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Etiquette

Need some advise

My daughter is engaged to be married next year.  My husband (her father) and I have offered to help pay for a large portion of the wedding in order to help them get a good start.  The groom is in the process of purchasing a home and has a lot of money tied up with it at this point.  We will be paying for the majority of the wedding and the kids  will be picking up the tab for some of the extras, photography,  dj, etc.  The grooms parents have not offered to pay for anything at this point and from what i understand, they are not finacially able to contribute any money,  however, they seem to think they are entitled to invite half of the total guests.  H ow  do I approach this subject?  I feel we are being gracious enough to include their guests, but I dont feel they are entitled to half the guests.  By the ime the kids include their guest list, which I feel the are entitled to, I have to make cuts in order to keep peace.  I feel if we are paying for the majority of the wedding then we should be the ones giving out the numbers someone can invite.  I feel the kids are entitled to their entire list, after all, it is their wedding, My husband and I can invite our list and the grooms parents can have what is left over.  After all, we will be paying for their guests.  I dont think they are in the position of making any demands and I certainly do not feel they should be puting that burden on their son.  I just think asking for half of the guests is asking for too much.  What are your thoughts ?

Re: Need some advise

  • Who are these people the in-laws want to invite? Friends? Family? Second cousins twice removed? I need more info to give a better answer.
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  • As the host of the event you are entitled to the final say on the guest list. Although I would maybe hesitate putting it in the terms of they can have whatever is leftover, the are not "entitled" to half of the guest list. I would talk with the bride and groom first. I would make sure to get the grooms list of who it is important for him to have there from his side first. The people on that list are the ones from his side that should be included. I am in a similar situation right now, my parents are graciously paying for my entire wedding but when I handed FMIL the guest list my FI and I came up with to make sure we had not left any family members off, she added in three sets of her husbands golf buddies, some neighbors and three of her coworkers and their families. I was a little surprised and taken back at that one! However my FI and my families have been friends for forever, our moms were best friends in high school, so my parents decide to just let it go since they were inviting some family friends too. However that is certainly not a requirement and if her guest list gets out of hand you may just have to tell her that you are working within a budget and that it will only allow for x amount of guests. Be sure she knows you have already gotten the grooms list of those from his side that he would like to have there. Best of luck!
    Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary. ? J.M. Barrie
  • I would agree but also want to point out that not everyone can just hand over a check. My parents are paying for things as we go, because giving us a straight up check wasn't an option. However my dad did give me a budget to work within and told me anything beyond that was on us, so maybe that is an option if an outright check is not. I am also fortunate that my mom, surprisingly, hasn't really tried to control the wedding at all because they are paying. Her worst has been making faces at things and saying "it's your wedding" to show she is displeased haha. I expected a lot worse, but even so I agree with PP please don't hold the money over them. I'm sure you wouldn't though!
    Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary. ? J.M. Barrie
  • erinlin25erinlin25 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited November 2012
    your parents set the budget and then either you and the groom need to handle extra's or FI needs to talk to his parents and say if you want x y z invited I need your help financially.  I agree that they shouldn't be entilted to half the guest list, but at the same shouldn't get the "leftovers."  Guest List should start with the family/close friends from both sides who you absolutely cannot imagine not inviting.  We have a lot of family on the east coast who we know "most likely" will not come so as our draft list we made a invite list of people who we pretty much knew would come, a list of people we wanted but knew most likely wouldn't come. and then a list of people who we would like to invite but are people we had to think about (college friends we have not seen in 3+ years, old neighbors, etc).  If they were someone at the end of the day I wouldn't be "sad" they were not able to come, I crossed them off.  At the end of the day you have your budget and if you have means to go over, then invite away, but if you have to cap the list at a certain number then you have to make some cuts and make be sure its at least fair to both families. 
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    Anniversary
  • i agree with you, but then i am in a very similar situation so will admit i'm a bit biased. if guests need to be cut i would start with their (grooms family) list first, unless say it was between the grooms grandmother or your husbands golf buddy...in that case granny wins. if you are covering the costs you get some say, after the wishes of the bride and groom and it sounds like you are doing that. writing a check and walking away is not possible for many of us...my husband and i are paying for DD as we go, as i think many do. best of luck
  • My parents are paying for the wedding.  What we did is we split the maximum number in half and gave half to him, and I took half.  Then, I had his mom and my mom look it over, and give me a list of people they wish were on the list but were not.  I fit what I could, and left what I couldn't.  It had nothing to do with who was paying, and no one argued about amounts of people.  In fact, the only fighting that occured with this was that his mom wanted to swap out one couple, and when I asked him, he didn't really care, so everyone was happy at the end of the day.
    "I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you."image
    July 12, 2013
  • This isn't always an option because everyone's family is different, but "inviting in circles" is usally one good way to manage guest lists.

    For example, here's how the circles for our list went (my dad is paying for the reception, but it's a relatively low-budget affair)


    Circle 1: Both of our immediate families (My Mom and Step Mom and step-sibs on that side, My dad and and step mom and step-sibs on that side, FIs Dad and GF, and my sister and FIs brother
    Circle 2: Extended families including grandparents, aunts, uncles and first cousins
    Circle 3: Slightly more extended families including remaining great-aunts and uncles (this was easy for us because there weren't many on this list)
    Circle 4: All our closest mutual friends, including the WP
    Circle 5: Some friends we either aren't both close with or just aren't as close with in general
    Circle 6: Other various friends of parents and people in our lives growing up
    Circle 7: A bit more extended family that both our grandmothers wanted to include because they think they won't come but like to be included-we'll only invite this circle if we have the space to accomodate them, even if we don't think they'll come, because you never know!

    Giving both sides similar circle limitations may be a fair way to resolve this, as long as one side isn't extreeeeemely lopsided on first cousins that they don't even see a lot or something like that.

    Like I said, it doesn't work for everyone, but it worked well for us!
  • In Response to Re: Need some advise:
      I was MOB last year, and we paid for the wedding. 1.  Tell the bride and groom how much money you are willing and able to contribute to their wedding.  Write them the check.  The ball is now in their court. 2.  At the same time, give them a list of the people you want to be invited to the wedding that you are mostly paying for.  It is not any of your business how many other people are invited.  If someone asks you, pass the buck to your daughter and her FI. 3.  Let the bride and groom worry about the costs and guest list.  They will have friends that they want to attend, too.  Once you write the check and submit your list, walk away.  You biggest job now is to choose your dress for the big day! 4.  Please do not use the money as a leverage tool to control the wedding.  It will only cause resentment, and that isn't what you want your daughter to feel on her wedding day, is it?  You want her to say "Thank you, Mom! It was perfect!"  My daughter did.  (My new son-in-law comes from a large, close knit Asian family, with nine aunts and uncles all living in the immediate area.  We had 10 guests that we actually knew out of 135.  Who cares?)  My daughter and SIL were so happy!
    Posted by CMGr
    This seems the most straightforward approach to me and has a lot of weight coming from a parent's perspective.  Also, another PPs suggestion that if the OP can't simply hand them a check right away, then a list of people along with the amount they can expect from you would be good too.  And if the other side has an issue with it then they're welcome to add more to the budget to enlarge the list.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited November 2012
    My parents paid for my sister's and my weddings.  It nver once occured to them to give the groom's side "the left-overs".      We invite in circles, my BIL's family is bigger, NBD to my parents.  They would never tell my BIL his cousins could not be invited but mine could simply because there was more of them and dad wanted his golf buddy instead.

    I'm not saying they "deseve half", but you need to compromise a little here also.  Just the 'left overs" isn't right either.  

    My cousiin's wife's parents gave him the leftovers also (even though my aunt  want to help pay for the wedding.  they refused because it was "their job".).   Out of a wedding of 200 people groom's side got 25 invites.  It didn't go over very well.


    ETA -  because its not good to type with only one contact in your eyes.






    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. 
  • I'd like you to just think of the stress you are going to cause your daughter and future SIL by making statements like "giving them what's left over." I am in a similar situation with one side offering more than the other and I think it it no ones business. 

    Like CMG said, you want you daughter to be thanking you, not say "I'm so glad that's over because mom caused guest list drama!"

  • I do agree, now that it has been pointed out, that my words do seem a bit harsh.  However, they are not intended to be.  I should point out that the parents of the groom are EXPECTING  to be able to invite half of the TOTAL guests, which leaves the remaining  half to be split between the bride and groom and the POB.   I feel that the numbers should be split starting with the bride and groom and then what is "left over" be split between the parents.  If anyone would have the right to go over the amount, it should be the ones willing to pay for the overage. There has to be a limit and the limit has been set.  I also feel that if I were in the postion of not being able to help financially, that I would accept whatever is offered graciously and abide by that as to not put any additional hardship on anyone else, and be thankful someone can help the bride and groom out.   I am in no way trying to make these people look bad because of their situation, but I can't help feeling as though they are trying to take advantage.  In no way is money being used for leverage, all the decisions made so far have been made by the bride and groom with our blessings.   
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Just because they are expecting to invite half of the guests does not mean that that is what they really get.  I think a conversation needs to happen between you, the bride and groom and the grooms parents.

    Many times the best way to split a guest list is by giving a third to the B&G, a third to the POG, and a third to the POB.  Once their third is filled then that is it.

    I understand your side and since you are paying for most of the wedding that you should have final say in who is invited but what if, after the B&G and you (the POB) fill in the guest list, you only have 15 spots left for the POG to invite who they want.  Is that fair?  No.  Would you be happy if you were in their shoes to only be allowed to invite 15 people when the guest list could be 200?  Probably not.  Remember, even though you are paying it is still their son getting married so they should be allowed a fair share of invites.

  • IPn Response to Re: Need some advise:
    Just because they are expecting to invite half of the guests does not mean that that is what they really get.  I think a conversation needs to happen between you, the bride and groom and the grooms parents. Many times the best way to split a guest list is by giving a third to the B&G, a third to the POG, and a third to the POB.  Once their third is filled then that is it. I understand your side and since you are paying for most of the wedding that you should have final say in who is invited but what if, after the B&G and you (the POB) fill in the guest list, you only have 15 spots left for the POG to invite who they want.  Is that fair?  No.  Would you be happy if you were in their shoes to only be allowed to invite 15 people when the guest list could be 200?  Probably not.  Remember, even though you are paying it is still their son getting married so they should be allowed a fair share of invites.
    Posted by Maggie0829
  • In Response to Re: Need some advise:
    IPn Response to Re: Need some advise :
    Posted by ReneeB13
     This is the problem, they are not happy with the one third option....they can invite the same number as the POB, but they want more and are insisting on it!  Let me say it again, these people are not contributing any money, just opinions.
  • In Response to Re: Need some advise:
    In Response to Re: Need some advise :  This is the problem, they are not happy with the one third option....they can invite the same number as the POB, but they want more and are insisting on it!  Let me say it again, these people are not contributing any money, just opinions.
    Posted by ReneeB13
    What does the groom have to say about all of it? I think you should contribute the money, give your guest list to the bride and leave it at that. She can then compare to the one she had already made and add to it if she feels like it.

    Are the POG planning on inviting extended family? Who's family is bigger? You can't cut his immediate family to invite your friends just because you paid the most. That wouldn't be fair.


  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    In Response to Re: Need some advise:
    In Response to Re: Need some advise :  This is the problem, they are not happy with the one third option....they can invite the same number as the POB, but they want more and are insisting on it!  Let me say it again, these people are not contributing any money, just opinions.
    Posted by ReneeB13
    OK, again I will say that you need to have a group conversation.  Don't be harsh or rude but I would be very firm on the fact that they cannot have half the guest list.  I would also let it known that if they do give you more then there 1/3 alotted amount then that you will be making the final decision on who on that list gets an invite or does not get an invite.

    I would also let them know that if they insist on inviting more people then what is given to them then they will have to pay for it.  I would figure out a plan on how you (or whoever is handling the bill payments for the wedding) receive the money prior to the actual wedding date.

    It seems like you have tried to be pretty equal about things but that they are either not hearing you or are choosing to ignore you.

    Like I said a group conversation with all parties involved may be needed or if the groom agrees on splitting things up equally then may be have him talk to his parents about the situation.

  • In Response to Re: Need some advise:
    In Response to Re: Need some advise : OK, again I will say that you need to have a group conversation.  Don't be harsh or rude but I would be very firm on the fact that they cannot have half the guest list. Posted by Maggie0829
    See, I agree with this but another problem seems to be that there are waaaay too many cooks in the kitchen.  Whoever is in charge needs to tell the groom's parents you'll do the best you can to accommodate.  Don't make any promises.  Otherwise, they will make promises to their choices for guests that an invite is on its way when it may not be.  Listen quietly and then tell them you'll let them know.  They don't have veto power.  The OP aka "the financier" needs to get with the bride and groom who matter the most in all of this and as long as they're on board with the fractions 1/3,1/3, 1/3 or whatever is decided then leave it to BG to tell the PG that the final decision has been made and that's it.  The best compromises are ones where no one is 100% happy so hopefully PG keeps that in mind. No one should get everything they want including them.  But once a decision is made by the decision maker, stick to it and invite PG to add to the budget for any extra guests.  Maybe they can't pay for a whole wedding but a few extra guests might be doable and good for them to contribute.  The main thing is if they get to hold the wedding hostage to their demands after attempts by OP and BG to be flexible then it probably won't stop here.
  • n Response to Re: Need some advise:
    In Response to Re: Need some advise : But that's not what you said at all.  You SAID that the Bride and Groom should get their full list, you should get your full list, and the groom's parents should get whatever amount is left. Which is it?  Because the bolded is a great compromise, but would still likely involve you making cuts to your list and getting the same number of guests as the ILs, which is exactly not what it sounded like you were willing to do in the OP.
    Posted by StageManager14
    I guess I did not explain myself clearly, I will try again.  The bride and groom have their set amount of guests, i am totally on board with that.  The number they have is slightly more than 1/3 of the total amount.  The remaining amount I feel should be split in half between the two sets of parents.  I have already cut my list down to fall within that budget and do not feel it is right to cut any more, that amount is now  my FULL list.   All Immediate and extended family are included on both sides.  The amount left is their portion which is equal to my portion.   I am upset because this is not enough for them, they want more.    
  • In Response to Re: Need some advise:
    n Response to Re: Need some advise : I guess I did not explain myself clearly, I will try again.  The bride and groom have their set amount of guests, i am totally on board with that.  The number they have is slightly more than 1/3 of the total amount.  The remaining amount I feel should be split in half between the two sets of parents.  I have already cut my list down to fall within that budget and do not feel it is right to cut any more, that amount is now  my FULL list.   All Immediate and extended family are included on both sides.  The amount left is their portion which is equal to my portion.   I am upset because this is not enough for them, they want more.    
    Posted by ReneeB13
    Ok, if they've included immediate and extended family, then it's the POG responsibility to pay for any additional friends / guests. but it's the grooms responsibility to talk to his family.
  • In Response to Re: Need some advise:
    n Response to Re: Need some advise : I guess I did not explain myself clearly, I will try again.  The bride and groom have their set amount of guests, i am totally on board with that.  The number they have is slightly more than 1/3 of the total amount.  The remaining amount I feel should be split in half between the two sets of parents.  I have already cut my list down to fall within that budget and do not feel it is right to cut any more, that amount is now  my FULL list.   All Immediate and extended family are included on both sides.  The amount left is their portion which is equal to my portion.   I am upset because this is not enough for them, they want more.    
    Posted by ReneeB13
    ReneeB13 you've done everything you can.  If BG agrees with you that they're being irrational, and if they don't have a problem with putting their foot down, then there is no reason for you to be upset.  The only issue I can see would come into play if BG were wringing their hands from fear of displeasing PG and were looking for a way to appease them instead of standing firm and accepting that they may be disappointed but hopefully wouldn't do anything rash like threatening not to come.  If they do that, then that's a completely different issue with a different response. But if you can trust BG then just confirm the guest apportionment arrangement with them as agreed and let them handle PG from there.
  • edited November 2012
    In Response to Need some advise:
    My daughter is engaged to be married next year.  My husband (her father) and I have offered to help pay for a large portion of the wedding in order to help them get a good start.  The groom is in the process of purchasing a home and has a lot of money tied up with it at this point.  We will be paying for the majority of the wedding and the kids  will be picking up the tab for some of the extras, photography,  dj, etc.  The grooms parents have not offered to pay for anything at this point and from what i understand, they are not finacially able to contribute any money,  however, they seem to think they are entitled to invite half of the total guests.  H ow  do I approach this subject?  I feel we are being gracious enough to include their guests, but I dont feel they are entitled to half the guests.  By the ime the kids include their guest list, which I feel the are entitled to, I have to make cuts in order to keep peace.  I feel if we are paying for the majority of the wedding then we should be the ones giving out the numbers someone can invite.  I feel the kids are entitled to their entire list, after all, it is their wedding, My husband and I can invite our list and the grooms parents can have what is left over.  After all, we will be paying for their guests.  I dont think they are in the position of making any demands and I certainly do not feel they should be puting that burden on their son.  I just think asking for half of the guests is asking for too much.  What are your thoughts ?
    Posted by ReneeB13
    I agree with some previous posts that strictly divvying up the total number is not always best.  If the groom's closest family (parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, grandparents, cousins) FAR out-weighs your side of the family, then the POG will face cutting a close relative while you can invite coworkers, buddies, etc.  I think you need to be more patient with this.

    I would also strongly discourage a "group meeting" That sounds like some intense drama to start new family on. YUCK. Especially since you CONTINUALLY bring up the fact that his family cannot contribute financially.. you will for surely spoil any group meeting with that one. What you can do is express this concern with your daughter (and the groom maybe) and then the groom can deal with his parents.
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