(Closed) Invitations & large family – ok to pick and choose?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1763 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I completely agree with the all or nothing. We set limits, i have a large extended family they I do stay in touch with, but we couldn’t invite them all. So we did all aunts and uncles and first cousins, we also did great aunt and uncles knowing that only a few could make the trip. We didn’t invite any second cousins or any other distant relatives.

I am on the receiving end of the choosing senario with one of my first cousins who I have been close to in recent years. it suck and makes you feel like you weren’t good enough to make the cut. You will end up hurting people’s feeling and probably have more drama then what it’s worth.

Post # 4
1166 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

it is not “wrong” to pick and choose. It is your wedding, and 75 is a pretty small number. We also drew the line at family members, including first cousins, whom we do not keep in touch with or have a relationship with.

Having said that, it is your fiance’s family and ultimately he will bear the brunt of any resentment created by not inviting them. So you can point out that etiquette does not dictate that you must invite your entire family, but you also need to be sensitive to his family’s feelings and the possible consequences if he doesn’t include certain people.

Is there a compromise you can reach between your short list and his all-inclusive list?

Post # 5
1427 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

we came into this situation; i wanted a really small intimate wedding. unfortunately my fiance comes from a large family with plenty of first cousins. we compromised by planning a small ceremony and opening the reception up to more people. even then, i was adament about having no children there but a lot of his cousins have kids. at the end of the day; we’re inviting everyone including the kids. i agree it is your wedding and it should be what you want; but remember that his family will become your family in the future. you may not be close now, but keep the door open for a future relationship. if you whack them from the list, you’re acting first and could potentially alienate them. also, if budget is a concern; keep in mind that the most generous guests are usually family. good luck!

Post # 6
4824 posts
Honey bee

The alternative would be to draw the line between generations instead of in the middle of families. IE only aunts and uncles and no children.

But I agree, I had the same feeling with my FH’s family, but he wouldn’t do it and I can only imagine how much the family would have talked about us if we had. As the “outsider” marrying in to the family I am sure they would have blamed me the most. People tend to side with blood family.

Post # 8
3 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m kind of in the same boat. I have a huge Italian family, as well as two step families to consider on top of my friends while my fiance` only has, essentially, his immediate family (which includes his mother and two sisters), one set of grandparents, an aunt and uncle and then perhaps 4 or 5 close friends (most of which will be standing for him as groomsmen at the wedding).

We decided our best bet was to have a small ceremony with just immediate family and after, either the same day or at a later date (we haven’t decided if we want a destination wedding or not yet), we will throw a big party for our entire group of friends and family members.

I know that a lot of my family members are going to be hurt by not being invited to the actual ceremony, but I also know that if we DO have a destination wedding, most of them won’t be able to make the trip for scheduling, financial, or medical reasons. As it is, he and I are working on a very small budget for the entire thing ourselves so we may even have to cap the reception at less than 100 people. Plus, while a huge party sounds awesome, I know that I would feel exhausted with all the thank yous and whatnots.

Post # 9
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I am having the same problem.. why should I invite an uncle I haven’t even seen in 10 years just to invite him?  but apparently that’s what my dad wants and he is generously footing the bill so I have to invite the siblings.  Have you considered an A and B list?  We tried to do that, but it got too messy for us so we just chopped the list down and didn’t send save the dates to the relatives we didn’t really “want” to invite..

Post # 10
126 posts
Blushing bee

Here’s another tip that might help.  They say something like 20% of your guests may not be able to come (don’t take it personally – life just happens). I of course completely ignord this, thinking “of course they will all come!”.  But if you keep this in mind, you can have a second string “back-up group” of invitations ready to go. This way IF you get a few regrets you can still have the other invites ready to send out.


Have a wonderful wedding!Kiss

Post # 12
296 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We’ll be having this problem too. Fiance has a very large family, half of whom I’ve never even met, due to them living in another state or just not being close with them. I don’t think my fiance realizes how many close family and friends we have because he think we’re going to invite everyone and I’ve tried to explain to him that it’s just not possible! Good luck with everything. Hopefully the left out family members will understand!

Post # 13
10218 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

I had to reread the post to make sure I didn’t write it lol!!!! We invited everyone, but I know not everyone will be able to make it to the event. In actuality we KNOW that some of the prereq invitees will not be in attendance due to age, distance etc, but it was only “proper” to invite them.

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