(Closed) Inviting distant family?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
596 posts
Busy bee

Hm…I don’t have a good solution but I agree with you that an engagement or wedding announcement comes off a bit gift grabby.

Post # 4
Member
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

My fiancee has a huge family, our budget is miniscule, so we stopped with inviting aunts and uncles. Cousins and great aunts/uncles ect won’t be getting invitations. We hate to do that, we would like to invite more, but you have to draw the line somewhere. If I were you, I wouldn’t invite them, and definitely wouldn’t send out a wedding anouncement to those people either.

Post # 5
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Well, on the flip side, if you don’t invite them, they could misinterpret it as being excluded. Even if they can’t come, they probably want to know you’re getting married and to whom and all of that, and know that they have the option of coming as part of your family. I think an announcement is perfectly appropriate. If they don’t want to send a gift, they won’t.

Also, does your Dad want to see any of these people? Would he want this opportunity for them to get together, even if they don’t take it? That would be another reason to invite them. If not, again, just send an announcement. But not telling them in any way that you’re getting married might be interpreted as ruder than being potentially "gift grabby," at least in my circle. I guess it depends on your crowd! 

Post # 6
Member
2641 posts
Sugar bee

30 people might bust your budget, but might not be too much for your parents to swing.  If your mom feels it’s a must to invite them, maybe they can pitch in for 30 people.  (Which doubtfully will come.)  I think it would make it much easier if you can invite them that way.  No one will feel hurt. 

If that’s not the answer, I think you should probably not bother to invite them.  It might not be ideal, but unfortunately, if you have a set budget, what can you do?  If Mom isn’t putting in some money for them, I think she should try to let the issue die.  No need to add stress to wedding planning.

Post # 7
Member
2022 posts
Buzzing bee

I agree with Tanya – if you are paying for the weddings yourselves and your parents feel strongly about certain invites, you should raise the idea of your parents paying for these 30 guests.  Otherwise, it’s not fair to you.

I have a really big family and my FI has relatives that live in the midwest that I’ve never met and he hasn’t seen in 10 years.  We are still inviting them as we do not want anyone to feel excluded and would like all of our family to share our day, if possible.  

Post # 8
Member
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - Westwind YWCA camp

I have a *huge* family, too.  If we invited just my family, the guest list would be over 70 people!

Our finalized guest list (including those 70ish) is 150.  I’ll be honest – I’m not close with a lot of these family members (how could I?  there’s so many of them!!), so there’s a few I don’t want to come (one just got out of jail!), and a LOT I really don’t think will come.

I dithered on whether to invite my whole family, too.  Where is your venue?  Is it easy to get to?  With the economy as it is, I’m guessing plane tickets from Michigan are expensive – likely not everyone will be able to afford to go to your wedding in socal.

Even though our guest list is 150, I really think only about 70-80 will actually come.  Here’s why – we’re getting married at an isolated summer camp on the coast (only 1 exit/entry per day by boat), we’re getting married on a Sunday (that we changed from a Monday), and it will be during the school year.  I think very few of my younger cousins (and likewise their parents) will come due to school conflicts.

 I know it seems a little weird to send invitations to people when you know they won’t be able to come (or at least you think they won’t).  I think the most important thing is giving your family the benefit of the doubt.  Try putting yourself in your guests shoes – as your family member, don’t you think you’d like to receive an invitation to the wedding of your cousin/niece/etc who you haven’t seen in a while?  I would – it’s the thought that counts.

If you’re worried about paying for a lot more invitations, keep in mind that you can send ONE invitation to a whole family.  Even though we’re inviting 150 people, we’re sending about 75 invitation out in the mail.

Good luck! 

Post # 9
Member
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - Westwind YWCA camp

AAAH!!

OMG!

I didn’t mean to say I HATE my fam!  no no no!

I HAVE a huge family!

I HAVE a huge family!!!

where’s that edit button?? 

Post # 10
Member
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - Westwind YWCA camp

ok, found it 😉

Post # 11
Member
3526 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Ms. Rye Bread, you cracked me up.

I agree on the you should give your family the benefit of the doubt that they might come. Our invite list is close to 200 and that is only aunts, uncles, first cousins, close friends and a few coworkers. I’m 75% sure only 100 will show up, if more do that’s great, it’ll hurt the budget but for us we will be happy that they will be willing to spend the money to come celebrate with us. My family is travelling 2 hours his 6 hrs then we both have a scattering through the US and Canada.

The FI & I agreed on where to draw the line then told my inlaws that and they drew up a guest list for us based on that whom we should invite. Anyway, every couple draws the guest list line differently. Do what’s comfortable for you & the FI and your budget. I would have to say though whereever you draw the line should be the same for both sides excluding special situations.

Good Luck!

Post # 13
Member
21 posts
Newbee

I had this problem too….and, we decided to send invitations even to those who were distant and we did not know well. In the end, it didn’t seem to matter because as predicted these guests decided to decline the invitation. However, could I go back I would send an announcement. I actually found that sending an invite to those who I knew would most likely not attend implied I wanted a gift more than if I had just sent a simple announcement.

Post # 14
Member
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I just want to send a word of caution on inviting distant relatives, assuming they wont show…

We invited my granny’s 9 brothers and sisters, assuming they would never come.  They live out of state and are over 75 years old.  And then the RSVPs starting coming in…not only are they coming, but they in turn invited their kids and grandkids (none of whom I have ever met btw, whioch add about 45 people to the list) because they assumed we meant to invite them too.  So I have had to make quite uncomfortable calls to people and explain to them that my cousins are not invited to the wedding.  If you send courtsey invites, make them very clear.  While your mom’s aunt might not want to make the trip to sunny CA, her kids certainly might and they may assume theyre invited too!

Post # 15
Member
33 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Hi there, first of all talk to your Dad and ask him if he really wants you to invite those persons, tell him also that you do not have enough budget, and if he insists on inviting them, please ask him to help you.

Post # 16
Member
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

This happened with us too — we both have big families but I’m not inviting anyone on my mom’s side because I barely know them.  She’s not upset about it so it works out.  But my FI’s family is large and his mom really felt like These People Need An Invitation.  I hadn’t met so many of them and felt like they wouldn’t come anyway, but she said that she’d contribute to cover the people she wanted to add.  She respected that we wanted to keep it in budget, and if her additional relatives would push us over, she had no problem helping out.  So, it worked out. 

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