A man on Reddit is asking if he’s being unfair to his fiancée after their argument about the size of their wedding guest list upset his bride-to-be.
The anonymous man, who goes by the Reddit username Randomthro1234 and claims he’s 29 years old, turned to the popular “Am I the A–hole” subreddit, which has over 9 million members; it’s a place where people ask for insight on whether they’re on the wrong side of an argument.
Randomthro1234 posted his query to the group on June 29, explaining that he and his 30-year-old fiancée have been planning their wedding for over a year.
His fiancée has a “huge family,” while his is “much smaller,” he said.
Randomthro1234 wrote that his fiancée told him early on that she felt it was important that they were “financially secure” before they married — but she also wanted to include her “entire family” in the affair.
“We’re doing pretty well financially, but I still think it’s absurd to include so many guests, some of whom aren’t even blood relatives, just ‘family friends,’” Randomthro1234 wrote in his Reddit post.
“She agreed to exclude her overseas family, but she claims everyone else is too ‘near and dear’ to exclude.”
Randomthro1234 reportedly tried to compromise with his fiancée and limit their guest list to aunts, uncles and first cousins — but he said his fiancée also wants to invite her second cousins because she grew up with them and feels close to them.
The concerned groom-to-be wrote that his fiancée’s portion of the guest list amounted to over 60 family members.
“I told her to get her list down to 25, and she was upset, saying she has even more than 25 FIRST COUSINS and that [having fewer] guests is impossible for her,” Randomthro1234 wrote.
“She said we can afford it, and she brought up how I agreed when we got engaged to have a larger wedding,” he continued.
“I said that’s true, but I didn’t know she was so serious about it, and I thought she’d be open to compromise as we continued planning.”
The Reddit poster shared that he thinks it doesn’t make sense to spend so much money on a huge wedding and have many guests there that he doesn’t even know.
“I just don’t get why we shouldn’t put that money toward something better, like the honeymoon,” Randomthro1234 wrote. “She’s been sulking and talking to her sisters, but I think I’m being fair.”
The Reddit post generated over 2,800 upvotes and 1,800 comments — and moderators of the forum assigned the query and “a–hole” label.
Many of the Reddit users who have commented about the post appear to think Randomthrow1234 is in the wrong.
“Uh, why would she insist on it if she wasn’t serious about it? You don’t take your fiancée seriously,” the post’s top commenter wrote — which received over 13,000 upvotes from Reddit users.
“Wait, you agreed to have a large wedding at engagement and now that she’s ready to invite people, you’re telling her, ‘I didn’t know you were serious,’” another commenter wrote.
“Wow, dude. You sound like a terrible communicator.”
“This is your first big test of compromise, and I’m not saying you fully give in to what she wants, as it’s important for her to consider your feelings, too,” another Reddit user commented. “But from what you say here, you’re asking way too much, especially if her large family is very close.”
Guest list debates: Wedding pro weighs in
It’s “not a bad sign” if an engaged couple is having a debate about their wedding guest list, said Monica O’Connor, a wedding and event planner at Arch Events in New York City.
A couple can get through this planning hiccup as long as they discuss the topic rationally and are open to compromise, according to O’Connor.
“Having your friends and family with you on your wedding day is a dream, but the easiest way to cut budget is to invite fewer people,” she said.
Here are four wedding planning tips couples might keep in mind when attempting to navigate guest list troubles, O’Connor suggested.
1. Expect to pay for each invited guest
Many engaged couples underestimate the size of their guest list because they expect some of their guests to decline invitations or drop out before the big day.
This assumption, said O’Connor, can create trouble for couples who believe they’ll not have to pay for every person named on their guest list.
“Pre-pandemic, couples could expect 20% of their invitees to decline, but that is no longer the case,” she said.
“Everyone is saying ‘yes’ to everything now, so don’t invite more guests than you can reasonably afford,” O’Connor said.
2. Make an ‘A list’ and a ‘B list’
Engaged couples should be prepared to rank their wedding guests by priority and have a list of backup invites, according to O’Connor.
“This way, as you get those declines, you can invite loved ones important to you without breaking the bank,” she said.
“It feels mean,” said O’Connor, “but it’s practical.”
3. Narrow down the must-haves
Figuring out wedding-related must haves and nonnegotiables can help engaged couples determine the size of their guest list and the vendors they’re going to contract.
Regarding the Reddit post shared by Randomthro1234, O’Connor said the fiancée can have her “dream wedding” with all her cousins invited if she and her husband-to-be can make a list of wedding items and services with set costs.
“For example, if you want a band, but you plan on inviting 400 people, you might want to offset the cost of live musicians and hire a DJ for half the cost,” she said.
Alternatively, if an engaged couple is split or definitely wants photography and videography on the wedding day, they might consider hiring a photographer first and then add a videographer if there’s room in the budget later in the planning process, said O’Connor.
“We call those add-on items ‘icing items’ — once your cake is baked, you can add the icing,” O’Connor said.
“Same goes for your wedding.”
4. Stay optimistic
Despite any wedding planning snafus that may come up, it’s important for engaged couples to stay positive even if they’re at odds about details or costs, said O’Connor.
“Remember, this is one day in the grand scheme of your entire lives together,” O’Connor said.
“Just because you’re disagreeing doesn’t mean you’re doomed. Meet each other in the middle,” she also said.