Post # 1
Hello Fellow Bees!
I have a dilemma with my stepmother… We have gone over our budget because our guest list has just taken on a mind of its own, or rather my stepmother is out of control.
She feels like she has to invite every single person she knows (I mean, we’re talking everyone from her work, bible study, everyone she’s ever said hello to.. People I have NEVER MET) and has gotten very angry at me for asking her to cut down her list… She has 40 people on the list who I wouldn’t be able to pick out of a crowd. She keeps saying that since she’s helping pay, she gets a say in who is invited. I feel like it isn’t fair because I’ve had to cut some of MY friends off just to accomodate all of her people but the more I think about it, the less excited I am about my wedding because I’m just going to be surrounded by people I don’t know. She has threatened to pull her’s and my dad’s money out of the wedding if I don’t agree to let her invite those people.
I’m getting very frustrated because this is MY wedding. I don’t care if someone I’ve never met in my entire life is offended because they weren’t invited to my wedding. Also, I feel like these people might feel like they’re only invited for presents. That’s what I would think if I got invited to a wedding of someone I didn’t know.
I just feel defeated and like I have no say in my own wedding. Any advice?
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
If she’s contributing a significant portion of money to your budget, you are somewhat stuck with her dictating how it is to be spent.
Maybe sit down with her and show her a printout of the guest list as it is along with a printout of people you are close to that you have to leave out in order to include her acquaintances. Let her know that while you want the wedding to be special for her, you are disappopinted that people who are special to you and your FH must be left out out in order to accommodate people you and your FH don’t even know. Then ask her if you can trade out your friends for her acquaintances.
Other than that, your only other option is to tell your stepmom “thanks but no thanks” to her money and pay for your own wedding. Or if you want total control, elope.
Post # 4
what % of money is she contributing? if it’s 10%, then tell her that she gets 10% of invites. then, let her rant and rave because she’s clearly gone over that and generously double it to 20%.
if she’s paying for the whole thing or close – then your hands are tied and all you can really hope for is that they will be equally puzzled as to why they are invited and not come.
you need to explain to her that within reason – she can’t invite everyone. does she know capacity at your venue? are you getting close? can you use something like that to point out that you simply can’t accomodate more people?
Post # 5
The venue can accomodate 300 people and we have 280 on the list. She and my father are contributing a third of the budget, along with my mother and stepfather a third, and my fiance and me a third. My mother is inviting two couples (people I know) and my fiance’s mother is inviting two couples. I just think it’s rude of her to go overboard considering she’s not my mother. I know she has right to part of the guest list but we’re about $4,000 over budget because of how large the list is.
Post # 6
@dreamer1288: then i’d call a state of the union meeting. 30% of the budget means 30% of the invitations. tell her that your 30% and his parent’s 30% are already spoken for, so no, she cannot ‘borrow’ 6 invites from someone who isn’t using them. she can choose to allocate her 30% however she likes, but if she goes beyond the 30% (say 34 invites) then she will either need to cut her list, or pay per person.
tell her that your budget cannot handle any guests past 34 (or whatever the number is) and repeat ‘our budget cannot handle extra guests’ one hundred times when she whines. then, she can either cut the list, or pay up.
i also agree it’s in bad taste for her to overshadow (maybe not the right word) in this way, but i have no advice there.
make it a sit down meeting with your fi and your father present. have him back you up ‘it’s important to us to be responsible with our money and to stick to the budget. we want to start our married life without debt due to the wedding’. get him to repeat that over and over until they get it. she will end up looking petty and ridiculous asking you to pay for her friends, if she doesn’t realise it on her own.
is your dad more reasonable? i feel like if you had the meeting and said all this he would understand and handle it.
Post # 7
Personally, I’d give her one more shot. Explain that your mother is inviting 2 couples and his mother is inviting 2 couples. They’re all contributing equally, so she gets the same 2 couples. If she refuses, then I’d give her the money back and cut her list out entirely – invite your Dad and your stepmom, but not their friends. Money isn’t worth that drama.
Post # 8
I’m going to be a bit blunt about money, so i’m super sorry if this offfends!
If you’re $4000 over budget with her friends invited, would it not make sense to cut her friends, lose her money and have to pay out more? Seeing as either way you’re going to have to spend more than you want to?
ETA: That is, presuming she’s not contributing $20,000 or so…
Post # 9
@peonyinlove: +1 perfect advice
Post # 10
And make sure your Dad is in attendance, since it’s his money, too.
In response to her “I’m helping to pay, so I get a say,” point out that she’s helping 30%, so she gets a 30% say in the guest list. The other 70% is out of her control.
Post # 11
Don’t forget to account for people saying no – if you can have 300 people at your venue then you can invite over 300 (about 330 invites if you follow the 10% rule). Also talk to her about having a B-list so that when those no’s come in you can think about adding in some of those other people you don’t know that she’d like.
Post # 12
I’d tell her that give her a set number of how many people she can invite based on the number of guests you can fit into your budget. Just because she and your father are helping to pay doesn’t mean that she should dictatate your guest list. It’s your wedding, so you shoiuld be able to have your friends, and not strangers, there. Also explain that you’re not asking just her to make cuts, that you do as well. If she still refuses to make cuts, tell her that is she truly wants them there, she can pay for their dinners, favors, ect.
Post # 13
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
@dreamer1288: Make a spreadsheet of exactly how much all these extra people are going to cost you and show it to her. Put your foot down, she sounds out of control!
Post # 15
Thanks for all of the advice!! I talked to her (I wasted no time lol) and she has agreed to pay per person what it’s costing us over our budget. We’re still on good terms and I think she finally understands that she has invited much more than anyone else. Thank you everyone!! 🙂
Post # 16
@dreamer1288: I’m glad BUT I would not send them an invite until you get her money in hand.