(Closed) The 'gracious host' conundrum

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: I am:
    being unreasonable. Do as you're told. : (0 votes)
    completely justified. Stand your ground. : (33 votes)
    89 %
    somewhere in the middle. I recommend that you: (please make suggestions!) : (4 votes)
    11 %
  • Post # 3
    1627 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I think you sound perfectly reasonable.  I would say if your mom is paying for the wedding let her invite everybody she knows.  If you are I would give her and say this is who we’re inviting and I won’t discuss it further.  If she wants to see her family she should throw a family reunion no impose on your wedding.  We just invited grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a few other random extended family that we just really like (read less then 10 including spouses)

    Post # 4
    1880 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I had one rule about the guest list: I must KNOW the person invited, ACTUALLY LIKE the person invited, and FREQUENTLY SEE OR TALK TO the person invited. Extended family that I never see? Nope nope nope.

    Post # 5
    5950 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2018

    @marhealy:  There’s this thing about weddings that no one gets…being invited or not invited to one is not the end of the world…but for some reason, the minute someone close to a person gets engaged and starts planning..

    WELL…you’d better invite everyone you’ve ever met AND their cousins….even if you have to serve hot dogs and beans while they huddle under a pergola at the local park!

    Tell your mother you appreciate her argument, but the next time she gets married she’s free to post a blanket invitation in the local paper and feed the guests from a trough if that’s what she wants to do….

    you and your Fiance are shooting for an intimate and lovely evening where the guests in attendance will be treated to a delicious and thought out meal and good conversation, because that’s how you want to spend your money and that’s that…


    Post # 6
    159 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    i guess I have one question – who’s paying?  Those who pay get a say, I’m afraid.  We paid for our own wedding so made the decisions ourselves.  If you’re paying the bill, you can be a good host without going overboard on the guest list and the premium alcohol. 

    Post # 7
    3625 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    The thing you learn is that there is someone that will complain about everything. Your venue is too hot. Your venue is too cold. I wanted to invited my brother’s wife’s cousin’s neighbor. I wanted to bring my quadruplets. The beef is too well-done. The beef is too raw. The food is too salty. The food is too bland.

    Seriously, people will find a reason to complain about anything because people are judgemental and picky and this isn’t their event that they planned. I think your general requirements for your wedding are fine, although I do think it’s nice when the B&G take the time to greet all their guests individually. We did so as we had a smaller wedding (~70 guests) but I can see this being a problem for a larger wedding (e.g. ~300).

    Post # 8
    2389 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I agree that you first decide who to invite, and then you decide how you can host them.  That does NOT mean that your mom should control the guest list, however!

    Post # 9
    381 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I have gotten so many comments and some flat out complaints.  Before we were even engaged my mom said “well I want to invite my aunts and uncles (so my great aunts and uncles, most of whom don’t know who I am)”  I said “no” she didn’t care.  I went off on her (not the right way to handle it btw).  I said aunts, uncles and cousins.  If you aren’t one of them (I still have a huge family) or our CLOSE friend you are not getting an invite.  PERIOD.  My mom can say what she wants.  She is helping us with the wedding and being very generous, but if she wants someone else she can pay for it out of her pocket..not my wedding budget!

    Post # 10
    1987 posts
    Buzzing bee


    1. Kid free weddings are not a violation of the guidelines of etiquette

    2. Etiquette requires you to invite both individuals of a couple that has declared itself a social unit by being married, engaged or living together.  It does not require you to allow everyone to bring a partner.

    3. The strictest standard of etiquette dictates that your guests not have to pay for things at your event–it does not demand that you provide endless amounts of anything.  Now, if you are hosting a very formal event, what you offer in terms of food and drink should match that, but if you are not hosting a very formal event then there is no requirement for elaborate multi-course dinners, etc.

    4. I am actually not entirely sure what standard etiquette says about favors, but they do not have to be elaborate in any case (again, assuming that you are not hosting a very formal event)

    5. Etiquette does require that you thank everyone for attending and that you not disappear from your own reception for large portions of the evening.  This may be accomplished via a receiving line. 

    You are dealing with the demands and expectations of others–as previous posters have suggested the question of who is paying will probably loom large in many of these discussions.

    (I really should just starting signing my posts with “Disciple of aspasia and weddingmaven,” as I’ve learned so much from them and often repeat things that they’ve said in older threads!  This is to say that if they post and correct me, listen to them!  I am just the student…Embarassed)


    Post # 11
    750 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2001


    Post # 13
    5875 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    @marhealy:  Where have you been doing your research?  Your perspective sounds TOTALLY reasonable to me.  You haven’t been over on – I probably shouldn’t say the name – a wedding website that’s named after something you do to a rope?  Don’t take in those sorts of resources, they are meant to make you spend all your money!




    Check out the Bee, and also apracticalwedding.com for good, sane advice.


    Post # 15
    1627 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    @marhealy:  In that case I think your mom gets an equal slice of the pie…  I would write down all the close family that you actually want there and then say okay you can pick ten including spouses to add on.  Then maybe she’s feel appeased at least.  it’s not fair to your IL’s, Fiance and yourself to have to help foot the bill for a bunch of random people you know.

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