Wedding Etiquette Forum

Guest List/Venue Issue

Hey everyone,

So I've been searching through the boards here trying to find an answer, but I guess I just can't find one that fits my particular situation.

My FI and I have been engaged for about a month and a half and are in the early stages of planning our wedding. We sat down and worked out a guest list, decided who we wanted in our wedding party, picked a date we liked, started searching for venues, etc. all while keeping both sets of parents in the loop. We settled on a guest list of 80 people (we wanted to keep it relatively small, but my mother is one of 6 siblings, and we're a pretty close-knit family). After touring several, we decided on a nice venue that offered a very affordable package deal for up to 80 people. It was a perfect fit and FI and I were both very excited. We were pretty sure before we went that this was our venue, because we'd been in touch with the management and knew about the package, but didn't want put money down sight unseen.  Well, on the drive home, FI called his mom to tell her the good news.  She then throws out that, "Well, it would really be nice if you invited so-n-so, and these family members." This bumps our list of invited guests up from a perfect fit of 80, to between 85-90. Literally right after we book a venue with a guest limit.

I realize that not everyone that gets an invitation will be able to attend, especially since our families live in different states and most guests will have to travel in excess of 8 hours to come to the wedding, but I'm really not comfortable relying on that. When I asked FI if he actually wanted to invite the people his mom suggested, and why he hadn't mentioned them before, he said that he just hadn't thought about it but would like to have them there, which I do completely understand. I spoke to my mom about it to see what she thought the proper protocol was, and she said to just wing it. Everyone gets an invite because she's almost positive at least 5-10 people won't be able to make it. She's probably right about several people not being able to make it, but it just doesn't sit right with me. Is there a rule for this? A right way to handle having guests added to the list after a venue with a limit is booked?

Thank you all in advance for your help!

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Re: Guest List/Venue Issue

  • You need to invite no more than the venue can comfortably hold.
    [Deleted User]pinupbride6189levioosa
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited March 2015

    Hey everyone,


    So I've been searching through the boards here trying to find an answer, but I guess I just can't find one that fits my particular situation.

    My FI and I have been engaged for about a month and a half and are in the early stages of planning our wedding. We sat down and worked out a guest list, decided who we wanted in our wedding party, picked a date we liked, started searching for venues, etc. all while keeping both sets of parents in the loop. We settled on a guest list of 80 people (we wanted to keep it relatively small, but my mother is one of 6 siblings, and we're a pretty close-knit family). After touring several, we decided on a nice venue that offered a very affordable package deal for up to 80 people. It was a perfect fit and FI and I were both very excited. We were pretty sure before we went that this was our venue, because we'd been in touch with the management and knew about the package, but didn't want put money down sight unseen.  Well, on the drive home, FI called his mom to tell her the good news.  She then throws out that, "Well, it would really be nice if you invited so-n-so, and these family members." This bumps our list of invited guests up from a perfect fit of 80, to between 85-90. Literally right after we book a venue with a guest limit.

    I realize that not everyone that gets an invitation will be able to attend, especially since our families live in different states and most guests will have to travel in excess of 8 hours to come to the wedding, but I'm really not comfortable relying on that. When I asked FI if he actually wanted to invite the people his mom suggested, and why he hadn't mentioned them before, he said that he just hadn't thought about it but would like to have them there, which I do completely understand. I spoke to my mom about it to see what she thought the proper protocol was, and she said to just wing it. Everyone gets an invite because she's almost positive at least 5-10 people won't be able to make it. She's probably right about several people not being able to make it, but it just doesn't sit right with me. Is there a rule for this? A right way to handle having guests added to the list after a venue with a limit is booked?

    Thank you all in advance for your help!
    It is VERY risky to invite more guests than your venue holds.  Did your guest list number include your photographer(s), officiant, and any other vendors that might require a seat and a meal?  Did you leave any wiggle room for (current) single guests who may be in a relationship by the time of your wedding? 

    Almost any bride on these boards can relate a story about the guest they knew FOR CERTAIN would not attend, and then did.  People will use a wedding as a good reason to take that long weekend they've wanted to take, or to see family they haven't seen in a while.  If those extra people weren't foremost to think of when you made the initial list, then I would leave them off.  You obviously included those guests you must invite or have to have at your wedding.  Adding people that "would be nice" to include is not worth the risk.
    [Deleted User]fwtx5815pinupbride6189
  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    Do NOT invite over your venue capacity, because 100% attendance does sometimes happen.

    Are your FILs paying for the wedding? If they are, depending on how much or what things, they may deserve some say in the guest list. If you're paying for it yourselves, FI can tell his mom, "Thank you for the suggestion, but our guest list has been finalized and we are at maximum capacity for our venue." Repeat as necessary.
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    pinupbride6189SP29
  • I can't remember who it was, but a year or so ago a knottie posted about how her MIL SWORE the extended family would NOT attend the wedding but must be sent courtesy invitations.  Knottie wasn't happy about it, but did it.

    Guess what?  A very elderly, well liked relative decided she would fly in for the wedding as it would most likely be the last time she would be seeing them all in one place. Well, once word got out to the extended family they ALL decided to come so they could see the elderly relative.  That was one ticked knottie.  Anyone remember who I am talking about?

    Also - be very careful about inviting max capacity to your venue.  If a place can hold 80, that means they can squish 80 in but it will be tight.  If you want to invite 80, find a place that can hold more than that so everyone will be comfortable.

    Please find out if that 80 is what the fire code allows, or what the venue can seat.  If it is fire code then you have to include any vendors as part of your 80.

    Listen to your gut and do NOT invite more than  your venue can comfortably hold and more than you can afford.

    Are the FILs contributing to the wedding?  If so, they get a say in the guest list.

    novella1186[Deleted User]fwtx5815pinupbride6189
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    kmmssg said:

    I can't remember who it was, but a year or so ago a knottie posted about how her MIL SWORE the extended family would NOT attend the wedding but must be sent courtesy invitations.  Knottie wasn't happy about it, but did it.

    Guess what?  A very elderly, well liked relative decided she would fly in for the wedding as it would most likely be the last time she would be seeing them all in one place. Well, once word got out to the extended family they ALL decided to come so they could see the elderly relative.  That was one ticked knottie.  Anyone remember who I am talking about?

    Also - be very careful about inviting max capacity to your venue.  If a place can hold 80, that means they can squish 80 in but it will be tight.  If you want to invite 80, find a place that can hold more than that so everyone will be comfortable.

    Please find out if that 80 is what the fire code allows, or what the venue can seat.  If it is fire code then you have to include any vendors as part of your 80.

    Listen to your gut and do NOT invite more than  your venue can comfortably hold and more than you can afford.

    Are the FILs contributing to the wedding?  If so, they get a say in the guest list.

    The bolded, definitely.  Did you count yourself and your FI in the guest list?  What about your photographer and any assistant he/she has?  DJ?  Because if the fire code states no more then 80 people then they literally mean no more then 80 people.

    pinupbride6189
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    blabla89 said:

    Do NOT invite over your venue capacity, because 100% attendance does sometimes happen.

    Are your FILs paying for the wedding? If they are, depending on how much or what things, they may deserve some say in the guest list. If you're paying for it yourselves, FI can tell his mom, "Thank you for the suggestion, but our guest list has been finalized and we are at maximum capacity for our venue." Repeat as necessary.

    This. It's okay to say "No" to these extra guests, even if it would be "nice" to have them there.
    pinupbride6189
  • novella1186novella1186 member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2015

    I can't remember who it was, but a year or so ago a knottie posted about how her MIL SWORE the extended family would NOT attend the wedding but must be sent courtesy invitations.  Knottie wasn't happy about it, but did it.

    Guess what?  A very elderly, well liked relative decided she would fly in for the wedding as it would most likely be the last time she would be seeing them all in one place. Well, once word got out to the extended family they ALL decided to come so they could see the elderly relative.  That was one ticked knottie.  Anyone remember who I am talking about?

    Also - be very careful about inviting max capacity to your venue.  If a place can hold 80, that means they can squish 80 in but it will be tight.  If you want to invite 80, find a place that can hold more than that so everyone will be comfortable.

    Please find out if that 80 is what the fire code allows, or what the venue can seat.  If it is fire code then you have to include any vendors as part of your 80.

    Listen to your gut and do NOT invite more than  your venue can comfortably hold and more than you can afford.

    Are the FILs contributing to the wedding?  If so, they get a say in the guest list.

    The bolded, definitely.  Did you count yourself and your FI in the guest list?  What about your photographer and any assistant he/she has?  DJ?  Because if the fire code states no more then 80 people then they literally mean no more then 80 people.
    -------Edited to Fix Stupid Boxes------------------------------



    This is what I was going to say. With those 80 guests, make sure you are counting ALL of their significant others, your parents, yourselves, your vendors, literally every single person that will be there even if you don't think of them as a guest. 

    If 80 is the max for your venue, how comfortable can that number be accommodated? I went to a wedding where they were at max capacity, so some tables had to be moved to make space for the dance floor. Several of us were asked to get up from our tables and go stand in the corner before we were even finished eating dinner. So guess what? The wedding cleared out. All those guests who were treated poorly and made to feel awkward and had no place to sit decided to immediately leave before dancing even started. 

    If it's not possible to shrink your guest list (because as PP said, plan on 100% attendance no matter what) then you need to find a different venue. 

    If the parents are not financially contributing to the wedding, do not let them add people to your guest list. Just tell them the venue has a strict limit on the number of people allowed and you're already at capacity. End of discussion.

     Good luck! 
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  • You should never invite more than the venue can hold.  Even if someone else requests that you invite certain people.  For my upcoming bridal shower I was told that people who I thought could not come are coming and those I thought were certain to come cannot make it due to whatever circumstance.  This is very common and many times people you think won't come will.
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  • NowIamMrsKleinNowIamMrsKlein Cold Canadian North (British Columbia) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Don't forget your vendors in your final count. Photographers, assistants, DJs. Wedding planner if you are having one. They all need a meal and count in your final count.

    Always plan on 100% attendance. There is always a chance everyone will show up and you need to be prepared for that.
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  • chloe97chloe97 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited March 2015

    Don't forget your vendors in your final count. Photographers, assistants, DJs. Wedding planner if you are having one. They all need a meal and count in your final count.


    Always plan on 100% attendance. There is always a chance everyone will show up and you need to be prepared for that.
    And don't forget to include yourself and your fiance! I did that- luckily my wedding coodinator reminded me that we, too, needed a seat. 
    pinupbride6189
  • NowIamMrsKleinNowIamMrsKlein Cold Canadian North (British Columbia) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    chloe97 said:

    Don't forget your vendors in your final count. Photographers, assistants, DJs. Wedding planner if you are having one. They all need a meal and count in your final count.


    Always plan on 100% attendance. There is always a chance everyone will show up and you need to be prepared for that.
    And don't forget to include yourself and your fiance! I did that- luckily my wedding coodinator reminded me that we, too, needed a seat. 
    hehe! I initially did that too! Didn't cross my mind to invite myself to my own wedding. Thankfully FI caught it before it was too late.
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Go with your gut. If 80 is the max, invite 80 people. You may end up with 5-10 declines, or you may end up with 100% yes. You never know, and you want to be prepared. The last thing you need is to be scrambling around 2 weeks before the wedding to find a new venue that can fit 90 people. 

    Ask your FI if inviting these extra people are worth finding another venue. If the answer is no, start using the phrase "thanks for mentioning them, but the guest list is already set." 
    pinupbride6189SP29
  • sounds like you have already put money down on it so you need to decide if you are willing to break that contract and lose the deposit or if you are ok with standing up to family and saying we're at 80, no more.  or maybe you can rearrange that 80 to include some of these people you didn't think of at first.


    for instance, when I was making a rough list I included friend of my parents who I thought they would want to come so I could be sure to account for them.  As it turns out, a few of them I thought mom would want there were kind of on her "B" list, as in well if you have room for them great but I'd much rather have XYZ people there if we are limited on the guest count.  So my total number didn't change, just who I thought was on the list changed (don't worry, we're not B listing, she was just giving me her list of guests in priority)

    [Deleted User]pinupbride6189
  • The question of WHY there is an 80 person limt is a good one.

     

    If that's simply the amount of people in the package you picked, but there are other larger packages available, the venue might allow you to pay for each person over 80 separately.  In which case, as long as you can afford it, you can feel free to invite a few extra people.

     

    If that's the "maximum at seated rounds" limit, first check the layout - make sure it allows for a dance floor, buffet tables, and anything else you might want (DJ, etc) even with seating for 80 set up.  Or try a different layout.  If there is no layout that will accomodate more than 80 with all of the other elements you want in the room, stick to no more than 80 (including yourselves).

     

    If that's a fire code limit, you're going to have to invite a lot fewer than 80 people, because you have to count yourselves, all vendors, waitstaff, etc. in the 80 person count.  Literally there can never be more than 80 people in the room at one time in that situation.

     

    My MIL sent me her (insane) guest list and put a star next to 40 extended family members that "we should invite but wouldn't come to an out of town wedding."  Right.  At least 25 of them actually came.  You can't count on declines, so don't put yourself in that position.

    [Deleted User]pinupbride6189
  • Thanks for all the advice, everyone. You all basically confirmed what I thought, initially. The guest list is a hard and fast 80 because a) that's the maximum number allowed in the package we chose, and b) it's what the venue can seat comfortably, so not a fire code issue, but definitely a comfort and a budget/package issue. We really don't want to change venues or packages because everything else than comes with the deal fits our needs perfectly. FILS are paying for the rehearsal dinner, but past that aren't contributing, to my knowledge. Looks like we're just going to have to have a discussion about expectations vs. reality. I'm trying to be as patient and understanding as possible since I'm going to be related to these people for the rest of my life, but this isn't the first time we've hit a snag. First they wanted us to elope, then they wanted us to push the date back (by 5 months), then we were guilted into extending the wedding party to avoid hurting feelings...I think enough is enough, honestly.

    Anyway, thanks again, everyone! I appreciate your input!

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    SP29
  • We got yes's from people that we didn't think would come, they were sent invites out our courtesy. Luckily we were fine for space and I made it work with the budget. So always go safe & plan for 100% yes. I even had one decline for reception but yes for ceremony who decided after the ceremony that hey, I think I will go to reception afterall. Luckily I did have two, yes only two no shows so I was to accomodate it without it costing me more money.
    pinupbride6189
  • edited March 2015
    This is exactly why Fi and I consulted with our parents regarding our guest lists.   We both forgot to include people(like some elderly relatives and S.O.); however, we had room fit them in.  Even if your parents aren't paying,  I advise people to run the guest list by them (or another trusted family member) to make sure no one was left out by mistake.   

    If the venue only holds 80, then only invite 80. Like PP stated, you don't want everyone coming and running into a space issue.  With that said, you need to go back and look at your guest list again. If these are truly important people in the family, then you should invite them.  You don't want to cause WWIII because you forgot to invite your cousin's husband or your great aunt. Can you cut out co-workers or friends?   We made sure all our family was invited (and that included a few people are parents wanted there more than we did) and friends second.  

    If they're not important and they're second cousins or distance relatives, then explain that to your families.   
    pinupbride6189
  • This is exactly why Fi and I consulted with our parents regarding our guest lists.   We both forgot to include people(like some elderly relatives and S.O.); however, we had room fit them in.  Even if your parents aren't paying,  I advise people to run the guest list by them (or another trusted family member) to make sure no one was left out by mistake.   


    If the venue only holds 80, then only invite 80. Like PP stated, you don't want everyone coming and running into a space issue.  With that said, you need to go back and look at your guest list again. If these are truly important people in the family, then you should invite them.  You don't want to cause WWIII because you forgot to invite your cousin's husband or your great aunt. Can you cut out co-workers or friends?   We made sure all our family was invited (and that included a few people are parents wanted there more than we did) and friends second.  

    If they're not important and they're second cousins or distance relatives, then explain that to your families.   
    Hey, thanks for the advice. The guests in question are my fiance's family friends. I definitely do want to make room for them if at all possible, and have already cut my flower girl and her family off the list (I hadn't asked them yet, and they aren't family) to try and free up some space, and there are maybe one or two friends I could cut, but beyond that, the guest list is only family (mostly mine, as I have lots of aunts, uncles and cousins) and very close friends. No second cousins, acquaintances, etc. We will get it worked out, but there may be some growing pains involved.

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  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    This is exactly why Fi and I consulted with our parents regarding our guest lists.   We both forgot to include people(like some elderly relatives and S.O.); however, we had room fit them in.  Even if your parents aren't paying,  I advise people to run the guest list by them (or another trusted family member) to make sure no one was left out by mistake.   


    If the venue only holds 80, then only invite 80. Like PP stated, you don't want everyone coming and running into a space issue.  With that said, you need to go back and look at your guest list again. If these are truly important people in the family, then you should invite them.  You don't want to cause WWIII because you forgot to invite your cousin's husband or your great aunt. Can you cut out co-workers or friends?   We made sure all our family was invited (and that included a few people are parents wanted there more than we did) and friends second.  

    If they're not important and they're second cousins or distance relatives, then explain that to your families.   
    Hey, thanks for the advice. The guests in question are my fiance's family friends. I definitely do want to make room for them if at all possible, and have already cut my flower girl and her family off the list (I hadn't asked them yet, and they aren't family) to try and free up some space, and there are maybe one or two friends I could cut, but beyond that, the guest list is only family (mostly mine, as I have lots of aunts, uncles and cousins) and very close friends. No second cousins, acquaintances, etc. We will get it worked out, but there may be some growing pains involved.
    Ooh. I mean, I personally like my family's friends and know them well, and was happy to have them at my wedding. But if inviting them meant cutting out friends with whom I was close enough to want to ask their daughter to be flower girl? No fucking way. It's not like you invited all the aunts but one and now need to fit her in or she'll resent you all for life.
    [Deleted User]
  • redoryxredoryx member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2015

    This is exactly why Fi and I consulted with our parents regarding our guest lists.   We both forgot to include people(like some elderly relatives and S.O.); however, we had room fit them in.  Even if your parents aren't paying,  I advise people to run the guest list by them (or another trusted family member) to make sure no one was left out by mistake.   


    If the venue only holds 80, then only invite 80. Like PP stated, you don't want everyone coming and running into a space issue.  With that said, you need to go back and look at your guest list again. If these are truly important people in the family, then you should invite them.  You don't want to cause WWIII because you forgot to invite your cousin's husband or your great aunt. Can you cut out co-workers or friends?   We made sure all our family was invited (and that included a few people are parents wanted there more than we did) and friends second.  

    If they're not important and they're second cousins or distance relatives, then explain that to your families.   
    Hey, thanks for the advice. The guests in question are my fiance's family friends. I definitely do want to make room for them if at all possible, and have already cut my flower girl and her family off the list (I hadn't asked them yet, and they aren't family) to try and free up some space, and there are maybe one or two friends I could cut, but beyond that, the guest list is only family (mostly mine, as I have lots of aunts, uncles and cousins) and very close friends. No second cousins, acquaintances, etc. We will get it worked out, but there may be some growing pains involved.
    Ooh. I mean, I personally like my family's friends and know them well, and was happy to have them at my wedding. But if inviting them meant cutting out friends with whom I was close enough to want to ask their daughter to be flower girl? No fucking way. It's not like you invited all the aunts but one and now need to fit her in or she'll resent you all for life.
    **today boxes hate me**


    All of this. Think of it like six degrees of Kevin Bacon and you and your FI are Kevin. You --> Flower Girl is one degree. Your FI --> his family ---> Their Friends. That's two degrees. One degree should trump two degrees.
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    poodledoodleooonovella1186
  • dcbride86dcbride86 Washington, DC member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    Erikan73 said:

    We got yes's from people that we didn't think would come, they were sent invites out our courtesy. Luckily we were fine for space and I made it work with the budget. So always go safe & plan for 100% yes. I even had one decline for reception but yes for ceremony who decided after the ceremony that hey, I think I will go to reception afterall. Luckily I did have two, yes only two no shows so I was to accomodate it without it costing me more money.


    Last night I got an RSVP card back from a couple my mom assured me would NOT be flying all the way to DC for my wedding.  Guess what?  They're flying all the way to DC for my wedding haha.  Luckily, we have the venue space and budget for it, but this kind of a thing definitely happens
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    This is exactly why Fi and I consulted with our parents regarding our guest lists.   We both forgot to include people(like some elderly relatives and S.O.); however, we had room fit them in.  Even if your parents aren't paying,  I advise people to run the guest list by them (or another trusted family member) to make sure no one was left out by mistake.   


    If the venue only holds 80, then only invite 80. Like PP stated, you don't want everyone coming and running into a space issue.  With that said, you need to go back and look at your guest list again. If these are truly important people in the family, then you should invite them.  You don't want to cause WWIII because you forgot to invite your cousin's husband or your great aunt. Can you cut out co-workers or friends?   We made sure all our family was invited (and that included a few people are parents wanted there more than we did) and friends second.  

    If they're not important and they're second cousins or distance relatives, then explain that to your families.   
    I disagree with this. Just because they are family does not mean they are more important than friends. I assume if they are "so" important to the B&G they would've been included in the initially guest list.

    Yes- consider ALL family members, choose your battles and don't start WWIII, but I don't think that the B&G should cut their friends because the parents insist that Aunt Mildred whom the groom hasn't seen in 10 years NEEDS to come. 

    OP- I would tell the ILs, "I'm sorry but we've already created our guest list and we are at the max capacity of our package for the venue. We are unable to accommodate any further guests". Sounds like they are running the wedding a bit too much (Asking you to elope? Asking you to push the wedding back? Asking you to increase the WP? ALL those things are decisions solely for the B&G to make. IMO, even if they are paying, those are topics that they don't get a say on. Period.)
    melbenso
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Thanks for all the advice, everyone. You all basically confirmed what I thought, initially. The guest list is a hard and fast 80 because a) that's the maximum number allowed in the package we chose, and b) it's what the venue can seat comfortably, so not a fire code issue, but definitely a comfort and a budget/package issue. We really don't want to change venues or packages because everything else than comes with the deal fits our needs perfectly. FILS are paying for the rehearsal dinner, but past that aren't contributing, to my knowledge. Looks like we're just going to have to have a discussion about expectations vs. reality. I'm trying to be as patient and understanding as possible since I'm going to be related to these people for the rest of my life, but this isn't the first time we've hit a snag. First they wanted us to elope, then they wanted us to push the date back (by 5 months), then we were guilted into extending the wedding party to avoid hurting feelings...I think enough is enough, honestly.

    Anyway, thanks again, everyone! I appreciate your input!

    Exactly.  It sounds like you and your FI need to start setting boundaries.  The WP, for example, is your and FI's decision only.  Your families have absolutely no say in who you ask to stand next to you.  I hate the "hurt feelings" guilt trip. It's a load of BS.  People need to learn how to act like adults.

    If they aren't paying, they don't get a say, which honestly sounds like it is for the best in your case.  Expect any money they do offer to come with a million strings.  Plan the wedding you want and can afford to host well.


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  • SP29 said:

    This is exactly why Fi and I consulted with our parents regarding our guest lists.   We both forgot to include people(like some elderly relatives and S.O.); however, we had room fit them in.  Even if your parents aren't paying,  I advise people to run the guest list by them (or another trusted family member) to make sure no one was left out by mistake.   


    If the venue only holds 80, then only invite 80. Like PP stated, you don't want everyone coming and running into a space issue.  With that said, you need to go back and look at your guest list again. If these are truly important people in the family, then you should invite them.  You don't want to cause WWIII because you forgot to invite your cousin's husband or your great aunt. Can you cut out co-workers or friends?   We made sure all our family was invited (and that included a few people are parents wanted there more than we did) and friends second.  

    If they're not important and they're second cousins or distance relatives, then explain that to your families.   
    I disagree with this. Just because they are family does not mean they are more important than friends. I assume if they are "so" important to the B&G they would've been included in the initially guest list.

    Yes- consider ALL family members, choose your battles and don't start WWIII, but I don't think that the B&G should cut their friends because the parents insist that Aunt Mildred whom the groom hasn't seen in 10 years NEEDS to come. 

    OP- I would tell the ILs, "I'm sorry but we've already created our guest list and we are at the max capacity of our package for the venue. We are unable to accommodate any further guests". Sounds like they are running the wedding a bit too much (Asking you to elope? Asking you to push the wedding back? Asking you to increase the WP? ALL those things are decisions solely for the B&G to make. IMO, even if they are paying, those are topics that they don't get a say on. Period.)
    I so so so agree with this.  In fact, I have several friends who are Family.  And I have many relatives who are NOT Family.  I will not choose people who I happen to share bloodlines with over people who love me unconditionally.
    bizzy592
  • You are getting excellent advice, OP. You need to graciously tell FMIL that you have booked a space with a hard cap, and you've already reached it. It does make me slightly nervous for you to be at your venue's capacity a month and a half into your engagement. Our list grew and grew until probably a few days before invites went out - from our 80 person initial list to 140. We have a venue that I have seen set-up for 200 people so we were never at risk of going over capacity, and we made a decision to increase our budget some to allow for more dinners and booze. You are just going to need to be really regimented about the cap. And, if there is anyone you could cut, do it now. Especially if the wedding is a ways away...
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