Help! Crazy huge guest list!

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  olivia23 3 years, 8 months ago.

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    So here’s the situation… Marrying into a family with wealthy cousins and sister-in-law. My family are not rolling in the money! All the family weddings on his side have been huge- 200+ guests and very extravagant- MOH is lovely but is very set on something similar. She wants first, second and some third cousins invited adding up to just over 200 guests! I know lots of people have this kind of wedding, and I’m happy for them- but it is not us! FHs brother recently had their engagement party of 230 guests- many guests were not known to me despite many years of dating, and some actually congratulated us thinking we were the happy couple… For us this would be a circus not a wedding!
    We want a smaller wedding to accommodate a more modest budget, but do not wish to offend. Hoping for some outside opinions on some options we are playing with… 
    A) elope- though not totally keen to miss the experience with our immediate families and ffriendship 
    B) invite all to enjoy ceremony, have champagne, first dance and father of bride and groom speeches outside the chapel we have chosen, then move onto photos and a small private reception 
    C) go ahead and invite everyone knowing we can only afford a sandwiches/very modest reception 
    D) cut guest list down to only first cousins and risk offending MOH and extended family 
    Polite opinions please! I know some may find any or all our options ‘tacky’ but advice is so very welcome! 



    By MOH, do you mean your future mother in law??
    I wouldn’t do B – if you are invited to a wedding, you should be invited to the whole thing. I would go with D. Just explain it gently – we want a nice sit down meal, we can’t afford that many people, we don’t know them well etc. Other options would be to see if the family would be willing to contribute some money so you can afford to have everyone, or ask guests to pay for their meal instead of presents. 
    When we first did our guest list, we wanted to keep it small and didn’t want to invite some people. Lately I’ve realised that having them there won’t upset me on the day, but not having them there might upset people I care about, so why not? My mum also pointed out that a $55 meal is such a small % of the cost of a wedding, even if it adds up to a few $1000s. Anyway, whatever you decide!


    Hi Belle, I sort of feel your pain. My fiance and I wanted 20 people at a restaurant, and my mother wanted the 100+ person sit down, 5-6 hour reception…
    I would suggest go with either B or D… We are doing something similar to B. We’re having the ceremony and then an hour of photos following. While we’re having the photos taken our guests are going to a nearby function room for cocktail food and drinks. They get 2.5 hours to mingle, enjoy the music, food, drinks, whatever else they’ll do. We’re rocking up for the last hour of that to say hi, have short speeches, cut the cake, and see the people we actually want to see, like my friends. Then later that night we’re taking the 20 people we wanted out to dinner at a nice restaurant. So we’re having a compromise between what my mother and what we wanted. I think my mother is still a little upset, when I mentioned we’ll only be there for an hour she said maybe we should make the cocktail part longer so we actually get time to see the guests. I don’t think she understands that we don’t actually want to be there… so is there any way that you and your fiance could put up with all the guests for an hour or so, and do something similar?



    I suggest D. However I belive it somewhat depends on who is paying for the day. If you/your family are paying for it fully then you do what you want. If your future in Laws are contributing to the cost they do deserve to have their say. I suggest choosing a reception venue and getting all the costs together and showing the exact costing.A extra 100 people would be a extra $10000+++ 
    My partner and I had a rule with the guest list, if we didnt no the family member on the list they didnt get invited. (we have been together for 10 years). We also in some cases just invited aunties and uncles not cousins. And on our invite we have writter “we invite your whole family to the ceremony, however the reception will be a adult only affair”. Cutting anyone under 18 off our list will save us a few thousand dollars 
    Hope this helps. 

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