Post # 1
So I’m not quite engaged but I’m doing a lot of thinking about what I want now because I’d like to have some ideas/options to present to my soon-to-be-FI when he proposes (I’m nervous about not thinking things through and committing to something I wont ultimately be happy with… so that is why I’m running through so many options now).
Anyways, I saw in another post a girl who is doing a smaller ceremony/reception then a bigger BBQ and it got me thinking. I am pretty close to my whole family, but they’re semi-big (50-60); my bf is not at all close with his family. BF has mentioned before that he thinks smaller is better in terms of wedding, both because of money and because he really doesn’t want most of his family there (other than his parents, grandparents, and 1 uncle, he doesn’t care for the rest of them). We live about 2 hours from almost all of my family. At first we talked about doing a destination wedding with just immediate family and then doing a bbq when we get back, but then with airline prices and everything I just feel like we can’t ask people to spend so much to attend.
So now I’m thinking about maybe suggesting we do a wedding local to us (rather than in my hometown) and inviting only our immediate family + aunts/uncles (so no cousins, cousins’ kids, or friends of family) + a few of our friends. It would cut our guest list down to under 50 total (maybe even closer to 30-40). But if we did this I would still want to do some kind of celebration with the remainder of my family and my family friends… so I was thinking we could do a casual bbq a few weeks later with my whole family + family friends.
My question is this— do you think that the family who were not invited to our wedding and our family friends will be insulted? I mean it will only be 2 hours away so its not like they couldn’t come. I’m worried that it will look like they are the b-list who we want presents from but don’t want to pay for dinner for or something. I guess we could specify no gifts… I’m just feeling badly about it all. Like if we want to celebrate with them we should just do it during the reception? I don’t know… what do people think about this?
Post # 3
What are your concerns? Balanced sides? Cost? Overall size of wedding?
If you are close to your family and you invite some of those people but not all of them, then I think those left out will probably be hurt. Why should aunts and uncles get preference over cousins? Why not just each of you compile a list of people that you are close to and would like to see there and invite those people? It doesn’t matter if your fiance has fewer guests than you. Just because you invite all your aunts, uncles, and cousins doesn’t mean that he has to too. Families are different, and what makes sense for your family (inviting everyone) might not make sense for his.
Besides, people don’t change their behavior for weddings. If your fiance doesn’t like and isn’t close to most of his family, even if he did invite them then they still probably wouldn’t show up. We had to send token invites to my husband’s cousins and aunts who he hasn’t seen since he was a child—none of them came (in fact, most never rsvp’d, ugh). Conversely, my family traveled thousands of miles, because we are close and they wouldn’t miss the wedding for the world. The people who love you are going to want to be there, and those who don’t care aren’t going to come unless someone who cares makes them come.
Post # 4
I would do one or another not both!
Either have a small wedding and only invite close family or friends or go all out and invite everyone! Hosting two events will definitely make people feel like they are less important than the ones invited to the ‘main’ event!
Post # 5
My two concerns are cost and size of wedding. We’re paying for the wedding ourselves and so we need to keep it as low budget as possible. Also, my BF just doesn’t like being the center of attention and I think he would simply be happier with 50 vs. 100 people. And although balance isn’t a huge concern of mine… it would be a LITTLE weird to me to have 2/3+ of the guests be my family.
The reason I’m thinking in family “levels” is because both of our familys are kind of gossip-y and there is just no way we could get away with invite some of a group and not others (like some cousins but not all). I’m not sure if it would be as bad across our families (like inviting my cousins but not his), but I could DEFINITELY see his grandparents having a problem attending a wedding where my cousins were invited and his were not. His family isn’t awful, they are actually generally pretty nice people. He just is not close to them and doesn’t really care to have them there.
Basically the reason I was thinking of aunts/uncles and not cousins is because there isn’t that many aunts/uncles and there are a lot of cousins + cousins’ kids.
Post # 6
I think it’s really tricky to tease apart family for something like this. We’re doing the small reception-big BBQ model (mine may have been the post you saw!)—but are inviting all the family to both events, and only distinguishing between them for friends. The rule of thumb we used for deciding which friends were on which list was whether we would have invited them/expected that they might come had the wedding not been in-town, which worked pretty well. This doesn’t really apply to family, who pretty much had to be invited regardless.
We are doing “tiers” of family, but mostly that was an all-or-nothing deal with family units (that is, if aunts and uncles come, so do all their children and the attached SOs, etc.) We broke it with degrees removed (so in my fiance’s larger family, with lots of first cousins, just the aunts/uncles/cousins and their families are invited; in my relatively small family, my second cousins and their families are also invited, but that’s because I grew up with them). I could definitely not have invited just aunts/uncles and no cousins, or even some second cousins and not all of them, without hurting lots of feelings. Since virtually everyone is coming from afar, the hope is that it will primarily be those relatives we’re especially close to who will make the trip. I can imagine how much trickier it is if they’re nearby, though.
Can you possibly do just immediate family (parents, grandparents, siblings) plus very close friends for something very small and intimate, and then do a more casual event for the large group? That might address the issue…
Post # 7
@oakster- yours was the post I saw! I just really liked that idea.. but that does seem easier if all your family is coming. Sigh… so hard to decide what to do! 🙂