My FH and I have made a list of who we want to come to the wedding. We have to keep it to 100 people but my FMIL wants to invite several extra friends. She was a single parent growing up and says these people were huge in my FH life when growing up but he and I have been together 7 years and have never met them in my life. I’m having a tough time telling her no because she is financially helping a lot with the wedding but I honestly don’t want to be paying for more people then I need to. Also she’s the type of person to say if the limit is 100 and there’s 90 people RSVPed she will think there’s 10 spaces she can fill. I’ve tried to be stern with her and my fiancé is no help at all when it comes to this as he just tells me to tell her no but chokes when the topic comes up. He is an only child so I do realize this is a big deal for his mom and I do want to be sensitive to her wishes but I’ve already included many people for her already I just don’t want to continue adding. I’m a huge people pleaser and I’m really trying to break out of my shell by saying no to things she wants that I don’t want. Sometimes I feel like she thinks it’s her wedding not ours. How do I approach this???
Try “FMIL, unfortunately our guest list is full. We can give you xx number of spaces for your friends but that is it. If you can get us a list of names and addresses, we will be happy to send those xx people invitations.” When she calls you a week later and says “oh, person z has to be invited! They were so important to FH’s childhood!” you reply “that’s fine, which of your previous guests should we remove from the list you gave us to make space for them?” When she protests, as she will, stand firm and repeat that unfortunately your guest list is full and there is no room for any further additions.
And whatever you do, don’t give her the invitations to give to her friends. She’ll copy them and send extras. Get the list of names and addresses from her and send them yourselves.
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I agree. You could also gently but firmly remind her that while they might have been important in your FH life, he did not choose to invite them now, and so unfortunately they do not get a seat. Also, if you’re like us, then you’ll definitely be wanting to emphasize that you want a small, intimate affair.
My FMIL tried to have us invite extra people and it's so frustrating! My FH called her and had heart to heart conversation with her basically saying we had a max amt of people we were trying to stick with and unfortunately we were not going to be able to include everyone.
Don’t tell her your rsvp count until the last minute you can lol. I have about 15 of my FMIL friends coming and that’s a lot! Especially since she’s not helping with the reception, my mom and dad are! FMIL & FH step dad paid for our honeymoon cruise & are going to pay for our rehearsal dinner because we don’t have much of a relationship with his father and he wouldn’t step up to the plate.
We told our parents they can invited two couples each of their choice but that’s it
I'm the oddball I guess. I feel that if she's helping a lot financially, she should be able to invite people who were important to her while raising your FH. Just let her know that you personally can't afford (or don't want to pay..) to accommodate all of her requests.
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I agree with this. My FMIL did the same and is also helping a lot financially. My FH was more upset about it than I, but we decided to just tell her we can’t afford to add more people. She offered to pay for them, which we were fine with since our venue had the capacity to accommodate extra guests.
I'm kinda in the same boat here. While I don't think she should take total control of your guest list, I do think she has a right to invite her friends, especially if she's helping to pay for the wedding. My parents are helping a lot but also gave us a decent sized list of their friends they wanted to invite. There were a couple I was able to talk them out of just because I don't want them there personally, but according to my dad "The bride and groom aren't the only ones that invite people to a wedding" Sure I'd like it more if their friends weren't invited, but half of them probably won't come and will just send a gift anyways lol
I gave my FMIL a list of names and asked her to get their addresses for me. She proceeded to message people who were NOT on the list and tell them that “the bride and groom want to invite you to their wedding, what’s your mailing address”. It put us in such an awkward situation. FH didn’t know who these people were. Supposedly he met them when he was a kid, but he didn’t remember them and certainly wasn’t in contact with them anymore. FH called his mom and asked her what she was doing and told her to stop inviting people who were not on the list, as we are paying for everything ourselves. Unfortunately, this is something that you can stand as firm as you want, but until FH deals with his mother, things will not change. She will just continue on and assume you’re being controlling. You need to talk with FH and tell him to get a backbone and work up the courage to tell his mom to stop.
I would give them a limit on the amount of people they can invite. I had this issue as well. FMIL is contributing a good amount to the wedding and has invited at least 2 full tables of people that I have never met in the almost 5 years I have been with FH. I was not happy about the amount but FH said it pretty much evens out what they contributed, which still irks me. I was also annoyed that she was upset about how we grouped them and where we were seating them in the ballroom as she said they were the VIPs. When he told me that I was so angry. These people I have not met are not even close to being VIPs at our wedding.
I thought this would happen with my guest list. We only wanted to invite 200 guests max so I split it down the middle and told by FH that he could invite 100 on his side and I would invite 100 on my side. I mentioned it up front, and it actually worked out very well.
I would tell her that you guys have already maxed out the invite list, but if she is adamant that they be invited, I would be sure to let her know that she will be expected to pay their way.
Omg, I’ve been reading these forums waiting for this bc this is almost exactly like my mil. Had FH real young and these friends and even some family (FH great aunts) she felt should be on the family list, we didn’t include them bc when my FH goes back to his home state across the country where he grew up (every 2 years sometimes longer btwn visits) these people don’t bother to drive 10 mins to his grandmothers to see him, so why would they fly across the country and spend all this money to go to his wedding. It was a whole big to do, so we added them to the family list knowing they won’t come. And now she’s trying to take her friends and people from her list and “replace” them with these great aunts and people we know aren’t coming. Difference is my parents are footing most of the bill with FH and I taking care of certain vendors, so I told her she is more than welcome to invite these people but our budget is X amount of people and we have a few more on our list with the intention that we know a certain amount of people will not be able to come. Not sure if she entirely got the message as she often throws out the I’m older/the parent so I know best w my FH often and tends to brush off what we say. however since my parents are paying for the venue/food we are having a sit down with his parents and mine and I’m gonna let them explain how it’s gonna go. I am a people pleaser too and I get severe anxiety having these conversations, but you have to put your foot down. She also went on about some cousins of hers, that FH has no relationship with, and i made it clear that we would love to invite everyone from all sides of the family but if we did there would be 600 people there so we were not inviting parents cousins and if she wanted them she is more than welcome to pay for them (our venue can accommodate more people than our list). .. thanks for letting me vent too and I hope it works out.
Have fiance put his foot down and tell her that you are not budging on the guest list and her paying extra will not change that. Then don't mention any other details to her.
FMIL did the same thing (mid-pandemic when I was slashing the guest list, no less), and it ended up being a major reason why we cancelled and will be eloping. Do not give an inch. Agree with PP that you need to give her a number of slots and hold to it. Do not tell her how many people have RSVP'd. Don't share the total guest list with her. And frankly, tell FH he needs to help you out here.