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Beginner May 2023 South East London

How to say no to family and friends without offending anyone

Janelle, 23 November 2021 at 08:04 Posted on Etiquette and Advice 0 16
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Hi everyone, I’m newly engaged and my fiancé and I are planning on having a wedding abroad. We wrote down all the names of everyone we would invite and found that it was close to 200 which I wasn’t comfortable with. We managed to get it down to 80 but know that some if not the remaining might get upset or offended. We have to stick to a budget and the 80 that we chose are those who we spend the most time with whereas the others would be nice to have. Also, we have said that we are not inviting any kids so will be partners only. Can anyone advice me on how best to tackle this without sounding like I’m being rude or a “bridezilla”? Thank you

16 replies

Latest activity by Teri, 28 November 2021 at 08:39
  • R
    Super July 2020 Monmouthshire
    RomanticGreenStationery27135 ·
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    If anyone is rude enough to ask for an invite, simply tell them 'we're sorry but our guest list has been finalised and we're not able to increase it'. Don't mention budget as you may end up with people offering to pay so that 'their' guests can be added to the list. (If you can pick a venue that won't accommodate more than the maximum number you want, that is really helpful, since you can truthfully tell people you can't fit any more people into the venue!)

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  • J
    Beginner May 2023 South East London
    Janelle ·
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    Thank you. That makes a lot of sense. We weee discussing this morning if we should do something separately in the UK even if it’s a bbq but to me that’s just throwing money again to accommodate peoples feelings.
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  • Charlotte
    Expert April 2022 Wiltshire
    Charlotte ·
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    Your reasoning is exactly the pragmatic way to work out your guest list. I do think a party back here would be good, as you say could be a simple BBQ but it is also nice for you to celebrate again with others who could not attend. One thing I was thinking, if you are going abroad are you paying travel cost for guests? if not, then you need to consider some people may decline, so I would have a back up list of people you can move up to the day if you have space to do so.

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  • J
    Beginner May 2023 South East London
    Janelle ·
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    Thank you Charlotte. Yeah I think we will do a simple bbq too. We’re paying for our immediate family but the guests will need to pay for themselves. That’s also how I’m thinking about the guest list, whether that person will realistically be able / ok with the cost. I feel like I have it locked down on my side but my fiancé is too worried about disappointing others to the point he wants to send invites to those who he thinks won’t be able to make just to show curtesy.
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  • Charlotte
    Expert April 2022 Wiltshire
    Charlotte ·
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    That is a good way to marrow it down and you are considering their situation. I would absolutely not send to people you are not planning on inviting, as you are asking them to hold a date and then you have to turn round and say actually you are not invited, it is a real kicker and will no doubt cause further cause upset and potential friendship fall outs than if you just rip the band aid now so to speak and tell them as either way there will be a bit of disappointment but it will be worse if you do it after sending save the dates as he wants to. One thing we did on our save the dates was put an insert in to ask if they knew they could not come already then to let us know, this way we knew early enough to be able to add some extras on, I would suggest you explain it is abroad and they need to fund and appreciate if they can't make it to let you know now, as it will be a cost to them they may not be able to justify. It is so hard and of course you want to please everyone but it is just not possible. as long as you word it right I am sure people will understand and it is your day so please yourself not others

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  • Teri
    Curious November 2023 Devon
    Teri ·
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    My partner and I have had to cut back massively on our guest list as we chose quite an expensive venue, but we think the family will understand. His family is so big we literally would have to be millionaires to invite them all! We also are saying no kids purely because it's a posh venue and there are way too many kids 🤣 other than my one niece and one nephew as they are flower girl and page boy there will be a no kids rule and I'm not sure how that will go down but if they get funny about it which I don't think they will it's tough. It's our wedding that we and only us are paying for!
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  • M
    Beginner March 2022 Hampshire
    Marisa ·
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    State that it is a ‘couples only’ wedding and mention to make it a ‘date night’ on your wedding comms…
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  • J
    Beginner May 2023 South East London
    Janelle ·
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    I like the idea of a date night. One of my cousins got really offended when I said her 3 kids couldn’t make it but I would’ve thought that they would’ve liked a bit of a break
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  • J
    Beginner May 2023 South East London
    Janelle ·
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    Thank you Charlotte. We looked at the list again and made a list of back ups so thats a good idea about inserting wording on whether they know for sure they won’t come. I’m leaving Alex to a family lunch this weekend to gauge on his side which family members won’t be able to make it.
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  • J
    Beginner May 2023 South East London
    Janelle ·
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    Hi Teri! I am with you on your points! The only kids we are having are his two little girls and two nephews as they’re flower girls and page boys. The thought of kids running around didn’t appeal to me at all lol. Have a fabulous wedding!!
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  • M
    Beginner March 2022 Hampshire
    Marisa ·
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    You just saved yourself £300 😉
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  • M
    Beginner March 2022 Hampshire
    Marisa ·
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    Maybe £400 if your cousin does not come either 😝
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  • J
    Beginner May 2023 South East London
    Janelle ·
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    Lol I think you’re right as one of them will have to stay back
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  • M
    Beginner March 2022 Hampshire
    Marisa ·
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    Yes I agree, we have 3 lists, A for Ceremony and Wedding Breakfast, B for backups (day and evening do) to take up to the final head count, C nice to haves..When we receive an RSVP, we move the guests up accordingly to ensure we stick to our numbers, enjoy your wedding..
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  • M
    Beginner March 2022 Hampshire
    Marisa ·
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    I have realised through our planning process that you both have to be very firm in what you and your fiancé want, and had not quite appreciated to what ends. It’s your day..
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  • Teri
    Curious November 2023 Devon
    Teri ·
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    Haha yeah same! I mean imagine 40 cousins all with kids 🤯 there's about 80 children 🤣 you have a great wedding too lovely!
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