Monday, August 14, 2006

Guest list woes

We're feverishly addressing and giving out invites in batches (b/c we're delivering some by hand and some ppl we're not sure when and where we'll run into them), while arguing at about every tenth guest who should and should not be invited. We've mostly accounted for all the ppl we really want there (friends and family) but FFIL is going crazy with his list and driving Dear, and consequently me, mad. At the last check, our anticipated guest list was 390 (from what I recall the restaurant holds 350). If all our overseas relatives were to come, the number would be around 450 so we're probably going to end up giving out close to 250 invites.

Actually I'm not so much mad now as amused. You have to be able to find humor in the guests that FFIL wants to invite. Aside from the nameless ppl from the village who also, apparently, do not have addresses, he wanted to invite:
- their contractor
- their optometrist
- his staff (I find less humor about this than a little bit of tackiness b/c I think it really imposes on your staff if the boss invites you to something b/c you almost have to go)

I won't go into how he feels like he has to invite everyone who's ever invited him to a wedding and how he just has to invite every person in church who holds any sort of position (political, imaginary, or otherwise) regardless of the differences they may have (i.e. they dislike each other). And of course, in a church that goes through pastors like they're disposable, they all need to be invited as well. And of course, from that entire list of ppl I would rather he not invite, he is only cutting the first two. So we've whittled down some; somehow 40 ppl will have to disappear (I'm ignoring the 10-15%[?] discount rule that ppl say you should apply for the declines b/c these ppl a] have no lives, b] will probably bring more guests than those allotted, and c] we've accounted for all the declines from the overseas folk). *sigh*

My mother, on the other hand, if she had made her list of guests months ago like I had asked, would not be giving me agita with her pleas of not having enough invites. And I am still peeved about how we have to give her back all the gifts that her guests give us, despite the fact that she doesn't have to chip in one dime. Her justification is that it's 'payback' for raising me (which I can understand and am OK with) but also b/c "that's what everyone else does." Well, if you talk to Americans what "they all do" is not only pay for the wedding but allow the couple to keep the gifts b/c starting a new life together is not easy w/ the huge expense of a wedding and all that other stuff (getting a place to live, furnishing the place, etc.). hrmph!

On the lighter side, I am thrilled that the ppl who've received our invitation find it "too pretty to mess up," unique, and a whole slew of adjectives that I can't recall at the moment. If you haven't gotten yours yet, be patient -- our hands are falling off from all the addressing!! (It only took me 45 minutes to hand-calligraph four invites so Dear is doing most of it.)


Char said...

Wow, I admire you about being so calm!! I know that I will be in the SAME situation one day with my FFIL and him wanting to invite every single person he has ever talked to in his entire life. Ughhh...

anne said...

oh man! i am so glad my mom did not know about that tradition! i thought in chinese families, the groom's family pays for the banquet and therefore, my fiance's mom might actually take all of the gift money. :P but that's way more understandable than the tradition of your mom getting all the gifts. :P

i love your blog btw, i'm also a chinese-american girl who's trying to diy her own flowers, save money, find a chinese dress, figure out how to incorporate a tea ceremony (groom's parents are coming to our house -- they're nontraditional in that sense), and have more than 280 invited guests on the list -- more than half of which are our parents' guests! :P

Plumsauce said...

Just curious how you did guest lists b/c traditionally the couple invites th ehead of hte house and then whoeveris there tags along or sth like that...which I think makes it hard to make a seating chart. Then, there's also concern if one were to doit more "Western" i.e. write # of ppl who are invited, the parents might "lose face". Are you making a seating chart even though it's a Chinese banquet @ a restaurant?

myBFCW said...

No way are we doing a seating chart -- that's just insanely difficult for the number of ppl we're anticipating. We're just going to do the escort cards (name & table number written on the dried leaves).

I think his parents addressed invitations to couples like "Mr. & Mrs.", adding the Chinese equivalent of "and family" for those who have unmarried children (and who didn't already get an invite from us b/c they are our friends). My parents just did the "Mr. & Mrs. __ and family" for everyone w/ unmarried kids.