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Etiquette

Kids

Ok, I've asked this before sort of, but I want to be sure I'm not doing something wrong. Our guest list is not finalized. Right now, we have my family and friends (including aunts/uncles, no cousins invited but I do have cousins), and FI's family (all aunts/uncles, cousins). 

In order to fit within our budget, FI is limited to just inviting his immediate family, and aunts/uncles/cousins but not to include children of cousins (he does have one group of young cousins, under 5, they are included in the "cousins" category). This does include +1's and SOs.

I chose not to invite my cousins simply because I'm not close with them, however I am allowing my friends and family (sister) to bring their children, if they choose.

Is this an etiquette blunder? I'm almost treating this as two different guest lists, because that's how it makes sense to me. He gets 75 guests, and I get 75, and because his family is larger than mine, He's more limited than I am. 

Hopefully that sort of makes sense and is descriptive enough, but if not I can do my best to spell it out better.
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Re: Kids

  • Ok, I've asked this before sort of, but I want to be sure I'm not doing something wrong. Our guest list is not finalized. Right now, we have my family and friends (including aunts/uncles, no cousins invited but I do have cousins), and FI's family (all aunts/uncles, cousins). 

    In order to fit within our budget, FI is limited to just inviting his immediate family, and aunts/uncles/cousins but not to include children of cousins (he does have one group of young cousins, under 5, they are included in the "cousins" category). This does include +1's and SOs.

    I chose not to invite my cousins simply because I'm not close with them, however I am allowing my friends and family (sister) to bring their children, if they choose.

    Is this an etiquette blunder? I'm almost treating this as two different guest lists, because that's how it makes sense to me. He gets 75 guests, and I get 75, and because his family is larger than mine, He's more limited than I am. 

    Hopefully that sort of makes sense and is descriptive enough, but if not I can do my best to spell it out better.
    You are essentially treating the two "side" differently which may cause some hurt feelings. Essentially your friends get to bring their kids because you have fewer family members, but his friends (or family) don't because his family is bigger. 

    Does he want to invite the children of his cousins? 

    I do think the 'he gets 75, you get 75' while equitable doesn't exactly seem fair. If he has a bigger family that he wants to invite, he doesn't get to because he already used his 75? What if you don't "fill" your 75? 
    So here's part of the issue, I am fine with him using whatever guest spaces I don't, BUT I am trying to keep it a bit closer to even because my mom is paying, in addition to the two of us. Looking at the guest list, his "must haves" are at about 75, which is his whole family, his cousins, their SOs, etc. Then he has "uncles" and "cousins" that are friends of the family, those people would likely be excluded if he is limited to 75, in addition to children.

    The problem I'm having with FI is that he just wants everyone to be able to attend. So if Cousin Joe says, hey, can't come, can't leave the kids, FI will be sad and will feel bad that we couldn't include all the kids. If cousin Joe says great! can't wait to ditch these rugrats for awhile! then FI is fine and happy to have cousin Joe minus the children. 

    I guess what I'm trying to avoid is having my mom upset because there are 100+ members of FI family there, and 30ish of mine because I chose not to invite my cousins or other family members. The only way I can see to avoid that realistically is to cut out all children of invitees (unless they are ACTUAL cousins) and then invite my cousins, which I'm not that interested in doing. That's how I came up with the 75/75 plan.
  • Ok, I've asked this before sort of, but I want to be sure I'm not doing something wrong. Our guest list is not finalized. Right now, we have my family and friends (including aunts/uncles, no cousins invited but I do have cousins), and FI's family (all aunts/uncles, cousins). 

    In order to fit within our budget, FI is limited to just inviting his immediate family, and aunts/uncles/cousins but not to include children of cousins (he does have one group of young cousins, under 5, they are included in the "cousins" category). This does include +1's and SOs.

    I chose not to invite my cousins simply because I'm not close with them, however I am allowing my friends and family (sister) to bring their children, if they choose.

    Is this an etiquette blunder? I'm almost treating this as two different guest lists, because that's how it makes sense to me. He gets 75 guests, and I get 75, and because his family is larger than mine, He's more limited than I am. 

    Hopefully that sort of makes sense and is descriptive enough, but if not I can do my best to spell it out better.
    You are essentially treating the two "side" differently which may cause some hurt feelings. Essentially your friends get to bring their kids because you have fewer family members, but his friends (or family) don't because his family is bigger. 

    Does he want to invite the children of his cousins? 

    I do think the 'he gets 75, you get 75' while equitable doesn't exactly seem fair. If he has a bigger family that he wants to invite, he doesn't get to because he already used his 75? What if you don't "fill" your 75? 
    So here's part of the issue, I am fine with him using whatever guest spaces I don't, BUT I am trying to keep it a bit closer to even because my mom is paying, in addition to the two of us. Looking at the guest list, his "must haves" are at about 75, which is his whole family, his cousins, their SOs, etc. Then he has "uncles" and "cousins" that are friends of the family, those people would likely be excluded if he is limited to 75, in addition to children.

    The problem I'm having with FI is that he just wants everyone to be able to attend. So if Cousin Joe says, hey, can't come, can't leave the kids, FI will be sad and will feel bad that we couldn't include all the kids. If cousin Joe says great! can't wait to ditch these rugrats for awhile! then FI is fine and happy to have cousin Joe minus the children. 

    I guess what I'm trying to avoid is having my mom upset because there are 100+ members of FI family there, and 30ish of mine because I chose not to invite my cousins or other family members. The only way I can see to avoid that realistically is to cut out all children of invitees (unless they are ACTUAL cousins) and then invite my cousins, which I'm not that interested in doing. That's how I came up with the 75/75 plan.
    Is 150 the max your venue can hold? Have you already booked? Seems like you could use a larger space. Are you, your FI, and your Mom all contributing the same percentage? If so you all get a say in the wedding plans. If your FI wants to invite all his family and friends, is there a way to make that work in your budget?

    It sounds like the three of you all need to have a clear conversation about the guest list. What is your Mom's concern? If you don't want those cousins/family members there, and he really does, what is her issue?

    Sides don't have to be even. You don't have to invite cousins just because he did. It just seems a little, I don't know, hurtful (spiteful? Probably not the right word) to invite children or guests you're not interested in having there just so sides are even when he has people he really wants to invite but his 75 are full, YKWIM? 
    PrettyGirlLostcowgirl8238
  • missfrodo said:
    Usually, when inviting some children and not others, it's best to invite in "circles"--kids of the WP and immediate family, but not friends or extended family, or only family brings kids, etc.  Since all of your friends and family are allowed to bring their children, I think it would be hurtful to exclude the children of his friends and family.  
    I also think it's odd that you divided the guest list right in half.  How did you arrive at 75 and 75?  Is that the max your venue can hold?  The best way to decide your guest list is to make a list of everyone you'd like to attend, and have FI do the same, then add them up and see how many people you have.  Then, if you know your budget can't support that many people, you would start thinning down the guest list.  It sounds like you guys are doing the reverse: You have a number, and now you're trying to add that many guests.  
    Part of marriage is about making compromises.  If FI has 100 guests he wants to invite and you only have 50, then let him invite those guests. 
    As for the kids thing, this really needs to be done in circles if you don't want to risk offending other parents.  If the only kids invited are FI's cousins, I think that's fair, but once you open it up to all your friends and family, you really need to make the same accommodation for his friends and family (since they'll be your family too at that point).  
    That makes sense to me and that is how we started. I believe his list was 140, and mine was 30. He was able to trim his list down to i believe 98 or so, including children. My mom added her guests to my list, which is fine, so mine is up to I'd say 55 or so (I haven't looked at it in a week or two so I don't quite remember). So that's how we came around to 150, we figured that includes the majority of the people we want to invite, and we would edit from there. 

    I guess the way I'm looking at it is wrong. I WANT my friends to be able to bring their kids. I like their kids. And I'm trying to have the people I want there, and the people he wants there, but also not have more than 150, so that's how I figured I'd split it in half, make my list with a cap and his list with a cap and see where we were. I think what I'll do is take a look at it again, count the kids, and see if maybe there's someone else that can take a hike so we can include everyone's kids as well. I know on my side there are at least 4, probably no more than 6, and his side there are at least 3. So I have to find approximately 10 spaces.


  • missfrodo said:
    Usually, when inviting some children and not others, it's best to invite in "circles"--kids of the WP and immediate family, but not friends or extended family, or only family brings kids, etc.  Since all of your friends and family are allowed to bring their children, I think it would be hurtful to exclude the children of his friends and family.  
    I also think it's odd that you divided the guest list right in half.  How did you arrive at 75 and 75?  Is that the max your venue can hold?  The best way to decide your guest list is to make a list of everyone you'd like to attend, and have FI do the same, then add them up and see how many people you have.  Then, if you know your budget can't support that many people, you would start thinning down the guest list.  It sounds like you guys are doing the reverse: You have a number, and now you're trying to add that many guests.  
    Part of marriage is about making compromises.  If FI has 100 guests he wants to invite and you only have 50, then let him invite those guests. 
    As for the kids thing, this really needs to be done in circles if you don't want to risk offending other parents.  If the only kids invited are FI's cousins, I think that's fair, but once you open it up to all your friends and family, you really need to make the same accommodation for his friends and family (since they'll be your family too at that point).  
    That makes sense to me and that is how we started. I believe his list was 140, and mine was 30. He was able to trim his list down to i believe 98 or so, including children. My mom added her guests to my list, which is fine, so mine is up to I'd say 55 or so (I haven't looked at it in a week or two so I don't quite remember). So that's how we came around to 150, we figured that includes the majority of the people we want to invite, and we would edit from there. 

    I guess the way I'm looking at it is wrong. I WANT my friends to be able to bring their kids. I like their kids. And I'm trying to have the people I want there, and the people he wants there, but also not have more than 150, so that's how I figured I'd split it in half, make my list with a cap and his list with a cap and see where we were. I think what I'll do is take a look at it again, count the kids, and see if maybe there's someone else that can take a hike so we can include everyone's kids as well. I know on my side there are at least 4, probably no more than 6, and his side there are at least 3. So I have to find approximately 10 spaces.


    Is 150 determined by budget? Room capacity? If it's only 10 spaces why not invite the 160 and rearrange the budget (cut flowers/decor/apps/whatever) so that everyone is happy with who is there? That's going to matter so much more. 
    PrettyGirlLostcowgirl8238InLoveInQueens
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Maybe I missed this, but is your mom adamant that the guests lists for your side and FI's side be equal?  You seem to want to do that for your mom, not that your mom requested it.

    Is your mom paying 100%?  Can you and FI throw in money to accommodate all of the people FI wants to invite?

    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2016
    Ok, I've asked this before sort of, but I want to be sure I'm not doing something wrong. Our guest list is not finalized. Right now, we have my family and friends (including aunts/uncles, no cousins invited but I do have cousins), and FI's family (all aunts/uncles, cousins). 

    In order to fit within our budget, FI is limited to just inviting his immediate family, and aunts/uncles/cousins but not to include children of cousins (he does have one group of young cousins, under 5, they are included in the "cousins" category). This does include +1's and SOs.

    I chose not to invite my cousins simply because I'm not close with them, however I am allowing my friends and family (sister) to bring their children, if they choose.

    Is this an etiquette blunder? I'm almost treating this as two different guest lists, because that's how it makes sense to me. He gets 75 guests, and I get 75, and because his family is larger than mine, He's more limited than I am. 

    Hopefully that sort of makes sense and is descriptive enough, but if not I can do my best to spell it out better.
    You are essentially treating the two "side" differently which may cause some hurt feelings. Essentially your friends get to bring their kids because you have fewer family members, but his friends (or family) don't because his family is bigger. 

    Does he want to invite the children of his cousins? 

    I do think the 'he gets 75, you get 75' while equitable doesn't exactly seem fair. If he has a bigger family that he wants to invite, he doesn't get to because he already used his 75? What if you don't "fill" your 75? 
    So here's part of the issue, I am fine with him using whatever guest spaces I don't, BUT I am trying to keep it a bit closer to even because my mom is paying, in addition to the two of us. Looking at the guest list, his "must haves" are at about 75, which is his whole family, his cousins, their SOs, etc. Then he has "uncles" and "cousins" that are friends of the family, those people would likely be excluded if he is limited to 75, in addition to children.

    The problem I'm having with FI is that he just wants everyone to be able to attend. So if Cousin Joe says, hey, can't come, can't leave the kids, FI will be sad and will feel bad that we couldn't include all the kids. If cousin Joe says great! can't wait to ditch these rugrats for awhile! then FI is fine and happy to have cousin Joe minus the children. 

    I guess what I'm trying to avoid is having my mom upset because there are 100+ members of FI family there, and 30ish of mine because I chose not to invite my cousins or other family members. The only way I can see to avoid that realistically is to cut out all children of invitees (unless they are ACTUAL cousins) and then invite my cousins, which I'm not that interested in doing. That's how I came up with the 75/75 plan.
    You said your FI has a larger family, though, so it's logical that he would have more people in attendance than you.

    And if you are the one choosing to limit your family members, that's on you and your Mom should take that up with you if she wants to include more of her family.  She shouldn't be upset with your FI just because he has a larger family.

    I think you guys are going about this in the wrong way.  You need to sit down with your Mom and determine whom you both want to be present for your wedding, your absolutely must have list, and then you work from there, whether that list is 30 ppl or 75 or 85.

    Where did this number of 150 come from?  Because it seems like you guys just picked a number at random before actually figuring out how many people you actually want to invite.

    ETA: If we are only talking about 10ppl, then can't you increase your guest list to 160 so you can include everyone, and make appropriate cuts to flowers, decor, favors, etc. to make 160 work in your budget?

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    cowgirl8238charlotte989875lyndausviOliveOilsMom
  • missfrodo said:

    Part of marriage is about making compromises.  If FI has 100 guests he wants to invite and you only have 50, then let him invite those guests. 
    As for the kids thing, this really needs to be done in circles if you don't want to risk offending other parents.  If the only kids invited are FI's cousins, I think that's fair, but once you open it up to all your friends and family, you really need to make the same accommodation for his friends and family (since they'll be your family too at that point).  

    THIS!

    I know this isn't your intention, but allowing your friends to bring kids without allowing his family to bring kids is going to hurt someone's feelings.

    I think you should step back for a day or two, and start over(ish).  Start with a "Must Have" List for you, your FI, and your mom.  Where does that leave you?  Add in a "Really Want to Have" list, again from you, your FI and your mom.  Now where are you?  If you still have room add in the "Like to Have" List.

    I am also curious where the 150 comes from.  If it is venue capacity then you have to cap your list somewhere (also don't forget to add yourselves, WP, DJs and/or Photographers!).  If it is a budget thing than you can be a little flexible and cut the extra's.  If it is arbitrary (to a point) than I think you should stop where you all are comfortable. 

    I don't think making the sides even is the best or most fair approach.  It's not FIs fault his family is bigger than yours.  How would you feel if it was reversed?

    FWIW when I got married I had like two out of the ten tables that were guests from "my side".  I come from a smaller family with one sibling, 3 cousins and an extended family that lives far and wide.  My FI comes from a much bigger family with 3 siblings,11 cousins (not counting SOs!), and many long time family friend "Aunts, Uncles and Cousins".

  • Another thought, to keep costs down and the "sides" a little more even, your FI can cut his cousins off the list.  Or if there are 1 or 2 he is especially close to, just invite them.

    I admit to being curmudgeony.  So keep that in mind.  But it's a party.  For one day.  It will be an amazing day if there are 5 people or 150 people.  Don't put a financial strain on yourselves or your mom for it.  It's not worth it.

    It's a bummer that not everyone you all want to invite can be invited.  But that's usually how it is for most engaged couples.  I'm not necessarily saying this is the case for your FI but, with a lot of these types of posts, I get the impression that a couple's guest list is too long because they feel they "have to" invite every last aunt, uncle, and cousin.  None of that is true.  That is wedding industry "slant".  People choose much smaller weddings all the time.

    I mean, to an extent, you want to invite in circles.  So you don't want to invite 8-9/10 first cousins and not the last 1-2 (without good reason).  But, at the same time, you don't have to invite any.  Nobody is "owed" an invitation to your all's wedding because of a particular familial relation.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    SP29
  • So I'm going to just do a general reply, because most of you sort of asked the same thing. The 150 number came from the ORIGINAL  "Here's all the people we want to invite list." That list totaled between 180-190, so I went to mom (who upon hearing we were engaged, offered to pay for a significant portion of the wedding, no priceline had been discussed yet) and said "Here's what we got." And she came back and said "150 is more affordable for me." We were guessing at about $100 a person so that's where it came from. So FI cut his list down to about 100, and my mom said if "I'm paying I want your aunts and uncles invited", so they were added to my list. 

    So right this second, without my cousins (which is my choice) and without my dad's side of the family (also my choice) we are right about 150. I'm not blaming FI for having a big family, I have no problem with it, and my mom never mentioned she wanted even sides for us, I had just mentioned it to FI when we were talking recently and said hey, what if we just split it right down the middle and we each take 75, and then whatever extra I don't have you can use, and he thought it was a good idea. I was just thinking further on it and was wondering what anyone else might think of that because obviously, if it was that easy, that would be the norm instead of creating guest lists and editing from there.

    The venue we are considering has the capacity for 200. We may be able to add 10 spots to the list, especially children since they usually cost less for caterers, but I'm trying to keep it as close to under budget as possible so that FI and I can cover the majority of the costs. We are also considering pushing back our time frame to allow a more flexible budget. My mom is certainly not upset with FI for wanting to include his whole family, we had discussed this quite awhile ago when we found out FI had 36 cousins (on only one side!) I just wanted to see if my theory had holes in it, which it clearly does.

    Hope that makes sense!
    short+sassy
  • Another thought, to keep costs down and the "sides" a little more even, your FI can cut his cousins off the list.  Or if there are 1 or 2 he is especially close to, just invite them.

    I admit to being curmudgeony.  So keep that in mind.  But it's a party.  For one day.  It will be an amazing day if there are 5 people or 150 people.  Don't put a financial strain on yourselves or your mom for it.  It's not worth it.

    It's a bummer that not everyone you all want to invite can be invited.  But that's usually how it is for most engaged couples.  I'm not necessarily saying this is the case for your FI but, with a lot of these types of posts, I get the impression that a couple's guest list is too long because they feel they "have to" invite every last aunt, uncle, and cousin.  None of that is true.  That is wedding industry "slant".  People choose much smaller weddings all the time.

    I mean, to an extent, you want to invite in circles.  So you don't want to invite 8-9/10 first cousins and not the last 1-2 (without good reason).  But, at the same time, you don't have to invite any.  Nobody is "owed" an invitation to your all's wedding because of a particular familial relation.

    I think you replied while I was still typing mine up. I did mention this to FI, as there are cousins he is closer to than others, but apparently shit would literally hit the fan if he invited some and not others. We did manage to cut his 5 neighbors and their entire families off the list though ;) 

    His dad has 7 brothers and sisters who are all married and each have 2-3 kids, and his mom has 6 brothers and sisters who are all married and each have 2-3 kids. And each of those kids has an SO. That's where our guest list went.

    I on the other hand, have no problem excluding my cousins because I barely know them. I'd rather have my family members and people I still have a favorable relationship with present. My mom (at the moment) is understanding of that. If I invited my whole family to include cousins it would be a 300+ person guest list and therefore not be happening.
  • So I'm going to just do a general reply, because most of you sort of asked the same thing. The 150 number came from the ORIGINAL  "Here's all the people we want to invite list." That list totaled between 180-190, so I went to mom (who upon hearing we were engaged, offered to pay for a significant portion of the wedding, no priceline had been discussed yet) and said "Here's what we got." And she came back and said "150 is more affordable for me." We were guessing at about $100 a person so that's where it came from. So FI cut his list down to about 100, and my mom said if "I'm paying I want your aunts and uncles invited", so they were added to my list. 

    So right this second, without my cousins (which is my choice) and without my dad's side of the family (also my choice) we are right about 150. I'm not blaming FI for having a big family, I have no problem with it, and my mom never mentioned she wanted even sides for us, I had just mentioned it to FI when we were talking recently and said hey, what if we just split it right down the middle and we each take 75, and then whatever extra I don't have you can use, and he thought it was a good idea. I was just thinking further on it and was wondering what anyone else might think of that because obviously, if it was that easy, that would be the norm instead of creating guest lists and editing from there.

    The venue we are considering has the capacity for 200. We may be able to add 10 spots to the list, especially children since they usually cost less for caterers, but I'm trying to keep it as close to under budget as possible so that FI and I can cover the majority of the costs. We are also considering pushing back our time frame to allow a more flexible budget. My mom is certainly not upset with FI for wanting to include his whole family, we had discussed this quite awhile ago when we found out FI had 36 cousins (on only one side!) I just wanted to see if my theory had holes in it, which it clearly does.

    Hope that makes sense!


    That does make more sense.  If you all are set on 160 people I think that is a reasonable place to be.  If mom is comfortable with 150 you can either throw in some money to cover the extra 10 or offer to make some décor cuts to accommodate the extra costs without busting her budget.

    At the end of the day this is just a fancy party...I don't regret my wedding day at all, but given the chance I would probably have downsized the guest list to have a more intimate event and put the extra money towards the home we purchased.  An extra $3,000-5,000 would have be really handy right now when we have empty rooms waiting for a dining table, or a guest bed, or whatever else we want to do.

    short+sassySP29
  • So I'm going to just do a general reply, because most of you sort of asked the same thing. The 150 number came from the ORIGINAL  "Here's all the people we want to invite list." That list totaled between 180-190, so I went to mom (who upon hearing we were engaged, offered to pay for a significant portion of the wedding, no priceline had been discussed yet) and said "Here's what we got." And she came back and said "150 is more affordable for me." We were guessing at about $100 a person so that's where it came from. So FI cut his list down to about 100, and my mom said if "I'm paying I want your aunts and uncles invited", so they were added to my list. 

    So right this second, without my cousins (which is my choice) and without my dad's side of the family (also my choice) we are right about 150. I'm not blaming FI for having a big family, I have no problem with it, and my mom never mentioned she wanted even sides for us, I had just mentioned it to FI when we were talking recently and said hey, what if we just split it right down the middle and we each take 75, and then whatever extra I don't have you can use, and he thought it was a good idea. I was just thinking further on it and was wondering what anyone else might think of that because obviously, if it was that easy, that would be the norm instead of creating guest lists and editing from there.

    The venue we are considering has the capacity for 200. We may be able to add 10 spots to the list, especially children since they usually cost less for caterers, but I'm trying to keep it as close to under budget as possible so that FI and I can cover the majority of the costs. We are also considering pushing back our time frame to allow a more flexible budget. My mom is certainly not upset with FI for wanting to include his whole family, we had discussed this quite awhile ago when we found out FI had 36 cousins (on only one side!) I just wanted to see if my theory had holes in it, which it clearly does.

    Hope that makes sense!


    That does make more sense.  If you all are set on 160 people I think that is a reasonable place to be.  If mom is comfortable with 150 you can either throw in some money to cover the extra 10 or offer to make some décor cuts to accommodate the extra costs without busting her budget.

    At the end of the day this is just a fancy party...I don't regret my wedding day at all, but given the chance I would probably have downsized the guest list to have a more intimate event and put the extra money towards the home we purchased.  An extra $3,000-5,000 would have be really handy right now when we have empty rooms waiting for a dining table, or a guest bed, or whatever else we want to do.

    We are going to discuss it further and see. The venue we just found would save us 4-6,000 so FI is going to look at it and see what he thinks. We aren't going big on decor either because really, it could look nice all day long but no one is going to stand there looking at it for long anyway. Our biggest item has been catering so we are taking a careful look at that as well, and may go with BBQ or something that can be made on the cheap for a lot of people and is still tasty.
    cowgirl8238
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    So I'm going to just do a general reply, because most of you sort of asked the same thing. The 150 number came from the ORIGINAL  "Here's all the people we want to invite list." That list totaled between 180-190, so I went to mom (who upon hearing we were engaged, offered to pay for a significant portion of the wedding, no priceline had been discussed yet) and said "Here's what we got." And she came back and said "150 is more affordable for me." We were guessing at about $100 a person so that's where it came from. So FI cut his list down to about 100, and my mom said if "I'm paying I want your aunts and uncles invited", so they were added to my list. 

    So right this second, without my cousins (which is my choice) and without my dad's side of the family (also my choice) we are right about 150. I'm not blaming FI for having a big family, I have no problem with it, and my mom never mentioned she wanted even sides for us, I had just mentioned it to FI when we were talking recently and said hey, what if we just split it right down the middle and we each take 75, and then whatever extra I don't have you can use, and he thought it was a good idea. I was just thinking further on it and was wondering what anyone else might think of that because obviously, if it was that easy, that would be the norm instead of creating guest lists and editing from there.

    The venue we are considering has the capacity for 200. We may be able to add 10 spots to the list, especially children since they usually cost less for caterers, but I'm trying to keep it as close to under budget as possible so that FI and I can cover the majority of the costs. We are also considering pushing back our time frame to allow a more flexible budget. My mom is certainly not upset with FI for wanting to include his whole family, we had discussed this quite awhile ago when we found out FI had 36 cousins (on only one side!) I just wanted to see if my theory had holes in it, which it clearly does.

    Hope that makes sense!
    A lot of ppl go about planning their guest list and budget wrong, from what I have seen on these boards.

    They actually have to be planned simultaneously in a back and forth kind of way, keeping in mind that the reception is going to be 55%-60% of your total budget- you need to know exactly whom you want to invite, and then you use that number to get quotes from reception venues and caterers, and then you use those quotes to determine exactly how many people you can afford, and then once you have the reception venue/caterer locked down you know how much money is left for your dress, flowers, favors, etc.

    If the original "Here's all the people we want to invite" list was 180-190, and you actually really do want to invite all of those people, then you base your budget around that number, and if $100 per person at 190 ppl is outside of your mother's budget, then maybe you find a cheaper venue, cut down on flowers or favors, have a longer engagement to save more money, etc.  All things it sounds like you're thinking about already :-)

    What I would do now, though, is get this idea of a 50/50 guest list split out of your head and think about it more in terms of who your FI really wants to invite, who you really want to invite, and who your mom really wants to invite.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    charlotte989875lyndausviOliveOilsMomcowgirl8238
  • I agree that you need to plan your wedding based on a budget- you need a number first and foremost. As said, there are many different ways to host 150 people.

    To answer the original question- I would not invite your cousins just to make it equal. Totally fair that you are not inviting them because you are not close- no one is owed an invitation. It also makes sense that you may want to invite your friends' children because you may actually have relationships with these children (versus FI's cousin's kids). I think it is fine to invite the children of immediate family and of friends, but not the children of extended family (cousins). Children are not all or nothing either. However, where it gets dicey is if you invite children of your immediate family but not children of FI's immediate family, or your friends' children but not FI's friends' children.
    PrettyGirlLostcowgirl8238
  • So your budget is $15,000 not 150 people. You could easily invite all these people if you had a more casual wedding, a brunch wedding, BBQ wedding, dessert wedding etc. Cut your service not the people. If you originally had 190 people, you could easily host them for 15,000. Maybe not for a multicourse sit down meal but definitely for a lovely affair. 

    Plan your wedding with your budget, not by person. 
    This is where I'm at. I'm the one with the large family plus my large family is relatively close by where H's is much farther away. I would have been very hurt if we had had to split the guest list 50/50 and I couldn't invite family I am close to. 

    I get that not everyone feels the same way, but for me, having everyone I want there is more important than the level of hosting and quality of venue (obviously, within reason. The hosting still needs to be appropriate to the time of day). 

    We had a cake and punch reception in the hall of the church that we got married in. But we got to invite all the family and friends we wanted to. 

    Is there anything you can cut to get the price per person lower?

    ahoyweddingcowgirl8238OliveOilsMomshort+sassy
  • So your budget is $15,000 not 150 people. You could easily invite all these people if you had a more casual wedding, a brunch wedding, BBQ wedding, dessert wedding etc. Cut your service not the people. If you originally had 190 people, you could easily host them for 15,000. Maybe not for a multicourse sit down meal but definitely for a lovely affair. 

    Plan your wedding with your budget, not by person. 
    This is where I'm at. I'm the one with the large family plus my large family is relatively close by where H's is much farther away. I would have been very hurt if we had had to split the guest list 50/50 and I couldn't invite family I am close to. 

    I get that not everyone feels the same way, but for me, having everyone I want there is more important than the level of hosting and quality of venue (obviously, within reason. The hosting still needs to be appropriate to the time of day). 

    We had a cake and punch reception in the hall of the church that we got married in. But we got to invite all the family and friends we wanted to. 

    Is there anything you can cut to get the price per person lower?
    We have to make cuts in the venue and caterer it looks like, those are our big expenses. So we did find a venue recently we were able to negotiate with a little bit, and they work well with a caterer who does BBQ and can also be flexible price wise as well, so we MAY be able to add to our guest list. The other issue we have run into is that the larger venues that can accommodate 150+ people are out of our price range. This current venue can fit that many people, but I don't want people to be squashed in there like sardines. SO although our budget is $15000, we are doing the back and forth of "This fits us all but we cant afford it" and "This doesnt fit us but we can afford it." We have also looked into a tented wedding, but the few places we have found (besides my back yard) charge a low venue rental of maybe $2-3000, but then you have to rent the huge tent at between $7-10000. Then that eats into our catering budget. With everyone coming from out of our area, I would like to at least have a meal.

    @SP29 Luckily most of the people with the children are mutual friends of FI and I. We are inviting all of his immediate relatives children (his brothers have none, but he does have two step siblings) it was more the cousins children that I was unsure on. His family is "older" than mine, only my oldest sister has a child and all of my cousins are younger than us by 8+ years. So it seems like I'm excluding the children from his family when, if there were children of immediate family they would be invited. 
  • I've already cut out the other items such as flowers/centerpieces (there will be something, but it wont be fancy or expensive) favors, HOPEFULLY transportation (if anyone has any feelings on this let me know) and a cake. I'm hoping to find a new or amateurish photographer and dj so that hopefully we can save a little bit there as well. 
  • I've already cut out the other items such as flowers/centerpieces (there will be something, but it wont be fancy or expensive) favors, HOPEFULLY transportation (if anyone has any feelings on this let me know) and a cake. I'm hoping to find a new or amateurish photographer and dj so that hopefully we can save a little bit there as well. 


    It sounds like you need to start looking at "non-wedding" venue spaces.  Do you have any VFW halls/legions?  Are you marrying in a church, and do they have a space to rent?  Would something at a local park work for you and your guests?  What about a hotel ballroom?  I know the add-on's can get pricey versus a more "all-in" deal but there is always a deal to be had.

    We got married on a similar budget with a smaller guest list but had apps and a sit down meal.  Our venue was $2,500 and included the ceremony, cocktail hour and 4 hour reception.  It also came with tables, chairs, linens, place settings and free reign on their glassware for decorating.  They were a venue that did weddings and cooperate events that could accommodate up to 300 people (realistically that would be way over crowded IMO but we were well under that limit). Obviously I understand that locations can dramatically change the costs, but if you aren't nailed into a contract I would keep looking.  Many of the other venues we looked at were considerably higher in cost ($4,000-$6,000) and offered fewer perks.

  • I've already cut out the other items such as flowers/centerpieces (there will be something, but it wont be fancy or expensive) favors, HOPEFULLY transportation (if anyone has any feelings on this let me know) and a cake. I'm hoping to find a new or amateurish photographer and dj so that hopefully we can save a little bit there as well. 


    It sounds like you need to start looking at "non-wedding" venue spaces.  Do you have any VFW halls/legions?  Are you marrying in a church, and do they have a space to rent?  Would something at a local park work for you and your guests?  What about a hotel ballroom?  I know the add-on's can get pricey versus a more "all-in" deal but there is always a deal to be had.

    We got married on a similar budget with a smaller guest list but had apps and a sit down meal.  Our venue was $2,500 and included the ceremony, cocktail hour and 4 hour reception.  It also came with tables, chairs, linens, place settings and free reign on their glassware for decorating.  They were a venue that did weddings and cooperate events that could accommodate up to 300 people (realistically that would be way over crowded IMO but we were well under that limit). Obviously I understand that locations can dramatically change the costs, but if you aren't nailed into a contract I would keep looking.  Many of the other venues we looked at were considerably higher in cost ($4,000-$6,000) and offered fewer perks.

    We are starting to branch into non-wedding venues. The venue we looked at recently is a petting farm, he negotiated his fee down by 50% (to $3500) and I got a few different options from a caterer that put food at about $5000. So while the venue fee, for what it is, is a bit high, a caterer in that area is not too bad. So far, I haven't found ANY venue under the $3000 mark, except one that did their own catering (coming to a total of $15000ish). So yes, we aren't tied down and are still looking. So far it seems the petting farm will offer us the most for what we are looking for: room for people, open/outdoor space, REAL bathrooms, a decent rain plan, heat/ac, easy to find for people unfamiliar with the area, and flexibility. Only issue I've thought of is that we do need to rent round tables, and thats an added expense.

    The golf clubs and b&bs we have looked at have all "fit" in the budget but offer little to no flexibility, and have been at the top of the budget, where I'm trying to be as far under it while still getting some of my "must haves" like the people, easy location, heat/ac, and real bathrooms. 

    I'm going to be looking at the guest list again tonight to see what the total is coming to with all the kids. A petting farm is a great kid friendly venue so it could be a lot of fun to be able to include them all.
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Explain more on how this petting zoo venue would work, and remind me again what time of year your wedding is supposed to be?

    Petting zoos aren't known for smelling good. . . especially in the summer.  And if the kids are running around playing with the animals, then coming into the reception and handling any sort of apps or buffet style food. . . I'd be passing on dinner, lol.  Bleh!

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    sparklepants41SP29
  • Explain more on how this petting zoo venue would work, and remind me again what time of year your wedding is supposed to be?

    Petting zoos aren't known for smelling good. . . especially in the summer.  And if the kids are running around playing with the animals, then coming into the reception and handling any sort of apps or buffet style food. . . I'd be passing on dinner, lol.  Bleh!
    We haven't set a date, either spring or fall. This isn't I guess your "average" petting zoo. I've done inspections there when I worked with an animal control agency. It is very clean, and while it does smell "like a barn" the reception location is a separate building set away from where the animals are located (mostly outside, in large paddocks.) The animals are brought in by staff to a centralized barn where they can be pet/fed whatever. Then they're sent back out, barn is cleaned, etc. I understand it may smell more strongly to other people, but I didn't find it to be smelly at all.
  • ellamberellamber member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2016
    Since there are real bathrooms, I would hope that the parents ask kids to wash their hands. But if not, I still plan on eating.

    ETA: They can also choose not to partake in the petting. I know I will be. And then I'll wash my hands.
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I figured your reception venue was going to be a separate building from where the animals are. . . I dunno though, you might be uber quirky and invite the llamas and donkeys in as guests :-P  A llama in a bowtie at a wedding would look pretty cute.

    I've seen children being "supervised" by adults do some really nasty things at buffets, and I've also seen adults do nasty things as well.  I think I trust the animals to be cleaner than the ppl!

    Just something to keep in mind if you are thinking of going the buffet route.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    cowgirl8238sparklepants41
  • I figured your reception venue was going to be a separate building from where the animals are. . . I dunno though, you might be uber quirky and invite the llamas and donkeys in as guests :-P  A llama in a bowtie at a wedding would look pretty cute.

    I've seen children being "supervised" by adults do some really nasty things at buffets, and I've also seen adults do nasty things as well.  I think I trust the animals to be cleaner than the ppl!

    Just something to keep in mind if you are thinking of going the buffet route.
    Thanks! I do appreciate it. We will see if we decide to go with this venue. Most of FI's family are not "animal people" and will most likely not be that interested in seeing or letting their kids see the animals, but the option is there of course. I'm ALWAYS excited to see animals, so I like that.
  • I figured your reception venue was going to be a separate building from where the animals are. . . I dunno though, you might be uber quirky and invite the llamas and donkeys in as guests :-P  A llama in a bowtie at a wedding would look pretty cute.

    I've seen children being "supervised" by adults do some really nasty things at buffets, and I've also seen adults do nasty things as well.  I think I trust the animals to be cleaner than the ppl!

    Just something to keep in mind if you are thinking of going the buffet route.
    Thanks! I do appreciate it. We will see if we decide to go with this venue. Most of FI's family are not "animal people" and will most likely not be that interested in seeing or letting their kids see the animals, but the option is there of course. I'm ALWAYS excited to see animals, so I like that.

    I love animals, too.

    Our state fair has had several E. coli outbreaks, nearly always traced back to the petting zoo.  Food for thought.  (No pun intended.)

    On December 16, 2004, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released a report detailing an investigation that traced an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak to the Crossroads Farm Petting Zoo at the N.C. State Fair in October, 2004.

    In total, 108 cases of diarrheal illness were attributed to the outbreak.  Of these, forty-one were laboratory confirmed with E. coli O157:H7, six were classified as probable cases, and 59 were classified as suspect cases.  There were eighteen secondary cases in people who did not attend the petting zoo but contracted E. coli infections from those who had.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For release: Immediate    November 10, 2011

    RALEIGH – A public health investigation into the recent E. coli outbreak in North Carolina has determined that these infections were likely transmitted in the Kelley Building at the North Carolina State Fair. The Kelley Building is one of the permanent structures on the fairgrounds where sheep, goats, and pigs were housed and competed in livestock shows during the fair. No other exhibits, foods or activities were linked to the E. coli infections.

    ___________________________________________________________

    North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
    For Release: Immediate
    Date: November 9, 2012
         

    RALEIGH - Public health investigators from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services have determined that the petting zoo at the Cleveland County Fair was the initial source of exposure to E. coli that resulted in 106 illnesses and one death.

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