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soon2bemrsf

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New Question
« on: May 23, 2014, 11:21:05 PM »
Hey everyone,

Thanks for all your help earlier. It's been an eventful last few months though and now I have a new question. We sent out our save the dates for our wedding in February, for 200 people. At that time we were going to rent a hall and have a catered lunch. However at the end of March fiancée got very ill, it required several hospital stays and 2 surgeries and he will need ongoing medical care.

We had to dip into our savings quite a bit to pay for all this. We no longer have enough money saved to pay for the wedding we had planned. Delaying the wedding to build up our savings again is not an option because we need to get fiancée onto my insurance asap, the insurance he has at work is not very good which is what led to us having to dip into our savings so much. So, we have done some ruthless cutting of things. We are still getting married in our church but we are renting a picnic shelter at a local park for the reception, and instead of a catered lunch at a hall,  we will have trays of lunch meat/cheeses/rolls and some cold salads and fruit and veggie trays. We’ll have ice water, lemonade, and iced tea to drink. We will also have homemade sheet cake for desert, for our cake to cut we are making a simple one layer round  cake and decorating it with flowers. We have no decorating or flower budget so we won’t have any of that and fiancée will wear a suit he already owns. His wedding band was $40. We are making our own invitations and a family member is taking our pictures in exchange for fiancée doing some website design for her. The only reason I’m mentioning all this is because despite everything we’ve cut, we are still going to have to cut the guest list by at least 100 people, possibly more. This is the last thing I wanted to cut but we probably aren’t going to be able to afford to have more than 60 people there. We considered eloping but getting married in our church is very important to us and I want my mother to be there when I get married.  :(

So yeah, this is where we are at. I’m wondering the best way to communicate this to everyone? I know there will be hurt feelings and I’m trying to minimize that. But I’m kinda stuck, the budget is what it is and short of me winning the lottery I won't be able to have everyone we originally wanted to have. Thanks for your help.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 11:23:05 PM by soon2bemrsf »

Bethalize

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Re: New Question
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2014, 01:35:56 AM »
Hello there.

Don't worry about it. You aren't cutting the guest list out of spite, you are doing so out of financial responsibility. Sure, some people might be disappointed, but that's okay, they'll live. I don't think you'll have anyone so disappointed that they hold their non-invitation against you for ever. If you do, they are obviously toxic and shouldn't be taken account of in this case.

So I'm sorry that you won't get 200 people to share your day, although I'd like to share that in my personal experience I felt that after the first 40 the bride and groom don't benefit particularly simply because you don't get to spend any time with those people. I think your day sounds lovely and the richer for being about the getting married rather than the party.

If you've already sent "save the dates" out then you do need to communicate with people. The more people you can speak to personally the better. Something simple and unpretentious will do. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this but after recent (medical) bills we have called a halt to our wedding plans. We're still going to get married, but we aren't having a big reception. I thought I'd let you know that you won't need to save the date any more." Then add something about hoping you can get together before or after the wedding.

cattlekid

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Re: New Question
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2014, 09:27:44 AM »
I am on board with Bethalize.  I have one additional suggestion:  instead of commenting on the bills, you may want to frame it as "after fiancee's recent illness".  I would think that this would garner more sympathy instead of mentioning money, which might cause friction.

If you've already sent "save the dates" out then you do need to communicate with people. The more people you can speak to personally the better. Something simple and unpretentious will do. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this but after recent (medical) bills we have called a halt to our wedding plans. We're still going to get married, but we aren't having a big reception. I thought I'd let you know that you won't need to save the date any more." Then add something about hoping you can get together before or after the wedding.

Bethalize

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Re: New Question
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2014, 09:58:42 AM »
I am on board with Bethalize.  I have one additional suggestion:  instead of commenting on the bills, you may want to frame it as "after fiancee's recent illness".  I would think that this would garner more sympathy instead of mentioning money, which might cause friction.

Yes, that's a good point.

lakey

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Re: New Question
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2014, 08:58:52 PM »
I've been to weddings similar to what you  describe and they were lovely.
The important thing is that you have the wedding in your church because that is meaningful to you. A lot of people have to limit their guest list. Don't worry about it.

aussie_chick

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Re: New Question
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2014, 09:14:26 PM »
I am on board with Bethalize.  I have one additional suggestion:  instead of commenting on the bills, you may want to frame it as "after fiancee's recent illness".  I would think that this would garner more sympathy instead of mentioning money, which might cause friction.

Yes, that's a good point.

I agree with this. You've sent out Save the Dates so you do need to communicate to everyone that things have changed. Stick to the illness and not the bills and most definitely include something about getting together either before or after the wedding - if these are people you would like to do that with of course - which I guess they are because you had hoped to invite them!

purple

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Re: New Question
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2014, 01:34:48 AM »
I agree with the sentiments above as well.  I think that any reasonable person would certainly understand your circumstances and not hold this against you.  I know I wouldn't!

If it really breaks your heart to cut your guest list, you might consider just a cake and punch reception in the church hall or something.

kudeebee

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Re: New Question
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 01:48:11 PM »
I agree with the sentiments above as well.  I think that any reasonable person would certainly understand your circumstances and not hold this against you.  I know I wouldn't!

If it really breaks your heart to cut your guest list, you might consider just a cake and punch reception in the church hall or something.

I was going to suggest the same thing.  Instead of renting the picnic shelter and providing food, use the church fellowship hall and serve water, coffee, lemonade, ice tea, homemade sheet cakes, some nuts, and mints.  It used to be the standard for weddings "way back when".  It can be very nice and you get to have all of the people there that you wanted.

lowspark

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Re: New Question
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2014, 10:15:35 AM »
I agree with the sentiments above as well.  I think that any reasonable person would certainly understand your circumstances and not hold this against you.  I know I wouldn't!

If it really breaks your heart to cut your guest list, you might consider just a cake and punch reception in the church hall or something.

I was going to suggest the same thing.  Instead of renting the picnic shelter and providing food, use the church fellowship hall and serve water, coffee, lemonade, ice tea, homemade sheet cakes, some nuts, and mints.  It used to be the standard for weddings "way back when".  It can be very nice and you get to have all of the people there that you wanted.

This is what I was thinking as well.

The other thought I had was to cut the guest list down to a very small number. You said it's important to have your mother there and get married in the church, but can it still just be a very small few, say 10-12? Your absolute closest relatives and one friend or something like that.

Then you're not so much cutting out some people as you are cutting out everyone with those very few exceptions. Then you can say, "because of fiancé's recent medical issue, we've had to forgo the big wedding and will be having immediate family only." It's harder to get mad at that than "we've cut it down to 60 and you didn't make the final cut." Not that you would say it that way, of course!, but it might still sound that way to some, unfortunately.

So I kind of see it as either invite everyone and have a bare bones reception, or invite no one and call it "immediate family only."
Houston 
Texas 
USA 

mime

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Re: New Question
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2014, 01:44:05 PM »
I like the PPs suggestions for communicating to your would-be guests. If I were on your 200-list and not on your 60-list and got the news of the changes and the situation, my first concern would be for yours and DF's well-being, and I would understand. Maybe I'd be bummed that I don't get to be there, but I'd certainly get over it.

I think that's how most people are. Sure there will be some who just can't put themselves in another's shoes and understand anything except their own agenda, but as long as you are honest and considerate, that's their problem to deal with.

You're being financially responsible in not choosing to go into debt for the wedding you'd prefer, and for taking care of your/DF's health first and foremost. I hope he recovers well.

It seems that most brides have to compromise on their ideal wedding for some reason-- either for the sake of other interested parties and their wishes, for finances, for unfortunate timing, etc. Often in the end, it matters little as we still get to marry our loves and enjoy the marriage. I trust you'll find the same!

Have you considered what some of the other PPs suggested with a cake and punch reception in the church right after a 200-guest wedding?

ehell readers may be able to weigh in on the rudeness/not rudeness of this: You could follow the next day with a fancy lunch or dinner for 10-12 of your nearest and dearest. That way you get the big wedding at your church, and a fancy celebration dinner with a small group.

Texas Mom

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Re: New Question
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2014, 08:38:52 PM »
In light of the circumstances, I think a cake and punch reception in the parish hall is the way to go.

That will be a lot less work (and stress) than the picnic in the park & you won't have to butcher your guest list.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: New Question
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2014, 12:36:54 PM »
I agree with the sentiments above as well.  I think that any reasonable person would certainly understand your circumstances and not hold this against you.  I know I wouldn't!

If it really breaks your heart to cut your guest list, you might consider just a cake and punch reception in the church hall or something.

I was going to suggest the same thing.  Instead of renting the picnic shelter and providing food, use the church fellowship hall and serve water, coffee, lemonade, ice tea, homemade sheet cakes, some nuts, and mints.  It used to be the standard for weddings "way back when".  It can be very nice and you get to have all of the people there that you wanted.

This is what I was thinking as well.

The other thought I had was to cut the guest list down to a very small number. You said it's important to have your mother there and get married in the church, but can it still just be a very small few, say 10-12? Your absolute closest relatives and one friend or something like that.

Then you're not so much cutting out some people as you are cutting out everyone with those very few exceptions. Then you can say, "because of fiancé's recent medical issue, we've had to forgo the big wedding and will be having immediate family only." It's harder to get mad at that than "we've cut it down to 60 and you didn't make the final cut." Not that you would say it that way, of course!, but it might still sound that way to some, unfortunately.

So I kind of see it as either invite everyone and have a bare bones reception, or invite no one and call it "immediate family only."
I agree with lowspark.

Carotte

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Re: New Question
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2014, 01:10:37 PM »
Your plan with the picnic shelter sounds lovely, but a cake and punch would be too.
And if the church means so much to you maybe there are people there that can help you with the planning and day of? That would be less stress for you and DF.

Mergatroyd

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Re: New Question
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2014, 01:20:59 PM »
I agree with the sentiments above as well.  I think that any reasonable person would certainly understand your circumstances and not hold this against you.  I know I wouldn't!

If it really breaks your heart to cut your guest list, you might consider just a cake and punch reception in the church hall or something.

I was going to suggest the same thing.  Instead of renting the picnic shelter and providing food, use the church fellowship hall and serve water, coffee, lemonade, ice tea, homemade sheet cakes, some nuts, and mints.  It used to be the standard for weddings "way back when".  It can be very nice and you get to have all of the people there that you wanted.

This is what I was thinking as well.

The other thought I had was to cut the guest list down to a very small number. You said it's important to have your mother there and get married in the church, but can it still just be a very small few, say 10-12? Your absolute closest relatives and one friend or something like that.

Then you're not so much cutting out some people as you are cutting out everyone with those very few exceptions. Then you can say, "because of fiancé's recent medical issue, we've had to forgo the big wedding and will be having immediate family only." It's harder to get mad at that than "we've cut it down to 60 and you didn't make the final cut." Not that you would say it that way, of course!, but it might still sound that way to some, unfortunately.

So I kind of see it as either invite everyone and have a bare bones reception, or invite no one and call it "immediate family only."

Parking my POD here. If you do go with the immediate family only route, you can always host a big party/reception next year for your anniversary :)

Mikayla

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Re: New Question
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2014, 05:26:38 PM »
I'm another one who agrees with lowspark.  Most people are very understanding when a big wedding becomes intimate due to illness or any other unexpected life event.   Where feelings can get hurt is when the wedding remains fairly good sized, a person didn't make the cut, and then they find out who did.  This practically begs for second guessing or feeling left out.