Post # 1
Ok, so as many a bee before me has experienced, the hardest part of wedding planning is the guest list. When we first got engaged we made a tentative list and were SHOCKED by how large it was (exceeded 240). We then peared it down and got to about 200, still hefty in my mind, but we both have large families. FI’s mom is one of 11, his dad is one of 7 and both of my parents are 1 of 5. A LOT of family. And as history has shown, most of our family will attend, even the out of towners. The problem arises when we get to the “kids” part. You see all of my cousins are adults, some are married and have kids of their own. Fiance on the other hand actually has COUSINS that are 6 mos, 3 yrs old, 5 yrs old, 8-9 yrs old (you get the picture). He has cousins that are kids.
We discussed this and decided on having all legit cousins invited to the wedding.. meaning his “kid-cousins” are invited. I am fine with this decision, however it is becoming difficult to explain and defend to some.
For example we have a close friend who has a 9 yr old who “allegedly” is heartbroken that she isn’t invited to the wedding. How do we address this? We can’t say “there are no kids invited” b/c that isn’t true. Also, another member of my family is having issues with the fact that my cousins kids (my 2nd cousins) aren’t invited. I tried to explain BUT I was meant with “well they are the same age as FI’s cousins so I don’t understand why they aren’t invited”. I mean we have to draw the line somewhere and we decided cousins were in regardless of age. Why do people have to be so worried about the guest list?!
How would you deal with this issue? Did we make a huge mistake with our cousins in regardless of age policy? What can I say to make people understand?
Please share advice/insight!!!!
Post # 3
We had a similar problem, so we explained it as a way of fairness. We couldn’t invite all of FI’s cousins and not invite mine because of their age. And While we love little Susie, we couldn’t make the exception for our friend’s children due to venue constraint or what have you.
Post # 4
I would say something like:
“As you know Fiance both come from very large families, and it’s important to both of us to have our families celebrate with us which is why we’ve kept the guest list primarily to family members. Unfortunately, our venue will not accommodate that many people, so to be fair, we’ve decided to only invite first cousins from each family. If you’d like I can help you arrange a babysitter for Bobby.”
– Reminds people that you both have a LOT of family members
– Let’s them know that they, your family, are important to you
– Let’s them know that you’ve already made concessions on the friends that you can invite
– Whether or not it’s completely accurate gives a good reason for not inviting more people in that space is an issue
– Gives a clear boundary of who is or is not invited and why there are children from FI’s family that are invited
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I think you made a good choice for yourselves and that your cut-off line is perfectly reasonable. It sucks; some people will just not understand, but you have done nothing wrong.
Post # 6
You can repeat this as a mantra to those who don’t “get it”
“We are only allowed 200 people….” say this over and over and over again.
Post # 8
@sn2bmrsmntgmry: Wow, we’re in the EXACT same spot. His cousins are all adults and have kids of their own (FI’s 2nd cousins) and my first cousins are all younger than me by 12 years. We are a year out and ALREADY we know that if FI’s first cousins kids are not invited and see that my cousins are (and are kids), she’s going to flip.
The fact of the matter is we’re paying. It’s not Fiance or my family that’s paying… we are. We drew the line at First Cousins and that’s where it stays. And if anyone so much as scoffs at that comment, I’m going to lay the guilt trip hardcore and explain that we couldn’t invite some of our good friends to the wedding, in order to accommodate all extended family (which is true and I’m not happy about it).
Post # 9
@Zusie: This. Great advice!
@sn2bmrsmntgmry: I had someone say something like that to me: “Oh so-and-so is so sad they can’t come.” What made me feel better was to just say to myself “You are so f($&# rude” and then I said something like what Zusie suggested.
It is SO rude for people to be making these types of comments to you, so just keep repeating that this is THEIR issue, not yours.
Post # 10
I had a similar problem, large families and a HUGE guest list. I opted for no children at all. To me, it was more important to have our friends there than the children of family we never see (but still have to invite out of obligation) and most whom we don’t even know the names of.
In your case, you simply say, “FI and I both come from extremely large immediate families, all of whom we have to invite. With the limited amount of space we had left, we had to limit children to 1st cousins only. When faced with inviting just the two of you, or none of you, we opted for the two of you. I’m sorry that we just don’t have the added room for little Susie, but I hope you can still make it.”
Post # 11
Thank you to everyone for your advice and wisdom! I really appreciate all the feedback and have put some of it to good use. I even decided to add a little blurb about the issue on our wedding website.