Guest List Drama: 3 Steps to Avoiding It
Trying to pick who attends your wedding can sometimes seem like it would just be easier to spin a wheel and let the decision up to chance. You’re trying to toe the line of keeping a cap on the number but also don’t want to offend anyone or leave anyone out. You may even be getting pressure from a family member to invite all of your second cousins…. all 34 of them. If you’re planning your wedding and already predicting there will be issues surrounding picking who attends the wedding, here are some steps to help you to mitigate the number of arguments you have with parents, friends, or family members who may try to sway your decision.
STEP 1: PAY FOR THE WEDDING YOURSELF
Before you accept ANY money from anyone, ask yourself (or better yet, ask the person giving you the money directly): Is this person going to expect anything in return for funding my wedding?
If the answer is no (they won’t expect anything in return) then you and that person both recognize this money is a gift, to be used as you would wish for your wedding. If the answer is questionable or a yes, then you have a decision to make:
- You don’t take the money because you don’t want to feel indebted or be berated every time you make a decision on the guest list they don’t approve of.
- You take the money and invite exactly who you want AND invite the people the person who gifted you the money wants to invite to avoid conflict.
- You take the money with the understanding that when you don’t invite people the money giver wants to invite, it will probably cause some drama. And that person may just go out of their way to invite those people anyways.
By paying for the wedding yourself, you may not be able to have as extravagant of a wedding as you originally wanted. Your decision to accept money should be based on how much you feel like arguing or stressing over this person’s influence on your wedding decisions.
STEP 2: AVOID TALKING ABOUT WEDDING PLANS AND THE GUEST LIST
This step is especially important if you are paying for the wedding yourself. Let the person know you are inviting exactly who you want there in attendance and let it at that. If they don’t have money invested in the wedding, they shouldn’t feel like a ‘producer’ of your wedding (someone who can dictate certain things, like guest list or other decisions).
STEP 3: PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN
At the end of the day, this is your wedding. Not your mom’s, not your dad’s, not your sister’s. It can be more difficult than it sounds, but asserting to others that you and your partner are making the guest list and will decide the guest list shows that you’re in control and are not to be influenced.
If you are paying for your wedding outright, then you truly have the ultimate say. While accepting money as a gift may be tempting, you’ll have to deal with the consequences. The old adage is “the hand that writes the check gets to write the guest list.” Keep that in mind as you start your wedding plans!
How did you deal with the subject when you got married? We'd love to hear your input!
Our next blog will go into more detail about who to invite such as "do I need to invite all my coworkers" and "do I need to invite my cousin that I haven't seen in 10 years". Stay tuned!