Wedding Guest List Dilemma

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tinabny Posts : 2 Registered: 5/21/12
Wedding Guest List Dilemma
Posted: May 21, 2012 6:39 PM

My fiancť and I are getting married next May, 2013 and Iím having some confusion about the guest list. I know traditionally the brideís family pays for most of the wedding. However, my family is pretty broke and his family is pretty well-off. His parents offered to cover most of the wedding and gave us a set amount they would cover, which is only $5000 less than our budget. Iím really grateful that theyíre being so generous but I wonder what this means for the guest list. Does this mean that they dominate the guest list? His parents are both only children. My mom is 1 of 16 and my father is 1 of 5. According to the April 2012 edition of Brides, the list should be split three ways for the Bride and Groom, the Brideís parents, and the Groomís parents. My future mother-in-law has given me a list of 36 people to invite (with mostly just family friends). I have a list of 106, and thatís mostly close family and a handful of friends! I havenít figured out a way to ask her. I just figured they gave us a set overall amount with no stipulations (yet). Is it rude of me to assume that the obvious size difference in families should mean that my side of the family gets more slots on the guest list? How do I discuss this with her?


MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Wedding Guest List Dilemma
Posted: May 22, 2012 4:31 PM Go to message in response to: tinabny


Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding. As you correctly researched, you divide the guest limit by 3. When there is an obvious disparity, you have several options. First is to have strict limits regardless of invite needs. Next, is to have you or your parents pay for the overage. Finally, you see how many guests your in-laws want to invite. If they don't reach the limit, you can ask if it would be ok to ask additional family members.

Another option is to set guest rules. Family members are invited if they are grand-parents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and first cousins. Anything beyond that is not invited. Hard and fast rules make it easy to determine if somebody qualifies.

In the end, you might be worrying about nothing. Your in-laws might already be aware of the problem and not have a problem with it. Your FH has the job of talking to his parents about the problem and how you might resolve it. As the wedding plans progress, you are each responsible for dealing with your own parents and family. You should not be the one to approach your in-laws over any problem or question because that can cause resentment latter on.

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


Syringa Posts : 115 Registered: 1/18/12
Re: Wedding Guest List Dilemma
Posted: May 24, 2012 7:46 PM Go to message in response to: tinabny

As Howard mentioned,the person that pays has a say in how their money is spent. Some people trust you to spend it wisely; others want more control. It is a fallacy that most weddings are financed by the bride's family. Statistics show that for the last 15 years or so, weddings are financed jointly by the bride, groom and both (or more)sets of parents, though not usually equally. Therefore, your situation is not unique.

You do not have to evenly divide the the invitations when your situation warrants doing something different. Just be sure the groom's parents agree. Again, as Howard mentioned, your fiance should be the one to discuss finances with his parents. You can be there and offer your opinion when asked, but he should initiate discussions unless the parents indicate otherwise. You want to start off on the right foot by showing respect for them, particularly when they have been very generous.


PlannerJessie Posts : 14 Registered: 11/10/11
Re: Wedding Guest List Dilemma
Posted: Jun 6, 2012 8:04 AM Go to message in response to: tinabny

Congratulations on your up coming wedding. It is not rude to ask, it will be better to get this doubt over with, and just go over your list with everyone and figure it out. You dont need to stress this alone. :ó)

Jessica Ares Certified Wedding & Event Planner Elite Wedding & Event Planning


beryl1 Posts : 18 Registered: 6/19/12
Re: Wedding Guest List Dilemma
Posted: Jun 19, 2012 9:18 AM Go to message in response to: MagicalMomentsP...

More guests mean more cash. Either cut expenses and invite the number of people you want or slash your wedding guest list.

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Sydney99 Posts : 20 Registered: 6/1/12
Re: Wedding Guest List Dilemma
Posted: Jun 25, 2012 3:43 PM Go to message in response to: Syringa

I can see your dilemma also stemming from possibly not knowing his mother in law very well and being nervous in interacting with her--especially when it comes to finances. Dividing by three, as others have mentioned, is a great way to handle it.

Washington, D.C.


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