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April 2013 Weddings

Guest list issue

My fiance and I are paying for our own wedding. I've always wanted a smaller wedding, but he wants a big wedding. He worked at a bar for 15 years and has had the same group of friends outside of there for 20+ years. Right now our guest list is at 350 (all his friends and my big family) which I am not cool with. I've tried reasoning with him but he pleads with me every time that I can have whatever I want when it comes to the wedding as long as I let him invite whoever he wants. Most of the people, whatever, I'll get over it, but there's about 30 people on that list I've either never met, and he only wants to invite them because they were bar patrons of his 5-10 years ago, and there's a big chunk of his ex's family on the list. She's a horrible person (obviously not invited) but he's known her family all his life and wants to invite a bunch of them (who dont even like me). So how do I get him to see that those 30 people shouldn't be on there? I mean, I'm still close with family members of my ex's, but I'm not inviting any of them. Am I being unreasonable? Not to mention, cutting 30 people would ovbiously be cheaper for us in the long run.

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Re: Guest list issue

  • I don't think you're being unreasonable.  Like my FI and I discussed, we're inviting people that are important in our lives together and now - unless they're family we've never met, they're not invited.  I wouldn't want him inviting people I've never met and aren't related to him.  
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  • There is absolutely NO WAY that any ex's family would be at my wedding.  I don't care how much he cries and whines, it's NOT going to happen!  That is the part of his life that he SHOULD HAVE buried long before he ever proposed to you.  Period.  End of story.  To me, this WOULD be a hill to die on, and I would have no problem telling FI that if they show up, I will walk out on my own wedding.

    As for his friends, I would just let it go.  They may not even come anyway.  And honestly, 30 people out of 350 is not that big of a percentage. 

    We chose to keep our guest list for our destination wedding short.  We capped it at 60.  After immediate family was invited, whatever was left was divided by 2 and that's how many "extras" we each got to invite.  The only stipulations were no ex's, nobody who didn't like one or the other of us, and nobody (ie my sister) who is a raging alcoholic and would ruin the entire day with her drunk rants and the nasty attitude she gets when she's drunk.  Yes.  I am excluding my own sister, but that is due to her being unable to control herself.

    The fact that your FI is not taking your feelings into consideration definitely warrants a nice, long chat.  He should not be forcing you to have a huge wedding if you don't want one just so he can invite his ex's family and people he hasn't seen in 10 years.  I say set a cap of whatever you're comfortable with and divide up the # of "extras" after you've put your immediate families on the list.  And yes, I would make him choose between the ex's family and me..... but I'm kind of stubborn about that sort of thing.
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  • Tough situation! I agree with you and PPs! I would not want either of our exs family at our wedding. There are people on FIs side that I do not know, but not too many. Our list is at 150, and that is basically close friends and family We are also paying for our wedding and are very budget conscious. We can comfortable afford between 130-140 and our mininum is 125. We might still take people off the list but don't want to not reach our 125.
     
    I agree with Chigirl the 30 friends may not even come! If you are worried about budget to talk him down on the guest list show him the numbers. I feel like seeing it on paper (since you are paying for it yourself) puts it all in perspective. Another thing to run by him... those 30 people... are they people you hang out with often? were you invited to their weddings??

    Hope it works out!

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  • Wow, that is a tough situation.  Is there a capacity limit at your venue? I ask because that might be an ojective way to insist on cutting the guest list. Our list is at about 140 now and originally we wanted 115. FMIL wanted to invite additional family (when we were at 130)  that I haven't met and FI hasn't seen in years. I told her we can add one additional table, (our venue's capacity is technically 200, but I think that would definitely be cramped, so i told FMIL that the capacity was 150... shhh :))  but I don't feel comfortable with more than that because I don't want people to be packed in like sardines and not have any room to dance. She agreed and I think it saved drama by placing blame on the venue itself rather than her choices for guests.


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  • vk2204vk2204 member
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    While I don't think you are completely unreasonable, I also don't think it is fair that you won't let him invite who he wants to.

    I have a large family, I am inviting all of them. While FI has met most, there are some he hasn't met (that I barely even know), and he is okay with it. Why? Because it is what I want.

    As for the ex's family that he wants to invite; I can see both sides. I also think it depends on the situation. One of my best friends, a BM in our wedding, dated FI. Her FI is also standing up. If your FI is close with that family, I don't see the problem with them being invited. Now if they are blatently rude to you and unsupportive of your relationship that is another story and I would hope your FI would cut ties.

    Another couple we plan on inviting, I used to be good friends with the guy but his wife is the biggest B!tch I have ever met in my entire life. She obviously doesn't like me but we are inviting them anyways, because he is still our friend.

    If the budget is an issue, sit down with your FI and come up with a maximum number together. Let him know you just aren't paying for your guests meals and drinks. They will need invitiations, stamps for RSVP's, chair covers, favors, place cards, etc and it all adds up. I am not saying target those specific people but just in general. Because, again, I don't think it is fair for one person to control who can/cannot be invited.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_april-2013-weddings_guest-list-issue?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding Club BoardsForum:820178d7-4f43-4671-bcab-c5c2c01eef1eDiscussion:aad218cf-6c5a-40c8-b632-be40efd0a99fPost:213511c4-777c-4e2f-b4b6-acf2edcf7c7d">Re: Guest list issue</a>:
    [QUOTE] Because, again, I don't think it is fair for one person to control who can/cannot be invited.
    Posted by vk2204[/QUOTE]

    But isn't that what HE is trying to do by forcing her to have this huge wedding just so he can invite everyone and their mother?  Isn't he basically bribing her by saying she can do whatever she wants as long as these people are left on the guest list, knowing full well that having them there will be uncomfortable for his future wife?

    I think this is where compromise has to come in.  I don't think either person should get their way 100% - you're going to have to meet in the middle somewhere and each of you are going to have to do a little give and take.  Yes, it will be a difficult discussion, but there will be MANY difficult discussions down the road so you may as well start practicing.  If you can't compromise on something as trivial as the guest list for your wedding, how can you expect to be able to compromise on bigger things down the road like a house, children, relocations, etc?  The "I'll buy you whatever you want as long as you do it MY way" thing isn't going to work when it comes to major, life-altering decisions.
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  • vk2204vk2204 member
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    That is why I saId they should come up with a maximum number and re-create their guest list, together. But I think there is a difference when it comes to saying someone is NOT allowed to be invited.

    Also, I think bribing is completely not the case here. I think what he is doing IS compromising. He is saying 'hey I get to invite these people and you can use your idea for whatever else'. If that is all he is asking out of her then why not give it to him?

    If my FI told me I wasn't allowed to invite people he hadn't met before I would probably laugh in his face.

    With that being said, we are kind of in a similar situation. Our guest list currently has about 275 people, which may or may not change. Out of that number my FI maybe has 50 total, and that is being generous. We have a budget, and the majority of it is going to be for our reception hall to feed our guests. I can invite all of my guests but I have to be cautious with the other spending to stay in our budget.
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  • inviting the ex family is ASKING for drama on your big day! You shouldnt have to worry about an ex's family being there, or people that you dont know at your wedding! I dont think you're asking for alot at all, I would def. sit him down and tell him its unacceptable and that you're fine with inviting the 320 people (which kudos to you because thats SO much more than i'd be able to handle) and the others have to go, including her family! life long friends of the family or not, this is a day that you and your fiance are being introduced into the world as a WE and not singles anymore and it shouldnt be welcomed with bad vibes! :) hope this helped boost your confidence to speak up!







    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_april-2013-weddings_guest-list-issue?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding Club BoardsForum:820178d7-4f43-4671-bcab-c5c2c01eef1eDiscussion:aad218cf-6c5a-40c8-b632-be40efd0a99fPost:b053e36a-d2d5-4809-b332-081b72f9107d">Guest list issue</a>:
    [QUOTE]My fiance and I are paying for our own wedding. I've always wanted a smaller wedding, but he wants a big wedding. He worked at a bar for 15 years and has had the same group of friends outside of there for 20+ years. Right now our guest list is at 350 (all his friends and my big family) which I am not cool with. I've tried reasoning with him but he pleads with me every time that I can have whatever I want when it comes to the wedding as long as I let him invite whoever he wants. Most of the people, whatever, I'll get over it, but there's about 30 people on that list I've either never met, and he only wants to invite them because they were bar patrons of his 5-10 years ago, and there's a big chunk of his ex's family on the list. She's a horrible person (obviously not invited) but he's known her family all his life and wants to invite a bunch of them (who dont even like me). So how do I get him to see that those 30 people shouldn't be on there? I mean, I'm still close with family members of my ex's, but I'm not inviting any of them. Am I being unreasonable? Not to mention, cutting 30 people would ovbiously be cheaper for us in the long run.
    Posted by shanding4787[/QUOTE]
  • I too, am bothered by the fact that he seems to be disreguarding your feelings on this matter. I am in the oposite situation (although no exes or clients from 5 years ago are included), in that I would be happier with a larger wedding, and fi is more cofortable with a MUCH smaller wedding. Yes, your fi is offering a form of compromise by letting you have whatever you want in regard to the rest of the wedding, but I don't think it's a very fair one. One place where the compromise has to be in the same currency, ie not bringing in other parts of the wedding, is the guest list. I started by asking fi if he was comfortable with the size of a friend's wedding, which was 100. Then if he thought he could handle one twice that size. That cut 1/3 of the people I had expected to invite. I'm a performer, and I don't have trouble being in front of 300 people, but he's sort of shy, especially in large groups, and woud have been freaking out and not looking forward to the wedding. You need to let your fi know that if you invite his exes family that you will be uncomfortable and it will take away some of the joy of the day for you. I think the ex-bar patrons are most likely to show up if they're only coming for the alcohol, and you may want to tell him that as well. If you feel they are more likely to come because it's a wedding with a hosted bar rather than it's YOUR wedding, I say cut them. At least for our wedding, with the way we are doing the food, 30 people one way or the other would have very little impact on the budget, but if you're doing a seated dinner at $50+ a plate, it would make a difference. Find out why he wants to invite these people; is he trying to reach 350 for a total, or does he really want them there? And how would he feel if he were in your shoes? He is being selfish on this matter, and from having been the one to cut the guest list down, I know it can be hard, but I think if he understands his point of view and loves you, he will reconsider.
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