Moms and Maids

Mother of the bride tries to "sub guests"

I just found out that my mom is trying to do what I call "subbing guests" for my wedding. To explain, when I asked her to give me a list of people to invite, I specifed that she should limit it to family and friends of hers that I actually know. So when my mom found out that one of her unmarried friends that was on her list wasn't planning on bringing a guest to the wedding, my mom asked this friend to bring another one of her (my mom's) friends that neither this friend of hers of my fiance or I know. When I found out about it, I asked her about it and told her that I didn't think that was right of her to do that. I explained that even though we budgeted for singles to bring a guest, if they decide not to, that will save us money and that we could use it for spending money on the honeymoon or other things we might need. She just didn't understand that concept, so she got mad at me and that started an argument. At one point I asked her whose wedding this is, hers or mine. I'm concerned that she doesn't understand the principal of my fiance and I being the ones that should decide how we want to spend our money for the wedding, and that we don't want to spend our money on her friends that we don't know.

To give you some background on my family situation, which might help you better understand...

My mom and dad divorced when I was 4 and there are still some hard feelings between them. My dad comes from a large family and my mom comes from a very small family and for some reason my mom doesn't like that a large portion of the people at the wedding will be relatives from my dad's side. This is my 1st wedding and my fiance's 2nd. We are both in our early 40s and have good jobs but, like most people have a lot of bills and don't have a ton of extra money right now. My dad and step mom earn a modest living but they are contributing about 30% of the total cost of the wedding and honeymoon (including airfare and hotel only). My mom is retired and she said she couldn't afford to help much with the wedding, but she did pay for my dress, which I really appreciate. So my fiance and I are paying for everything else (about $70%). He and I have been putting money aside since we moved in together in September and we're getting married in June, so we only had 10 months to save all of this cash for the wedding.

I'm just wondering if there's any kind of etiquette out there, or anyone's personal opinions on the situation about my mom "subbing guests." My mom just doesn't understand why what she's trying to do isn't right. I want her to understand why it's wrong, and also want to make sure that other unexpected friends of hers that I don't know and weren't on her invite list don't show up at the wedding. Help!?

Re: Mother of the bride tries to "sub guests"

  • She is way out of line.  I would not back down on this one.  It is your money she is spending to get more guests there to assuage her ego.

    Depending on how tough you want to be with this, you can tell her you will have guests checked at the door and escorted to their tables.  If the guest isn't on the finalized list, they won't be let in.  You will have to decide if you want to die on that hill.

    Who is receiving the RSVP's?  Hopefully it is you.  Did you give "and guest" to her requested guests or did  you invite the guest plus a named spouse/SO/etc?

    I would find a way to put a stop to this now before she has a lot of people expecting to go to your wedding that you don't want there.

    FYI - I totally get the idea that declining guests means more spending money for you.  When one of our girls is getting married I rejoice at most of the RSVP's that are from family and special friends, but I have been a bit giddy when I see regrets sent in by guests who "just had to be invited" by someone.  
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_mother-of-the-bride-tries-to-sub-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:357Discussion:8986cbf3-6e01-444a-b6ff-32b8da9e7e74Post:4be95b04-3907-4a6b-8f7a-5efbbcad705b">Re: Mother of the bride tries to "sub guests"</a>:
    [QUOTE]She is way out of line.  I would not back down on this one.  It is your money she is spending to get more guests there to assuage her ego. Depending on how tough you want to be with this, you can tell her you will have guests checked at the door and escorted to their tables.  If the guest isn't on the finalized list, they won't be let in.  You will have to decide if you want to die on that hill. Who is receiving the RSVP's?  Hopefully it is you.  Did you give "and guest" to her requested guests or did  you invite the guest plus a named spouse/SO/etc? I would find a way to put a stop to this now before she has a lot of people expecting to go to your wedding that you don't want there. FYI - I totally get the idea that declining guests means more spending money for you.  When one of our girls is getting married I rejoice at most of the RSVP's that are from family and special friends, but I have been a bit giddy when I see regrets sent in by guests who "just had to be invited" by someone.  
    Posted by kmmssg[/QUOTE]

    Thank you!  That makes me feel a little better.  I don't think I'll have anyone check guests at the door, but it's a good suggestion:) I'm receiving the RSVPs. Your question about the "and guest" on the invite was also another point of heated contention between us. I wasn't aware that it was a must to write "and guest" for singles, I thought it was just assumed, so I didn't. Plus my fiance and I even tailored the rsvps with lines that asked how many adults and how many children would be attending.  We thought that unmarried people would assume that they could bring a guest. That was my oversight, and my mom called me on it because some of her single friends were all worked up and confused about it. I'm glad that you see where I'm coming from! She just doesn't, and she actually accused me of being cheap and asked if I didn't write and guest on the invites so that we could save $. GRR.
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    You say that you didn't write "and guest" on the invites, but you are telling single people that they can bring a guest. That's a little confusing, but if they're single and you are telling them they can bring a guest I don't think you can really dictate who they bring. I don't think it's right for your Mom to have them bring some of her other friends, but "and guest" kind of means they can bring anyone they want.
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  • I think it's wrong of your mother to force her friends to bring a guest of her choosing.  But "and guest" does mean they can bring whoever they want (I realize you didn't write it on, but it sounds like you're verbally extending the invitation) so you really don't get to pick who they bring or if they don't bring someone once the offer is out there.  It's just crappy of your mom to put her friends who ARE invited in the middle of it.
  • saric83saric83 member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2013
    In Response to Re: Mother of the bride tries to "sub guests":
    [QUOTE]When I got married my mom wanted a few of her close friends from church to come. I live out of state now so I had met a few of them once and a few not at all. But I wanted her to have her close friends there. That made her happy and conversely made me happy. I guess I don't understand the big deal about having to know the guest. Your mom is proud and wants to show off her beautiful daughter. I would allow her to invite a few of those friends - within reason. I gave my parents a number of invites and didn't meddle on who they gave them to.
    Posted by scribe95[/QUOTE]

    I get what you mean, but for me, the big deal is that mom already has friends of hers invited, and she's trying to include even more by pushing the invited friends to use THEIR plus ones to invite even more of her friends (that the invited friends don't even know!)  It's just weird and pushy (towards her friends, not even considering the B&G.)   
  • In Response to Re: Mother of the bride tries to "sub guests":
    [QUOTE]Dear Retread, Per OP, the MOB is paying for the dress, even though she is retired and doesnt have much moeny..  So you are not correct when you say MOB  is not paying for anyting. On other threads, brides are advised, be ready for every invited person to show up, and same for all plus ones. This is new, that bride has an obligation to prevent a mom from being a boor.  And lets be clear, this alleged boorish behavior will not effect anyone other than MOB and her own friends.  Does this edict of the bride having an oblligation to prevent boorish behaivor extend to SMs? 
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]

    If the SM were trying to do the same thing, yes, I think the bride has an obligation to tell her to stop trying to force guests to bring her friends that the guest doesn't even know. That's just weird. And though the MOB is graciously paying for the dress, that doesn't mean she gets a say in the guest list - she's not paying for something that has anything to do with the guests.




  • "Again, you miss the point.  THE GUESTS are not bringing anyone they want.  They are being steamrolled into bringing someone the bullish MOB has coerced them into trying to pass off as their plus one in an attempt to force her daughter to entertain her friends."

    THIS.  The plus one belongs to MOB's invited friend, NOT to the MOB.  The MOB is using her invited friends to get people the invited friend reportedly doesn't even know which is rude to both her invited friend AND to the bride and groom.
  • monistemoniste member
    First Comment
    edited May 2013
    So my mom and I had a little chat last week.  She apologized for trying to invite more of her friends through suggesting them as guests to her other friends that were invited.  She offered to pay for the one that she would really like to attend the wedding (that didn't make it on the guest list) and we left it at that.  I also pointed out that if she had an issue with who made it on our guest list that she should have addressed that with me and my fiance before we sent out the invitations.  Thanks all for your input!
  • kgd7357kgd7357 member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2013
    I know this topic is a little old, but I'm having sort of the same problem. My parents are splitting the cost of the wedding with my FI and me, so I've given a lot of leeway to them on the guest list. My parents have invited 90 family and friends from just their side for a ~175-180 person wedding. My FI and I have invited 25 friends (about 80% have SOs, so about 45), and my FI's family invited 40. We have budgeted in extra space for friends and family that have new SOs between when the STDs go out and when the invites go out, so we can meet the people that are special to our friends and family. While this is a lopsided guest list, I'm generally okay with, but wont be too upset if a few of my parent's friends don't end up coming.

    We have just sent out save the dates to the agreed upon guest list, and a few of my mom's friends said they can't make it due to other family weddings the same day. She's now asked me if she can replace them with other friends when the invites go out to even it out between her invites and my dad's huge family. My mom thinks it isn't a big deal because we budgeted extra space, and some people aren't coming. I'm just not really into the idea of going to the "B" list, and would actually prefer a slightly smaller wedding. We already picked the most important people to us, and that is that. Thoughts on how to approach the situation? 
  • This is an old thread, but you asked a new question, so here's a new answer:

    Even if people have told you they can't attend after getting the STDate, you must send them an invitation -- plans can change. Those other weddings might get cancelled, the friends may prioritise them differently, etc. Regardless, an STDate = Invitation, always always always. 

    I'd just tell your mom, "Mom, we made the guest list, and the people who got STDates are the people getting invites, no substitutions," and then change the subject.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'

  • This is an old thread, but you asked a new question, so here's a new answer:

    Even if people have told you they can't attend after getting the STDate, you must send them an invitation -- plans can change. Those other weddings might get cancelled, the friends may prioritise them differently, etc. Regardless, an STDate = Invitation, always always always. 

    I'd just tell your mom, "Mom, we made the guest list, and the people who got STDates are the people getting invites, no substitutions," and then change the subject.
    That's a good logical point to make. I think I can probably work that angle with her.

    We were already still planning on sending the invites.

    Thanks.
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