How to kindly reign in in-laws' guest list?

posted 6 months ago in Guests
Post # 2
1464 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I think the way you presented the situation is your post is extremely reasonable, and if you tell your in-laws how you are feeling in a similar way, they should understand. With family (especially family that you are on good terms with), open communication is usually best

Post # 3
948 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2019 - City, State

Could you tell them I know we said “some” and by some we meant 10 ( give them a number). Tell them it is definatly is fh and your fault. Explain to them you wanted your wedding to be on the smaller side so it could be more intiment. 

Post # 4
714 posts
Busy bee

I think I would just be honest. “I don’t mind you inviting a few extra people, and we really appreciate your offer to contribute financially for a larger guest list, but we’d really like to keep our guestlist under 150 (or 130 or 170 whatever), can we go through the list together and try and get it down to that?”

Post # 5
6657 posts
Bee Keeper

You may apologize for not communicating that there were limits to the guest list, but I wouldn’t say you’d like to keep your number at X, I’d say you have to keep the number below X, you weren’t expecting so many additions, and you’ll need their help to cut their invitation list down to Y. 

Even if they are paying for these plates there are other costs that increase–linens, centerpieces, etc., etc.

Post # 6
2086 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I agree with PP, just give them a number and stick to it. It’s not being bridezilla-ish, its being smart. And don’t forget about all the additional costs with additional guests: Paper (invitations, menus, escort cards, programs, etc), extra centerpieces, drinks, favors, etc. It goes on and on. So if you can cover these extra costs, its nice that you are letting them go above the number. If you didn’t think about that, I would update the “per plate” cost of each guest. 

And then yes, just say “Thank you so much for all of your help, and I’m sorry that we weren’t clear, but when we asked if you would like to invite some additional people, we were thinking more like XX number of people. We still would like the guest list to be below XXX.” If they are still insiting or pushing, just be firm and keep repeating.

FWIW: My IL’s also tried to explode the guest list and offered to pay for the additional food and drink of their guests. I explained that it was more than just food and drink, that there all these additional costs, as well as the fact that my mom and I were doing most of the work for the wedding, they didn’t help at all. So I didn’t feel like doing a bunch of extra work for all these people I didn’t know. I told my fiance that and let him work with his parents to cut down the list. 

Post # 8
947 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

This is why it’s never a good idea to ask other people for a list of the people they want to invite to your party.

It’s your party. It should be your way, your loved ones, your budget.

If someone who’s making a financial contribution respectfully asks if two of their friends can be included, you can consider it.

But future inlaws submitting lists of 45 people to be invited to a party they aren’t hosting–absurd. It doesn’t happen in any other social situation; it just ruins weddings for the bride and groom.

Post # 10
947 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

It’s been 35 years, but I still remember with horror the hour (of very polite, very determined battle) I spent on the phone trying to explain to my future mother-in-law that every person on “her list” (of about 20 people) who was invited was a dear friend on her son’s list who wouldn’t be invited. I don’t think she ever did quite get it that he could only invite fifty people total and that we were paying for each of them ourselves.

But we didn’t invite anyone on “her list.” (We hadn’t asked for “her list”; she just assumed that she got to invite all her friends. At our expense. Instead of our friends. Hideous.)

You aren’t crazy. The craziness is inlaws assuming they get to invite their friends to someone else’s party, despite the wishes of the people giving the party.

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