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Etiquette

Uneven Guest List

My fiancee and I sat down the other day to make out guest lists. We made two, a smaller list that included our close friends and family that ended with aunts and uncles and a few select cousins that are the only close family I have left on my mom's side. That list came up pretty even with guests from both of us. We made our larger list of who we would want to come if we had a bigger budget. My side ended up being about 25 to 30 more than his including all my cousins that I would want there with all of their children(we have a large family). I told him I was completely fine with the smaller guest list because I didn't want him to feel like it was very outnumbered. He doesn't have the best relationship with his dad and that side of his family and I'm afraid even if decides to invite them, they won't show up. I really apprieciate that fact that he is willing to invite all of the larger guest list, he says because he's become just as close to them as I am and he feels like they are family. I still feel like I should just go with the smaller list though, because even though he is okay with this, I'm not quite sure how his family will feel with this decision, especially since they are helping with some of the costs of the wedding. I may be overthinking this, and it hasn't helped that every article I read says that the guest list is split evenly three ways between the bride and groom, her parents, and his parents. Has anyone else gone through this? What would you do if you were faced with this issue? 
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Re: Uneven Guest List

  • So.  What do you do if more people attend from one side than the other?

    I don't understand.  If there's room in the budget, it seems odd to confine the guest list so someone doesn't feel, "outnumbered."  It's a wedding.  Not a team sport.

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  • Our guest list is uneven too, but we have never given a thought to it. My family is large and we have many family friends that we wanted/needed to invite, and my FH's family is smaller with less family friends. Both of our sides invited who we wanted to invite and never gave any thought to which list was larger. I feel that as long as the people you want are invited, the list size doesn't matter. And I think it would be petty for his side to get upset over your list being larger...
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  • Breathe. Even "sides" are not important as long as you are both okay with the list. :)

    There's no way our guest list would have been even. I have 10 sets of aunts and uncles plus their children and grandchildren on my side. H has 3 sets of aunts and uncles, only 2 of which they speak to.
  • aragx6aragx6
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker 5 Love Its
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    FI's side is definitely bigger; it's no big deal.
    Lizzie
  • Our guest list was ridiculously disproportionate.  We had, I think, 15 tables--3 were friends, 2 were his family, and the other 10 were mine.  I think as long as the level of "closeness" is equal, and you're both okay with who is being invited, the actual numbers don't matter.
  • hahaha with tables of 8...

    H had:
    2 family tables
    1 coworker table

    I had:
    7 family tables
    3 coworker tables

    and we had 3 mutual friends tables....no big day. H knows he has a super small family...and I have a large family...it wasn't a suprise, nor would he expect me to limit my love ones just because my parents had lots of siblings that they stayed close with.

  • SB1512SB1512
    500 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    Yeah it's not a big deal.  FI's list (well, FI's parents list) is about 125 people.  Mine and my parents list totals up to about 68.  So, def very uneven.  The only time you think about doing an "even" guest list is if not all sides are contributing.  So for example, if the budget was comprised of money from your parents only, you would have the right to assign FI's family a certain number of guest, or divde the guest list into thirds (1/3 for you and FI, 1/3 for your parents, 1/3 for his parents).  But, if one of those parties didn't have enough guests to fill up their 1/3, those extra spaces could be passed along to someone else, so even then the sides might not be even.  My future in-laws are giving us as much money as we need for the wedding, so they get to invite all 125 people on their list because if all those people show up they are shelling out money for the cost of their attendance.  It doesn't bother me that his side will be larger than mine, I have a small family and his is much larger.
  • I wouldn't worry about it as long as you both are fine with the final guest list. When we made our list my FI had about 100 more people than me simply because he has a larger family than I do. I don't think its a big deal at all. Invite who you both want and what you can afford. Don't worry about "uneven" sides of a guest list.
  • H's side of the guest list was significantly bigger because he has more friends and a bigger family then I do.  I was I pissed that he got to "invite" more people?  No, because everyone that I wanted to invite was on the list already, it wasn't like I sacrificed people just so he could invite more of his family and friends.

    If you are both ok with the guest list then that is all that matters.
    golding0328

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  • Thank you all for the advice. It seems so silly for me to be worried about something like this, even with my to-be-hubby okay with every person on the list being invited. Thanks for the reassurance that the "unevenness" will be okay as long as we are both happy!
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  • I don't really think this is a big deal, some people have larger families or more friends than others. My side makes up about 65% of the guest list. I talked to FI and FMIL to ask if there was anyone else at all that they wanted to invite since I felt kind of bad about it and there isn't so I stopped feeling so guilty and just went with it. All the important people on their side are invited which is all that really matters at the end of the day.
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    Anniversary
  • H's family is way bigger than mine, so naturally his side of the guest list was WAY bigger than mine. I didn't mind one bit. I wasn't going to invite people just to have more on "my" side and it's only logical that since he has more family members, he'd invite more people. I think the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 way of dividing the guest list is good in theory but not always practical given people's family situations. If he is OK with the bigger guest list and everyone else is, then go for it. I wouldn't cut back just because you don't want him to feel bad.

    We didn't do "sides" in the Church though. I dislike the idea anyway and then everyone was evenly spread out instead of a ton on his side and not mine. That is always an option to 'even" things out.


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  • I think you shouldn't worry about it.  My guests outnumbered H's by quite a bit.  We mingled people during the ceremony and then people sat in their social groups at the tables.  As long as your FI isn't bothered, then all is well. 
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  • Some familes are larger than others.  It's silly NOT to invite people you want because you happen to come from a larger family than your SO.

    My parents, siblings+SO and their kids = 15 people

    Dh's side = 6.

    We are uneven right from the get go.  NBD
    image
  • The only extended family invited to our wedding was my dad's family.  That is all.  H was fine with the list since he was able invite all of the people he wanted.  So uneven guestlists are fine.

    You did say that his family was helping to pay for the wedding.  You may want to run the guest list past them then.  Whoever pays gets a say.  You don't have to give them 100% control of the guest list, but you should ask their opinion to make sure no one was accidentally left off.
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  • LD1970LD1970
    500 Comments Third Anniversary
    member
    Don't worry about numbers as long as they all fit in your budget.

    My parents had 46 people.
    I had 43 people.
    H had 11 people.

    That was the final "yes" count for the venue; we'd all invited more, but still heavily weighted toward my side.  It was no big deal & as it is, H has since become friends with most of my friends anyway.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
    image
  • H had easily 10 times as many family members as I did at our wedding.  I certainly didn't think it was unfair. I think it would have been more un-fair to make him leave his aunts, uncles and cousins off the list just because I don't have any that I have seen in the past 10 years. 

  • In Response to Re: Uneven Guest List:
    H's family is way bigger than mine, so naturally his side of the guest list was WAY bigger than mine. I didn't mind one bit. I wasn't going to invite people just to have more on "my" side and it's only logical that since he has more family members, he'd invite more people. I think the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 way of dividing the guest list is good in theory but not always practical given people's family situations. If he is OK with the bigger guest list and everyone else is, then go for it. I wouldn't cut back just because you don't want him to feel bad. We didn't do "sides" in the Church though. I dislike the idea anyway and then everyone was evenly spread out instead of a ton on his side and not mine. That is always an option to 'even" things out.
    Posted by Summer2011Bride

    I like the whole not doing "sides" idea. I've seen pictures floating around where they have a sign up that says "As two families become one we ask you to choose a seat, not a side."
    Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours. - The Immortal Beloved Letters, Ludwig van Beethoven Wedding Countdown Ticker LilySlim Weight loss tickers
  • I can tell you that wedding guests at least for us were not close to even.  My Fiance has a huge family his list for family was almost 100 people! and my list of "family" real and friends of my mom and grandparents was about 35 total.  These things happen and everyones circumstances are different 
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  • If your wedding isnt really till june 2014, then you have PLENTY of time to make a guest list. Honestly in 2 years it could change.
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  • hoffsehoffse
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 100 Love Its First Answer
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    Yeah my side is about twice as large as FI's because the wedding is in my hometown, and we are inviting some church people, office friends, etc. and my parents are hosting.  
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  • We're doing the 'two families becoming one please choose a seat not a side" thing too :)  We'll have a few rows of chairs reserved for immediate family (and to make an aisle), everyone else will be seated where they wish in a small outdoor ampitheater, with whom they want to sit with :)
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  • Fi's friends/family is about forty people.  Mine is about 100.  It happens.  My family is HUGE and his is small.  I'm not about to cut first cousins just because he ran out of third cousins to invite to balance the list.

    As long as you're both fine with it, let the numbers fall where they may...


  • As long as it's within budget and you're both ok with the list, then go for it. It's sweet that your FI feels close to your side of the family and considers them his family too. Don't worry about it being uneven. My ENTIRE family consists of 5 people, and that includes a toddler and an infant :P  Just FI's immediate family totals 20 people, plus the many, many, aunts, uncles and cousins. It's really not a big deal.
  • In Response to Re: Uneven Guest List:
    We're doing the 'two families becoming one please choose a seat not a side" thing too :)  We'll have a few rows of chairs reserved for immediate family (and to make an aisle), everyone else will be seated where they wish in a small outdoor ampitheater, with whom they want to sit with :)
    Posted by pomundson0
    Crazy, we are having our wedding at a small outdoor ampitheater too! It's so beautiful and I can't wait!
    Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours. - The Immortal Beloved Letters, Ludwig van Beethoven Wedding Countdown Ticker LilySlim Weight loss tickers
  • In Response to Re: Uneven Guest List:
    If your wedding isnt really till june 2014, then you have PLENTY of time to make a guest list. Honestly in 2 years it could change.
    Posted by AbbynBrian13
    Yes, we have two years, but we also have two years to save money. Our parents are pitching in, but not much so most of this wedding is at our cost and with me being a full time student I don't bring in as much income so if we can figure things out we are able to find out how much we need to save to have the wedding we want. The guest lists are to give us an idea of party sizes, and when we made them is when the uneveness was found. I'm a planner, what can I say!
    Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours. - The Immortal Beloved Letters, Ludwig van Beethoven Wedding Countdown Ticker LilySlim Weight loss tickers
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