Megan
Just Said Yes June 2022

Guest List Headache

Megan, on January 14, 2022 at 10:53 AM Posted in Planning 0 7
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Long story short - we sent 310 Save The Dates to people. Our venue holds 250 and I am already aware of a number of people who cannot come before invitations have gone out - reason we sent that many is 1) they say to expect 10-20% of people invited not to come 2) kids are counted in that number - I do not expect everyone's kid to come (and have been told by a few couples that they plan on not bringing them) . Here's my issue. I have had multiple conversations with my future MIL involving the guest list, essentially telling her that I need to cut more people because of cost and venue capacity. Each convo has ended with her yelling at me/telling me off and that I don't respect her as the mother of the groom. Here's the thing - I have gone out of my way each time trying to keep her updated with wedding to-do's, guest list and more because I am trying to build a relationship with - she never seems interested. I didn't have to come to her with the guest list asking who on their side of the family we could take off - I could have and should have just not included her and figured who to take off on our own and dealt with the fit she would have thrown - but I was eager to please her, as I am the new daughter in-law coming in and want to give a good impression.

My fiancé comes from a huge Hispanic family, I love his family and wish we could have every single one of them there - but financially it can't happen and honestly almost 170 people on the list our his family (*both mom and dads side!). However, MIL will not contribute financially, we've asked and she beats around the questions, changes topics, or details how awful her wedding was and how no one likes her...shocker. She has continually pressured me to add more of her family on (family members that my fiancé isn't even comfortable with having) I am so blessed to have my parents who are helping front most of the costs - but I feel as though my future MIL is taking advantage of my parents wanting to help plan a nice wedding for me and my fiancé. My question is - is it tacky or looked down upon now that I am getting ready to order and send out the actual invitations to not send one to some people who received a Save-the-Date? I feel awful doing that, but I feel I am getting pushed into a corner and am starting to panic that there will be more people then seats because I caved to my bullying MIL's ways. Has anyone been in a similar situation? How did you handle it?


The wedding is June. 18th, 2022.



7 Comments

Latest activity by Jacks, yesterday at 10:28 AM
  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    Unless you’re cancelling the event and downsizing significantly (like to immediate family and a few close friends) yes it’s frowned upon to not send people an invite once they’ve received a save-the-date.
    • Reply
  • bevbabe
    Dedicated June 2023
    bevbabe ·
    • Flag

    This is why I always recommend to people that when there are disagreements with in-laws then the partner from that family should deal with it. Your fiance needs to be the one handling this disagreement not you. It creates resentment and since you're new to the family it's worse than if he did it.

    It is very tacky to send someone a save-the-date and not actually invite them to the wedding. You're basically univiting them when you asked them to block the date off.

    • Reply
  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
    • Flag

    Yes, it's tacky to send someone a save the date and not an invitation (this is equivalent to uninviting them). This happened to my husband and I once and we no longer speak to the people in question. I agree though that your fiance should be the one dealing with his mom, not you. This is a tough situation... your fiance should tell his mother that she needs to contribute financially if she wants to invite all these people. I feel for you!

    • Reply
  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece ·
    • Flag
    Unfortunately, it is considered very poor etiquette to send somebody a save the date, and not follow up with an invitation. This is why it is so important to never invite over the capacity of your venue!
    As far as your FMIL goes, have your fiancé deal with her from now on. Family should deal with family. And he needs to be very firm with her that no more guests will be added to the list, as you are already over capacity as it is! If she throws a fit, have him ask her what solution she is offering. The venue will only allow 250 people into it, and you now have the potential of 310 people showing up! What would she suggest you do with people who show up and are not allowed into the venue? The only 2 Solutions are:
    1. She accepts the fact that no additional people will fit into your venue
    2. She pays for an entirely new, larger venue that will hold the amount of guests she wants added (and will also need to foot the bill for the additional catering/bar costs for each person she adds)
    • Reply
  • Candace
    Devoted March 2022
    Candace ·
    • Flag
    I agree with the others. If you've already sent save the dates to people she recommended for the guest list, you shouldn't be surprised that she's upset with you for trying to take them off.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Agree with this. People who say to expect 10-20% to decline have never planned an event of this scale before and don’t care about the etiquette involved which exists to prevent the situation of hurt feelings in the first place. You always always prepare for 100% attendance because it happens more often than not. You don’t invite more than venue capacity including yourselves because that count is for fire codes. Unless you intend to tell a certain set of people that the wedding is off, it is impolite to send a save the date for an event that they will not be invited to. Filling seats when one group declines is also impolite.


    You have 2 options: send cancellations to everyone and plan a new date with a smaller guest list or find a larger venue.
    • Reply
  • Jacks
    Master November 2054
    Jacks ·
    • Flag

    OK, so first of all, you can't possibly invite more people. You're already way over capacity. It's never a good idea to invite more than the venue can hold. These are usually due to fire code and are not flexible. You've over-invited by 60 people. Also you need to count vendors in your headcount as well. This is by far the biggest concern that I see.

    You do need to send invitations to everyone that received a STD, they are as good as a formal invitation from the etiquette perspective.

    I think there are two solutions here: find a new venue that will hold your guest list or cancel the big event and plan a very small wedding.

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