To say "no-one I don't know" at my wedding?

(62 Posts)
Dannilion Mon 25-Feb-13 14:07:35

Just hoping for a bit of perspective here as I kind of feel like I am, but don't want to be!

Bit of background..

DP and I are getting married next summer. It's going to be a very cheap wedding as PFB is due next month and well, spending an extortionate amount of money on a glorified party isn't something I want to be doing. Getting into debt isn't an option either of us will consider for it, so it will all be out of our savings.

My dress will be second hand, the rings are from my mums first marriage and therefore free, I'm making my own cake, the evening venue is a marquee in my parents field, my friends band are the entertainment etc so when I say budget I really do mean it!

Anyways, I've digressed. In order to keep the prices down I don't want to pay for people I don't know to be there. For example, friends of DP's he hasn't seen for a decade, and their partners whom he has never met. Family he only saw once in 15 years at a funeral in 2007 etc. Basically my viewpoint is if I haven't met them, they have no significance to us as a couple so why should I pay for them to come to my wedding? We're not asking for gifts or anything as I really just want it to be a time to celebrate with our nearest and dearest. DP isn't happy with this.

Obviously it would be the same for my guests as well. Its his wedding too and I'm wondering if I'm already turning into a bride-zilla?

Floggingmolly Mon 25-Feb-13 14:45:26

How would you feel if he was the one imposing those restrictions on you?
I wouldn't be one bit happy if it were me.

hermioneweasley Mon 25-Feb-13 14:55:47

OP, The bit in your post about your future DH wanting a cheap wedding but then inviting so many people is the worry for me. If he's not willing to take responsibility for financial decisions at this point, then it would be a massive red flag for me. Is he normally sensible with his spending and understand that budgets mean choices?

Bue Mon 25-Feb-13 14:59:31

You're being irrational AND unreasonable, I'm afraid. DH and I are from different countries and we got married in my hometown. If we couldn't have had anyone there he had never met then we would have been missing tons of people who have been important in my life. A wedding is a coming together of two families and communities - why not look on this as the perfect opportunity to meet some new people who have been important in your DP's life?

livinginwonderland Mon 25-Feb-13 15:02:08

agree on x number of guests per person, and leave it at that. if he wants to use up twenty of his invites on people he rarely sees, that's his choice, not yours. i can understand limiting numbers, that's fine, but he's allowed to pick which friends of his he wants there!

PurpleBlossom Mon 25-Feb-13 15:03:40

I think YABU.

I thought this thread would be about parents wanting to invite people you and DP don't know to the wedding. I am shock that you are trying to dictate which family members your partner invites to his own wedding.

Chandon Mon 25-Feb-13 15:04:41

I tyink it is not unfait that you veto guests on both sides.

Imo, weddings can be great for bringing together friends an family you might not often see.

Why can t he decide who he invites, and you decide who you invite, and keep the number more or less even? I would have been annoyed if my DH had vetooed, say, my Greek godmother whom I had not seen for 10 years.

AmandaPayne Mon 25-Feb-13 15:06:43

I think if your DH has a much larger family than you, so there are going to be more people on his side, it is reasonable to expect some trimming on his numbers. I'd agree on numbers and let him do the ditching though. Aside from anything else, why set up the expectation that it is your job to navigate these tricky areas?

YANBU, DP and I are going to have this rule in place too. No appeasing family who we rarely see, no random aunts and uncles who usually don't give a toss about us, no friends from school days who we haven't spoken to in years or who we've grown out of touch with, etc. Let somebody elses wedding be the reminiscent get together!

Dannilion Mon 25-Feb-13 15:15:28

Bue. Whilst that makes sense in your situation, DP and I grew up in the same hometown (well, my village was about 2 miles from his hometown) and have been together since I was a teenager so our lives are and always have been ( even before we were together) pretty entwined.

Flogging - since I am imposing these rules upon myself also, I'd obviously be fine with it.

Hermione - DP does have his head in the clouds a bit when it comes to the price of weddings. And other things actually. It's not a red flag as I have always had control over the finances, very 1950's I know but we play to our strengths and I happen to be good at bookkeeping. He actually thought we could do the whole thing for £2k...with his endless guest list!

I've taken every constructive bit of advice of board though so thanks everyone, I now realise its not as black and white as I'd like it to be and just because my family do things a certain way doesn't mean I can expect his to. Will definitely sort out a maximum amount with him so he can decide himself with the remaining amount who he wants to invite. Like the idea of seeing who bothers with DC too, one of his 'best friends' (who we saw every week) stopped all contact when he found out I was PG, not even so much as a congratulations as 'I've lost you to fatherhood now', so it does seem like a good way of deciphering who your real friends are!

Thanks again for your advice everyone. And to the woman who said I was 'controlling'...You're mean.

snuffaluffagus Mon 25-Feb-13 15:18:54

We had this rule (informally) at our wedding. All of our immediate family and aunts/uncles were there but the only cousins that got invited were ones we saw regularly and got on with. There's no point in inviting people you don't really know. It worked for us and nobody was offended (that we know of!).

nooka Mon 25-Feb-13 15:19:36

When you say anyone is welcome to the 'evening part' does that mean you are planning a several part wedding? i.e. ceremony, evening party in the marquee and something else as well? If you are wanting to keep costs low I'd just go for ceremony plus party, not sure why you'd need anything else, and then maybe you'd have less of a cost issue (although I assume you will be providing some food for the evening do?)

Dannilion Mon 25-Feb-13 15:24:47

Nooka, no food for the evening do.

Actual wedding in the afternoon, transport to the farm where we're having a little fete/ hog roast reception sort of thing. Hard to explain without going into loads of detail detail. Then the 'evening' part with the band playing and everyone getting extremely merry and wishing they'd taken my advice of wearing wellies.

The simple answer, as another poster has said, is to have a maximum number of guests, some of whom will obviously be mutual friends, and then divide the remaining number of guests between the two of you, and you can each invite who you want.

We did something similar for our wedding. Both my parents and dh's parents had friends whose children's weddings they had been invited to attend, and my parents and dh's parents wanted to reciprocate - so we decided on the number of guests, and gave each set of parents a set number of invitations that they could give to their friends. It made them happy, and to be perfectly honest, it made absolutely no difference to me whatsoever.

My wedding day was a happy blur, and I had a lovely time with the people I did know, sharing and celebrating dh's and my wedding, and the fact that there were some people there who I didn't really know, didn't affect me at all - on the contrary, it meant that I knew that my parents and dh's parents were having a good day too, because they had friends there to talk to.

This is something on which you can easily give in to your dh-to-be, and I honestly thing that not letting him invite the people he wants to have at his wedding, runs the risk of causing unhappiness and resentment in the long term - and whilst the wedding is only for one day (during which you will be having such a good time with your nearest and dearest that the presence of some people you don't know will barely impinge), a marriage is supposed to be for life, and is it really a good idea to start off that life by doing something that will cause unhappiness and resentment in your other half?

MajaBiene Mon 25-Feb-13 15:31:29

Definitely decide on a maximum number and then split it between you.

If he already has loads more family coming than you, it isn't fair for him to then invite loads of old friends you don't know.

bugsyburge Mon 25-Feb-13 15:59:31

I don't think you're being totally unreasonable... sometimes I don't think DP's fully appreciate the costs of weddings.....

My DH wanted to invite every person he had ever met in his entire life (similar to if you were having a casual birthday party), I wanted to keep the wedding number down so that it would be a more intimate affair& we would be able to spend money on other things(--like food & clothing--).....

We resolved it by setting our absolute max budget for the whole wedding whilst simultaneously writing out our wish list of guests( I wanted about 40, he wanted about 150!!!)..... this made it pretty clear to DH that we physically couldn't afford to invite all these people ( or that if we did it would be at the expense of other things)

He managed to prioritise his list pretty quickly after that!!!

Good luck

DH and I had this rule, however we were both in agreement. I didn't invite any of my cousins, he has never met them and we had been together 6 years when we married. Last time I saw my cousins was 10 years earlier at a wedding.
He however had his cousin, his wife and children as they see each other all the time and we know them quite well.

JandT Mon 25-Feb-13 16:15:11

DH and I had a related disagreement about our wedding resulting in me pointing out that he hadn't met 5 of my list (geographical reasons) and I had met 7 of his including his direct family (more than that lived within 10 minutes drive).... However, that was due to his mother realising my list was longer than his (bigger family plus he'd moved about a bit and lost friends on the way). Took a while but the end result was, we didn't invite cousins or anyone we didn't know intimately to the evening meal (managed to work out that if we had them plus their children we wouldn't fit in evening venue) but we invited them to the church and for the cake and wine bit after (couldn't see the point in people coming to party but not witness marriage).

Plus side; lovely fun church/cake bit, wonderfully 'intimate' evening meal where everyone knew everyone else and there was lots of laughter and catching up.

Negative side; I didn't bother inviting my cousins (only see them at funerals so couldn't see the point), he did and they came from literally hundreds of miles away. Feel guilty they came all that way plus having seen them since, they feel very 'family' about him.

So, just try to think about 1) his feelings (men do friendship in a different way to us girls) and 2) the next 70 years of marriage where those people may become regular features and you will have that guilt.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 25-Feb-13 16:20:25

It's fine not to invite people that mean nothing to you. It's not fine to invite people that mean a lot to you but to then say they can't bring a guest if they want to because you don't know them.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Mon 25-Feb-13 22:02:38

We invited all of those who we'd sent and received Christmas cards to and from...it gave us a good check on those we were or were not in touch with.

DH did this - has a massive close family who go to all each other's parties, but then also invited a load of people I hadn't met and have scarcely seen since.

Which would have been fine if I'd realised and done the same, but in the end it meant I couldn't invite family and friends I thought were less close. It ended up pretty unbalanced on the day and I still feel annoyed about it years later.

Upthread suggestions of "(total minus most important mutual) divided by two" guests each sound ideal. I only wish I'd been given that advice!!

BackforGood Mon 25-Feb-13 23:16:37

That's interesting bugsyburge, you've put My DH wanted to invite every person he had ever met in his entire life (similar to if you were having a casual birthday party)

Now, that sounds the opposite way round from my thinking. I have people that I consider to be very important people in my life, that I would certainly want to invite to a "once in a lifetime" type occasion such as a wedding, that I wouldn't invite for a more casual (ie, much more likely to be repeated, and therefore less significant) birthday party. People who live some distance away, generally, but also perhaps elderly relatives that wouldn't be on a guest list for my birthday BBQ perhaps. To me, a birthday do would involve far fewer people, than a significant, life changing event like a wedding.
I love MN for finding out how many different ways there are of thinking about things smile

INeverSaidThat Mon 25-Feb-13 23:21:26

BTW your wedding sounds lovely. smile

Doubletroublemummy2 Mon 25-Feb-13 23:38:47

I think you may have graciousley accept defeat on this one. These people are obviousley important enough for him to get upset about. I would just take one last chance to remind him of the bidget and if he still feels he would really like them there then so be it. Our wedding was tiny, only 35 guest and there still managed to people that I didn't know or my husband didn't know. The people who make the occasion on the day are close freinds and family and the rest you are unlikley to even notice individually but will hopefully help create a great atmostphere (something money can't buy smile)

WafflyVersatile Tue 26-Feb-13 00:24:15

If your DP is not happy about it then find another way to keep numbers down. It's his wedding too and for some people weddings are a great excuse to have reunions with family and friends who don't all get to see each other often. Shared history is part of who we are.

Pandemoniaa Tue 26-Feb-13 00:51:23

I'm sorry but you do sound controlling. Right down to the throwaway comment about people realising you were right to tell them to wear wellies.

If you and your DP were happy with your rule about unknown people being barred from the wedding then that'd be fine. But he isn't so it seems fairer to compromise and each agree to invite an agreed number of people - whether or not you know them. Because this wedding is supposed to be about both of you. Even if you are setting all the rules.

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