Eva Marcille was like a million other brides when she fought with her mom over her wedding invite list. The Real Housewives of Atlanta model’s guest list was at 40 people when, over lunch, her mom informed her she’d be adding some more names. Then Eva’s mom continued eating peacefully while Eva cried at the table, dabbing her eyes with the linen napkin in the hopes of saving her very expensive-looking eyelash extensions.
Eva, you are not alone.
In fact, Seri Kertzner, founder of Little Miss Party Planner, plans weddings and said she sees a parent meddling in the process all the time.
“Yes, we come across this a lot. Parents, especially those who are paying for the wedding, want a say in the process,” she told Personal Space.
But she has a solution. “We always tell brides to come up with jobs for these parents to help make them feel included and involved. Jobs such as table assignments for their friends/family, song requests for the band or DJ, and table card display ideas are all examples of what we suggest for these parents.”
Wedding Wire reports that when it comes to “breaking wedding guest list etiquette, parents and in-laws are often the worst offenders.” Makes sense.
“On the bright side, they’re probably super excited about your wedding — but that may mean that they want to invite everyone they know, even if you’re hoping for a smaller, more intimate celebration,” it said.
It adds a few suggestions for dealing with family butting in:
Who’s got the cash?
“Remember money equals power… If your parents and/or in-laws are contributing money to your big day, they get a say on who’s invited.”
Start with a budget.
“The more guests you invite, the more expensive your wedding will be.”
Do the math.
“If your parents and in-laws are contributing money to your wedding, you should divide the guest list into thirds — one-third for you and your future spouse, one-third for your parents, and one-third for your in-laws.”
“Don’t be shy about (politely) sharing your vision for the wedding, particularly if you want to keep things small.”
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