Post # 1
Title says it all. I have a huge family (10 aunts/uncles, 22 1st cousins+ spouses), and I don’t even know how many 2nd/3rd cousins. A lot of my cousins are in their 50s and just about everyone has at least 2-3 kids and their kids have kids. We all haven’t gotten together in a long time, as since we’re coming from Australia back to Boston to get married, its going to turn into a family reunion in a way.
When we sent out save the dates in January we decided to invite immediate family (aunts uncles and 1st cousins+ spouses) only. now we’re just about to send formal invites and my cousin in FL wanted to know if her adult children (late teens, early 20s) can come. I’ve only met my 2nd cousins once or twice when they were kids.
Should I let them come? I don’t want the floodgates to open and ALL of my 2nd/3rd cousins to expect an invite. I don’t have a problem if they want to fly up and come to the ceremony and see everyone throught the weekend. Would it be rude to extend the invite to the ceremony but not the reception?
Post # 2
aussiejenn: You will get less flack if you keep the “line in the sand” the same for everyone. So, no, I would not tell the cousin that it is ok for her children to come. If you do that, you really ought to invite all the second cousins.
I would not invite anyone to just the ceremony.
Post # 3
If you don’t know her, then don’t invite her. My dad’s one of 5, so is my mom, his mom is one of 5 and his dad is one of 6. We’re doing parents, grandparents, sibs (and their spouses) only….with the exception of my aunts driving my grandparents and his aunt and uncle bringing his grandma.
Draw the line and don’t look back.
Post # 4
Totally understand having a large family! My mom is one of 13 and dad is one of 12 – I have 44 aunts and uncles and about 96 first cousins. I have no idea about my 2nd counsins, haha!
Big weddings are definitely the norm for us. I FI and I were paying ourselves, I’m not sure how we’d do it. So that’s the biggest reason my parents are contributing – they want us to be able to have our family’s typical large wedding, and invite everyone. We don’t have a guest list yet, but I can easily see it being 400+ once we look at my family and FI’s (which again, is fairly normal around here/in our family).
My biggest issue will be reigning my mom’s guest list in, as she wants to invite a lot of her cousins. I wouldn’t mind doing that, but we need to save money where we can! Good luck with this!!
Post # 5
aussiejenn: I would not let them come, because then you are opening the doors for more scrutiny on why ‘so and so’ cannot come, etc.
My DH’s mom’s side is HUGE. To limit numbers, we invited her siblings, and first cousins, but not her cousin’s children OR their children’s children. It would have been way too much. No one seemed offended at all, and in fact, we got to see a lot of them at a family funeral a month before (sadly), and everyone was asking us about our plans, and excited, etc.
Keep in mind, he (my DH) was not the first family wedding, and he (DH) has not been invited to the weddings of the people we could not invite to ours, meaning this seems to be a family standard, or else you are adding too many people.
Post # 6
Definitely stick to the line.
Does the venue have a seating capacity? Because that’s what I’d tell pushy family members.
Post # 7
You know your family better than we do (obviously! 🙂 ) but if you’re trying to save money/regin in the guest list you definitely have to draw a line somewhere, and this is likely a good place to draw it.
I understand completely as FI and I both come from large extended families and wanted to keep our wedding relatively small (under 100)… thats not happening but we booked a venue with max capacity of 120, so that helps.
I would extend the invitation to who you originally planned on, and if you talk to your cousin and she mentions her kids again just explain the situation (that you are trying to keep costs down, with a large family there are some people who unfortauntely cannot be invited, the venue doesn’t allow for that amount of people, etc.). You could mention that the kids are welcome to fly up for the weekend to visit with family but I wouldn’t invite them only to the ceremony, expecially not on the invitation.
Post # 8
aussiejenn: tidbit of info: your 1st cousin’s child is your 1st cousin once removed. The children of your parents’ 1st cousins are your 2nd cousins.
Just invite the level that you want. You don’t have to explain it, just be consistent.
Post # 9
aussiejenn: Only invite people you’ve met and people in the state. If that’s still too many, narrow it down to the ones you’ve seen or spoken with in the last year. This is your wedding and if your family wants to have a reunion they can throw one later.
You could only invite 21 and up. You could invite only “close” family (parents, siblings, grandparents, and their SOs). Whatever you do I’d make it a clear “rule” so it doesn’t seem like you are personally singling anyone out. I.e. don’t invite 3 of your aunts but not the other 7 simply because you don’t like those 7 aunts.
I think that’ll make it easier but I don’t think you have to invite anyone you don’t want to. But if you’re trying to avoid hurt feelings and/or drama then have some guidelines.
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2013 - Valparaiso, IN
You need to draw a line and stick with it. I drew the line at 2nd cousins on. I invited my great aunts and uncles, but if I extended it to 2nd cousins that would have been about 50 more people including spouses and children. Pick a number and stick to it. Unfortunately feelings well be hurt, especially if you have a grandmother who helped you pick a place to draw the line but still asked one of my second cousins if she was coming….that was a messy clean up…
Post # 11
bridetobe24: Woah now that is MASSIVE! I don’t know what I’d do in that instance!
Post # 12
- Wedding: October 2014 - Church
aussiejenn: Don’t cave! You are asking for a world of trouble if you do that. They are not infants and they are old enough to stay by themselves, so I would just say sorry, but no.
Post # 13
Thanks for all of your imput. I would love to invite only 18 or 21+ but unfortunately, all of my 2nd cousins (or cousins once removed–however you want to put it) are adults so that wouldn’t work. I just FB’d my cousin and let her know that her boys couldn’t come do to the sheer size of our family—she gets it. She even mentioned that since we have a big family it wouldn’t be any dramas. Her son is actually getting married in FL in Februray, so she gets it. I told her that if her kids’ schedules allow, we’d love for them to fly up and hang out with the family. I’m sure we’ll all hang out for casual dinners/drinks before and after the wedding and everyone would love to see them. Even though I’m not getting a lot of chatter from people about who is and who isnt invited at this stage, I know it probably will happen the ,closer we get to wedding day. And Frankly I can’t handle that stress whilst I’m preparing to fly around the world for this. so yeah–I just have to trust my gut, but its nice to know I’m not alone in my thought process. Thanks Bees! 🙂
Post # 14
aussiejenn: I had a similar problem.
I limited it to aunts, uncles and first cousins only (spouses of first cousins were also invited).
I limited the plus ones for first cousins (meaning they had to be in a relationship and not just be bringing someone)
No one under 18 was invited as well.
I would definitely draw the line and keep this line clean and clear.
Some people may be upset, but you cannot exceed capacity…….
Post # 15
aussiejenn: Yeah, actually putting together the guest list will be fun – I’ll be nervous to see what our first number is, before we cut anything down!
That’s great that your cousin was understanding. Hopefully the rest of your family is just as understanding! Good luck!