- 3 years ago
scenario, but this one is a bit sticky. Allow me to explain why I need an outside viewpoint of this:
In my community, the parents often pay for the weddings. The bride’s family pays for the venue, food, invitations, and stamps and the Groom’s family pays for the Flowers, Alcohol, Band, Photographer and Videographer. With that said, depending on how many people there are, the bride’s family usually ends up paying a lot more than the groom’s. My parents are very generous and set aside $20,000 for each of their children for their wedding or graduate school. They said, we could either have a big wedding, and get no money, or have a small wedding and get the left overs and use it for graduate school (if we were going, which I am). I’ve only had brothers who have gotten married so when paying for Videographer, Photographer, Flowers, Band and Alcohol, they were able to save a ton of money and cut things out. But, for me it is different, paying for the food, invitations, stamps and venue is all dependent upon how many guests come to the wedding.
First off, I have always wanted a small wedding, even before I found out that my parents said they’d give me whatever I didn’t spend. I am a natural introvert and like small intimate settings. I don’t like strangers, and large crowds make me extremely anxious. My FILs knew this.
My ideal wedding would just be immediate family and friends. But this situation is sticky because I am not paying for the wedding, both of our parents are so naturally they shouldb e allowed to invite their friends. HOWEVER, being that my parents are giving me the $20k I feel as though the 20k should be seen as my own money (as my parents agree). I told his parents that my parents are giving us a certain amount of money to spend on the wedding, and whatever we don’t spend, we get to keep. They said they understood and that it is really smart to try and save as much as possible. We got a deal with a hotel where if we spent a certain amount on food and drinks, the venue was included free. The problom began when we all started making guest lists. We wanted to keep the wedding guest list down to 250 people after the expected 10% decline rate (150 ppl is considered small in my community, 200 is considered average and he had a large family so we amped it up to 250). To make it fair we said my parents can invite 125 people, his parents can invite 125 people, and my fiance and I will invite 40 people.
A little background on his family: They do not have money. the father is self employed, the mother is a stay at home mom. They’ve been late on utilities payments numerous times, I’ve witnessed their water and electricity being shut off. They get government subsidized health care, and often have had to go to food pantries a few years ago because they didn’t even have enough money for food. Despite all this, they lease brand new cars, remodel their house, have 6 smart phone plans (about $70 each a month) and buy the latest electronic gadgets. When we were planning the engagement party, my parents said they would pay for the whole thing because they didnt’ want my Fiance’s family to have to worry about the money and offered to pay $500 for it. (we did my brother’s engagement party for $250). We were unable to do it in my house so we asked his parents if we could have the party in theirs. They agreed, but when I told his father the budget of $500 and not to worry that my father was paying for it, the father said “$500?! that’s nothing. You can’t have an engagment party for $500. I want it to look nice. I dont want people coming into my home and seeing a party that isn’t nice, it reflects on me” I was shocked… he wanted to spend over $2000 on an engagement party with waiters, fancy foods, and fancy flower arrangements. All I wanted was a buffet (which most of the community brings food for) and something casual so friends and family can come by and wish congratulations.
So when it came to making the wedding guest list, initially they had over 300 people on the list, and I told his mother repeatedly that she needed to cut the list down. When it came time for the bridal shower, my mother didn’t want my FMIL to not know anyone so she asked her to give her the phone numbers of her friends she wants to come to the bridal shower, and that they needed the names ASAP. After asking her over and over again, she finally sent my mother a list, but this list had over 156 different couples names. It was the exact same list from before with 300 people on it and it had x’s everywhere, and men’s names on it with no female names and was extremely disorganized. She was upset that she had to cut the list down so she was being passive aggressive about the list and didn’t send the bridal shower list until less than a week before the bridal shower. She didn’t even edit the list, it was the same exact list that was the guest list for her daughter’s wedding from a year ago. It was disorganized, it had people on it that weren’t friends with her, but were her husband’s business friend’s wives. So it ended with her only having 1 friend show up and she had to suffer the consequences. Every time I tried to contact her for the list she would say “well I need to go over the list with my husband because we need to cut people off the list so obviously we can’t invite them to the shower if I have to cut them off the list”. I responded “It’s ok , I Understand you’re busy, you can just forward me 5 of your closest friends phone numbers and I”ll call them for you, I just want you to have a good time at the shower with your friends” but this didn’t work. She couldn’t even send me the numbers of her 5 closest friends.
Then, I had my parents, and his parents send me an excel spreadsheet of their guest lists for the wedding and I compiled one large spreadsheet with everyone’s guests. However, on their list, it was almost the exact same list they had sent me 5 months before that I had rejected because there were too many people on it. They were supposed to cut the list down to 150 (assuming 25 would deline). We also compromised and told them they could invite however many people they wanted for the ceremony, just that they had to limit the amount of people to the dinner to 150 invites, or 125 guests. I was in a hurry to get the envelopes printed so I didn’t really count the guests until after I had them printed.
Turns out, my parents invited 124 people, my fiancé and I invited 40 people, and my future in-laws invited 235 people for dinner. That is a total of 399 people. On top of that they invited an extra 55 people for just the ceremony. So there are potentially 454 people that can show up to my wedding. Although I do not like big crowds and do not want that many people sharing in my intimate private moments, I’m more worried that we will go over 250 people for dinner. Just 25 extra people will cost another $1200 (not including tax and gratuity fees). For 250 guests, after tax and everything the total price will be bout $16,000. Their fees for the Flowers, Alcohol, Band, Photographer and Videographer will be about $10,000-$12,000. It could be $10,000 because I told them I don’t care / want centerpieces and if they want to save money there they can cut them out. All I want is a bouquet. But obviously they’re going to try and do a lot with flowers because everyone in the community will know that they are paying for flowers. If 300 guests come to the wedding, after taxes and fees it will come to $19,000.
So my question is, do I have a right to tell them to cut their list down if they’re paying for the flowers, liquor, photographer, videographer and band? I know that if they don’t go all out with the flowers it will cost them $9800. If they go all out with flowers ( which I told them all I want is a bouquet and nothing else) then it would add up to about $12,000. And some of you might be like how can all out only be $2000, well they are hiring this guy who doesn’t even have his license anymore to do the flowers. This guy didn’t even know what peonies, or succulents were. I had to list him all the names of the flowers I wanted. So they’re saving money there.
So yes, they’re paying 12000, and with tax it may even equal out to ours, but shouldn’t the amount of people each side is inviting be split evenly? If they do invite more than ours we will be spending more on the wedding than them, and they will have invited far more people than my family. <br />
Also, on a side note, My fiancé and I only know about 35% of the guest list (including our friends). And by know I mean, we either met them, are friends with them, or heard of them. The other 65% of the guest list we have never heard of and are either his parent’s neighbors, coworkers, “friends”, and acquaintances. Yes, our parents are paying for the wedding, but that $20,000 is technically mine as being that my parents allotted it to me for wedding/graduate school use. So I feel like I’m being cheated here, not only am I not getting the wedding of my dreams and will probably have to take a tranquilizer bc of all the people coming, but I will be left with maybe $1000 towards graduate school.