Etiquette

Future Sister In Law's In Laws -- Invite or no?

My fiance's sister just got married back in June. We both met the groom's parents then. We're finishing up our guest list and my fiance and his mother want to invite his sister's new in laws. We already decided that, to keep within our budget, we're going to keep the guest list as small as possible -- very close family and friends, that's it.  We want only about 80 people there but our guest list is already past 110. Personally, I don't know them from John, they mean nothing to me and so I don't want to invite them. My fiance says that doesn't make sense. It's getting very frustrating because we're both being very firm about it. We've both been very in control over the wedding, no one has made decisions without the other, so it's not like its only what I say goes. I feel like giving in and just inviting them because I don't want to cause an argument. But then at the exact same time, I really don't want them there. Any opinions?!

Re: Future Sister In Law's In Laws -- Invite or no?

  • No. It would be ridiculous to invite them, and they won't be flattered that they were invited, they'd probably be annoyed that someone they don't know invited them. It sounds gift-grabby.
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  • I feel like there's a little more to this story. If you both agreed on close family and friends only, AND you're already exceeding the guest list count...either you two have different definitions of "close friends/family" or you both have some control issues. Why does he want them there? Unless he's locked in a power struggle with you for the hell of it, there must be a reason he feels so firmly about inviting them. One problem with your argument though -- just because "they mean nothing to [you]," doesn't automatically make them unfit for an invitation. They clearly mean something to your FI. I could understand thinking "Eh, I don't really know them, and we're keeping the list small anyway" as your reasoning, but you seem like you REALLY don't want them to come. Why?
  • Hang on, it's early. I missed the part about how you both just met them for the first time in June. Yeah, that's weird on your FI, then. What's his reasoning for inviting them?
  • It's not gift grabby.On my FI's side we are inviting 2 sets of IL's from people that have married into his family because that's what is done in their family.  I don't understand it myself but it makes perfect sense to him since he knows them as family.Invite them.  They probably won't come since you don't know them that well.
  • It's not appropriate; weddings are not family reunions.  Your FMIL can invite them over for Thanksgiving if she wants to get together.  That being said if it is REALLY important to your FI that they are there, then you should consider his feelings.  My guess is he just being pressured by his mother.  The two of you need to talk about it and consider each other's reasoning.  Make the decision together.
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  • It certainly is gift-grabby. Why else would you want to invite someone you met once? This is how they're going to feel if they get invited.
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  • We're actually not registering for gifts anywhere. We've lived together for almost five years and so we have everything we need. It really is more of a "I don't know them at all, so why should I invite them?"  Which does translate to, they don't mean anything to me...it doesn't mean anything to me for them to be there. There are a lot of new co-workers that I'm also not inviting for the same reason. We already decided that we only want people there that really mean something to us, people we know and love and that are close to us -- we had no idea we knew that many people and so that's why our guest list is above what we originally said. My fiance's mother invited EVERYONE to her daughter's wedding...seriously, everyone and anyone she knew. And I have a feeling that it's the same thing with this. I don't know if she feels bad and feels that we should invite them and then my fiance feels bad about that...??? I don't know. All I know is, I don't want to invite them because they're as random to both of us as the next.
  • Um, news flash. Just because you don't register for gifts doesn't mean people won't bring them. I've never gone to a wedding empty-handed, regardless of if the couple registered. People bring gifts to weddings, you should know that. Side note: you might want to consider registering for a few things. Some people do not give money for wedding gifts, therefore, they're going to use their own tastes in trying to pick out a gift for you...if you register for a few things, you'll at least be given gifts that you like.
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  • If you are trying to keep it an intimate family/friends thing, don't invite them. If you do that you might as well invite your FI's high school gym teacher, etc.
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  • Are FI's parents paying for the reception?
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  • You need to find out why your FI is so adamant about inviting them and then work it out from there. 
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  • Which does translate to, they don't mean anything to me...it doesn't mean anything to me for them to be thereThe point is that this wedding is not just about YOU.  There's a FI involved too.  I understand and agree w/ your position, but you need to figure out why FI is so adamant about it.  If it is TRULY important to him, you need to consider his feelings; if it's that FMIL is pressuring him about it, the two of you need to decide together if its a battle worth fighting
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  • You need to find out why your FI is so adamant about inviting them.agreed...maybe he is getting pressure from his mother, which is not fair.  I don't see the need to invite them either, they have only been in laws for a couple months.  Now I did invite my cousin's grand parents from their other side(same kind of situation as you), but they have been very close to our family and are at almost every holiday dinner while I was growing up.  So I think if they have been in laws for years and involved in your life I can see why your FMIL would want to invite them.  But not for a couple months.  Is your FMIL & FFIL contributing to the wedding, money wise?
  • Please please don't pull out the "if they're contributing they get to tell you what to do" thing here.  Please.
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  • We are all contributing equally to the wedding. But I don't think that is a good excuse for my FMIL to invite whoever she wants to the wedding.
  • Please please don't pull out the "if they're contributing they get to tell you what to do" thing here. Please. Why?
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  • Please please don't pull out the "if they're contributing they get to tell you what to do" thing here. Please. I never really agreed with that comment either....I agree there should be compromise, and their opinions taken into consideration.  But not all control. 
  • It's not that people who are paying automatically get to tell you what to do, it's just that loads of parents who pay tend to give the money with lots of strings attached.  Some parents are genuinely planning a party more for themselves and their family and friends than for the bride and groom.  Clearly, this is not the case for most or at least a lot of people.  I think the point of saying this is just to sometimes warn brides that if they take money from family without considering their opinions on the party they are paying for, it can cause negative feelings. 
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  • Also, I never answered OP's question. I really don't think they need to be invited if you don't know them, but I also agree that your FI has to have a reason for wanting to invite them.  If it's just that he's been guilted into it, try to explain to him better why you don't want to invite them.  If he genuinely thinks of them as family and wants to use this to begin a closer relationship with them, I would probably invite them.
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  •  But I don't think that is a good excuse for my FMIL to invite whoever she wants to the wedding. If everyone is contributing equally (I'm assuming your parents, inlaws and you/FI), you can decide on a guest count and split it evenly between everyone.  Let's say you decide on 90 guests.  Give each contributer 30 guests to invite.  Then FMIL can decide exactly how important these people are to her, especially if it means NOT inviting someone else.
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  • Thanks tlv204 -- Your posts make the most sense to me.
  • Everyone has already given us their lists but my FI and I have the final say since it's OUR wedding to invite people to. We just have to figure out this whole issue. I have a feeling my FMIL is putting on some pressure about it -- I personally think her daughter is guilting her into inviting them. But that's just me speculating...Thanks for all the opinions though. Its nice to hear from people who aren't biased.
  • Because, P2, my mom paying for the flowers doesn't mean that she gets to invite whoever she wants, or veto the cake flavor, or get a vote in which reception hall we're using.  Just because they drop some cash on the wedding doesn't mean they suddenly get to decide on the wedding.  I'm sorry, I'm not inviting my fourth cousin twice removed's neighbor's daughter that nobody has seen in 6 years to my wedding because my mom was invited to their wedding 10 years ago.  If they're paying for the whole wedding, or even a large majority of it, fine.  But there's a line where they no longer should be able to tell you what you're going to do with your wedding.
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  • I agree Nuggs, I just wondered what your reasoning was. I like the idea about giving your FILs X amount of people to invite. If they want the FSIL's FILs to be 2 of the X people, then sobeit.  
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  • For our wedding we were contributing plus our parents were contributing.  We decided on the number of guest we wanted to invite and gave each of our parents a certain number of people extra that they could invite.  If it went over that number then they would have to pay extra for those guest's.  All agreed.  My mother in law ended up inviting about 25 extra people.  Most who I didn't know, and my husband barely new.  It wasn't a big deal.  We all still had a great time.  I know that when I was planning my wedding I was stressing over the guest list number.  In the end it really didn't matter.  People who said they were coming didn't come, and people who no one even invited showed up.  Everything worked out.  Your FIL is probably feeling pressure from his mother because they now consider those people their family and they want them to share in the celebration of their son's day. I would just discuss it with him and his mother and try to come to a happy medium...
  • If your fi wants to invite them, he should be able to do so. It's his wedding too. You are already over your list by 30, so how would 2 more make much difference.
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