Etiquette

How to Discuss Invitations with FMIL

Hi All,

First, I wanted to thank you all for the advice you've already given me! I really appreciate it.

When we originally were planning the wedding, I envisioned 150 people max. As of today, our guest list is at 161. The other day, my mom, FMIL and FSIL went to lunch after dress shopping. I reminded FMIL that we still needed a couple addresses. She commented that she also had a couple more names to give me (some sort of cousin). My mom and I didn't say anything then, and perhaps we should have. My mom called me and is very concerned that the number keeps increasing. Since she is paying for it, I completely understand. I need to tell FMIL that the guest list is full and am not sure how to do that. Our guest list is very lopsided towards FI's family and family friends, so while I don't feel bad, I still want to handle this with as much tact as possible. I have mentioned multiple times that our limit was 150 in front of FMIL, and have also mentioned that we were at limit. We have already sent out STD's (except for the people I don't have addresses for yet). Should I have FI talk to her? I just don't want her to be offended. Blah.

Re: How to Discuss Invitations with FMIL

  • FI is definitely on my side. He doesn't even want to invite his OWN cousins, much less his MOM's cousins. I'll have him talk to her, preferably when I am not there... ;)
    PrettyGirlLostSP29
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Your FI says, "Mom, you know that our maximum guest list size is 150 people.  We are already at that maximum.  If you wish to invite additional people, then you will need to trim the equivalent amount from the guest list you already gave us, because we will not be increasing the total number of guests above 150.  Keep in mind we have already sent out STD's, and anyone who received one must be given an invitation."

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    SP29s-aries8990
  • Yup, FI needs to deal with this.

    He needs to tell her that you guest list is 150 max and that there are X spots available for guests she would like to have there. Tell her she must give you a list of X total guest by Y date. Anyone not on the list by then will not be invited and the list is still at the discretion of FI and yourself, so not everyone on it may be invited.

    Realize though that if you have sent a STD already, that person MUST be given an invitation, so if you are already over your list, you're done. 

    This is why STDs should only be given to VIPs who are 100% sure will be on the final guest list, as guests always crop up closer to the date. 
    Emilio829PrettyGirlLost
  • I'm having the same problem, OP :\ I'm having my FI talk to his mom, because this is getting ridiculous (even FMIL's mom is telling relatives that they're invited - won't her face be red when they find out they're really not!).
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    Emilio829
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Your FI needs to tell her, "Mom, the venue has a 150 person capacity.  We can invite X number of people but no more. Any guests over that number cannot be invited.  Please provide us with a final guest list for our side of no more than X number of people by Y date.  If we haven't received your guest list by then, we will prepare it ourselves, limited to X number of people."
    PrettyGirlLost
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Seriously, we must have the same FMIL ;).  If they are not paying they get no say.  It's always nice to give parents some invites, but it seems that you have done that.  Have your FI tell his mom the guest list is closed. I know you don't want to offend her, but what about your feelings and thoughts?This is your wedding and your mom is paying, so too bad. She'll get it over it. 

    I also realize it's way easier to give this advice than take it.
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  • Not sure if 150 is your max number of actual guests or the max you set for guests to be invited, but remember that not everyone is going to be able to attend.  My wedding planner said 15-20% attrition is typical for the average wedding.  There may be some variation according to number of out-of-town guests you're inviting (expect higher attrition if inviting a lot of out-of-towners).  So if you have 161 people to invite right now, only 7% of those people will have to decline to get you at your 150 guests.  So keeping that in mind, I would come up with an absolute cutoff for number of invited guests and make your FMIL aware of that.  And if she wants more, she has to increase her financial contribution to the wedding.   
  • lschwar2 said:

    Not sure if 150 is your max number of actual guests or the max you set for guests to be invited, but remember that not everyone is going to be able to attend.  My wedding planner said 15-20% attrition is typical for the average wedding.  There may be some variation according to number of out-of-town guests you're inviting (expect higher attrition if inviting a lot of out-of-towners).  So if you have 161 people to invite right now, only 7% of those people will have to decline to get you at your 150 guests.  So keeping that in mind, I would come up with an absolute cutoff for number of invited guests and make your FMIL aware of that.  And if she wants more, she has to increase her financial contribution to the wedding.   

    Do not do this. Your max should be your max based on 100% attendance.
    PrettyGirlLostKeptInStitches
  • Teddy917 said:
    Not sure if 150 is your max number of actual guests or the max you set for guests to be invited, but remember that not everyone is going to be able to attend.  My wedding planner said 15-20% attrition is typical for the average wedding.  There may be some variation according to number of out-of-town guests you're inviting (expect higher attrition if inviting a lot of out-of-towners).  So if you have 161 people to invite right now, only 7% of those people will have to decline to get you at your 150 guests.  So keeping that in mind, I would come up with an absolute cutoff for number of invited guests and make your FMIL aware of that.  And if she wants more, she has to increase her financial contribution to the wedding.   
    Do not do this. Your max should be your max based on 100% attendance.
    If anyone has ever had 100% attendance at their wedding let me know and I'll send you $1 million dollars. 
  • lschwar2 said:
    Teddy917 said:
    Not sure if 150 is your max number of actual guests or the max you set for guests to be invited, but remember that not everyone is going to be able to attend.  My wedding planner said 15-20% attrition is typical for the average wedding.  There may be some variation according to number of out-of-town guests you're inviting (expect higher attrition if inviting a lot of out-of-towners).  So if you have 161 people to invite right now, only 7% of those people will have to decline to get you at your 150 guests.  So keeping that in mind, I would come up with an absolute cutoff for number of invited guests and make your FMIL aware of that.  And if she wants more, she has to increase her financial contribution to the wedding.   
    Do not do this. Your max should be your max based on 100% attendance.
    If anyone has ever had 100% attendance at their wedding let me know and I'll send you $1 million dollars. 

    My sister had 100% attendance. OP, I agree with what the other PPs have said. Have FI talk to him mom and explain that the guest list is closed.
    PrettyGirlLostKeptInStitchess-aries8990
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    lschwar2 said:
    Teddy917 said:
    Not sure if 150 is your max number of actual guests or the max you set for guests to be invited, but remember that not everyone is going to be able to attend.  My wedding planner said 15-20% attrition is typical for the average wedding.  There may be some variation according to number of out-of-town guests you're inviting (expect higher attrition if inviting a lot of out-of-towners).  So if you have 161 people to invite right now, only 7% of those people will have to decline to get you at your 150 guests.  So keeping that in mind, I would come up with an absolute cutoff for number of invited guests and make your FMIL aware of that.  And if she wants more, she has to increase her financial contribution to the wedding.   
    Do not do this. Your max should be your max based on 100% attendance.
    If anyone has ever had 100% attendance at their wedding let me know and I'll send you $1 million dollars. 
    I believe someone on these boards had greater than 100% attendance. I don't remember the details but it was something about a couple people brought extra people? The point is, it does happen and if there is a fire code maximum, you need to stay under that number.
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  • my FMIL did this too. FI came home from lunch with her and said, 'We have to invite my cousin Jennifer' I looked at him dumbfounded and said, 'You have a cousin Jennifer? I've never even heard of her!' My rule of thumb has been that we only invite people close enough that we would voluntarily take them out for dinner (for no reason). Because essentially, that's what you're doing with your reception, you're taking all of these people out for dinner.
  • my FMIL did this too...not to mention inviting people 3 weeks before the wedding, but that is another story! (can we all PLEASE make a pact that when we become someone's FMIL we do not get crazy!!?)  but yes, you need to talk to your FI and have him address his mother on the issue.  Especially since she is not contributing financially it is OK to say you get this many guests, please submit names...and then you need to stick to it, and FI needs to have your back.  If your STDs have already hit your limit, then say sorry we can not accommodate any more guests.  If there is "room" for more people, but just not in the budget she can offer to pay money for her additional guests to raise the budget but I would not go there personally or it will open a can of worms.    
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    Anniversary
  • I made FMIL cut her initial list - we designated a certain number to each parent set and us.. ultimately let her have a few more but still a reduction on the original. She complained that she didn't have to when her daughter was getting married. Well that's nice... my family is paying this time. Really it's not about the money though, if you have an idea of the size of wedding you want - that is a big part of the day. FI and I made a deal, we "closed" the guest list as soon as we finalized the first version. That way it's a consistent, across the board, no, when anyone even thinks about adding someone.. Have all been tempted over the past few months but we really don't want to go over a specific number! Just had our first reply card with some random uninvited name on - so got that new situation to deal with, fun - answer will still be no though!
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I made FMIL cut her initial list - we designated a certain number to each parent set and us.. ultimately let her have a few more but still a reduction on the original. She complained that she didn't have to when her daughter was getting married. Well that's nice... my family is paying this time. Really it's not about the money though, if you have an idea of the size of wedding you want - that is a big part of the day. FI and I made a deal, we "closed" the guest list as soon as we finalized the first version. That way it's a consistent, across the board, no, when anyone even thinks about adding someone.. Have all been tempted over the past few months but we really don't want to go over a specific number! Just had our first reply card with some random uninvited name on - so got that new situation to deal with, fun - answer will still be no though!
    If it's a significant other, I would try to include them. Of course you should have invited people with SO to begin with, so I assume this is a new girlfriend/boyfriend. If it's just a random neighbor/friend/ coworker of a guest, than no.
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  • laurynm84 said:
    I made FMIL cut her initial list - we designated a certain number to each parent set and us.. ultimately let her have a few more but still a reduction on the original. She complained that she didn't have to when her daughter was getting married. Well that's nice... my family is paying this time. Really it's not about the money though, if you have an idea of the size of wedding you want - that is a big part of the day. FI and I made a deal, we "closed" the guest list as soon as we finalized the first version. That way it's a consistent, across the board, no, when anyone even thinks about adding someone.. Have all been tempted over the past few months but we really don't want to go over a specific number! Just had our first reply card with some random uninvited name on - so got that new situation to deal with, fun - answer will still be no though!
    If it's a significant other, I would try to include them. Of course you should have invited people with SO to begin with, so I assume this is a new girlfriend/boyfriend. If it's just a random neighbor/friend/ coworker of a guest, than no.
    Have no clue who it is - we invited everyone who has a SO... and it's a third name on a couples RSVP. It may be a kid - but their kids are adults, and not invited.
  • lschwar2 said:
    Teddy917 said:
    Not sure if 150 is your max number of actual guests or the max you set for guests to be invited, but remember that not everyone is going to be able to attend.  My wedding planner said 15-20% attrition is typical for the average wedding.  There may be some variation according to number of out-of-town guests you're inviting (expect higher attrition if inviting a lot of out-of-towners).  So if you have 161 people to invite right now, only 7% of those people will have to decline to get you at your 150 guests.  So keeping that in mind, I would come up with an absolute cutoff for number of invited guests and make your FMIL aware of that.  And if she wants more, she has to increase her financial contribution to the wedding.   
    Do not do this. Your max should be your max based on 100% attendance.
    If anyone has ever had 100% attendance at their wedding let me know and I'll send you $1 million dollars. 
    We have a MOB on here (I think she still posts occasionally), ootmother2.  I remember quite well that they had a 200 person guest list and 198 present for the wedding.  Probably didn't hurt that it was a Cape Cod wedding, but still....it CAN happen.
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