Post # 1
I wanted some opinions on how to keep my guest list smaller… without offending my family members and friends. We aren’t getting much help from my parents for the wedding (about $10,000 which I’m VERY grateful for) and we have alot of people that we want to invite. My parents are divorced and remarried and each step-parent has a large family that I am close with. I am the youngest of both sides of my family so I’m the last to get married (which I assume is a big deal?). We both went to Big 10 schools and he was in a fraternity and is still very close to everyone.
I am perfectly happy having an 80-person wedding and not inviting any of my cousins. But I can’t seem to justify inviting all of my closest friends but not some of my family!
Does anyone have any advice on how to properly handle this without offending people? I want everyone there for my big day but we also don’t want to go overboard and have a huge expensive wedding. How do you draw the line for inviting people?
Post # 3
Remember it is YOUR day and you should be able to invite whomever you want, even if it does offend some people.
With that said, I know its hard to do, SOOOO…. I would recommend inviting entire groups of people or none of them. (ALL his college frat friends or none of them, ALL your cousins or none of them…) This way, when people ask why they didnt het invited, you can "well, none of our college friends were invited…"
By the way, I wouldn’t feel obligated to invite family over friends. Maby time, people are closer with their friends anyway & those are the people that you should want to have at your wedding 🙂
Post # 4
Wow. I would consider $10,000 from the parents A LOT of help. You may want to talk over the guest list with them to see how they feel about cousins not being invited — they may have some strong opinions that it is only fair to seriously take into account.
Also, you may want to consider your ratio of family to friends. I’m not inviting all of my cousins, either. It is poor form, and I feel badly about it, but my extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins and their spouses/kids is HUGE (over 150 people) and I don’t know all of my cousins very well. Some of them are closer to my parents’ age than mine. Some I can’t recall ever meeting. But, we’re only inviting about 25 friends, so our wedding will be mostly family. If your guest list is most friends, you may want to reconsider. Usually family is invited over friends, so it will be hard for feelings not to be hurt (especially if cousins are usually invited and so will be expecting an invite, marking the date on their calendars. Word of a wedding gets around quickly in family land).
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2009 - Rancho Bernardo Inn
I struggled with this as well. Unfortunetly we are still bigger than I originally had hoped. We basically cut work colleagues, people that we hadn’t talked to in a long time and any other people we were doing out of "obligation." I felt terrible the whole time, but we couldn’t afford everyone. We kept family because it would have turned into a major issue with parents, grandparents etc. We may not be spending as much on food etc., but in my opinion it’s worth it to have the important people there. I don’t know if that helps much, but I definitely understand how you are feeling.
Post # 6
Thanks guys! I guess I should realize that $10,000 is a ton of money… and trust me, I am VERY thankful that they are helping out. I just don’t want to go over $10,000… I would rather have a super nice wedding for 50 people than a cheap wedding for 200!
There really isn’t any way to cut out most of our friends because we are very close with all of them and his college friends also went to his highschool so they grew up together. I want my cousins to be there, although they are all older and married. I can’t really justify not inviting them because I just saw most of them at a family reunion last summer!
With that said, what about kids? I have five neices and nephews who I am inviting but don’t want any of my cousins kids to come. Can I invite my neices and nephews but not let other people bring there kids?
Post # 7
Not inviting kids can be a diplomatic minefield – trust me, I’m dealing with that right now! Mr. Techie and I decided to have an ‘adults only’ wedding; no one under the age of 21 is invited. This has been causing many ruffled feathers among the more outspoken aunts of the family. 😉
If you decide that not inviting kids is an option for you, I would recommend making it all or nothing. While it IS your wedding and you should be able to invite who you want, we all know that logic and reasoning doesn’t really apply when it comes to hurt feelings. Also, keep in mind that some people don’t like going anywhere without their kids – some of your cousins may opt to decline their invitation because their children were not included.
Finally, I would consult your parents about the issue – if they’re ponying up 10K to help you with the wedding, it’s a good idea to get their opinion on the invite list. They may have some insight beyond what you’ve thought of.
Post # 8
Hmmm…. maybe if I don’t invite my cousins kids then my cousins won’t come and my guest list will be smaller:) Oh my god is that awful of me!?!? I cannot exclude my neices and nephews but my one sister already said she would probably arrange for a sitter for her kids (they are very young) because she will want to enjoy an "adult-evening" without them. I am leaving that choice up to her.
I haven’t met most of my cousins kids (are they called second cousins?) so to keep it fair I don’t want any of them there for any side of the family. I also have never met some of my cousins spouses so I assume they will stay with the kids while my actual cousin flies to Michigan for the wedding. All of them live as far away as Oregon, NYC and Maryland.
I’m sure it is up to my parents mainly so I will sit down with them first. You guys rock for the awesome advice 🙂
Post # 9
I like your logic about the kids, lindseylou! We decided to have our wedding close to where we live, which means that our families will have to travel across the country to come, which means we’ll have a smaller, more affordable wedding without having to cut the guest list too much 😉
Just allowing neices and nephews is probably okay — especially if you can give them all honorary roles (then even Emily Post wouldn’t object!).
Post # 10
I think you are fine inviting your neices and nephews and not second counsins. As someone said before, just make sure you make a "group cut."
I also agree with your idea of having a great wedding for 50 people than an ok wedding for 200. Is there any way you could invite maybe 100 people and cut back on some things? Maybe do a cocktail and appetizer reception? Or no favors? There are little things you could cut back on and still have an amazing wedding with everyone!
Post # 11
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten in my planning thus far was something that has helped me whenever my guest list starts to get out of control. The advice actually came from an aunt who’s now in her late 30’s and had a situation like yours in terms of frat/sorority friends and big families.
She told me that even though she had an unlimited budget, she wishes that she had only inviited the people who would still be in her life in ten years time. For me, that means more close friends than cousins who I only see once a year at Christmas time. For my fiancee, that means more family than college buddies with whom he’s already starting to lose touch.
I hope that helps you in your planning!
Post # 12
We’re inviting 180, hoping for aboug 150 to come, and doing it all on $10,000. It’s definitely doable. The big thing you have to decide is what is important to you. If guests are the most important thing to you, invite those you want and have a smaller cake and less elaborate decorations. Same goes for any area of the wedding.
As for your guest list, write out every possible person who could be invited and break them into groups. Think about who you couldn’t imagine not having there. Once you get down to the people you have to have there, then don’t stress about the size of your list and see if there’s something else you can cut out or back on.