(Closed) Issue: inviting close friends over extended family

posted 12 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

If that’s what you and your Fiance want then go for it. One suggestion though – make it all or none. For example, if you invite one aunt or uncle you should invite them all. I had a cousin get married and invite about 1/2 the family (some aunts, uncles and cousins but not others) and it felt like a real snub to not get an invite. If you invite strictly immediate family and close friends I don’t think it would be a big deal.

Post # 5
6980 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I think it is fine. Obviously they might not like it, but if NO family except immediate is there they can’t be too upset. I think that people will understand that you might not be able to invite your whole family, but you have some close friends that it is important to invite.

Post # 6
2316 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Sigh, I know the feeling. I want a small wedding. Like, 75 people max. But I just don’t know how we’d accomplish that. I feel obligated to invite my extended family that we’re kinda sorta not really close to, but that would mean less spaces for people I REALLY care about having there, like our coworkers and best friends and family friends that have known me since I was 4.

Post # 7
671 posts
Busy bee

We are limited to 100 people bc of our venue. If I invited all my aunts, uncles and cousins, that would have made up 60+ people. (FH’s family is very small.) We made the decision to focus on friends, which evens up the guest list a LOT. And I broke the rule of “all or none” by thinking about who my parents invite to their own gatherings. There is 17 years between my mother and her youngest brother – they have never lived in the same house and don’t know each other very well. On the other hand, there is 18 months between my mother and her elder sister – a woman who I have spent many holidays with and whose children I am close to. So we’ve invited 2 siblings (and their respective families) from each side of the family, grandparents, a great aunt, some of my parents’ friends, and the rest are our friends and immediate family. People who know us as a couple, have been there for us over the past 6 years, who are really excited about our wedding. I am lucky that my sister got married this year and had a similar guest list, so the precedent was set – no major fall outs, as far as we know!!

Post # 8
2 posts

I’ve heard of throwing a separate gathering for those who could not make the actual wedding – for whatever reason – locale, budget, etc.  There’s nothing wrong with making your own rules, and put yourself in your potential guests shoes – would you be invited to their wedding?

Post # 9
450 posts
Helper bee

It is your wedding, so you can do whatever you want, but you have to remember that people get weird about these things and you may piss some people off.

Have you thought about two parties?  Just a small dinner after the ceremony with your immediate family and then do a party just for your friends another night?

Post # 11
1652 posts
Bumble bee

This is tough…  I’m not Hispanic, but I do have an Italian family, and wonder if there are some similarities.  In my family it is pretty much expected that you invite extended family.  You might get a pass if it’s a second marriage or something.  But they count on this for social reunions or something. 

DO you feel close enough to your aunts and uncles that it would be a bit awkward to not invite them?  Do you really feel the OOTers will come?  If your mom is being supportive, perhaps this isn’t that big of a deal.

I think you should have it the way you want it.  But I can’t say your extended family will all be happy about that.  Maybe you can feel around about that.  Then decide how important that is to you.  And also, look into how many guests you really would be talking about if you included everyone.  What if you just included aunts and uncles, not cousins?

Good luck.

Post # 12
1741 posts
Bumble bee

I’m sort of dealing with the same issue with my mom’s cousins. Since I have a relatively small family, Aunts and uncles were a given. I intended to invite 2 of my mom’s cousins. However, there are other cosuins of hers who were also pretty close in growing up but there are 4 plus spouses and adult children so I just cut everyone instead of deciding. She noticed this and suggested I only invite the cousins not their children, I didn’t agree but comprimised for the sake of not upsetting everyone. This puts me over my guest limit so I’m thinking of not sending them STDs and just sending them the invitation and if they can’t make it (all are local) it won’t be a big deal.

Post # 13
3230 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Luli29, I am in the same boat as you! What we did was a little different then you, we opted to invite immediate family, close friends, & aunts & uncles, but no cousins, unless the cousins lived at home. We arn’t very close to our cousins & there are just waaay too many of them (like you, I am also from a big hispanic family!) so we decided to make it a blanket across both my FI’s side & mine and only invite our aunts & uncles and not their adult childeren (our cousins)

We could of invited cousins, but we chose friends over cousins. Because, again, like you, we are paying for the wedding ourselves & for the sake of having control over the guest list, we had to choose who we wanted more & we chose friends.

Although, we did invite aunts & uncles, and you are thinking about only inviting your immediate family, that is 100% perfectly fine! The only reason we invited our aunts/uncles is because we do want them there, but we had to draw the line somewhere so we decided on “no adult cousins”

Some of my aunts & uncles were upset that their kids weren’t invited, but hey their kids are 20+ years old and living their own lives, so whatev! No matter what you do, people will always have some comment to make, can’t please everyone! 🙂

Post # 15
9 posts
  • Wedding: October 2011

This post and the responses have been really helpful to me, even though they’re from awhile back!  We were going to elope but decided to do a small wedding instead.  Neither of us had ever heard of such a thing, as our family historically has either eloped or done a huge wedding. 

So imagine my extended family’s surprise when we broke it to them that we were just having our parents, siblings, and grandparents (and their SOs and children)…no aunts, uncles, or cousins  We’re actually having several close friends, as well, but that’s not something we’re advertising.

If anyone’s still following this thread, I’m wondering how many close friends it seems appropriate to have at a small wedding like that.  We have about 20 family members coming, and we’re thinking 10-15 close friends would be appropriate.  I know it’s our day and all that, but does that sound about right?

PS – Any other brides interested in small weddings should definitely check out the blogs over at http://www.intimateweddings.com  Amazing and SO helpful.  I felt 10x better about our choice after reading tons of other likeminded people make a strong case for a small wedding and say they didn’t regret it one bit!

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