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Very limited guest list for wedding and mum wants to invite all her friends

308 replies

bells2810 · 30/08/2022 13:45

My fiancé and I are planning on getting married in a small venue with 50 guests at an absolute maximum. With our immediate families and then grandparents, aunts and uncles, as well as my fiancé’s best man, and two bridesmaids for me, this comes to 47 which we were happy with.

My parents have very kindly offered to help us to pay for the wedding. My mum is now saying that she wants to invite her friends to our wedding. We aren’t having a separate day/night do with extra guests arriving later etc, our only friends who are coming are in our bridal party because we wanted to keep it small and intimate. When I said this to my mum, she said I was being ungrateful and said I should remember that she is helping to pay for it.

My fiancé and I aren’t even inviting all the friends we would have invited in an ideal world because we want to keep numbers and costs down, and we had also wanted to keep it intimate. I’ve tried to explain this to my mum and she keeps bringing up the money. She wants to invite her three best friends and their partners, as well as at least four other friends and their husbands too. This would take us over the 50 guest list limit and the only way we’d be able to accommodate it is if my fiancé and I cut down our list of family or don’t have anyone in our bridal party!!

I don’t know what to do, I don’t want to upset my mum and she is helping us financially but I can’t help thinking she has had her wedding, my fiancé and I don’t want to invite loads of people who aren’t our own close friends. I don’t know how to broach this with my mum without her getting defensive, angry or upset with us. Does anyone have any tips or had a similar experience?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1458 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
PurpleWisteria · 30/08/2022 13:46

Give the money back to her and invite who you want.

MarsupiIami · 30/08/2022 13:47

I'd give her the money back too.

Horcruxe · 30/08/2022 13:47

You'll have to give the money back

Tippexy · 30/08/2022 13:47

Exactly. Pay for it yourself.

HMReturnsBag · 30/08/2022 13:47

She's being completely unreasonable. I'd offer her her money back.

coconutpie · 30/08/2022 13:48

Pay for it yourself.

neverbeenskiing · 30/08/2022 13:48

Tell her that you're grateful, but you didn't realise when you accepted her offer that it came with strings attached and you'd rather pay for your own wedding than have a wedding you're not going to enjoy.

Saucery · 30/08/2022 13:49

She either butts out (you’d probably have to give her the money back) or she pays for the next package up (100 guests?) to accommodate all the people she wants to invite.

IncompleteSenten · 30/08/2022 13:49

I agree with pp.
Her help comes with strings.
Return her money and have the wedding you can afford alone.

CostaLotta22 · 30/08/2022 13:50

Yes you will have to pay for it yourself. If you accept her offer to pay she will think she has the right to invite her friends. Would she be willing to pay more for her extra guests?

My parents invited some of their friends to my wedding and I didn’t mind at all but it was an informal wedding and numbers weren’t restricted. We still paid per head of course.

JubileeTissues · 30/08/2022 13:50

Yep, give the money back and have the wedding you want.

coconutpie · 30/08/2022 13:50

Also, just to note, I would describe your parents offering to contribute as "kindly offered". It's not a kind offer if your mother is demanding guests are added to the list when you are not even inviting your own other friends to the wedding. Her constantly reminding you of her paying is not kind either - she's trying to bully you into doing it. Decline her offer and invite who you want.

wheresmyshoe · 30/08/2022 13:50

She is being unfair holding the money over you, give it back and save yourself future the hassle of her interference with any other aspects where she feels she's bought the right to dictate your wedding to you.

coconutpie · 30/08/2022 13:50

Edit; that should say I WOULDN'T!!!

Lcb123 · 30/08/2022 13:50

give her money back and invite who you want.

luckylavender · 30/08/2022 13:51

Give the money back. Only way.

TheMooch · 30/08/2022 13:51

I would repeat the limit is 50 guests. If this is still an issue for her and she thinks the money buys her guests then the contribution isn't accepted. If you want a small wedding that's what you should have.

GiveMyHeadPeaceffs · 30/08/2022 13:52

I'm afraid I agree with the others; give her the money back, it's the only way.

Creepymanonagoatfarm · 30/08/2022 13:52

Money often comes with strings.
Cut back on other ways.
Tell her thanks but no thanks.
Invite your friends.

PermanentTemporary · 30/08/2022 13:52

It's a bit generational IMO - we had this issue. In the past, the parents were the hosts, they paid, they invited people and the bride and groom didn't get much say over anything- venue, numbers, style, whatever. It's more usual now for the bride and groom to host and pay, so they get to say about numbers, guests - the parents are just guests, obviously important ones but they don't officially get as much input as they use to. It can be tricky when those expectations clash.

The cost is ALL about numbers, so unless she is offering to pay for the entire event including a massively expanded guest list bigger venue etc, I think you're going to have to give the money back and hold your nerve.

RudsyFarmer · 30/08/2022 13:52

You’re only option is to reject the money.

Cigarettesaftersex1 · 30/08/2022 13:52

Agree with everyone else, give her the money back

Slightlystressedbride · 30/08/2022 13:55

Sorry to say, but if you don't give her the money back now and put your foot down, what else is she going to insist upon because she's paid?

Unexpecteddrivinginstructor · 30/08/2022 13:56

I would reiteate the numbers limit and put the ball back in her court, if you want Gill and Pete to come then we won't have space for Uncle Steve, Aunt Sam and their three children. Or give the money back. You might get some last minute cancellations so her friends could go on a reserve list.

Hippyatheart58 · 30/08/2022 13:57

Don't take the money is a quick way of solving this. We was just going to have the basic registry package I think allowed 8 or 10 guests? Can't exactly remember but it meant parents could be there. DH dad called and asked if we was inviting auntie and uncle X. We said no purely due to costs. At which point he offered a meal for X amount and we could then afford the package which allowed a greater number of guests.

It was a shotgun wedding and everyone understood it was being done as cheaply as possible.

Your day sounds lovely and well planned out. Unfortunately other people do think they can take over and control other people weddings. This is a very special day for you and DH. Do not let others control it and if it means returning financial "help" (because it isn't help, it is an excuse to control) then return the money.

DM - My guest list is set at this very carefully selected number. There will be NO additions. If this makes you unhappy then here is the money back. I accepted it without knowing the conditions you had placed.

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