The Road To The Altar: How Do You Deal With Relatives Who Want To Invite Everyone To Your Wedding?

May 10, 2016  |  

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Ladies, if you are preparing to plan for a wedding, know this: There is no way to keep things “small.” You know why? Because your family members just won’t allow that to happen.

There are some relatives, and soon-to-be relatives, who I’m very thankful for in this whole wedding planning process. They’ve proactively offered their services, they’ve bought different items for the wedding for me without me asking them to pitch in, and they keep me sane through what is an honestly turbulent time. You don’t know how bad I just want to get to the wedding date and move on with my life already.

But then there are the relatives and loved ones who make things all the more stressful, specifically when it comes to guest lists. As Jazmine Rogers and I discussed earlier this morning, despite a determined and agreed upon guest count, there are relatives who will corner you at Sunday dinner asking if you’ll make room at a table at your reception for cousins you’re not necessarily close to. Friends who will ask if they can have a plus-one because they “should” have a new lover by the time your wedding date rolls around. Or the parent who is asking for a block of guests so that they can make a big show of your big day to friends.

What’s really going on with people?

My reception venue can hold 130 people sitting. But at this point, with all the requests and the children and the friends and friends of friends who think they’re owed an invite to the reception because they are helping out in some form for the traditional wedding my father is putting on (which takes place the day before the wedding and reception), I had to reach out to the venue’s manager to ensure we wouldn’t be charged for exceeding 130. I also had to start asking some guests if they were really serious about coming so I could know how to proceed. And considering that we want there to be enough room for people to sit, I can’t imagine a reception where one group of people is sitting and eating and having a good time, and others are left standing around and feeling like an afterthought because there was no room for them in the first place.

Who knows? Maybe when we send out invitations there will be people who decide they can’t make it, and in those cases, maybe seats will be freed up and my worries will be alleviated. Or maybe most people will RSVP and we’ll be forced to lessen our dance floor space and spend more money to come up with extra seats. The unknown of what is to come, and how my wedding day will play out, is at this point driving me bananas.

When I think of it all, I just don’t believe there’s an understanding of the importance of there being limits when it comes to families of the bride and groom. Sure, people tell you “This day is about you!” and “Don’t worry, be happy.”  “This day is for your and your fiancé! Do whatever pleases you and don’t worry about anyone else!” But it’s those same people who often provide a lot of the opposition and stress. The ones who disagree with a certain style of dress that you want to wear during your reception. Who hassle you about making sure things are as convenient as possible for out-of-town guests. Who confront people close to you about wanting a role in planning so they don’t feel left out, despite you saying you don’t need any more “help.” And who want to invite their boyfriend, their childhood friend, their cousin, hairdresser and five kids because they would all just love to see you tie the knot, despite the fact that none of those people have spoken to you in Lord knows how long.

As my wedding date looms closer, there are so many loose ends to tie up. I don’t know why, but in my heart of hearts, I was hoping that the guest list would be a simple thing that we could knock out and move on from. But the reality is when you’re dealing with people who want to feel more important than you and your groom on your wedding day, things are rarely ever simple.

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