(Closed) 1st cousins over 18 not invited to wedding

posted 12 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
575 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

It sounds like she has had to exclude quite a few people from her wedding due to the nature and size of the wedding she and her fiance are planning.  I would try to be sensitive to the fact that she is doing the best she can and that it is their wedding.  I bet she wishes she could include everyone in some ways but sometimes it’s just not feasible.  If I were her I would be hurt that you have declined because your sons aren’t invited but that’s what invitations are for – you can accept or decline. 

And etiquette-wise if the invitation was addressed to Mr & Mrs then that’s who’s invited unless there is an inside envelope that lists everyone’s names (as far as I understand).  And in other cases those who are considered adults (18+ or 21+ etc…) can get their own invitations – I received one at my parent’s house for my cousin’s wedding when I was out of college but still living at home and my parents received their own.

I am sorry your feelings were hurt by this situation but I think the bride is doing her best given the circumstances she outlined in her reply to you.

Post # 4
1753 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I have to say, with her indicating on the invitation Mr and Mrs. that means only you and your husband. If she meant the whole family it would’ve been Mr and Mrs and Family or something of that nature.

For whatever reason (budget, space, personal want) they chose to have a smaller intimate wedding and I’m assuming they applied this theory through ALL their invitations. If they are not inviting any cousins over 18 I think it would be wrong of them to invite your kids and not other aunts/uncles kids.
Yes, perhaps the grandparents aren’t coming and now there are two extra seats. But wouldn’t other aunts and uncles not think the same thing then? That their kids should get to come now that there are two extra seats?

I think it must’ve been hard for them to make this decision (albeit I’ve never heard of this way of cutting the guest list! It’s usually the younger kids that are cut!)

I don’t think -at all- their decision to handle the guest list is any reflection upon how she feels about your kids if that may be what your thinking. We all have to cut back somehow and they made a decision to do it this way.

Just a perspective from a bride.

Post # 5
1300 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

sorry, but i think its completely rude of you to dictate to the bride and groom who is invited and not invited.

you arent paying for it, therefore, you really dont have a say in whom they invite – family or not.

If you have a problem with who they invited, then you did the right thing – in deciding not to go, but understand that is somewhat petty. its not in good form to “beg” for invites for people that were not invited.

they obviously have limited space and funds. in fact, im in the same position in that i am having a small intimate wedding and with 18 aunts and uncles, who all at least have 5 children, and thats just on my side, i had to draw the line at JUST aunts and uncles and the handful of 1st cousins i regularly talk to (which ended up being 4 out of about 70).

weddings are expensive. period. you should never feel “entitled” to something as a guest. dont put the bride and groom in the position of having to defend their decisions to you. its THEIR day not yours.

If you dont agree, then just dont go, otherwise, go, have a nice time and congratulate the happy couple who were generous enough and thought enough of you and your husband to invite yall to the wedding.

sorry if it sounds harsh, but so does your treatment and judgement of the bride and groom.

Post # 6
8375 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

It sounds to me like she’s having a VERY small and intimate wedding and that you shouldn’t be hurt over this because your grown children aren’t invited.They’re having a family dinner in a month to celebrate with the family/friends they weren’t able to or could not afford to invite to the wedding. If they invited your children, they’d probably be obligated to invite a ton of other people.

But I think that, well, complaining and refusing to go to your niece or nephews wedding because your kids who live at home weren’t invited, well, is petty. It lacks understanding on your part–your kids were not the only ones included. Obviously a lot were. And just because some other people aren’t going doesn’t mean your kids get first dibs on those “spots”. Try to look at it from her perspective, not just yours. But I think it’s really quite sad that you’re refusing to go to your niece or nephew’s wedding over this.

Post # 7
1076 posts
Bumble bee

I am sorry that you were hurt.  I was not invited to my first cousin’s wedding last November and I was livid.  And there were other first cousins invited to it!  But I kept my mouth shut.  Hey, at least that can be a person nixed from my guest list if I want.

Your second response was fine.  Although it comes across that you asked her about her invitation reasoning, I don’t think you actually did.  You simply responded with more people than were actually invited (an incorrect, yet oft made assumption).  When informed that you couldn’t bring your family, you declined the invitation.  Such a response is appropriate.  Leave it at that with no snide remarks and you will be fine.

Post # 8
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I understand why you’re hurt, and I think you’ve taken the appropriate step in declining the invitation if you feel your sons will be hurt to learn they weren’t invited.  But that said, I think you should give your niece a break, and not stew over this.  Her explanation for why they’ve had to keep the guest list small was kindly phrased and perfectly reasonable, and it sounds like they’ve had to cut a lot of people off the reception guest list if they are planning to hold an entire second party in order to include everyone!

One more thing in your niece’s defense: The invitation was addressed appropriately, and you are incorrect in assuming that an invitation addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” includes everyone in the Smith household.  You complained that “the invitation didn’t say they weren’t invited,” but if their names weren’t on it, that’s exactly what it said.  The invitation is meant to invite only the person or the people it’s addressed to — if the kids’ names are not on it, or it’s not addressed to “The Smith Family,” that means the kids are not included in the invitation. 

Post # 9
18 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

Adult children living in their parents’ house would, if invited, receive their own invitation according to rules of etiquette. The invitation is addressed to those who are named on the envelope.

Also, I would consider what your decision not to go will mean to you and the couple ten, twenty, thirty years in the future. If you value your relationship with your niece you will probably end up regretting not being there for her.

Post # 10
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

The invitation didnt say they werent invited.  Should of she been more clear or is this a common practice these days?  When I send an invitation I assume i’m sending it to everyone in the household not just certain ones.

Wedding etiquette dictates that the names on the envelope(s) are those invited. Single adults should all get their own invitation. So if your sons were invited, they’d most likely get their own invitation, but at the very least their names inscribed on the envelope. She was absolutely 1000% in the right.

I did exactly what your niece did. Because of budgetary considerations, the size of my family and an attempt to keep the wedding small, I was not able to invite first cousins. I also didn’t allow single guests to bring a date.

We’re doing exactly what the bride’s family is doing: our parents are hosting a larger casual get together after. We’re hoping everyone will be able to attend that because we’d really love to see them.

As a couple planning a wedding, you have to draw lines and you have to hold on to those lines.  This isn’t about “well you have space because Nana and Papa aren’yt going.”  They set their line at “adult first cousins” so please respect her wishes and honor them.  I can tell you right now, as a bride to be, that there has been no greater stress than having guests come back and be pushy about who is invited and who isn’t, and try to make their situation something I need to specially consider.  It has all but ruined one relationship with a family member because they just can’t seem to understand, respect and honor the wishes Fiance and I have set.

If you don’t want to go to the wedding, fine.  If you can, try to be gracious about it. This is about the couple, not about everyone else and hurt feelings. Send a gift, send a lovely card, attend the casual get together. Be gracious, excited and give your niece a damn break.

Post # 11
6980 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I’m going to have to agree with everyone else. Weddings are SUPER expensive… often 50, 100, or more per head! Most brides would, I think, love to invite all family and everyone they care about… but it simply is not in the budget. It sounds like she is excluding all cousins over 18, so at least she is being fair across the board. You also sound upset that she is inviting some friends while not inviting ALL family, and I don’t think that is fair. Truly… most people are closer to their friends than most of their extended family. 

I think she did the right thing in how she addressed the envelope and responded appropriately when you rsvp’d for more than she intended. If you don’t want to go, that is your choice. 

Post # 12
767 posts
Busy bee

It sounds like you aren’t close to your niece at all since you don’t seem to care about missing her wedding.  It also sounds like she isn’t close to your sons so I’d be surprised if two grown men are upset not to be invited to the wedding of someone they aren’t close to. I think you’re just hurt on ‘principle’ because you’re ‘family’.  I think that’s silly. 

As everyone else has mentioned you actually ignored established etiquette by inviting your sons when their names weren’t on the invitation.

I am certain the bride was not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings and has a huge headache caused by you (which might be fair because she’s causing you pain as well) as well as a big hole in her wallet (which you do not have).

Post # 13
1646 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

i agree with the other posters that the invitation was correctly worded, and that for small weddings this is a common way to ensure the guest list remains small. i understand that you feel hurt, but i think her response is actually very graciously worded

Post # 14
196 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

I too think it’s rude to dictate to the bride and groom who to invite. I am planning a similar wedding and did the same thing, cut 1st cousins who were over 18 unless they were very close to Fiance or myself, as we both have HUGE families. Fiance has over 15 first cousins, all adults and most with families of their own. To invite all of them would have doubled our wedding. So we only invited those cousins we are close to and see often. And I invited friends who I see often and are close to over 1st cousins I haven’t seen lately and am not close to.

It’s hard to fully understand unless you are planning a wedding, but the guest list decisions are often agonized over. Unless you’re wealthy, you’re often between a rock and a hard place trying to fit into your budget, your ceremony location max no of people and your reception max. It’s a difficult situation for the couple and their parents to be in.

And saying that becasue so and so aren’t coming means that your adult children should get to come is rediculous. I’m sure that your children aren’t the only ones who aren’t invited.

I think it’s a shame that you are so upset about this and now are not planning to attend. But maybe it’s for the best that you don’t go, as I know I’d only want those who truly support Fiance and I at our wedding, and would prefer guests who have a bone to pick to stay home and not spread the negative vibes at my wedding.


Post # 15
150 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I am doing exactly the same thing — no first cousins on either side are invited, except for one with whom my Fiance has a close personal friendship.

We are having a relatively small (under 100 people) wedding and if first cousins and all children of invitees were invited our guest list would be around 40 people larger than it is now.  We’ve had to make the decision partly based on funds — we simply can’t afford any more people — and partly based on the capacity of our venue.

My brother did a very similar thing to his wedding, and while most of our aunts and uncles understood and took it with good grace, one did not and made a huge fuss — and is already trying to ‘invite’ one or more of her children to my wedding. Needless to say, this is an uncomfortable and quite upsetting situation for us. My parents and I are, needless to say, not impressed by their actions.

I think your niece has followed etiquette properly and she’s been gracious and careful in her response to your assumption that your sons were invited. Forgive my bluntness, but I also think you’ve been less gracious in response.

Post # 16
2365 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m going to chime in and agree that she did address the invite correctly.  For example, my grown sister lives in my mother’s house and for my cousin’s wedding last fall, my parents got an invitation, she got an invitation, and I got an invitation (I live on my own)

I don’t think that the bride is purposely trying to insult you or your sons.  I think she’s doing what she can with her limited guest list/capacity.  Weddings cost a fortune and each additional guest could cost $100+ each.

Edit: I read your post again, and I also don’t see the difficulty with telling your grown sons they can’t go to a wedding.  They’re adults and I’m sure they’ll be able to understand space/invite constraints and such.  When I was 18 and 21, I wasn’t part of my parents’ “household” so I probably wouldn’t have been invited either and I would have been fine with that.

The topic ‘1st cousins over 18 not invited to wedding’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors