Post # 1
So my Fiance parents divorced when he was young. His dad has a history of being unreliable and because of that my Fiance isnt close with his dad. After the divorce he didnt really see his aunts/uncles/cousins from his dads side very much and he hasnt seen them in about 10+ years, with the exception of a couple people. When we got engaged my Fiance said he wanted to invite some of his dads side. I thought that was awesome! He said he had just recently added a couple cousins and his aunt on facebook. I msged his aunt introducing myself to her and she was thrilled to hear from me. She went on and on about how much she loves my Fiance (and now me to) and how excited she is we are getting married. His cousin (aunts daughter) added me on facebook and she has been helping me figure things out with his side. I asked her for a list of anunts, uncles and first cousins plus their kids, she gave me list that consisted of 110 people! Yup thats a big family. I told her that is way to many people , she understood and was super cool about it. I talked to my Fiance he said he will just invite the people he rememebers, I said great! No point on inviting people you dont know and it cut the list down to about 30 people.
Now here is the etiquette dilemma. The first cousins he wants to invite, he has never met their kids and doesnt know if we should invite them. Some of the kids are teens or out of the house and he doesnt want to give plus ones to the teenage/adult kids because he doesnt know them and wont know their plus ones either. If the kids are out of the house, he doesnt know if he should invite them. Also, save the dates. He think they are stupid in general but doesnt know if we should send them any because he hasnt seen them in years and thinks that would be random. I think he is scared they wont want to come because it has been so long. I have a big family and we are all close. His dads side has family reuinuons but his dad has never invited us to any. Its so hard to help him with this because I dont know any of them, never met them.
Any adivce? Thanks!
Post # 2
Personably I invited only people we were close too. That actually included invited 2 of FI’s first cousins and none of the rest. Weddings are expensive and we aren’t prepared to pay for people who don’t have a significant role in our lives. A wedding isn’t a reunion.
Post # 3
My daughter and son in law invited 6 of their 1st cousins and not the other 8. One my daughter had only met twice in her life.
If your FH doesn’t remember some of his relatives, on his Dad’s side, or has never even met them, why in the world would he want to invite them? And why would they want to come?
P.S. My mother in law thinks weddings are family reunions. She wrote a couple of nasty e-mails demanding my daughter invite distant/estranged relatives. Nope – didn’t happen.
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
aquabee: I come from a HUGE family – like seriously huge… you could have a 150-200 person wedding without taking my friends or DH’s family into account and still not get past those in the ffirst round of branches on the family tree.
We basically went on the mindset of “If this person declined, we would be really bummed they couldn’t make it…” This brought the initial list down to 60 people (and even that was a huge chunk of our 90-100 guest wedding).
I don’t think adult children (or even teens for that matter) that you’ve never met need to be invited at all, but if you do, definitely don’t feel obligated to give them +1’s.
Post # 5
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
We invited cousins that had met Fiance or me more than once. This did restrict it to one cousin and her wife on my side, and three of his plus their partners on his side – but it kept the guest list under control. If you haven’t met them, I don’t think there’s a need to invite them.
Post # 6
We are inviting the ones we grew up with and still keep in touch with. We both have such large families, we can’t possibly invite everyone even if it means cutting people we know well but aren’t really close to and don’t go out of our way to contact.
I feel anyone who has their own address is their own person and that means you don’t have to invite them just because their parents are invited. Anybody still living at home then I probably would extend the invitation to them as well.
Post # 7
I think that the fact your Fiance is estranged from his father’s side of the family changes things a little. If he wants to invite only those family members that he knows or remembers, then that is perfectly fine.
Keep in mind that his cousin’s children are his first cousins once removed or second cousins (I forget which). Either way, they are sufficiently removed enough from your Fiance that they don’t really need to be invited. You’re getting into extended extended family territory here. If, however, you’re inviting the children of other guests I can see your dilemma. There is absolutely no need to invite the grown children of his cousins – whether they live at home or not is irrelevant, they’re adults and can look after themselves for an evening. If they have young children and will be travelling to attend, you might consider also inviting them.
Post # 8
aquabee: I don’t think you need to invite the cousin’s children. Just address the invite to the cousin & partner (by name). (And even then only the ones you are in contact with!).
We only sent save the dates to people overseas/interstate. Made sure all our close friends and family have the date jotted down and we are sending invites out 3 months early. So if the rest can’t come then i’m not bothered!
Post # 9
juliette.eliza: if we invited all his dad’s family it would also be 150-200 but we narrowed it down to 30, people he has met.
JessieFay13: see that is the issue. We are inviting children from my side and giving out plus ones because we see or talk to my extended family a lot during the year. I jsut don’t want an issue where “well why are their kids invited and not mine”, you know? I was thinking thinking of having a cut off age. Like no one under 12 ? But the rule wouldn’t go to my side because we know everyone. Ugh.
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
aquabee: I don’t think it’s unreasonable to tell someone “I’ve never met your kids, that’s why they weren’t invited” especially when the guest list is so large.
Post # 11
aquabee: I think it’s totally fine to not invite kids +1 if you don’t know them. I know it feels weird to have an imbalance between sides, but it’s entirely normal.
My husband and I decided to invite all of his aunts, uncles, cousins and gave the adult cousins +1s. His family is much closer and I had met all of those people more than once during our 4 year dating relationship.
We only invited one uncle from my parents side. Some of that had to do with broken family dynamics and each of my 3 parents stemming from very large families. I only invited the uncle that had met my fiance and whose number was in my phone. The others were excluded. I figured, if I hadn’t seen them in 5 years, then they didn’t count as intimate friends and family for our wedding.
I was really worried how that would be received by family and other friends. As I started divulging that information, several friends told me they had done the same thing. It was a big relief for me to know that it’s okay to treat different families differently.
Moral of the story: Invite the people who are meaningful parts of your life and are likely to continue being in your life. Don’t let ettiquette and wedding beliefs force you to invite seas of people you’ll meet at your wedding.