- 2 years ago
- Wedding: June 2015
I’m a little lost in the “who you invite” etiquette because I’m planning my wedding solo and the last wedding in my family was over a decade ago.
I’m having a very small wedding (40 people including FI and I). We want to invite only those closest to us, which means we are ruling out majority of family. Here’s the kicker- FI has a “normal” family- brothers, SIL’s, married parents. His guest list side is stable. I however come from a dysfunctional/noncommunicative family. That’s not to say everyone is dysfunctional, but there have been some rifts.
Of my 4 siblings, I’m only inviting my two older sisters because my relationships with my other two are so soured that having them there would cause a disturbance. However, Sister 1 doesn’t get along/talk to/behave with ANYONE ELSE in my family. She and I are very close, so of course I want her there. I’m afraid she will cause a scene though, if people are invited that she has had fallings out with.
Also, my mother passed away 10 years ago and my father won’t be coming to the wedding either. I’m only inviting family from my mother’s side. I felt though we aren’t close, it would be appropriate to invite her siblings as a representation of her. But here’s the kicker- there are FIVE of them. One of whom did some pretty horrendous things to my mother, things she forgave before her passing but things I find reprehensible and unforgivable. Do I have to invite him just because the other four will be invited? Normally being in the same room with this person would make my skin crawl. His absense would be remarked upon by the other aunts and uncles, because they aren’t in on the family secret like me. They would whisper and wonder why he wasn’t invited. If my mother were alive she would want him there to save face, but I know she was always secretly proud of how much I despised him.
Also, I am closer with one cousin and wanted to invite her, but not her brothers. Do I have to invite her brothers as well, including in them the plus ones for their wives/fiancees? Additionally, I had another cousin who I spoke with for the first time in years just the other night, and she was asking about wedding planning. Though she didn’t ask outright, I think she was wondering who from the family I would invite. If I invite one set of cousins, do I have to invite the rest? If I invite one sibling, do I have to invite them all??
The whole reason we opted for a small wedding is because it’s the only way we avoid a 300 person wedding. But this guest list is posing even more problems! Emily Post never made a book of etiquette for people with dysfunctional families.