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Charlotte
Savvy September 2023 Lincolnshire

Guests

Charlotte, 11 May 2022 at 13:22 Posted on Etiquette and Advice 0 13
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FH and I are getting married next September on a Thursday and have recently sent out save the dates to give people plenty of time to organise any accommodation/child care if they need it and if they can come of course.

We have invited a couple of his parents friends who I have met a few times and are very lovely people and he spent a lot of time with them growing up. Yesterday FH was asked by FMIL why he hasn’t invited the mother of this friend (she is 96!). Now he did spend time with her also whilst growing up but as I’m sure everyone here gets, weddings are expensive and we’ve had to cut down on numbers to try not to spend a small fortune. I have taken away plus ones from a few of my guests including my sister who is bridesmaid to try to keep number as close to 70 as possible.
A little bit of back story - FH has 45 daytime guests and I have 35 as I made some of my guests evening guests for a few reasons (firstly cost but also because I couldn’t invite one without inviting all 8 and that made our numbers too high). We had a heated debate let’s say 😅 a month or so ago about inviting his cousins - aunties and uncles are invited on both sides but no cousins on my side. Nothing personal to them but we don’t ever see or speak to them plus that would mean 16 extra guests. The same for his cousins really (although there are only 8 of them) but he’s been to their weddings so felt obliged to invite them and after many disagreements we sent save the dates to them. There was also pressure from FMIL to invite them.
I just feel like first the cousins and now this and when will it end?! It’s not supposed to be a people pleasing exercise and FMIL is the first one to say ‘do what you both want’ but then comes out with this yesterday! I had said previously that as it’s quite a way for her to travel we could go and see her the weekend after the wedding but that fell on deaf ears. There’s every likelihood we will get some no’s anyway once we send invites out at which point then of course we could invite her but it’s just difficult at this point in time.
I know if I speak to my parents they will both say don’t give in if you’re both just being guilt tripped so I just wanted an unbiased opinion or two! Thanks ☺️

13 replies

Latest activity by Charlotte, 20 May 2022 at 09:25
  • Chloe
    Rockstar July 2023 Cornwall
    Chloe ·
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    Oh I feel you!! I've had very similar situations with FMIL, and FH and I had a heated debate for similar reasons that you had with your cousins about our aunts and uncles not making the cut for our 50 person wedding.

    I've really dug my heels in and while it's been hard (I've vented about FMIL liberally on this group!) I really have no regrets. So many people tell me they regretted inviting too many people to their weddings because it means you don't get to spend much time with anyone and are basically a glorified greeter all day.

    A friend's sister had a similar-ish situation (the pressure was coming from friends rather than family, but small wedding too) and she said that the guest list mantra that really helped keep her sane was "Unless we're going to be running up to them excitedly screaming 'we got married!!' then they're not on the list." and I think that's really wise. Unless there's a really clear reason to leave one person off the list, I generally think it's crucial to be equal on which family groups make the cut (i.e. cousins on both sides or neither) but I also think it helps to think about any obligation invites outside of the context of their 'group' e.g. if you invited the mother of the friend but then the friend declined it would feel kinda weird to have the mother there, right?

    I've spent a lot of time feeling guilty about guest list choices but ultimately we wanted a small wedding with a skew towards more friends for really good reasons that still stand, so it's the hill I'm willing to die on Smiley xd

    Hope that helps a bit - you're not alone!

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  • Charlotte
    Savvy September 2023 Lincolnshire
    Charlotte ·
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    Sorry to hear you’re going through something similar but I have to admit I’m glad I’m not the only one!


    Good for your for sticking to your guns! I hope I can manage to do the same but currently feel like I’ve been backed into a corner and if I don’t give in then I’ll be made to look like a horrible person.
    Your friends sisters’ mantra is fab! It’s so true isn’t it, it’s about the people you can’t imagine not being there when you get married and it just starts to get ridiculous with other peoples expectations.
    FH wants to give in but also make it clear that this is the last thing she gets to have any say in due to upsetting us both! I’m still not quite in agreement with him 🤦🏼‍♀️ I’ve given in once already with the cousins but this is just taking the biscuit!
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  • R
    Super July 2020 Monmouthshire
    RomanticGreenStationery27135 ·
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    I wonder how many people in the history of the world have ever been able to produce their guest list without having at least one person saying 'why aren't you inviting...'. I reckon you could probably fit them all into one very small room!

    Stand firm. And don't give excuses. It only encourages people to argue. Agree a sentence with your OH and just keep repeating it like a broken record. E.g. 'We are unable to increase our guest list due to being at the venue's maximum capacity' or 'I'm sorry to disappoint you, but our guest list is finalised and can't be altered'. Repeat, repeat, repeat!

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  • Charlotte
    Savvy September 2023 Lincolnshire
    Charlotte ·
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    You’re completely right, it’s madness how many people must experience something similar!!


    The difficult thing now is that FMIL is offering to pay for this guest but out of sheer principle I still want to say no! Am I being petty?

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  • Emily
    Beginner February 2023 Hertfordshire
    Emily ·
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    No not petty. Its *your* wedding!!! Not a community project for all who have some weak connection to the family! If you wouldn't buy them dinner at any other time then they aren't wedding guest worthy.
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  • Emily
    Beginner February 2023 Hertfordshire
    Emily ·
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    I realise my comment could be a little harsh! But when each extra guest costs a load of money and a load more organising, you need to think head not heart. I'm not planning on inviting my cousins to our wedding, but will invite my step siblings, who I have seen waaaaay more in the last 10 years and have a better relationships with. I won't be moved on this even if there if family 'disappointment' x
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  • Charlotte
    Savvy September 2023 Lincolnshire
    Charlotte ·
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    You’re completely right, not harsh at all just fair I think!


    The issue now is that FH is asking me to give in to her because he’s stuck in the middle and I’m actually starting to get quite upset about the whole thing which sounds pathetic I know.
    She’s just demanding what she wants and getting it but now I’ll be the bad guy if I carry this on 😩 x
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  • L
    Savvy September 2023 Derbyshire
    Lizzie ·
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    Can you find out *why* she wants this other person there so much? Is there a special reason? Otherwise I'd stick to your guns and say no. I'm sure you've talked to your FH about this - does he have a special reason for her being there?

    I'm sorry it's such a nightmare for you both. Hope it can be resolved amicably.

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  • Emily
    Beginner February 2023 Hertfordshire
    Emily ·
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    If you've already had to make tough decisions about numbers and decided not to invite some friends or other half's, then it is not unreasonable to say no. I'm sure you would much prefer to invite a closer friend or include your sisters other half if numbers (and budget) allow.
    Such a minefield! X
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  • Charlotte
    Savvy September 2023 Lincolnshire
    Charlotte ·
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    I mean FH did see a fair amount of this lady growing up but much less so as an adult, there’s no other special reason.


    I saw a fair amount of a lot of people growing up and we aren’t inviting all of them!!
    FH saw FMIL yesterday (I was working or would have gone with him) and told her about the issues that have been caused over the last week and she is upset that she’s caused a rift between us apparently and wants the opportunity to apologise. So at least she has an awareness now that this has been a big issue but she also said that ‘traditionally’ the parents do have input with the guest list. I’m afraid that’s extremely old hat and not something that really goes on anymore as far as I’m aware!!! She also has not retracted the comment about sending this lady a save the date which I haven’t done yet but FH agrees with FMIL so will probably send one no matter what I say 🤦🏼‍♀️
    Now FMIL wants to apologise, should I just give in to her? She has offered to pay but there are still guests of mine I’d like in the day time that we can only afford to have in the evening (think I mentioned this initially) and FH already has 10 more day time guests that me 🙄 and only 2 evening guests! I am still annoyed by the whole thing and the idea that she has poked her nose in! If I’m being childish then please someone tell me 🤣
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  • Becky
    Beginner July 2023 Greater Manchester
    Becky ·
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    You could use the argument that some of your other guests might be offended I.e. your sister who can't bring her plus one - but you've managed to include this distant family friend?
    Takes the onus of you and you're just the one trying to keep the peace....
    Also if you or your FH have not seen this person in the last year then would agree no need to invite them. Would they really be offended not getting an invite or is FMIL just throwing her weight around...
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  • R
    Super July 2020 Monmouthshire
    RomanticGreenStationery27135 ·
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    No you're not being mean or childish. Her offering to pay is irrelevant. There are other people who are closer to you that you would like to invite but can't, so why should you make room for someone you don't know.

    Also, if you give way on this, what will be the next thing she wants to have changed?

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  • Charlotte
    Savvy September 2023 Lincolnshire
    Charlotte ·
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    Thanks ladies for making me feel a bit better about it all!


    We went over to see FMIL on Wednesday and nothing was said at all! So now I have no clue where I stand whatsoever. She was fine but it was definitely the elephant in the room so who knows whether this will be the end of it or not 🙄 I think FH is going to send the save the date anyway but knows my feelings on it.

    I think it would be the daughter of this lady who might be offended if we don’t invite her (apparently anyway!). But I really feel like that’s not my problem and what about some of my friends who are evening guests that I’d like in the day time?! In my mind it’s our wedding and no one else has any right to feel offended about anything. Clearly I’m very black and white 🤣

    I have thought exactly that - if I give in on this then what next?! Which is exactly why I’ve not backed down but if FH has done (looking likely) then I can’t stop him but he knows I don’t agree.

    What an unnecessary palaver 🙄
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