Post # 1
So I just need a place to vent. My wedding is less than two weeks away and I’ve been getting stress headaches almost every day. I don’t want to bug the people around me, but I’m just so frustrated!
I got a forwarded e-mail last night from a cousin who ask if I have room for five more people. Five! I had to chase him down for an RSVP last month and I originally invited him, his wife, and his parents. Then he sends an e-mail to our mutual cousin to say that his wife isn’t coming, but there will be seven people coming. I got frustrated, but also got over it and asked him for the names which he only provided to our mutual cousin who then had to forward it to me.
So now here I am and he wants to invite five more people including his wife. Then I counted the names he provided and it turns out there’s actually eight names! At this point I’m so mad. I don’t even know who is who! I’m from an Asian family so we call people by their titles so I asked him to explain who exactly is who because if he doesn’t, I can’t promise to not accidentally separate couples and/or children.
I don’t understand why he wouldn’t talk to me directly. I would e-mail him directly, but then he would call or e-mail my cousin to answer. This last e-mail he even directed it to me, but sent it to our cousin. We already met with the venue and made the arrangements. We designed the layout of the room and already came up with the seating arrangements. Budget-wise, we’ve already adjusted to our numbers and would rather not go any further. But I’m kind of angry that my cousin would put me in this position. I didn’t invite his siblings because we hardly know each other and nobody knew their contact information. I invited only the cousins I could contact. Even if they all insist on coming and bringing their own respective families along, why wasn’t this communicated to me over a month ago when I had to chase him down to get an answer? And now I have to say no to his wife coming even though I originally invited her? And if his other family members want to come, is it unreasonable of me to at the very least expect a personal phone call or e-mail with only two weeks left before the wedding? I feel like I never hear from them ever and these e-mails feel like he doesn’t even want to talk to me. Why are you going to a wedding of someone you don’t even want to talk to?
So we’ve decided to tell him that we only have space for eight people and let him figure out who is coming. But seriously, is this even normal? I spent a good hour trying to rearrange the seating plan and the budget, but ultimately I felt like it would throw everything off at this point to accommodate the extra uninvited people that want to come. My head feels like it’s going to explode.
Post # 2
If it were me, I would put my foot down and not let him invite anyone. Guests don’t get to invite who they want, especially to a wedding and especially if they are not footing the extra bill.
If he gets annoyed and decides not to come, that might be a silver lining!
Post # 3
I’m not even sure I’ve got this straight, you invited him and his wife and his parents, so 4.
Then he said his wife wasn’t coming, but 5 other people were coming instead, bringing you to 8.
And now he’s asking for another 5? So 13 instead of the original 4.
Sorry if I’m being repetitive, I just cannot even wrap my head around this and need to make sure I’ve got this straight.
You said you were from an Asian culture, is it common for people to add guests (maybe not this much, but at all).
I can’t even believe this guy and that’s without even dealing with the fact he refuses to respond to you directly.
Post # 4
Guests don’t get their own guestlist. Put your foot down and tell him he can only bring the people YOU invited. If he doesn’t come, honestly it sounds like a blessing!
Post # 5
Super rude! Are you having a Chinese wedding banquet? That’s like a whole table! If he is not telling you who is coming I would make the assumption it’s a bunch of freeloaders wanting free food–that might not be the case but he should tell you who is coming. Maybe ask your parents if it’s normal as they are probably used to your family. Don’t think my Asian family would do this but who knows. Also, I am surprised you are saying ok to the 8 but I guess I get it because the 8 people might be family … or freeloaders!
Post # 6
ElectroFish: You got it completely right. Because we’re doing an Asian style reception, that would mean that his whole family would occupy more than one table. (Since one table = ten guests.)
My suspicion is that upon realizing I’m getting married, his whole family decided that it would be a good time to have a family get-together. We had a big one last year and the whole family got to sit together. So now I have to let him know that actually, you won’t be seated as a family. Uncles/aunts will be seated separately in the uncles/aunts table. My dad’s hoping that this would also make them change their minds and they won’t want to come.
I’m also worried that on the day of the reception, they’ll ignore the seating arrangement and sit whereever they want. It’s unbelievable this is happening. NOBODY else is acting this way!
Post # 7
poodleymix: Yup, it’s Chinese wedding banquet. I said yes to the 8 because we had a bunch of declines and at the time I thought the 7 (because I didn’t notice that there was one extra name until yesterday), were his siblings. So I thought okay, he must have invited his siblings, but at least it’s just the siblings and not their spouses and children. But now it turns out it’s the WHOLE family so yes, it’s basically an extra table.
I seriously spent an hour trying to rearrange everything. Theoritically I could do it, but I would either have to order a new table or look like a cheapskate by overloading all tables. I would also have to meet with the venue again to discuss a layout. I don’t feel that I should have to look bad or pay more because people decided it’s a good idea to invite themselves to a wedding months after the RSVP date and at the same time continue to maintain some strange no-contact zone.
I did talk to my dad and he said I’ll be completely justified in saying no because nobody else is that crazy.
Post # 8
Maybe your culture is different but this guy has some brass ones to assume he could invite so many more people. He would get a firm “no way Jose” from me
Post # 9
I’m actually having trouble figuring out if this is a cultural thing too. It didn’t help that way earlier in the wedding planning, my dad was upset that I wouldn’t invite the other cousins. He felt I was being rude. I couldn’t. Nobody even knew how to contact my uncle and aunt let alone my other cousins. I didn’t even know their names! The only contact I had was with this one cousin so I sent him an e-mail with an electronic invite and asked for his address. Then I asked our mutual cousin for his number when he missed the RSVP date by weeks. That’s when he started only talking to our mutual cousin.
But the thing is, NOBODY ELSE is acting this way. Everyone knew about this wedding since February. I’m having people flying in even. Every single person was able to plan ahead except apparently them.
Post # 10
I’d say no, and that’s it. Have Darling Husband and/or parents behind me (metaforically) to support me.
I did a Mexican traditional wedding, and for my IL’s this meant inviting EVERYONE. They were also planning on having a family get-together with all extended relatives. My Mother-In-Law actually did this for my bridal shower, and it turned out horrible. I knew less than 5% of the people there, and most where her extended relatives whom did nothing but talk between them during all the event (only one of them approached me).
For my wedding, Father-In-Law was pushing that we allowed them to invite around 20+ people. We had already given them 10 invitations to use at their discretion, but they wanted more. They wanted to invite relatives they hadn’t seen in years! I said no, not because of money or venue capacity (we are already at its maximun), but because I refused to get married surrounded by people I hardly knew -and pay for people who clearly didn’t care about me. I think I did right (despite the fact that Darling Husband had to constantly deal with telling Father-In-Law he couldn’t invite his relatives) because they few extended-family that came from my IL’s side where very rude:
– They REFUSED to sit where I had accomodated them. Even went to the venue manager and demand the tables moved (they did moved them because I was distracted).
– Consumed even more than what we had organized for (luckily, we had a half-cash bar)
– Didn’t get us any presents or cards.
– Didn’t even approached us to congratulate us (one of them did approach Darling Husband, but completely ignored me).
– Got completely wasted and started screaming/shouting.
– Overall, just took our wedding as a reunion party :/
So, yeah, just say NO, sorry.
Post # 11
He would be getting a swift ‘go fuck yourself’ from me.
You seem like a much nicer person than I am so in your case I’d be telling him that you absolutely can’t accomodate more guests and if he has an issue with it he can communicate with you directly.
Emails to your mutual cousin doesn’t count and will go unanswered.
Post # 12
newlywednewbie: I’m so sorry that happened at your wedding! You listed some of the things I worry about for my wedding. I don’t mind not getting any presents or cards, but at least talk to us. At least be there to celebrate our wedding. If you want a family reunion, do it at some cheaper restaurant or at your own houses.
I am thinking of assigning my dad and one other person to be the enforcer for seating. Ultimately I told my dad that if people want to play musical chairs, then they should do it among the three tables reserved for my family. Don’t bother our colleagues and friends. I mean, if you want to sit on each other’s laps that’s your business, but don’t sit on mine, my FI’s, or our friends.
And thanks everyone for the replies! I feel better knowing I’m not crazy. I got back from my bachelorette last night and saw this e-mail and couldn’t stop thinking about it since. I seem to always get news from him during a major event. Last time I found out during my bridal shower that he only sent the list of names to our mutual cousin. He seems to also have terrible timing.
Post # 13
Knowing that they are family I would probably just call the venue and run it by them. (Not sure if I would actually want to go there unless it is near.) Definitely don’t squish more people per table though. If they say it won’t fit you have an easy out in putting your foot down. If they say yes they can fit then you still have to decide. Keep in mind that that if they are this rude, yes they will likely try to sit where they want to sit and if they are being cheap enough to use your wedding as an excuse for a family reunion, you probably won’t get enough wedding money from them to offset their dinner. Tough spot. Asian guilt and family obligation can be a rough thing.
Post # 14
poodleymix: To be honest, I know the venue can accommodate. The room could in theory go a few more tables, but I suspect it will then eat up the dance floor which I’m not into doing. Older Chinese people don’t generally dance, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us won’t!
And yeah. My Fiance isn’t Chinese so I explained what to expect from a wedding, but I also stressed to just not expect any red envelopes. You’ll be a much happier person if you go into this expecting nothing and come out with something.
Asian guilt and family obligations definitely suck. But at least my dad is on my side about this this time. I was so worried he’ll insist I make it work and blame me for wanting a wedding. (He originally wanted me to elope.)