Post # 1
I think the guest list is and probably will always be the biggest challenge as part of my wedding planning.
Plus how the budget is split up, it’s a bit tricky. It’d be so much more simple if we were paying for all of it. My Fiance comes from a more financially well off background while my parents are just making ends meet.
The guest list for our wedding day is capped at 150 just because it’s small, and Future Mother-In-Law are planning on throwing a bigger day after reception to invite all their friends. They will most likely be paying for the majority of the costs. My parents have made a lot of sacrifices to pitch in as much as they can, which we already feel terrible about. But I know otherwise, they feel terrible about not pitching in. Now comes the decision of who gets to invite who. I know my parents already feel bad about inviting people to either of the events.
I’m wondering if we all need to sit down and discuss this all together. It’s just extremely weird and uncomfortable thinking about this all.
Post # 3
THe best suggestion I’ve heard is for each side to make their lists and then prioritize. If I were you, I might ask everyone to make a list, figure out who you can realistically invite and then sit down with each set of parents individually – especially since their is a discrepancy in income – you don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.
Full disclaimer – we didn’t do this but I wish we had. I had to pull names out of my mother besides the obvious, you know, like my grandmother and aunts… and she’s contributing. Whereas my FI’s family, who isn’t for a variety of reasons isn’t paying for anything other than their own attire (I think), has given us crazy guest lists of whom we are still negotiating. While this bothers me (clearly), I just keep thinking, a few guests isn’t worth causing a riff between me and my future inlaws. But if it gets too out of hand, I’m definitely stepping in! Good luck!
Post # 4
I like @SoontobeMrsV’s suggestion about prioritizing…hadn’t thought about prioritizing over simple numbers.
(I pre-apologize for the length & depth of my answer…apparently I feel strongly about this.)
Here’s my suggestion: give each set of parents a set number (maybe 50 for each set, leaving you & Fiance your own 50) & have them choose which of their 50 nearest & dearest merits an invite. If you feel that open to doing this next step, more power to you: insist to each set that, if they wish to go over their 50 allotted invites, they will have to pay the net cost of each extra person/party (net cost = cost of meal + tax & gratuity, cost of drink + tax & gratuity, cost of STD, invite, escort card/place card, program, thank you card + tax & postage, cost of Out of Town bag (if applicable), cost of Rehearsal Dinner meal & drink + tax & gratuity (if applicable)). Let them know that you & Fiance will need a final number by X date, along with any necessary payment for extra invitees (this should be BEFORE the invites are ordered – not every guest needs an STD, but invites should be sent/received by all guests at roughly the same time). If FI’s parents want to invite more peeps, then they can afford it. If your parents want to invite more peeps, they’ll need to budget for it or be REALLY picky about their 50. And, no contributors can say that the other set got more than they deserved, because it was equal.
This method requires a UNITED front from you & Fiance…all parental attempts to thwart, guilt-trip, fight, blame, or argue about their number or who should be added to YOUR 50 should be discussed between the two of you before ANY answer (whether binding or tentative) is given to either parent. (Ex: “Well, mom, I’ll have to talk to Fiance about that before I can give you an answer.”/ “I get where you’re coming from…Fiance & I will talk about it & get back to you.”/”Yes, I can make up my own mind, but this is the first day of our life TOGETHER, so I think we should make any decisions about that day TOGETHER.”) Any disagreements about his & your opinion must be solved before getting either set of parents involved…unless you want your parents involved with decisions in your MARRIAGE, too.
Hope This Helps & Good Luck!
Post # 5
We’re probably going to have to sit down with them next weekend and talk everything through. It’s so hard making everyone happy! Wish me luck!