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FMIL just sent us a list of "must-invites"

ginnybinny17ginnybinny17 member
100 Comments 100 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
edited October 2016 in Chit Chat
My fiance and I just booked our wedding venue.  We've sat down and really hashed out our budget and arrived at a number we're comfortable with.  I'm actually paying for everything -- my fiance is in school right now, and I have a pretty well-paying job.  But I do have student loans, and I have absolutely 100% sworn to myself that I refuse to put my monthly student loan payments behind the wedding in importance.  I have a dollar amount per month I'm saving for the wedding, and a dollar amount per month I'm putting to my student loans, and that's that, and that's all I can afford, sorry 'bout it.  Because of our budget, we can invite about 130 people to the wedding.  

Last weekend, we visited SO's family.  He and his mom got into a little kerfluffle because he's not planning on inviting more (emotionally) distant members of his family.  He has a big family (VERY big), and certain of his cousins he isn't planning to invite because if he did, he'd have to cut out some of his closest friends.  He also has beef with one of his aunts/uncles, and so they aren't being invited.

SO stood firm, and I thought the conversation ended well.  Guess not.  Today, FMIL (who I really do adore!!!!) sent him an email saying, 

Here is the list of who in the family should be invited, and they should be invited since they're family and we were invited to all of their past weddings.  If you don't invite them it'll cause hard/hurt feelings, so count them in.

I don't know if she realizes I'm paying for the entire wedding, but regardless, she knows that we aren't planning on inviting some folks because simply can't afford it.  I won't put my student loans on forbearance to invite these guests, and we've already planned on not having flowers, centerpieces, etc. so that we can invite the folks we've already planned to.

At the same time, I feel kind of horrible.  Since I'm paying for the whole shebang, it's kind of indirectly my fault that these family members aren't being invited.  We booked a venue we love but could afford (and got discounts for being off season and because my SO's friend works at the venue), but at the same time, I'm sure if we'd booked a cheaper venue, we could have invited more people.  I feel weirdly selfish.

I don't even know what kind of advice I can ask for on this.  My SO agrees and is gonna talk to his mom, which I guess is all we CAN do.  If anyone's been in a similar situation (a FMIL insisting on more guests than you can afford), I'd appreciate hearing how you dealt with it.  Mostly, I think I needed to vent.

(Hope everyone's Wednesdays are lovely so far.)

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Re: FMIL just sent us a list of "must-invites"

  • Is she willing to pay for them to be invited? Not that you have to if she is but if you are willing to, make sure you add up everything it costs. Food, beverage, table, linen, extra servers, extra silverware, centerpieces, etc. Don't promise invite them until you have money in your hand/bank account.
    ginnybinny17short+sassyDrillSergeantCatKnottie1444748270
  • Is she willing to pay for them to be invited? Not that you have to if she is but if you are willing to, make sure you add up everything it costs. Food, beverage, table, linen, extra servers, extra silverware, centerpieces, etc. Don't promise invite them until you have money in your hand/bank account.
    I think that's what SO is planning on telling her -- that it isn't that we don't WANT those folks there, it's just that we really can't afford with our current budget to extend the list past 130 folks, and we'd have to cut like...life-long friends in order to do that.  So if you want these folks there SUPER badly, you can absolutely contribute the cost it would take to invite them.

    image
  • Question - 

    Can the venue not fit the additional people or is it that you can't afford them? not being able to afford them is reasonable and a decision you and your FI have made together understanding the consequences. FI could also say to his mom "Mom these are our reasons, but just so you know the cost per head is $100 so if it is is THAT important to you for us to invite these extra 20 people, we will need $2,000".

    Is that a possibility? If not, stick to your guns.
    The venue can fit about 150 more folks than we're currently inviting!  It's our budget that's the limiting factor.  I think what you outlined is what we're planning on saying.  Thanks :)

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  • "We can't afford those additional guests without cutting people we are closer to, which we are not willing to do." Xoxo, your son.  
    Thankfully he's much better with confrontation than I am so I think that's about all he'll say.  I'd shrivel into a little shame raisin.

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  • ginnybinny17ginnybinny17 member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited October 2016
    banana468 said:
    Your FI needs to say, "Mom, those additional guests aren't in our budget."

    But if they were, would he want them?  If not, then his answer needs to be, "Mom, we already discussed this and they are not on the guest list." 


    All but two of them.  Everyone else we're totally willing to invite.

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  • "We can't afford those additional guests without cutting people we are closer to, which we are not willing to do." Xoxo, your son.  
    Thankfully he's much better with confrontation than I am so I think that's about all he'll say.  I'd shrivel into a little shame raisin.
    Might I suggest getting over it? That isn't confrontation. It's a basic communication. Being able to say no to people is an essential life skill. That you can and should practice and learn. Maybe not in the particular circumstance, it probably is better from him, I just have a total pet peeve about people saying they are bad at confrontation. 
    Ok.

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  • Being a united front and having your fiancé communicate with his mom is the right thing to do. Otherwise MILs like to assume that fiancées are bridezillas who walk all over their poor dear sons.

    I wouldn't give excuses like you did here. No one needs to know your budget, your debt load, your employment, etc. "The guest list is decided." Boom. Done. End of story.

    That all makes sense - thank you.

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  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    "We can't afford those additional guests without cutting people we are closer to, which we are not willing to do." Xoxo, your son.  
    Thankfully he's much better with confrontation than I am so I think that's about all he'll say.  I'd shrivel into a little shame raisin.
    Might I suggest getting over it? That isn't confrontation. It's a basic communication. Being able to say no to people is an essential life skill. That you can and should practice and learn. Maybe not in the particular circumstance, it probably is better from him, I just have a total pet peeve about people saying they are bad at confrontation. 


    I cannot possible agree with this more. What kind of people say, " I LOVE confrontation! I can't wait to argue with and piss off people I love!". Also a disagreement =/= confrontation. Adults generally should know how to deal with conflict.

    I have an aunt who "hates funerals". Well no shit. But if you want to be a respectful non-douche, suck it up like the rest of us and pay your god damn respects.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    charlotte989875OliveOilsMomCSunshine76justsie
  • "We can't afford those additional guests without cutting people we are closer to, which we are not willing to do." Xoxo, your son.  
    Thankfully he's much better with confrontation than I am so I think that's about all he'll say.  I'd shrivel into a little shame raisin.
    Might I suggest getting over it? That isn't confrontation. It's a basic communication. Being able to say no to people is an essential life skill. That you can and should practice and learn. Maybe not in the particular circumstance, it probably is better from him, I just have a total pet peeve about people saying they are bad at confrontation. 
    Ok.
    Yah, Starmoon makes a good point here. It's not about "being good at confrontation" or not. It's about being an adult. We all have to deal with discussing things that might make one or both parties uncomfortable, but that's life. 

    I do think he should be the one to discuss this as it is his mother, but not because he's "better at confrontation", but because it is his family. If this was your mother would you expect him to deal with the uncomfortable conversation because you don't want to do it? 
    ShesSoColdOliveOilsMom
  • "We can't afford those additional guests without cutting people we are closer to, which we are not willing to do." Xoxo, your son.  
    Thankfully he's much better with confrontation than I am so I think that's about all he'll say.  I'd shrivel into a little shame raisin.
    Might I suggest getting over it? That isn't confrontation. It's a basic communication. Being able to say no to people is an essential life skill. That you can and should practice and learn. Maybe not in the particular circumstance, it probably is better from him, I just have a total pet peeve about people saying they are bad at confrontation. 


    I cannot possible agree with this more. What kind of people say, " I LOVE confrontation! I can't wait to argue with and piss off people I love!". Also a disagreement =/= confrontation. Adults generally should know how to deal with conflict.

    I have an aunt who "hates funerals". Well no shit. But if you want to be a respectful non-douche, suck it up like the rest of us and pay your god damn respects.

    I didn't say I was bad at it.  I said he's better at it than I am.  I also didn't say I wasn't able to say no -- just that I'd feel really bad about it, and he can do the same (say no) while not internalizing it as much as I do, so he's probably a better person for the job.  

    image
  • "We can't afford those additional guests without cutting people we are closer to, which we are not willing to do." Xoxo, your son.  
    Thankfully he's much better with confrontation than I am so I think that's about all he'll say.  I'd shrivel into a little shame raisin.
    Might I suggest getting over it? That isn't confrontation. It's a basic communication. Being able to say no to people is an essential life skill. That you can and should practice and learn. Maybe not in the particular circumstance, it probably is better from him, I just have a total pet peeve about people saying they are bad at confrontation. 
    Ok.
    Yah, Starmoon makes a good point here. It's not about "being good at confrontation" or not. It's about being an adult. We all have to deal with discussing things that might make one or both parties uncomfortable, but that's life. 

    I do think he should be the one to discuss this as it is his mother, but not because he's "better at confrontation", but because it is his family. If this was your mother would you expect him to deal with the uncomfortable conversation because you don't want to do it? 
    No, I definitely would not expect him to do it.

    image
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    "We can't afford those additional guests without cutting people we are closer to, which we are not willing to do." Xoxo, your son.  
    Thankfully he's much better with confrontation than I am so I think that's about all he'll say.  I'd shrivel into a little shame raisin.
    Might I suggest getting over it? That isn't confrontation. It's a basic communication. Being able to say no to people is an essential life skill. That you can and should practice and learn. Maybe not in the particular circumstance, it probably is better from him, I just have a total pet peeve about people saying they are bad at confrontation. 


    I cannot possible agree with this more. What kind of people say, " I LOVE confrontation! I can't wait to argue with and piss off people I love!". Also a disagreement =/= confrontation. Adults generally should know how to deal with conflict.

    I have an aunt who "hates funerals". Well no shit. But if you want to be a respectful non-douche, suck it up like the rest of us and pay your god damn respects.

    I didn't say I was bad at it.  I said he's better at it than I am.  I also didn't say I wasn't able to say no -- just that I'd feel really bad about it, and he can do the same (say no) while not internalizing it as much as I do, so he's probably a better person for the job.  

    I did not say or imply any of those things. I think you're overreacting.
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    charlotte989875justsieMyNameIsNot
  • "We can't afford those additional guests without cutting people we are closer to, which we are not willing to do." Xoxo, your son.  
    Thankfully he's much better with confrontation than I am so I think that's about all he'll say.  I'd shrivel into a little shame raisin.
    Might I suggest getting over it? That isn't confrontation. It's a basic communication. Being able to say no to people is an essential life skill. That you can and should practice and learn. Maybe not in the particular circumstance, it probably is better from him, I just have a total pet peeve about people saying they are bad at confrontation. 


    I cannot possible agree with this more. What kind of people say, " I LOVE confrontation! I can't wait to argue with and piss off people I love!". Also a disagreement =/= confrontation. Adults generally should know how to deal with conflict.

    I have an aunt who "hates funerals". Well no shit. But if you want to be a respectful non-douche, suck it up like the rest of us and pay your god damn respects.

    I didn't say I was bad at it.  I said he's better at it than I am.  I also didn't say I wasn't able to say no -- just that I'd feel really bad about it, and he can do the same (say no) while not internalizing it as much as I do, so he's probably a better person for the job.  

    I did not say or imply any of those things. I think you're overreacting.
    I'm sorry, I think I replied to the wrong person.  I meant to reply to StarMoon44.

    image
  • OP, I wanted to say that you have every right to not invite those people.  And since you've been around here a little while I assume you understand the whole inviting in circles thing yes?  I would just make sure your circles are good and reasonable, if they are have your FI say no...you don't have to include someone you don't want to and a clearly defined circle really helps with this.  Besides opening up the IL's side may also lead to your family wanting to add people too since "how come Grooms side has second cousins on the list but ours only has firsts?" 

    Also, even if you do say that adding "x" people will cost you "y" dollars, I would be a little leery that the money may have some strings attached to it.  While I would hope your ILs are reasonable and loveable people sometimes weddings bring out all the crazy!

    ginnybinny17vikinganna87
  • OP, I wanted to say that you have every right to not invite those people.  And since you've been around here a little while I assume you understand the whole inviting in circles thing yes?  I would just make sure your circles are good and reasonable, if they are have your FI say no...you don't have to include someone you don't want to and a clearly defined circle really helps with this.  Besides opening up the IL's side may also lead to your family wanting to add people too since "how come Grooms side has second cousins on the list but ours only has firsts?" 

    Also, even if you do say that adding "x" people will cost you "y" dollars, I would be a little leery that the money may have some strings attached to it.  While I would hope your ILs are reasonable and loveable people sometimes weddings bring out all the crazy!

    Agreed. Cutting one uncle of a bunch isn't going to make you any friends. 
    ginnybinny17
  • OP, I wanted to say that you have every right to not invite those people.  And since you've been around here a little while I assume you understand the whole inviting in circles thing yes?  I would just make sure your circles are good and reasonable, if they are have your FI say no...you don't have to include someone you don't want to and a clearly defined circle really helps with this.  Besides opening up the IL's side may also lead to your family wanting to add people too since "how come Grooms side has second cousins on the list but ours only has firsts?" 

    Also, even if you do say that adding "x" people will cost you "y" dollars, I would be a little leery that the money may have some strings attached to it.  While I would hope your ILs are reasonable and loveable people sometimes weddings bring out all the crazy!

    Agreed. Cutting one uncle of a bunch isn't going to make you any friends. 
    Hrmm.  You two are probably right.  The beef with the uncle isn't a huge thing, so it might be best to just invite him so as to not unnecessarily cause any drama.

    image
    cowgirl8238
  • Hrmm.  You two are probably right.  The beef with the uncle isn't a huge thing, so it might be best to just invite him so as to not unnecessarily cause any drama.
    I like to "keep the peace" within reason.  If its one or two people I just shrug it off as no big deal, you will only spend a few minutes with them on the wedding day...but if it turns into 8,9,10 people and so on, then I would be putting my foot down.  We did circles, which made everything clear cut, but thankfully no one had issues with our list.
  • I really like the idea of offering to let her pay for the increased guest count.  (All associated costs--make sure you know if you will need to rent an extra ceremony chair, extra plates/barware, have an extra server, etc.)  That puts the onus right back on her to make the call and keeps you from having to be the big meanies who don't love your family.  If it's that important to her to have everyone there, she can provide the funds to make that happen.  Or maybe she will decide it's not really that important anyway, when the dollars and cents are laid out for her.

    This assumes that you really don't mind having these additional people there. If you prefer a smaller wedding regardless of costs, then you are well within your rights to just inform her that the guest list has been decided and is not subject to change.
    short+sassycowgirl8238ginnybinny17Knottie1444748270
  • As long as you are properly hosting your guests, how fancy your wedding is, or where it is, is your choice. It's perfectly fine to to decide you'd like a smaller guest list in order to host a more extravagant event, because you'd like to. And 130 guests is still a large wedding.

    I assume that while you don't dislike these family members, you weren't close enough to include them on the list in the first place, and had you been close and WANTED to invite them, you would've chosen a different venue to begin with.

    Taking the IL's requests into consideration is nice, but you should definitely not go over budget to do so, or think you have to re-vamp your wedding plans to accommodate them. If you are OK with them coming if MIL pays, then go ahead and offer that as an option, but DO NOT invite them (either informally or formally) until you have the money in hand for these guests. Remember, it's not just the cost of the meal, it's additional invitations, postage, tables, chairs (ceremony and reception), linens, centerpieces, cake, favours and programs.
    cowgirl8238ginnybinny17
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think you've received great advice. I just personally don't like the idea of offering to allow them to pay for additional guests. What if then your FILs want to come to the food tasting and have say. They ARE paying for some of the food now so they may want a say. What if they expand the list and want to add (and pay) for another 100 people after they contribute for the first group they are proposing. Now that they're contributing they get more say. Will you be okay with that?
    ginnybinny17
  • vikinganna87vikinganna87 Live Free or Die member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    edited October 2016
    Not the same situation, but three of my siblings got married before I did.  For our wedding, my parents were pushing an invite list that included friends of the family, many of whom had been invited to the previous three weddings.  Our wedding was very small - under 60 people.  It took a few conversations with my dad, like "I know XY is a good friend of yours and also a colleague.  But the reason H and I are having a small wedding is so we can socialize with everyone [and save money for our house].  We sat down and determined who among our friends we felt really close to, the rest is family.  As much as we like XY, he doesn't play an important part in H's and my life." 

    As PPs have mentioned, on top of the budget piece, do you truly want MIL's friends at your wedding?

    My advice is to be polite and stand firm.  If MIL is supersocial and wants her friends to be a part of the celebration, she could host an engagement party or something like that.

    Sorry for the warped image --- I think it's out of my signature now for future posts.
    ginnybinny17ei34
  • Not the same situation, but three of my siblings got married before I did.  For our wedding, my parents were pushing an invite list that included friends of the family, many of whom had been invited to the previous three weddings.  Our wedding was very small - under 60 people.  It took a few conversations with my dad, like "I know XY is a good friend of yours and also a colleague.  But the reason H and I are having a small wedding is so we can socialize with everyone [and save money for our house].  We sat down and determined who among our friends we felt really close to, the rest is family.  As much as we like XY, he doesn't play an important part in H's and my life." 

    As PPs have mentioned, on top of the budget piece, do you truly want MIL's friends at your wedding?

    My advice is to be polite and stand firm.  If MIL is supersocial and wants her friends to be a part of the celebration, she could host an engagement party or something like that.

    Sorry for the warped image --- I think it's out of my signature now for future posts.

    Anyone invited to any pre-wedding party (Engagement, Shower, Bach) MUST be invited to the wedding!!!!!

    I still stand by my original advice, if you don't mind them there and don't mind dealing with the strings money comes with, tell them each guest is $X...I personally would just say the guest list is closed and stand firm on not allowing these extra people.  (Assuming you are using circles)

    ginnybinny17
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    From your FI: "Mom, the guest list is closed. These people are not going to be invited to the wedding. We are not open to further discussing this."
    ginnybinny17
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