Wedding Etiquette Forum

Classic situation but still need advice

My FI and I are having a hard time with our guest list.  We have a pretty large group of friends (& acquaintances) but also really large families - both of which have inquired whether or not they are invited to the wedding.  We have used the line with our friends, "we have to keep the number of non-family members low because of our large families".  The problem is, a couple in our group of friends is getting married a few weeks before us and are liberally inviting everyone on the planet before the invites have gone out.  Recently we were at a gathering and some friends made the comment “xx is inviting us to their wedding, are we invited to yours?”  Our venue and budget can only host 250 and we are feeling a lot of pressure from our friends… one of our friends asked if they could come to the wedding and come after dinner for the open bar and partying (or even just come to the partying part)… I KNOW THIS IS RUDE and against etiquette but how should we handle a large group of friends who won’t be able to be invited?! We want to celebrate with them, but honestly, it’s just not possible.  

Re: Classic situation but still need advice

  • You've been handling it perfectly.  Just firmly change the subject when they ask, and if they pressure you, just mention that you and your FI are planning a family wedding.  You handle it by having the wedding you can afford, and having your friends over at a later time for a non-wedding dinner party.
  • There is nothing you can do except tell them: "We want to celebrate with everyone, but honestly, it's just not possible."  It is not the easiest conversation to have but remind yourself, if someone puts you in the position of receiving this response, they made an inappropriate and very rude inquiry anyway.  Good luck!
  • You're already handling it perfectly.  People are rude to assume they are invited to your wedding, or to come out and ask you if they are invited.   If people give you a hard time, just continue to tell them that unfortunately you can't invite everyone you would have wanted to.

    You might consider planning an informal (non-wedding-related) house-warming party or BBQ a few weeks after the wedding so you can celebrate with friends who you can't invite to the ceremony/reception.
  • Yes they are being rude, they are creating an awkward situation when you have to tell them you cannot invite everybody.  No way to get around it.
  • You're doing great, OP.  Just hang in there.  I too was going to suggest doing a big housewarming party or something a couple weeks after the wedding with the big group. 

    Another question: are you actually planning to invite some of the people in your group of friends but not others?  Have you made your decision about which ones will be invited and which won't at this point?   I only ask because my H and I were in a similar situation to yours (huge group of friends not all of which could be invited).  I find that it helped once the guest list was final to let my friends who were invited know "who else they'd know at the wedding"  (read: the other friends who were invited).  My hope was that once they knew who else was invited, they'd not discuss the wedding or the invitation situation with more distant friends who wouldn't be invited. 
  • You are already doing fine.  Just keep at it! Your friends are rude for asking, and your other friends are crazy for verbally inviting everyone like that because there's no going back from it if they need to. 
  • I would go the we would like to celebrate with everyone but just not possible line, what about a bbq for your friends whom you are unable to inviate? This way you can still celebrate with them but in a more informal setting. 
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