Big family! Who to not invite?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
Member
7216 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

amelliafay:  where possible, I suggest people draw the line evenly. For instance, I invited all DH’s aunts, uncles and cousins, but no second cousins. His older brother invited all aunts and uncles, but no cousins.

I suggest you put relatives into “groups” by closeness, something like this:

group 1: immediate family (parents, siblings and their partners).

group 2: grandparents

group 3: aunts and uncles (and their partners)

group 4: cousins and their partners

group 5: second cousins (children of cousins).

Add one group at a time to your guest list until you have reached your limit. I’m guessing in your case you can only have groups 1 and 2, and maybe group 3. So long as you are consistent, people can’t reasonably complain. e.g. a cousin can’t complain if you are consistent and invite no cousins. You can’t be expected to go broke inviting every person you’re related to.

One other thing: if your fiance’s family is much smaller, you can have a different rule for him, e.g. invite his aunts and uncles but not yours.

Post # 3
Member
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

amelliafay:  I also have a large family (16 aunts and uncles, divorced parents AND grandparents, three younger siblings, etc) and we made the cutoff at first cousins. So everyone including first cousins were invited with some exceptions. For example, two of my moms sisters I don’t talk to/don’t get along with so they’re not invited. Only one of those aunts has children, she has two. I don’t have a relationship with her daughter but her son I’ve always been close with, so he and his wife are invited. This might not be “etiquette” but I don’t want people at our wedding that don’t mean something to us. Sorry not sorry. I’d say, talk to your FI and any family members that are helping pay for the wedding and get a guest list together. If you find you can’t afford that, then adjust the guest list/vision accordingly. Good luck! It is not easy.

Post # 4
Member
42546 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Before you decide where to draw the line, it is helpful to correctly understand the relationships.

There is a lot of confusion re cousins.  Cousins share a grandparent, Children of cousins are first cousins once removed. Second cousins share a great grandparent.Children of second cousins are second cousins once removed.

As the pp has suggested, you will get more understanding and less flack if you are consistent where you draw the line.

Even before deciding the guestlist however, you need to determine the budget. The guestlist and the type of wedding you want are closely intertwined. If you want an expensive formal reception, your guestlist will likely need to be smaller. If you are ok with a less expensive reception, you can probably afford a larger guestlist.

Post # 7
Member
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

amelliafay:  I’m glad I could help! Just a heads up, some people are going to be upset that they’re not invited. Don’t let someone guilt you into an invite! Both aunts I mentioned above have complained to my mom, but she knows how I feel about it and has no problem being the buffer between us. We’ve had people (not even relatives, but some of our parents’ friends that we haven’t seen in like 6+ years) say they would love to be invited. We stick with “there are some venue restrictions but we’ll definitely keep you in mind” and go on our merry way. That way you are polite, but you’re not promising anything. 

Post # 8
Member
4 posts
Wannabee

People you discuss the event with will expect to get invited, because they offered advice and it’s in their mind.

So, I would be selective on who you discuss it with…And Stay off of Facebook with updates for the whole world to see.

It’s intimate and a big deal. Keep  a tight ship with who is invited, and only people you want to be there.

If you don’t invite someone and they are offended and you feel bad, you will have your entire life to make it up to them. All you have to do is invite them to another family event. There is no reason to exclude them from future events. Make that clear to people, and keep your word with them.

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