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AIBU getting so stressed over wedding

(68 Posts)
singme Tue 16-Jun-15 11:05:48

First time poster as I need some perspective. I want to be told to relax and it will be fine.

Getting married in November. Obviously it's a bit short notice so I've been venue hunting like mad and found one I really liked. Maximum 95 people. DP and I have drawn up guest lists which are 45 people each. Roughly half friends and half family. We've each got half our mutual friends on our respective lists.

I never wanted a big wedding but 90 seemed perfect as we know and love all the guests. DP has met all but one family on my list and they wrote to us both after we got engaged. I've also met most of his list although not as many.

I visited DPs parents for the weekend and they were pretty aghast at his list. He works abroad so he isnt often around to come with me to visit them. They added 8 more couples. These couples all have 2-3 children who range from toddlers to adults living away from home. DP says we would probably have to invite all their kids as other family on his list have kids coming.

So that's another 35 people. I've already decided not to take the venue I like to allow for more people on his side but they are hinting there are more relatives from America that might come and we need room for them just in case. So we should book a 200 person venue.

Relevant info- we are not having evening guests.
- My parents offered to pay for the original 90 people. They can't afford to pay for any more guests from our side to make up the numbers.
- My DPs parents have generously offered to match or exceed my parents contribution as they understand more people will be expensive
- We are having a civil ceremony at the hotel we choose. DPs parents were desperate for a church wedding so I've already let them down.
- I've never heard of any of these extra people in 10 years of knowing DP (we met in school)

So do I.

1. Pick a huge venue and say go for it and be grateful that I have such generous parents and in laws.

2. Pick my favourite venue with a reasonable capacity and tell them they can add some more people but not all.

3. Along with DP tell them I'd rather not have so many people I don't know at my wedding and stick to a smaller number.

I'm probably going to do a mixture of the above but the whole thing is making me nervous. DP would like to invite maybe four of their extras but he is as stumped as I am about whether to invite grown up kids!

Please just tell me it will all be fine in the end!

5446 Tue 16-Jun-15 11:15:57

If you've found a venue that you love, stick with it. If your DP wants to add on four more, then that takes you to close to the maximum if everyone can attend.

As long as you and DP are on the same page, then go with option 3. How are your PILs likely to react?

Nolim Tue 16-Jun-15 11:17:40

Present a unified fron with your stbh

Delphine31 Tue 16-Jun-15 11:24:32

I think you have to politely, and with gentle explanation, stick to your guns.

It's unreasonable to expect you to double the head count in order to invite people who aren't an active part in DH or your life.

If I ever get married I wouldn't plan to invite anyone I hadn't seen in the past year.

ClashCityRocker Tue 16-Jun-15 11:30:04

Stick to your guns.

I know some people see a wedding as a chance for a big family reunion but it doesn't sound like this is what you want - and tbf, if the other guests aren't particularly close to your stbdh and you they probably won't be miffed at not coming. I wouldn't worry about inviting grown up kids - IME being a guest at a wedding to someone you don't really know can be a bit of a dull and expensive inconvenience which you feel obliged to attend.

I would be wary of accepting financial contribution that has strings attached - it tends to be a recipe for disaster and this could be only the start of it.

Ludoole Tue 16-Jun-15 11:32:48

You and your dp should decide what YOU both want. Its your wedding.
Im getting married in July and we are only having 16 people at the ceremony. My mum would have liked me to invite all the extended family, but its not what we want. We rarely see these people so dont want them at our wedding. Its yours and your partners day. If you have found a venue you love, stick with it. Congratulations on your impending nuptials smile

viva100 Tue 16-Jun-15 11:35:26

For my wedding, I went with option 1. But I'm from a different European country and I have long ago accepted that weddings are not about the bride and groom but about family and celebration. I didn't care there where people we didn't know there, I actually thought having more people made the party better. And I got to see some relatives I hadn't seen since I was 7/8 and I really enjoyed that. Also, at the end of the day I think it's more important to have a good party where everyone is happy and make great memories than to have a perfect venue (which is perfect to you but not to everyone) and lots of guests who are unhappy about not being able to bring their kids etc.

Sandbrook Tue 16-Jun-15 11:37:18

Stick with your own plans, you moved your venue so have it there.
If ILs want a church wedding let them have one for themselves, it's not what you want so they have no say.
Stick to your guns as allowing them to double the head means more stress for you. You are under no obligation to invite anyone you dont want to

kittykarate Tue 16-Jun-15 11:39:59

Stick to your guns.

Don't take the money from the PiLs as they probably will want to make more decisions.

I remember my Gran sitting there with a quivery voice going 'But why aren't you inviting your Great Uncle George?' It's tough, because to your PiLs these people are still close to them, but if you ask your DH, he's probably not even had a Christmas/Birthday card from them ever.

flashheartscanoe Tue 16-Jun-15 11:41:14

Sorry but if they are paying for it I think they get a say in the guest list. Weddings are traditionally paid for by parents who would have expected a say in how its done. If you want it totally your way you should pay for it yourselves.
You can easily compromise- some of the extras but no grown up kids?

This happened to us- ILs had been looking forward to DHs wedding for years- they wanted their friends there who had seen him grow up. They paid for their extra guests and the venue and I had people around who I didnt know- it didnt matter at all. We had a huge and brilliant party. Just make sure they stay out of most of the pictures!

viva100 Tue 16-Jun-15 11:41:52

Also, I should say that because we did take on board a lot of the parents' suggestions and made the wedding bigger we also asked them for more practical help. So the day was not more stressful for me because both sets of parents got more involved both with the organizing and on the day with the guests etc.

TedAndLola Tue 16-Jun-15 11:46:25

4. Pay for it yourself, within your means, and have it your way.

Wedding mania is getting ridiculous.

Branleuse Tue 16-Jun-15 11:46:27

i think you should elope. If his parents are already putting their own guests on the list, then its only going to get worse, and if youre already stressed....

Tell them they can either accept your list like that, or you wont invite anyone at all

Pumpkinpositive Tue 16-Jun-15 11:47:42

So that's another 35 people. I've already decided not to take the venue I like to allow for more people on his side but they are hinting there are more relatives from America that might come and we need room for them just in case. So we should book a 200 person venue.

FFS. Whose wedding is it - yours and husband's or your parents-in-law?? angry

I would elope. That'll teach 'em.

Heels99 Tue 16-Jun-15 11:49:19

Go for option 1. Or pay for your own wedding.
Our in laws added guests and to be honest although I was aghast at the time as we had to pick dofferent venue, the new venue was fab and it made no difference having the extra people.
It's your wedding day, be generous to those who are being generous to you. It will not adversely affect your day to have these people there, think of them as lovely people that you haven't had the opportunity to meet yet.
Rise above it and glide on through the generous bride that you are. Think Kate Middleton, she didn't know 95% of her guests...
If you don't invite them it will create bad feeling and seriously nobody wants their wedding to become a soap opera. If you tell them to stick their money it will be even worse.
I have been in your position, I do not regret inviting the extra people but I was brideziilla about other things that I do regret now, life is too short, let everyone celebrate with you.

Branleuse Tue 16-Jun-15 11:55:41

I actually had a proper nervous breakdown over the stress of my wedding and ended up calling the whole fucking thing off, going nuts, and nearly splitting up. Dont do it to yourself

singme Tue 16-Jun-15 11:57:12

5446 I think they would be ok, they are lovely people and haven't mentioned the church again after we said we were definitely having a civil ceremony. I do think it will upset them inwardly though and I don't want that.

I guess I feel a little guilty as I set this number at 45 each as a starter and it works for me but maybe not them.

Thanks everyone it's so good to hear opinions not from my DM who shares most of my views and anxieties!

I think I need to stand up for myself and gently give them an idea what kind of size of wedding I was hoping for. Otherwise if I say go for it things could really escalate!

SkippyTheBushKangeroo Tue 16-Jun-15 11:58:06

I would go with the pay for you own wedding option. Once you let other people pay then it gets complicated.

The thing to do is to decide what you want and not discuss it with anyone. Decide what you want then send out the invites.

What happens if you invite 35 more from DHs family and you go back to your small family and they say they want to invite more to equal up the numbers. It all gets crazy.

If you do as your DHs family want you will have 22 or your family and 55 or MORE or his confused

singme Tue 16-Jun-15 12:08:43

DP and I were planning to match my parents contribution anyway. I hadn't factored in in laws generous offer before. There's no way I wouldn't allow any of their guests, but if these guests have grown up children and some of them have little ones, where do you draw the line? Approx half of DPs list is their family friends anyway so we definitely didn't ignore them.

I guess I have to book a venue soon so that kind of dictates max numbers from then onwards.

Eloping does sound lovely sometimes but not what we wanted smile

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 16-Jun-15 12:32:31

Oh dear - are you / DH Irish by any chance? I picked a venue with a strict limit on numbers and got married in the UK just to avoid the argument about inviting my parents first cousins once removed who I hadn't met since I was a child.

Option 1. Is sort of the easy life. However, inviting 100 extra people adds on other costs like invitations and table centrepieces which you need to take into account. Do your inlaws genuinely know the cost of a full hotel style wedding per head? Set out some general costs and see if they suddenly rein in their thinking or are fine with it. Will they expect to be offering a free bar for example? You might find that an extremely generous budget gets very tight because different people have different expectations as to how it will be allocated? Because you will have 6 people funding it, that's a lot of opinions.

My parents helped to fund my sisters wedding and insisted on a free bar and two options for the main course. It added thousands to the overall costs and huge amounts of stress and hassle for my sister and her DH arguing the toss.

Option 2 - you will still have some level of interference but can at least limit the numbers of casual invites issued by parents and inlaws. Advise them that they have been allocated eg: 20 heads [which they will need to fund at X cost] and they can select who is most important to them as DH doesn't give a fiddlers. Give them 16 initially so you can add on 4 and keep the peace grin

Option 3. - stick to your guns. By far the easiest option in the long run but tough right now.

For now, I would simply manage the message. November is not that far away and venues that you like and can afford/or want to afford may be limited. "Dear InLaws. Thank you for your very kind offer. I will let you know what availability there is for suitable venues at this late stage and will let you know as soon as possible if we can take you up on it. [If you are getting married here] Weddings of more than 100 people are considered very large in the UK and so most venues cannot cater for the sort of numbers that we discussed but I will widen the search and see. In the meantime, DH to be and I would be grateful if you would not mention the wedding to friends and family until we can firm up on numbers as we would not want to disappoint anyone."

Then do your own thing. The next email/call should be "We are so pleased to have found our perfect venue. We can't wait to get married here and have put a deposit down and secured XX of November. [Unfortunately] Due to fire regs, numbers are limited to X so if your kind offer still stands that would allow an additional XX guests. If you could advise who they should be by x date that would be great. " Fait accompli is always best in my experience

Its not unusual for a priest or vicar to do a blessing or a prayer before the meal at a wedding so it might be a way of making it up to your inlaws especially if they can provide a member of a religious order from their own family.

pinkdelight Tue 16-Jun-15 12:55:20

It's lunacy for them to add guests to YOUR invite list. Have the wedding you want. Stick to your guns now or it's gonna be hell from hereonin. FWIW we went to Vegas and avoided this whole minefield. It's just a wedding. Enjoy it and don't be sucked into these crazy deviations.

SkippyTheBushKangeroo Tue 16-Jun-15 12:57:24

Great advice by TreadSoftly

goodnessgraciousgouda Tue 16-Jun-15 13:06:58

I would look into having a religious blessing after the marriage and wedding. That might be a nice way to compromise with your stb in laws. If they want you to meet relatives from the US and whoever else, then they can organise a separate family event which isn't your wedding.

For the actual wedding, frankly I would politely decline their financial offer because it sounds like there are going to be A L O T of strings attached. As someone else has pointed out, this is your wedding - not a family reunion for the grooms side of the family.

95 people is a totally reasonable number - even with that you won't have the chance to talk to everybody.

To be honest, you need to get things agreed with your dp, and then sit down and talk to your in laws. Be clear that you have decided that you are going to go with the smaller venue - you don't WANT a huge wedding, and you want to actually know your guests.

Be clear that whilst you appreciated their financial offer, you don't feel comfortable accepting it.

PurpleCrazyHorse Tue 16-Jun-15 13:14:03

If DH is on board, I'd politely decline the money from the inlaws and stick with your original plan. But DH has to be on board with it as it might well upset his parents. If he isn't, then you need to reach a compromise with him on the venue you like and the size, this might mean some of his more distant relatives can fit but not all.

I agree that a 200 person venue is pretty large in the UK and you may have trouble booking one in your location. How far with the inlaws push a bigger venue; a 30min drive, an hour drive away? It's worth considering what else they might ask for for their contribution, or indeed ask you to change by offering to pay for it.

My mum paid for my brother's reception, which was really lovely, he wasn't going to have one. However what came with that was my mum wanted to (and did) invite 4 or 5 couples that were her friends. My brother is very laid back, saw it as a free party for him and his new wife, plus got to invite loads of his friends too, but there's usually something attached to the offer of money, especially a substantial sum!

singme Tue 16-Jun-15 13:19:27

Treadsoftly thank you for that response. He's not Irish but from another country in Europe where big families and big weddings are the done thing.

My in laws to be are great and I'm sure with their friends I will gain a welcoming and very kind support network.

The prayer idea is great- I didn't know that. I wonder if that would work well.

To all those suggesting self funding. If we pay for it ourselves I expect we will still be inviting the same people although to maybe a buffet style meal. Which is possibly more "us" anyway. So is an option but I do want to give those who have travelled a full day of eating and drinking. Again I appreciate that can be done on a budget but may take more time to prepare.

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