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Budget Weddings

Guest list out of control

For months now I have been asking my fiance to ask his parents for who they would like us to invite to our wedding.  We have been planning a small (around 80), intimate wedding for our close friends and family.  I really wanted to know the names before I ordered our wedding invites online while the ones we really liked were on sale. He gave me a couple of names: some people from the church he grew up going to, some of his parents best friends since childhood.  All good so far. 
Today I received an email from his mother with a list of people- it's over 120!!! We couldn't possibly afford to invite half that many on top of our other guests. I feel awful.  My in-laws to be are helping with the wedding but inviting this many people would mean increasing the budget by over 1/3 which is money we simply do not have. 
How do we even begin to have this conversation??? 

Re: Guest list out of control

  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    First of all, your FI should address this with them, since they're his parents.

    Have him bring up the fact that you only have a budget for 80 people, so they need to cut back on their list. He should explain that this will increase the budget by 1/3 (but not ask them for that money). Sometimes people forget how much it costs per person, and by showing them the numbers, they might realize they didn't think it through.

    Good luck. :)

  • Your FI needs to set them straight.  Let him do the dirty work.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Be firm with your FI that the budget does not allow for that many people, so his parents need to cut their list to what it will allow for and that it's up to him to deliver the message to them. Also ask him to go through the list and determine which people on it will make the cut and which won't if his parents refuse to budge.
  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    I hate to say it, but you kind of got yourself into this by not specifying the size of your guest list upfront when you asked your FILs for their list. So before you go back to them (and I agree with PPs that your FI should be the one to have the talk) you need to know exactly how many of their guests you can afford to host.

    As far as what to say, your FI can say something like, "Hey mom and dad, I'm so glad you are excited for our wedding, and I am very grateful that you've offered to help. Knottie### and I are hoping to have a small, intimate wedding with around 80 guests, which is the maximum that we can afford within our budget. Of the 120 people on the list you sent, unfortunately we are just not able to accommodate everyone. Could you narrow it down to X guests and send us those names?"

    Hope that helps!

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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    blabla89 said:
    I hate to say it, but you kind of got yourself into this by not specifying the size of your guest list upfront when you asked your FILs for their list. So before you go back to them (and I agree with PPs that your FI should be the one to have the talk) you need to know exactly how many of their guests you can afford to host.

    As far as what to say, your FI can say something like, "Hey mom and dad, I'm so glad you are excited for our wedding, and I am very grateful that you've offered to help. Knottie### and I are hoping to have a small, intimate wedding with around 80 guests, which is the maximum that we can afford within our budget. Of the 120 people on the list you sent, unfortunately we are just not able to accommodate everyone. Could you narrow it down to X guests and send us those names?"

    Hope that helps!

    So much this!

  • For months now I have been asking my fiance to ask his parents for who they would like us to invite to our wedding.  We have been planning a small (around 80), intimate wedding for our close friends and family.  I really wanted to know the names before I ordered our wedding invites online while the ones we really liked were on sale. He gave me a couple of names: some people from the church he grew up going to, some of his parents best friends since childhood.  All good so far. 
    Today I received an email from his mother with a list of people- it's over 120!!! We couldn't possibly afford to invite half that many on top of our other guests. I feel awful.  My in-laws to be are helping with the wedding but inviting this many people would mean increasing the budget by over 1/3 which is money we simply do not have. 
    How do we even begin to have this conversation??? 
    How much are they helping? If they've ffered to pay for something huge, like the catering, they get more say over the guest list than if they've offered to make welcome bags or centerpieces. Pay  = Say
    image
    blabla89
  • I have a friend who is going through something similar, but not quite as extreme. She asked for names for a while and when her fiance looked at their list he increased it by 20%. I agree with the other poster that you may have (inadvertently) stepped into this yourself by not specifying how many more people you had room for. 

    Are the other 80 people all your invites? Is 80 your max? If either of these is true you may also have to do some compromising on your part of the list as well.
    image
  • blabla89 said:
    I hate to say it, but you kind of got yourself into this by not specifying the size of your guest list upfront when you asked your FILs for their list. So before you go back to them (and I agree with PPs that your FI should be the one to have the talk) you need to know exactly how many of their guests you can afford to host.

    As far as what to say, your FI can say something like, "Hey mom and dad, I'm so glad you are excited for our wedding, and I am very grateful that you've offered to help. Knottie### and I are hoping to have a small, intimate wedding with around 80 guests, which is the maximum that we can afford within our budget. Of the 120 people on the list you sent, unfortunately we are just not able to accommodate everyone. Could you narrow it down to X guests and send us those names?"

    Hope that helps!

    Another vote for exactly this.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers


    blabla89 said:

    I hate to say it, but you kind of got yourself into this by not specifying the size of your guest list upfront when you asked your FILs for their list. So before you go back to them (and I agree with PPs that your FI should be the one to have the talk) you need to know exactly how many of their guests you can afford to host.

    As far as what to say, your FI can say something like, "Hey mom and dad, I'm so glad you are excited for our wedding, and I am very grateful that you've offered to help. Knottie### and I are hoping to have a small, intimate wedding with around 80 guests, which is the maximum that we can afford within our budget. Of the 120 people on the list you sent, unfortunately we are just not able to accommodate everyone. Could you narrow it down to X guests and send us those names?"

    Hope that helps!


    Another vote for exactly this.

    I agree too. I'd also come up with documentation showing how much per person your hosting costs are so your FI can explain to his parents why they need to cut their guest list down to an affordable amount.
  • I think you need to figure out how many guests that you can allot to your future in laws first. Then your FI needs to approach his parents and tell them I'm sorry that we didn't tell you this before, but do to the budget, we can only allot xx number of guests for you. Be prepared for the "well how many people are her parents allowed to invite?" Provide your FI with the details of how much each person costs at the reception & don't forget cost of cake & center prices for that many people over your budget because. So that way he can go "If we invite all 120 on your list, it will cost us $xxxxx.xx more due to the per person reception costs, larger cake we'll need & additional centerpieces, additional invites, postage and favors we will need and unfortunately we don't have the funds to cover that." Hopefully once they here the figures on how much it costs to have that many more people and all the different aspects it hits, they change their mind and reduce their list drastically. But be prepared for what your answer will be if they come back "well if we give you the money to cover an additional xx number of guests, can we have more guests."
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited December 2014
    Erikan73 said:

    I think you need to figure out how many guests that you can allot to your future in laws first. Then your FI needs to approach his parents and tell them I'm sorry that we didn't tell you this before, but do to the budget, we can only allot xx number of guests for you. Be prepared for the "well how many people are her parents allowed to invite?" Provide your FI with the details of how much each person costs at the reception & don't forget cost of cake & center prices for that many people over your budget because. So that way he can go "If we invite all 120 on your list, it will cost us $xxxxx.xx more due to the per person reception costs, larger cake we'll need & additional centerpieces, additional invites, postage and favors we will need and unfortunately we don't have the funds to cover that." Hopefully once they here the figures on how much it costs to have that many more people and all the different aspects it hits, they change their mind and reduce their list drastically. But be prepared for what your answer will be if they come back "well if we give you the money to cover an additional xx number of guests, can we have more guests."

    If they come back with that, and the OP and her FI are okay with inviting them if his parents pay for the extra costs involved, then the OP's FI needs to tell them, "Mom, Dad, we'll be happy to invite them in that case, but we'll need to receive the payment from you before any additional invitations go out. Otherwise, we can only invite X people. "

    Or, they need to stand firm and say, "No, Mom, Dad, we're sorry, but you need to cut your list back to X people by Date. If we don't receive a revised list from you by then, we will have to make hard decisions about who to cut from your list, but we will cut the list."
  • Hahaha.

    FMIL "WHOOPS!"

    Knottie tries to recoup after having a minor heart attack.
  • First of all, don't ask your or your FIs parents who they want you to invite to the wedding. This is YOUR wedding. Invite who you want. We had about 95 or so people at our and we both have large families. We couldn't invite everyone, so we only invited the people that make an impact on our lives. If you know 300+ people that make an impact on your lives, then you have a lot of work to do with that guest list. Perhaps it was just easier for us to decide who we wanted to invite. I say you sit down with FI and really think about who you want to invite. It's your day.
  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    Whew! Glad to hear that it wasn't a problem. Sounds like FMIL has a case of holiday brain :)
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  • tcnobletcnoble member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited December 2014
    maxy2013 said:
    First of all, don't ask your or your FIs parents who they want you to invite to the wedding. This is YOUR wedding. Invite who you want. We had about 95 or so people at our and we both have large families. We couldn't invite everyone, so we only invited the people that make an impact on our lives. If you know 300+ people that make an impact on your lives, then you have a lot of work to do with that guest list. Perhaps it was just easier for us to decide who we wanted to invite. I say you sit down with FI and really think about who you want to invite. It's your day.
    "It's your day"... here we go. I won't even get in to that.

    Her in-laws are helping to pay for the wedding, so they certainly get a say in the guest list. As PPs have pointed out, pay = say.

    ETF spelling
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  • tcnoble said:
    "It's your day"... here we go. I won't even get in to that.

    Her in-laws are helping to pay for the wedding, so they certainly get a say in the guest list. As PPs have pointed out, pay = say.

    ETF spelling
    Ah, I see. We paid for our wedding, so saying no about certain people was easy. Good luck!
  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Thanks everyone for your feedback! As it turns out, the FI spoke to his mom and she had sent me her entire Christmas card list instead of actual people to invite to the wedding. The actual list is much smaller and there was only one person on the that e hadn't accounted for... I'm breathing easier now. :)
    That's kind of hysterical :) Glad it was just a big mix up!

    image
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