Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Parents and Couple at Odds Over Wedding Guest List

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Our son is getting married early next spring. He and his fiancée are hopeful that they will be able to have the 150 guests their venue can accommodate.

Being worrying types, both I and the mother of the bride have spoken to the couple to encourage them to have two guest lists in mind, just in case there are still capacity restrictions a year from now.

Both mothers are trying to impress upon our children that there are people who fall into the must-have, or at least must- invite category. We strongly believe that aunts and uncles belong on that list, but that isn’t how the bride and groom see it. They see it as their day, and if only 75 people can be there, they want it to be their friends and close coworkers, rather than closer blood relations.

The cost of the wedding is being split equally three ways between both families and the couple, so we parents feel we have the right to have a say in the guest list. We understand it’s their day, but it’s also a celebration we want to share with those we love too. Who’s right here? --- WANT A FAIR SHARE

DEAR WANT A FAIR SHARE: If the costs are being divvied up evenly, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to also divvy up the allotted spots on the guest list(s). I get the couple wanting to invite coworkers they see every day, versus aunts and uncles who they may have less direct contact with throughout a normal year. But there can be separate celebrations held pre- or post-wedding with coworkers and less close friends, who hopefully understand that as much as the bride and groom would like them to be at their wedding, it isn’t always possible to accommodate everyone, especially if come the big day, space is more than usually limited.

It may not be palatable to everyone, but this is a case where you may need not only an A and B list, but also a C level one.

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