(Closed) Tight wedding budget, large guest list

posted 8 years ago in Family
Post # 3
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Are you good with spreadsheets?  I think what you need to do is to lay everything out in a spreadsheet, and then sit down with him and go over it.  ie. venues for x number of guests on each day, catering quotes, etc.

Perhaps he just doesn’t realize how much things can add up.

Good luck!

Post # 4
13901 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Do any of the venues have smaller rooms attached?  Like a hotel often has multiple banquet halls; you could rent a smaller one as well, set it up with games, toys, and pizza/sodas for the kids, thus cutting down on the number of plates to order and the number of seats you’d need?  I’m not sure if it’s even an option, but thought I’d throw it out there. 

Good luck!  Guests lists are so difficult!

Post # 6
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

We’re looking at Fridays, and you can save money all around- venues, photographers, and DJs may all offer discounts.

We’re dividing the guest list in half- 25 for his family, 25 for mine, 35 my friends, 35 his friends. (So about 125 invites, when we want to have 100 people) Everyone has a “B” list- it’s unfortunate, but that’s how it will have to be. I am only inviting one of twelve cousins- I can’t remember when I’ve seen some of the others who live out of the area, so it’s not important for me that they are at the wedding (and if they get upset, too bad.)

Yes, it is an option only to invite adults, especially if it’s an evening wedding. I have 3 nephews- 5, 18 and 20. Only the two older are invited, which caused some family drama, but it’s since been resolved. If dinner is going to be at a kid’s bedtime, they’re too young to  be there.

Your Fiance can invite aunts/uncles and not the cousins. My Future Mother-In-Law had a list of 42 people- HER aunts/uncles/cousins, who my Fiance doesn’t know-they’re not getting invites because we don’t have the budget. You can think of it this way- if you wouldn’t go to someone’s funeral (and vice versa), why should they be at your wedding?

You are right that it doesn’t seem fair that his guest list is so much greater than yours. He needs to compromise on something. Family is obviously very important to him- what if you have a smaller wedding, then have a family reception a month or two later? You could host a picnic during the daytime, for example- all the kids could be there. I’m not trying to sound mean- you don’t want people turned away at the door, and you’re right- it doesn’t make sense to go over budget for one day, when you can use the money towards your new life together. Good luck! 🙂

Post # 8
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

OMG. Going through the same situation. My Fiance and I want a reception with about 200 people, but his family has a crazy long invite list (“who is that?” “I don’t remember their names, but they’re related distantly to so-and-so and NEED to be invited”…)So as of right now, We have a list of about a hundred family friends and our friends from both sdes, they have a list of about a hundred FAMILY. My family is only inviting like…30 people. I’m stressing out about this because him and I LOVE the venue but it can’t fit the amount of people that his parents are planning to invite.

Now they’re basically brow-beating him into picking a different venue…

I have NO advice! But at least you and I aren’t the only ones going through this, right? 🙂

Post # 9
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Tell him he NEEDS to cut down on his list. Unless he’s some big baller and you have an unlimited income, things are tipped way too far in his favor, and it sounds like he’s making no compromises. I mean really – the guest list, the day of the week, the DJ/band v. iPod – he’s calling all the shots! He sounds controlling and not the least bit considerate. Yes, it’s selfish to say this, but the wedding is more about the bride than the groom. Also, marriage is all about compromise, and if he can’t handle that now, he won’t ever be able to learn it. It is completely unreasonable for him to invite ALL of his family and expect you to be choosy on your side of the family. If he’s this controlling in all aspects of your relationship, I’d suggest couples premarital counseling before moving too far forward.

Push again for the Friday wedding – it really does save a lot of money on ALL vendors – food, DJ, photographer, etc.

Also, even if you invite 200 people, not all 200 will be able to attend. I know it seems like you should plan for the “worst case scenario” with all 200 in attendance, but it’s inevitable that with that many guests there will be people who already have plans, people who become ill, etc. Usually they say about 20% will say no.

For your RSVP cards, I like the idea of saying “___ out of 5 will come.” You could even restrict it a bit more if you need: “___ out of 5 Garcias will come.” Then people know it’s family only without dates and friends.

Post # 10
60 posts
Worker bee

I am really sorry to hear you are having an issue with all of this but it sounds to me that your Fiance has no idea of how much a wedding costs. I think you need to get a spreadsheet in place with ALL the costs including stuff like photographers/ DJs etc and show him what the total comes to and how much over your total budget it is and then ask him how he suggests to cut the costs. Possibly do a model with 200 guests and one with 180 and show how much can be saved by making some cuts within the guest list.

I really hope you sort it out but IMO your Fiance seems to be very unflexible and now you are gettign stressed and upset because of this. i think you need to communicate this to him sooner rather than later otherwise you might up resenting the whole day by the time it comes along.

Good luck


Post # 11
27 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

Without knowing your budget, it’s a little hard to really help you out – there’s plenty of venues in SoCal that take over 200, but it really depends on your budget.  Staying firm with Saturday evening makes it harder, but you could look into places like Luminares, Castaway or Country Clubs, where the $/pp may fit within your budget.  An easy way is to also go to some of the wedding expo’s – there’s usually a great variety of venues there, and a very easy way for you to go up to all of them going, “Hey, I have 200 people, and only want to spend $45/pp – what’s the best arrangement you can do for me?”


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