Friday, March 24, 2023
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as a bride, would you want people you do not know / have never met at your wedding?

My family is paying for the entirety of our wedding. Our budget is NOT a lot, around $4,000. We have a choice to spend the allotted amount on the wedding or spend some on the wedding and use the rest for a honeymoon. My fiancé and I have decided on the latter. Initially, we had almost 200 people on our list. Since I have removed many of my own invites from the list and have asked my fiancé to please remove the majority of his coworkers from the list because 1. In total they were taking up 20+ spots – so that’s an entire table, chairs, and plates for each person. That’s too much. 2. I DO NOT KNOW THESE PEOPLE AT ALL. I have met maybe 2 or 3 of the 20 + coworkers he has invited. He does not hang out with these people outside of work. We, as a couple, do not hang around any of these people. I have not been introduced to these people. Would you, as a bride, want that many people at your wedding that you don’t know? My fiancé knows and has met every person that I have chosen to invite. I would understand if it was family, but these people are irrelevant. He has removed a few, but the amount to me is still too much and I am not looking forward to spending my family’s money on these strangers whenever that money could go towards the honeymoon. What do you guys think?

EDIT: Getting a lot of great feedback! Thank you for your input. I see now that this is really an issue with our budget and that probably people from my list and his list need to be cut – not just the coworkers that I don’t know. If they were extremely important to him I let him know I understood but that 20+ coworkers seemed like a lot. We will definitely be reviewing our guest list together, trimming it, and trying again… if all else fails, we’ll be hitting the courthouse. 😅 Thanks again.

EDIT AGAIN: a lot of thoughtful comments! the initial title does not even fit into what the issue is really about which is our limited budget. Cutting the unknown coworkers was to me a way to save more money, but the overall consensus is that our budget doesn’t cover half of what the average US wedding costs. We were only rushing it because my family wants us to hurry & probably why they offered to pay. I don’t need to let my family use money or guilt to speed up my wedding or interfere in my relationship! We may need to marry when we can afford to do it ourselves. 🙂

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  1. How are you planning to feed and entertain that many people with less than 4K? You should be planning a small intimate event. Definitely no more than 40 including the wedding party.

  2. Wow. $4000 for 200 guests + honeymoon is totally unrealistic. Are you having a dry wedding with just canapés? No music? No wedding cake? No flowers? What about the photographer? You need to cut down that list by a lot. Like half or more.

  3. Got hitched in my parents living room with 30 people. Reception at a coffee shop. Wedding was $5000 from dress to cake and all in between. Will be 18yrs in December. Size does not matter (In any account HA!) keep it small and simple. You marry your spouse not the day.

  4. You not knowing them is irrelevant. They’re his co-workers and possibly important to his career. You have 200 guests to whittle down for $4,000?

    You either need to cut it down to like 30 people or cough up some money. $4k won’t get you anywhere.

  5. I think the two of you are a couple and the wedding is about both of you, not just you as the bride. If the people are important to him, then it makes sense for them to be invited. I totally understand wanting both people in the couple to know everyone in attendance, but that needs to be agreed upon by both members of the couple. That isn’t a unilateral thing.

  6. OK, so tell your mom thanks but no thanks. You need to concentrate on your schooling and finish that,before you get married. Your honeymoon will be so much nicer without school hanging over your head.

    So, school aside, you and DF need to get married on your schedules, not anyone else’s.

    Good luck both in school and in planning your wedding.

  7. At $4k (or even $2k or $3k if you want to use some of the money for a honeymoon) you certainly do not have a budget for 200 people. I would look into eloping or having a very small (like 10 to absolute max maybe 50 people) ceremony and reception. A good photographer will cost you, a wedding dress is expensive, and then you need to provide food, drinks, and a place to sit for all of those people. And rent a venue.

    If you have friends in your area or region who have held a wedding recently talk to them about what they spent. They may have good pointers for what they wish they’d spent more on, what they wished they’d just skipped and saved money on, and should be able to give you an estimate about how many guests you can realistically and comfortably host at your budget. There’s a “weddings under 10k” subreddit that might be helpful for you too.

  8. You have a budget. Need to stick to it.

    I hadn’t met the majority of people who were at my wedding. No skin off my nose. My family is small and I only had about 15 of 100 people at my wedding who were “mine”.

    Hell, my own family hadn’t met my fiancé until the wedding (we live in a different state).

    I’d just go back to the budget.

  9. Those type of situations is exactly the reason why I will just go to a court house and be done with it and use the money for a honeymoon and what not. In my culture a wedding is such a big thing and people be going even if you don’t know them and i’ve been forced to go to some where literally a good portion of people did not know the bride or groom so yeh its a no.

    If you don’t even know their name then tf are doing there?

  10. At my wedding I had a lot of my husbands coworkers I’ve never met. They were important to him and he wanted them there. I wouldn’t call them irrelevant if he wants them there and spends a significant amount of time with them.

  11. There are different kinds of weddings, tbh. Some people invite anyone and everyone and there are 300-500 people and you may not have met half of them. Some people do small private ceremonies where only immediate family attend. There’s not really a right or wrong, but I would recommend only agreeing to a large wedding if you personally will not be on the hook for paying or planning. So many people’s engagement is stressful because of this and more people makes it worse, and more expensive of course.

  12. You need to figure out the cost per person. $4k is incredibly small. Get your quotes from a rental agency on chairs, tables, etc, then figure out your food (it sound sliek you are looking at super basic catering of big trays of food and people working scoops.

    But even if this was a “nice” paper plates and “nice” disposable plastic cutlery and a basic buffet, you are going to really struggle with $4k…and you aren’t even using the full $4k!

    And that doesn’t even include the venue, the cake, the flowers, photographer….

    You need to work from your budget and out from there rather than from your list and in.

    As for the original point – it is fine that your husband is inviting people you haven’t met in the abstract, so that’s a bad point. But the greater issue remains that I have trouble seeing you can do something for 150 or even 100 people for $2k unless its a public park and a backyard reception (and even then you’d need to be crazy creative).

  13. I’m going to ignore budget to focus purely on your reason for not wanting them there.

    It’s your fiance’s day as much as it is yours and I think a lot of brides that I see in this sub seem to forget that.

    20 colleagues are a lot, so he should definitely try to invite just his main set of friends from work, but not inviting people because you don’t know them, despite how well your fiance knows them is unreasonable in my opinion.

    I’d hope that your fiance would allow guests that he didn’t know if you wanted them there.

  14. No, I wouldn’t have wanted strangers at the wedding.
    And no, I wouldn’t have wanted such a huge wedding anyway.
    10-20 guests is enough, I was happy with 12 guests.
    Better having close friends and loved ones than tons of people I barely know.

  15. The fact they are strangers do you isn’t especially relevant. Are they important people in his life? Personally? Or is it important for his career?

    This is the first of many negotiations to come. And it sounds like you didn’t negotiate a criteria about who to invite. And your approach seems a bit materialistic (waste money that could otherwise be spent on me!). A better tone: it is important to me that we agree on an overall budget and criteria for invites. I am saying no to lots of people who are important to me. That is hard when your list includes people neither of us seem close to.

  16. Hell no. I’d put my foot down and tell them absolutely not. There are many wonderful and great ways to meet new people, them showing up at your wedding is NOT a good time. It’s stressful and busy enough as it is without a huge group of people you don’t know awkwardly hanging around the whole time.

    I am NOT good in big crowds, and the more strangers that where around, the more uncomfortable I’d be all day long. If tell him to pick up to 5-6 of his favorites and 86 the rest due to finances.

  17. Your wedding your choice. But it’s common in the U.S. for both sides to invite close family friends who knew the bride and groom as children, extended family, colleagues. So yes there is a high probability that conventional traditions will result if people you haven’t met attending the wedding.

  18. I had a very small wedding (30 guests including a few I didn’t know but my in-laws did) and have absolutely never regretted it. 42 years and counting! So yeah, there would probably be people on your fiancée’s side you’ve never met and vice-versa, but that’s ok because it’s his wedding too.

  19. If you have a limited budget, you want to show a few people a good time, not pinch pennies for 100 people. Your friends and family would much rather not come than eat cardboard chicken and pay for their own watered down drinks. Have a party you can afford.

  20. Figure out a rough budget per person (e.g. check venue prices online, catering prices, etc.). 4k isn’t going to go far. You could do a private party space at a hotel or larger restaurant for 4k, plus flowers, dress, officiant, etc.

    If it is 4k for wedding and honeymoon and you want to set 2k aside for a honeymoon – you are looking at 2k and maybe 20 people *total* including the wedding party. Neither of you will be inviting coworkers or cousins and whatever. This is like best friend and +1, parents, grandparents, and siblings and that is it. For 20 people you can get a private space at a restaurant and maybe have an open bar (at least for beer and wine) and good food.


    No sense in planning a guest list when you don’t know how much stuff costs.

  21. Your budget will not be enough to cater for 100 guests let alone 200. My Wedding on a budget cost $6000 and that was cheap. We self catered but did not provide alcohol. You would be better off doing a micro wedding with no more than 40 guests total.

  22. Former wedding planner here. How are you expecting to throw a wedding for that amount of people for just 4K? Does your fiancé know these people? Just because you haven’t met them doesn’t mean that they aren’t a part of your husband’s life.

    My advice would be to sit down and go over your budget. Venue costs, food, drinks, dress, decor, flowers, officiant fees, cake, dj, photography, etc it all adds up. It would probably be in your best interest to cut down to 50 people or less and have a smaller wedding

  23. If you really think $4000 will pay for all that, than you need to seriously start taking some “how to be an adult” classes and learn how finances work. Yikes.

  24. Look into a bed and breakfast with an all inclusive package for an intimate group. Even then you may be pushing it but the all inclusive helps with planning and budgeting.

  25. Not sure where you live, but I can’t imagine being able to have a wedding for $4K. My daughter’s wedding (150 people) cost me $75K. Venue, caterer, florist, photographer, DJ, transportation, accommodations, rehearsal, etc., etc.

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