(Closed) Etiquette on inviting family you haven't seen in years.

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1800 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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.

  • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  jessc27.
Post # 3
4036 posts
Honey bee

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
3471 posts
Sugar bee
  • 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
2706 posts
Sugar bee
  • 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
2014 posts
Buzzing bee

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
2658 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

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
29 posts
  • Wedding: March 2016

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 # 10
3471 posts
Sugar bee
  • 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
2188 posts
Buzzing bee

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.

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