Hi all! I need your advice! We're planning a May, 2012 wedding at the Ahwahnee in Yosemite and due to the historic nature of the hotel, the reception has to be limited to 90 people (since that's the maximum allowed in the largest room). This is perhaps 1/2 the number of people that would be ideal for my fiance's large Russian family and my parents' network of friends. Fiance's family also lives in California, so it's very likely that most of their invitees will attend. My plan was to divide the invitation list into thirds (30-30-30) for fiance's parents, my parents, and ourselves. My mom and I are considering having an engagement party or reception in Connecticut where I grew up to cut down on the number my side would like to invite to the actual wedding.
I just got my fiance's mom's list yesterday--my parents have to put down deposit for the Ahwahnee in December--and it includes 56 people. Her demeanor suggested she expected everyone to be invited. Is the following response appropriate?:
"Fiance and I talked yesterday and he doesn't want a second room because he wants everyone together--and I do too--so it looks as if we are limited to 90 people total because that's the most we can fit in the largest room. Would you ever consider doing the same thing we're doing in Connecticut in California? I.e.: have an engagement party or separate reception so there'd be more room for family at the wedding? (I imagine some people would understand the division by explaining the wedding itself is fairly intimate.) I know it's not the same thing, and it's more difficult for you guys since you are much closer to Yosemite and family, hence more of your invitees are more likely to come, but I just don't know how much opportunity we'll have to invite people beyond your first 30. We may have some spots we can designate to you out of our 30, but I have to warn you, as it stands, we can't send out invitations for 56 for you at once. I feel like a bully, but we have our hearts set on getting married in Yosemite.
In any case, please send me addresses as you can and let me know who you'd like to invite first. And thank you for taking time to do this!!"