Post # 1
I am graduating from college (finally) this May, and getting married in June 2010. I felt like deciding with my parents who to send graduation announcements to was a precursor to how our wedding invite conversation will go. For example, my dad has a cousin (my second cousin?) that I’m close to because she babysat me for many years. This cousin’s mom (my great aunt?) is a woman I’ve only seen twice in my life, both at funerals. This cousin has two sisters (my other second cousins?) who I’m pretty sure I’ve never met before. Basically, if I passed them on the street I wouldn’t have any idea we were related. My dad is all worried that if we invite one cousin and not her mom and sisters, there will be hurt feelings. I told my dad, while my mom laughed hysterically, that if I couldn’t pass the person on the street and recognize them, they weren’t invited to the wedding.
I think this is a pretty safe ground rule, right? What ground rules have you set for your guest list? Are there just some family members, no matter how distant, who should receive invites?
Post # 3
It’s actually not a bad ground rule. I had to apply it to some of my (first) cousins in my ginormous family! Hopefully it didn’t tick anyone off. I guess if it does, I’ll never hear about it.
Okay, more seriously, the whole inviting ‘circles of friends and relatives’ rule, where if you want to invite one, you have to invite them all, is a really good idea if you don’t want to risk any hurt feelings. But (especially when you have a big family composed of really big circles of people) it doesn’t always works so well in practice. So, I selectively invited a couple of my mom’s cousins (one that lives in my home town, one that would always visit us for a couple weeks in the summer) and none of the others, not even their siblings. Some of my own cousins were cut, because I don’t really know them and haven’t seen them in years… The list goes on and on for my atrocities. Sure, most of them wouldn’t come anyway, but I didn’t want to deal with the extra invitations, addresses, and phone calls when they failed to RSVP.
We got to set our own guest list because we paid for the wedding. I tried to get feedback to see if any feelings would be hurt, and my mom was pretty hands off. I’m sure, like most of her hands off areas, she will make sure to criticize me now that it’s too late to do anything about it….
Post # 4
That’s not a bad rule.
My rule was if I haven’t seen them or spoken to them in a year, they’re off the list.
My mom has many, MANY 2nd and 3rd cousins, for us to invite them all would shoot our guest list up to 200 people! (we’re only inviting 125 right now) so I totally think you’re on track with your opinion. No matter what you do, someone will get upset.
Post # 5
I agree with that rule and think it is a good place to start. My family and FI family are huge! My Dad has 7 brothers and sisters, mom has tons of cousins, his mom’s family has seven siblings as well, plus marriages, cousins, etc. At first I felt we should only include people we both know because we have met the "important" people in each family…then I decided we could invite people as long as we have either talked to them within a year or if we recieved a Christmas card from them…for some reason I get really offended if I take the time to send out Christmas cards but people don’t send them back! I think I might need to include your rule as well.
Post # 6
Meggs604, we set our cut off at "if I we wouldn’t recognize them on the street, they’re not invited" as well. My dad’s original guest list, just his alond, was about 500 people. It was everyone he’s ever met in his life – family, friends, old college roomies etc etc. All these people are people he knows…but it was getting ridiculous, I mean most of his old college buddies still live in Europe and I’ve never met or heard of them and I’m not sure they even know I exist. So, they’re not invted. His college buddies who I’ve known for years and years and call "aunt" and "uncle"? They’re invited. Inviting relatives just because they’re related adds so many extra people to the list which adds more to the overall bill.
Post # 7
Eh, I think it’s fine to only invite one cousin. We did that and no one’s complained yet! 🙂