(Closed) Invite parents to DW they will not attend?

posted 6 years ago in Elopement
  • poll: Should we invite guests/parents/family to a wedding we know they cannot attend?
    Yes, they will feel included even when they turn it down : (11 votes)
    52 %
    Yes, but parents/immediate family only : (6 votes)
    29 %
    No, if they can't come don't worry about it : (4 votes)
    19 %
    other : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    4352 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I would let them make the decision for themselves. I always prefer to make my own choices rather than having someone else make them for me. I’m usually upset about an outcome when someone else makes the decision for me (even if I would have made the same decision for myself if given the option to choose it).

    Post # 4
    6124 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    @kerensa:  I had this EXACT issue. 

    I wanted just our immediate families to be present. I offered to cover their lodging (in a big mansion with rooms/baths for all), the food, transport from the airport – if they just flew here for one measly weekend.  The families have not even met! 

    Everyone in my family had an excuse as to why they could not come (my mom and two sisters).  H’s sister also was going through a foreclosure with her house and her H was out of a job, so it would be rude of us to throw our wedding on her plate.

    Soooo, we just eloped to a different country, and H’s parents were our only witnesses.

    I believe my mom thinks to this day that she was not invited on purpose, or because we did not want her there.  But she’s got huge insecurity issues.  I tried to include her by haing the wedding in my town, but she backed out on me and said forget it.  I said, “Mom, we moved it up to Canada ONLY after all of you telling us you couldn’t fly out to Utah for an nearly all expenses paid vacation!”  My sisters were more relieved of having the obligation of going.

    Why would I plan a wedding in the state I did not want, only to “hope” for them to all show up?  


    So I did not feel the need to make my family feel included.  No one was like, “Oh I so wish I could go but things are so hard for us right now!  We so wish we could be there for you!”  It was more like, “Do you even need us there to witness your vows or not?”   This is the second time I got married, and no one saw me get married the first time either (eloped that time too).  Some families just don’t find any significance in weddings.

    However, if they showed just a TAD bit more excitement for me, maybe I would have made it look like they were included.  Now we all talked on the phone after our trip and they were all chipper and excited to hear about the trip and happy for us.  So it’s not like we are distant.

    How does your family act? 

    Post # 5
    7561 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2013

    I would definitely invite your family. Like you said, they may not come but at least they will feel included. IMO, it would be far worse for them to feel excluded. You may not have the best relationship now, but not inviting them to the most important day in their son’s life could be interpreted as cutting them out of your life forever. 

    Post # 6
    5423 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: November 2012

    Invite them. That’s all u can do.  They will choose whether or not to come.  You did your part.

    Post # 7
    6124 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    if you invite them, then you have to find a reception place that will fit them all for after the wedding (not to mention your ceremony location).  Because etiquette says you have to plan for 100% attendance in the event that they make the trip.

    Post # 8
    963 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I think its better to invite them and just tell them that you totally understand if they can’t make it. That way your family won’t think that you’re purposefully trying to exclude them. Also many Destination Wedding brides are surprised by the lengths some people go to in order to attend the wedding.

    Post # 9
    8361 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    @kerensa:  I think you need to decide firstly whether you want a Destination Wedding or an elopement. The two are very different obviously.

    I think you need to take into consideration what an elopement would mean to you and your Fiance but also what reactions your family would have to it and could you live with those reactions.

    If you choose to have a Destination Wedding you might be suprised who actually does decide to come. We had a few guests that we invited that we really wanted there but didn’t think they would make it come and a few who we thought wouldn’t miss it but did.

    Post # 10
    9619 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2019

    of course i would invite them, especially your parents! just cos you are expecting them to say no, doesn’t mean you should cut them from the guest list

    Post # 12
    6124 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012


    You too have some back history with the situation (although different histories). I think that makes a difference.  Are they more supportive now?  Or it’s just hard to read?  My own mom was like, “What is the big deal?  Why do I even have to go?”  WTF!  So yeah, I tried to make it work for her, but she backed out and said go on without her.

    I do not think there is anyone who is upset that we eloped, but I do know that’s not the majority.


    “I think you need to decide firstly whether you want a Destination Wedding or an elopement. The two are very different obviously.”

    This is the main question.  Do you actually want an elopement?  It sounds like you are going that way so that it is easier.  H’s paretns were the only drama free people, so it was a JOY to have them there.


    What about you two eloping to Hawaii just the two of you, get your lovely honeymoon at the same time, but then having a family celebratory dinner later on at your house or take them to dinner in your area?  Maybe time it with Thanksgiving (well not actually sure of your date)?  Would they all fly out for for a holiday if you hosted them?  Getting to Hawaii is kind of an ordeal (depending on where you are), but maybe coming to your house is a little more inviting and doable?

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