(Closed) I feel forced/obligated to invite my family

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
1828 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Invite who you want and just say that you would have loved to invite everyone but budget constraints wouldn’t allow it. 

Post # 4
1141 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I don’t think you can cherry pick cousins, believe me we would all like to do that. If you invite one you have to invite them all. I think if they are driving for 9 hours you do have to feed them. How about a less expensive option like bringing in barbecue or something else inexpensive.

Post # 6
513 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I think as it is your wedding you can invite who you want – however (and I speak from experience here on this one!!) IF you choose to leave certain family members off your wedding list then be prepared for the fall out from those not invited and those that they are related to!!  

If your prepared for that then I do not see why you cannot leave them off. 

Post # 7
2603 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

You’re asking 2 questions: 

1. Can I cherry-pick my relatives?

Yes, it is in your right to invite whomever, especially if you are paying. HOWEVER, there is a caveat to this which is you can’t take a stick to the hornet’s nest and then complain that you have a bee problem, KWIM? And then another thing to consider with family is that it may not matter to YOU if cousin so-and-so is offended…but it could matter to your dad or your mom or someone else you care about. And you might be leaving them to deal with the mess as well (fielding phone calls, getting snubbed by family, so on and so forth). So before you cherry-pick, you might want to run it by your parents to make sure it’s not going to hurt them as bystanders. 

2. Can I have a cake-and-punch reception with a lot of Out of Town guests?

Yes, you can have whatever kind of reception you want. You send the invite–and it customarily says on the reception card, “Cake and punch reception following…” because that way guests know they aren’t going to be officially fed and can plan around that for themselves–and your Out of Town guests make the call. Those that are okay with the expense will go, those who aren’t will decline. If you got complaints after the fact (which would be incredibly rude of them!), you can just shrug and say to yourself that you upheld your end of the bargain–you invited them to a cake-and-punch reception and provided cake and punch–and let it be their problem. 

Post # 9
1038 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

 Why don’t you just invite aunts and uncles and NO cousins?  I’m only having immediate family at my wedding because I simply couldn’t afford to invite all of my extended family on my mother’s side(the side I’m closest to).  I was nervous when I went home(they all live in LA, I live in AZ) of the fallout but actually everyone has been supportive and understanding.  I even talked to a cousin of mine that I’m closer to and explained to him that I would have loved to have invited him but that if I started picking favorite cousins all hell would break loose. He completely understood and just told me that to remember it is my wedding and do what makes me happy and don’t worry about the rest of the family.


I did feel really awkward when many of my cousins would ask how wedding planning was coming along.  I felt weird discussing my wedding with them when they aren’t invited. 


Like other responses, it is YOUR wedding and you can technically do what you want BUT be prepared for the fallout if you don’t have an all or nothing mentality in regards to inviting extended family.

Post # 10
4193 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

@BothCoasts: Very good advice.

I agree that you can cherry-pick family…I am. I’m only inviting one of out twelve cousins, but I’ve only seen one of them in the past five years (hence, she’s the one invited.) If the others get upset, it’s not an issue- they’re not on my Christmas card list, and I have no idea when I might see them again. If cutting out cousins and just inviting aunts & uncles saves you a lot of money, do it. I get the feeling it’s not going to matter since you’re not close to them- just because someone is a relative does NOT mean they HAVE to be invited.

There’s nothing wrong with hosting a cake & punch reception. You have a budget- you don’t have to do a plated dinner if the larger guest list doesn’t allow. I agree that if you do cake/punch, put that on the guest info card. It shouldn’t make a difference to your guests, but guests of any event always appreciate knowing if they’re being fed.

Post # 12
4485 posts
Honey bee

It’s your wedding, not someone else’s so you make the decision as to who is invited. Don’t feel obligated to invite anyone you don’t want there. If someone doesn’t like your choice, too bad.

Also, cake and punch is very common and perfectly acceptable. It is not required that you serve a full meal unless the reception runs during a meal time. The distance travelled to the wedding is moot since these are adults who can fend for themselves on their own time.

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