(Closed) Their guest list is huge, and they aren’t paying for the reception!

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
7777 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Well, I’d tell them that the venue can only hold a certain number of people and that they cannot invite more than that. They are offering to pay for their guests, so I think that it is not a HUGE issue.

That being said, I would totally be annoyed too. My parents are paying for my wedding and me and my mother got into it BIG time over guest list. Fiance and I want a small wedding. I told her 80 people… she told me 125. In the end, it worked out because we both have small families and Future Father-In-Law had absolutely no one he wanted to invite. There are 86 people on the list and at least 4, for sure, aren’t going to come.

You need to compromise with them. Work it out. Don’t just say HELL NO right away, because you will, more than likely, just cause a huge pile of drama.

Post # 4
355 posts
Helper bee

One thing you could do is suggest the future in-laws host a party for you to meet all their friends after returning from the honeymoon rather than inviting them all to the wedding.  That way they aren’t limited by venue constraints and can entertain in the style befitting their circle — AND more importantly, you don’t have a wedding flooded with random people. 

Post # 5
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Yeah, I wouldn’t be comfortable with that either. Isn’t it strange that they’re willing to, essentially, host a dinner for 75 of their friends (i.e. pay for 75 plates at your reception) but they’re not willing to help their son with the costs of his wedding in general? Annoying, but of course it’s their prerogative and they’re not obligated to do anything. Apart from that, though, I’m with you in that I had strong feelings about who was invited to our wedding. I didn’t want people there that we didn’t know and that only served some sort of social purpose for the parents. I would definitely come up with a Plan B and SFCarrie’s is as good as any. It’s really not fair to you and your Fiance to have a bunch of strangers at your wedding, especially when they outnumber the people you really care about!

Post # 6
940 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

Yow. That’s a big list.

Personally, since they’re paying the per-plate fee, and as long as other associated fees were manageable (or contributed to), I would probably suck it up for the sake of harmony.

I would, however, let them know pretty assertively that they needed to cut X amount of people because of your venue’s capacity.

Good luck!

Post # 7
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

why do i get the feeling your Father-In-Law are from the south? weddings sometimes turn into spectacles because the need to impress the socialites in town. If they are offering to pay for them if they come, then thats something, although i get your need to want to have people there that actually would RECOGNIZE yall if they saw you (aside from the dress of course :)! )

see if theres negotiation room – contact your Mother-In-Law directly and explain how you picture your day – i had a similar problem, and ended up having a nice “come to jesus” meeting and all seems to be well now, and the list is not the 150 they wanted but the 120 i wanted….

marriage is about compromise, see if theres some give on there part before blowing your lid. 🙂

good luck!

Post # 8
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

WOWEE.  That’s nuts. 


spaganya is right, it is about comprimise.  Unfortunately you will be in this family forever, so it’s probably better to start now. 


What they are doing is certainly not fair.  Maybe suggest the idea of a party for their friends at THEIR house on their bill. 


I would definitely explain that you have a limited number of guests and possibly just say “It’s more important to me that OUR friends and family are comfortable and enjoy themselves.” 

Post # 9
599 posts
Busy bee

That is nuts! I would say you need to speak with your fi and get him to talk to them. Tell him they need to cut their list by so many. That you are glad they are willing on paying for these people but that it does not take into consideration costs for table rentals and floral centerpieces and invitations. These other expenses add up based on the per person count and that you can not afford their list being 75 people. Give them a number you do feel comfortable with.

Post # 10
1565 posts
Bumble bee

Something similar happened to us (though though not with that many guests!) We just kept repeating that we wanted the day to be our celebration and didn’t want to be surrounded by strangers. Their friends can easily be told that it’s an intimate wedding, not a huge 300 person gala, and they can hardly be offended by a lack of an invitation to such a wedding. In our case, Future Mother-In-Law was upset but ultimately let it go.

In this type of situation I think it is hugely important for you and Fiance to be on the same page. He’s the one that needs to have this conversation with his parents (potentially over and over until they understand you’re not budging). In the course of your future marriage, there will surely be occasions when he needs to stand up to his parents, and if he can’t do it now, he better start learning. My Fiance didn’t see the problem of having “a few more people”, but by explaining how I felt and how important it was for me to have my wedding in the circle of close friends and family, how upset I would be if it was mostly strangers, etc, I was able to get him on board.


Post # 11
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Have your Fiance tell them that 75 is an unacceptable list, and that you “planned for” the initial 20-30 they estimated the first time. In fact, give them a hard and fast number and say, “you can invite x amount of people to our wedding” and have them revise the list. If they don’t, tough noogies, nobody gets invited. That’s how it works–you have to lay down the law! They’re being unreasonable. Let them throw you guys an engagement party or something at their house for their “social circle” of friends. You and your Fiance have to start someplace in regards to not letting them do this sort of stuff, and now’s as good a time as any. It establishes a clear line, ya know?

Post # 12
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Yes, even if the per plate is covered it could be (based on my area) an extra $600 in tables, $63 in tablecloths, $262.5 – $750 in chair rentals (+ cover prices if need be), 9 extra centerpieces, 75 extra favors if youre doing them, an extra $200 +/_ in invitations, added save the dates, she’s essentially adding thousands to your budget that are still un-covered.  

Def. focus on your lists first, see how many you two are at, and give her the left overs for comfortable seating.  Have her son tell her that there is only room left for x amount of people.  I would tell her too that the budget was for the 10-20 and anything over that there is no money for, so can she pay the cost of having each person over that number outright.

Post # 13
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

If you don’t want them there regardless, I agree with PP: Tell them 130 people will fit, you have already invited 100, so they get 30. Otherwise I would tell them that the venue that you can afford can’t fit that many and if they would like you the book a bigger venue to accomodate your guests they will need to pay for that.

Post # 15
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Girl, you just gotta tell them no! “Thank you for your input, but we’ll be doing it our way….” that is unless they fork up 20K, right? =

Post # 16
135 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

No, you are most definitely not overreacting!!! For them to invite more people than you or your Fiance simply because their social status dictates it is just ridiculous. Even IF they were paying for the wedding, I think I would feel uncomfortable not knowing a third of my guests! It’s a celebration of your love and the people who should be there are those that know and care about you two personally and want to be there to support you–not people who are there only because of their social standing or whatever. Good luck working it out!

The topic ‘Their guest list is huge, and they aren’t paying for the reception!’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors