Wedding Etiquette Forum

HELP!!! FMIL just hijacked the guest list.

Let's just say that NOTHING about my wedding has gone according to the original plan. We dealt with all of the original chaos (venue sold four months before the wedding, so they canceled my reservation, big band insisted on a 900 square foot stage AFTER the venues were booked, wedding coordinator had to cancel to be in her own sister's wedding on the same day, etc.), but now my FMIL has decided that she is in charge of who is coming to my wedding. What with our first venue selling, we had to scramble to find a space big enough to fit our wedding. This meant that we were basically stuck with inviting only family, because this close to the wedding date, everything larger was booked. While I know a lot of people on here find B lists to be a deal-breaker, we had to have one so that we could start inviting friends once great-aunts, etc. declined to attend (as we hoped they would). We explained the situations to our friends, and they all were fine with waiting a little extra before receiving their invitations as space allowed. We even have a chunk who are trying to make the wedding a tiered wedding so that they can at least join in the dancing/after party, which makes me love them all the more for wanting to be part of our wedding day and being so understanding. However...as the declined invitations came in, we began sending out invitations to our friends. Unbeknownst to us, my FMIL decided that it was up to her discretion to give away the newly opened slots to children from her side of the family. From the get-go, we had decided on no children due to space limitations, and she was well aware of this fact. She wasn't happy with it, but held her peace. So now we're stuck in a bind...we don't have the space to accommodate our friends AND the children from her side of the family, and now the parents of those children are very offended that their children are being "uninvited", despite the fact that we never actually invited them. I need some advice...what should we do? I'm not willing to have a no-friend wedding/reception in order to accommodate kids, but we've got some serious family drama to deal with.
Knottie0380651
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Re: HELP!!! FMIL just hijacked the guest list.

  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited June 2014
    Nymeru said:
    Let's just say that NOTHING about my wedding has gone according to the original plan. We dealt with all of the original chaos (venue sold four months before the wedding, so they canceled my reservation, big band insisted on a 900 square foot stage AFTER the venues were booked, wedding coordinator had to cancel to be in her own sister's wedding on the same day, etc.), but now my FMIL has decided that she is in charge of who is coming to my wedding. What with our first venue selling, we had to scramble to find a space big enough to fit our wedding. This meant that we were basically stuck with inviting only family, because this close to the wedding date, everything larger was booked. While I know a lot of people on here find B lists to be a deal-breaker, we had to have one so that we could start inviting friends once great-aunts, etc. declined to attend (as we hoped they would). We explained the situations to our friends, and they all were fine with waiting a little extra before receiving their invitations as space allowed. We even have a chunk who are trying to make the wedding a tiered wedding so that they can at least join in the dancing/after party, which makes me love them all the more for wanting to be part of our wedding day and being so understanding. However...as the declined invitations came in, we began sending out invitations to our friends. Unbeknownst to us, my FMIL decided that it was up to her discretion to give away the newly opened slots to children from her side of the family. From the get-go, we had decided on no children due to space limitations, and she was well aware of this fact. She wasn't happy with it, but held her peace. So now we're stuck in a bind...we don't have the space to accommodate our friends AND the children from her side of the family, and now the parents of those children are very offended that their children are being "uninvited", despite the fact that we never actually invited them. I need some advice...what should we do? I'm not willing to have a no-friend wedding/reception in order to accommodate kids, but we've got some serious family drama to deal with.

    Have your FI talk to his mom.
    thesummersky
  • beetherybeethery So sayeth the fuckin' Pope. member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Nyeeehhhhhh this is so complicated!

    Is FMIL paying for anything in the wedding/reception?
    --

    I'm the fuck out.

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  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    If FMIL is paying for the reception, sorry, you're shit outta luck. If she's not, you need to have your FI tell her she needs to tell those parents that she's very sorry but she was incorrect about there being space available and out of line in inviting them.

    Everyone else, add this to the list of reasons NOT to have a B-list.

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    MairePoppyashley8918
  • NymeruNymeru member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    They're paying for the music and the flowers, but everything else is being paid for by us.

    My FI has talked to his mom, but she doesn't really care.  Our wedding is going to be the first "family wedding" since all the grandchildren were born (they're all under 10), and she feels that it is important that they are included.  She believes in family first and that it's not right to exclude the kids.
    Knottie0380651
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    This is such a clusterfuck that I don't even know where to begin. Who is paying? You should not have B listed (no, you didn't HAVE to), but that ship has sailed. Your fiance's mother needs to clean up her mess if you are paying, and you need to clean up yours if she is paying. I hope lurkers and B list supporters see the dangers of B listing here!
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    MairePoppychibiyuiashley8918
  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    Nymeru said:
    They're paying for the music and the flowers, but everything else is being paid for by us.

    My FI has talked to his mom, but she doesn't really care.  Our wedding is going to be the first "family wedding" since all the grandchildren were born (they're all under 10), and she feels that it is important that they are included.  She believes in family first and that it's not right to exclude the kids.
    Are you willing to die on this hill? Do you want this to tarnish your relationship with her and those parents for potentially the rest of your lives? It could happen.

    You are fully within your right to have your FI force the issue because truly no, she didn't have any right to do that, but you'll have to deal with the consequences.

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  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Yeah, that is some bullshit that you don't get to invite your friends because she wants cousin Sally's daughter to come instead. Just say no. Say, this is not your wedding, you don't get to decide our guest list. They are not paying for the wedding (sorry flowers and music doesn't pay for food and drinks for people) so she will just have to deal.


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    chibiyui
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Wow. So he has talked to her and she doesn't care? I don't even know what else to do!
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    At this point, I think I would have FI call the families and say that his mother was mistaken and the kids aren't invited. I'm not even touching the b list.
    ashley8918
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited June 2014
    Fi should tell his mother that there will be assigned seating and it will be very embarrassing when guests are turned away because there isn't a place for them. 

    Ditto everyone else on the B list. If you didn't want the great aunts to attend, you shouldn't have invited them in the first place. 
                       
    chibiyuigoingon10yrs
  • Is this going to cause a lot of resentment and hard feelings on their side? Does the relationships matter to you?

    If given a choice between my friends and any family that I am not close to, I would stand my ground. Your FI needs to tell mom that she needs to fix this.

    He should kindly inform her that there will be assigned seating, and if any uninvited guests show up, they will not have a seat. It will be unfortunate but there will be no room or extra seats for them.

    I would pay for the flowers and music myself and cut her out of any wedding planning.
    chibiyui
  • saacjwsaacjw member
    500 Comments 100 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    jdluvr06 said:

    Geesh. Some of you ladies have some crazy inlaws. I'm going to call my FMIL now and tell her how much I love her for not being nutty. 
    Preach. I love my MIL. I used to think that the crazy in laws thing was just a funny sitcom trope and then I came here. 
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  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Die on this hill. Let FMIL know that there will be assigned seating, have your FI call and let people know that FMIL was mistaken. Come up with the cash to pay for music and flowers, downgrade those if necessary.
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    Anniversary
    zitiqueen
  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    saacjw said:
    jdluvr06 said:

    Geesh. Some of you ladies have some crazy inlaws. I'm going to call my FMIL now and tell her how much I love her for not being nutty. 
    Preach. I love my MIL. I used to think that the crazy in laws thing was just a funny sitcom trope and then I came here. 
    My FMIL is great; it's my own mom who's nuts. :-p

    My brother, on the other hand, was the one who disowned his entire family after a fight over whether his 1 and 2 year old niece and nephew would be allowed to attend his wedding. He started a HUGE fight when people questioned the invitations saying "no kids under 8" (since he had jointly made the decision with our dad, who paid for the venue, that the immediate family kids would be included) and it led down an ugly path. So there's that.

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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I am reminded regularly around here what a great MIL I have! I don't know how y'all deal with some of this!
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    jdluvr06rajahmd
  • I'm firmly in the hill to die on camp. I would flip shit if my FMIL took it upon herself to railroad my guest list. Just realize this could set a negative tone for your relationship with her for the rest of her life. It would be worth it to me, but you may feel differently. No cousin's kids are more important to me than my closest friends. In fact, my relationship with my FMIL isn't more important to me than some of my closest friends. You, your FI or both need to call these people and explain the situation. Then return the money she has offered. I'd pass out kazoos for music before allowing anyone to buy their way in to controlling decisions about my wedding. This I can say from a "if I had known then what I know now" basis and it's better to be in control than indebted, trust. 
  • sophhabobophasophhabobopha The Midwestern tundra member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I have no advice. Just calling my FMIL to tell her how much I love her.
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  • Since your FMIL doesn't care, then your FI needs to step in...if that's what both of you want. It could ruin your, and his, relationship with that side of the family but that might not matter to the two of you. If you have kids, it could even ruin their relationship with them.

     

    Maybe FMIL is kind of crazy and does stuff like this all of the time so the family might not be surprised if you "uninvited" the kids. If you do choose to call them up, as EverAfer said, "He should kindly inform her that there will be assigned seating, and if any uninvited guests show up, they will not have a seat. It will be unfortunate but there will be no room or extra seats for them."

     

    You also mentioned that your friends were talking about a tiered wedding/reception - though it's not okay to plan it yourself this way, if they suggested it for themselves and your venue and budget can support it, why not?!? Another option to include your friends is to go out and celebrate with them, whether it be an after party or after your honeymoon. If I were in that situation and all of my friends couldn't be invited, whether or not I gave in to FMIL, I would probably cut my reception short and go party it up with my friends later (and I would at least buy a few rounds of drinks and food). I don't know how much of a difference in price your original venue vs. the new one is but if you're having to downsize your original guest list I'm guessing you probably won't be spending as much on food, drinks, won't need as large of a cake, etc.

     

    As far as the B list goes, I completely understand why you did that. I'm my personal opinion (definitely not the opinion of most or what etiquette says) if your friends are okay with it then great! They know what happened and would be thrilled to be a part of it, if space allows. I know that if something like that happened to one of my good friends and they came back to me saying that someone declined and they have space, I would be happy that they wanted me there and not think any less of them for not inviting me in the first place. I know that you invited some family that you assumed/hoped would decline, which is also not something you should do, but I get that too and don't think poorly of you for doing so, because it doesn't seem like you would have tried to uninvited them if they had accepted. I'm inviting my out of state cousin to my wedding assuming she and her family won't come because she's pregnant and her due date is a week after the wedding. That doesn't mean that I don't want her there, I just don't see her trying to go through the hassle of attempting to fly at 39 weeks or making a 26 hour drive (or her husband, who I've met 2 or 3 times, traveling that far with or without their other kids that close to her due date).

     

    In the end, no matter who can and can't attend, you will be married...and that's the whole point of the day!

  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    jdluvr06 said:
    Geesh. Some of you ladies have some crazy inlaws. I'm going to call my FMIL now and tell her how much I love her for not being nutty. 
    Don't jinx it. I was just saying the same thing to my FI, like 3 weeks ago, and suddenly his mom decided to hijack the guest list and room blocks.

    Is it just me or do weddings bring out the crazy in everyone?
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  • NymeruNymeru member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I would never try to uninvite guests.  It's true, we ended up inviting family members who we weren't exactly thrilled about (I'm not about to explain to my grandma that her sister isn't welcome due to the fact that I don't really know her), but we were fully prepared to host them if they had decided to come.  I was paranoid about over-inviting people, which was the whole reason for the B list.  The A list was straight family, and then we were going to go from there once we heard back from the family.  We sent our invites out three months before the wedding and had everyone in the family RSVP two months prior so that we knew where we stood and could then invite our friends.  We were completely up-front about that to everyone, and because we arranged everything so far ahead of time, our B list guests received invitations at the normal 2-month mark.  We didn't bother with save-the-dates, so no one was under the impression that they were invited prior to actually receiving an invitation.  Everything was going beautifully (despite the dreaded B list), until this week (three weeks before the wedding) when we found out about what my FMIL had done.

    What makes things even more awkward, is that I only found out about it today through one of my bridesmaids, who was talking to my FSIL.  My entire side was told to bring no kids, which included my bridesmaids.  However, now that they know that kids WERE invited (although not by us), it makes me look like a total b-tch for not letting my bridesmaids bring their kids too.  I had to explain the whole thing, and while they understood, now a couple of them feel that if I allow my FMIL to let kids in the wedding, I need to let their kids come too.  Talk about a cluster...
    Knottie0380651
  • blabla89 said: 

    Is it just me or do weddings bring out the crazy in everyone?

    My FI and his mom don't have the best relationship (she doesn't have a great relationship with anyone, but she is mom so we all tolerate her). The other day she stated that she wouldn't be hurt if she and FI's brothers weren't invited to our wedding because of their distant relationships...and they are done being hurt by not being very involved in his life. We went to have lunch with them the day after my ring came in to tell them we're engaged (they knew before my parents), I've been talking to her about the wedding (that's what all of our conversations are about), we've been wedding window shopping (I suggested it) so she could feel like she's a part of this, I told her the date once it was official, as well as the venue. Why would she think that she and his brothers wouldn't be invited? Oh, that's right...because she is a little crazy (but not nearly as much as some)!
  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
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    Nymeru said:

    I would never try to uninvite guests.  It's true, we ended up inviting family members who we weren't exactly thrilled about (I'm not about to explain to my grandma that her sister isn't welcome due to the fact that I don't really know her), but we were fully prepared to host them if they had decided to come.  I was paranoid about over-inviting people, which was the whole reason for the B list.  The A list was straight family, and then we were going to go from there once we heard back from the family.  We sent our invites out three months before the wedding and had everyone in the family RSVP two months prior so that we knew where we stood and could then invite our friends.  We were completely up-front about that to everyone, and because we arranged everything so far ahead of time, our B list guests received invitations at the normal 2-month mark.  We didn't bother with save-the-dates, so no one was under the impression that they were invited prior to actually receiving an invitation.  Everything was going beautifully (despite the dreaded B list), until this week (three weeks before the wedding) when we found out about what my FMIL had done.

    What makes things even more awkward, is that I only found out about it today through one of my bridesmaids, who was talking to my FSIL.  My entire side was told to bring no kids, which included my bridesmaids.  However, now that they know that kids WERE invited (although not by us), it makes me look like a total b-tch for not letting my bridesmaids bring their kids too.  I had to explain the whole thing, and while they understood, now a couple of them feel that if I allow my FMIL to let kids in the wedding, I need to let their kids come too.  Talk about a cluster...

    Are your bridesmaids friends or family? They should understand that family trumps sometimes. My bridesmaids kids' aren't invited though my cousins' kids are. That's a perfectly acceptable "circle" to invite in, aside from the cluster fuck. If they push the issue of their kids coming, bean dip the hell out of them. THEY are being the rude ones. You are not being the bitch here.

    Where do you stand right now this second? Are you over your limit for the venue?

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  • I don't say this often, but holy shit I'd elope if I were you.

    If MIL asked/pitched a fit, I'd straight up tell her that the guest issues sucked all the joy out for you.



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  • What a friggin mess. Ugh. People, this is why B-listing is a terrible idea. Ick. And FWIW, telling people they are the B list does not make it remotely more ok
    MairePoppy
  • How much of a space crunch are you under? And how many kids exactly are you talking about? I had a friend run into something like this, and they spoke with the venue about it---see what the venue can do to help you out first before making WWIII.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think the only way out of this mess is to cancel everything and then hold a wedding that she is not paying for in any way and is given no information about so she has no control whatsoever.

    You and your FI will have to decide what effects on your relationships with his mother that you are willing to risk if you go for this.
  • NymeruNymeru member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    We're about 20 people over the limit at this point if the kids come.  Still working it out, but now I'm getting facebook messages from other guests saying things along the lines of, "Heard things are a bit more flexible now.  That's great.  With my three kids, we'll be 5 people now.  Looking forward to it!"

    Who the hell is blabbing?  I will murder them.  I mean it.  I, too, can have a Red Wedding.  HBO should come on over.  It's going to be a ball.
    NYCMercedes
  • NymeruNymeru member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I know everything will work out in the end, but my frustration level is just stupidly high right now.  Why do weddings get so out of hand so quickly?  Everyone else is married, they know how it goes.  So why would they purposely make things more difficult?  Do people develop post-wedding amnesia about the drama/difficulties like mothers do post-birth?
    Knottie0380651
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