Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Guest List Questions

My fiance and I are footing the bill.  Do we need to allow his parents to invite people?  His mom and dad invited people to his sisters wedding we don't know.  I feel like since budget is an issue, we shouldn't have to invite people we have never met and never heard of.  HELP!!!

Re: Guest List Questions

  • edited June 2010
    A friend of mine got married three years ago and gave me advice.  She said if she could go back and do-over anything, she would have asked her mom to pay for some of the people she invited.  FI's parents have already offered to do this for us because they are inviting some of their good friends who we don't know so well.  Just sit down w/them and tell them you're on a tight budget.  Explain that you would love to have their friends as guests, but in that case you may need some help.
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  • I'm not sure what proper ettiquette would be, but I agree with you.  FI and I are also footing the bill ourselves, and we are desiging the guest list ourselves.  We want our wedding to be full of people we love who love us.  When you look around at everyone, do you want to be like "Oh, Aunt Sarah looks like she's having fun.  David seems to be enjoying the cake.  And that guy is really...wait, who is that guy?"

    It seems to me that your parents' friends who you've never even met are probably not going to care whether or not they've been invited.  If I got invited to the wedding of someone neither I or FI actually knew, I'd be like "Why the heck did they invite ME?"

    But that's just what I think.

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  • If you are paying then their guest list is basically a wish list that you can go off of.  You can pick a set amount that you are willing to pay for and tell them thats their limit that you'll pay for.  For example say something like we would love to be able to invite everyone on your guest list but do to budgeting we are only able to pay for 40 of them.  Could you please either narrow it down to 40 people, or if you would still like all of them to be invited we are going to need you to cover the cost of the extras. 

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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    It would be nice of you to offer to allow them to invite some people. I would sit down and explain that you will allow them to invite X number of people but you would like it if you or your FI knew them.

    Since you are paying you have the power to cross off any guests that you don't want at your wedding but your FILs will be in your life for a long time so it would be nice to let them invite some people.

  • I did not just give my parents any open invitations.  I let them suggest people, but if I didn't know those people, I didn't invite them.  Please do not ask them to pay for anything if they haven't offered.
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  • What Beth & quotequeen said.  I would say that aside from family you & FI have already added, that they can invite X couples or X people who are friends of theirs. And if they argue with the number, tell them that you are sticking to your budget and this is what the 2 of you can afford. If they then offer to pay for additionals, then start asking "how many people are we talking about?" and go from there.  Just because they offer to pay doesn't mean you have to agree with adding 50 people you don't know. Decide on a maximum number of guests, deduct the number of guests you & FI have already planned on, and then you'll have some leeway of "well, we have XX seats available for additional guests but we absolutely cannot accomodate more."  Make sure you & FI agree on all of this before you start talking to FILs about it--a united front is best, and no worries of FI coming to you and saying "well I told them they could..."
  • trix1223trix1223 member
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited June 2010
    You're paying.  Therefore, you can tell them that you have budgeted for 100 people.  Tell your parents that they can invite X people, your in-laws can also invite X people, and you and your FI get Y people.

    I advise AGAINST allowing them to pay for additional people.  Because then you also have to allow YOUR parents to pay for additional people.  And the 100 person wedding you wanted is suddenly 180 people.

    In addition, the pp cost has to include the TOTAL pp cost:  additional people means additional tables, linens, centerpieces, invitations, favors, postage, programs, and more that I've probably forgotten.

    For me the bigger issue is though, that you're paying, and you know how many guests you want to celebrate with.  Give them a limit, and stick to it.

    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • I asked my parents if they wanted me to invite anyone in particular. My dad mentioned his 5 aunts and uncles. No problem. It helps that I'm getting married out of state. If they had insisted on a lot of people, I certainly would have NOT obliged. We want a wedding on the smaller side.
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  • My Dad started adding his cousins and their kids.  People that I didn't even know.  I told him if our budget/venue allowed for us to accomadate sure but not to get your hopes up.  He then tried to guilt me by saying "your Grandma will be disappointed if they weren't invited".  Which is so not true.  It would be one thing if it was just 10 people but he took our list from 190 to 250.  Not cool.  I have drastically reduced the list and it is now at 212.  We have a little leeway now if we, FI and I, think of friends that we want to invite that are not on the list.  I just told him that the hall only seats 220 and I can't invite hoping that they won't come.
  • Work out how much it is costing per guest- not just food/alcohol, but look at the total wedding budget of reception flowers, any rentals for stem/silverware, and divide it up. Then let the parents know that you have the space for x number of their friends, but not the budget- let them know what it costs per person, and let them decide if they want to pay for them or not. Make sure the number is even on both sides, ie: if you can fit 20 people, then each side gets to invite ten guests, or 4 guests, or what have you.
  • I know not everyone invited will be attending my wedding, does anyone know the percentage of people you should count on?
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