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?

BridgetBidet Tue 26-Feb-13 18:26:38

I don't really understand why inviting them has to be so expensive? If the venue is a marquee in the parents field then their won't be a cover charge for them attending, just the catering.

That's simple, just invite them for the wedding and the dancing but don't invite them for the meal. Even if they're invited for the meal it probably won't bankrupt anybody unless you're going for a seventy quid a head blow out.

Sorry, this really really sticks with me. Banning friends of your partners from the wedding because you haven't met them when he really wants them there is far, far too controlling.

AllBellyandBoobs Tue 26-Feb-13 12:22:51

YABU. There were plenty of people I didn't know at my wedding, some DH's friends and their partners, some partners of my friends that I hadn't yet met and we suggested that both sets of parents invited a couple of their friends. It meant that everyone knew at least one person very well and as a result the wine flowed, conversation was non stop and the whole thing was the great big, friendly party that me and DH really wanted.

It's about common sense and compromise, isn't it samandi. If numbers are restricted, then the OP's fiance will not be able to invite an unlimited number of friends, but equally, he should be allowed to invite some of the people he wants there whether the OP has met them or not.

Though dh and I did know all of the friends who we wanted to invite (both his, mine and ours, iyswim), there were friends of my PIL who I'd not met previously, at our wedding, and friends of my parents whom dh hadn't met previously - and it didn't make the day any less special for us.

samandi Tue 26-Feb-13 11:47:11

because on one hand he wants a cheap, low key wedding and on the other hand seems to want to invite the whole world and his dog.

Well that seems rather unrealistic of him.

Personally I would probably rather not have people I didn't know at my wedding, it's a celebration of the two of you after all. But then if they are good friends ... it's a tricky one.

BridgetBidet Tue 26-Feb-13 11:09:53

If your husband wants them there you should invite them. To be honest think about it reversed. If you were on here saying that your DP had said that you could not invite friends or family unless you had met them there would be a deluge of people saying 'Red flag!' 'Emotional Abuse'.

I think you're being really unreasonable to be honest and if I heard that a friend of mine was behaving like this it would seriously undermine my opinion of them.

You might want to think what kind of impression this is giving to your DH about what your married life is going to be like too as it doesn't send out good signals at all.

As people have said if you want it to be low key just do it with your family - don't make arbitrary rules like this which really is just giving you carte blanch to veto his guests.

Thewhingingdefective Tue 26-Feb-13 10:59:18

YABU. How would you feel if your HTB said he didn't want your friends and relatives there because he didn't know them?

Surely a wedding is an opportunity it bring friends and family together, especially if you haven't seen people in a while.

If you really are on a shoestring budget and want to keep it small, only have immediate family and go to the pub or a restaurant for a low key post-wedding meal.

The bottom line, Dannilion is this. Is it really worth upsetting your husband-to-be over this? It is his wedding too, and he has every right to invite who he wants to it (subject to the restriction of numbers of course).

ChaoticisasChaoticdoes Tue 26-Feb-13 10:33:00

I agree with whoever said work out the total number of people you can invite, minus any mutual friends then split the rest in two.

If you can invite 100 and have 20 mutual friends that leaves 80 so you'd have 40 people each to invite. If your DP wants to invite 50 then he has two choices. He can either whittle it down to 40 or he can get an evening job to fund the extra 10 places, it might make him think wrt the budget you have.

nooka Tue 26-Feb-13 03:38:51

I really think you need to move away from 'I' toward 'we'. Weddings are abut two people coming together, and that usually means two sets of friends and family to witness/party.

Just because you haven't met someone does not mean they aren't significant to your fiance - his life before he met you has importance too.

I also think you need to watch out on thinking about the wedding as 'yours' and the funding also as yours - if you are using your joint savings then you and your partner are paying for your wedding party, you are not paying for people to come to your wedding (after all weddings are not without cost to attendees).

Sounds like a fun wedding plan, just try and plan it with your fiance (I'd also watch out for becoming the one who manages money, it can lead to all sorts of problems down the line if you aren't singing from the same song sheet about money - definitely something to resolve sooner rather than later in my experience.)

anonymosity Tue 26-Feb-13 01:55:41

YANBU. It doesn't matter if your dress is second hand or $30K (sorry, no pound signs on my computer). If you have a wedding, its your choice who you invite. I definitely didn't want people I didn't know - and the newish partners of old friends (partners I'd not met) were not the best guests and I'd honestly have liked to turn them out on their ears. But I didn't.

totally felt the same as you but I think you need to convince your do.. give him your reasons.. but if he still wants everyone and their mother you got to let him. maybe tell him if he invites received that you will too... and explain the cost. it's not fair only you have to be cost consious.

BeCool Tue 26-Feb-13 00:59:44

If I had a wedding, I wouldn't want anyone I didn't know there either. YANBU

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.

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.

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)

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

BTW your wedding sounds lovely. smile

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

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!!

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.

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.

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.

HaveToWearHeels Mon 25-Feb-13 16:06:19

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.

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

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.

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?

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