Post # 1
We are getting closer to finalizing our guest list, since we will be sending save the dates within the next 2-3 months for our domestic destination wedding in 2022. We have struggled with leaning out the guest list and FH and I are both making some cuts to our own sides. (I’ve explained in previous posts- FH comes from a larger family/community and initially wanted a very large wedding (200+ people) and I come from a smaller family and wanted a smaller, very intimate, wedding (less than 90 people). We compromised on ~150 guests. Right now we are at 180, he has 109 and I have 72. We are trying to get this number down as we feel that we will have a higher than average turnout). We want to get the 180 down to 165 as there are some “random” people on the list. FH isn’t giving many of his single friends +1s. I am giving all of my friends +1s because they are either engaged or living together and I feel that it is rude not to do such (even if we are trying to cut the list). Many of my friends live far away and I see the wedding weekend as a chance for me to spend time with them and their partners.
FH and I both have the “rando” cousins that our moms are making us invite. FH has many more of them than I do, but we both have 2nd cousins on the list. Neither of us are close with those 2nd cousins (I haven’t seen or spoken to some of them in 5+ years) and we haven’t even met their partners. We’re just trying to satisfy the moms with these invites and keep the list “Fair”- we are close with some of the other cousins and felt that it would be rude to invite one group but not the other. Where do people stand with all of this and how did they handle these difficult conversations/topics?
Post # 2
Cut the rando’s and the second cousins. Are your parents contributing significant amounts of money? If yes, then it’s a bit tricky. But otherwise cut them.
im team +1s for destination weddings. I think it’s rude not too. Given that it’s a destination, you’ll probably have more declines than you think.
Post # 3
Keep the plus ones, cut the list after first cousins. The second cousins don’t need to be there if you and your FH aren’t close to them.
Post # 4
I say you invite who YOU want to invite, not who your moms want you to invite.
I think this is an easy call in your case, because you aren’t close to those cousins and want to make your friends happy by allowing them to bring their long term SO. But if it was a tougher call and you were close to the additional family members, I would encourage you to invite the person who you feel closer to or you feel would make or break your wedding day. It is generally not considered “nice” to not invite someone’s SO, but most people will understand if you explain the situation to them and explain who would be invited in their place and why having all of your nearest and dearest there is meaningful to you. Note that this would only work if the SO in question is a stranger or casual acquaintance to you.
You can invite only those cousins you’re closer with. Keep in mind that any sane person will understand not being invited to a wedding of a person they aren’t that close with. They understand about budgets and understand that choices need to be made. Rarely can someone have a large wedding and invite everybody.
Post # 5
ETA: This is a destination wedding. It’s reasonable to put friends at the same table if they can’t bring their SOs, but expecting them to travel alone is less reasonable. I would make every effort to allow SOs of people engaged or living together when it’s a destination wedding. This isn’t them spending one day at your ceremony and reception. It involves travel and multiple days.
Post # 6
I think you should cut people off the guest list who you are not close to, regardless of if those people are first cousins or second cousins or whatever. Just invite the people you know intimately and actually want to spend your day with! Even if they are helping to pay, your parents can’t force you to invite anyone to your wedding.
Post # 6
engaged and married couples aren’t plus 1’s, they are a social unit.
cut the random cousins, i promise there will be no hard feelings.
hubs and i were invited to his cousin’s 300 person wedding. he hadn’t talked to them in years. less than a year later, they were not invited to our 120 person wedding. you can’t invite everyone, nor should you.
my husband has a huge family and TONS of friends. he initially gave me a list of 300 people. my mom paid, and i had him cut is list down to 80 people. it’s possible.
or make your parents pony up for extra guests.
Post # 7
Parents are paying for the wedding, so that’s where it is tricky. Our parents insist that we invite these people. Though in many cases, our parents don’t see these people often and haven’t even met their partners… My parents in particular haven’t had many demanding requests at all so I feel that I’m in a tough position. I agree that it is rude not to give a plus one for a destination event, it’s just so hard to justify adding even more people that we don’t know (my parents are also divided on this subject- my dad thinks we should cut the randos and my mom thinks that we should not. FH parents want to invite all of their relatives).
We are hoping for more declines from some of these “randos” but our group typically does travel for weddings. FH’s closest family friend had a destination wedding in Mexico and 95% of her guests attended!
Post # 8
For starters…Someone in a significant relationship and/or living with a partner isn’t a “plus one”. A “plus one” is when you allow someone who is not in a relationship bring a date of their choosing. People in relationships are a social unit and they are both invited by name. Invite both or invite neither.
As for the cousins generally speaking, the answer may depend on whether these moms who seem so invested in people you haven’t talked to in half a decade are actually paying for your wedding. If they are and their financing is contingent on you inviting the cousins, then you can either have your wedding funded and just deal.with a list of 180 (quite honestly 180 isn’t really all that big of a difference once you’ve already mentally decided 165 is ok) or you can fund the wedding yourselves and have the guest list you want. If they are not contributing financially or not making their financial contribution contingent on you inviting these cousins, then it’s time to cut the cord and put that backbone to use. Learn to live with the fact that sometimes you can’t please everyone and will disappoint people. That’s life. I promise they will live through it. No one is owed an invitation for anything, regardless of their DNA. Simply inform the mothers that you have decided on your guest list and will only be inviting people you have close relationships with now.
Post # 9
I agree with the cut the 2nd cousins and the randos. Keep the plus ones as it’s a destination wedding if you really want those guests to attend. Congratulations and best of luck with the planning.
Post # 10
“I am giving all of my friends +1s because they are either engaged or living together and I feel that it is rude not to do such (even if we are trying to cut the list).”
These people are not ‘plus ones’. A ‘plus one’ is a random date or friend that your single guest is allowed to bring in case they might not want to attend on their own. A fiance or live in partner is not a plus one, and you are right, it would be very rude to exclude them.
That is the problem with accepting financial help from parents – all too often, they end up wanting to control who gets invites. If your parents are prepared to up the budget, then invite everyone. Otherwise, you are going to have to make cuts from the people your parents aren’t insisting on inviting – but where couples are in long-term relationships, engaged or married, you will have to cut the couple, not just one of them.
Post # 11
First of all, a save the the is not an invitation, it’s a heads up. There is no need to send so far ahead or even to every person on your list if you are not yet sure who will be invited. It does get tricky if the friends and relatives of those question mark guests will be receiving one.
I would have said you don’t have to make a decision about plus ones for your single guests now in any case, but a destination wedding, whether domestic or foreign, is by definition inconvenient to everyone on your list. You really have no choice but to allow people a travel companion.
As has been pointed out, the SO of a mature, committed couple, certainly all of those who are engaged or living together is not a “plus one,” they get an obligatory invitation by name.
The easiest thing to do if family politics are involved is to make cuts by category, for example no second cousins even if you are friendlier with some. People can understand that. Discriminate if hurt feelings are not an issue.
But the bottom line is if your parents are footing the bill they are going to have a major say on the guest list. You can’t have it both ways.
Post # 12
Second cousins aren’t usually in the same category as first cousins, especially if you haven’t seen them or spoken in years. Definitely cut them without guilt.
Post # 13
Why not pay for your own wedding and invite the people you want?
(And the SOs of your guests who are in relationships–as previous posters have pointed out, SOs are not plus-ones, dates of guests; they are each one half of an established couple and couples are invited together by name, just as if they were married.)
Post # 14
I honestly am not sure if it’s worth the effort to cut it down from 180 to 165. Would you even notice the difference? And I do think it being a destination wedding would make more declines that you realize.