Post # 1
I adore this fabulous site and the great boards, where I’ve been lurking since I got engaged in August.
FH and I are really getting down to serious planning now because we want a New Year’s Eve wedding. We could really use your thoughts on our biggest headache to date.
I am an only child but have a HUGE extended family (my mom is one of 6, most aunts and uncles had 2 children and almost all of them are adults–some with children of their own). My finance has 1 brother, but also has a large extended family. But! We want to get married at our local church and have the reception at our (tiny) home, less than two blocks away. FH’s family is local, but mine is spread out across the country. We also have many friends, both at-large and local. However, we really, truly want a small, intimate reception with no more than 20 adult guests (including us). If we can, we would like to invite my mom, my grandmother, my closest aunt and uncle (they have been like second parents to me and I have asked this uncle to give me away), his parents, his brother (and date), and a handful of friends.
I love my extended family, but find dealing with them extremely stressful. Is there a tactful way other than citing budget to let friends and family know we are having a REALLY tiny wedding and can’t invite everyone? Unfortunately, my extended family knows that budget would not be limiting factor in our planning…
Have you faced this same problem? Do you have any ideas? Please help!
Post # 3
@1920cottagegirl: I’ve seen people say they are having an “intimate, immediate family only” wedding because of the venue capacity.
Post # 4
Does “immediate family only” work when non-immediates are actually invited? My mother and grandmother would be my only immediates, FH’s parents and brother his only. I’ve never been to a wedding this small (in my family they are usually obnoxiously HUGE) and really want to avoid the drama and scenes I’m afraid of if I exclude aunts, uncles, and cousins who feel they should be invited as a matter of course, because if invited they will come–even my cousin who currently lives in South Korea. I just want to make sure that I at least have ettiquette to fall back on should need arise. I can feel the ulcer already if I can’t figure this one out–and I’m not getting married until December!
Post # 5
I’m not sure. I like rules and so I would try to invite all cousins or exclude all of them ect. Its tricky to invite only some of them without hurting feelings. I would make sure to come back and bump the post tomorrow when more bees are online.
Post # 6
I agree with the above post…make a “rule” and stick to it…it’s hard to include one set of aunt/uncle when you are discluding the rest. Your best bet would be to keep it at least to immediate family and best friends and you can cite that only immediate family is invited…but at the end of the day, do what you want to do…and just explain it to people the way you explain it to us.
Post # 7
I wouldn’t call it intimate family only- I would just say small/intimate wedding if anyone asks. If anyone pushes just explain how you have only wanted a small 20 person wedding. I am sure everyone will understand.
But I agree with other posters about taking peoples feeling into consideration when deciding who to invite especially when only inviting certain extended family members.
Post # 8
I think with a wedding that tiny, you’re ok with inviting whoever you want, pretty much. I mean, 20 people is not a lot.
It’s when people start trying to call a 100-person event a “small intimate wedding” that they run into trouble, IMO. 20 people is legitimately a small, intimate affair.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
@pinkfrog: I agree with this. I think because it’s actually really small people will be more understanding if you’re only inviting certain people. I would just say it was a small/intimate wedding though, not an immediate family only since that’s not completely true. Invite everyone you want there and just explain the situation to the rest (:
I’m in a similar boat, we don’t want a lot of people but have lots of extended family that we feel we should invite because we see them every five years at family reunions 🙁
Post # 10
I think my only issue is inviting one aunt and uncle and excluding the rest. But since it will be so small hopefully no one will feel too left out. I think if there are relavives who you are really concernded will be upset, I’d make a phone call to explain – or have your mother do it. Let them know that there will only be a handful of people so they don’t think they were randomly left out for for some other reason.
In the end, it’s your day and you should do what makes you and your Fiance happy.
Post # 11
I would be honest and let them know you only want a 20 person wedding. I agree that you probably shouldn’t include “family” only if you’re inviting some friends but not some family. If you’re somewhat close to people you may not want on the day itself maybe have a casual dinner or bbq at some point (or multiple ones with different groups) to celebrate separately. I understand your dillema, I want maybe 30 guests and there are even some family members that I “should” invite but really don’t want there, and I don’t know if there’s a way to do it nicely.
Post # 12
Thanks so much, Bees! I think you all are right about just being honest that it is a very small wedding so we aren’t excluding willy-nilly. FH has been saying the same think, but it helps to hear it from other brides/brides-to-bee. Now we can book the small chapel (it only holds so many) and the caterer we really, really want. You gals are the bestest.
@Sugarpea, I feel you, my entire extended family gets together at least every other year–including great aunts, great uncles, and second, third, and fourth cousins! One of my cousins invited every single last one of them, on her mother’s side and her father’s (even larger) plus her now-husband’s entire family. The wedding was well over 500 guests, most from out of town. I know that was really hard on their bottomline. It is hard to be honest AND nice to family.
Post # 13
We are having a small wedding (50-60 ppl) and we are calling ours intimate. The thing is, you have to draw the line somewhere… and you have to be honest and draw it where you are comfortable. It’s very easy to get sucked in to having a bigger wedding to please other people, so it’s not always easy to stick to your desires. But now that our wedding is less than 6 months away, we are so happy we kept it small. I have no regrets! We got everything we wanted and thensome… we are able to afford the extras that really make us happy… rather than inviting the 3rd cousin that we’ve never met. It’s hard in the beginning, but once you get past the “we are only having a smaller wedding” broken record recording… it gets better! Good luck : )
Post # 14
My uncles wife wanted a wedding with only 20 people so they went to Italy. Its going to be hard and people may be very upset. She was anti social and thats why she didnt want anyone really at there wedding. I really hope this works for you.
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
@Mrs.Firefly1: That’s really helpful! We really want 50-60 people and your post definitely gave me more confidence in our choice (:
Post # 16
@sugarpea: It can be done! It does take more work of nicely repeating yourselves when others ‘expect’ to be invited. I explain that we are paying for this ourselves 100% and we would’ve loved to invite everybody but we cannot make that happen. People seem to understand. My Mom is on my side and that makes life easier. Once we invited a couple extra people for my FI’s Mom, she was happy.
I honestly want to look back at my photo’s and know every person there… and still have a relationship with them in 20 years…. that was very important to us. This wedding… our wedding is an intimate affair and is very special and we wanted that close feel of everyone involved… I want to see everyone and speak with them. 50 people is hard… because it’s really 25 ppl each side and at my age everyone is married. So it’s really 12 people plus their spouse! So it feels intimate to us. I’m glad we kept it small because it can get overwhelming financially. Some people love big weddings and that’s great, but it wasn’t the right decision for us personally.
To all the bee’s having smaller weddings… Rock on! It can be done!