Post # 1
I am a new poster but have been reading the boards for about 4 months. I am interested in getting your opinions about people contributing money to the wedding and who gets to make the decisions. I apologize because this is long.
For background- My parents are contributing (divorced parents so BOTH sets), and so are my Future In-Laws. My FH and I are also contributing, though to be honest, our financial contribution will be the least.
The question I have is how much do I have to involve the parents in the decision making process? In the beginning, my FH and I wanted to have the wedding in AZ, where we currently live. My parents were fine with this but Future In-Laws refused to contribute financially unless the wedding was in MI (where we are from). FH said he wanted the wedding in MI so that more people could attend (family). So we agreed to have the wedding in MI, which I considered a HUGE compromise and sort of felt like this should be the only request since that was not what I wanted at all.
I included both sets of parents when looking at venues, tasting the cakes, tasting the food at the venue, and I also included both sets of parents in sending out the save-the-dates. I sent the design we had chosen to both sets of parents and asked for a list of who they wanted to invite. This is where problems arose. Future In-Laws wanted everyone on their list invited. We explained to them that FH and I were deciding who to invite- we were just using their lists as suggestions. We didn’t set it up so my parents could invite such and such a number and Future In-Laws could invite such and such a number- FH and I want it to be small (like 60 people) so we want the final say in who gets invited. To be fair, we gave his parents about 6 extra guests, so it was not like we flat out ignored their request. And we were up front about this from the beginning. We said we want a small wedding and that we cannot invite everyone but that we will invite immediate family and close family friends (as well as our friends).
My Future In-Laws are still demanding we invite more from their side, but I feel like I have compromised enough regarding the wedding. I don’t want to invite more people because the whole point is that we want a small wedding. Am I being a bridezilla?
Post # 3
depending on how much they’re (all sets of parents) are contributing, i think that this is about them too… to be able to share with their friends and relatives the joining of their children.
i say that limiting them to a small wedding is kind of rude when they are providing the means for you to have a wedding. if you really want to keep it small, is there any way you and your Fiance could do it without as much $$ contribution form your fil’s?
my parents are paying for 25%, my fil’s are paying for 25% and Fiance and i are paying for 50%… we’ve had our say on almost everything… except the guest list… and we feel since that’s where the bulk of the parental’s contributions are going, they are entitled to have the guests they want at our wedding too… even though i may not know everyone, they are footing the bill for my guests… as long as it’s not overboard, i think you should appease their list of guests moreso than you are currently…
Post # 4
You are not being a bridezilla. But unfortunately, when parents or others are contributing financial some of there wishes do have to be met as well.
Post # 5
In this particular case, I would say that you have to let your parents invite whoever they want if they’re paying. Usually when parents pay, my opinion is that you can let them believe they have final say on invitations, food and cake choices (when really, you make the final decision), BUT when it comes to guest list, it’s hard to say, “I know you’re paying, but you can’t invite these people.”
Calmly explain to the parents that you really want a small wedding, so you’d like it if they could keep their list down to XX amount of people.
We had both sets of parents contribute to our wedding costs as well (although, we still paid for most of it ourselves), and we set a limit on how many they could invite, and we also worked with them a lot to make adjustments. It’s a give and take process.
Post # 6
This is a classic dispute, you are totally not alone.
Who else does they want to invite? Is it family? Close family? Friends? Co-workers?
The question to ask deep down is, do they want to contribute to a wedding or to a big party? You may also want to frame the discussion that way.
Post # 7
I’m compromising BIG TIME on guest list as well. Since my Fiance entire family lives in a different country, we are planning on doing a ceremony/reception where we live, with the guests almost exclusively from my side (except for some of my Fiance very close family and friends) and then having a second reception in my Fiance hometown (with all his family except for my parents). My parents are paying for what is here, and my FI’s father is paying for his hometown.
Since our parents will be funding the vast majority of the expenses they are also controlling the guest list. The wedding here is oging to be bigger than we wanted (including osme of my parents friends I really don’t know) but its kind hard to say “no you can’t invite them” when they are paying for it! Unfortunately it means a larger portion of the budget will go towards having more guests vs. having nicer stuff.
I hope you’re able to work it out in a way that will be satisfactory for everyone! Would his parents be willing to contribute the increased per guest cost for the extra guests?
Post # 8
I am in a similar situation with the planning of my wedding. We are getting financial help from all parents (his, my dad and step-mom, and my mom and step-dad). We’re all contributing about the same amount and my Future Mother-In-Law is the only one getting demanding. My parents (any of the four) haven’t requested a single thing because they don’t look at their contribution as a right to make demands. My Future Mother-In-Law insisted on adding people to our guest list and is trying to be involved (and frankly, nosy) about every single decision that is made. I disagree with the posts that say giving money means you get to have a say in what happens. Parents and others should contribute because they want you to have the best wedding possible, not because they want to influence the planning process.
Post # 9
Fiance & I are paying for the entire thing ourselves, and I STILL had to deal with my mom trying to sneak more ppl on the guest list (and dictate my dress, and the bouquets…) and FI’s mom “frowning” on our menu choices. i feel like parents have a very clear idea of what they envision your wedding being like, so it’s VERY hard for them to remain quiet and let you make it your own. Having them foot the bill only gives them an excuse to be more vocal about it.
I would suggest trying to sit down an discuss your differences with them, and see if you can’t get them to understand your POV. Good luck!
Post # 10
I truly appreciate the responses. To those who are saying it is your wedding and that parents should give money because they want to- not to control things- THANK YOU- that helps!
To be fair, my parents didn’t ask for any extra guests. We gave Future In-Laws 6. I think that’s called a compromise.
I do not think I am rude for wanting a small wedding. It’s like saying someone is rude when they say they don’t like surprise parties or only want their husband in the room when they give birth. It’s a personal preference, which all parents knew from the start when they offered to contribute.
I feel like I have been fair to all the parents- I have included them and have compromised on location, venue, food, and guests. This is my wedding too and I am allowed to put my foot down.
Post # 11
@LoveWedding: It makes me really sad that you compromised on things OTHER than the guest list. No wonder you want to put your foot down on this. Hugs to you.
Post # 12
Thank you Miss Chapstick. I don’t know if you felt this way but it’s like you want everyone to be happy. And you compromise as much as you can but at a certain point, it becomes overwhelming.
I truly feel like I compromised on A LOT. Not just to make Future In-Laws happy but also to keep the relationship between Future In-Laws a good one. FH and I did not want to take their money but they insisted that they had saved for 20 years in order to see FH have a nice wedding and they wanted to contribute. FH felt like it would really upset them to refuse the money.
Post # 13
I thought I was going to have this problem with Future Mother-In-Law, but I think I’ve had more skirmishes over the guest list with my Fiance than anyone else (but that’s beside the point). My mother is paying for the wedding, but my Future Mother-In-Law is paying for the rehearsal/welcome dinner (which will include all invited guests).
I think what helped, is that pretty much from the start, we emphasized that we are having a wedding on the small size (120 attending max… which isn’t small… but the point was that it wasn’t going to be 300 people). We (mostly I) kept saying that we only wanted close family and friends invited who have been part of our lives on a regular basis and who we or our family are close with now (not 10 years ago). So, we empathized that unless my Fiance had a current relationship with the guest (sees or talks with them at least once a year or grew up seeing them a fair amount), than we did not want to invite them unless they were very close with the parent/grandparent. So, no second cousins or great aunts who we haven’t seen since we were ten. No new friends of our parents unless they now consider them “best” friends, but definately friends of our parents who I or my Fiance would consider close family friends because Fiance (or I) knew and were a part of our lives growing up.