Post # 1
We’ve just asked our parents to think over who is most important to them to have at our wedding. We reminded them that we’d love for all their friends to be there, but that our cutoff is 175. I have a big family, R has a moderately sized family but a huge “business” and “friend” family since his parents own a nursing home and ran it out of their home for awhile.
Obviously family comes first. We’re inviting all immediate extended family (so aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great aunts and uncles that we see) and the few family friends that are truly in our lives.
But I know right now that the list will be bursting at the seams. When we added up everyone we could think of who absolutely has to be there, it was right around 175.
Is it better to tell parents that beyond family and “given” guests, you can have X amount of guests? Or do we tell them that we’ll have to make some cuts?
My parents are contributing a set dollar amount, we’re paying the rest. Honestly, it’s not my parents I’m so worried about, because their list is reasonable. FMIL, though, filled up FSIL’s wedding with about 140 people, and she was upset that X friend from middle school of FSIL wasn’t invited.
So how did you approach this? Did you have this problem? Any tips to smooth over ruffled feathers? I don’t want to just say “you’re not paying, you don’t get a say” because I do want everyone to be happy and feel pride. Plus, I know it’s already hurting my mom and FMIL that we’re not getting married in a church/religious ceremony.
Post # 3
we knew that only 110 would fit in the venue, so we figured out our own guest list and then told them they could have half of what was left. of course they went over some, but we weren’t too worried b/c we expected some nos. my parents did pay for the wedding, but they treat it as a gift to us so we can do as we’d like. i sent out announcements to people that we couldn’t invite, which made my mom feel a little better.
Post # 4
I think I would tell them a number that they can have over the family list. If you cut them yourself, you might end up inviting people they aren’t as close to and missing some important people.
Post # 5
I think it’s best to give them a set number. That’s what I did with my FMIL. She came back with a list over the number and I worked with her to cut it down. It’s much better to give them a number they have to be at than to just make the cuts for them. If 175 is a venue size restraint then you just have to be firm. If it’s a budget constraint tell your future inlaws that any guests over the number you have allotted to them will cost them $X per head and they can decide if they really need those people there.
Post # 6
Makes sense, thanks guys.
So for those of you who gave a number, was it even for both families? Did either family feel slighted if the other side had more guests?
Post # 7
OK, definitely cover this issue NOW rather than later. Both sets of parents were contributing X amount, but our problem was the my in laws invited waaaay more people than my side did. We kind of dropped hints that there were too many people, but I learned that with my in laws you need to be blunt or they don’t get it. We tried to figure out a way to make the budget work with that many people but it just wasn’t going to happen, so when MIL wanted to invited more people I had to say no. She was incredibly upset about it and took it all the wrong way. At some point there was a blow up about it and we gave in saying if you want to invite all of these people you have to contribute more money because we just couldn’t afford it. In hindsight, I should have nipped it in the butt at the beginning.
Post # 8
I would just give an even number of invites to each side over and above the family for them to decide which friends make the cut, if they try to push it, let them know that if they are over your set number you will randomly cut people for them!
Post # 9
Okay, well, my mom responded and has been good except we’re already getting the “oh, they don’t need a guest!” I’m really worried that that’s what both the lists are going to look like… but, in my mind, since I’m affording guests to other singles, shouldn’t they all get them? I’m sure her list will come in a little under, so that’s no big deal, but I see FMIL as saying that for all 25 of her number, haha.
Post # 10
okay…so here’s what happened with us. our guest list thing turned into a huge debacle. in the end, what worked for us was telling our parents that we understood they wanted to invite their best friends cousins girlsfriend (lol) but that by doing that, we were going to have to cut friends from our list who are very important to us and who have been supportive throughout our lives. people we’ve known for 10-15 years were going to have to be cut off the list. they understood this a little bit better than “you get 15 invites”, and now, we’re having an after-wedding “shower/party” in my fiances hometown in march 2011 for people that we couldn’t invite to the wedding (this wasn’t our idea, it was the idea of his parents friends who can’t be invited).
one thing i would also recommend is that if you think your parents will want more invites and may be annoyed by being given a limit, give them a few less than you actually can give them. we gave my fiances mom 12 invites, but she really wanted 16 and in the end, since he didn’t handle it well at first, we pretty much have no choice but to give her 16. we had to move a few more people to the “b list” because of that. if we had told her 8, for example, maybe she would have only asked for 12 in the end 🙂