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Shannon
Beginner October 2019 Quebec

Guest List Backlash

Shannon, on October 24, 2018 at 14:43 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 37
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Hi there!
Has anyone had to deal with backlash from their family regarding your guest list? My future hubby and I just really want a low key and intimate wedding. Neither of us enjoys the attention and we've decided that regardless of what we decide to do for the reception, the ceremony will be close-knit with those we're closest to. I personally could care less about a party and would prefer to not have to invite and pay for 150 people (I'm cheap and would rather spend money on a badass honeymoon). FH has agreed that we should keep the reception intimate as well.

I'm expecting a lot of backlash from our families if our guest list is kept to 30 - 35 ppl which would be our parents, siblings, grandparents and bridal party. Has anyone had to deal with the same and how did you approach the issue? Help a girl out, I'm stressin'!

37 Comments

Latest activity by Emma, on October 27, 2018 at 09:57
  • E
    Expert December 2018 Ontario
    Emma ·
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    Love that lol. Next time someone gives you grief about not inviting people ask them where they would like you to send them the bill for all these people THEY want there.

    Some people are just ridiculous.
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  • Mandy
    Devoted July 2019 Alberta
    Mandy ·
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    When t came to planning ours we picked people that we liked, that where their for our us, and close family. At the end we have a total of 105 coming. My family had an issue with it, I told them that we are paying for this and if you want someone their you need to pay for it. We did the same for my FH side as well.

    Both sides were in agreement that we will invite who we want to invite and that was that. Recently his mother has become an issue for me and I just said to my FH that they can be on the b list but I will it be inviting anymore people.

    At at the end of the day it cones down too what you want and people can support or not. But if they aren’t paying for it I just tell them to zip it.
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  • Carmela
    Devoted April 2019 Ontario
    Carmela ·
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    Lmfao!!! This is AMAZING!!! Hahaha
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  • Katie
    Newbie December 2019 Ontario
    Katie ·
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    We've had to deal with a similar issue. Our entire guest list including wedding party is 52 people. We are paying for pretty much everything and I put my foot down about who could be put on the list. We had an issue when someone wanted to add a bunch of people because she felt that her friends needed to be there and I said no. We're also doing no plus ones unless we really know the spouse of the person. But, no matter what you chose you're probably going to receive backlash with whatever you do. People always try to put their two cents in even though it's not their wedding. It will work out in the end.

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  • Shannon
    Beginner October 2019 Quebec
    Shannon ·
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    I feel like I should put up a big banner at our wedding : "Not yo money, not yo problem" ahaha
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  • Kelly
    Expert September 2019 Manitoba
    Kelly ·
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    You're paying for it all yourself? Then your family doesn't get a say on the size of the guest list. Thats the rule lol.

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  • Rachael
    Super October 2019 Ontario
    Rachael ·
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    I’m sorry you’re stressing, Shannon! My fiancé and I were in the same boat, so our guest list has approximately 50 people (including us, but not including the few vendors that we’ll include).

    We made sure our families understood early on that we intend to have an intimate wedding, and they haven’t given much fuss since they know we are firm about it (with the exception of my fiancé’s mom, but I’m not too concerned about what she wants because this isn’t her call to make, nor is she paying for it).

    Stand your ground. Try to be understanding when you can, but realize that giving certain family members an inch will mean they’ll want a whole yard so sometimes it’s better to not give them an inch at all. It is you and your fiancé’s wedding after all, and your happiness is most important. Anyone that knows and loves you should be able to grasp that.
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  • Andrea
    Devoted January 2021 Ontario
    Andrea ·
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    Some people are just terrible, that they'd really act that way towards you guys at your own engagement party. Just terrible. Originally, FH and I were looking at an 80 person guest list. Can you imagine? 80! I was starting to feel stressed to the point of tears and FH realized that we weren't going about the planning in the correct way. More than half of those 80 people we haven't seen in YEARS and would have been only inviting them out of obligation. So we got our deposit back from our previous venue and chose a small venue now. It's great, we feel a lot better. My grandma is probably going to be very upset with our decision, because she's the type of person that thinks everyone and their neighbour should be invited, but FH and I are paying for everything ourselves and are not asking for any help either, we don't want help. Once we receive help, everyone thinks they can just run the show. So we don't want it that way. Closest people to us will be invited, and that's just how we like it. We don't want drama and stress, paying for people we literally wouldn't have seen unless someone passed away (I know, morbid but true.)SO Shannon, do what is best for your situation and trust me, you'll be a lot happier after you do.

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  • Shannon
    Beginner October 2019 Quebec
    Shannon ·
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    Good for you girl! That's the beat way to look at it. Unfortunately, we had someone throw a fit at our engagement party because that as well was kept to like 25 people. They were upset that the rest of my family wasn't invited and it put a downer on my mood that day. I just don't want to have to deal with any negativity or drama on my wedding day so I'm snip snipping that guest list haha
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  • Andrea
    Devoted January 2021 Ontario
    Andrea ·
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    We're having a wedding with only 35 people and we purposely chose a very small venue. People are always going to have something to say, but they aren't the ones getting married. We are. We decide what we want. FH and I are used to negative people always complaining, on our one special day, it'll be about us. No one can do anything to change that.
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  • Shannon
    Beginner October 2019 Quebec
    Shannon ·
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    Agreed! I feel like backlash is bound to happen no matter what you do so just go with your gut and what you want!
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  • Leanna
    Curious September 2019 Alberta
    Leanna ·
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    Ughh yes I have! Honestly you just have to stick to what you want and ignore everyone else. If they want an opinion, they can pay for it. Parents, in-laws and even siblings will all have opinions about what your wedding should be. It makes no sense to me. At the end of the day you and your fiance need to be happy and not worry about anyone else.

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  • Vanessa
    Frequent user September 2019 Ontario
    Vanessa ·
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    Gotta love 2 Italian families coming together! THAT'S AMORE 😂

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  • Jennifer
    Super July 2019 Ontario
    Jennifer ·
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    That's what I figure. but people still will. that's the sad part. but you do you at the end of the day! Smiley smile
    Good luck!

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    I think everyone deals with this backlash lol no matter the size of the wedding!

    I love what Brittany said about if the parents are paying/hosting: they get an opinion and not a definite say-so. My parents are paying/hosting the reception so for me, it's not so much money being an issue, but more space (we have room for 200) and people WE want there. Both parents want to invite family members I haven't seen/my FH met, so we've finally compromised with a B list. I stuck to my guns and told them I know money isn't an issue, but I'd rather invite friends/coworkers/whoever than distant relatives/dad's college buddy lol.

    Especially if you are paying for the wedding, only you make the decisions about who is invited - yes there will be backlash, but you should do what the two of you want!

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  • Erin
    Super September 2019 Ontario
    Erin ·
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    My parents, surprisingly, are doing the OPPOSITE. I have invited my ENTIRE family - my dad's side, my mom's side, and my step-mom's side, as well as my fiance's whole family, although there are a lot less of them. There is still a large chunk of people who didn't make the cut (neighbours, family friends, extended family), which I hate, but we can only afford so many (not to mention fit them in the space!) My parents have been trying to convince me to pare it back a bit more, but I showed them the list and said, "Okay, who DON'T I invite?" and they struggled to pick any one person.

    All that rambling aside, it's your wedding and you can have it the way that you want. Your family should be understanding of that. It doesn't mean you love them any less.
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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    I really don't see why family has to dictate guests being invited if the parents are not paying. It would be a different case.

    You give the final word which your FH and you have decided to take upon. Its your day after all.
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  • Shannon
    Beginner October 2019 Quebec
    Shannon ·
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    Ahaha you said it girl!
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  • Shannon
    Beginner October 2019 Quebec
    Shannon ·
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    You said it perfectly!
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  • Shannon
    Beginner October 2019 Quebec
    Shannon ·
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    I'm in the same boat as your FH! I have so many people that I don't want to invite lol. I'm choosing to keep it to my close-knit favorite people. Hopefully, everyone else will just be so happy for us that they forget all about not being invited Smiley laugh
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  • Shannon
    Beginner October 2019 Quebec
    Shannon ·
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    I think I'll always end up back at money being the excuse if anyone has an issue with not being invited. I can't bring myself to pay thousands on a big guest list wedding because it just doesn't feel like us. At the end of the day, nobody can have a negative opinion about my wedding if they aren't paying for it, right?! Lol
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  • Shannon
    Beginner October 2019 Quebec
    Shannon ·
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    Woah girl! Props to you for managing a wedding with such a big guest list lol
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  • Dana
    Beginner February 2020 British Columbia
    Dana ·
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    I'm hoping to do the same! 30-35 was the original number. We're now at 36 because of my niece (but she's like 6, so half a person meal wise!), which means 38 people total including me and my fiance. I was a little concerned, but my parents were pretty chill about it. They got married with only 10 people at their wedding! (They both had bigger weddings in their first marriages). They said the day was about us, not family or friends.

    I think our current number is perfect. I don't want to pay to feed more than that and I'm not really close with anyone else. This gets me my cousins, my close friends and my boyfriends family and friends. If anyone pushes back then that's on them. Are they shelling out $1000s on food? Is it their relationship we're celebrating? No? Then they can go pout in a corner for all I care, lol.

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  • Rekramer
    Expert November 2018 Ontario
    Rekramer ·
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    We did the whole 100 person wedding, which was a lot for us. and, we got backlash about other things rather than just backlash about the guest list. so, just do something that is honest and true to you, there's no other way to do it.

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  • Ashley
    Frequent user August 2018 British Columbia
    Ashley ·
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    Totally agree with this!
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  • Brittany
    British Columbia
    Brittany ·
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    My opinion is, unless you're paying for those people to come, you don't get a say... and even if you are, you get an opinion... not a "say so"...

    My parents are paying for the wedding, and we did a mock-up guestlist... we got up to 150 people FAST... and we freaked out. We then cut "kids" (under 19), and eventually cut a lot of my FH's cousins that the only time he's seen them in 6+ years was at their grandma's funeral last January. (It didn't help with making the guest list that the first time he sees his entire family in years is 3 weeks after getting engaged...)

    The my mom asked me to include some of her cousins and their kids. I initially said no, and when she asked why, I said I didn't want to have to cut the budget for things I wanted to invite people I don't really know. So she agreed to cover the additional cost to have them.

    Our guest list is sitting at 108 right now, with 4 declined RSVPs already coming in. I think once all the RSVPs are in, we may allow for one or two "plus ones" that weren't originally given, and we'll probably be around 100 people. Which to me is perfect.

    Ultimately it's YOUR day. Do what makes you happy, and stick to your guns, or you will end up regretting it, and not looking back on your big day fondly.

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  • Casey
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Casey ·
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    I do not understand why families can't just accept it isn't their day its ours!

    Thankfully I had no backlash from my side of the family (They are pretty chill)

    I have had 1 comment so far about us not inviting children (aside from immediate family children, 10 in total) but that information was only put out to my side of the family and not my FH.

    As for his side of the family, he does not want to invite some people because he doesn't want the drama, or he hasn't seen them, or they have no idea who I am (that says something when we have been together for 5 years)

    All I keep saying is this is our day and we want to have it small. Our goal was no bigger than 120 and right now I am at 118 and thats with our 2 photographers, officiant and DJ.

    Some people take weddings too seriously when it comes to the guest list, and don't actually think about the people getting married!

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  • Jennifer
    Super July 2019 Ontario
    Jennifer ·
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    We are having a larger wedding. and will probably receive some backlash from people we aren't including. and that's ok. EVERYONE will have an opinion on your wedding.

    at the end of the day. you do what you and FH want to do! not what anyone else wants. and hold your ground.

    the line I've been using when people suggest I should do this or that. "Thank you for your idea. But that isn't what FH and I want. or its not within our budget" using either of those I have received less push from people.

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  • Vanessa
    Frequent user September 2019 Ontario
    Vanessa ·
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    I'm getting backlash as well but my situation is different from yours in that we're not keeping it small. I want to end up at around 260 in attendance on the day but I have 319 on my list and our families aren't understanding that we don't need to invite the 20 people from Italy who we have never met before lol

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  • Catherine
    Frequent user July 2020 Quebec
    Catherine ·
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    We will be having a small wedding too, and while my parents are supportive, i pray that our extended family will be understanding too! But maybe that's wishful thinking haha. Most likely someone will be offended.
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  • Amanda
    Super June 2019 Ontario
    Amanda ·
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    I completely agree.. it should be a time of excitement and celebration and the last thing you should be worrying about is how others feel... I think it says a lot about your character though that you are looking for options on how to please everyone, but definitely at the end of the day - it is about you and your fiance... no one else.
    I wish you luck as well!

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  • Shannon
    Beginner October 2019 Quebec
    Shannon ·
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    That's exactly what we're doing! I had no idea that there was a name for it haha.

    Do you want to deal with my family for me??? Lol you seem to have it under control with the backlash!
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