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August 2011 Weddings

Small Guest List Vent...

Major Vent Coming:

My parents are footing the entire bill for me and my fiance's wedding. When we first got engaged we asked both parents what their contributions were going to be RIGHT AWAY so we didn't get our hopes up or anything. My parents gave me a $15,000 budgeter (not including dress-yay!). Although not a huge budget, I know that is more then enough to have a nice wedding for about 200-230 people based on where we live. My fiance's parents then said they will be contributing about 2,000 dollars, which is very nice of them.

Here comes to the problem...

They are PISSED about the guest list. My parents believe that since they are contributing a huge percentage of the bill they should be able to invite a larger portion of the guests. I have to agree with them on this. But, my fiance's parents do not agree and they are being hurtful about it. My fiance is trying to be cool about it and understanding but I know that he is a little frustrated he has to cut family. I feel bad but I also see my parent's point and I don't find it necessary for my Fi's second cousins that he hasn't seen in over 10 years should be there over my parents friends that we see all the time.

IS anyone else having issues like this? Any suggestions? 
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Re: Small Guest List Vent...

  • Although we aren't really having a problem with it, my fiancé and I were discussing this sort of thing, and we both feel that the guest list should not be determined by trying to make the number of guests even on the brides side versus the groom's side; instead, you should invite the people who are important in your lives.  Although my parents are paying for our reception, my FI's guest list is larger because he has a bigger, more tight-knit family.  So what you're saying is true -- it makes much more sense to invite your parents' close friends, rather than your FI's cousins that he never sees.  BUT, it's not fair to leave out your FI's close friends and relatives in order to invite people who may be friends of your parents, but whom you don't really know.  So it doesn't really matter who ends up inviting a larger portion of the guests, as long as all the important people are there.  And that should be people who are important to you and your fiancé, not to either set of parents. IMO.
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  • That can get tricky. I know at first I was kind of bummed because I had to cut some friends who I really want to invite to our wedding, but FI and I have such huge families, we just had to cut people. And despite my parents paying, FI has the larger chunk of the guest list because he just has a larger family. It kind of sucks, but I had to be fair. Sometimes it's not about who's paying.

    Now, if they're just hung over the 3rd cousins, whatever. They need to get over it. As long as you're not inviting all of yours, of course. If you just have a larger extended family (limited to aunts, uncles, first cousins, maybe their children) then they just have to deal.
  • Exactly, they are getting upset about not inviting all of his parents cousins; and my fiancée couldn't even name some of them when I asked! MY parents aren't even inviting all their cousins, and we see them once a year. I'm just so frustrated with how unreasonable they are being!

    It may sound selfish but I would rather have my friends there I see then having the fiance's second cousins he never sees there. He agrees, but "we invite all our family" in their family apparently. I'm just frustrated!
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  • See, I'm kind of on the other end...this whole guest list thing is frustrating! My grandparents are paying, FIs parents are contributing, but we haven't decided how much (they're giving us x amount and my grandparents x amount, but it's up to us to decide how much each person gets). My grandparents are very much everyone can be invited as long as it falls under 210. Just yesterday she asked me how many friends we're inviting because those should be 1st on the list. Now, FI and his parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner and I think my uncle who is like a second brother as well as my grandmothers friend who has attended every single solitary life event should be invited. FI disagrees and it REALLY pisses me off.
    August 2011: E-Pic! Photobucket
    229 image Invited to celebrate!
    191 image Remembered to RSVP!
    26 image Can't make it
    7 image Got lost on the way to the mailbox

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  • I dont really have that problem, as both sides of each family are small.  we arent even really meeting our 150 person limit, and our caterer is letting us get the entrees uncooked, so we can take them home. (my parents are donating them to charity)

    But from an outside perspective it looks like a communication problem.  I would say maybe if you and FI and agree together (or come to a compromise), then confront each family with whatever you have decided together.  that might work. 
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  • I pretty much agree with PPs.  Its not really about who is paying.  I am paying for most of the wedding so with your logic I should be able to invite more people.  I actually am inviting more people, but its only because I know more people and have more family in America as apposed to my hubby who has less people here that can make the trip.  Regarless of who pays, IMO your FI should be able to invite his cousins if he feels that there is a bond there and they need to come.  It should not matter if they have not seen each other in 10 years.  Family is family IMO and if his family is tight knit and they invite 2nd  4th and 10th cousins to events then so be it.  It shoudl be about who is important to you both, not who is paying. 
  • I agree with topchef33's initial thought: the cutoff for both sides is at the same point, ie first cousins, aunts & uncles. Why not try there and see how many people that is? Then add the friends you and your fiance want to invite, then expand the circle to friends of parents on both sides. Sometimes the parents of the friends are much like an aunt-uncle relationship, which can make it harder. Use common sense.

    I know my cousin's daughter is inviting me to her wedding in November. We are not inviting our cousin's kids to ours, regardless of how old they are. It creates a sticky situation, but obviously their budget is a bit different than ours. I feel no qualms about only inviting first cousins, and not returning the favor of inviting someone who's wedding we attended.

    My fiance and I are paying for all of it except the $1000 my retired parents gave us for the venue fee. He has a larger family than I do, but I have more friends. It's about even, in spite of the fact that I"m socking away more savings into our wedding savings account. I am not upset about this, since it's my "wedding vision"  I am supporting, not the cost of the meals/person. Perhaps before arguing about how much each person costs, you should (if you haven't) parcel out the parts of your budget that will go to flowers, ceremony decor, photographer, videographer, "day of coordinator", makeup and hair artists, cake, anything extraneous to the food costs, so you have a clearer idea of exactly how much you have for guest expenses. That way there is no arguing closer to the day if the money runs out.

    Good luck.
  • Wow! It seems everyone has their own version of this! Same goes for my side though! My parents are paying for the meal, and I agree, they should be able to invite everyone they want, as long as it is within reason because Fi and i are footing the rest of the bill, more people, more rentals etc. 

    Fi's parents want to invite everyone and their brother, including my FMIL's friends that she plays cards with once a month.. I know! 

    I told Fi to level with her, because she has made it quite clear she will not be paying 1 cent towards this wedding, because she doesnt want it to happen in the first place, as well, she wont be hosting any party (including the rehearsal). 

    I have taken my parents side on this, not just because i despise my FMIL, but because if they arent contributing they dont get a say. Although your Fi's parents are contributing a small amount, maybe level with them about having there say somewhere else in the wedding, maybe there is a saying or a song they really want to hear in the ceremony.. or a favor they really want. 

    I would put their money in to something else instead of "the guest list" 
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  • The guest list is seriously one of the worst parts of planning a wedding. FI's family STILL has not given my their guest list (I asked for it months ago). My parents are paying for the bulk of the reception, HOWEVER, FI's parents are paying for everything extra they want to add...more food, more people, etc. My family and I also did not want any kids at the wedding, but since FI's parents are contributing they get to say who they will and will not be inviting from their side, and so that means they can invite any child they want and I can't do anything about it. It's going to be great trying to explain why no one can bring children from my side but when the guests arrive they see a bunch of kids running around from FI's side. When FI asked how many coworkers I have on my guest list he also bugged out and said I shouldn't be iniviting all of these people, even though my parents told me they don't care who I invite. Just because his family is contributing they think they now get a say in who gets invited from my side as well as theirs....trust me, at least you can put your foot down and say tough cookies, in my case...I'm not in control and that's where it really turns into a free-for-all. I know it sucks to have to limit people, but you have to draw the line somewhere...use the rule of, if you haven't talked to these people in over a year they should not be invited. Period.
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • As much as I can certainly understand the frustration (especially when this is supposed to be a happy time!) and can see both sides of this, I guess the moral of the story is "he who holds the purse holds the power."

    I guess what I'm trying to say is this really isn't your call. Your parents are hosting this wedding and spending a great deal of money to do so. They make the calls. The end. Sorry.

    Your Fis parents might get frustrated and threaten to pull their contribution out - be prepared for that. Your only other option seems to be to pay yourselves and split up the invites how you see fit.

    I'm not saying you can't TRY to talk to your parents. Maybe you guys can negotiate X number of invites for FI's side and they may use those invites however they see fit. It sounds a bit controlling to say to the inlaws "You can invite these people, but not these." Only they know who is important to them and why. Negotiate a flat number of invites, not level of importance.

    Make sure your parents understand, however, that how they handle this could effect your relationship with your new in-laws for a long time. So although they may be right, and are certainly in control, it being their money and all, remind them that a compromise helps YOU in your marriage.
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