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Guest List Pressure

A little background... my parents are very generous and are paying for nearly my entire wedding.  They are pretty well-off and helped pay for both of my brothers' weddings as well.  My FI's family isn't paying for anything, as they can't really afford to help, which is fine with us.  I didn't expect or ask for any money.  

However, FI's father is very, very demanding with the guest list.  Both FI and I didn't want any children at the wedding or reception, but he harassed us about it constantly - even having one of the kid's moms send us an email saying how upset she was - so we eventually caved in and allowed him to add a few children to the guest list.  

Then he added some obscure cousins to the list (just one couple).  Fine, we agreed and added them.  Then, suddenly he remembered that they have a son our age who lives in the area, and wanted to add him.  I even agreed to this.  I called FI's father to ask for his name/address (because my FI didn't even know this guy's name!) and FI's father started giving me the names two other siblings my FI didn't know existed.  And one is married.  Obviously my FI didn't attend that wedding as he does not even know these people.  I hate pulling the "money" card, but I feel like it is unreasonable for him to demand the addition of these guests, now 8 if we allow them all guests, when he is not paying.  At $160/person (crazy, I know), I feel like asking my parents to pay for people we don't know and don't want at our wedding is a little unfair.  Plus, we were given a budget and we are already on the top end.  Is it rude to say this?  I'm not sure how to politely say NO to these extra guests.  Or say, just the parents, not the kids.  We want our wedding to be small and intimate (we're hoping about 80 tops!) but now it's growing with people we don't even know.  

Re: Guest List Pressure

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    Sit down and come up with the guest list you and your fi want. If you accept money from your parents, you'll have to take their preferences into consideration, as well. Have your FI ask his father for a list of people he would like you to consider inviting. FI can then let him know who you will and will not be inviting. However, while you don't *have* to invite anyone you haven't sent an STD or personally issued a verbal invite to, you kind of opened a can of worms by already agreeing to invite all of these people. From now on, you and FI need to stick firm to your guest list, and let FFIL know that he needs to stop inviting people. Don't bring up money; you then run the risk of him offering to pay for all of these people, and it doesn't sound like what you intended.
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    NerdyLucyNerdyLucy member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper
    edited May 2013
    aimeea1m said:
      I hate pulling the "money" card, but I feel like it is unreasonable for him to demand the addition of these guests, now 8 if we allow them all guests, when he is not paying.  At $160/person (crazy, I know), I feel like asking my parents to pay for people we don't know and don't want at our wedding is a little unfair.  Plus, we were given a budget and we are already on the top end.  Is it rude to say this?  I'm not sure how to politely say NO to these extra guests.  Or say, just the parents, not the kids.  We want our wedding to be small and intimate (we're hoping about 80 tops!) but now it's growing with people we don't even know.  

    Does your FI feel the same way you do? 

     

    If so, I do think all of this needs to be said to FFIL, but I think he needs to be the one to say all of this since he's his dad.

    With an extra eight people at $160 a head, that's an extra $1280. Does he (FFIL) realize this?  If you're already at the top end of your budget, then that money has to come from somewhere, and we all know it's not going to fall from the sky.

    ETA:  Of course, you have to acknowledge that, depending on what is said, you may inadvertently open up the possibility of him offering to pay for these people if he only thinks it's about the money.

    You and your FI may want to stress the intimacy of a small wedding and celebrating with people you know and love----not cousins you've never met and don't know the names of.

     

     

    I understand your frustration. FI and I are going to have 75 guests maximum, though we'd like to keep it at 50.  We're looking at 63 guests at the moment, but already our moms and grandmas are kind of whining, "Well, if you don't invite great-aunt Sharon, her feelings might be hurt.."  *pout pout*

    We're lucky no one has actually demanded anything....yet.

    Blech.


     

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    Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    Your FI needs to be the one to deliver the message, but you both need to stand firm and make clear to FFIL that the guest list is closed, and no more invitations will be issued.
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    Call a "time out" because it seems like this is a slippery slope to chaos. While I don't totally condone "no pay, no say" it sounds like this is getting a out of control. I would have FI talk to his family (with you there if possible or CC you in email) and let them know that you two are open to SUGGESTIONS, but that you and FI will make the ultimate decisions based on your budget and venue accommodations. Or give them a certain number of slots and tell them to fill them however they want but that's all you can afford in terms of "extras" (yes - Aunt Edna is already on the guest list, etc.).

    My FI's family got this totally wrong also. They're not contributing a dime to the actual wedding or reception (which is fine), but it means that we can't afford to invite the world. They sent us a list of over 50 people many of whom FI did not know, had only met in once, or hadn't seen or spoken to in over 10 years. We're talking neighbors, friends of co-workers, etc. We let them know we could not afford to accommodate all of those people. We gave them 15 slots (I think they ended up with 16 - no big deal) and let them hash it out. Magically, neighbors and friends of their cousin's co-worker disappeared. My FI is the first child to get married and I don't think they have any concept of what it costs - maybe your FI's dad is in the same boat.
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    Ditto everyone else - you need to be firm.  Learn to say no, politely but firmly. Stop caving into pressure and demands. Think of the precedent that's setting -- what about when they give advice to how to raise your (potential) child or where you should live, etc.  And always make sure FI talks to his side of the family, you talk with yours.
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    Thanks to everyone for the advice... I really needed someone to tell me it's ok to say no!  I'm trying to avoid a big blowout fight about it.  This is their first child getting married, so I have a feeling they might not realize how huge a price tag a wedding has these days.  I think I may have a sit-down with FMIL (who is more reasonable) and focus on the number of guests/our level of closeness with guests rather than the money.  I don't want them to feel like they have no say because they aren't paying.  I also think it's a great idea to give them a number of slots and say fill them however you like!  (Although I imagine that might cause fights as well...)
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    Weezy56Weezy56 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    If FFIL gets angry that he can't invite whoever he wants, refuse to engage him. Let him argue with himself. I would also let your fiancé deal with both of his parents himself. Keep in mind It's important that you two stand united on this issue.
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    brielleinlovebrielleinlove member
    5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper First Comment
    edited May 2013
    Edited because I'm an idiot and misread your post.  I agree with everyone else - if FI's parents aren't paying, they get a limited say in who is invited.
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    Ditto PPs on letting FI communicate with his parents about this. You don't have to invite people you don't want to (and don't know) and it's okay to say no. But let him be the one to do it, I think it's okay if you're there to back him up but he should take the lead on those discussions with his family.

    FI and I are paying for the wedding on our own, we came up with our guest list including both families and ran them by our parents which conveyed how intimate we wanted our wedding and where we were drawing the line for invites. No complaints or random add ons. FI's family did then decide that they wanted to throw their own 'Pre-Wedding Reception' so they could invite all of that extended family not invited to the actual wedding and he declined and told them he wouldn't feel comfortable inviting non-wedding guests to a wedding related party and that we'd rather just focus on the actual wedding instead. Then we continued eating dinner and the topic never came up again.

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    LAM524LAM524 member
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    Wow...what an snowball! Like others have suggested, I feel that your FI should speak with his father on behalf of your parents. I also think its a GREAT idea that he is made aware of your desire to keep it intimate (considering he may offer to pay for the additional plates).

    Im experiencing the opposite from my FFIL. Me and FI came up with our max # of guests and made a personal list of "must invites" leaving room for our parents "must invites." We figured once we received our parents lists then we would know how many more "friends" we could invite. Both of our mothers gave us their lists but his father won't. In considering my FFIL's siblings there are 14 and all have SO's! That's 28 guests that we need to know about!!

     UGH! I never would have guessed that guest lists could be so problematic!

    Good luck!

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