Post # 1
I admit we’ve gotten ourselves into a bit of a pickle. Upfront recap so there’s no confusion: my fiance and I are paying for the majority of our wedding (my mom has offered to pay for my dress and my future in-laws have offered to pay for transportation, both of which we are very grateful for). We told both my mom and my fiance’s parents that if they had “some” people they wanted to invite that we don’t have on our guest list, we would be open to it and just ask that they cover the cost of their plates (as our guest list has been carefully made based on what my fiance and I can afford). My fiance and I are both on the same page regarding this issue (we talked about it last night) and are just looking for how to delicately bring this up to his kind parents.
I love my future in-laws and don’t want to paint them in a bad light by any means, but I think they are both people-pleasers a bit. Their guest list has slowly but surely been climbing and after this weekend, they let us know they would like to invite a new wave of extended family because “if you invite X, you can’t not invite Y”. I just checked, and at this point, they have more friends and extended family they’d like to invite than both my fiance and I. Essentially, our wedding is starting to turn into a party with a bunch of strangers!
This isn’t a financial concern, as I mentioned they are willing to pay for these additional guests, but to be honest, we both really want our wedding only filled with our loved ones (not super small, but not large–our original list was under 130 but we’re now approaching 200 to give context…). Having so many people watching us confess our deepest feelings to each other really makes us both uneasy and is just not how we pictured our day. We were open to a few extra people if they’d like, but we stupidly (I admit this) didn’t forsee how big this would grow. I like the idea of giving them a max number of invites they can extend, but I don’t want to come across as ungrateful or “bridezilla” like.
I know a lot of you bees are amazing with how to word things and approach things non-confrontationally but also with firm boundaries, so I’d love some outsider feedback on this! For the record, I know that they will listen, but I just don’t want to hurt their feelings or imply to them that we are upset (though I know I am not responsible for other people’s feelings, I just love them and want to be as kind as possible). I have a feeling I’m over-complicating this!
Post # 2
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
- 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
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
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
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 # 7
Thank you guys so much! I knew it’d help posting here. I admit, my heart sunk when some of you mentioned additional costs outside plate costs…you’re correct in that I hadn’t factored that in. I’m trying not to panic, haha.
I’ve shared some of the verbiage you beautiful bees have given me (and you’re right, we need to be upfront and clear) and he is going to talk to them tonight (I worry she’s going to start telling people they’re invited and I’d hate for her to have to un-tell people).
Thank you guys so much again! I think we’re going to tell my mom and his parents they each get 10 extra invites (so 5 couples AKA 1 table each). Does that seem fair? Too little?
Post # 8
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 # 9
cassandra7 : Honestly, I completely agree in hindsight. I wish we had never said they could invite friends as long as they would pay. Ugh. But at this point, I really don’t mind if they would like a FEW extra friends (who they are close to), just not a whole party on its own. But thank you. It does help me feel less guilty to get some validation that my feelings aren’t crazy.
Post # 10
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.