Moms and Maids

Mother of the Bride adding to the guest list

So, my mother always told me she would make sure my wedding went exactly how I wanted it to, that she wouldn't let someone step over the line and try to take charge of the wedding or something like that. A few weeks ago though she text me asking if she could send Save the Dates and invites to people that she knew wouldn't come to the wedding and that weren't on my list. Her list included 9 people, only 3 of which I have actually met but haven't seen in years. I made it very clear from the moment my fiancé and I got engaged that our wedding was going to be very small, only our closest friends and family, 100 people or less. Needless to say my mothers actions have bothered me. I originally told her that we could send them Save the Dates but not formal invitations. She asked me why and I told her, once again, because our wedding was to be close friends and family only and that I only knew a few people that she named. After thinking about I feel that it's really crappy to only send Save the Dates, however I don't want to invite those people she named. What should I do?

Re: Mother of the Bride adding to the guest list

  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
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    If someone was sent a STD, they need to be sent an invitiation. 
    [Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    If she didn't actually send the save-the-dates, put your foot down firmly: "Mom, I told you that we want a small wedding, so I'm not willing to send these people save-the-dates because I'm not willing to invite them." If she already sent the save-the-dates, then she'll have to contact these people, explain that she made a mistake, and apologize.
    zitiqueen
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Ditto PP.  If these people have received a STD, then they must be invited.  It is rude otherwise.

    As for your mother.  Is she paying for the part of the wedding?  If yes, then you should either allow her to invite these people or return your mother's money and plan the wedding yourself.  If your mom is not paying for the wedding, then start to tell her that the guest list is closed.  Your mom might say that they won't come, but what if they do?  You should always plan for 100% attendance on the invitations that you send out. 

    If your mom is not paying for the wedding, you can get increasingly forceful in your wedding discussions with her.  "Mom, the guest list is closed, I'm sorry but there will be no more additions."  Then change the subject.  "Mom, I have told you before that I will not be adding anymore guests to the list regardless of whether you think they will attend or not."  Then change the subject.  "Mom, I have told you many times before that there will be no more additions to the guest list.  This will be the final time we have this conversation.  If you ask me again, I will just ignore you and will no longer speak to you about the wedding.  I'm sorry that these people you want will not be invited, but this is the guest list that FI and I want to have."  And again, change the subject.  If she won't give it up, just start telling her you need to leave or say goodbye. Then either leave or hang up the phone.  Your mom will learn to stop trying to ask for their invitations.

    Jen4948[Deleted User]CMGragain
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
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    Is your mom contributing monetarily? And I echo the PPs - why in the hell would you send a STD to people who you have no intention of sending an invitation?
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  • edited August 2015

    Is your mom contributing monetarily? And I echo the PPs - why in the hell would you send a STD to people who you have no intention of sending an invitation?

    I am going through this TODAY. Fiance asked me if we had any STDs left and I asked what for- we just mailed invites on Saturday- too late to send STDs.

    He said his mom wanted to send one to his great aunt (not on the guest list). I think because she wanted to send a picture of us.

    I told him they were his too but why would we send that? We have a whole fucking CD of images from our e-shoot that we could email or even print and snail mail. I even said we could send announcements after we were married.

    I have been more annoyed with my FMIL in the past three weeks than I have in the last 4 years between this shit and her adding people to the shower list after the invites had already been mailed by my Godmother- 3 fucking times!
    texanbelleOliveOilsMomJen4948
  • Unfortunately, yes my mother is contributing money to the wedding. She recently tried to throw that fact into my face, or at least I felt that's what she was doing, and I told her I would pay her back every cent if she was going to do that. 
  • edited August 2015
    Unfortunately, yes my mother is contributing money to the wedding. She recently tried to throw that fact into my face, or at least I felt that's what she was doing, and I told her I would pay her back every cent if she was going to do that. 
    ETA ------ Because no box--------


    OP, that really sucks.  Since she's paying, then yes, she does have a say and it will be more difficult for you to impose limitations on her.  I bolded your whole comment b/c this is exactly what we mean when we tell people that money comes with strings.  Our advice is always consistent: plan the wedding you can afford, don't ask for financial help, and if someone offers help, it's fine to accept but be prepared that those who pay also have a say.  Oh, and never count on the money until it's actually in your account.  Ditto PPs on whomever receives a STD must receive an invitation.  A STD is not a "less formal" or "less serious" invitation, it is a head's up and a place holder for an event that a guest will be invited to.  Good luck, pick the hills you want to die on - this may not be one of them. 
    OliveOilsMom
  • I went through this with my FMIL, though at the time it was a space issue -- we could only fit 150 people and so someone had to get knocked off to add her friends. Eventually for other reasons we moved to a bigger venue so she can invite the Pope if she wants (though she's Jewish so I doubt it).

    Honestly I don't think letting your mom have a few people there since she's paying for all of your people is a huge ask. It felt weird for me at first too but honestly at the end of the day it wasn't a hill I was willing to die on. Is this a hill you're willing to die on? 

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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    MegEn1 said:
    I went through this with my FMIL, though at the time it was a space issue -- we could only fit 150 people and so someone had to get knocked off to add her friends. Eventually for other reasons we moved to a bigger venue so she can invite the Pope if she wants (though she's Jewish so I doubt it).

    Honestly I don't think letting your mom have a few people there since she's paying for all of your people is a huge ask. It felt weird for me at first too but honestly at the end of the day it wasn't a hill I was willing to die on. Is this a hill you're willing to die on? 

    According to the OP, "I made it very clear from the moment my fiancé and I got engaged that our wedding was going to be very small, only our closest friends and family, 100 people or less." So yes, that sounds like a hill she wants to die on. 

    texanbelle
  • Jen4948 said:
    MegEn1 said:
    I went through this with my FMIL, though at the time it was a space issue -- we could only fit 150 people and so someone had to get knocked off to add her friends. Eventually for other reasons we moved to a bigger venue so she can invite the Pope if she wants (though she's Jewish so I doubt it).

    Honestly I don't think letting your mom have a few people there since she's paying for all of your people is a huge ask. It felt weird for me at first too but honestly at the end of the day it wasn't a hill I was willing to die on. Is this a hill you're willing to die on? 

    According to the OP, "I made it very clear from the moment my fiancé and I got engaged that our wedding was going to be very small, only our closest friends and family, 100 people or less." So yes, that sounds like a hill she wants to die on. 

    I'd disagree. We made a lot of decisions early in our wedding-planning process that we found that for financial reasons, interpersonal reasons, etc. were not really as easy to pull off as we'd imagined. There were conflicting factors we hadn't figured on. There were lots of things we said we wanted but we decided were NOT hills to die on. Sometimes, for me, stepping back to ask that question put it in perspective. 

    Achievement Unlocked: Survived Your Wedding! 
  • scribe95 said:
    She is helping to pay so she gets some say but I don't consider it carte blanche. You might have to compromise. You could say she can only invite the people you have met maybe.
    I think this is a good rule of thumb anyway. Unless they are a guest's SO, if you've never met them before, they shouldn't be invited. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    MegEn1 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    MegEn1 said:
    I went through this with my FMIL, though at the time it was a space issue -- we could only fit 150 people and so someone had to get knocked off to add her friends. Eventually for other reasons we moved to a bigger venue so she can invite the Pope if she wants (though she's Jewish so I doubt it).

    Honestly I don't think letting your mom have a few people there since she's paying for all of your people is a huge ask. It felt weird for me at first too but honestly at the end of the day it wasn't a hill I was willing to die on. Is this a hill you're willing to die on? 

    According to the OP, "I made it very clear from the moment my fiancé and I got engaged that our wedding was going to be very small, only our closest friends and family, 100 people or less." So yes, that sounds like a hill she wants to die on. 

    I'd disagree. We made a lot of decisions early in our wedding-planning process that we found that for financial reasons, interpersonal reasons, etc. were not really as easy to pull off as we'd imagined. There were conflicting factors we hadn't figured on. There were lots of things we said we wanted but we decided were NOT hills to die on. Sometimes, for me, stepping back to ask that question put it in perspective. 

    Look, it's up to her, not you, whether or not she wants this to be "a hill to die on."  The fact that you wouldn't "die on this hill" doesn't mean she can't make a different decision about it or that her decision shouldn't be respected.

    texanbelle
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
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    Jen4948 said:
    MegEn1 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    MegEn1 said:
    I went through this with my FMIL, though at the time it was a space issue -- we could only fit 150 people and so someone had to get knocked off to add her friends. Eventually for other reasons we moved to a bigger venue so she can invite the Pope if she wants (though she's Jewish so I doubt it).

    Honestly I don't think letting your mom have a few people there since she's paying for all of your people is a huge ask. It felt weird for me at first too but honestly at the end of the day it wasn't a hill I was willing to die on. Is this a hill you're willing to die on? 

    According to the OP, "I made it very clear from the moment my fiancé and I got engaged that our wedding was going to be very small, only our closest friends and family, 100 people or less." So yes, that sounds like a hill she wants to die on. 

    I'd disagree. We made a lot of decisions early in our wedding-planning process that we found that for financial reasons, interpersonal reasons, etc. were not really as easy to pull off as we'd imagined. There were conflicting factors we hadn't figured on. There were lots of things we said we wanted but we decided were NOT hills to die on. Sometimes, for me, stepping back to ask that question put it in perspective. 

    Look, it's up to her, not you, whether or not she wants this to be "a hill to die on."  The fact that you wouldn't "die on this hill" doesn't mean she can't make a different decision about it or that her decision shouldn't be respected.

    But unfortunately it's not really up to OP, either. Unless, of course, you mean "dying on this hill" to be that she refused her mother's money. If she accepts money from her mom, she's gotta accept the conditions. Yes, OP and her FI can refuse the money from her mom and make their plans with their own funds, but I don't see how OP can get both, here. 
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    MairePoppyOliveOilsMom
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Jen4948 said:
    MegEn1 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    MegEn1 said:
    I went through this with my FMIL, though at the time it was a space issue -- we could only fit 150 people and so someone had to get knocked off to add her friends. Eventually for other reasons we moved to a bigger venue so she can invite the Pope if she wants (though she's Jewish so I doubt it).

    Honestly I don't think letting your mom have a few people there since she's paying for all of your people is a huge ask. It felt weird for me at first too but honestly at the end of the day it wasn't a hill I was willing to die on. Is this a hill you're willing to die on? 

    According to the OP, "I made it very clear from the moment my fiancé and I got engaged that our wedding was going to be very small, only our closest friends and family, 100 people or less." So yes, that sounds like a hill she wants to die on. 

    I'd disagree. We made a lot of decisions early in our wedding-planning process that we found that for financial reasons, interpersonal reasons, etc. were not really as easy to pull off as we'd imagined. There were conflicting factors we hadn't figured on. There were lots of things we said we wanted but we decided were NOT hills to die on. Sometimes, for me, stepping back to ask that question put it in perspective. 

    Look, it's up to her, not you, whether or not she wants this to be "a hill to die on."  The fact that you wouldn't "die on this hill" doesn't mean she can't make a different decision about it or that her decision shouldn't be respected.

    But unfortunately it's not really up to OP, either. Unless, of course, you mean "dying on this hill" to be that she refused her mother's money. If she accepts money from her mom, she's gotta accept the conditions. Yes, OP and her FI can refuse the money from her mom and make their plans with their own funds, but I don't see how OP can get both, here. 

    True, but if she really wants to have a small wedding with no more than 100 people, refusing her mother's money and extra guests is a perfectly reasonable course of action that doesn't deserve to be questioned as "is this a hill you want to die on?" There's nothing wrong with a small wedding or paying for it oneself.

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
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    Jen4948 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    MegEn1 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    MegEn1 said:
    I went through this with my FMIL, though at the time it was a space issue -- we could only fit 150 people and so someone had to get knocked off to add her friends. Eventually for other reasons we moved to a bigger venue so she can invite the Pope if she wants (though she's Jewish so I doubt it).

    Honestly I don't think letting your mom have a few people there since she's paying for all of your people is a huge ask. It felt weird for me at first too but honestly at the end of the day it wasn't a hill I was willing to die on. Is this a hill you're willing to die on? 

    According to the OP, "I made it very clear from the moment my fiancé and I got engaged that our wedding was going to be very small, only our closest friends and family, 100 people or less." So yes, that sounds like a hill she wants to die on. 

    I'd disagree. We made a lot of decisions early in our wedding-planning process that we found that for financial reasons, interpersonal reasons, etc. were not really as easy to pull off as we'd imagined. There were conflicting factors we hadn't figured on. There were lots of things we said we wanted but we decided were NOT hills to die on. Sometimes, for me, stepping back to ask that question put it in perspective. 

    Look, it's up to her, not you, whether or not she wants this to be "a hill to die on."  The fact that you wouldn't "die on this hill" doesn't mean she can't make a different decision about it or that her decision shouldn't be respected.

    But unfortunately it's not really up to OP, either. Unless, of course, you mean "dying on this hill" to be that she refused her mother's money. If she accepts money from her mom, she's gotta accept the conditions. Yes, OP and her FI can refuse the money from her mom and make their plans with their own funds, but I don't see how OP can get both, here. 

    True, but if she really wants to have a small wedding with no more than 100 people, refusing her mother's money and extra guests is a perfectly reasonable course of action that doesn't deserve to be questioned as "is this a hill you want to die on?" There's nothing wrong with a small wedding or paying for it oneself.

    Oh I agree 100%. Maybe I'm mis-interpreting this but I feel like "hill to die on" is being used here (not by you, specifically but generally in this thread - I'm quoting you to continue the discussion, not to call you our or anything, Jen) to indicate that the OP should accept her mother's money and refuse to invite the extras. That is what I disagree with.
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  • Whew, didn't mean to stir up any drama on here. Was just looking for some advice from other brides that are going through a similar situation. Truth be told, my mom is a pretty negative influence on my life. She got married in July without any family, including me and my younger sister present. Which is one reason I'm struggling with the fact that she wants to add on to my wedding guest list. On top of that she has assumed that she's invited to my bachelorette party and she's constantly bitching about how my father being unemployed is stressing her out and how she's thinking about getting a second job to help pay for the wedding and that her new husband might kill my father if she has to get another job to pay for the wedding. She's literally always stressed out and all she does is stress about the wedding now, which of course stresses me out. It's getting ridiculous and I think I've decided that I'm just going to take out a loan and pay for the rest of the wedding myself, that way no one else has any say over my wedding.
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    Whew, didn't mean to stir up any drama on here. Was just looking for some advice from other brides that are going through a similar situation. Truth be told, my mom is a pretty negative influence on my life. She got married in July without any family, including me and my younger sister present. Which is one reason I'm struggling with the fact that she wants to add on to my wedding guest list. On top of that she has assumed that she's invited to my bachelorette party and she's constantly bitching about how my father being unemployed is stressing her out and how she's thinking about getting a second job to help pay for the wedding and that her new husband might kill my father if she has to get another job to pay for the wedding. She's literally always stressed out and all she does is stress about the wedding now, which of course stresses me out. It's getting ridiculous and I think I've decided that I'm just going to take out a loan and pay for the rest of the wedding myself, that way no one else has any say over my wedding.
    I think in the end, you'll be much happier with the decision to pay for the wedding yourself. 

    But I'm going to urge you to reconsider a loan. Would you take out a loan for a birthday party or vacation? I hope not. A wedding is one day of your life and the marriage is the most important thing, not the party. You have a lot of options outside of taking a loan. The posters here are fantastic with cutting costs - if you give us more details about your plans now and what's important to you and your fiance, we can probably help cut some major costs. Or you can always postpone. My husband and I were engaged for two years in order to save money. 
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    OliveOilsMom[Deleted User]Jen4948
  • I'm having the reverse-box problem -- they won't show up.

    To respond to @Jen4948

    As far as the hill to die on thing goes, I was going by the @ShesSoCold interpretation -- that it's up to OP and her FI to determine if this is where they stand, even if the mother threatens to pull funding. Do I think mother should be more flexible on respecting the small wedding thing? Maybe, but at the end of the day it's mother's money and she does get to determine when she giveth and when she taketh away. That's all I meant by hill to die on -- is this an issue you're willing to push to that point? And yes, only OP can answer that. I just gave my experience because it was my experience and perhaps it might provide a different perspective. Or not. The internet's full of useless blather after all and I'm sure at times I am a part of it. 

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    ShesSoColdJen4948lc07
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2015
    MegEn1 said:
    I'm having the reverse-box problem -- they won't show up.

    To respond to @Jen4948

    As far as the hill to die on thing goes, I was going by the @ShesSoCold interpretation -- that it's up to OP and her FI to determine if this is where they stand, even if the mother threatens to pull funding. Do I think mother should be more flexible on respecting the small wedding thing? Maybe, but at the end of the day it's mother's money and she does get to determine when she giveth and when she taketh away. That's all I meant by hill to die on -- is this an issue you're willing to push to that point? And yes, only OP can answer that. I just gave my experience because it was my experience and perhaps it might provide a different perspective. Or not. The internet's full of useless blather after all and I'm sure at times I am a part of it. 

    Thanks.  I guess this question bothers me because people have used it to knock me down in a condescending way (not here at TK, but in other aspects of my life) to the point that it made me wonder if I had any right to make any decisions about my own life without them being questioned by third parties.  The obvious, intellectually correct answer is of course no, but when it's someone like your parents using that question, it can be really annoying. 

    My dad has used a somewhat differently worded version, "Is it really worth it to you, Jen4948?" to get out of promises he made me and I had to tell him that I really didn't appreciate the question.

  • My fiancé and I have already been engaged for a little over two years. The wedding is set for April and the venue is already booked and almost paid for, my dress is bought, the bakery is booked, the photographer is booked and partly paid for, and we just got our Save the Dates last week. So postponing isn't an option. All I want is a simple, pretty wedding and to celebrate my marriage with our closest friends and family. I don't feel like that is too much to ask for. This is my one and only wedding, period, and I don't feel like wanting it to go the way we want it to is too much to ask for. If that's me being selfish or stubborn then so be it. 
  • LizzieyounceLizzieyounce member
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    edited August 2015
    My fiancé and I have already been engaged for a little over two years. The wedding is set for April and the venue is already booked and almost paid for, my dress is bought, the bakery is booked, the photographer is booked and partly paid for, and we just got our Save the Dates last week. So postponing isn't an option. All I want is a simple, pretty wedding and to celebrate my marriage with our closest friends and family. I don't feel like that is too much to ask for. This is my one and only wedding, period, and I don't feel like wanting it to go the way we want it to is too much to ask for. If that's me being selfish or stubborn then so be it. 


    Well all that is remaining, of any importance to your guests, is the caterer.  It doesn't have to be fancy, but the menu does have to be appropriate to the time of day.  Does your venue allow you to use outside caterers?  If so there are many options that will allow you to serve your guests a nice meal for a reasonable price.  Once of these may be a nice Italian dinner, and there are some restaurants out there that will send serving staff (to man the buffet table) for a nominal fee.

    You don't have to have a full bar, or any type of bar, at your reception.  You can serve beer and wine along with iced tea, flavored fizzy water or soda.  You can have a dry wedding.

    If you have a wedding party, just ask your maids to choose a dress in your preferred color and length.

    Flowers can be very expensive, but you don't have to do full bouquets for the maids or bouts for the grooms side (or flowers for a grooms woman, etc)  You can carry a small bouquet made of seasonal flowers and your FI can wear a bout and that's all the flowers you need. 

    Candles (flameless) or simple sprays of baby's breath make lovely centerpieces. 

    Favors aren't at all necessary.

    Music for dancing can be done with an iPod and a play list. 

    There are lots of ways you can throw a beautiful and gracious wedding and reception without having to borrow money, or take your mom's.  The ladies on these boards are awesome and have really good ideas!
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