Post # 16
you put the people’s name you are inviting on the invitations. Your rsvp cards can pre fill in the number of total people. Eg. “____ of 2 will be attending”. Doing this makes it clear who the invitations are intended for. If someone writes down “3 of 2 will be attending” or something like that, contact them and say “I’m sorry, we are only able to accommodate you and uncle joe, not little jr as well.” Or similar wording.
People may ask if they can bring a date. You are welcome to say that you cannot accommodate dates. Just keep in mind that if someone asks, they may be asking about an actual boyfriend or girlfriend. If that’s the case, a gracious host figures out how to fit those people in. when single people asked me if dates were invited, my standard response was “girlfriends and boyfriends are invited. Are you in a new relationship I hadn’t heard about yet?”
Post # 17
I have a ton of cousins as well (30 not counting their partners) and my family has always done it the same way: cousins who are married, engaged, or living with their SO get to invite their SO, teenagers/college kids in relationships don’t. Not saying this is the best rule, just what all of my older cousins have done, and what we did. It worked out that all of my adult cousins were either legitimately single, engaged, or married at the time, so we invited all of their SO’s.
Alot of bees will tell you that even truly single guests should be permitted to bring a date (that’s what a plus one really is). I disagree that plus ones should be mandatory, but SOs should definitely be invited.
Post # 18
Thanks! I can’t wait until my other 20 cousins start getting married and will understand. Some aunts and uncles get it and others don’t. 2 of my cousins had no reception partly due to the size of our family. I really am hoping some of them politely decline. I won’t mind at all!
I don’t think many of my non-family single guests will be expecting plus 1s. I have talked to a lot of our college and high school friends and they all know that we are young and paying for the wedding ourselves and can’t afford/are not going to pay big $$ for people we have never met. Plus we went to the same college so everyone who is attending (except for ONE person who I don’t think will come) will know people there.
Post # 19
I also have a lot of cousins, and I handled this situation by specifically writing the names on the invitation as well as saying we have X seats reserved for you.
As for the plus one debate, I agree with others that SO’s are not plus ones. Inviting married and engaged couples, and even living together couples, but not couples that live separate but could have been together for a long time is rude. They are a unit, regardless of marital or living status. Sure it may be hard for you to know everyone’s relationship status when you send out invites, but try to invite all couples together that you know of. If your cousin is randomly dating some new person off tinder for 2 weeks, I would say that person does not need an invite. I can see how it can be tricky, but do your best to research their status and send invites accordingly.
We did have one issue with relationship status changing before the wedding. A friend of mine lived with her long term (10 years) boyfriend so I invited them together on one invite as Mrs. Jane Doe and Mr. John Smith. Well, a month before the wedding Jane and John broke up, and Jane assumed she could just bring her new boyfriend as her “plus one” instead of John. Well, John still wanted to attend the wedding as he was invited just as much as his now ex was. Jane asked if her new bf could attend, and I told her I needed to assess the guest count and budget first, and ultimately I told her we did not have room for him. I felt really bad, but Jane and John were invited, so Jane and John attended.
You cannot accommodate everyone, so don’t worry too much about peoples status changing. Anything can happen, and you shouln’t have to predict who will gain a SO by that date. But you should absolutely invite all significant others that you currently know of.
Post # 20
I’d put the names on the invite but also tell everyone that you are only inviting immediate family. We didn’t invite anyone that we hadn’t met, so as far as I’m aware my cousins are single so we just invited them… Only one of my cousins is bringing a plus one, and thats cause we have met him, he’s been attendig family functions since her 16th bday (she’s 20) so even though they’re not engaged, we know him well. I forgot to write it on the invite (I did ‘The W…. Family’ on the envelope) so I called and she was so thankful that I asked that it seems like it was the right decision.
My FH’s sister (also 20) was a little annoyed that she didn’t get a +1 and was all ‘but who will I talk to??’. I don’t know… your family? My brother was annoyed I didn’t invite his friends (his Gf is coming) so he has to drink alone (or, you know… not drink so much?). These two have shown me that you cannot please everyone and that people will always find something to whinge about…
Please don’t worry too much- you know your family. Maybe give your parents/ aunts and uncles a heads up if you think there will be issues or misinterpretations?
Post # 22
I come from a very large family. I have approximately 50 first cousins on my dad’s side alone. My dad is one of 14 children, so if I were to invite gis siblibgs and SOs plus cousins and SOs it would be about 126 people right there. People who have 5 cousins are not going to understand the workarounds that mega families create or the dynamics.
I’m about mid-way through the line up (#26) and my older cousins decided early on that we, as a rule, don’t invite cousins to weddings. It just isnt practical. We have a similar dynamic to what you describe. There are actually multiple generations within the cousins so sone of us grew up together, some I wouldn’t recognize if I passed them on the street. Some cousins have invited a couple of very close cousins more as friends than family to their wedding (to be fair, that hasn’t gone uncriticized but I have always understood it). I followed the no cousin rule for my first wedding (precedent had already been set) and nobody was offended. This time round we aren’t inviting any family beyond parents, grandparents, siblings, and our own children, which makes it even easier.
Post # 23
I’m one of 28 first cousins and the 13th to get married. If you were dating someone for long enough that everyone knew that person and knew there was likely going to be a ring involved, that person was invited. If you just got a new boyfriend right as the invitations were being addressed…you’re going without him. That’s how it was for the older cousins, that’s how it remains for the younger. There was exactly one wedding where cousins could bring whoever and it wound up being a total disaster. The drinking got way out of hand and two of the couples broke up. So awkward.
I’ve kept tabs on my cousins who are more casusally dating someone, and for the most part, they’ve let me know if they want thier SO invited. Most of my friends are the same way. If someone is genuinely offended that a casual or recent boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t invited that’s unreasonable.
Post # 24
Personally what we will be doing is at the time that we send out invites, you have to be together 6 months for your SO to be invited. I really don’t want what I view as random people at the wedding. Many of the people will also know each other since we are keeping it on the smaller side.
My Fiance family must be weird, I see them all dance together all the time. However, they are Irish. They don’t care as long as their is music they will make a good time.
Post # 25
I think you’re asking the wrong question here. By virtue of deciding to invite your entire enormous family, you’re having a big wedding already. So why get silly about inviting a few extra people to this already gigantic affair? Just invite every adult as a couple (with SO or +1) and call it a day. Not all of them will take you up on it, but it’s the classy route.
Otherwise, just don’t invite cousins! The world will not stop spinning because you had a smaller wedding.
Post # 26
I think that’s a great rule! I think we are going to stick with something like that.
Post # 27
I don’t think 20 people or so is considered a “few extra people”, at least not in my book. That would be over $2,000 more on our already tight budget. Unfortunately, I think my family would be beside themselves if I didn’t invite all of my aunts/uncles/cousins.
Thank you for all of you help, everyone! I think we are going to stick with a mix of what preivous people said – if you have been dating for over a year, you get to bring your SO. If you’re in high school or college, your SO will not be invited (I have some cousins 16-20 that this will apply to). I will try to utilize my aunts and facebook messenger to find out which of their children are dating someone 🙂