Massachusetts-Boston

guest list advice...kinda long, sorrry

Ok so here's the back story:We finalized the guest list a long time ago and had about 210 guests.  FMIL was fine with this, but then a couple months ago, remembered she had another 24 people she wanted to invite. 6 are from her work (she's a nurse).  The rest are from this prayer group she's been in for about a year.  The venue only holds 220, so we would be over capacity by a bit.  I'm really not comfortable chancing it, even though I'm sure we will have 10-20 people RSVP "no".  I explained to her (nicely) that this would put us over capacity when she told me that and that we would need to figure out how to make it work.  My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding, and have already cut their list more than they probably wanted to in the first round.  FI and I have also cut down to only people that we have to invite with our friends.  So apparently she just told FI that she verbally invited the prayer group, but told them they couldn't bring spouses!  I feel like that is beyond rude.  I mean, they're her friends, but still.  I don't know what to say because FILs are contributing some money too.  Should I just chance it and be over capacity or not follow ettiquette?  I'm really frustrated right now!I know 220 sounds like a lot of people to be at bare bones with the guest list, but we both have huge families (my mother and FMIL both have 8 brothers and sisters).

Re: guest list advice...kinda long, sorrry

  • edited December 2011
    Additionally, I feel weird having people there that don't know anything about either FI or I...I feel gift grubby or something. 
  • edited December 2011
    If you're inviting 210 guests, at least 10% will decline.  So the room capacity issue won't really be an issue if a few more ppl are invited.However, I still think it's rude that your FMIL has added more guests, even though you've already gone through at least 1 round of slashing the guest list.  Verbal invites can always be rescinded.
  • Scarlet856Scarlet856 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I agree with foolforfood. That's a bit rude of FMIL but as a general rule - as it is FMIL what can you really do as you don't want to offend her. Of course, as your parents are paying for a portion of the wedding and have already cut their lists they might be a bit offended. Its a tough situation but I also agree that you are probably going to have about 10% decline but still you might want to feel your parents out on the topic in advance to see how they react! GL!
  • edited December 2011
    Do you know these people in the prayer group and her work? I personally wouldn't invite anyone that I wasn't at least friendly with. It would just make me uncomfortable, not to mention that it's rude telling someone they are invited to a wedding when they haven't even asked the bride/groom!
  • edited December 2011
    Yeah, FI wants to just cross our fingers that 10% will decline.  My parents won't be offended I don't think...FMIL is notorious for these types of things, so luckily they "get" it.
  • edited December 2011
    No, FI and I have never met anyone in the prayer group, and FI has met one of the work friends.  Her husband hasn't met some of these people lol.  They are contributing, so I feel like I can't really argue that point, but I hear ya.  I mentioned that I felt bad inviting people that didn't know and and she says they are like sisters (that she's know for a year)? Now that I'm typing, I almost find it funny haha.
  • edited December 2011
    I guess if they are paying for all these extra people it's better than you having to pay for people you don't know! I guess b/c we are paying for a chunk of it ourselves that I would be really annoyed by it lol. I would just feel awkward accepting gifts from people I've never met! hah
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you very much FMIL for bringing unwanted stress! You still don't have to feel send a paper invite, even though the invitation has been extended verbally. Are most of these people in the prayer group from out-of-town or local? If they're mostly OOT, you might get a higher % of declines should you feel obligated to invite them. But if you do invite them, don't worry about their spouses (screw ettiquette). They have each other's company.
  • Scarlet856Scarlet856 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Haha Jenwindy you're a riot! Ekobs, at least your parents understand how FMIL is and won't get upset.  I think that when either set of parents give any money towards the wedding they feel entitled to invite people they want there - regardless of whether or not those people know you personally!
  • edited December 2011
    ugh so sorry this is happening! what a totally unnecessary stressor. We invited 211 and had 150 attend- I know our percent of declines was abnormally high due to 4th of july weekend and the fact that the majority of guests were OOT. However, I do think that more people will decline than you are prepared for. People that I would have put money on attending the wedding couldn't attend for various reasons. This would absolutely put me over the edge though because FMIL is blatantly disrespecting your feelings. I know you two have not had the smoothest relationship thus far, so I feel like this leaves you in one of two positions: you can either suck it up and not rock the boat by inviting these people, or, you AND FI can have a candid and honest discussion with her that the guest list is something you have agonized over and her recent additions have caused your stress levels to skyrocket. Where does FI stand on this? He should be on your team and diffusing situations with FMIL to the best of his ability, IMO. Maybe this could be a great oppportunity to set some precedents for how you and FI will deal with her in the future. Sorry for getting all philosophical, but I know that having a healthy relationship with her is important to you. Either way, definitely do not feel that spouses need to be invited. I know this seems impossible right now, but once your wedding comes, it will seem so inconsequential.
  • edited December 2011
    ok here's something else i just thought of...your wedding is in 10 months. our guest list literally changed until the invitations went in the mail. now that i just thought about that, i think maybe it would be best to end the conversation with her by saying that you are at capacity at this point, but as a lot can change over the next 8 months or so, you will have a final guest list discussion at a more appropriate time. i don't know why i have so much to say about this...probably because the guest list was the absolute most stressful thing for us and i can empathize!
  • edited December 2011
    That stinks- sorry that you're going through this.  If it were me, I would tell her that you will put them on a B list and if you get enough declines, you will consider inviting them then.Personally, though, if we had to do the a/b list thing, I'd rather invite some of the friends that you turned away rather than her friends that you don't even know.  We know we're going to have a lot of no responses, so I just invited whoever I wanted.  Capacity isn't really an issue.
    *Kelly* MARRIED to the love of my life October 17, 2009!
  • edited December 2011
    I am so sorry you have to go through this. I agree with pp though. The best course of action is to be candid with FMIL about this. Is she aware of the guests your parents are not inviting? Maybe if she hears that other people are making sacrifices, she will too. HTH! GL with the situation!
  • cazzysmithcazzysmith member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    ugh! how rude of her - so many people she NEEDS to invite and she's only known them a year?  Damn, I took people off of my list I've known all my life because we just couldn't afford them all!  (to make room for FFIL's 20 invites, I might add, none of whom FI has seen for years and whom I've never even heard of never mind met...so I can relate a little.)  How many other people is she inviting?  Can you claim that what $ she is contributing won't cover everyone she is inviting?if you must invite those people, I'm all for jenwindy and liv's idea of forgetting the spouses - seems like some kind of compromise.I hope you can get out of yours - I couldn't get out of mine!
  • CS1194CS1194 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    If it makes you feel better, we invited 211; our venue fit 180. We ended up with 143. Granted, it was a holiday weekend and 60% of out guest list was traveling, but sometimes, these things just happen. If your budget really cannot take the hit (and 24 people IS a big difference) explain that to your in laws, nicely. You're talking about potentially $3-4k here, so that's not a trivial amount. If that's not the real issue, then I say just let it go. You'll fit in just fine.
  • CS1194CS1194 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Also: Inviting your in-laws friends, even if you've never met them, does not make you seem "gift grubby" -- it just makes it seem as though your FMIL really wants them to be a part of a day that is important to her and her family. Some people might prefer a more intimate wedding, but at 210 guests, you've already kind of lost that argument.
  • Ali&TimAli&Tim member
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We invited 250 and had 200 attend ... and our guests were mostly in-state, so I know it's risky to gamble on that 10% no show, but ... I think you'll be okayThis may be one of those battles that isn't worth fighting .... You might be able to say, look FMIL, my parents cut people from their list so we could stay within the venue's capacity, so unfortunately, we just can't invite more people .... I totally agree that its beyond frustrating, but it might not be the hill you choose to die on.  and you're LUCKY your parents understand how she is
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you everyone! I still don't kniw what I'm going to do, but I feel a lot better ;)
  • edited December 2011
    Maybe this could be a great oppportunity to set some precedents for how you and FI will deal with her in the future. And ditto the rest of what Liv said too. I know it really stinks to be dealing with this but I reallllly recommend talking to her with FI and just setting some compromised guidelines. I know how hard it is because I did it with my own MIL and she STILL showed up with 3 uninvited guests. The good news: Other than a seconds annoyance I didn't notice those guests and it really did NOT matter on the day. This is the beauty of seating arrangements. It makes them feel awkward, not you. Good luck girly.
  • eouelleteouellet member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My FMIL really wanted to invite her "club" girls (they get together once a month for like the past 30 years) and we just didn't have the budget for 10 more women we didn't know, plus their husbands. But it was very important to her, and she did end up inviting them but as a "club thing" - meaning the 10 women are all going together and aren't bringing their husbands. I was a little uncomfortable with this too, but it's FMIL's deal and the women are all actually really excited to have a girls night out together. BUT, my FILs are paying for half the wedding so it was really her call to an extent. If it's really just capacity/budget you are worried about, though, you could definitely have more than 10-20 nos...for a guest list that size, I'd expect at least 30 or more (but you of course know your guests best.) I'd say, if the women are all friends, and your FMIL takes care of inviting them and explains to them that it is a group invitation rather than couples, then it's really off your shoulders.
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