Post # 1
My fiancé and I are in the early stages of planning our wedding and we are quickly noticing the expenses adding up. We intended on leaving the guest list at 50. I was able to get mine low considering that I know less people than him and have a small family but he was unable to get below 35ish. We decided that once we determine the actual costs, we can up our counts a little and maybe I can add a few more people that I cut out.
WELL, his mother has the idea that all blood is “family” and wants a bunch of her family to come. Family that he is not very close with. She even made the comment that his college friends are not more important than his blood family, however he feels that those college friends are family to him. I explained to her that our guest count needs to be low because of costs and I was slightly offended when she offered to pay the difference for her people. Many may ask what’s the problem if she is paying? I was offended because my parents are paying for a majority of the food and venue. I think it’s rude to only pay for your people while my parents foot the bill for everyone else, especially when I had to cut out so many people. If we’re increasing the list, I want to include some people I cut out. She does not understand that there are more costs to consider such as invites, favors, cake servings, etc.
What do I do? She is not getting it. For me, it’s more so the principle than the money. It’s not fair that she will offer additional help for her people but then I have to gather more money to try to include people I had to cut out. I need advice fast because she is hounding me, making this experience very stressful when I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life.
Post # 2
sounds like your fiance needs to have a conversation with his mother. I’d arm him with a “price per person” breakdown (like, what one person’s portion of catering, drinks, venue, decor, invites, the DJ, etc would be), and tell him that if she’s willing to cover that full cost per person, you two will consider her list.
Ultimately, the guest list comes down to you and him. And she is his mother, so he gets to fight that battle.
Post # 3
PP is right that your Fiance needs to have this discussion, but I completely disagree with being OK with her paying the difference. IMO he needs to stand up to her, and tell her “We’ve are comfortable with who we are inviting. We will not be inviting any further guests. This discussion is over.”
Post # 4
I agree with skuzzlebutt. Boundaries need to be set for the groom’s mother, and the groom needs to do it. Mother of the groom does not get to make the guest list.
Post # 5
Absolutely do not allow her to “buy” control of your guest list!
While the message should likely come from your fiance, I’d have no problem letting her know there’s no room for that family because you’ve made cuts who would take priority if the list is expanded.
Post # 6
Firmly but politely tell her that the guest list is 50 and you and your husband will not be adding any further people, and that the guest list is not up for further discussion. Your husband should also be on board and communicate this as well. Definitely don’t tell her that you may be able to add more people later on once you figure out costs, since she’ll see that as her “in”
Post # 7
I 100% agree with PPs that your fiance needs to talk to his mother and use the word “we” a lot so you don’t get thrown under the bus.
Think of it this way: if your father was harassing your husband about something, wouldn’t you step in and handle it?
Post # 8
You should not have to shut her down, that’s your Fi’s job. Arm him with “I understand what you’d like, mother. This is what we’ve decided” as many times as is necessary for her to stop her foolishness. It’s good practice for setting boundaries for the rest of your life together.
If she wants to host a separate post-wedding celebration and you and your Fi are open to attending as the guests of honor she may invite whomever she chooses. She does not, however, get to buy control of your wedding guest list.
Post # 9
There’s more than a financial reason not to invite people you aren’t close with. A huge one is the possible desire for a ceremony and reception closer to 75-100 people rather than 300. I’d want my closest and dearest at an event like this, not every relative that shares a smidgen of my genes. It’s like the friend side of the equation, inviting close friends vs. every acquaintance you have. You are entitled to the type of wedding you want, and one component of “type” is the size of the guest list.
Simply have him tell his mother that he has a desire to have only those who he’s close with at his wedding. If he spells it out, it eliminates any argument his mother has.
Post # 10
I’ll nitpick and say that it’s best if he makes it clear that it’s HIS decision, not a joint one with the OP. If he tells his mother that he doesn’t want the distant relatives at HIS wedding, his mother will have no ability to pin it on the OP.
That does assume that he’s on board and feels the same way as the OP. If not, that’s a discussion they must first have. But I do assume he is on board because it was his mother, not him, that is looking to invite those extra guests.
Post # 11
He talks to her. He tells her no. Your wedding is not a public event to which you’re selling tickets.
He does not JADE (justify, argue, defend, explain). He says no, this is what the two of you want. He says that as often as necessary; he doesn’t say anything else. Anything else gives her the idea that this is a negotiation of which she is part. It’s not. It’s a decision that is up to you and him, and you and he have made it.
Post # 12
nope…fiance needs to deal with this and not you.
He needs to say something along the lines of this…
Mum…my future in-laws are being very generous in hosting the majority of the wedding including paying for guests from our side of the family which is actually the majority of the 50 guests we are inviting. We as a couple appreciate their kind gesture and we as the bride and groom have decided that we only want to invite people we are close with to celebrate our day. I dont feel close to the extra people you want to invite and therefore we will not be increasing our guest list. An increase in the guest list like you want us to have also means a larger venue, more table linens, more flowers, more invites, a bigger cake and not just the cost of food and drink. That is not in the budget for me and my fiance and we don’t feel comfortable adding extra people and adding larger costs onto the shoulders of my future in-laws. We are not asking you to put in towards the wedding but we would appreciate that you respect our choices for having the wedding that is special and meaningful to us.
Post # 13
Why are you even discussing guest lists with her? It’s not her wedding and she isn’t paying for it. Getting married means you are mature enough to understand that you and the person you are marrying are becoming your own family. Everyone else then becomes extended family.
stop discussing wedding details with people who aren’t paying for it and arent your fiancé. She is a guest. That’s it.
Post # 14
I think this is harsh. Your parents are not relegated to distant family once you get married, they will always be part of your nuclear family (parents, siblings, children, and spouse). While yes, some things in a marriage are kept between the two spouses, it’s not like you have to intentionally distance yourself from them and not talk to them about anything. This isn’t a secretive topic. It’s true that the OP’s Mother-In-Law to be isn’t getting it as far as the additional guests she wants to have at this wedding, but a simple but firm conversation is all it takes. I know that this particular conversation will be some tough love, but overall you should be able to keep up a warm, close relationship with your parents and siblings after you get married, one in which you can tell them almost anything. That is, as long as they aren’t overbearing.
Post # 15
Your FH deals with this. Come up with an agreed plan for him to deliver to his mother, then lesson learned keep your mouth shut about your specific wedding plans. She and indeed everyone else are on a need to know basis. Congratulations and best of luck.