Is it possible to not burn bridges with people you don't invite to your wedding?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

cbj9:  Yes and no. I knew a girl from high school (call her Tina). Are we friends? No, not really, but we knew each other, but one of our mutual friends was invited with her mom, and Tina was livid that she too wasn’t invited. Tina made it a point to come see our friend outside my reception site, stating to my mom that she couldn’t come in because “apparently I wasn’t good enough to invite.” It was water off a duck’s back for me because I couldn’t care less if she were upset.

We ended up adding each other on FB before my son was born and have talked a lot since I’ve become a mom. We share stories and what not, so yes, we have been able to get past it (however, we weren’t good friends to begin with so maybe that is why but she was pretty pissed about it).

Post # 3
349 posts
Helper bee

If you’re inviting 15 friends each, then I’m assuming the other 70 people are family members or people you otherwise must invite? I would emphasize that with anyone who seems like they’re upset about not being invited: “We really wish we could invite more friends, but we both have large extended families and the guest list is almost all family.” Not a lie, and very understandable. It’s hard with people who don’t understand how wedding budgets and venues work!

Post # 4
7025 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

cbj9:  Yes! My situation (in terms of numbers) was very similar to yours. We had to be brutal with our guest list too. No one we didn’t invite resented us, as far as I know. I’ve been in the reverse situation too (not invited to a friend’s wedding), and I’ve sometimes been a little disappointed, but never broken a friendship over it.

Post # 5
1583 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I think most people understand weddings are expensive and you can’t invite everyone you know.

Post # 6
2551 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

cbj9:  My SO wasn’t invited to a lot of his friends weddings.  He was just telling me that when he was at a bachelor party this following weekend, he was talking to his friends about getting married (he won’t admit to this), but they all assumed they are invited to our wedding… he said that there were 3 guys there that have gotten married in the past few years, and he wasn’t invited to any one of their weddings.

So, I’m going to say that it depends on the friend.  My SO is pretty easy going, but don’t be expected to be invited to their wedding too 😉

Post # 7
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

My husband chose not to invite some of his good friends…for whatever reason.  Only one of them has said something, and that was that he was hurt that he wasn’t included.  We’ve since apologized, and basically told them that we had to choose between friends and family, and that unfortunately family had to come first.  It’s not really the truth, but it’s easier to say that than try to explain why my husband’s brain works the way it does…  Anyway, we’re all friends still.

Post # 8
156 posts
Blushing bee

I am in the same position! I have a big family who I am very close with… We are having a very small wedding… Only 70 people… So we are splitting it 35 each.   I have chosen mostly family and only 5 friends and their partners to attend… My partner however has lots of close friends and a smaller family.  I have just been honest with the friends who we have not invited and said that we are paying for our wedding ourselves… And can only invite the number that we can realistically afford to save and pay for And because I have such a big family and such a limited guest list it means that lots of our friends cannot attend which we are very sad about … But we would love to see you for a catch up dinner with everyone after the wedding. 

Everyone thankfully so far has been understanding… I think if they have been married themselves or helped plan a wedding they totally understand and get it… I have had however some fmil disagreements over the small guest list which annoys me as we are paying for EVERYTHING … she is unhappy that she is not able to invite her entire extended family and friends… so that has been a headache. 

Post # 9
6666 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

My best did not invite me to her family-only wedding. I was a little hurt- but she got divorced after less than a year and it’s been like 9 years since then. I was not going to throw a friendship away over it.

Post # 10
461 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

We’re trying to keep our guest list under 80. That being said, I have a grand total of 9 friends on my list. I know there are a lot of coworkers (two former jobs) and friends from high school that will assume they’re invited, but I’m fully prepared to explain that it was a tough decision and mostly family. I think anyone who doesn’t understand either (A) has never planned/paid for a wedding themselves, or (B) isn’t really someone I need to have a friendship with anyways. I’ve not been invited to a number of weddings, but I wasn’t too hurt. 

Post # 11
69 posts
Worker bee

I am assuming you are probably aged 21-23, given that you just graduated from college and are the first of your friends to get married.  I think people at that age who don’t have much experience with weddings don’t really understand how the budget issues involved with weddings work, as a few PPs mentioned.  Even if some of your friends are upset about not being invited, I have a feeling that in a few years, once more people they know (and perhaps they themselves) have gotten married, they will understand that guest lists have to be limited, and they will look back at your wedding with understanding. Their expectations may be a little unrealistic right now.

Post # 12
389 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - Norton Country Club

“Is it possible to not burn bridges with people you don’t invite to your wedding?” For some people, yes.  Some folks will hold a grudge, no matter how valid the reason.  Consider this a good way to weed those folks out! 

I would really explain the circumstances to anyone who assumes they are invited to your wedding (as soon as possible).  “I’m sorry, we’d love to have everyone there but we really have to limit the guest list based on venue size/budget/fire code… Thank you so much for understanding!  It means so much to us to have such supportive friends!”

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