(Closed) Should I Invite a Cousin I Dont Know?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
820 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Ahh, I feel your pain! Our list is currently at 347! And that is after "cutting" it down, it was once at 430! 

I have had a similar problem too, though mine was more of a battle (and I hate to say it, but I lost).  My dad insists that if you invite one cousin, you must invite their siblings.. i.e., be consistent. He has this one cousin who I know quite well, as she’s been very involved in my life despite living a few states away. Her sister, however, lives in California and I have met her ONCE in my life, years and years ago, and I didn’t even like her. She came to my graduation party with her whole family years ago, and while other guests gave me cool gifts like suitcases, money, or books- she gave me a bottle of hand lotion. I remember being like, wtf?? Who are you?? And I think that goes to show that she doesn’t feel like she knew me at all, not even enough to give me $20 instead of a bottle of hand lotion! Not to mention my parents put her and her entire family up for the weekend in our house instead of making them get a hotel!!

Needless to say, my father insists that since we are inviting the close cousin, we cannot cross off her sister, though distant off the list. It infuriates me because I don’t know her from Adam. But I can’t argue with him about it anymore, especially since he is paying for the majority of the wedding. 

My advice is do what YOU want if you have the kind of family that will allow for that. I wish I could do the same. If you are only inviting her to please the family but they won’t be upset if you don’t, don’t. I do not think it is rude whatsoever. Weddings are supposed to be a celebration of the couple, but they have gotten out of control with etiquette and pleasing everyone, and here we are inviting people we don’t even know! However,  if you want to be super polite and don’t mind 2 more guests, plus having total strangers at your wedding, then invite her.  

Ahh, the woes of the guest list!! Good luck! 

Post # 4
1428 posts
Bumble bee

I have a second cousin who I am really close to, she will be one of my BM’s. However, I am not at all close to the rest of her siblings (even though we have met many times at family gatherings) and I will not be inviting them. So I wouldn’t feel bad if I were you for inviting one sister and not the other considering you’ve never even met her. I doubt she would be offended. Did you receive an invite to her wedding? If not, then I would definitely feel it’s okay not to invite her. (Not as an "Oh YOU didn’t invite ME type of thing but just as she doesn’t feel close enough to you to have invited you).

Post # 5
773 posts
Busy bee

I think if you are inviting her sibling you should invite her.  If she lives across the country, it seems unlikely that she’ll travel to go to the wedding of a cousin she’s never met, and it will avoid the hurt feelings that are pretty likely if you invite her sibling but not her…

Post # 6
2470 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Part of my biggest argument when it comes to tricky people on the guest list is asking: Would I recognize this person at all if we were walking past one another on the street?

What makes your situation even trickier is that you are inviting her half-sibling. I’m wondering if she’s hoping to get better acquainted with your family and that she’s using the wedding as an opportunity to do so? Or maybe your Uncle is hoping it will be another chance for him to see her? I’m just trying to figure out why he would ask for you to invite her… maybe he already mentioned it to her thinking she was inviting and doesn’t want to tell her he jumped the gun?

I’m sure my post wasn’t much help, but maybe asking these questions to yourself may help!

Post # 7
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

Here’s how I view it..does this person care to be there really?  Does she know me and my guy and wish us well and is a part of our lives?

If no, then they do not get invited.  Money doesn’t grow on trees.  But keeping the peace is good.  Think it over.

I just know if it were me, and I am not close to somebody at all, hardly know em’ or haven’t talked in say five or more years NO INVITE goes to them.

Ours will be an intimate affair (probably less than 50 unless all my coworkers demand to come) and I’m not changing the way our day will be …it’s GOING to be intimate..that means those that know and love us only.

Post # 8
596 posts
Busy bee

I can understand that for your uncle, he didn’t want the uninvited cousin to feel left out since they are both his children.  At least he was polite and called to ask, versus just adding her to the RSVP!  How old is this cousin? I could understand if she was young and they all live together and she cannot be left home alone.  If she’s an adult, I find it hard to believe she would feel left out and get all upset.  The other possibility is that your uncle thinks this will be a good opportunity for a family reunion and would love for everyone to meet both of his children.  At this point, you have invited so many people that one more invite probably isn’t worth the potential hurt feelings that might ensue so I would probably just invite her, although I totally agree that it seems completely silly to invite someone you don’t know at all!  But this is how planning weddings can be…it’s just really wacky and weird and you do things that you never thought you would do.  I never thought I would go and ask people for presents but then there I was at BBB scanning my appliances, telling people exactly what to buy me should they feel the need to congratulate me. 😛

Post # 9
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

i think you need to weigh how much is adding one person going to cost you vs. what kind of bad feelings will arise if you don’t invite this cousin.  to me it isn’t worth bad feelings and family disagreements, but ultimately it is your day and you need to check your gut to decide.  btw – at least they asked. 

Post # 10
27 posts

I would say since it’s a half-sibling it’s not that big of a deal. My mom wanted me to invite our entire extended family, so I had to implement a rule that if I haven’t talked to them in the past year we’re not sending invites. While I was able to put my foot down on my side of the family, my fiancé’s parents weren’t as flexible. My reasoning was that I just don’t want people to think I just want them so send a gift, and the other was that I wanted it to remain intimate (though it doesn’t appear that it will).

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