Cousins' wife inviting herself?!

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

You are going to hsave to speak up and be semi-honest. Tell her that, as much as you would love to invite all extended family, your venue limitations require you to limit the guest list, and you don’t know if you will be able to extend an invite to them.

It’s a super tricky balancing act. We avoided it my having a small (35 invited) wedding so that I didn’t have to play the “which cousins get invites” game. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Post # 4
8850 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Ha, I thought this might be about me for a second… I just did this to my cousin’s fiancee!  :/  But to be fair, there are only like 6 of us cousins and we’re all super tight, so I’m 99.999% sure we’ll be invited to their wedding.  (They had a blast with us at ours 2 months ago.)

Yeah I think you just have to be honest here, or you risk having her assume that she’s right.  I’d just message something back like “Thanks so much for your excitement – we’re super excited too!  But just so you know, we may be having a pretty small wedding… still working through the budget…”  

Post # 5
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Etiquette Snob here… lol

Ok lets cover the basics here, incase any other Brides2B are reading along…

If you invite the Hubby, you have to invite the Wife.  They are a “social unit” (Married – Living Together – or Engaged)

If you invite one tier of relatives, then it is impolite not to invite all the members within that tier…

So for example… Uncle Bob is your Father’s Brother… you also then have to invite any other siblings of your Father… and by extension also the Brothers & Sisters of your Mother, and your Fiance’s Parents

This is why it gets complicated when it comes to Cousins… as very very quickly numbers can add up.

Now to her end of the story…

She was RUDE to ask you about being invited…

Altho she was POLITE to send her CONGRATULATIONS on your Engagement

To be honest… you sort of brought this on yourself putting the news up on Facebook (sort of I say with qualification)

In so much as Facebook tends to be a DRAMA / TRAUMA inducing piece of social media that tends to incite too much trouble for Brides than it is worth.

My BEST ADVICE… stop posting Wedding stuff on Facebook to broadcast far & wide

And keep your cards closer to your chest about your Wedding Plans.

For now if anyone should ask, you should tell them the truth… “We are still working out all the details”

And if it comes about that you cannot accomodate all those RUDE folks who should find it in themselves to outright ask the correct reply is

“Unfortunately, we have had to cut back the Guest List as we have a lot of family… so we won’t be including any cousins / kids / college room mates…” WHOEVER asks… give them a “category” and then stick with it (and be true to it… if you have to tell someone NO college room mates make sure there isn’t a one in the mix)

Guest Lists are hard… but they are reason that Weddings cost so much when you go the BIG White Pouffy Family Wedding route…

So ya, sometimes you have to be brutal in cutting them down

(lol, the Guest List, and sometimes the RUDE Guests)

Hope this helps,


Post # 6
657 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Although your cousin jumped the gun, I think she just assumed because you are related that she was invited. I have never not been invited to a relatives wedding no matter how big our family is so I probably would be in the same boat as her. I think she just made a bad assumption and you need to tell her before she books flights/hotel that she is not invited as its a small wedding.

Post # 7
871 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@gymbunny04:  Oh man that is a sticky position. Would inviting them cause drama with any other not-invited cousins? I think I would suck it up and invite them for peace of mind. Maybe by not inviting their children they will decline anyway! 

Post # 8
3570 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I don’t think you can only invite “some” cousins.  

Post # 9
11391 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I’d invite all cousins or none. I don’t think you can pick and choose. 

Post # 10
4163 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

Nip it in the bud now. Lovekiss gave great advice on how to handle it. It’s okay not to invite your entire family- I only invited one out of twelve cousins (hadn’t seen the rest in over five years).

Considering that your cousins and their dates would be 60/150 invites, there’s no way you can invite everyone. Hopefully she’ll be understanding. There may be drama, but better to get it out of the way earlier

Post # 11
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Although it won’t be fun, just be honest and tell her you are not inviting cousins.  As long as you make it clear it you may be surprised to find she is understanding.

Post # 13
1302 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@lovekiss:  +1 Let her know as soon as possible! It is going to be worse the longer you wait.

Post # 14
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

If I were married, and my husband were invited to a wedding without me, I’d be horribly insulted.

If you can’t invite them all, don’t invite them, period.

Post # 15
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

OP, could you clarify?

Are you inviting your cousin and NOT his wife? Or, are you not inviting either of them?

If inviting cousin but not wife: you are in the wrong. If not inviting either: You give a “we aren’t sure, its impossible to invite all those we love” response now and IF you have room when you get closer (some will RSVP after a STD goes out) you can add them to the invite list (before invites go out).

Also, coming from a family of over 100 cousins (yep, that’s right!) I feel ya. For me it is easier because I never get invited to every cousins wedding (nor do I make it to every funeral). Therefore, no one will be surprized that some cousins got an invite and others didn’t. We tend to have circles that we hang out in (within us cuz’s), and that’s how we did invites. People who state you MUST invite all first cousins if you invite one, probably don’t have a large family. Just realize that it may rub people the wrong way.

Also, many people may call your mom and not you about invite questions, so make sure she knows who is on the list and who isn’t so she can navigate those questions.

Having a huge family is awesome and awful at the same time. Good luck and congrats! 

Post # 16
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

@gymbunny04:  Don’t announce your engagement on Facebook unless you’re prepared for inquiries about the wedding. Sorry, babe, that’s kind if common sense.

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