Post # 1
Hi fellow bees..
I apologize in advance that this will most likely become a rant.
Long story short…
I come from a chinese family where traditionally you HAVE TO invite all your family members (immediate, first cousins, aunt and uncles, grandkids). My mom has 9 brothers and sisters who all have their own families, and my dad has one sister who has grandkids already. At first, everyone tried to make me feel better by saying that most of them won’t come anyways. My brother got married 5-6 years ago and only one whole family came from my mom’s side. But for me, amazingly, at least 2 uncles have already rsvp’ed from overseas, and another one is coming locally from another province. My dad’s side are all coming – aunt and uncle, 1st cousin and her husband and their two kids. You would be wondering what the problem is…
The problem is that I am footing the entire bill with my fiancee. We calculated that the best we can do from saving during our 2 year engagement, is to have a small wedding of around 64 people with 8 of us in the wedding party. We were going to have around 25 people on each side. Except now with all these family members RSVP’ing, I’m stuck with cutting out almost all of my friends. O and we’re also giving each side’s parents 10 friends to come..
You may be wondering why I don’t just put my foot down and say no to the family members that doesn’t even know my name.. or would most likely completely ignore us during the entire ceremony and reception or why would we give 10 invitations to each side of our parents when we don’t even have enough room for oursevles… and the answer is that it all boils down to tradition. My brother, the goody two shoes of the family, got married 5-6 years ago and did the whole big wedding, did ALL of the wedding chinese traditions involved, gave 2 tables each to both sides parents, and just followed everything by the book. He also footed the entire bill by himself as a groom.. and so I’m assuming my parents are thinking that my fiancee is doing the same thing.
What they don’t know is that my fiancee not only makes less than I do, but also has a lot of financial obligations that renders his savings almost to zero every month.
I’m getting really stressed now that more and more family members are rsvp’ing to my wedding. Who would have thought that overseas uncles and aunts who don’t even know my name nor my face..would say yes to coming to my wedding!
Post # 2
Unfortunately you shouldn’t have invited people you didn’t want to come 🙁
Post # 3
I’m confused. Did you over invite? Has everyone on your guest list been invited but now you are having to uninvite people? What if more then 64 people RSVP yes?
Just because your brother did X and Y doesn’t mean that you had to follow suit. You put yourself in this situation instead of just standing up to your families and saying no. Have you considered adjusting your wedding plans and having a cake, app, and punch style reception instead so that you can include your friends along with all of your family?
Post # 4
It sounds like you should have just been honest with your parents from the beginning . “Sorry Mom and Dad, I know brother did this and this and this, BUT this is how we’re doing ours.” Or instead of letting parents invite friends, you should have invited your own friends. Especially since you’re footing the bill. I’m guessing all of that is too late since you already mentioned RSVP but unless you come clean with your parents, and they give you money to help, there really isn’t much else you can do.
Post # 5
it’s pretty simple. either you follow tradition, and live with those consequences (making your parents happy), or you grow a spine and tell your family what *you* want because *you* are paying for it. if tradition is important to *you*, then great! but that means you’ll have lots of family and no friends there. if it’s not important to *you*, then you need to do something about it.
Post # 6
I totally understand where you’re coming from! I’m third generation Chinese so there isn’t really the same pressure to follow all the traditions but there’s a lot of pressure to invite a lot of my parent’s friends and distant relatives I hardly know. They’re willing to pay for whoever they invite but the idea of a big wedding with mostly people we aren’t close with is still a little daunting and my fiancee and I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg no matter who’s paying for what. It’s taken a while to come to a good compromise and we’re still trying to figure out exactly how we want to do things so I don’t really have an answer for you, just wanted to let you know that I understand. If your relatives are generous with their gifts maybe that would help off-set the costs and you could still invite your friends?
Post # 7
I’m going to suggest something that is super risky but looking back, this is what I wished I had done- have you already booked your venue and is there a standard cash amount that you think these extra guests will gift you? If these guests will “cover their own plate”, as per my experience of Chinese etiquette, and your venue can hold them, then go ahead and add them and keep your friends on the list as these extra guests might actually pay for themselves. Also, did these people verbally RSVP or did they actually go through the effort of sending back a response in writing? Sometimes people that say they will come end up changing their mind, especially when overseas travel is involved. Don’t stress! I do agree with above posters that suggest you ask your parents to chip in for their guests. I was too stubborn to do it and cut the things that were important to me so they could have their extra guests. And then these guests actually ended up paying for the entirety of our wedding so in retrospect, I could have splurged. Message me if you want to talk further, it’s a numbers game and it might be in your favor to invite these extras.
Post # 8
That depends, we have Chinese families within our social circle who cannot afford to contribute to their kids’ wedding, yet still invite their extended families and friends. So you run the risk of not being able to pay for this wedding.
This is the time to think, “Hmmm, should I go broke for people I don’t know… OR should I save money and invite just a handful of people and have a wedding I know I can afford.”
FWIW, I’m a financial planner. Wedding’s don’t make financial sense so don’t go in debt for it.
Post # 9
What a kind and practical response . I hope OP can get some help from you .
Post # 10
Unless you are a bride who has been in this situation re the cultural expectations of your family, it’s kinda difficult to understand what this is all about.
OP I have been exactly in your shoes! I know how hard it is. Unfortunately you just have to bite the bullet and keep your parents happy. It is annoying as hell, but at least seeing their happiness on your wedding day will be some comfort to you. Also you will get lots back in $ gifts. Remember that; we way underestimated how much we would get. We ended up with about $6000 in cash gifts 0_0 (That’s another part of tradition you know!)