Post # 1
Ok Hive! I need some assistance:
My finance and I are from different coasts. He is from the west coast, and I grew up here on the east coast. Our wedding is going to be here on the east coast, and so unfortunately his friends and family are going to have to make the cross country trek to share in our special day. We have gone ahead and made it more of a weekend affair rather than a five hour celebration, so that those coming out have a more worthwhile experience.
So the problem is that we have the STD’s already made and ready to go, but my finance and I can’t decide on a guest list. We are inviting 150 ppl, and I have a relatively thought filled list with an idea of A – listers and B listers. He, on the other hand, has a list of 50 or so relatives his brother used at his wedding, and REFUSES to create a list of his own friends and family. He wants to hand out (we are headed back next week) invitations to anyone and everyone who he can possibly think of.
His reasoning, which the further I get from the argument we had the more I agree with, is that most of his friends and family are too broke, and can’t afford to come out for the wedding. He thinks that even with handing them out to everyone, he won’t be able to fill up his share of the 75 being invited. When I asked what the #$%& hes going to do if 150 people show up from his coast, he said “we’ll make them pay for their liquor and only feed them crackers and cheese”.
I should add that the wedding is out here because my parents are paying for the wedding, and I think he had been so removed from feeling financially burdened he can’t even think about how much money this will take. Now before you go and judge, note that we have been engaged for four years now, and living together close to five. The past three of those years have been spent in grad school for BOTH of us – living on VERY little money and barely squeaking by. Everyone and their dog just wanted us to get it over with, and we couldn’t agree more. My parents are very willing and able to pay, and made sure we know in no uncertain terms that they would be happy to make the day a little more special for us and everyone involved by helping us out.
So hive, does this sound ridiculous? Should I let him go ahead and hand them all out, with the idea that he is probably right and a lot of people can’t afford it, or should I re-vamp my argument and really tell him no?
Post # 3
If he hands out Save-The-Date Cards willy-nilly you still won’t have a guest list.
Will he remember each person he gave one to? Because each of them will be expecting a formal invite later (and the cost of invites is something to consider).
How will you indicate if each person getting an STD gets to bring a +1, their kids, their mother, etc.?
Will he be pressured to give Save-The-Date Cards to people he really doesn’t want to invite because he’s handing them out all over the place and can’t turn someone down face to face?
I think his idea is a TERRIBLE one!
Perhaps you can compromise?
Suggest that he make a guest list (since you will need it for the invites later anyway) and then tell him that he can bring out X number of extra Save-The-Date Cards on the trip to hand out to anyone he may have forgotten. (But only X number! That way you can relax about the potential number of guests).
Post # 4
Perhaps he just wants to get the word out on your wedding! He’s excited, that’s a good thing! Remind him that he will need addresses for everyone he gives a STD out to so you can send them an invitation (which costs $$). Also remind him that you can send out Marriage Announcement cards after the fact, so that his friends and family can feel included but you don’t have to freak out about guest counts. If he’s so sure that his family is broke and won’t come to his wedding (he does know his family best) I would take a deep breath, relax, and prepare to spend some duckage on your invites. My FI’s family doesn’t have the money to make it either, so I understand that he wants to send invitations to God and everybody. Maybe he’s worried about how he’ll look if only his mom and dad can make it. Try to see it from his side, and just remind him that for each extra person (over his 75) who RSVPs it’ll cost $$ amount. If his situation is anything like my FIs, you won’t have anything to worry about.
Post # 5
You got to understand that its his wedding to. His family is all the way on the other side of the country so your special day he is not going to be able to share with everyone he would like to. If it makes him happy to go and ask everyone he know on the otherside of the country than let him. Just make sure he knows that he needs to keep track of how many hes handing out. If its like you say that most wont show anyways than no harm no fowl.
Post # 6
Be careful. I have had several ENTIRE FAMILIES whom I thought would not be able to come to my wedding respond "YES." And by entire families, I mean, parents, their kids, their kids’ husbands and wives, and THEIR children. So one family responded yes, and I now have 15 people coming to the wedding when I originally only thought that 5 of those 15 would make it. So although you think that most won’t make the trek across country, you will be surprised who actually comes. Some families will want to make a vacation out of it, or something like that.
I think that you should only invite the max number that your budget or venue can handle, taking into consideration the AVERAGE number that won’t come. You mentioned you could have 150 people total. So lets say 20-25 people might not come (not sure of the exact percentage you should count on, but I’m sure you could research that). Then only invite 175 max. OR, if your family is paying for the wedding, let your Fiance have a conversation with his parents that everyone over 150 people, they will have to pay for.
At the end of the day, this day belongs to both of you. He has a right ot invite guests and I’m sure that he feels like not as many people will come to support him since they have to fly so far. I’m sure there are lots of things that he is feeling… so maybe sit down and try to talk to him about what he is thinking and feeling. And then at the end of the day, just make sure you do this all properly. If you are sending or handing out a STD, they should also get an invite. And excuse of not having their address a few months later or not knowing exactly who he invited is not acceptable.
I think if you iron out the details and together with your fiance come up with a reasonable compromise, it will all work out in the end.
Post # 7
I’m not so sure about just handing them out, he still needs to write out the names. That said, it is not unreasonable to invite way more people than you expect to actaully come to your wedding. My husband and I had a similar situation, we live in California and much of my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) live on the East coast, and much of my husbands family lives in India.
We ended up inviting just over 250 guests when we really only wanted between 100 -140 to show up. In the end we had 122 people show up to the wedding — which was perfect! We had verbal confirmation from most of my family that the plane ticket cost was just too high. We also did not actually put a wedding date on the STD, just "summer 2008" – this way no one could make travel arrangements without calling us first. This gave us a really good idea of who was planning ahead to come and helped to make our own planning easier.
Post # 8
Thanks so much for all your helpful advice!
I think I took a combination of advice from everyone – from "its his weddding too" to "be careful" and in the end, went with the flow.
You won’t believe this – he ended up inviting EXACTLY 75 people. Now if he adds on some friends from over here it will be perfect – about 10% over the number of people we are hoping will show up!