Can’t Agree on Who to Invite to the Wedding? Here’s How to Talk to Parents and In-Laws About the Guest List

You and your partner are so excited about your upcoming wedding, but as soon as you mention the words ‘guest list,’ you realize that you can’t seem to agree on who to invite. Your parents want to invite everyone they’ve ever met, but your fiancé wants to invite just close friends and family members, which leaves you scratching your head trying to come up with the best solution to satisfy everyone involved. Here’s how to talk to parents and in-laws about the guest list and cordially come to a satisfactory solution!

Who Gets a Say in the Wedding Guest List?

Are the opinions of the couple getting married and the people paying for the event given equal weight in the decisions made about the ceremony? Jenna Miller, a Creative Director for Here Comes the Guide, an online wedding planning website, asserts that the size of your venue and your overall budget will determine the final guest list. There may be many people you and your family would like to invite; however, sometimes it’s impossible to have that many invites. Miller believes the decision ultimately lies with the couple, and who they want to be with them when they recite their vows. It’s their big moment after all! If you are close with your parents, grandparents, or in-laws, it’s a nice gesture to let them choose some of the guests, but that number is definitely limited.

Make the Discussions as Smooth as Possible

Although it may feel weird to have a business meeting with your family, Miller says this approach will result in better conversations. She recommends sitting down with the parents or in-laws to discuss two important items: the wedding budget and the guest list. They both are interdependent and need to be addressed before any big decisions are made — especially if your parents or in-laws have offered to help pay for it. The idea is to decide how many people you want to invite and allocate a certain number of seats to each side of the family before the meeting starts. The most important thing is to be on the same page as your partner. It is your wedding, and you want to be comfortable with the people in the room. As a result, it’s essential to come to these discussions as a unified team. You need to talk about how many guests you will have and which guests you will allow. The only people that should be invited are those you and your fiancé have met in person.