(Closed) Reciprocal wedding invites?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1556 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

FantasticFawn:  It is not at all necessary to reciprocate invitations to weddings.

Post # 3
1303 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: Hawksnest Cove Beach St John USVI

Not needed. Especially if you’re having a small wedding or keeping the guest list down due to budget reasons. You never know why a couple chooses why or why not to invite certain guests and you shouldn’t feel obligated to invite someone to your wedding because you were invited to theirs. Future Mother-In-Law feels that way and my Fiance felt that way at first too, until he looked at the budget. We are having a super small wedding (parents, grandparents, and super close friends only), and that’s the style of wedding we want. We had to tell his mom, we are paying so we get the final say on the guest list 

Post # 4
185 posts
Blushing bee

no way! Especially if they’re no longer close. your wedding should be your close family friends and loved ones. Just because they were invited to a wedding 10+ years ago has no bearing on if you have to invite them.

Post # 5
824 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

It is not required or necessary. You may reciprocate but are not obligated to.

Post # 7
3540 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

FantasticFawn:  Absolutely not.  I had to have this conversation with my mother just recently.  We are keeping our wedding to immediate family members only (and FI’s father isn’t even invited because they aren’t close and having him there would be stressful).  My mom tried to guilt me into inviting one of my aunts (an aunt I’m not even close with).  I just had to tell her “we aren’t excluding anyone, but the guest list is what it is.”  It’s YOUR wedding, invite who YOU want.

Post # 8
431 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

No. i will be inviting family that did not invite me to their wedding (due to space limitations). While I know that is just the opposite of what you are asking, I mention it because you should invite who you want to be there. Not simply out of reciprocity. 

Post # 9
7899 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

There are too many degrees of separation. Relations may have changed in the interim. If you’re not close with the potential guests, you don’t have to invite them. If you invite these distant people, it puts them in a place of obligation too, so you might as well cut the cycle.

Post # 10
1228 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

“Our wedding will not be small by most standards (we’re hoping no more than 250), but it is small/intimate by the standards of my culture.”

I’m guessing your parents attended the weddings of their friends’ children and gave a large cash gift? If so, I think it’s polite (if not necessary) to give the friends the same opportunity to reciprocate whether they attend or not.  I wouldn’t want to risk insulting anybody. 

I think the rules are lot more relaxed for younger generations though, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to invite college friends, etc.  I don’t think any offense would be taken there.  

Post # 12
1692 posts
Bumble bee

FantasticFawn:  Your parents are actually quite right, that they have an obligation to return hospitality with a like-for-like invitation. This is a general obligation of guests to their hosts, and exists for any form of substantial entertainment regardless of the occasion that prompted the invitation in the first place. What this means is, if someone invites you to dinner, then you must invite them to dinner within the same season. If their invitation was for a wedding dinner, and you do not happen to have a wedding coming up in the same season, then you invite them for dinner “just because”. If they had a wedding tea, then you invite them for tea. It is the substance of the entertainment itself that must be like-for-like, not the reason for the entertainment. And the social debt is owed by the guest to the host.

So your parents should have already paid off those obligations, back whenever it was that all those other weddings took place. If the bride and groom were hosting their own wedding, then it’s the bride and groom, not their parents, that your parents should have invited to dinner. If you are hosting your own wedding dinner, then having you play host will not pay off your parents’ social obligations anyway.

Social obligations end with the social season. If it’s been a year since those other weddings, then your parents’ social debt has already been written off. But if they still feel obligated, they should issue dinner invitations to the couples that they owe, and take care of their obligations that way. Your wedding has nothing to do with it.

Post # 13
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

FantasticFawn:  Are your parents paying for the wedding? If not I say cut these people out of the guest list. You should only invite people who you absolutely want to be at your wedding. Do not invite people just out of obligation. 

Post # 15
13563 posts
Honey Beekeeper

FantasticFawn:  Can your guest list accommodate these guests? My parents initially had some people on their guest list who were more there out of obligation. But once we saw how massive our guest list was, we realized that we all needed to make cuts. But if there’s room for these guests, I wouldn’t worry too much. Your parents’ friends probably want to celebrate your marriage with them! And don’t forget, the people you are going to spend the most time with on your wedding day are your husband, your wedding party, and probably your immediate family (or, at least, that’s how it was for me). And for me, it was incredibly special to have so many guests from so many different areas of our life in there to celebrate us, and I was especially touched when some friends of the family I hadn’t seen in a while made a concerted effort to be there. 🙂

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