(Closed) Small wedding LARGE FAMILY – HOW TO LET THEM KNOW

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

We told people as we had regular conversations with them. So at family Christmas, when wedding talk would come up, we flat out said that we were having a small wedding with immediate family and close friends only. A few people made some noise about it, but most were cool. I figured that if they were not someone I would see and talk to at some point during my year long engagement, then they obviously wouldn’t be coming to the wedding anyway. 

Post # 4
Member
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Send invitations to those you are inviting. If people start asking afterwards, just explain the situation and your wishes. Definitely don’t call them before hand just to say “sorry but just so you know you’re not invited”…you would just be creating awkwardness for yourself. And you wouldn’t want anybody to miscontrue the situation and think “i can’t believe she made such an effort to tell me i’m not invited. rude”. My experience has been that yes it can be awkward and petrifying to explain after the fact but generally people turn out to be okay with it. If they do happen to be upset about it, they probably won’t tell you and might vent to their spouses for a few minutes or days and then get over it. It sounds like your family probably loves you as much as you love them and won’t be something they’d disown you over.

I think its becoming pretty common to have a “reception” of some sort a little while after the wedding…especially for small ceremonies, destination weddings, etc. Why not plan something for Memorial Day weekend next spring? By then the wedding stress will be gone and the thought of planning a casual family get together may not sound like such a daunting task.

 

Post # 5
Member
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Oh yeah, I agree with lovekiss too…if they bring it up, by all means tell them what your plans are…I just wouldn’t go out of my way to do so…if it comes up in conversation and you say you’re having a small wedding, it will prepare them for when they don’t get an invitation.

Post # 6
Member
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

You should certianly plan to send out an official “wedding announcement” after the wedding.  This will inform the extended family that you did, in fact, remember them and think of them even though you weren’t in a position to invite everyone to be at the ceremony.  The announcement will also provide your married name (whether or not you choose to change your name) – so people will know how to formally address you!

I agree that people are likely to have hurt feelings if you try to keep your wedding a secret – it’s likely to be a poorly kept one!  Weddings are joyous occasions and life altering ones, so people like to share the news.  It’s better to let your siblings and friends spread the word naturally, as your relationship comes up in conversation. I suspect that several cousins have already heard about the upcoming wedding!  If they ask about it, it would be in poor taste to discuss your wedding plans at length or in detail with anyone who won’t be invited, but mentioning that you are happily engaged and planning fall nuptials is appropriate. 

Typically when people who would not be on my guest list pumped me for details I would tell them “Oh, we’re going to have a very small wedding.  Unfortunately we won’t be able to invite everyone who we care about.”  Most people understood this to mean that they shouldn’t be watching the mailbox, but it wasn’t because we didn’t love them.

Post # 10
Member
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@momma-mia2012:  Congrats on the house.  I don’t think that there is anything wrong with deciding that the purchase of a home is a higher priority than an expensive wedding.

Have you already picked your venue?  Is the guest limit a financial concern or an intimacy one?  There are a few options for inexpensive weddings (depending on your budget) that may allow for the larger guest list – if it is important to you.

It isn’t as if you are “blacklisting” extended family because you don’t like them.  I’d imagine that most will understand.

Post # 11
Member
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@momma-mia2012:  A slightly more positive spin on the phrasing might be:

With great joy we announce that
we were married on
Saturday, October 20, 2012 

Our painfully small budget & venue
meant there were many loved ones
we were not able to invite. 

Our ceremony was small and intimate
But our love was huge
And our family was in our hearts. 

We deeply missed having you there,
but you were in our hearts.

We love you.
We miss you.
We hope to see you soon!

Love,
our names

(This also keeps anyone from thinking “If you really missed us, you would have invited us.”)

Post # 12
Member
4193 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

@UmbrellaMoon:  I like these edits. Keeps it positive!

I think it would be great to include a photo of you two with the announcements (I’m doing that for family/friends who can’t attend.)

Post # 13
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

Are you dead-set on having it on a Saturday?

If you would be willing to consider a different day, it would be cheaper, and people would be more likely to opt out anyway … might be a little easier to explain. I.e. “we got married on a Thursday because it was so much more affordable, so we deliberately kept the invitation list really small because we felt bad asking people to take off work …”

Not sure if that’s a good option for you or not, but I thought I’d throw it out there.

Post # 16
Member
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@momma-mia2012:  Oooh! the venue sounds lovely.  If it’s just what you want, and you and Fiance are ok with having siblings and friends, but not extended family at your wedding, then it sounds like you’re all set to gear up for exiting (whirlwind!) planning.

Family is family.  If yours is like most, there will be a little drama – because what’s family without some? – but everybody will come out the other side still loving you guys.  It sounds like you’ve got good relationships with them.

Good luck. 🙂

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