Guest list drama!

Jennifer Leigh DiMarco

Thursday, December 10, 2015

As a wedding planner I can tell you most family arguments during the wedding planning process comes from this particular topic-The Guest List. 

I was recently contacted by a very distraught Mother-in-law to be.  She was seeking advice for the following scenario:

Her son, the groom and his fiancé are planning a beautiful, but smaller scaled intimate wedding.  The cap on the number of guests had been set at 65.  The groom's parents had agreed to pay a portion of the wedding expenses and were grateful to the Bride for allowing them to invite their close friends to the wedding.  However, the Bride has recently stopped allowing them to invite guests of their choosing as they have now reached their targeted cap.  The groom's parents are more than willing to pay for the cost of the extra guests but the Bride refuses to budge.  The groom's parents feel embarrassed that they are unable to invite close family friends to their son's wedding when they themselves had been invited to many of their friend's milestone events.  In her frustration, the Mother-in-law reached out to me to get a third party perspective.  Now granted, this is only my opinion as an upcoming Bride, a mother AND a wedding professional.  As a mother, I certainly understand why the groom's parents would want their close friends to be there to celebrate such an important day in their son's life.  However, as a Bride-to-be, I can also understand why their future Daughter-in-law is putting her foot down when it comes to allowing extra guests, many of whom she probably doesn't even know.  As a wedding planner, I understand that the Bride and Groom had not envisioned that someone would wish to go against their desires to have an intimate wedding.  My advice for this well meaning Mother-in-law:  ultimately, she is going to have relent on this.   The Bride and Groom are paying for the majority of the wedding themselves, so I encouraged her to be grateful that they were willing to allow her to invite the extra guests that she did and respect their boundaries.  The last thing anyone would desire would be to start this union with hurt feelings and resentment.  Attempting to manipulate the Bride and Groom to have the wedding she wants instead of what they had planned will sow seeds that she would not want to reap.  I assured her that her future Daughter-in-law isn't trying to be controlling, she is simply trying to maintain her vision of an intimate wedding.  As for the embarrassment of not being able to return the gesture of inviting family friends to the wedding- I advised her to simply explain to them that her son and his fiancé desire a small affair and they prefer only close family and friends to attend.  I encouraged her to accept their decision to not allow her to invite any more guests and to move forward with an attitude of love and support.

I would love to receive your feed back on this topic.  Please share your opinion in a comment below.