Post # 1
Thanks for taking the time to read my post and respond. I am in desperate need of your help!
My fiance and I have just set a date and booked a venue for our wedding. We decided we wanted a very small wedding for a variety of reasons (i.e. to keep it intimate, finances, less hassle and distractions from the meaning of the day, less compromises on what we want) and there’s no turning back now!
Our guest list is going to be around 40 people, including us. It cosists of our immediate family, both sets of godparents, the bridal party and groomsmen, and 4 to 6 very close friends.
My fiances’ family is very small but I have a very large extended family and the problem is that I am not inviting ANY them (with the exception of one aunt who is my godmother). My parents both have very large families and would triple the guest list if we included everyone. I strongly feel like I can’t pick and choose between family so we’ve decided to not invite anyone so at least they are all on the same playing field.
I just don’t know how to break the news to everyone. I’ve already gotten a ton of comments from family members expecting invites and I’m on good terms with all of my family and pretty close to them so I don’t want to make anyone mad. It’s just that we can’t invite everyone so we’ve chosen not to invite anyone.
How do I break the news without ruining my relationship with my family?
Post # 3
If they flat out ask you just tell them that you and your Fiance have chosen to have a small wedding and due to space restrictions you can only invite immideate family.
Is it possible to have a larger more casual reception? Or a backyard bbq later on for the family that was not invited? That way they feel included, you can recycle some of your decorations and your budget won’t go through the roof.
Post # 4
Well our wedding was only 15 people so even more were not included. We just explained by word of mouth. I never dreamed of a fairytale wedding and we were building a home so we chose to pool our savings towards that. Most understood, some didn’t. We didn’t do a larger reception afterwards so people could feel included; it’s not about them but about us. If you choose to do so that’s fine but don’t feel obligated. Just be open and honest with them.
Post # 5
I just sort of let it be known verbally. We have aunts and uncles who are not invited. Counsins are not invited. We each invited one friend plus that person’s spouse. It’ll be under 30 people including us. Some people are not happy. And I figure that’s ok, it’s just one day.
We are not having a party after.
Post # 6
My Fiance and I are having a similar debate, it’s hard when people tell you to “have your dream day” but then get upset when they realize your “dream day” doesn’t involved 200 people.
I think you need to be upfront and honest. Otherwise it’s going to make it more difficult for you. It’s completely legitamate to have a smaller wedding, and although they might initially feel hurt, it’s extremely rude if they make you feel bad for it.
I don’t think that you have to have a bbq for everyone afterards – although if you want to go for it – but I do think it’d be nice to record the ceremony so you can share it with your family and friends afterwards. A lot of the videographers I’ve seen create a 3-5 minutes “highlights” video that you can post on youtube and facebook and stuff. You could send that to your family and say “We were thinking of you on our wedding day, and wanted to share this video with you. Can’t wait to get a chance to get together to tell you more about it!” That way they’ll know you love them and want to see them.
Just be strong and confident when you tell them, and it’ll be fine. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for having your day the way you want it!
Post # 7
I am in the exact same situation as you. The only difference is that we’re having 30 guests instead of 40. I was hoping that my mom and dad would sort of spread the word to their brothers and sisters when they talk about the wedding, but all they say is “just so you know, it’s going to be a very small wedding”. I had thought about emailing them all or something, but then that seems rude to email someone to say they aren’t invited. Then again, my parents all told them the date and I don’t want them booking time off work for a wedding they aren’t invited to. I feel stuck. Hopefully someone has some good suggestions!
Post # 8
My Fiance and I have the same issue. If we were to invite both of our families, there would be nearly 120 people there … and that is before friends. Our venue holds only 80 comfortably. So, needless to say we are having to make cuts. We are inviting mostly friends and a few family members that we are closest with in addition to our parents and siblings.
So far, we haven’t really had anyone that hasn’t been understanding about it. We’ve been up front about the accomodations and the size of the wedding. I think that really is your best bet. We are going to be sending out announcements after the wedding with a link to photos and videos from the wedding so that those that couldn’t attend know that they weren’t forgotten on our special day.
Like everyone else has said here, though, you have to remember that it is your day. Don’t be made to feel guilty for having the wedding that you want. Feelings might be hurt initially, but they’ll come around. 🙂
Best of luck to you and your fiance.
Post # 9
In the exact same boat. In my case, my mom is the one getting ‘attacked’ by the rest of the family cause they’re not invited, I’ve instructed her on what to say:
“I know, I really hate that she can’t invite everyone but I have to respect their wishes. I want to see my daughter happy & if this is what want, then they will have my support all the way”
By her saying this it redirects their hurt feeling (at least it SHOULD) and that way they can come to me with their ‘concerns’, which they won’t.
I have ALWAYS wanted a small, intimate wedding, only with the people that are closest to me.
Post # 10
I just wanted to give a quick update. Over the weekend, we broke the news to my extended family.
We went for a “divide and conquer” tactic. Although we have a large family, there were only a small percentage of them that we knew would be truley upset. My mom sat down with two of my aunts and cousins and let them know our plans. I called one of my aunts who I will be staying with this summer and sent an email to an aunt and her daughters on the other side of the family.
We figured we would contact the people directly that we knew would take it most personally and then let the news organically spread from there.
It was hard to tell them because no one wants to disappoint anyone they love. Our approach was that we were honest. I realized that my fiance and I weren’t doing anything wrong by making this decision, it was what we wanted and that was okay. There was nothing to be ashamed about. Once I came to terms with that myself, we let people know simply that a big wedding was not something that was in the cards for us. It wasn’t that important to us to spend tens of thousands of dollars and the next few years of our lives pining over every detail. We wanted to enjoy being together on that day and focus on the honeymoon and our future. Because of the size of our family, being inclusive would have meant that a large wedding was inevitible so we chose the guest list as we did.
It went over okay. I know some feelings were hurt and everyone was disappointed. The most push-back we got was when one of my aunts asked why my godmother got to come (her sister) and she didn’t get an invite. We calmly explained that our godparents were a large part of our lives and including them in the day was important, but beyond that including every aunt and uncle would have trippled our guest list.
We are not having an after party, although we were asked. Our wedding is in October so I simply said the best wedding gift they could give me was for as much of the family to get together on Thanksgiving as possible.
Overall, I’m glad it’s over and even more glad that we made the decision we did to have a small wedding. Now it’s time to get excited about our day again. Thanks for all the advice!