Wedding Guest List Conflict Resolution

It is almost inevitable that brides, grooms and their parents will run into issues as they organise the guest list for their wedding.

parents and wedding guests wathcing bride and groom cut wedding cake

The first means for negotiating a resolution is to consider who is paying for the wedding. Traditionally the wedding costs are covered by the bride’s parents however it is now extremely common for the bride and groom to pay for their own nuptials or for both sets of parents and the bridal couple to all contribute a share.

If one set of parents are contributing more, you should try to fulfil their guest list wishes as long as they are not beyond reason. What is considered reasonable will differ for every couple and will be affected by the venue you have chosen.

wedding guest seated at wedding ceremony

The financial circumstances for each set of parents are likely to be different so this should also be taken into account when negotiating guest lists. One set of parents may simply not have the financial means to provide as much as the other. This should not automatically mean that they are less represented or have less of a say in wedding affairs. You cannot simply punish your parents or fiancés parents for a lack of resources. So it’s a good idea that this be kept in mind.

Solutions for Wedding Guest List Clashes with Your Parents or In Laws

Allocating a set number of guests each family is allowed to invite regardless of who’s paying for what can be a good solution in the case of the above scenario. If either family insists on a greater number telling them that they have to cover the costs themselves for any more beyond the allocated number is one option.

bride mingling with wedding guests at reception

The other is to stay strong, stick to your guns and inform your parents that it is the same number for both families to ensure both sides are represented equally and that that number will not be changed for any reason. If one family has more guests than the other side but refuses to pay more your master negotiating skills need to come into play. The downsizing of that families list may be the only feasible solution.

wedding guest toasting the bride and groom at wedding reception

It is important to take the time to discuss with your parents who they want to invite and why, if your wedding guest list is strict make this clear with them from the start. By encouraging your parents to come up with reasons for why they want to invite a particular guest it will automatically force them to edit their own lists to determine which potential invitees are most important to them.

When approaching sensitive issues with your parents or future in laws you have to keep in mind that while it is your day, your parents have also been dreaming about this day since you were born and are just as excited as you are.

dancing wedding guests with bride and groom

A wedding is not a time for inviting every single person you’ve ever met! Distant friends or relatives may not expect an invite and may feel indifferent towards the celebrations. Discuss this with your parents and look to precedent set in your family when organising your wedding guest list. Have your siblings or cousins already tied the knot? Who did they invite? With larger families it is plausible that not everyone makes the cut your parents need to understand this.

For larger weddings and for the sake of keeping peace, a few extra guests however won’t make a dramatic difference to your day. So try to compromise where possible but don’t let financial pressure from either family alter your wedding plans or vision. It is still yours and your fiancés day so make sure it’s exactly how you want it.

wedding guests with bride and groom at reception

Solutions for Guest List Clashes with Your Fiancé

For disagreements with your fiancé we recommend that you be flexible. While you may not be the biggest fan or understand why your fiancé wants to invite a particular a guest it is as much their day as it is yours. From the start you and your fiancé should draw up a draft guest list before you begin searching for a venue.

bride and groom looking at wedding guests during toast

As part of this you and your fiancé should work out what type of wedding you want; a large celebration or a more intimate affair with a select few. This will help you find a suitable venue for your wedding and will then ultimately help you organise your guest list as you will have a set number to work towards. Your wedding budget will also be a crucial element to negotiating your guest list with your fiancé.

It is important that you and your fiancé decide how big the wedding guest list will be and how many invitees each family has before bringing anyone else into the discussions. Setting the agenda early is important and will help to resolve future conflicts.

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