Post # 1
Here’s my situation. My dad and stepmom are paying for about 1/5 of the wedding, as are my fiance and I, as are my future in-laws. My fiance’s family is very large (20 first cousins and 7 aunts and uncles). He is VERY close to all of them. We are limiting to only aunts, uncles and first cousins. I have always dreamed of a very intimate wedding on the side of the mountain somehwere – not going to happen (which is ok! I’m glad his family is in our lives!). I asked my stepmom for a list of people she wanted to invite and I said yes to everyone except her ex-step-daughter-in-law (that’s not a typo) from one of her previous marriages that she still talks to but I haven’t heard from in ages. She wanted to invite her and her husband and their daughter and husband because my fiance’s “big family will be there”. I said no and now I’m having a ton of guilt about it. I don’t really know these people and I don’t want random faces in my crowd. I also don’t want to just send an invitation knowing that they won’t come and will be guilted into sending me a gift. To be honest it wouldn’t break the budget to have them there, but for me it’s the principle of the thing. Was I too harsh? Does the money entitle them to have whoever they want?
Post # 3
When someone contributes to your wedding, it is nice to take their input but you should consider the money a gift. It is good to be extra-considerate and political because you have been given such a generous gift, but ultimately if you have a strong opinion about something your opinion is the one that wins out. How does your Fiance feel? Does your stepmom understand where you’re coming from? If it would go a long way towards preserving good will (like if you talk to her and she says “I would really love to have them there, it would mean a lot to me”), would you be willing to compromise?
I am allowing my mom to invite a few distant relatives who I don’t know because she really wants them there, but I feel like they won’t come because it’s a second wedding for me (hopefully they won’t even feel obligated to send a gift because of this). I’m not saying this is the right choice for you, I just thought long and hard about it and decided that it was an easy compromise to make on my part because I honestly don’t care if a few people at my wedding are people I don’t know well (I am so used to it, big Italian family on mom’s side that rarely gets together and an even bigger Norwegian family on dad’s side that almost never gets together).
It is perfectly acceptable to hold your ground and tell your stepmom that you wouldn’t be comfortable inviting them; I wouldn’t mention that you’re afraid they won’t come but will be pressured to give a gift (because that might lead to her calling her and bullying them into coming), but you can always be diplomatic and say that you’re afraid that it would open the floodgates to inviting more people on your FI’s side.
Post # 4
If you said yes to everyone except the three-time-removed-ex-relative, I think you are fine. She will understand. Just keep telling your stepmom that you want the wedding to be intimate, and that you want to look out and see those that you have recently seen.
My Fiance and I told people that we were not inviting anyone we have not seen in 2 years or more. I had some push back from some family members about this but I stood my ground. It’s ok to say no to a few people, as long as you agree on the majority.