Etiquette

Groom's guest list is huge, bride's parents footing the bill though

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Re: Groom's guest list is huge, bride's parents footing the bill though

  • CMGragain said:
    OP, I think you are planning you wedding backwards.  First, you set your budget.  This is the money you have to spend on your wedding - TOTAL.  Next you make up your guest list.

    Now that you have your guest list, you shop for a venue, time of day, menu that fits both these two criteria.  This is after all other expenses are accounted for in your budget.

    It does not matter who is paying for what.  Plan the wedding that you can afford for the guests you want to invite.  If this means starting over and changing your plans, then do it.

    PS.  DH and I paid for 100% of daughter's wedding.  Six relatives from our side of the family attended.  The groom's huge local family numbered more than 60.  So what?  Everybody was happy, and the money was well spent.
    While I agree with the "budget then guest list" we did ours opposite, mainly because I knew M had a larger family but also so we could ensure our budget would cover the people we were inviting and no one would have to get taken out. Also if we knew our 80 people were covered, we could plan where to find ways to cut costs in other areas if we needed to {example: flowers from Dollar store vs Michael's. Are boutonnieres necessary for our wedding? Are the BMs carrying flowers?}
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    Knottie58db04277ec3fdbfcharlotte989875ahoywedding
  • I would do as someone else suggested and make a spread sheet after you get the rest of your quotes. Then show him in black and white, it will cost X amount per person, my parents are giving us X amount - this would leave us to pay $$ - unless we cut out lists. I also suggest inviting in circles, invite all of his 5 uncles but no cousins, or whatever will work for your family. Maybe have a childfree wedding - just look at ways to get to the number you can afford.
    Knottie58db04277ec3fdbfcharlotte989875
  • Thanks, everyone--really appreciate the feedback and advice. 
    MissKittyDanger
  • Though I agree that you cannot ask FILs to contribute, I think it would be fair if after you and your FI have sat down and came up with the guest list you both agree on that has all the people important to the two of you to have at your wedding to have your FI show the list to his family and if his family is so upset great uncle billy that you haven't seen in 10 years isn't invited "It just isn't in the budget for us. If it's important for you to have him there, you can contribute his per head cost of $X" or something like that.

    Other PPs have covered the basics.
    I feel like this comes across as guilting people into paying for your wedding.  If they ask whether Uncle Billy is invited, simply say, "no, it just wasn't in the budget for us" and change the topic. 
    Knottie58db04277ec3fdbfcharlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • Though I agree that you cannot ask FILs to contribute, I think it would be fair if after you and your FI have sat down and came up with the guest list you both agree on that has all the people important to the two of you to have at your wedding to have your FI show the list to his family and if his family is so upset great uncle billy that you haven't seen in 10 years isn't invited "It just isn't in the budget for us. If it's important for you to have him there, you can contribute his per head cost of $X" or something like that.

    Other PPs have covered the basics.
    In regards to this figure...it's not just the cost of food/drink. It's the cost of extra tables/chairs, extra linens, extra dishes, extra centerpieces, extra place/escort cards, extra cake/cutting fees, extra programs, extra favors, extra invitations/RSVP cards, extra stamps, etc. 

    OP, as you come up with this number, don't underestimate the cost of each guest. And even if you don't have exact figures for all of this right now, you can ballpark and say "this approximately how much it will cost per guest". 
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    mollybarker11ahoyweddingSP29
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited October 26
    Don't forget to calculate hidden costs, like tips and taxes.  Ours added 37% to the guest number calculation.  Brunch menu was $35 per guest.  Add required taxes and tips, that is $46 per guest, plus fees for bar tenders and servers!  Big difference!
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    Knottie58db04277ec3fdbfMandyMostInLoveInQueensMairePoppy
  • We came up with the guest list first. My situation was similar to your fiance's...I have a large people and "had to" invite in circles even if I don't like and am not close to certain relatives. The resulting family drama from not inviting someone was not worth it to me. The options for me were essentially immediate family only (just my mom and brother) or 70 family members. There was no in between. We ended up with a "must have" list just under 150, and a "like to have" list brought it up to almost 170. Of course, some of the spots on the guest list were blanks for people who were single at the time of making the list so we could accommodate a future SO if they were in a relationship at the time the invites went out. 

    Then we looked at some venues and got prices. 

    Then we made a list of all the aspects of the wedding (dress, invites, etc., etc., etc.), and what was covered in the venue price (some covered all the chairs/tables/catering/bar, some were all separate).

    Then we set a reasonable (to us) budget based on what we could afford and what we really wanted for a wedding. 

    Then we booked a venue, and finalized the guest list based on the size of the venue.

    Then we adjusted our expectations around everything else based on how costs were lining up. For instance, we didn't think of it as "what can we cut, and what can we do cheaply", we thought of it as "what do we NEED"--which was just us, an officiant, and appropriately hosted guests with food, drink, and chairs--and then thought about what we wanted to add. Like a wedding dress, nice invitations, centerpieces, a bouquet, a DJ, table cloths, etc.
    charlotte989875Knottie58db04277ec3fdbfthisismynickname2ahoywedding
  • MandyMost said:
    We ended up with a "must have" list just under 150, and a "like to have" list brought it up to almost 170. Of course, some of the spots on the guest list were blanks for people who were single at the time of making the list so we could accommodate a future SO if they were in a relationship at the time the invites went out. 
    VERY important element to remember. OP, make sure to do this! Imagine the stress of finally getting all the numbers to line up, only to find that 5 of your formerly single guests now have significant others (who must also be invited).

    SP29
  • @short+sassy oh my gosh that's a fantastic analogy because that's actually the boat we're in right now... wedding planning and house hunting. Now, I don't want all the things you listed... But quite a few of them haha! That's actually super helpful and super applicable, so thank you!
    I tried to be really over the top, lol.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    Knottie58db04277ec3fdbf
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    edited October 27
    Your parents are contributing most of the budget for your wedding...that gives them the privilege of determining how may many guests they want to host and how many guests they will allow on your fi's side. Once you choose your caterer and get you pp cost figured out you will have the total number of guests. Your parents should put immediate families on both sides, including grandparents and Godparents if you have them. Next, they should add their siblings and your fil's siblings and spouses, of course. Your parents may, if they wish, divide the remaining 'spots' down the middle and tell your FILs they may invite X number of people. Or, your parents, who are paying, may exercise their right to add in their best friends and nieces and nephews, if they choose,  and give the remaining 'spots' to your fils. When they tell fi how many guests his family may invite, he should thank them for generously hosting his guests, whichever amount that is.

    If your fi and FILs are not happy with their quota, then you and he need to ante up. You may not ask FILs to contribute, but if they offer, it's okay to accept. Remember to add in the extra place settings, tables, centerpieces to their per person costs. Just make sure your parents know they aren't trying to take over, they just want to help. 

    It's very generous of your FILs to host the RD. That gives them total control of the guest list for the RD- as long as they invite all who are expected to attend the rehearsal, along with their s/os. It's their privilege to determine the menu, location (within reasonable distance of the rehearsal) and style of the RD (formal or casual). They are the hosts of the RD, just as your parents are the hosts of reception.

                
    eileenrob
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    edited October 28
    CMGragain said:
    OP, I think you are planning you wedding backwards.  First, you set your budget.  This is the money you have to spend on your wedding - TOTAL.  Next you make up your guest list.

    Now that you have your guest list, you shop for a venue, time of day, menu that fits both these two criteria.  This is after all other expenses are accounted for in your budget.

    It does not matter who is paying for what.  Plan the wedding that you can afford for the guests you want to invite.  If this means starting over and changing your plans, then do it.

    PS.  DH and I paid for 100% of daughter's wedding.  Six relatives from our side of the family attended.  The groom's huge local family numbered more than 60.  So what?  Everybody was happy, and the money was well spent.
    While I agree with the "budget then guest list" we did ours opposite, mainly because I knew M had a larger family but also so we could ensure our budget would cover the people we were inviting and no one would have to get taken out. Also if we knew our 80 people were covered, we could plan where to find ways to cut costs in other areas if we needed to {example: flowers from Dollar store vs Michael's. Are boutonnieres necessary for our wedding? Are the BMs carrying flowers?}
    We did them together.  My parents paid for most of the wedding and we had a general idea of what we all wanted to spend, but waited for the guest list first.   I come from a huge family.   So I knew my side, I didn't know DH's side though.  We did a mock up of DH's side.  Then we added friends and such.    Then we started looking for venues.

    Coming from a huge family I would be pissed if my husband told me I had to cut out people simply because I have more family.  Or more like why was my side dismissed?  Why was there arbitrary numbers given without gathering all the information first?

      I don't always talk about all 25 of my first cousins, but I definitely wanted them to be there.  I live far from family and try to see then when I can.  Some people I get to see more often than others.  With some being only every few years.  However,  when we do get together we pick up where we left off.    

    My parents paid for my sister's wedding and my BIL had a larger family than our large family.   It never occur to them to tell BIL that some of his aunts and cousins had to be cut when my sister is able to invite all of hers.

    I'm a firm believe that guest list and budget need to be done at the same time.   I would rather have a backyard wedding with all my family present then cut some family to have my wedding at a fancier place.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    ahoyweddingILoveBeachMusiclovesclimbing
  • We got married at our fav restaurant and it limited the number of guests we could invite. We both only invited immediate family even though we are close with extended family. We made the choice knowing the consequences. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    If your FI and his parents are not contributing financially, then they'll have to accept whatever decisions your parents make about how many guests they can invite.

    Of course, your parents should be willing to offer your FI a reasonable number of guests for his side (including SOs and not splitting up minor siblings if children are invited). But if your FI wants to invite more people than that, then he will have to pitch in financially.

    So it looks like right now he will have to make some decisions. If your parents aren't willing to foot the bill for all the family members and other guests your FI thinks need to be included, he will have to either take some names off his share of the list or you and he will need to make alternative plans, such as covering the costs of any additional guests above your parents' contributions or paying for the whole wedding.
    MairePoppyInLoveInQueens
  • Whoever is hosting the wedding is allowed to control the guest list, the same way whoever is hosting any party is allowed to control the guest list. If you don't like your parent's guest list, then don't accept their money and offer to host. 

    If you and your FI are putting together the guest list, you should think of it as "our guest list" not his guest list and your guest list. It's one event, and soon you'll be a family. If you can't get on the same page it's a relationship issue, not a wedding etiquette issue. 
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