(Closed) the uneven guest list

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
6572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

I don’t have any good advice. My brother and SIL had this issue, but she was the one with a small family and nobody seemed to care. In the end, you’re family will be his family so I feel like it makes sense that they get invited.

Post # 4
2066 posts
Buzzing bee

Talk to your Fiance.  Explain that the two of you wanted close family and friends at your wedding and you are fighting to make sure that happens and he now wants to accomidate people you don’t know and that isn’t what you wanted for your wedding.  Why does he feel that invitations should be 50/50?  Ask him how he would feel if his realatives weren’t invited because your Mom wanted to invite people you haven’t met?

Do you have space restrictions on your venue?  Do you have budget restrictions?  I’m assuming yes to both questions.  Use that as a reason not to invite people.  We calcuated the cost per person (food, drinks, linens, centerpiece, cake, invitations) – basically anything that varried per person.  And we used that as a measure to determine if people were worth an invite.  Ex – Is FI’s fraternity brother from 20 years ago that he hasn’t seen in 10 years worth paying $x per person.  Most of the time the answer was no, and we moved on. 

Post # 5
1398 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Yea I’m not sure why he feels that the invites have to be 50/50. Sometimes people just have larger families than others. The wedding is largely my family, Fiance is an only child with a step brother, no grandparents and few aunts and uncles. Am I supposed to trim my guest list because he doesn’t have the guests to fill his side? That’s ridiculous.

Post # 6
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m confused as to why Fiance and his mom thinks the guest list has to be 50/50. I have a much larger family than Fiance and I have a lot more family friends than FI’s mom (She’s “socially unacceptable”). Because of that, my list is a lot bigger than FI’s side.  Unless Future Mother-In-Law is paying for a good chunk of the wedding, I wouldn’t let her boss you around as to who gets invited. Good luck!

Post # 7
4583 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I agree with the previous posters – it doesn’t have to be 50/50! I’m only close with a very small portion of my family so I’m inviting about 20 people for our wedding of around 70. The rest are mutual friends and FI’s family. I’m fine with it. Just don’t have specific sides during the ceremony, let people sit wherever they want and it will even out.

Post # 10
1371 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I detest the 50/50 obsession.  My husband felt really upset and worried when he realized his family outnumbered mine by almost 4:1, and they were not paying.  It’s not anyone’s fault that they come from a bigger family.  My family is tiny and that’s just the way it is!

I would be frustrated too.  Hang in there.  I agree with the ‘mingling’ of the guests, we did this and several people really liked the people they met.  I especially don’t think this request should be made if your family is footing the majority of the bill.

It seems like the guest list is always an area of complaint for parents that aren’t allowed to run the show.  Try your best to show them that although the NUMBERS aren’t equal, the family relations are equal (e.g. we decided not to invite any great uncles/great aunts, and when some people complained we explained that this was done across the board with all families as we wanted to keep the wedding small).

Post # 11
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

My family is WAY bigger (and more complicated) than my husbands.  We did our list by degree of relationship, and he got to take off anyone on his side that he didn’t want to invite (my extended family is also closer than his).  Family, close friends, and close family friends were invited on both sides but were by no means equal. 

Post # 12
223 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

What an annoying dillemma, I’m sorry you have to deal with it. I think a bunch of other bees gave good advice, and then you can also take into account that YOUR family is footing most of the bill, so technically, when you get down to it, YOUR family is “entitled” to a larger guest list… (Though I know when one whips out the “technically” reasons, things get impersonal and there can be even more problems.)

Post # 13
20 posts
  • Wedding: January 2012

I personally think that if your soon to be mother in law wants to invite random people then she should pay for those people. It’s not ok to even think you should compromise any of your family members.

Post # 14
817 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

It is NOT your fault that #1 his family is smaller than yours, and #2 that some of his family will not make the trip. That’s ridiculous to lower your side’s numbers because of factors you cannot control!

I say as long as you followed BASIC etiquette (you invited your great aunts and unlces, so he invites his, too) then that should be fine.

If your MIL-to-be wants to foot hte bill for her friends that you don’t even know, let her. YOUR wedding. NOT hers.

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