(Closed) Splitting the Guest List

posted 10 years ago in Money
  • poll: How are you splitting the guest list??

    (1/3) your parent's invites; (1/3) FI parent's invites; (1/3) you and FI's invites

    Pay to play.. If mom wants her co-workers there, she can pay for them

    We're just inviting the people we want there.. no hard and fast rule

  • Post # 3
    1371 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    We just invited who we wanted.  We actually ended up getting a lot of flak from some of my husband’s family because we didn’t invite some people they wanted (far extended family, business partners we don’t know).  We were determined to have a small wedding, and it still ended up being 100 guests with us keeping it limited.  We did take into consideration many people that our families would want invited though (close friends of our parents, family members etc).

    As for paying, my parents gave us a lump sum that covered about 1/3 of the wedding cost.  My husband’s family gave us nothing.  We paid the rest!  Despite getting flak I would still go back and make the same choice again.  It was our wedding and we wanted people close to us there, not business partners who haven’t met either of us.

    ETA: His family also outnumbered mine by a huge amount, but we agreed on all the ‘friends’ we invited, which were from both sides.

    Post # 4
    767 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    We are inviting people based on our relationship and how much we want them there. That said, my family is much larger than my Fiance and I have a bit more friends than he does. So in the end there will be many more guests at the wedding because of their relationship with me than with him. That’s just how it is and there’s no sense in having him invite people he doesnt really like just to have it even.

    My parents are paying for most of the wedding (FYI).

    Post # 5
    1870 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: February 2011

    I don’t really understand “fair” either. You have a large family. He doesn’t. This isn’t about it being “equal”–my family consists of a lot of out-of-towners. My FI’s family doesn’t. So even if I had invited twice the number he had, there still would be an imbalance because most of my guests would still not show up. In other words, trying to create a balance is kind of a useless enterprise anyway.  

    If there are people on your parents’ list that they must have at the wedding AND they’re willing to pay for the extra expense, then I don’t see the problem–with exception to the fact that it would change the size and tone of your wedding and that’s important. If you and Fiance don’t want a large wedding then he has a point. But if you don’t care, then I don’t see a problem. 

    Post # 6
    457 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    We invited who we wanted, and we paid for the wedding. If either one of our parents had offered to pay for the guests they wanted to invite,we would have declined their offer.

    We did keep the sides equitable in terms of who was invited. For example, we both invited aunts and uncles, but no cousins from either side. Is it possible to turn down your parents’ money to keep the guest list equitable? I would also not be happy if I were in your FFIL’s position, but it can be hard to reign someone in if they are paying.

    Post # 8
    5091 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: January 2012

    The vast majority of our guests are mine and FI’s, but we chose to invite both of our whole families and several family friends.

    My parents informed me that they wanted to invite some of their friends, too – people neither I nor my Fiance have ever met.  Just as I was about to tell them no (FI and I are paying for the wedding ourselves, mostly), they said they would pay for those people.  Not thrilled about it, but okay.

    FI’s parents at first said they didn’t want to invite anyone who wasn’t already on FI’s list, but after they thought about it for a bit, they changed their minds and asked us to add less than ten people.  They’re all people Fiance knows, so it’s fair.  We’re not going to ask his parents to pay for them because they have very generously offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner and the rental of the church for our ceremony.  

    …When it comes to wedding planning, I like FI’s parents a lot more than my own.

    Post # 9
    163 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    What a situation! This is not my case, as 80% of our guests have been agreed between my Fiance and I. We let our parents know that they could invite a small amount of close friends, but that was it as it’s important for us to have at our wedding only people that we know and care about.

    Having said that, I would do the following in your case:

    Option 1: Determine the requirements of the guests. E.g. from each side of the family you can invite only uncles, first cousins and their kids. Plus 20 family friends from each site.
    As your Fiance has a much smaller family than yours, perhaps this would ensure that you still have all the guests you need from your side.

    Option 2: Explain that you had agreed on a set number of invites with your parents, but that when they discovered they needed to invite more, they offered to pay for them. Tell your Future Mother-In-Law and Future Father-In-Law that the number you gave them was truly the max you could afford, and that if they want to invite more sthey will have to pay for them.

    I hope you can find a good solution for this sticky situation!

    Post # 11
    6571 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: February 2010

    My parents paid for the wedding, and we split the guests equally between us, his parents, and my parents. I just felt like it was just as important to have his parents close friends there too to celebrate with us as it was for our friends and my parents.

    Post # 13
    2066 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Equalizing the number of people on your side and his side makes no sense to me.  You want to invite people that are special to you and Fiance. 

    My parents contributed financially and his didn’t.  We wanted our family, close friends, and close family friends to be there.  His family (thankfully) didn’t go to overboard on the guest list (although his Mom invited all these second and third cousins DH hasn’t seen in 20 years – thankfully they did not come).  The only hard and fast rule we had was no one under 18.  We really stressed to our families to cut down their guest lists because this is our wedding and we don’t want 50 people there we have never met.  They were respectful of this for the most part.

    We figured out the rough cost per head (food, drinks, invitations, linens, centerpieces, cake) – basically anything that varries by the number of guests and used that as a guide.  And as horrible as that sounds, we thought about weather or not people were worth $X per person.  In most cases they were not.

    I hope this helps!

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