Sounds like a sticky situation.... Sorry.
Personally, I know it's hard, but I'd just send the invite to FI's grandmother and leave it at that. I think that calling them and uninviting them might bring on unwanted resentment. I think that perhaps your FI can talk to your MIL and explicitly state that it's going to be a small and intimate wedding, that you're watching your budget, and that you're only inviting people you regularly have contact with and want there. And perhaps he can say that he'll accept her inviting grandmother but she's the only exception and that he doesn't really want the other relatives there since he does not talk to them. And all those addresses you copied down so nicely could possibly just get misplaced, oops, in all the wedding planning craziness....
I know it sounds terrible but I didn't want wedding crashers either and people coming out of the woodwork wanting to come to our wedding just to have a vacation and say that they've been to our wedding. I actually had to talk to my honey and tell him that his mom should not be inviting people to our wedding because his mom was telling all her friends and she has a tendency to invite people to things; I understand that people will want to come but this is our wedding and we want it to be as intimate as possible with people WE regularly communicate with and know. He agreed and told his mom this so we didn't really have any problems. But funny enough, just recently she asked us if someone could come if they paid their own way. She wouldn't tell us who. My honey said no because if she's not telling us explicitly who it is, it must be someone we don't really know; besides everyone is paying their own way so that is not a valid reason for this person to be allowed to come.
The other thing you could do is perhaps send the invites out to the other relatives a couple of months prior to your actual wedding date when it will be more difficult for them to actually plan the trip. Conniving, yes, but ultimately you DID send them an invitation.....
Gosh, do I sound terrible?
FI and I decided on a destination wedding. We wanted it to be intimate and realistically, it will cost less than having it at home (we live in the most expensive city in Canada). At first, MIL said that she invited FI's grandmother - she's the last surviving grandparent on both mine and his side. FI is not close to his grandmother or his mother's side of the family for that matter...
We figured, hey, it's a destination wedding, if she can afford to come, let her come. Lately his grandmother has called the house a few times looking for FI (who has been at work or in bed, he has a bad cold).
Each time, apparently the "guestlist" has expanded and now FI's grandmother, aunt, cousin and her two kids (fully grown adults) want an invitation. I, personally, have never met these people (and FI and I have been together for over 10 years!) FI is not close with ANY of them and has said to me that he doesn't really want them there. But I know that he does not want to say it to his grandmother.
I'm a little annoyed that so many of these people suddenly want in!? If it was just because they saw it as a vacation, by all means, go! But now I have to put them on the guestlist and send them a formal invitation. =/
What do I do? I am terrified of answering the phone because I don't know who else plans on jumping on the bandwagon!!
It's a destination wedding, all guests are paying their own way.
At first MIL invited FI's grandmother (last surviving)
FI is not close to the grandmother
FI's grandmother has called me and made me copy down names and addresses of others (aunt, cousin, cousin's adult children) that want an invitation.
FI does not really want them there, but doesn't want to say no to his grandmother.
What should I do now? Or do I leave it up to FI to handle it?
Do I invite his grandmother and aunt and not send an invite to the others?
Should I just send them an invite anyway?
Should I call them individually and uninvite them (they invited themselves, technically)?