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Guest list question.

I am in the process of finalizing the guest list.  I am bothered by the fact that it is (or seems to be) commonly considered acceptable for people who are NOT contributing to the wedding, but close to the bride or groom, to insist on certain people being invited.Specifically, my grandma and my FMIL have both either insinuated or come right out and said "I want so-and-so to be invited."  The people they want invited are people who I am NOT close to, and neither is my FI (i.e. very distant family who I haven't seen in years, or step-family who FI has only met 2-3 times and I haven't met at all).Now if I wanted a huge wedding with everyone I know there, I would have no issue inviting these people.  BUT - from the very beginning, I have said that I wanted to have a smaller wedding with only people we are very close to there with us.  My mother has added some guests to the list, but I know that she has the right to do that since she's picking up much of the bill.Am I wrong for not wanting to invite people I'm not close to?  I haven't made any final decisions about whether or not I'm inviting them, but I just think it kind of sucks that people are so forward with their opinions about my guest list and it puts me in the position where I either don't get what I want, or I anger family if/when I tell them no.

Re: Guest list question.

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    No that is absolutely not wrong, especially if you are footing the bill. If g-ma wants your random 8th cousin invited, she can pay for them.
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    I was in the same position with FMIL. They aren't contributing anything but she still insisted that so and so be invited because she was invited to their kids weddings. She even went as far as to make FI go to a funeral to MEET people she wanted to invite. We drew the line with people he didn't see on a regular basis. She is still very upset about this and makes little digs all the time. But hey, not her wedding, not her money.
    "In the old days my ass would be in your back yard picking cotton, so excuse me if I don't put much stock in how f*cking awesome the old days were." -Nuggs
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    In addition to what Salt said, you don't HAVE to invite them, even if they are willing to foot the bill. You get to have the wedding YOU and your FI want. If your mom is being cool about everything, consider yourself lucky and keep making yourself happy. FMIL offered to pay for these people and we just plain didn't want them there. You aren't breaking any etiquette to not invite all these randoms.
    "In the old days my ass would be in your back yard picking cotton, so excuse me if I don't put much stock in how f*cking awesome the old days were." -Nuggs
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    I dealt with the exact same thing with FMIL. Fi and I put our foot down when she insisted that her 2nd cousins be invited (when neither FI or I have met them) to our very small family-only wedding. She decided that she wanted them there so much that she asked FI's gram to pay for them. She did, so I added them on.
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    It's not just about who pays for them.  I have distant relatives that my grandmothers would like me to invite, I'm sure.  And, I could technically afford to do so.  But - I don't WANT to invite them.  I'm not giving my grandmothers the option to pay for them to attend as I don't want them there.  OP - do your best to just change the subject and move on.  If that doesn't work, simply tell them the guest list isn't up for discussion.  Compliment their latest haircut/casserole/etc. and move on with conversation.
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    I guess I just worry about dealing with hurt feelings or making people angry.  Honestly I am less worried about telling my grandma no than I am about telling FMIL no.  Part of me wants to not make her mad, but part of me thinks that I don't want to start my marriage off with her getting whatever she wants (especially since she already sort of forced us into using a certain photographer - but that's another topic entirely).  I think it just sucks that people put brides/grooms in this position.  My FI was married before and he said it happens with ALL weddings.  :(
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    I totally understand both sides of your worry...which is why I let FI take the heat. Neither one of us wanted these random people there and since it was his mother, he was the one to adamantly tell her so. He's kinda a mommas boy (well, used to be), so I was the one worried about giving in to her from the very beginning. I'm really glad we didn't, I think it set the tone for the rest of the wedding processes. I would suggest either FI doing it or make it about you, not her. Say that it's really important to you to only have those that are closest to you on this day. Don't say, I don't want these random people YOU want there. Just try to keep all the negativity out of your response and hopefully that will keep some of the anger away.  
    "In the old days my ass would be in your back yard picking cotton, so excuse me if I don't put much stock in how f*cking awesome the old days were." -Nuggs
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    Oh, and we're date twins :) How far from Cincy are you? I'm an hour and a half away.
    "In the old days my ass would be in your back yard picking cotton, so excuse me if I don't put much stock in how f*cking awesome the old days were." -Nuggs
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    It's not just about who pays for them. I have distant relatives that my grandmothers would like me to invite, I'm sure. And, I could technically afford to do so. But - I don't WANT to invite them. I'm not giving my grandmothers the option to pay for them to attend as I don't want them there. OP - do your best to just change the subject and move on. If that doesn't work, simply tell them the guest list isn't up for discussion. Compliment their latest haircut/casserole/etc. and move on with conversation.This is exactly how I feel.  I have said from the beginning that I don't want some huge wedding with a bunch of people there that I don't care about.  I know I can handle telling my grandma, I'm just not sure how to tell my FMIL.  Honestly I think it sounds like a job for FI.  ;)Unfortunately it's been about a week and a half since his mother requested people be invited, and at the time we just sort of shrugged it off and didnt' say anything.  Her words were "I want so-and-so invited," so I think we SHOULD tell her that we're not inviting them, instead of letting it go to the point where she asks them if they got their invitation and they have to say "Nope." because I never sent them one.
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    This is just one time of many that you'll need to say no, change the subject, and stick with your decisions.Lots of ppl with have ideas, suggestions, requests.  Mostly, you'll just nod, say thanks for the idea, and go about your business doing it the way you want (which is what I do :) ).
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    Oh, and we're date twins :) How far from Cincy are you? I'm an hour and a half away. I'm about 1.5 hours (or so) north east of Cincy....I live in the suburbs of Columbus.  :)
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    I have yet to make it that far North, but I LOVE Cincy. FI proposed to me there at a little bed and breakfast. He knew how much I loved the place and he wanted to make it a 'special' place for us too. :) Oh, I'm in Lexington, btw.
    "In the old days my ass would be in your back yard picking cotton, so excuse me if I don't put much stock in how f*cking awesome the old days were." -Nuggs
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    To be honest - I don't travel to Cincy very often.  I was in Fort Mitchell earlier this year for the American Boxer Club nationals, but that's about it.  :)
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    I actually had my g-ma give me some grief about my guest list, and it wound up turning into a bit of an arguement with her. FI and I are footing the entire bill, but honestly, my entire life, my g-ma has been very good to me, so I felt bad about it. I wound up talking it over with my mom, and she made a very good point (This may not be the case in your family): I have a very large family: my mom is one of 6, I'm one of 5. FI's dad is one of 4, so there are a lot of just first cousins, so we really couldn't go far into the extended family. But having a large family, comes with the drawback of lots of sad things happening. My family experiences death several times throughout the year, so when we DO see family, its always under sad circumstances. My grandmother was just getting so enthusiastic because for once, something HAPPY is happening, and she just wanted to be able to have some family she doesn't see everyday there so they could catch up and enjoy being together. Well, we wound up going over our numbers several times, and realized we actually had room to add 4 or 5 extra people, FI and I have decided to keep the wedding mostly family (We don't have many close friends, and all of them have a spot on the guest list anyway at this point) so I was able to invite some people that my grandma did want there. Not everybody, but a few. And when I told her we were able to do the few that we could (I was super-sure we could first), she actually got super-excited about it, and didn't care that I couldn't add everybody. This may not be the case for you, and I'm not saying "Invite everybody g-ma wants there", but just if you do wind up having some space on your guest list, and you have a good relationship with her, you may want to just see if there are any compromises at all you're willing/able to make. Best of luck!

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    I feel your pain on this- FI and I are just finalizing out guest list as well and his family has always had 200+ person weddings where every member of the extended family is invited. He knocked 40 people of the guest list this weekend and his brother has warned him that his mother will flip out about it- but we can neither afford to invite all the extended family + family friends, nor do we want them all there. FI is going to tell his mom that if she wants her friends moved back onto the guest list she will need to move some of her extended family (second cousins, etc) off it. And it is unfortunate, but I almost feel like people that AREN'T paying for the wedding are more forward with their opinions. Maybe because they don't have to consider how much their opinion will cost :)
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