Post # 1
I need some advice on a wedding issue that has been driving me nuts!
Background – My dad died about 20 years ago. He was one of six kids, and since his death, we (my sisters and me) have had limited contact with many of his family. In the past five years or so, I’ve been in touch more with some of that family, all of whom were excited when I got engaged. The family members I have relationships with have all met my fiance and have spent time with us.
Before we got engaged, I had decided that when the time came to make our guest list, I was not going to invite certain family members. One of my uncles, Uncle A, is someone who I have not seen in 15 years. My sister tried to contact him and form a relationship, and he was not interested, but does have relationships with some of our cousins, which was hurtful to my sister. I have no interest in pursuing a relationship, and do not see leaving him off the guest list as burning a bridge – there was no bridge to begin with. I also do not plan on inviting his adult son’s family, as I have also not seen him in 15 years.
I am also not inviting Uncle B. Uncle B is, for lack of a better word, toxic and I do not have a relationship with him either. The last time I spoke to him was six years ago, and immediately stopped communication when he sent me creepy messages on FB. He then denied sending any messages when called on it, and nothing bothers me more than a) being called a liar and b) someone not being accountable for his actions. He has never apologized for what he said, and he has continually started text message fights via group text with other family members. He also has a pretty severe drinking problem, and I don’t want to worry about him getting drunk and hitting on one of my friends or making a scene at the reception.
I’m set on not inviting these people to the wedding – I made up my mind a long time ago. But what I’m concerned about is whether or not I should tell my aunts and Uncle C – the rest of my dad’s siblings who I do keep in touch with. Aunt D is in contact with the family members I’m not inviting, and I have a feeling she will be upset by this. I am not particularly close with anyone on this side of the family, but I don’t want to burn any bridges with the people I have relationships with. But, I’m not changing my mind. We want to have people at our wedding who we love and know, not people who wouldn’t recognize us on the street or exhibit toxic behavior. Do I need to give a head’s up to those invited that I’m not inviting certain people? (I think the answer is yes, as much as I want it to be no). And if I do need to give a head’s up, what do I say without sounding like a jerk? I don’t want to say that it’s budget or venue related, for fear that they’ll say “Here’s $X, now you can invite them!”
This topic was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by .
This topic was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by .
Post # 2
Here’s the problem. If you don’t invite them, the ones you want there might get upset and not come. That happened to my parents.
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2015 - Carmen\'s Lakeview
I’m sorry you’re in such a tough spot 🙁
If it were me, I would invite the family that I want there and stick to your guns about not inviting those certain family members. From there, you have two options.
You can hope they aren’t offended by you leaving out certain family
Or you can invite them and phone the family member you’re closest to, explaining your decision. I know you don’t owe anyone an explanation, but they may feel entitled to one since you left certain family members out.
Post # 4
My 1st daughter to marry and her husband invited all their aunts and uncles. 1 uncle (my BIL) didn’t bother to RSVP- the only guests who didn’t (2 of 250 invited).
When it came time for my 2nd daughter to marry, we didn’t bother to invite him. There was also an uncle on the groom’s side, that he has no contact with, either. 6 of 8 aunt/uncle couples were invited and only 2 attended. 2 uncles didn’t even bother to send a congratulatory e-mail or card. I guess you can’t force people to have a relationship with you?
Don’t invite people you don’t have a relationship with or are toxic. Your aunt should realize this – the guestlist is no one else’s business but your own. You don’t owe anyone an excuse. As my husband always says “No pay, no say!”
Post # 5
we didn’t invite one couple because there was a HORRIBLE family fight (we weren’t involved) and the parties have never spoken to anyone in the family ever again, not a phone call, email etc. we a) barely knew them to begin with and b) weren’t inviting that drama etc to our wedding. we simply said ‘they’ve made it very clear with their actions that they aren’t interested in being in contact with the family, we’re going to abide by that.’ when pressed we said that we were not comfortable inviting them and we hoped people understood. no problems so far.
we also aren’t inviting another couple in the family – they are currently suing another family member, and i feel like when you do that, you opt out of certain family functions. we haven’t gotten any pushback on that either.
just stay calm, repeat your reasons and stick to your guns. let them know that it’s a comfort issue for you, and then change the subject.
Post # 6
Do not invite Uncles A& B! Only invite who you want. Invite Uncle C, and whether Aunt D’s feelings are hurt are of no importance.
It is one day, your day, and she can see them all the other days of their lives. I would not advise you to do anything rude, but that is not rude. If anyone asks, “why didn’t you invite so and so”, give a very sketchy non answer. Like “it didn’t work out” and pretend you don’t hear them if they keep on asking. I am serious.
Do not initiate any conversations with anyone over who is uninvited. They don’t need a heads up. You will invite who you want to be there, and that’s the end of it.
Post # 7
I left certain people in my family off the guest list. Everyone still came that was invited and no one was offended. You aunt probably knows you don’t have relationships with these people and quite possibly won’t even question it.
In my case I didn’t explain it to people and no one brought it up, to me anyway. If they had I would have just said that we weren’t inviting people that had never met my husband or that we hadn’t seen in over so many years….aka wouldn’t be able to say five things about my life that they knew. Good Luck.
Post # 8
Stick to your guns. If you want, tell the closest family member why you don’t want the drama, but leave it at that– word will definitely spread. I did the same thing on my end. There’s an aunt I’m definitely not inviting and honestly no one batted an eye. She’s threatened to sue other people (myself included) and I don’t need any heckling at my wedding. (There are one or two that are trying to do the whole “But it’s family” thing— I told them to pound sand. They’re coming to the wedding anyway).
The way I look at this is that this is one of the biggest times in your life where you let people know what’s acceptable and not acceptable behavoir to you and what you plan to allow in your space on such a special and intimate occassion. People can make the decision whether or not to attend based on your values— that’s them. But don’t change your values to make someone happy for one day when you potentially won’t be happy on probably one of the most important days of your life.
Post # 9
I invited three of my 8 aunts and uncles. I told the ones I invited that the others were not getting invites and they already understood why. My Fiance is not inviting any of his because he says he cannot invite the two he talks to without inviting the other 18 that he doesnt. That seems strange to me but we are having a 60 person wedding so he cannot invite them all anway. I figure people will be mad but they will get over it and they should understand that its not about them and if they dont get over it, it is their own issue they need to deal with!
Post # 10
It is your wedding invite who you want to. I have the same problem, but with cousins. I’m going to invite the ones I know well and who are close with my family. I have over 100 cousins, so obviously I can’t invite them all. Weddings are not cheap, so you have to cut somewhere and I think people should understand that. If you are not close with some of your family and haven’t seen them in years, I don’t think it would be a problem to not invite them.
Post # 11
Thank you everyone for all of the advice! I do worry that if I don’t invite these uncles/their respective families, that others will not come, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I do think that it’s important to have those who you want at your wedding, and I’m glad that I’m not totally off base! 🙂 I think I am going to hold off saying anything to those who I am inviting for now, and see if it becomes an issue. Thank you everyone!
Post # 12
Hi everyone – I wanted to give a quick update on this. My aunts and uncle who are invited to the wedding have been told that the others are not invited. My sister offered to help me do it by telling a couple of them herself, which was hugely appreciated!
As suspected, my uncle was very supportive and said it was our day, and we should be able to invite whoever we want. My aunts were a bit surprised – they said they were supportive, but argued that these guys are my dad’s brothers and he would want them to be at my wedding. My sister argued that my dad would want his daughters to be happy, and he would also want his siblings to make an effort to be in his daughters’ lives – and they haven’t. They understand (or at least are telling me they are, which is really all I need), and I appreciate that.
I was asked how I was going to tell these uncles that they’re not invited…and my response was, “They’re…not invited. They’re not getting an invitation and they didn’t get a save the date. We don’t communicate at all – that’s the whole reason they’re not invited – and I’m not going to reach out to them to specifically tell them they’re not invited to our wedding. I haven’t heard anything from them in years, so I don’t know why they would assume they are invited to the wedding.”
I think some family members have told them they are invited, and now they’ll have to go back and tell them they were mistaken…oh well. My part in this is done for now, so I’m relieved. Thank you all for your wonderful advice – this board is so great!