Post # 1
Please tell me if I’m being unreasonable. My parents are paying for 65-70% of wedding. Myself, the groom and his parents are paying for the rest. My parents are a bit frivolous and want a grand affair. I set my guest list count at 120 people for a nice medium sized wedding that our venue can easily accomodate. My mom asked for 30 if those invites. I sad no problem. Then today she calls and says they are planning on inviting 50+ people (not sure how many will say yes). More than half of these I’ve met one time only.
I told her either we trim the invites or increase the guest list so my fiance and I can invite our friends too! Plus his family and their guests of 10 people total.
Then she loses it and says that she is paying for the wedding she can have more guests if she wants.
My mom and I are very close and this hurts me a lot. Marriage is supposed to be equal and she is making it about her and her guests.
Maybe im the one being selfish. Please let me know if I’m the one being unreasonable and I’ll apologize to her and give her what she would like.
Thank you you for your advice.
Post # 2
No pay, no say.
If you want to be able to say no to her guest list wants, you need to give her back her financial contribution and pay for the wedding on your own. As long as she’s contributing 65%+ to your wedding, she has majority say in who’s invited.
We’re paying for our own wedding, which gave us the power to say to his parents that if they wanted to invite over their alotted amount, they would have to pay the cost per head, and we reserve the right to say no to anyone on their lists. They’re still trying to push it, but we maintain power and control over our wedding, and get to celebrate it how WE want.
Post # 3
Money often comes with strings attached. Your mom is being unfair and you are not being unreasonable but ultimately the person writing the checks has control.
If she’s unwilling to budge, then you & your Fiance either need to pay more out of your own pocket to increase the guest list to invite your own friends OR you need to pay for the whole wedding and then you control the invitations.
DH and I paid for our whole wedding. When my Mother-In-Law tried to pull this stunt and add every person whose kids’ weddings they’d ever attended to the guest list, we said “sorry, that doesn’t fit in the budget or the venue but if you’d like to swap out any of the “x” invitations you’ve been allocated for any of these new additions just let us know before we address the invitations.” Our pay, our say.
Post # 4
She definitely gets a say due to the fact that she’s contributing so much. That said, I would readdress this with her in a day or two once you have both cooled down a bit. Surely there is a compromise to be had. Like she wants to add 50 people…maybe that number can be trimmed, giving you space to invite more of your own friends. If it can’t be trimmed, maybe they’d be willing to pitch in more to cover the extra guests, or maybe you can cut back in some other area like on flowers or something.
Post # 5
Personally, I don’t subscribe to the idea that anyone contributing to the wedding gets to do whatever the heck they want. In my mind, if there are conditions to accepting a gift of money, those conditions should be mentioned before giving the gift.
Both my parents AND my in-laws attempted to do weird stuff after the fact, when we had already discussed the guest list before any deposits were made. My husband and I accepted their very large and generous contributions assuming that they were consenting to the agreed upon guest list. We were very clear that we wanted only people one of us knew/had a relationship with at our wedding. And yet, still, begging and crying and tears. My mom wanted her friend from the gym’s mother from out-of-state, due to the fact that I would have no living grandparents at the wedding. She also wanted to invite randoms to make up for the fact that my husband has a bigger family. My Mother-In-Law wanted like 30 distant cousins my husband had never met. We said no. We already had our venue’s limit of people invited, and even if we didn’t, we didn’t want half our guests to be strangers. Could they have taken away their money? Sure. We would have been very sad to have to cancel everything, but my husband and I could have had a small wedding for ourselves with maybe 50 of our nearest and dearest. But they would never have done that, because that would have meant excluding even more people they wanted.
I think at some point, you do have to set boundaries with people. Just know, if they want to, they have a right to pull their money. But in my mind, that is worth the risk to not get walked all over.
Post # 6
It is obvious that she she wants this party to reflect on her more than you. You definitely have the right to be upset here! Using money to control you children for your own means is horrible. You have a few options.
1) You could elope and avoid as much drama as possible. Except for your mother’s anger at eloping.
2) You could pay for 100% of the wedding by making it smaller and only invite the people you want. Your mother will be furious and you will most likely have to deal with that.
3) You could let her have whatever she wants and deal with your own wedding not being at all about you or your fiancé or anything about his family either.
4) You could come up with a compromise such as making a list of people who you and your fiancé feel must be at your wedding and telling your mom that you will do option 1 or 2 if she doesn’t include those people on the list first.
Personally I never liked the No pay No say thing. So basically only rich people in the family are important? What about less well off in-laws? Maybe they would prefer to see their son get married in a wedding that isn’t all about the bride’s parents. I say don’t accept money if there are any strings attached. It isn’t money given in love to the wedding couple. How does your fiancé feel about all this?
Post # 7
I would give back the money if there are strings attached to it and clearly there are
Post # 8
Thank you all for your replies! I very much appreciate them.
In addition my parents are hosting a huge dinner for 100 of their friends Hong Kong (6 of my close friends are coming) to “introduce” us to their friends and a pre wedding thing. I feel it’s really mostly to show us off and brag about our current occupations which I really dislike but am doing it anyway to appease them.
Post # 9
to recap, you, your fiance and his parents are all together only paying a total of 30% of your wedding and your parents are paying the vast majority @ 70%? (Wow how wonderful for you!)
You gave your parents 30 invitations. Your parents now want 20 *additional* invitations for a total of 50. Your only objection is that you don’t want to ..increase the guest list? I would probably just give them the additional 20 as they will pay for the majority of those too… OR, you can always give all their money back and pay for your own wedding100% yourselves…
Post # 10
No I suggested to increase the guest count since they wanted to invite more and she rebuffed “How many friends do you and Fiance have anyway?”
Post # 11
go over your guest list *with* her. I think there may be more going on here. Are fiance’s parents getting the same number of invites? Could your parents be upset that they are paying the majority? Is your mother normally unreasonable?
Post # 12
His parents are very reasonable and probably will invite 3-5 cousins?
My parents offered to pay for this much of the wedding. My mom isn’t normally unreasonable and we are very close which makes this so upsetting.
Post # 13
“Marriage is supposed to be equal and she is making it about her and her guests.”
But they’re paying for 70% of the wedding. Thats not equal. If you dont like how the money is being spent then I think you need to pay for it yourself.
Post # 14
“Marriage is supposed to be equal and she is making it about her and her guests.”
I’m not really sure if this is true for Chinese people. Weddings are opportunities to show off, see old friends…. Especially sounds like you are quite wealthy. The Chinese side of me doesn’t know if this is the time for you to start a fight. Weddings aren’t always for the bride and groom.
If you can afford it, I’d pay for your friends yourself, or cut the friend list. Since you have a job that they want to brag about, why not? You really don’t want to hear about this for the rest of your life.
Post # 15
A wedding is about two families joining together. The division of the guest list should be along the lines of what’s appropriate, not who is paying for what. Personally, I think parents ought to be able to invite a small group of their closest friends even if they aren’t paying and that the groom’s family should be treated fairly even if they are not hosting.
When people say “no pay, no say” it may be the bottom line in some cases, but that doesn’t make it right.
A typical division would be 1/3 friends of the couple, 1/3 bride’s family and family friends, 1/3 groom’s family and family friends. Of course, the numbers aren’t always equal. Ideally, you make a list of all those who deserve to be there first and choose the venue based on those numbers and the budget.
With all that in mind, I think your parents are being unfair to you and unreasonable. Your only leverage is to turn down their offer of help.