Wedding Etiquette Forum

Both of Us Have Divorced Parents...

Our wedding is just over a year away and the guest lists are beginning to be formed. My biggest "want" for our wedding is to get married and have the reception at my father's home. He said the maximum he could house is 130. I'm fine with that because I want a small wedding anyways (I'd even rather have less than that).

My fiance and my parents are both divorced and remarried. This means we have 4 sets of families to involve in this wedding. If we split the 130 evenly, that's about 33 guests a family. Luckily my fiance and I don't have any friends we're looking to invite since we live in UT and we're getting married in PA, so we don't have any numbers to add to the 130 ourselves.

So far the guest lists are pretty even -- with the exception of my mother. She has 68 people on her list and doesn't really want to cut anyone. I feel very uncomfortable with some of the people she's inviting because I haven't seen them since I was 10. Her argument is that even though I don't see them anymore, she still does and thinks they should be invited.

My fiance is a family pleaser and won't say no to his family. He thinks we should just move the wedding somewhere else so that everyone can invite who they want and be happy. I just don't think that we should move it so that everyone can invite every person they know. It's not a party. It's supposed to be an intimate celebration with those we love around us. It's turning into a circus.

What should I do? Am I being ridiculous to want this one thing and stick to having the wedding at my dad's house? Please give advice! Smile

Re: Both of Us Have Divorced Parents...

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    I think you are both being very generous to actually split the guest list like that.  Our parents really say in who is invited, to be honest!

    It  sounds to me like being married at your Dad's place is very important to you.  Stick with that.  Don't let what could be lingering ill feelings on your Mom's part (or just pushiness) mess up an event as special and important as your wedding.  She gets what she gets and that's that.  It may be a harsh conversation to have, but it sounds necessary at this point.  If you back down on this, it could be just the beginning.

    I truly hope an easy compromise can be found for you.  I'd also invite a few friends from Utah if I were you.  Sometimes people will surprise you!  Good luck and congratulations!
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    That's difficult. I would say that your mom inviting half of the people on the guest list is a little outrageous.

    If you want to have it at your dad's, then just continue to work with her on it.
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    intimate is not people you haven't seen in 10 years.

    Talk to your mom about what you really want for your wedding.

    if she is usijng the purse strings to control the guest list, pay for the wedding yourself
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    My guess is that your father & stepmother have LESS than the 33 guests they are allotted...

    So your mother would be able to go a little OVER her 33 guest allotment, and still have 66 guests of the bride's parents.
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    Unless your mother is footing the bill let her know that 33 of her guests will be invited, and no more.  She can rank the list or you will.
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    My parents are paying for the wedding, and do you know how many guests they got to invite?  2, one couple that mom works with and is close to.  We have 72 invited and 62 who it is possible will come.  We originally wanted 20, but I think we will end up with about 55.  We were very up front when my parents offered to pay that we wanted a small wedding, with almost entirely family.  They have respected those wishes.

    I have found that sticking to my guns with things I really want, and giving my mom total control of other things helped a lot. 

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    Thanks to all who have responded so far. I appreciate the advice. My Dad's list is at 32, so there's not much wiggle room there. Everyone is inviting close family, but my mom is wanting to invite friends and extended family. She's worried about "world war 3" (as she puts it) starting if everyone's not invited in the family. My cousin who got engaged 5 months after I did decided to have her wedding 2 weeks before mine. She's having a large wedding at a country club. So my mom is worried that everyone we see at my cousin's wedding will be pissed that they're not invited to mine. I told her they can take it up with me then, but she's still not budging. She's pay for half of the wedding (supposively) while my dad is paying for the other half. I'm a very frugal person, so even though I'm not footing the bill, I still don't want things to cost a lot because that would just eat at me. Adding a venue to the budget just seems ridiculous to me since we have an arce of land to have the wedding on at my dad's.

    Besides the issues of my mom, how should I talk to my fiance about not worrying about pleasing everyone on his side of the family? His mom wants to invite this family of 8 because they invite her to their family parties. I think that's ridiculous since my fiance, nor I, really see or talk to these people. We both know them, but that's about it. My compromise is that she can invite the parents, but not all of their kids. Some are married, so 8 would actually be higher once you add in their spouses. I feel like my MIL thinks this is just a BBQ that she can invite anyone and everyone to. No one seems to care what we want and I'm ready to just get married at the court house this weekend.
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    I would just tell your mother and FILs that you spoke to your dad and he can only hold however many people and that you want to be fair, so you are dividing it up evenly, which would be 33 people each. Just be honest with them.

    You can also let them know that if if the list is less that 130, they can add more to the list.
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    This doesn't really help your questions directly. But this may bring some positiveness in the idea of having parents' friend, who you may not know.

    Do you realize that your wedding day is also an important day for your and groom's parents? They want to share their happiness and pride with their family and friends. 

    My parents are paying for my wedding and they are inviting lot of friends that I don't know well, but they socialize on weekly basis. My parents are so excited and I am so excited to have their friends there, simply because I know that my parents are honored to have them attend their daughter's (me) wedding. It also makes me really happy to see their friends excited for them. It's a celebration of "family" not necessarily just bride and groom. 

    Just giving you a perspective from the parents' shoes. I don't think you should focus on the idea of not knowing the people well, but the idea of sharing your parents' happiness with their friends. Not everyone's child gets married. It's a celebration!
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