Etiquette

Not inviting cousins to the wedding...

I have a huge family and all of my aunts and uncles have 4 plus kids or have blended families and let's face it, I'm not really close with any of my cousins...well maybe there's a couple that I wouldn't mind inviting but then that doesn't seem fair to leave the rest out. We're trying to keep our wedding smaller and to avoid receiving RSVP's for "12" once all their kids, kid's significant others & kid's children have to be invited, I've decided not to invite any cousins and only invite the aunts & uncles. I am not sure how this is going to go over with the family...any advice?

Re: Not inviting cousins to the wedding...

  • Who's paying?  You'll want their input as well.
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
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    If you are paying for the wedding and want to keep it small then you have every right to not invite cousins.  You are also correct in your thinking that inviting some and not others is rude.

    I would, however, speak with your parents about your decision.  They maybe able to tell you how your family will react to it.  But if you aren't close to any of your cousins (like you don't talk to them or rarely see them) I think it is perfectly fine to leave them off your list.

  • I did the same thing with my family, my father has 10 siblings and each has between 2-5 kids, with my dad being the baby, and my uncle havings kids the same age as my dad.. i have 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins... im fairly close to most of them.. and very to a few.. but i did a cut off at aunt and uncles. If we were to add all cousins, we would be adding 100 more to our guest list.. Im sure someone will make a complaint along the way. But so far i havent had any. People are pretty understanding when they comes from large families when it comes to weddings i feel. Good luck.
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  • I think any time you fail to invite someone who expected to be invited (to anything: dinner parties, weddings, graduation ceremonies...) you risk fallout with those people. You have to decide how to best mitigate the hurt feelings, if any. If you don't think they're expecting invitations, though, there shouldn't be a problem.
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  • Not rude - I have the same situation. If anyone asks just say it's because of your budget/venue/whatever. It's your wedding, not theirs!
  • Thanks all for your advice! Yes, my fiance and I are paying for the wedding ourselves and I have talked to my parent's about it, they are perfectly ok with it but just haven't shared that information with their siblings. We'd be adding 40 plus to our guest list if we included everyone. I guess I worry about hurt feelings (although we're not close)...but what's that they keeping telling us, "it's our day" right? :-)
  • I would send them announcements and apologize for not being able to include them if they call to say congrats. Otherwise, they shouldn't be offended since ur not close.
  • I did exactly the same thing.  I honestly don't even know all of my cousins' names, and I'm not particularly close to the ones I do (aside from one cousin, and I did invite her, but she couldn't attend), so I didn't invite any of them.

    Only one person raised a question about it, one of my cousins who is a few years older than me, and we explained that we limited our guest list since we were on a budget.  It wasn't an issue past that and I never heard anyone else mention it.  I'm sure there were some people who might have been slightly offended by it, but because I'm not that close with my extended family, I honestly didn't really care.  To me, my friends, who have known me for years, know my H, know our personalities and enjoy our company, were much more important to have attend our wedding than someone who I don't really know, who doesn't really know me or my H, whom I haven't even spoken to in a few years, but happen to have the same grandparents.
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  • Not sure what to do as mother of the bride, there is a certain cousin (groom side) that has a bit of a past and will be getting out of jail 5 weeks before the wedding.  His attending will make me worry that he will not act properly.   My daughter and her groom feel the same way.  The grooms mother would not allow them to tell him, the holidays, the birthdays any reason not to tell.  Now the kids had a "conversation" with his parents and they were very upset.  This is the only family his mother has.  I understand her wanting to just have him there to keep peace but there is too much drama around his problem.  The conversation ended badly with the aunt explaining that they had to get special permission for him to go to the wedding and he would not be able to see his daughter for seven months after the wedding (she is 9).  I am shocked that someone would be makiing all these plans (including adding his ex wife and her mother to the mix) without even knowing that he was invited.  (He is getting early release that is why this even came up.) The event is small about 75 people total. This has been a very hard week for all of us. A point of information is we are all putting in money for this event so taking grooms mother's feelings is important. One more point is she wants to invite about 10 of her friends. I have asked for just one. In a 75 person wedding I think the friends of the couple get put on the list just after family and before friends of the mothers. We are both single mothers so it would be nice for us to have a few friends but I don't think there is room.
    Well that is my sad tale any advice or comments?
  • My FI and I have experience dealing with this. Unfortunately, many people who commit crimes have serious mental, social and substance abuse issues. So, I understand your daughter not wanting to deal with this. It was very presumptuous of them to assume and not check that he would attend wedding before they got special permission with whoever ( I'm assuming his probation officer). I don't know what his rebahbilitation plan includes or what his issues are, but theres always a chance he might do something inappropriate or steal from guests who left their purse at their chair when they went to dance. It seems risky and I probably wouldn't feel comfortable either. Regarding his visitation with his daughter, that is sad. But at same time, bride and groom shouldn't be responsible for him being able to have visitation with his daughter. Whatever he did to end up in jail and not be able to see his daughter for 9 months must have been pretty bad and he needs to fix his mess on his own. He needs to do what his po and the court require of him to get out of trouble, stay out of jail and regain visitation with his kid. Again, he got himself into the mess and the reasons that people end up in these situations is always a sad story. However, the bride and groom shouldn't be held responsible for hosting his visitation with his daughter or what is arguably his first big public outing in a social setting in a long time. I would apologize to aunt/uncle and explain the position and why. I would also offer sincere apology and explain that this could have been avoided if they didn't assume he would be welcome at wedding. Honestly, a big wedding 5 weeks after getting out of jail might be a lot for him and they might be doing him a favor in the long run because it will create opportunity for him to violate or get into more trouble. Our guest list is family and certain very close friends, then extended family and then more friends...and then input regarding parents friends. However, if the parents friend doesnt have any relationship to the bride or groom or couple then it's inappropriate to expect them on the guest list. I also think a 75 person wedding is not very big, so it's hard to make room for a few of mom's friends if you barely know them.
  • THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH.   That was just what I needed to hear.  Sometimes it is nice to be able to vent like this.  Much better than keeping it bottled up.  Again thanks. I think I will sleep a little better.tonight.
  • I've got kind of a similar situation--I've got over 20 first cousins; all of them have several children, some of whom are married with kids themsevles and several who are over 18 years old.  I've been planning to invite all the first cousins, then the kids who've gotten married separately; is it bad form to include the non-married older kids with the family invites?
  • I realize this post is old but wanted to respond.  It is not necessarily the first cousins who will object being excluded from the guest list (especially if some are invited and some aren't) but the parents of the first cousins who will be hurt that their siblings children were invited, but not theirs.
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