(Closed) Inviting out-of-country guests

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

steckarrr:  Was this social event specifically pitched as an engagement party and/or did many of the attendees bring you gifts?  If so, that might have created an expectation of receiving an invitation (in the USA to invite someone to an event like an engagement party where gifts are given or shower without also inviting them to the wedding would be perceived as offensive by more than a few people).  What country in Europe?  Perhaps someone who is from that country could offer an opinion then.

Wedding invitations do not have to be reciprocal.

Generally people suggest inviting in circles like “all cousins,” but that is not a hard-and-fast rule.  Remember though that Cousin D may be upset if Cousins A, B, and C are invited.  If you can deal with that, then that’s fine.

Post # 3
737 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

steckarrr:  If I were you, I would invite all of the guests who attended your engagement party. I hear you about wanting to keep your wedding small, but if these people live in Europe they most likely won’t come to your wedding in the US anyway. In the US the etiquette is that you can’t invite someone to a pre-wedding event but not the wedding itself. Wedding invitations do not have to be reciprocal.

Post # 4
3171 posts
Sugar bee

I would be inclined to invite all of them. However if that’s truly not possible your mother is the one to take guidance from. She’s going to know your family dynamics better than anyone. 

Post # 6
1308 posts
Bumble bee

What is an “intimate” ceremony?  If you are getting married with less than 20 people (immediate family only), I wouldn’t even think twice about inviting them.  Come to think of it, if you aren’t remotely close to these people, I wouldn’t bother with it either.  What would be the chances they would come?  

Invite only who you want.  IMO engagement parties are not the same as bridal showers etc in that all guests must be invited to the wedding, since most people don’t bring gifts.  

If you are close to the aunts/uncles/cousins, invite them.  If they are people you see once every 10 years, I don’t think anyone would really be hurt (you or them).

Post # 7
13578 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think you need to invite everyone, or no one.  You can’t invite cousins but not their parents. 

Because of how your engagement party came about, I don’t think you’re obligated to invite everyone, but picking and choosing some but not others isn’t good.  As for inviting people solely because you were invited to theirs — no, weddings are not tit-for-tat.

Post # 8
38 posts
  • Wedding: January 2016

Maybe you could gauge through your parents or someone else how likely they are to attend the wedding? Ours isn’t going to be as small as yours, but we’re definitely being more liberal with inviting our family and friends abroad rather than worrying about numbers because we know that so many of them can’t actually come… (Actually, we wish they could… but anyway on a strictly numbers level, it makes it easier to estimate how many will come since we know they can’t.)

Post # 9
116 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I’m getting married next year and I also have family out of the country (Dominican republic) im only inviting some cousins and some aunts and uncles I have way too many to invite them all. The way I’m inviting them is if I talk to them on a regular basis then I’m inviting them but if I don’t I’m not. I’m inviting some cousins and not their parents and also some uncles and not their kids it may sound bad but with 28 aunts and uncles with multiple kids there’s no way I can afford to pay for everyone. Good luck!

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