So I've tried looking around the internet for information on this and it's been useless. But here's what's going on and I need help so that my mother and FMIL don't tear each other to shreds.
I'm the bride. I come from a family of divorces. This means that I have 5 parental figures, 8 siblings, 13 living grandparents, 30 aunts and uncles, and well over 60 first-cousins. My fiance has none of this. 2 parents, 2 siblings, 1 grandparent. When we began our guest list preparations my initial list was over two hundred and his was around thirty. This included anyone we could think of that we would want to invite. It was before we brought our parents into it. Then his mother supplied us with a list of an additional 40 some guests and my mother gave me another 50.
In the end my BARE MINIMUM guest list (only family up to first-cousins, no friends included) was over 150 and his was at 80. His 80 included 30 "and guests" for singles. None of my guests were granted these.
I was frustrated because our venue could only hold 250. And that's a cramped 250.
Given, we eventually found a new venue.
But the problem comes to the mothers. My mother wants to form the guest list the traditional way. Both parties include parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins on the list. Then, whatever remains of capacity is split between the two parties for other invites. So I'd have 150 to his 50 and we'd split the remaining 50 guests with each list, giving 25 "extra" spots. My parents were willing to pay more towards the reception, understanding that I come from a larger family.
His mother wants to split it 50/50 from the start, limiting me to 125 guests and him to 125 guests. I understand this logic from her point of view, but am I being a Bridezilla for being upset that this means some of my first cousins won't be invited while she's inviting Joe-Schmoe that my fiance has never met (like his step-dad's business partners from across the country), plus his STRANGER guest that even SHE won't know?
Our venue now is bigger, so it isn't as BIG of a deal, but it's still coming up at EVERY meeting. I'm just trying to figure out a decent way to work this out, but I also want to know what other people, removed from the situation see. At the start I could see it from both points of view and I was doing everything I could to trim my list, but when I got her final copy of guests which included a dozen people she didn't even know last names for, I kind of snapped.
She tries to excuse it all away with "well they won't even come, but they'll give you a big check!" and it's like, "Great, but this is my wedding and I'd rather have my family there over a check from some stranger. It's not about the money, it's about sharing the most important day of my life with the people who MATTER.