(Closed) Slate article: perspective on guest list dilemmas

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Nope, sorry. We’re paying for the majority of the wedding, and we already had to cut our friends to accommodate FI’s large family.

Post # 4
311 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

That was a strange article. 

Post # 5
9181 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@KCKnd2:  Interesting perspective, I thought.  We’re inviting some family friends of our parents for the reasons explained in the article – maybe ~30 people of a total of ~200.  (And our parents’ siblings are also some of their closest friends.)  Both sets of parents are paying for the wedding so we definitely think they have some say on this!

Post # 6
2854 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’m not really close with my dad’s family, but we are really close with his (now my mom’s) friends. The friend group is basically his friends from high school, their spouses, and some add-ons. All the families go camping together every year. They’re basically family to me, and will all be invited to the wedding.

Random friends of my mom’s that I don’t quite know? Probably not. The guest list will be huge already, and we will be paying for it ourself.

Post # 7
405 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I intend to invite the best friends of our parents, but that’s because (at least for my parent’s friends) they are practically family. I couldn’t imagine not inviting my mothers best friend and her husband because that woman watched me grow up and I spent so many summers with her and her daugthers. I could understand not wanting to invite their random coworkers, but their best friends are also my friends and they would be sad if they couldn’t see the girl who they watched grow up get married.

Post # 8
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Interesting.  I think a key point is that people don’t want to invite someone they don’t know.

If your parents friends have really been around for them through thick and thin, you DO know them.

I didn’t mind (too much) my parents inviting 10 people to our 100 person wedding (8 came) because they were people my parents have known and kept in touch with through countless Coast Guard moves.  They’re the people I know I’d call if stranded by plane cancellations in their city.  (The Coast Guard network, despite smaller than other branches, is extensive enough that even when I did a term abroad my parents had a number and address to hand to me “Just in case” with “don’t hesitate to call” tagged on.)  I spent a week vacation at age 11 or so squeezed onto a small boat in Alaska with one couple, 8 people all total.  I just crashed at the home of another couple when across the country for a wedding.  (May I say how much nicer it is staying with parent’s friends?  We had a whole beautiful suite to ourselves, they absolutely refused to allow us to lift a finger and were tickled pink to have dinner with us one night.)

I don’t want random friends of my parents any more than I want random strangers, but “Uncle” T who is the only non-family member I danced with at my wedding?  Of course.

(And btw folks, it turns out they give the nicest gifts, and were virtually the only ones to really “cover” their plate.)

Post # 9
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

This is just starting to come up for us. We can seat 144 in our space and I’m more than happy to pay for all 144. But our friends and family come first. We already have his parents closest friends on the list (1 couple) but now they want to add like 6 more couples because “we’re helping pay”. Which yes, they are. But we’re paying the bulk of it and my parents are chipping in too. It’s fine if all our friends and family are already accounted for and there’s space left. I was planning to put their friends on a B list and as we get declines from the A listers, we can invite B listers. Haven’t run that by my Mother-In-Law yet, but she’ll have to deal with it. It’s the best solution I can come up with.

Post # 10
668 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Most of our wedding are my parents’ and FI’s parents’ friends and colleagues. We both have small families though…

Post # 11
11166 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

My grandparents (technically my parents as they raised me) had three other couples that were their nearest and dearest friends. These couples were invited to our wedding as they have been there throughout my life and I thought it was important for them to come. One of the couples did manage to attend and it was such a blessing (the other two had health concerns).

I would not feel at all obligated to invite any friends of my grandparents that I did not know or was not close with, it is our wedding not theirs.

Post # 12
4415 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@kay01:  I felt the same way about it. As much as I felt like certain couples/families weren’t exactly my first choice of who I’d want at my wedding, the fact is they’ve been close to our family for decades and watched me grow up. Sure, I hadn’t really spent time with them in years, but they were actually the ones most excited to see me get married (since they DO remember things like me interrupting dinner in a Batman costume as a child). And they did give the best gifts … 😉

Post # 13
3638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

My MOTHER thinks that it is simply crazy to invite parental friends to a wedding. She doesn’t understand why you would “waste” money on people who aren’t our friends, but hers. Unless I consider that person my friend as well (and there are some family friends I do) then why would I have that person at the wedding?

She’s attended two friend’s daughter’s weddings recently and is invited to her boss’s son’s wedding also. She just thinks it’s nuts and wouldn’t have invited herself if she was in their shoes. 

The point that article makes is about bonding and sharing that moment with important people in your life. I’m sorry, do these people not have family? Siblings? (if they are only children then perhaps they have a point).

I see aunts and uncles as compulsory on the guest list, so my parents WILL have people to talk to and share the moment with, the same people who they grew up with and shared their own weddings with. How is that not a “celebration of continuity and the communal purpose of matrimony” and giving parents the “support group [that] is really going to be necessary at a wedding” as the article states. 

And at the end of the day, if, somehow, there is no family to invite and no friends, wouldn’t the perfect people for your parents to hang out with be each other? i.e. The bride and groom’s parents hang out and swap stories etc. as the article suggests. 


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