Post # 1
A skosh of background – both my fiance and I have decently large families. However neither of our families are particularly close or keep in contact much besides Christmas, and even that isn’t a constant. We will be footing the bill for our entire wedding and in turn we’ve decided that a huge wedding is just not worth it to us. We’re more interested in buying a house and creating a nest egg for when we decide to have kids. We will be having a small church ceremoney and a small reception at a restaurant. Our guest list in progress currently contains grandparents, parents, siblings (and their spouses), closest aunt or uncle that has had an impact on our life and best friend(and their spouses).
The dilemma is that my family, despite not often keeping in contact, can be incredibly touchy. We have decided to invite under 35 people. If I were to have bridesmaids, one of the women I would choose would be my cousin, who is the only family member besides my parents I have regular contact with and who I adore. I definitely want her to be on our guest list but her parents, brothers and my other cousins are not on the guest list. So my question is, is having someone you really want to be there for you worth the absolute s***storm it will create in family drama?
Coming to the conclusion of, screw ’em, it’s our day and we’re paying for it was easy but the guest list makes it incredibly difficult and I just really need some unbiased opinions.
Post # 2
I had a simlar situation. My mom has a lot of first cousins on her father’s side, but I only know one of them well. The others I don’t even know which one is which I’ve only met some of them once or twice. So for me, it made sense to invite the one I am close to (have stayed at her house, we email sometimes, etc) but none of the others. One I sort of know a little better than the others, but didn’t want to invite him without his siblings, etc. My mother agreed, we knew I had to invite close cousin and she didn’t see anything wrong with not inviting the others as long as I didn’t invite one sibling without the others etc.
It didn’t create any family drama. My mom’s aunt came and was a perfect guest even her kids weren’t invited. But some people will just create drama at any excuse they can get, so I can’t gauruntee your family won’t create any. What I can gauruntee is that if they do create the drama, it’s their fault, not yours.
Post # 3
Are you willing to live with the fallout from that s… storm? Only you can answer that question. In general, the etiquette advice is to make cut offs according to categories in order to avoid hurt feelings. But your call, your guest list. If you were to ask me, unless there were extenuating circumstances, I’d go with all or none. Having an extended family that will never forgive you is not a particularly pleasant thought. On the other hand, the close cousin would understand if it were an all or nothing type of thing.
Post # 4
Is it possible you could give her a “role”!in the ceremony? A reading? A toast? That way you could say you had to severely restrict your guest list to x, y, z and the people directly involved in the wedding?
i know you’ll get conflicting opinions on etiquette and inviting all or none, but to me there is a difference between inviting large groups of relatives because you should and including this one person with whom you are close.