I knew from the beginning that the guest list was going to stress me out more than anything else, and I was right even if it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. The problem is, you can talk all you want about doing what's best for the bride and groom, but if my groom's father is going to pay for 2/3 of the wedding, he is going to get a say in who's there. I would feel terrible for not giving him that.
It's not so very much that I don't want to have a bigger wedding. If we could comfortably afford to have 100 people, I'd be OK with that. There are definitely people I'm not inviting that I would really like to invite. There are two main problems. The real one is that we cannot afford to have more than about 85 people without sacrificing some pretty big stuff, stuff that we (all right, that at least one of us) REALLY want to have. The other problem is that if I agree to have a bigger wedding if FIL agrees to pay for it, it opens a floodgate of people we "have to" invite.
The latter is a problem that we will avoid by not having a bigger wedding, at least not by very much. So let's concentrate on number 1. My best friend, the budget. FIL said he would be willing to pay for about 10 people more than we can realistically invite in order to not deal with the fallout (read: anger and nagging) of not inviting said people.
This is not something I would be utterly opposed to, but it presents a different problem. You see, Daniel is already inviting significantly more people than me. But when we broke it down further into who we actually think will come, just with the people we are already inviting, we predict that almost 2/3 of the guests will be his, leaving me with a measly 1/3. This is not really OK. At all. But this is the way our "really ought to invite" lists ended up, and I can accept that he has more family than I do, so I can live with it. But add another 10 people to his side? All of whom are likely to turn up? That's just overwhelming, especially because I do not know a very large number of these people.
So it's a problem. There will be compromises in my future, but we just spent an awfully large portion of our day on this and related subjects, and it just sucks.
You may be thinking that I am overestimating the number of people who will turn up. I am not. My side, I'm predicting well over the standard 20% will not come because I'm just not close with my extended family. But his side? They're tight. The 2,000 mile plane flight may deter a few more than we're predicting, but consider this: several of these people live in Israel. They have all been to ALL of the family's weddings in the states. There have been 3 in our generation in the last 5 - 6 years. Do the math. These people are serious about their social gatherings, so we can't just hope that people won't come.
The biggest issue I've had to deal with is that I am not inviting people that I would really like to invite in order to deal with Daniel's swelled family, appease his father, and still have the wedding that I want. What kills me is inviting people that NONE of the people involved in the wedding actually want to invite just to appease "the family." Daniel isn't really giving up people he actually wants to turn up. But this is the way it goes if we are going to take FIL's money. And really, none of this would happen without it, so I'm OK with it. It just kind of blows a little bit.
Besides, I care the most about the other stuff in the wedding, so it makes sense for me to be the one to sacrifice the most people for that.
Anyway, stressful day, but at least the guest list will officially be done very soon. And by officially done, I mean I'll be sending out STDs to these people. Don't get me started on the long wait before the actual wedding in which things will invariably change.
Tell me your horror stories! Make me feel better!