Post # 1
Well, despite how optimistic I’ve been about our great guest list, of course I had to run into some issues eventually. So I have a few different questions.
1. For those of you woh limited +1s to serious relationships, how did you define “serious?” I have a LOT of cousins, and while we’re all pretty close I don’t always know their current relationship status… do I just ask? Also, one of my cousins (who is a BM) will have been with her guy for over 3 years at my wedding, but they aren’t living together or engaged and most likely won’t be then either. So I can’t make those definite cutoff points.
2. Our guest list was 1st cousins and our aunts and uncles (no great aunts/uncles). I just found out that 2 of FI’s closest cousins are actually his 2nd cousins, not 1st, which I didn’t realize. I guess they can be invited anyway since we aren’t close to any other 2nd cousins? But I don’t want any great aunts and uncles to be hurt because I do know some of them…
3. For 1st cousins, I’m close to almost all of them, but there are a few I have never met for various reasons (live too far away, step cousins who never made an effort to join the family, one step cousin who did make an effort but had kids and I haven’t seen him in years, etc.). I’m not sure if I should invite them since I’ll be inviting their parents (the cousins who live far away are in AZ and my uncle lives there too- I’ve met him once, should I invite him? I don’t want to exclude only him) and in the case of step-cousins, I’ll be inviting those that I know, so I don’t want any hurt feelings. The cousins won’t care as much as their parents.
Ugh, and here I was thinking my family hasn’t caused too many problems. Help on any of the above would be awesome.
Post # 3
1) You can make exceptions to rules for bridal parties. Typically we used living or engaged as the cut off point, but there were a few relationships that were neither we let slide through (dating 3+ years)
Most people wouldnt know the difference or would know they were serious, just not living or engaged yet.
2) Go ahead and invite the close second cousins, but only them. They are his 2nd cousins, your your great aunts etc will not know that they “were exceptions”.
3) This is really your decision. If they live far away, they probanbly wouldnt come anyway sicne you dont really know them so you could invite them (just be prepared they may actually come) I think you should, because their parents will see other 1st cousins being invited. You said its “only a few”. Can your numbers handle these?
Post # 4
I agree 100% with everything that @lefeymw:
Post # 5
*sigh* This has been a big argument for my Fiance and I. I am very black and white. We had the same rules. Serious relationships only. That meant long term and on their way to engagement if not already living together or engaged. However, 2 of our groomsmen have gfs and their relationships do not fall under these specifications. We had a big fight over this because I didn’t think it would be fair to everyone else who is not getting a +1, but I lost that fight. In the end I just threw my hands up and let him and his family run up the guest list. In the end everyone got a +1 in our bridal party. I kept a tight control over my family’s list. But in the end, we got enough no’s that we will be right around our target guest count. PHEW! Otherwise….I probably would be having another major melt down right about now.
We also limited to 1st cousins only, but then I am very close with my 2nd cousins and our parents are very close so they are invited to our wedding, but then my other 2nd cousins aren’t. Who are very close to my sister, but I’m not very close with them at all. This was another agrument, that I thankfully won. As you can tell, the guest list is a hot topic.
Basically, what I learned is as much as we would like it to be black and white, there are a lot of gray areas. In the end, ask yourself and your Fiance when you look back 10 years from now will you regret not having so and so there.
Post # 6
1. But do I just go asking all my cousins if they’re living with someone? I don’t even know if they have SOs, they could and be living together for all I know. Is it weird to go around asking? And I know I have another cousin in a really long term relationship (not sure how long though) but they aren’t living together or engaged… but I know the guy so well he’s like family. So do I have a time cutoff of just not invite him?
2. True, hopefully everyone will just assume their his 1st cousins…
3. The ones that live far away, there are two cousins but they have husbands and I think 3 kids each (could be more by now, haha). So I guess I could invite them, I’m just not sure how weird it would be for them to get an invite when I’m not sure they’d even recognize my name and know I was their cousin lol.
I think we’ll have the same problem- FI’s sister has a boyfriend, they’ll be dating about a year or a little over by the wedding (if they’re still together), but he won’t know anyone aside from her and she’ll be up at the head table. But everyone will start asking why she got a +1 and they didn’t…
Post # 7
Just to throw a wrench in the works.
You know there are still people who are in serious relationships, not engaged and choose not to live together for their own reasons. I don’t think you should use living together as an absolute. (Of course, in my opinion, no one has the right to judge the seriousness of someone else’s relationships).
Post # 8
haha I tried using the head table as an excuse for the groomsmen’s to not get +1s. Since they’re not in a serious relationship they don’t know anyone else either other than their bfs. But we’re not doing a head table…soooo ugh. I’m close with my FI’s cousins so I know a few of them have bfs but nothing serious, so they’re not invited. I told Fiance if they start asking why they weren’t allowed a +1 I’m defering to him. I really don’t think it’s fair to bend the rules, but in the end I convinced myself that giving the bridal party a +1 can be a way of thanking them for their help and support during our engagement….
Post # 9
Are you directing that at me or other posters…? Because that’s the entire problem…
We will be having a head table, and with 6 on each side (so 14 people at the head table, yikes) we won’t have room for them to sit with their SO’s during dinner. For most of the wedding party that won’t be a problem though, since most of them are either not dating anyone or are dating someone that knows most of the other guests. It’s mainly just FI’s sister I’m not sure about… I guess I just can’t worry about it yet since I don’t know if they’ll be together at that point.
Post # 9
The living together or engaged thing always bothered me. I was with my husband/then-boyfriend for four years before getting engaged. We didn’t live together due to personal/religious beliefs, but that didn’t mean we weren’t as serious as a couple who lived together before engagement.
That said…the “living together or engaged” thing should not be a hard and fast rule. I think in this situation, “seriousness” can superficially be judged by how long a couple has been together. (For the record, I’m not saying that’s right, I just mean, in the context of weddings, that’s often how it’s done.)
In terms of out of town family, what do you think is the likelihood they’d actually attend if an invite were extended?
Post # 10
I’m kind of going by the rule (with a few exceptions) – that if we’ve met the SO, they’re invited. We talk with almost everyone on our guest list regularly. If I don’t know about the person that my friend or family member is seeing, then I don’t consider it “serious”.
Post # 11
Yeah, that’s why I’m not sure what to do. Do I have a time cutoff? I know people dating 2 years who don’t consider themselves serious and people dating for 4 months that consider themselves VERY serious. But my ceremony site is too small for everyone to have a random +1, and I have a ton of cousins who have decided at past weddings that +1 meant it was okay to bring your best friend (as in, girl just bringing her girl best friend for fun) as your +1. Which I found a bit odd and annoying, to be honest. And I’d rather not feed all these +1s that are just best friends or week long relationships that I have never met before and will probably never meet again.
The out of town family… 99% sure they won’t attend. But I feel like I should invite them anyway. I guess the bigger problem is the family that lives in the same city that I’ve never met, lol. If they don’t make an effort for family gatherings, why should I? But then their siblings would be invited and they wouldn’t? Awkward. And yes those cousins I’ve never met would probably come for the free food, I know that much.
@atalante: Haha, and yet another problem arises… I have one cousin who moved to NYC for her boyfriend. Dating for 4-5 years, living together- but I’ve never met him since only she comes back for the holidays. And other cousins have SOs who can’t make it to family gatherings because of work but I consider myself to be close to those cousins, even if I only see them a couple times a year.
Post # 12
Oh, I know what you mean. We had a guest attend (daughter of a family friend) who was allowed a +1 because she and her Boyfriend or Best Friend had been together for about three years. When we got our photos back after the wedding, we were amused/a little annoyed to find a photo of her and the Boyfriend or Best Friend making out on the dance floor. And then even moreso when we found out they’d broken up!
So, you’re right — longevity isn’t a reliable indicator, but it’s quantitative and that’s why people can get away with it. I’ve heard 6 months and a year as the cutoffs that a lot of bees use. I can’t say which is “right.” We actually ended up using a more subjective route, which can be hard to justify to guests if questioned. It’s such a tough situation!
Also, we felt safe inviting some out of town family who we figured wouldn’t attend. That can be a little risky, but if you are pretty positive they won’t come, you might be able to extend an invite without having to add to your guest count.
Post # 13
I agree with some of the PP’s. I have been with my SO for 5 years and we aren’t engaged and do not live together. A friend of mine has always been quick to jump into relationships and move in after a few weeks. So living together isn’t the best way to decide +1’s. I would go by amount of time.
You sound like you have so many people to sift through! Maybe 2 years or more or engaged obviously lol. You may have to ask around and see who is with who and for how long. Good luck!
Post # 14
That’s kind of what I would consider the exception. We have a few people who fall in that category, but we know about that SO. So they’re included.
Post # 15
My fiance and I had similar issues with our guest list being so huge because we didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. What I ended up doing, was ruling out any family I had never met. If I hadn’t met them, then they really didn’t have an impact on my life or relationship in anyway. We also ruled out family that we haven’t seen within a few years. I understand the life gets busy, but if I haven’t seen you in five or more years, then I made that cut.
Really my fiance and I are inviting everyone we’re close to and couldn’t imagine getting married without them there as witness. I am close to my great aunts and my second cousins, so i’m inviting them. However, i’m not as close as a few of my great aunts kids that I have only seen once, so i’m not inviting them. That may upset someone down the road, but it’s our wedding and we have limited space.
With the defining of “serious” relationships…we decided that if our friends we were inviting were married or engaged, of course their partner would be invitied. If they weren’t engaged, then we said to be “serious” it would have to be a relationshiip of a few years. If it was a year or under then we said they would be a single invite.
Hope this helps!