Post # 1
I’ve browsed so many bridal forums and am surprised that I have found nobody else with this predicament:
I grew up in a small town where parent’s social lives revolve around those of their children. I am an only child and all of my parents friendships developed from my own childhood friendships (they became friends with parents of my school friends). I am now 26 and getting married, and my parents are still close friends with the parents of my childhood friends. I have grown up and have friends from many other walks of life, and I am also still friends with some of these childhoood friends. Others, not so much. For the not-so-much category, it is a sore spot for them.
My parents are inviting some of their friends to my wedding. This is not a problem for me, I want to honor my parents and understand it is a happy event for them too, and they are paying for a big portion. They even have some friends that I really like and am inviting without them even asking me to. This is the nature of the small town I grew up in.
However, considering the relatively small size of my wedding, I don’t want to invite the adult children of these friends, who are essentially childhood friends that I am now distant from. The issue: some of the parents of these childhood friends have a thorn in their side because of the fact that I have grown distant from their adult child. It is a thorn in their side that I have remained close with some childhood friends, who will be at the wedding, and not their child.
Has anyone else been in a similar predicament involving delicate intricacies of their parents social circle revolving around the parents of your own childhood friends ?
Post # 2
That’s definitely a tough situation. I definitely get where you’re coming from — you want a small wedding, and that absolutely means not inviting distant childhood friends. But from an etiquette standpoint, I am just really not sure that you can invite the parents without their adult child. If you want to, go for it, but expect that most people involved will be upset (but don’t necessarily let that stop you from doing what you want to do).
How many people are we talking about here? Are these distant friends of yours all married with families of their own? I say that because perhaps you could invite the parents and include their child’s name on the invite. But that wouldn’t work so well if their child is married with children and moved out ten years ago.
Also, maybe reiterate to your parents that you want a small wedding? If they’re paying you can’t stop them from inviting their friends, but maybe they’ll choose to respect your wishes and cut a few of their friends off the invite list.
Post # 3
Your predicment isn’t isolated to those that grew up in small towns. I grew up in a big suburb and I have the same thing going on with my parents. One of my mom’s best friends, who she talks to weekly, is a friend of a girl I went to elementary school with, but who I was only good friends with for a couple of years. Some friendships don’t last forever, and some do. It’s a shame if your parents are upset that you’re still not friends with their friend’s daughter.
We are having a smaller wedding as well. My mom is inviting this friend that I mentioned above, but her daughter is not being invited. I don’t think there says anything ettiquette wise that I *have* to invite the daughter. She’s married and doesn’t live at home any more so it’s not like I would be excluding some members of the same household. Now if she was still at home, that could be a bit stickier.
I think you’re in your right not to invite the distant friends.
Post # 4
thanks for the input. I completely agree with the pros and cons to all sides that you’ve brought up. Although, I think I have made up my mind that the adult child who I have not even seen or exchanged a word with in over two years will not be invited. It’s not my parents who will be upset, but her parents. It is a thorn in the side of her parents that I moved on from being friends with their daughter, while remaining friendly with some other childhood friends. My parents have mild social anxiety over offending these friends of theirs, but we all agree that truthfully, it does not make a whole lot of sense to invite their daughter, considering that I would be sacrificing an invite for somebody who is actually a current close friend of mine, and I do not foresee having a friendship in the future with this person.
On another note, I have a few other childhood friends that i don’t have room to invite (who honestly don’t make the cut because we’re not suuuuper close now and/or I haven’t spoken to them in a year) but my mom says I need to invite them because in her words, “their families will be disappointed to not be invited but it would at least be more palatable if you invited their daughter”)
My opinion is that my parents are inviting some of their friends and I’m choosing who of my own friends to invite, and we have to just leave it at that — people will inevitably be offended no matter what we do ! My parents can choose who of their friends to invite, and now I have to let them choose who of mine I can invite ? I guess such is the predicament of having parents whose social lives revolve around parents of my old classmates. However I feel that my wedding is not an occasion to reconnect with people I’ve fallen out of touch with. I want it to be an occasion to celebrate with people I want to celebrate with in this moment. And I understand that my parents want to celebrate with their own friends, so I have no problem with that.
Im realizing that we are finding it hard to distinguish between close friends, and old friends. Old friends, even if we are currently still friendly and have been for many years, does not necessarily mean CLOSE friends.
I’m relieved to hear that other people have been in similar situations !