Post # 1
FH and I are having some issues on where to drawl the line on who get’s an invitation on our guest list. We are hoping for a small wedding (~50 people max) but FH family is rather large. His dad has 9 siblings and there is about about 29 first cousins on his side…and that is all just on his dad’s family! My FMIL is from Japan so she has no family here and only a sister left in Japan who she is not in contact with. I only have 6 cousins between both sides of my family and my mom has 4 sibilings and my dad two.
That being said we are just concerned with having too many guests for our small wedding if we invite everyone and their wives/husbands, significant others and so forth. We are getting married in the Outer Banks and all of our family will be traveling from PA, northern NJ so we are hoping (as bad as it sounds) for many declines. Neither of us are into a big wedding and we are also not close to our extended families. We are renting a house for both our immidate families to stay in and my MOH (the bestman is FH brother) so with all them we have about 20 guests so there is really only room for about 30 more people. We each only had a few friends in mind to invite and want to keep things personal.
FH talked with his dad and FFIL said he thought his sisters would come down by themselves (without the hubbies) and spend the week on vacation together which I thought was nice but what if they decide till it’s time to send the invitations out to all come down with their families? Also the house we love and want to have the reception after our beach wedding at will only allow 50 people for such events!
I guess my question is where do you drawl the line? What type of things did you do to cut your guest list for your small wedding?
Post # 3
What we did was draw a line and stay consistent, for instance, we’re inviting NO great aunts/uncles and NO 2nd cousins. This way, no one could be offended because it was an across-the-board decision.
Post # 4
it sounds like you may have to make a choice – family or friends. if you’re not close to your cousins, how about no cousins, just aunts and uncles. make it clear on the invites that it’s not “and family”. be firm when receiving rsvps.
Post # 5
Can you create a blanket rule? For example: aunts, uncles and cousins over a certain age/cousins you’ve seen in the last 10 years?
Post # 6
Thanks for your suggestions. Neither of us were planning on having more than a few friends each. My concern was more with dealing with such a large number of cousins that we are not very close with. I love your ideas on how to deal with them. I think it is going to be in our best interest to somewhere draw a line among them since most of FH’s cousins are older with little children of their own (which we weren’t planning on inviting any second cousins) that they may not want to leave to go all the way to NC.
Post # 7
I hear you on this one. My Italian/Polish family and his Italian/Italian family is HUGE. We had to draw some major lines, and it’s not going to be comfortable. However, keep focused on what you want in the end. We nixed boyfriends/girlfriends of anyone who wasn’t married. There were even some cousins who are not being invited – when we were honest with ourselves, we weren’t very close to them. Also, we’re nixing all kids. We love kids. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely adore them, but it’s not necessarily a great setting for younger kids to be. We cut it off at 16, and our guest list was easier.
Good luck on making your decisions. It’s a tough road, but you can both do it. As long as you’re both making decisions together, you’ll feel better about every decision.
Post # 8
Do you have any way to estimate beforehand whether these cousins, etc, will travel? I know you wouldn’t want to risk doubling your size based on unexpected acceptances, but you may be able to get an idea of who will come if you talk with his mom, for instance. I invited all my cousins, but due to the distance and a few of them having small children, many did not come. You’re right, if they have kids and your wedding is in October (school’s in session!) they may not come. I think we invited 65 people, including children, and only 32 came. And … of those 32, 3 weren’t even invited!
Post # 9
I am in (almost exactly) the same boat. We live in Pittsburgh, and are getting married in Duck at our vacation home. We invited 86 people, and were only realistically counting on 30 coming. While we haven’t sent out the official invites yet, word of mouth has us believing that only 4 people will NOT be making the trip. Thankfully, our beach house is large enough to hold that large number of people, but I suggest not inviting more people than your venue can hold.
Now how am I going to afford to feed 80 people lobster?……. 🙂