(Closed) Cousins and the guestlist…

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2247 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I would invite all cousins. I have over 40 cousins + their spouses + their children, looking at over 100+ just for those people and FI’s family is very large as well. Even the ones we hardly ever see I felt it was very important to invite. Some live overseas and I don’t expect them to come but would feel very rude if I didn’t invite them. I would at least invite them all, knowing that several may not come. 

Edit: My parents and FI’s parents are also inviting a few of their cousins. We are very family oriented so it was important to include all family.

Post # 5
26 posts
  • Wedding: May 2014

I am having this same issue! My side is huge and not close, his is smaller and very close. For better or worse, I am inviting all my cousins except 2 (who have been involved in using and selling drugs on and off for years… and I don’t want that drama). I will NOT be inviting all of my cousins’ kids however. I already know I will be taking lots of heat for this, but if I haven’t met the kids and I am not close to their parents (my cousins) I will not be inviting them. We are HEAVILY spreading throughout my family that not everyone will be invited because the wedding will be small. Some of the kids I am not inviting are old enough to stay home alone for the night, but others will need a babysitter.

Also, are you the first sibling in your family to get married? I have the benefit of knowing who was rude enough to RSVP yes for an entire family and then not show up to my sister’s wedding (wasting literally hundreds of dollars without so much as an acknowledgement or apology). 

 I have already prepped myself for the “how rude” talk and have instructed my parents to let me take all the heat. If you think that having only the people you love and care about surrounding you on your wedding is more important than family politics AND you can handle the likely harassment from your family, I’d invite only who you want. If not, then I would invite them all but politely spread that you are trying to keep it intimate and hopefully those who you don’t want there won’t come.

(Please be warned that none of this advice is proper etiquette, I believe proper etiquette would be to invite them all.) 



Post # 6
4097 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@sparksfly:  We let the fam take care of that, as neither of us are all that close with our cousins. I only have 2, so it was no problem inviting them (+ their spouses and kids). He on the other hand has over 20. At first he wanted to cut out all of his cousins but then Mother-In-Law decided to invite only the ones from her side of the family. I don’t know if FIL’s siblings noticed but I’d feel really bad if they did. 

Post # 7
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

Don’t invite some to only ceremony and after party, I think that is really rude. Invite only the cousins you are close with and their spouses. We are inviting all of our cousins on both sides as we both have about 20 (including aunts, uncles, cousins) but expect the more distant ones not to show but we would be fine if they did. If you aren’t close/haven’t spoken to I don’t see why they would feel insulted. They can understand you can’t invite all 50!! We are invited two of my mom’s cousins as they are family friends as well, don’t really expect them to come though. When you get into inviting second cousins it starts to get ridiculous fast. 

Post # 8
5191 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

The short answer is yes, it is generally considered rude to invite some from a family group, but not others. That said, it really depends on how much heat you can stand and how much the potential drama would harm your family as a whole. For my family, that level of drama would quite possibly be the death kiss to an already fragile situation. I knew that I could not deal with the significant repercussions, so we chose to not invite any cousins. Did it suck to not have some there that I feel particularly attached to? Yes. But dealing with that level of suck was better than dealing with the more severe after effects of trying to choose favorites and watching it all explode in my face. It’s all about managing your own risk tolerance level and knowing your family’s dynamics. You have to ask yourself if it is worth it.

Post # 9
1465 posts
Bumble bee

I stronly believe in inviting based on relationship, not DNA. If I have a cousin I see several times a year, I will invite them.  If I have a cousin I see at funerals, I’m not inviting them.  We have no relationship at any other time, they do not need to be on the guest list..

If DH and I were getting married today we would have crazy lopsided sides.  (we did when we got married, but it is worse now).  He has 6 siblings, all married, 5 have kids. I have one surviving sibling and 2 nephews.  Period.

We invited based on relationship (and we had a strong relationship, of course, with all of his immediate family).

My poor stepdd had this challenge when she got married.  Her mom is one of 7, her dad is one of 7, and her stepdad is one of 10.  Her mom and stepdad wanted every single cousin invited (but they were not paying for any of the wedding).  Stepdd invited 4 cousins from her Dad’s side and 2 from her mom’s side because those were the only ones she had a relationship with and she grew up with them.  The others wouldn’t recognize her walking down the street so they weren’t on the list.

Post # 10
7531 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@sparksfly:  I have a similar amount of cousin just on my father’s side. To avoid hurt feelings we just had the cutoff as aunts and uncles.

Post # 11
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Is there a prescient in the family? Of the 50 cousins have they always invites all the cousins or just some or none When they got married? And how big is the wedding? If you have 200 people it’s harder to draw the line than if you only have 50.  

Post # 13
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Our inital plan was no cousins and no one under the age of 21. Our situation was similar to yours – I have a HUGE family, and my cousins and their spouses are 40+ people, Fiance has a teeny family.

But then all my adult cousins started talking about how excited they were, blah blah blah….and I felt bad. And then my older cousin got engaged and married (she got engaged after and married before us), and invited all the cousins. And the my cousin once removed (so an adult cousin’s child, who is my age) did the same thing – and she invited all her cousins once removed (so me and my cousins). So we just said “effe it” and are now inviting any cousin or cousin once removed as long as they are over the age of 21. The 21 cut off is nice because we don’t have any families where one child is over 21. We are allowing one guest under the age of 21 and that’s Future Brother-In-Law, who will have just turned 20.

TL;DR we initially said no cousins, but then after I had two cousins get married and invite all the cousins, we changed our minds and now we are inviting any cousin or cousin once removed over the age of 21. Yeah, it’s a lot of extra people, but to me, Fiance, and my parents (who are footing half the bill) it wasn’t worth the family drama to not invite them.

Post # 14
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@sparksfly:  then just invite all the ones from your dad’s side and none from your moms. It’d get tricky if only some from each side were invited, but you have a clean line here. And if they’re as bad as you say they’ll find something to cause drama about anyways so this way it won’t be AT your wedding. 

Post # 15
655 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@sparksfly:  I ran into the same dillemma. I have a huge family, with nearly 50 cousins as well. The ones on my mom’s side grew up close to me and we are very close, and th one’s on my dad’s side all live out of state and we are not close at all (see each other maybe every couple years). I thought it would be rude to pick and choose which cousins got to come instead of inviting entire groups, so I invited all of the cousins on my mom’s side, and none on my dad’s side.

If you have an easy way to break it up, I think that’s a good option. Otherwise you may just have to invite them all. 

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