(Closed) Mother wants to invite entire social circle to wedding (VENT)

posted 5 years ago in Guests
Post # 16
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I think you have to go to them with the numbers.  I understand you are footing the bill, but I do not wish to exchange vows in front of 50 of your closest friends at the sacrifice of our family and friends attendance.  Everyone has a limit.  If they can keep it under a certain number (50, 40 or whatever) then let them do what they do with it.  They may even have a list A or list B – that is not your problem!   

Post # 17
2758 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

My parents taught me that life is a series of trade offs. I can tell that you are struggling with this so here is the way I see it:

You can have a fancy wedding with all of the trimmings as long as you deal with your hyper-extroverted mother inviting all of her friends, neighbors, coworkers, hairdresser, and dog-walker and either cut DH’s guest list because she can or have a 300-person+ wedding to accommodate everyone. I’ve seen it happen before in my family. Usually the bride goes a little crazy during planning. 

Or you can have a budget wedding and peace of mind. You can decline the money and have an immediate family/bestie-only courthouse or at-home ceremony and cake and punch reception. Most of the broke student brides in my circle did something like this for under $1000. It can be done! 

So think hard about what you want. Big beautiful wedding with mom controlling everything or small and simple with little to no family drama? 

Post # 18
8019 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

View original reply
poppinbottles :  Seems a little antiquated

The tradition of the bride’s parents paying for the wedding is antiquated and often comes with many other antiquated ideas. 

It’s fine for your Fiance to have strong opinions about the wedding planning and boundary setting if he’s footing the bill. If he’s not he’s going to have to learn how to compromise and fast. Ideally you and your Fiance will be able to work with your parents to create a plan that makes everyone happy–decide what matters to you most and where you are willing to give in. The idea that your parents will just hand you a blank check to do whatever you want is unrealistic. You’ll all be a lot happier if you just let that go now. Even couples paying for their own weddings usually end up working with some parental input. 



Post # 19
1593 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t know your family dynamic, but if I were in your shoes and my mom wanted to invite a bunch of her friends and was footing the bill, I would do a little research and budget for a very expensive catering and open bar package and let her know that the per person cost is something ridiculously high. Once she knew exactly how much her extra guests would cost, she’d for sure back down. I don’t know if that could work in your family, but I would try to talk to her first, send her preliminary budgets and if she still insists on inviting them, I would definitely elope. Maybe if you say you want to elope because you don’t want strangers at your wedding, she’ll change her mind. And if not, you won’t have to deal with any wedding planning stress because of her. Maybe she can throw you an at home reception and invite all of her friends to that.

Post # 21
7240 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

There are a number of ways this can move forward. You should sit down with your Fiance and also with your parents and consider all of the options (big wedding, small wedding, elopement, living together for years and years and then paying for a wedding yourselves, etc.). If having you elope would truly be an embarrassment for your parents, that’s some leverage that you have in these discussions. If your goal is to get married, that is very easily done. If your intention is to have a beautiful wedding that pleases as many of the key players as possible (You, your Fiance, your parents and his and then the guests who attend to witness your union) you can absolutely do that. It’s going to take some skillful maneuvering and consideration for the others involved but this is a happy and joyous event. If it feels like anything but that, then it’s not worth it.

Post # 22
268 posts
Helper bee

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poppinbottles :  This is pretty similar to what we did. We listed all family and friends that we wanted there and then picked an even number of people that each side could invite beyond family (so parents extended family, friends and co-workers essentially). I think we offered both sets of parents 25 extra invites, but as of right now they each only used about 15. My parents are paying, but they were fine doing it this way so that it didn’t seem like it was their party and my Father-In-Law just got to invite a few people. 

Post # 23
7268 posts
Busy Beekeeper

It’s increasingly old fashioned for the bride’s parents to pay for the wedding (although mine are paying for mine so absolutely no judgment for you there!)…but if you’re going to be ok with that “antiquated” tradition then it seems hypocritical for you to balk at the “antiquated” tradition of giving your parents a say over your guest list (which I don’t actulaly think is antiquated in this situation, but who knows).

But before you freak out about this anymore, you need to put your whole guest list together–you and your FI’s friends, FI’s family, and everyone your parents want to invite. Take a good look at that list, maybe talk to some venues to get a feel for per person costs, and then start talking about cuts. If your parents are saying they want to invite their friends from the country club whom you wouldn’t recognize on the street at the expense of inviting other guests that are more important to you, then I would fight back on that…but otherwise I would let them have their way. Or else elope.

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