Post # 1
This is my first post, and I am desperate for outside help. Long story short, my fiancé and I had discussed a small-medium wedding for over a year, and now after cutting all of the fat off his guest list, his side still comprises 2/3 of our guests. My parents can only afford to pay for a 150 person wedding, which means 75 guests for him (his narrowed list is a hard and fast 160). Even if 20% don’t show, as is expected, it’s still too many people! He is adamant that he cannot cut anymore and we have argued about it multiple times this week. I’m at a loss. Eloping isn’t an option because my dad is a bipolar alcoholic whom I still want at the wedding but I don’t have a great relationship with, and my fiance won’t elope without our parents. This would be so stressful for everyone involved, if we have to directly interact with my dad that much.
I’ve looked for venues over and over again, but that’s not the problem. My parents are graciously paying for not only this wedding, but my grad school loans. I know that they will not pay for all of my FI’s extra guests, and I don’t think it’s fair to ask that of them. After a year of discussing the wedding we’d like to have, Fiance suddenly says he would prefer a wedding budget per person that is as cheap as possible so that he can invite his massive guest list. I just bought my non-refundable formal dress last weekend and he wants a backyard BBQ.
I want to find a middle ground, but I don’t know where that is. He says he feels like neither of us is willing to compromise, but I truly don’t understand where he expects me to. If we have a much cheaper backyard BBQ wedding, my parents are still not going to pay for his extra guests. And I’m trying to save them as much as possible on the wedding because of all they’re paying for.
Post # 2
Well …. Is his family contributing at all? There comes a point where you need to say “first cousins only, no great aunts” etc
Post # 3
Would his parents be willing to chip in for the extra guests?
Post # 4
I think your Fiance is asking too much and being difficult here. If he wants to invite all these people, then he and/or his parents should be offering a financial contribution to help offset the cost of hosting them. If not, he needs to cut his list to be more manageable. Also, while he should have a say in what the wedding looks like, he can’t steamroll your wants in order to make the wedding as cheap as possible so he can invite the maximum number of people.
Post # 5
Time to come up with an A list and B list.
I had a B list. No one knew they were B-listers. But it was a reality for my venue that family would get first dibs, and then friends after. I sent out invites really early on and then I would send another invite if I got an RSVP of no.
Level with your Fiance. Tell him that this is when the compromises are going to have to start, because this is what marriage is about. If he can’t compromise on this, what else is he not going to be willing to compromise on?
I’m sure his friends will understand if they can’t come because of money. And if he wants his 160, just let him know that his parents are going to have to help, or he’s going to have to be willing to pay the rest.
Post # 6
there is no such thing as a hard and fast list of 160 people, for just one “side”, unless he literally has 157 siblings. that’s insane. i guarantee you there’s cutting that can be done – it just might not be easy or fun.
you need to sit down with him and have a serious chat about the “types” of people you will invite (immediate family, aunts & uncles, cousins, children, best friends, coworkers, family friends, etc.)
decide first on these categories, and then together create your lists of people you’d like to invite that fall into these categories. BOTH of you. then, as necessary, start deleting entire categories until you get to 150 + whatever overage you’re comfortable inviting.
i’d stop thinking about the wedding as “his” guests and “your” guests. oftentimes, families are different sizes friends are different sizes, etc. it’s better that you decide on groups of guests to include TOGETHER, instead of tallying 75-75 (because if he has a HUGE family, it’s not fair that he can only invite family, while you can invite family, friends, coworkers, and everyone on facebook).
Post # 6
How much are the two of you contributing to the wedding?
If your parents are generously paying for 150 guests in total (75 for him), and he insists on 160 of his own guests, he needs to come up with the funding for 85 guests. He can get a second job, sell some of his possessions, anything other than incurring debt to host these people.
Post # 8
I’m dumbfounded. Other people are paying but he feels entitled to most of the guest list? And he knows how miserable you would be on a destination wedding but he’s pushing anyway?
I would figure out if this is a one-off or if he is always this selfish. Not cool.
Post # 9
Thank you for all the advice! I did tell him that his parents would have to contribute the rest, after which he said he felt like neither of us was compromising. His parents are already paying for our honeymoon as a gift, and I’m afraid he would prefer them to pay for these guests. Even still, the cost of all his extra guests would be twice the cost of the honeymoon! He even mentioned possibly paying for them himself. But I told him that isn’t the financially wise decision. We had both agreed that weddings are way too expensive and it feels like he suddenly went off the deep end overnight. What he’s asking for is literally a $35,000 wedding ($10k from him and his parents) or he’s asking my parents to pay $25k for an informal wedding with all of his extra guests.
Post # 10
It comes from a good place. He is so sweet and such a loving person to everyone he knows, and because of that, he has a lot of people that are important to him. But his B-list is basically no one. I mean, he has all of his high soil friends’ parents on his list! ive tried reasoning with him about how that is NOT normal, but he doesn’t get it!
Post # 12
Honestly, I’m of the opinion if it’s important for one SO or the other to have certain people there, they should be invited, but it’s completely unreasonable for him to expect your family to foot the bill for his enormous guest list. 150 people means 75 is what he gets. If you have less than 75, he can invite more. If not, him or his family need to offer to pay the difference.
Post # 13
This was a HUGE fight with my fiance, and the STDs are sent and this fight still kind of arises. It’s especially hard when one family is fronting the entire bill. My FI’s mom’s is paying for a $5k rehersal dinner (because she’s inviting so many people), but my parents are still paying for our $40k-ish wedding that is 2/3 his invites…
Post # 14
We had a similar issue but not to this extent. Can he pay the difference for his extra guests? If not splitting the guest list 50/50 is completely fair, especially since your parents are paying. If you are able to, consider allowing him having 60% of the guest list and you 40% as a comprise. This is what we did but my husband was also paying for a larger portion of the wedding.
Post # 15
I think he is trying to compromise by telling you he is up for something very low key if everyone is invited. Is there a reason other than your dress you can’t do low key? Diverting the honeymoon funds to the wedding also seems reasonable to me.
that said, no matter what you do hosting over two hundred people is expensive, if you two cannot contribute I think you should draw out numbers for him, even low key each person needs food, drinks, table, chair, cups, napkins, etc.