To think my wedding just isn't going to happen?(108 Posts)
Fiancé and I trying to plan our wedding. He is from a big family and is an extrovert, I'm from a small family and am an introvert and quite shy.
I don't like the idea of a big wedding and would like to cap the numbers at ideally 50 but I'll stretch to 70 or even 80 if I must.
The problem is that OH says that he absolutely must invite all his aunties, uncles, cousins and their families. This includes people he hasn't seen or heard from in several years.
He says that a lot of them probably won't come, but in case they do it'll have to be okay as he can't exclude anyone. If they do all decide to come that'll be 80 guests already, so with my family of 20 and some friends that'll be an unreasonably large wedding that'll a)make me really uncomfortable and b) will be a massive financial strain unless we do the whole thing on the cheap.
He knows that I'm not keen on the idea so the only other thing we can come up with is nuclear family only at a local registry office. Right now it seems appealing just as a way to get round the problem but I can see myself regretting it in the future.
Is there any way out of this deadlock?
Yes. Stick up for yourself. He is being very selfish and inconsiderate. Pick a number of guests you can each have e.g. 40 each and he can use up his 40 how he likes.
The extended family members might not come, but there's every chance they will. Always plan your wedding to assume full attendance of those you invite.
Does he want these people there or just feel obliged to invite them?
If you start with a budget and work back, picking all the things that are important to you both, it may become clear to him that it isn't possible anyway. Have you done this?
Well I see his issue tbh. You can't really invite some Aunties but not others. Rude and a bit harsh.
We had a similar dilemma. We solved it by finding a really lovely place to get married that also - oh damn - had quite small capacity. So kept it to nuclear family + grandparents + three friends and OHs each.
Can I ask why you think you would regret a small do?
You need a compromise here. 80 guests is a big wedding imho. I agree with pp that 40 each is fair, maybe then he can have extra guests if your side doesn't run up to that many.
I didn't invite any of my "great" auntie and uncles/second cousins etc and none of them cared. My great nan cared though and didn't attend because of it.
He wants them there! Even after his parents said not to bother inviting them.
We're not very good at budgeting I'm afraid, and OH doesn't see money as an obstacle. He generally does what he wants and then somehow manages to balance the books afterwards.
Batteries- your wedding sounds perfect! I don't think we could exclude all cousins though, as there are a few we're close to and I'd really like them to be there. Then that opens the whole can of worms about the rest of the family. I think I'd regret a tiny wedding as I'd miss certain people and the whole event would be as a direct result of us not being able to compromise!
I've tried the division of numbers and offering him the lion's share - say 50 of the 80 - but he says that won't work
We had a small ceremony (30ppl - immediate family and close friends), then large evening do (120ppl); could something like that work?
How about having the small wedding you want & then hiring a village hall/community centre for a party soon after.
That way you would avoid the ridiculous extent to which people rip you off, because it's a "wedding"
My DH was exactly the same, comes from a large family (MIL has five siblings) so I put my foot down and gave him a choice, I said he could invite all his extended family, however he wouldn't be able to invite any of his friends as we couldn't afford too, I showed him the figures.
He soon halved the numbers of family he wanted to a much more manageable amount.
He only invited his immediate family (parents, siblings and their dc), plus a couple of cousins he was close to.
Will they be travelling? Or local?
Small day, big evening dos only really work if attendees are local.
I'm sorry but you can't get married without a budget that's ridiculous. Also bear in mind a venue worth its salt might struggle to take you seriously if you aren't sure of your funds. No point booking you in if you're going to flake out on payments.
"We're not very good at budgeting I'm afraid, and OH doesn't see money as an obstacle. He generally does what he wants and then somehow manages to balance the books afterwards."
I wouldn't marry him for that alone!
You must work a budget out first so you know what you can afford.
You say you are bad at budgeting too, how much do you think weddings cost?
The type of wedding he's talking about having, which means you'd need to find a large venue could easily cost you £200 per guest all in.
Venue (if it's that big a wedding this will not be cheap, plus not everywhere has the space so limits your options)
Outfits (bride, groom, best man, bridesmaids, don't forget to include underwear and shoes)
Hairdresser and make up artist
Rings and your jewellery
Catering & drinks
Entertainment (disco or live?)
Gifts for best man and bridesmaids
Not cheap not easy to organise.
In addition - hen & stag dos, honeymoon...
I'm guessing from the fact you're worrying about money in op you're not exactly wealthy/in high paid jobs?
Is money an issue? If so, I think you are right to say you can only do what you can afford.
If money isn't really the problem then I think you should have his family there. These are people who will wish you well and who may provide love and support for you and your children - yes, even third cousin twice removed - and so if these are people he thinks are essential please don't dismiss them out of shyness.
Don't marry him!
There has to be compromise, you have offered several, what is he offering?
You could have a small wedding followed by a less formal party later. But he ought to be coming up with solutions, too.
You absolutely can invite some aunts/cousins and not others. We did it and as none of them have sent us so much as a christmas card in the years since, well it doesn't really matter does it.
Fwiw weddings are very hard to budget for the way your partner wants to. Maybe work out a per head cost (don't forget a lump sum for room hire, clothes, registrar etc.) And show him how much else you can do with that sort of cash? He might change his mind if Aunt Mildred coming means your honeymoon is spent camping in Bognor?
And finally remember that the people who see you married should be the people who will be supporting you in that marriage. Good luck!
Well if he agrees to the nuclear family option then do that. You may regret it, but I think it's much more likely you'd regret a soggy compromise, togEther with the stress and money involved in a BIG wedding, I speak from experience.
I loved my wedding day (registry office, lunch - 20 people). The big compromise, knees-up the next day not so much.
He really is torn about it, he wants me to have a lovely day but at the same time he is very loyal to his family (ironically one of the things I love most about him!) and it would genuinely hurt him to not be able to invite everyone.
His family is very scattered geographically so I don't think evening invites only would work.
The money is a grey issue - the reason we are bad at budgeting is because we both have decent jobs and can really afford what we want as a general rule. The wedding OH is looking at would cost about 20k I think and that would stretch us especially as we have other big costs coming up (my car is about to give up for good etc).
I think essentially, the more I mull it over, I simply don't want to spend an absolute fortune on something I don't want in order to host people who have absolutely nothing to do with us from one year to the next. My OH is banking on the fact that he'll issue the invites and a lot of people won't come, but like a PP said we have to assume that everyone will accept.
My mum has invited a few extra people to our wedding (since she's paying for the meal afterwards I said it was fine) banking on them not coming. Guess what, every single one of them is coming! I warned my mum that they most likely would - generally people don't turn down a wedding invite unless there is a big reason do they? So please drum it into your partner that he absolutely cannot invite people expecting them not to come.
Your compromise of just nuclear family sounds good
It's nice that he feels loyalty to his family, and genuinely wants them there. RealisticallY, though how much of the organisation would he take on?
I am probably biased, because for me, the wedding was not really the Thing; the Marriage was the Thing
You could make it a weekday and send out invites late. I know a couple of people with massive families who did that to keep numbers down. But I don't like it, I think it's sneaky, and it excludes people based on job (teachers if term time, shift workers who need a lot of warning for holiday like doctors, nurses).
I also know people who spent £20k or more on a wedding. Thing is you need to be really quite flush to spend that. I assume you own your own home already, but even so think of the home improvements you can get for that. The people I know weren't loaded enough to not miss it - high mortgages that would really have benefited from a big overpayment, or wanting a new kitchen / extension that could have done with a £20k start to the pot.
Our small wedding cost £7k. The other advantage of having it small was the amount you can do yourself - making 30 favours is easy, making 150 is knackering. Making a cake to serve 30 is doable in your kitchen, and everyone actually gets a bit. Making a cake 150 people can see and taste a bit of requires much more work. I did my own flowers.
At the time our joint income was over £100k but we had our whole married future stretching before us, and I wanted to make substantial improvements to the house and have a decent savings pot in place for the family we were desperate to start. So it's all about priorities I guess.
NotYoda- I think we have very similar views! I'm far more interested in the marriage than the wedding as well, and I do think the organisation would be largely down to me.
We've also looked at the small wedding then follow up later with a big party, but OH seems to be moving away from it as I suppose it would create divisions of a sort within the family.
Our families were pretty scattered too - we had our wedding somewhere that was good for a weekend visit, sorted out some good hotel discounts and people didn't seem to mind a weekend away with the evening do thrown in. Our evening did start about 5 with a meal, so it was more than just turning up to dance.
I was in a similar situation so we went abroad. Didn't invite anyone as such just said if anyone fancied it, they were welcome to come. We also let people know if they couldn't make it, we wouldn't be offended!
About 40 people came mostly friends plus our immediate family. It was ideal.
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