Post # 1
Hi, everyone. I could really use some advice and a new perspective. I have been engaged since December 08 and my FI and I have been putting off wedding planning. Why? Because I have no idea what I want, and I feel confused and anxious – I’m not sleeping very well. I’m normally very decisive and this is just driving me crazy! I know, there are bigger problems in the world…but I need to make some decisions.
Anyway, my situation: I have a large, close knit family, and my FI has a small family on both sides. Before we got engaged, we had discussed eloping or a destination wedding with just our parents and grandparents. But my FI grandparents are very elderly and can’t travel, and we wanted to include them, so we thought we’d get married locally (they live in town) and still keep it small with a quiet ceremony and a dinner reception for about 25 people. However, my large family is also local – and I don’t know if I can get away without inviting them. I like my family very much – but inviting my aunts and uncles and 1st cousins (not including their children) adds about 40 people to the guest list, transforming our wedding into a much larger affair. Both of us are worried about the stress and expense of a large event, and not being able to relax and enjoy ourselves. We thought about having the big party afterwards, but we thought that sort of defeated the purpose of having the small wedding in the first place.
Both my fiance and I want to mark our wedding with more than a civil ceremony, but we don’t want to spend a fortune, either. Our parents are willing to help with costs and so our budget would be about 10,000. My FI pointed out, for 25 people (including close friends, parents, grandparents and siblings) we could have a really splashy party and spend far less than that, but I just don’t know if that’s a selfish attitude that will hurt the feelings of my nearby relatives.
What do you think? Is it bad etiquette to cut my large family out? ( I’ve been invited to all of my cousins’ weddings). Are there other ways to look at this? I admit, even if you tell me its acceptable to not invite the big family, I’m not sure I want that.
Sorry for the long and meandering post – thanks for reading.
Post # 3
It’s really about what YOU want- how do you envision the day? Don’t worry about offending people- some folks will be annoyed with whatever you do, and in light of current economics, everyone is scaling down.
Post # 4
I agree, it’s all about what you and your FI want to do. If it’s important to include all your family, include everyone, but if you don’t want to invite all your relatives, don’t.
I would have loved to have a small wedding with our parents and siblings only, but then I wanted to include a certain aunt, which turned into aunts and cousins, a few friends, their dates, etc. In the end, it was still small (35 ppl came) but I just found out that we “left out” some my husband’s family. My MIL decided to tell me after the wedding. When I talk to DH about this, he says that he thought about it but didn’t want to invite them all.
So really, you can divide the lines any place you want. I can’t tell from your post whether this is about budget or not because you say you have a close-knit family.
How about having a really fancy rehearsal dinner with immediate family for both you and your FI, extending that into a party, and then scaling back the wedding and inviting all your relatives? You can do a lot for 10,000.
Post # 5
I also meant to add that if you choose to invite all your family, don’t worry about it appearing lop-sided unless that bothers you or your FI.
Post # 6
Thanks much for your kind replies – it really helps to get this out there. Karma007 (love the name!) I know that you are right and that I can’t worry about pleasing everyone. And Mary-Alice-Me, I think that you are on to something – this afternoon I talked to my mom and she suggested something similar – getting married and doing a dinner with close family, and then having a large reception the next day. The extended family that I am close to is my late father’s family, but my mom definitely understands my desire to include them at least in part.
This is about budget in the sense that we can afford it – but we both, especially me, have guilt about spending it on the wedding.
Post # 7
I think it would be really special and meaningful for you to find a way to include your extended family in some way. It sounds like you want to, but you are afraid to spend the money?
I say, don’t count out including everyone in your family before you really work the numbers. I believe it can be done. 🙂