QUESTION: How do I deal with an in-law who wants to invite a ton of unknown faces to my small wedding (ex: they want to invite co-workers or their book club)?
Kaella's Answer: As I’ve said before, finalizing the guest list may be one of the most difficult aspects of planning a wedding. Whether you’re on a budget or just want a more intimate wedding (having a 300 person wedding isn’t everyone’s cup of tea), it can be hard to narrow down the list and often becomes a delicate subject when someone is not willing to compromise or be supportive. At the end of the day, this is your wedding. However, you may need to compromise a bit if the one requesting more invites is the one footing the bill. If they are not paying for the wedding, then they should either offer to cover the additional overhead or let it go. If your in-law will not let it go and is causing friction, talk to your fiance. This is a great situation to practice being married; being a team and addressing issues together. I recommend letting your fiance approach his/her parents, instead of doing it yourself, as that could pin you as the “bad guy” even though you and your fiance are on the same page. Every family communicates differently, so let like talk with like. Course, offer to be there as support during the conversation. Hopefully, the in-laws will understand that you are on a budget and an intimate wedding is important to you both, and will support your wedding vision.
Rachel's Answer: This was my biggest fear with wedding planning, as the idea of a bunch of unknown faces at my wedding really stressed me out. First, make sure you and your fiance are on the same page; agree on the target number for the guest list and your approach to unknowns. If you’re more concerned about the total number of people there, you can allow each set of parents to invite a set number of their friends and not worry about who those people are; then it’s on them to figure out who to invite. But if you’re like me and care less about the total number and more about it feeling small because you know everyone there, you and your fiance are going to have to be firm with your in-laws about this. It can be hard for some parents to understand that it’s not about money, it’s about being introverted and wanting a sense of intimacy or privacy at your wedding. When explaining this to people, I just showed them the Kristen Bell sloth video and was like, “Look, that’s going to be me when I’m saying my vows, so I’d really prefer not to emote like that in front of total strangers” and they seemed to get it.
Know that this issue is one of the hardest ones to navigate for a lot of couples, and you have to decide if it’s a battle worth fighting. For me, it absolutely was, but in the end I didn’t have to worry about it; our families were totally laid-back about our guest list.
About our Kaella & Rachel:Kaella Wilson is the founder of Kaella Lynn Events, a wedding planning and design boutique based in San Francisco. She believes the difference is in the details. Whether you’re planning a grand event or an intimate celebration, Kaella combines artistic design with meticulous planning and management to produce a memorable event that represents your style. Follow her on twitter @Kaellalynn
Rachel Wilkerson is a writer and community manager living in sin in Houston, TX. She also happens to be planning her wedding! You can see more of her writing on her brand-new blog The House Always Wins. Follow her on twitter @RachelGettingIt.
Need more wedding advice? Read Kaella and Rachel’s previous posts:
- How do you (politely) stop your future in-laws from taking over your wedding planning?
- How do you tell a friend she won’t be a part of your bridal party?
- Is it okay to not allow children at your wedding?
- Should the bride and groom pay for the wedding party’s attire?
- What should I do if my MOH is slacking?
- How to get the Bachelorette party you want without being a Bridezilla
Photo via onelove photo
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