Post # 1
I’m new to this..so please forgive me if there has been another post about the same thing.
Two years ago when my fiancé and I discussed getting married we agreed on a small wedding, just immediate family and close friends of my fiancé and I (no more than 60 people). I had discussed this at length with his mother and she was perfectly fine with it and we left it at that.
In January my fiancé and I decided that it was about time we had our wedding (kept putting it off for various reasons…mostly because I hate weddings, but whatever). When I received the guest list from his mother I was shocked that there were 46 guests (some HER friends) when initially she said it would be around 27. Since I had picked out a small but very lovely venue and had my heart set on it, it was imperative that she remove some of the people from her list. It was a struggle to get it down, but we’re now at 41 guests and I’m not budging. Unfortunately this has caused a rift between my fiancé and I because he feels bad for his parents not being able to invite their ENTIRE family. His fathers side is especially large and if we invited everyone they wanted, our wedding would easily go from 71 to 270. Right now they have immediate family, Aunts and Uncles, and first cousins – also some of my future father-in-laws cousins and his one surviving Aunt, which I completely understand because she’s 94 and should be there.
I’m upset because we had all agreed on a small wedding and my fiancé flat out said that I could do all of the planning because he didn’t care. Now that we have the venue paid for, the caterer, and invites, he suddenly gives a d*mn. He apparently wanted to invite some of his coworkers but never collaborated on the guest list with his mother, so I don’t think I should get the blame for that.
My guest list is larger than theirs only because ALL of my relatives live out of state (most of them live in Puerto Rico) and because of economical reasons they won’t be able to come. My actual guest list that will be able to come is at 32 and those will be close family friends.
I don’t know what to do….we have the venue set but I could get my money back (minus the deposit) and I did put $1000 down for the caterer (non refundable)…and the invitations at $550 which I can’t return…so should I concede and move to a bigger venue so they can invite more people? His family is paying for 1/2 of the wedding so I know that it’s proper for them to have some input, but it’s still our day. My fiancé only cares because his father has made such a big deal about it and even went on his own to look for larger venues. I’m really hurt because I was given the go ahead to do all of the planning (and what I have so far is very simple and beautiful) but this is causing major problems. The venue also doesn’t have parking…it’s in San Francisco so parking is an issue anyway, but there have been a ton of weddings there and if those people managed, so can we.
Ugh. I don’t know if my ramblings are making any sense. I’m just frustrated because everybody was on the same game plan when we were just talking about the wedding, but once I started planning it things changed. If any of you can make sense of what I wrote, advice would be appreciated.
Post # 3
@MymaJane: I understand why you’re frustrated. However, whenever anyone else is contributing financially, I think you have to bend a little.
We are not accepting ANY money from our families (and actually, none was offered) and we’re STILL having to accommodate some of their wishes, just to keep the peace.
I think a marriage is a big deal in general and your FI’s family wants to be there to support you guys and witness a great event. Additionally, since FI’s family is paying for half, how are they going to explain to those close to them why they weren’t invited?
In my opinion, you have a couple of options: You can continue to accept their financial support and upgrade the venue to something bigger to accommodate or refuse to accept any money and keep to your original plans.
I don’t know who started thist concept of “It’s your day,” because in my experience, it’s blatantly clear to me that this day is all about the guests. True, they’re all there to see you get marries, but everything that’s planned/purchased is to make sure they’re having a great time, etc.
You could also switch your venue to make it a semi-destination wedding, which typically cuts the guest list in half. Just a thought.
Post # 4
I understand what you’re saying…it’s just that they agreed to have a small wedding in the first place. The extra family they want to invite are very far removed…to the point that they haven’t spoken in YEARS. In my opinion, weddings should involve the people you most love and care about…not just inviting people for the sake of inviting them. In conversations with his mother about her wedding, she said that she was miserable because she was having to give in to others wishes. Why would she want to do that to us? I have thought about telling them they don’t need to pay for the wedding because frankly, the money my father set aside will cover everything. They simply offered and we accepted.
I also feel like I’ve bent enough. His father is Catholic, and I’m Jewish (my fiancé is an Athiest so he doesn’t give a hoot) and I wanted to have an interfaith officiant and incorporate traditions from both religions thinking that would make him happy. Unfortunately it didn’t sit well with his family (all I wanted was a shawl wrapped around us and a Chuppah) so we nixed that part all together. It’s also something that my father is disappointed about.
As I stated before….I hate weddings. I originally wanted a private ceremony at City Hall and then a public reception. But in order to accomodate his parents we chose to have a public ceremony and reception. My parents really don’t care…it’s all “whatever makes you happy” from their end.
And while you should think of the guests when planning your wedding, I do have to disagree that it’s all about them. I want them to have fun and enjoy themselves BUT I don’t want to be miserable on what should be one of the happiest moments of my life.
I will just have to tell them that their money isn’t necessary and my father will cover it as originally planned.
Post # 5
While I agree with PP that money does generally have strings attached (unfortunately), it is still quite unfair for your future in-laws to know that you two want a smaller wedding, say they want to contribute, and then start being passive-aggressive about the guest list. It is even more unfair that your Fiance is now waffling on the issue to keep his parents happy. Before you do anything I think you need to have a talk with your Fiance – the two of you need to be on the same page on this, he needs to understand that compromise is necessary here (and you’ve already compromised, IMO), that his parents already had their wedding and it is more important for the bride and groom to have the size wedding they desire than the one the parents want. And then he needs to put his foot down with his parents and say that he’d love to have you all enjoy this time and plan a great wedding, but it will never happen if they can’t come around to the idea of an intimate wedding with your nearest and dearest.
And of course you should make all of your guests comfortable and be a good host, but that has nothing to do with your guestlist! People shouldn’t get invited just because they want to come, that is how guest lists spiral out of control.
Post # 6
@Wonderstruck: I really do need to have a sit down talk with my Fiance so we can get this all settled. As for him putting his foot down with his parents….that may prove difficult. He’s really concerned about them being disappointed (mostly his father) and truly wants to make them happy. I just wish he had shown more interest when I was planning everything. I would ask him his opinions and he would just wave his hand and be like, “blah!” (literally, he’d say “blah”) so I gave up. I had the go ahead anyway.
As it is, they have their most closest family invited…the people that they see on a regular basis and spend holidays with, etc. And I really feel like I’ve given in enough already. I mean, I’m foregoing two Hebrew wedding traditions because it will make his Catholic family uncomfortable. If alleviating them from their financial offer will give me more control…that’s what I’ll have to do.
I feel so stupid for thinking that planning this wedding was going to be simple!
Post # 7
@MymaJane: The guest list is definitely the hard part! And everyone wants to make their parents happy…but it can’t be at the expense of their new wife’s happiness! Especially when it’s half her wedding, not the parent’s. Make sure you remind him of that.
Post # 8
And what about your father’s traditions and disappointments over not having certain Jewish traditions? To me, you need to figure out how to not compromise the wedding you want, even if that means not accepting money. I’ve heard drama over a guest list many times but it bothers me when I hear people compromising on family traditions and religious-type wants for someone else.