Post # 1
So my Fiance and I are hoping to have a guestlist of 150 max at our wedding/reception. As of now our personal list of friends and immediate family is close to 100. His grandmother sends me a list of 18 couples she would like to have invitations sent to. About half of them live 3+ states away and more than likely won’t come. So that sets us up to around 120. Now, my parents decided to finally send me their list and there are 50+ couples on it. Not family, and most I have never EVER met. Most of the people on their list go to their church which is where our ceremony will be. I do not want to invite 1) that many people 2) people I have never met. My mom keeps throwing out the “well we had 500 people at our wedding and we didnt even know half” “youll be too busy to notice”
I get that they are proud and want to invite everyone they have met since they were 20 but our budget does not allow for that. I have told her to narrow down her list and I hear the same thing again. I don’t want to get the pictures back from my photographer and not recognize 50+ people. What is the right thing to do? What would you do? I haven’t even gotten a small list from my grandparents on who they wanted invited and they are the ones that are paying for the reception!
Post # 3
We had the same problem! Our venue only holds 150 ppl. Future In-Laws told us to pick another venue but another venue would have DOUBLED our budget.
So our first step was to set a limit. If our venue only holds 150, that’s all that can come. If we’d like to invite more… well, where will they sit? What will they eat? So we said “we’re only sending out x number of invites”.
Next, we made a list of all the people we HAD to have at our wedding. For us. All the people where we would say “I can’t imagine my big day without them”. And that was our base list. It included family (up to first cousins) and our closest friends.
After that, we subtracted the number on our list from the total number of invites we could send. That left us with x number of invites. We’ll say 20. Then, we emailed both parents and said “You have 10 invites each. YOU decide who gets voted off the island.” It forced our parents to realize we simply can’t have everyone we’d like and to prioritize those they really want there. For example, my parents wanted to invite their best friends who live out of town. They only get to see them maybe once a year. But I pointed out to them that they won’t get to spend any time with them. The friends should save their money and visit when my parents can give them their undivided attention.
It’s easy to get caught up in wedding planning and sometimes families are so removed they don’t understand. Ask them to make the cuts and they’ll realize how hard it can be and who is really important to them.
Post # 4
@jesssamesssa: Who is hosting (ie paying)? If you and your Fiance are paying, then you guys have the final say. My Fiance and I put our foot down with people neither of us know, and we literally have no one at our wedding that at least one of us doesn’t know.
Post # 5
I would tell them that your budget does not allow for that many. Set a number that they can invite, and stick with it. And yes, that does mean there might be people you don’t know, and that’s ok. It’s like a graduation party. It’s not JUST about you. You probably don’t know all the out of state people his grandmother wanted to invite either.
Post # 6
Set down some firm rules for your Mum and stick to them – like, no people I have never met. Even if she is paying for the wedding (not sure if she is) it doesn’t seem right to me that she is giving you a list of people to invite.
Post # 7
@jesssamesssa: No one I have not met was invited. No one neither of us would recognize if we saw them in the street, even if we HAVE met them, was invited. Seriously, if we don’t even know them, them being there to celebrate our marriage was NOT important to us, and I doubt it would be important to them either. So if you can cut a huge chunk of that list by cutting out people you’ve met less than three or five times or something, absolutely do so! Just put your foot down about it. I had to do it with my mom too.
I also like the “give each parent a set number of invites” idea. I didn’t have to do that once I set up that particular rule, but it’s a good one for parents who are having difficulty understanding.
Post # 8
I never know what to say in response to these posts…I can’t imagine family members inviting random people to my wedding…my parents paid for 100% of the wedding and only invited less than 20 of their friends and these were all people I’ve known my entire life and would have invited on my own even if my mom hadn’t asked. I knew every single person at the wedding (except one of DH’s friends from home whom I had never met in person, but I still knew who he was, and obviously Darling Husband knew him). I don’t have any advice, I never know how to respond to these, because I just can’t imagine my family ever doing this. If this happened to me, I’d personally blow up at my mom and yell at her and tell her it isn’t her wedding…but we’re super close and open in our relationship and we’d probably both cry and then get over it five minutes later because that’s our M.O. lol.
Post # 9
@phillybride61513: My grandparents are paying for the food, open bar, and reception venue, my parents are paying for everything else.
@MariContrary: I dont mind her people from out of state because they are family. I even told my mom to give me a list of people from out of state that for sure 100% wont come so I can still send them an invite even though I know they won’t come.
@distracts: I dont mind inviting people i have never met but my Fiance knows and visa versa.
What about inviting these people that neither one of us has ever met that live where the wedding is to the ceremony only and not the reception. Is that rude? I think they would understand since I dont personally know them.
Post # 10
@jesssamesssa: Ooops, yeah, what I meant was that no one neither of us had not met was not invited. There were some people there that one of us knew well but the other had never met. (Even one of my husband’s siblings falls into that category!)
Post # 11
@jesssamesssa: That’s a hard one becasue it’s your guys’ wedding, your parents friends, and your grandparents money!
Firstly, I would talk with your grandparents regarding the list your parents gave you and the amount of people on it. Let them know your concerns and make sure inviting your original number of 150 people is still within the budget. Once you have that settled, make sure that you guys stick to the guest number and your grandparents stick to the money number.
Then, approach your parents and let them know that all though you would love for them to be able to invite all their friends, it wont be possible. Tell them that you have set aside X amount of seats for their friends and ask that they let you know who those X are so you can send invites.
As for your mothers comments about her wedding, simply (and kindly!) tell her that it even though her wedding sounds like it was great, this is you and your FIs wedding so you will be doing it differently.
My Father-In-Law emailed me a list of 150 people he wanted invited to our wedding (which Darling Husband and I paid for 100% and he didn’t even offer or give us $0.01) and Darling Husband and I only recognized about 15 of them . We ended up send the list back and saying no. He threw a fit but hell, we weren’t about ready to pay for all those people we don’t even know or like!
Post # 12
Bottom line, this is YOUR day and YOUR choice. No matter who is paying for what, your mother needs to respect that. I know it’s harsh, but if my mother would leave me no other choice (the following would be a last resort), I would tell her that if she doesn’t trim the list to XX amount, then none of them will be invited.
I would find a way to discuss it as maturely as possible, as respectfully as possible. Start by asking and be insisting.
You deserve to feel comfortable on your wedding day.
Post # 13
So to fill everyone in on what happened yesterday…
I combined the three guest lists to one excel spreadsheet and calculated the guest numbers. 217. I want 150 guests. So that obviously means trimming. When I cut out the people that I did not know and were not family I was down to 160 even. I was ok with that #. Then I removed the people that were super long distance and knew more than likely would not come like 2nd/3rd cousins and aunts and uncles I have never met. That left me with 123. Not bad. My grandmother called me yesterday to tell me she had 5-6 couples she wanted to invite and said they probably wouldnt come but I should invite them since they have known me since I was born. I am totally ok with this since its a small number and my grandmother is the one paying! So with those people that gives me around 135. So if I am at 135 I will let my mom invite an extra 5-8 couples. I told her to also put an open invite to the ceremony in the church bulletin if she still wants everyone to come.
Question for everyone though, if you have already had your wedding, what percentage of people actually came out of everyone you invited? I was thinking about 80% come.
Post # 14
@jesssamesssa: are you paying for the wedding yourselves?
if she wants all 50 people, tell her to pay for them herself. if the places can’t accommdate, then tell her you ran out of space.
Post # 15
@ajillity81: Nope my grandparents are paying for the reception(venue, food, alcohol) and my parents are paying for everything else.
Post # 16
My Fiance and I have the same limit – our venue only seats 150. We are paying for the wedding ourselves, so we were the first ones to put together our list of names. I included what I consider immediate family (parents, siblings, close aunts and uncles, close cousins, and grandparents), my friends / FI’s friends / our mutual friends, and then a handful of friends-of-the-family on both sides that I knew we would invite without having to ask our parents. That put us at around 100 people. Then, I sent the spreadsheet to my mother, and asked who she and my father wanted to add (with the caveat that they leave a reasonable number of spots for FI’s mom). I asked my parents first because we’re getting married in my hometown where they still live, and I knew that they’d want to invite a lot of people who live in the area (and who I would also want there). My FI’s mother would only be inviting people from out of town, so I just assumed that that list would be smaller to start with and that some people on it would decline because of distance.
My mother included some people in her list of recommendations that I ended up leaving off the list – mostly because I hadn’t interacted with them in a loooong time. She understood my reasons and didn’t argue. I haven’t gotten the spreadsheet back from Future Mother-In-Law yet, and I know she’s consulting with FI’s grandmother to figure out who to include, but I believe she’s staying within our limits. I know she’s including some people who we know will decline, but etiquette requires that we send an invitation regardless.