(Closed) Second string or B list?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

What are your concerns? Balanced sides? Cost? Overall size of wedding?

If you are close to your family and you invite some of those people but not all of them, then I think those left out will probably be hurt. Why should aunts and uncles get preference over cousins? Why not just each of you compile a list of people that you are close to and would like to see there and invite those people? It doesn’t matter if your fiance has fewer guests than you. Just because you invite all your aunts, uncles, and cousins doesn’t mean that he has to too. Families are different, and what makes sense for your family (inviting everyone) might not make sense for his.

Besides, people don’t change their behavior for weddings. If your fiance doesn’t like and isn’t close to most of his family, even if he did invite them then they still probably wouldn’t show up. We had to send token invites to my husband’s cousins and aunts who he hasn’t seen since he was a child—none of them came (in fact, most never rsvp’d, ugh). Conversely, my family traveled thousands of miles, because we are close and they wouldn’t miss the wedding for the world. The people who love you are going to want to be there, and those who don’t care aren’t going to come unless someone who cares makes them come.

Post # 4
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

I would do one or another not both!

Either have a small wedding and only invite close family or friends or go all out and invite everyone! Hosting two events will definitely make people feel like they are less important than the ones invited to the ‘main’ event!

Post # 6
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think it’s really tricky to tease apart family for something like this. We’re doing the small reception-big BBQ model (mine may have been the post you saw!)—but are inviting all the family to both events, and only distinguishing between them for friends. The rule of thumb we used for deciding which friends were on which list was whether we would have invited them/expected that they might come had the wedding not been in-town, which worked pretty well. This doesn’t really apply to family, who pretty much had to be invited regardless.

We are doing “tiers” of family, but mostly that was an all-or-nothing deal with family units (that is, if aunts and uncles come, so do all their children and the attached SOs, etc.) We broke it with degrees removed (so in my fiance’s larger family, with lots of first cousins, just the aunts/uncles/cousins and their families are invited; in my relatively small family, my second cousins and their families are also invited, but that’s because I grew up with them). I could definitely not have invited just aunts/uncles and no cousins, or even some second cousins and not all of them, without hurting lots of feelings. Since virtually everyone is coming from afar, the hope is that it will primarily be those relatives we’re especially close to who will make the trip. I can imagine how much trickier it is if they’re nearby, though.

Can you possibly do just immediate family (parents, grandparents, siblings) plus very close friends for something very small and intimate, and then do a more casual event for the large group? That might address the issue…

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