Post # 1
Am seeking advice on dealing with how to talk to my mom about our wedding guest list.
My fiancé and I are on a very strict budget, with most wedding expenses being financed by my future mother in law as well as my fiance and me. Although my parents would like to contribute, they were hit hard by the recession, including losing their house. They are still barely back on their feet and I don’t feel comfortable accepting their money for this.
We have set a strict guest list limit of 230, but my mom has given me a list of 130 family members alone. Add to this my fiance’s family and our friends (we’ve been together nearly 10 years and have accumulated quite a few) we are closer to the 280+ mark and that’s already after making some cuts!
Quite simply we can’t afford to expand our list, and there are many family members I would be willing to cut, but when I try to my mom we need to make cuts to fit within our budget, she just becomes hurt and offers to give more money, which I know my parents don’t really have at the moment.
Advice very much appreciated!
Post # 2
130 family members is a lot! Maybe I just have a smaller family, but I can’t imagine that you’re particularly close to all of those family members. Ultimately, it’s your wedding, and you need to do what’s best for you and your fiance. Does your venue have any restrictions on size? 230 is a big amount already without adding a potential 50 more people. I don’t know how long your reception will be, but you’re most likely not going to be able to talk to 280 people! Plus, with an extra 50, you’re adding more waitstaff, obviously more tables and food, etc. Take the list of 130 she gave you, and pick the ones that you would’ve invited anyway. Then give her X more people to add to that list, and she’ll have to pick and choose. Feelings get hurt when it comes to invitations, but she needs to understand that if you give her her whole guest list, then FIs family is going to want to have THEIR whole guest list, and the wedding will be out of control.
Post # 3
Misplacedsox: I totally know how you feel on the large family lists.
We decided to buck tradition for our family and just invite gradparents, aunts, uncles, and their kids (cousins). We left great aunts & uncles and second cousins (and beyond) off of the guest list. This created a huge dent in our list and meant that combined, we have about 140 family guests together rather than the 200+ we would have been at before even considering friends and family friends.
Post # 4
nadnuk: +1 you just need to draw the line somewhere! we did not invite great aunts/uncles or second cousins too.
Post # 5
There is really nothing much you can do except talk to her and explain that 280+ is just too many. Tell her that as much as you appreciate her offer to help financially, you cannot accept. Gently tell her that it is your wedding and this is what you and your Fiance want.
I hope you can get through to her and I hope she understands. Good luck!
Post # 6
I think mrscali13:‘s vice is great.
Look at your list versus your mom’s – who overlaps? Those people are automatically in. Then figure out how many guests she gets (ideally the same number the your FIL’s are getting so there aren’t hurt feelings given the money situation).
My family is big too, FH’s extended fmaily is also large. We drew firm lines where we were cutting the family off from day one and we’ve stuck to our guns.
Post # 7
240 guests divided among 3 (your Future Mother-In-Law, you and your Fiance, and your own parents) is 80 guests each. That’s fair and square. Put the money/budget issue aside, it’s obviously making your parents feel bad they can’t contribute, and just make this about fairness and equality. Let her know your Future Mother-In-Law is cutting guests to only invite 80 people (or at least tell her that!).
Post # 8
At some point we all have to stand up to our parents. This may be your time.
” Mom, we are allotting you ___ seats. Please list your guests in the order of priority because if you can’t limit your list to this number, we will when we send out the invitations. This is about more than budget, so please don’t offer to pay for the additional guests. We have decided what kind of wedding we want, and this is the number of guests we are able to accomodate.”
Post # 9
You just have to stop reacting to her “Hurts” she will survive. Either you want your wedding or you want to spare her feelings. You can’t have both.
Post # 10
Misplacedsox: Not to sound too harsh but its not exactly your mothers decision.. the guest list is for you and your Fiance to decide on. You need to be clear with her on this. Just invite your closest family.. those who you couldn’t imagine not having there. My family alone makes up more than 50% of our guest list so I get it! But 280+ is a LOT of people, i’m sure they’re not all expecting to be there!