue does provide a kids meal for a little less than half the price of an adult meal (i think it consists of chicken fingers and fries or something) but we are debating if even that is worth it, because little tooshes don’t mean little (cheaper) versions of our chiavari chairs… unfortunately 🙂
Post # 14
My fiancé’s niece and nephew will be there – but that’s it for kids. It would be a tough call for you if you have several, but my argument would be that they are immediate family.
I don’t know what the ettiquette is on that situation…my guess is that you’d get a very mixed response.
Since we’ve only got 2, that seemed acceptable to us and we assume that guests would understand since it is his only sibling’s children.
We’re going to try and make the 2 young ones feel extra special during their stay (they are also Out of Town guests).
It’s great that you’ve got a cheaper version of a meal, and of course you don’t need to worry about alcohol for the young’uns but like you said, not everything can be skimped, just because they’re small.
Best of luck with it all!
Post # 15
Pancy I think it would be fine to include only kids who are in the wedding party without stepping on anyone’s toes. People will understand that an exception was made to invite a child if she happens to be the flower girl. But if they’re just regular guests, it would be hard to start picking and choosing without upsetting people.