Guest list politics


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New bride


Sorry if this has been covered before, I'm very new and I had a quick look and didn't see the same subject.

How have you felt with any guest list woes? By that I mean parents wanting to invite fairly distant relatives or people (their neighbours across the road!) to your wedding? Initially I didn't mind, but we need to think of the cost of extra couples at our wedding that we maybe don't know that well or care if they are there.

Sorry, this must have come up before!


A lot of people will say if your parents are contributing they should be allowed to invite people within reason, but if you're paying for it yourself you're under no obligation and shouldn't invite them.

However I'm gonna go ahead and say regardless of who's paying, it's your wedding and your decision. Any financial donations to your wedding should just be out of a desire to help and should be given with no strings or conditions attached. So yeah.

TL;DR don't invite people you don't want to 


Always a contentious one.  My parents gave us a huge amount towards our wedding, and we did talk a bit about the guest list, but certain people we did say no to, and they were fine about it.  As an example, my Mum's cousin came to my sister's wedding as a full day guest, and then didn't invite any of our family to a family event she was holding.  So I said I was happy for them to come in the evening, but not in the day.  As it happened they were away.  However, I did give my parents some allowances.  It is a bit about compromise in my opinion, but equally if you have a limited budget and don't actually want these people there then you need to put your foot down!

New bride

Thanks for those, good advice. I think we'll suggest some people come to the evening rather than the full day and start working properly on the lists. Everyone is excited just now and it feels a bit of a fantasy still! Need to really knuckle down with the finer details.


Our numbers are limited to 70 for the day, and we are paying for the whole wedding ourselves, so no one gets a say in the guest list except us. I also don't want anyone at my wedding ceremony and wedding breakfast who we don't know or we don't have a relationship with.

If parents are contributing then I would think you should probably allow a bit of leeway - maybe give them a total amount of people they can invite over and above your list, then it's up to them who makes the cut.

I'm allowing my mum and MIL to invite a few friends to the evening as we are unlimited on numbers then.


My planning thread:


I'm the same as Mrs C - we're paying for the whole day. We have invited one family friend that I normally wouldn't have invited as we're not particularly close however her husband died quite suddenly last year and since then she's struggled.

We're letting our parents invite their friends to the BBQ we're having the next day, it's much MUCH less expensive and I dont think I'll be that bothered about it!




We are paying for everything ourselves.  FMIL showed some upset her brothers would not be invited to the full day but tough I have never met them.  They will get evening invites although she says it is too far for them for a night...which kind of sums it up for me.

I've told my parents they can have evening invites for friends but they don't want any extra, the ones they wanted were already on our list.

Very similar to Mrs C and Rach our day guest list is exclusively for people we see regularly and mean a lot to us, but that wouldn't change if we had more financial help as it is really important to us.





We've made some concessions. Both parents have contributed.

Although I've found out today my Mum and Dad have told my sister they will pay for additional people to save any fallout- I put my foot down on that one as I'm not having them do that. 

Of the people FMIL has added, I don't think any will actually attend as they will need to travel about 3-4 hours to come. 


Paying for it yourself generally quells anyone thinking they have a say in the guest list (or other matters, really). If you agree to accept contributions from parents (or anyone else), you can expect that they think they will have a say, whether this is right or not. And don't expect the size of the contribution to be indicative of the "size" of their "say."  I've seen fights on this forum between brides and family members over all sizes of contributions, large and small.


I think you need to put your foot down, regardless of contributions. I see any contribution as a gift, and they can't say what it is spent on, such as flowers or whatever. My mum gave us a contribution and didn't ask for a single person to be added, though we made it clear that it was a small wedding with immediate family and close friends only. We didn't even have any BMs. I think its your day and you shouldn't have people there that you don't want there. Let your parents invite their neighbours to one of their own parties! Your wedding is not the time!


I do think you need final say. I am also of the opinion that a contribution should be a gift with no strings attached BUT, my Mum recently asked if she could invite a friend and her husband I've never even heard of, let alone met.... and I said yes! Even though I'd had a breakdown over our much bigger than expected guestlist! Such a pushover!! She's already got another couple coming but I do know them. I was a bit annoyed at first as I don't really want strangers at my wedding but figured my Mum is just really proud and wants to share the day with people she knows and having given us such a big contribution towards our wedding I felt I couldn't say no, so really I haven't taken my own advice at all!

We've asked all parents if they want us to invite anybody but if I felt it was getting out of hand I'd probably try to grow a pair and say something!

New bride

We're paying for everything ourselves so it's essentially our say, not really even giving loads of people plus ones haha, if they're contributing it's defo a different kettle of fish 


My in laws gave us a huge amount of money to the wedding and part of that was the fact my FIL got to invite his business partners and political contacts. Only 5 or 6 in total and they literally made no difference to my day, I don't even think I spoke to them other than outside the church? My FIL wanted to use it to show off slightly and network and that was fine by me, but like I said they gave us A LOT.

Probably more annoying was the say in how the money was spent, it was very much expected we would have a certain type of wedding and some things they considered an absolute essential which weren't as high a priority for me, but we went with the flow and had a great day

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Wedding addict

I am in the same boat as you.. my FMIL wants to have her brother, sister and best mates there (all of which I have met maybe once or twice and they aren't that nice people.) But our venue is restricted to 60 so a lot of people won't be getting plus ones (especially if I haven't met them) and the fact that they haven't even congratulated us welll... why the hell should I spend £80 on buying them dinner!!

New bride

Thanks for all your stories, they've made me feel less alone! We sat down with my future in-laws on Sunday and started looking at what was needed to be done and by when etc. The guest list came up because obviously we want to get our save the dates out. We had a list of who we want to be there and we let them add to it, then we spoke about it. They were very open to cutting the list back, and said they were happy to contribute more too - but it's not about that. In the end we are closer (but not quite there) with a final day an evening list. Phew!

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