I'm learning from my engaged friends that the guest list is one of those wedding elements that's automatically touchy. My friend Jenna's want lots of guests but won't contribute money. Another friend argues with her fiancé over whether or not they should be inviting people from work, which would add around 20 to their list.
Mr. B and I struggle with guest list number. My small family is inviting 50, Mr. B and I are inviting 44, Mr. B's parents are inviting a whopping 150 people.
Thanks to our high guest minimum (we have to guarantee 225 guests), this is not as big of an issue as it could be. But it was still something I really had to adjust to, given that there's about 40 people on the list that I've never actually met. Mr. B's parents throw parties all the time, so it seems odd to me that in six years of dating and attending family parties, so many people who live locally are basically strangers to me. I'm frustrated, but they're also paying for half the wedding, so I can't really do much.
Then there's the issue of a close family friend of theirs that I strongly dislike. Mr. B's mom's best friend's son (following that?) is my best friend's ex. They had a particularly awful breakup that took her years to get over, and the way everything went down, she basically wound up looking dumped, and heartbroken. She's moved on and is engaged now, but I am conscious of the fact that it could be uncomfortable for her to see him. He's also always been extremely rude to me since their break up, avoiding eye contact in church and the like. So in my eyes, he has no place at our wedding.
In FMIL's eyes, it's unfathomable and offensive to her best friend to say that her son is not welcome. And I do understand FMIL's feelings. They're close, friends a long time, and I know her friend tends to be a bit of a drama queen, so I don't doubt there might be a war for her over this. Either way, one of us is in a tricky situation with our best friend.
Mr. B thinks that if we don't invite this guy, everyone will know it's because of my friend, and it will have the effect of making her look pathetic and not over it, the opposite of the truth. He seems to think the way to look at it is "it was five years ago, no one should care anymore," and that we should just act as if it never happened, that even if it's uncomfortable for her it makes a better appearance to just suffer through him. Mr. B's parents are also really upset at the idea of not inviting this guy.
I've discussed this at length with my friend, and being the person that she is, her concern was me- that she felt bad that I was in this position, she understood if I had to invite him, etc. She said she doesn’t like to see him, but reasoned that if he was at our wedding, she probably wouldn’t really have to interact with him in a group of over 200. Plus it is a 50/50 shot of him actually coming (he knows no one besides his parents at our wedding).
It's hard to explain the subtleties of the situation in a blog post, but as of now, we plan to invite him. After some minor standing up for me, Mr. B really didn't agree with me and I guess basically decided he's on team FMIL. I'm feeling a lot of remorse over the situation. I hate the idea of looking like the bad guy to my future inlaws, prolonging the old bad feelings by not inviting him to the wedding, acting like we can't all grow up and move on. Their breakup was almost seven years ago. But at the same time, I really worry that even though my friend seems supportive, I'm making the wrong call and failing some type of test of being there for her. She is one of my best and oldest friends, the only one I have left where our relationship has not been strained at all by us growing up and getting married. I would hate if this situation changed that. This has also caused arguments between me and Mr. B. I really don't know what the right call is. To a degree Mr. B is right, it might make my friend look like she still cared. And it would cause a lot of problems for his parents. But it will probably bug her a little to see him too at the wedding. And I don't particularly care for him, though if he comes I don't even plan to say hello, so I suppose he won't be in my way.
Ugh. So that's my story. Vent your guest list woes below please!