Post # 1
Hi hive. I’m in a strange situation re: my guest list and want some advice. My FI family is giving us a lot of money towards the wedding, although my parents are still giving twice as much. FI’s family is very large and it is important for him that they all be there. I’ve met his dad’s entire side of the family, they are wonderful and I truly want them to be there. His mom does not have a very close realtionship with her two brothers and their children, except for one of her nephews she is very close with. My FI hasn’t seen any of them in years and I’ve never spoken to or met them. His mom swears they won’t come to the wedding but we have to invite them. Talking to both of my FSILs they didn’t invite any of the cousins to their weddings, only FMIL’s brothers. As we were getting our save the dates ready to mail last night, I was asking him questions about some of FMILS side of the family – such as are they married? Whose kid is this? He doesn’t even know who 6 or 7 of them are! I really don’t think when I am having to B-list some of my college roomates I should have to invite 14-20 people neither of us know who they are. If I got an invitation from them I would wonder who these people are and why we were invited. FI is going to talk with his mom but I really want to say to her invite your brothers and your nephew you are close with. I don’t think any of the other kids will be offended? What do you think hive?
Post # 3
I think if your FI can’t even answer who they are, then your FMIL is probably right…they won’t come. They don’t know him either!! Would you attend the wedding of someone you don’t know? So many times people have had to invited family rather than their friends. I think if your FIs family is putting money into the wedding you should let them invite their family. If you want to invite your friends, put money in just for your friends. That way everyone’s happy and you don’t have to worry about drama.
Post # 4
This can be a really frustrating situation. I think its fine to invite just your MIL’s brothers to the wedding..I doubt that people would be offended if a cousin they didn’t know didn’t invite them to thewedding.
In my situation, it was my family that was insisting we invite additional relatives who I hadn’t seen in years (or had never ever met!). Like your MIL, my mother insisted that they wouldn’t show up. After going 10 rounds with my mother, I just gave up and let her invite who she wanted. In the end, it just wasn’t worth fighting over. Plus, so far, most of these people have decline anyway. Good luck!
Post # 5
I’m in a similar boat. I don’t know all of my cousins in my dad’s huge family, so I’m just inviting the ones I know / have seen fairly recently (and their spouses and children — It adds up fast!). In some instances this means inviting a cousin but not his/her siblings. I don’t know if that’s common in our big family or not (there’s not really anyone I feel comfortable asking…). Hopefully no one is too upset with me; I wouldn’t expect an invite to their weddings, either. But, I can get away with this because my dad died a few years back, and I don’t have anyone insisting I invite them.
So, while I agree that it doesn’t make sense to invite people you don’t really know, it may be worthwhile to do it to placate your FMIL. You should just bite the bullet and invite your friends, too. Skimp on something else if you have to, like flowers. Roses won’t have hurt feelings for not being included in your big day 😉
Post # 6
We had something similar happen to us. My FIL is not close with his family and didn’t invite his brother’s kids (even though I requested it). None of his side ended up coming, and there’s even more hard feelings. Personally, I would invite them (they will likely decline)- it’s the thought that counts.
Post # 7
Thanks for the comments ladies. This has developed since I last posted. We went to the FIL for lunch adn FI asked re: cousins. Turns out his mom has never met 15 of them but feels it would be "wrong" to invite one and not the other. FI feels we now need to tell his parents we will invite the cousins we/he/ FILs know but not the ones we have/ they have never met. Anyone thinks that’s wrong? I don’t know if I have a wrong perspective bc in my family my parent’s friends are the ones we spend the holiday with…
I wish we could cut elsewhere but we’ve already signed contracts for all of our vendor so I can’t just cut back on flowers and invite 15 strangers.We are in an expensive city for weddings and every couple on there is hundreds of dollars.
We are contibuting what we can towards the wedding but we don’t have that much money after paying our mortgage and other bills. We are putting aside $600 to $700 a month but that’s already tied up in vendors/ bridal party gifts…….
So, do we stand up for ourselves?
Post # 8
Relatives NO ONE has ever met? Cut!!
Post # 9
Good to see that this has developed a little. I’d say that, according to good etiquette, lines of who to invite should never be drawn arbitrarily or according to favoritism. According to the fact that your FMIL has never met several of these cousins herself, that give you a very clear line along which to draw your invite cutoff.
If no one in your family has met some of these people, cut them. Just be sure that you remain fair. If you know one sibling but not the other, you should probably invite both just to avoid hurting feelings and causing resentment. I’ll echo the other posters and reiterate that those who hardly know you won’t be likely to show anyway, and at least you’ll have extended the invitation.
You never know… you might get to meet some of these cousins and find that you really like them!