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Etiquette

Guests Who Are Estranged (long-ish)

I have a cousin who no longer speaks to most of the family, after a falling out with her mom, but keeps in touch with me. My aunt explained it away as a squabble, but I recently heard a very different story from my cousin herself, which presents a very good reason for their estrangement. My cousin has never been portrayed as honest by her family, but she has never lied to me (to my knowledge) and her mom has. My cousin's story makes more sense to me, but the rest of my family seems to believe my aunt. 

My mom wants to invite my aunt and uncle, but not my cousin, to avoid drama, but that just doesn't seem right to me. My cousin has always been very supportive towards me. I'm a lesbian and my aunt was homophobic in the past, though she either changed or is faking it recently. My cousin and her husband have always stood up for me in that regard and I'd like to return the favor and stand up for my cousin. I don't mind my aunt and uncle coming, if they can be accepting, but my cousin really deserves to be included.  I plan to invite her to the bachelorette at least, but I would like her to be able to come to the actual wedding. 

My cousin has agreed to be polite, but will avoid conversations with her mom (which is generous considering her side of the story). The wedding should be big enough to allow this. To further complicate matters, my parents are paying, so I get less say in the guest list than I'd like, though I'll be fighting to get her invited.

How should I handle this situation? If I do manage to get her invited, how can I help avoid any drama on the wedding day?
Thank you!

Re: Guests Who Are Estranged (long-ish)

  • If your mom is paying, she does have a say in the guest list to an extent. If she's not paying, you can go ahead with inviting whoever you want. 

    If the latter is the case, I would invite her and seat them in opposite corners of the reception. Since it sounds like this is a full family rift and not just cousin vs. aunt, I would let her bring a guest if she's single and obviously invite her SO if she's in a relationship. 
    *********************************************************************************

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    SP29
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    I have a cousin who no longer speaks to most of the family, after a falling out with her mom, but keeps in touch with me. My aunt explained it away as a squabble, but I recently heard a very different story from my cousin herself, which presents a very good reason for their estrangement. My cousin has never been portrayed as honest by her family, but she has never lied to me (to my knowledge) and her mom has. My cousin's story makes more sense to me, but the rest of my family seems to believe my aunt. 

    My mom wants to invite my aunt and uncle, but not my cousin, to avoid drama, but that just doesn't seem right to me. My cousin has always been very supportive towards me. I'm a lesbian and my aunt was homophobic in the past, though she either changed or is faking it recently. My cousin and her husband have always stood up for me in that regard and I'd like to return the favor and stand up for my cousin. I don't mind my aunt and uncle coming, if they can be accepting, but my cousin really deserves to be included.  I plan to invite her to the bachelorette at least, but I would like her to be able to come to the actual wedding. 

    My cousin has agreed to be polite, but will avoid conversations with her mom (which is generous considering her side of the story). The wedding should be big enough to allow this. To further complicate matters, my parents are paying, so I get less say in the guest list than I'd like, though I'll be fighting to get her invited.

    How should I handle this situation? If I do manage to get her invited, how can I help avoid any drama on the wedding day?
    Thank you!
    Even though your mother is paying, you still get input into the guest list. If you really want your cousin and her husband there, invite them. If they RSVP yes, set them on opposite sides from her mother, with people you think she may get along with. Avoid any large family pictures, and have security ready in the event something gets out of hand. 

    Finally, try to stay out of any family conversations about this leading up to the wedding. If aunt starts saying "cousin is terrible and and a big liar" excuse your self from the conversation and don't let yourself get dragged into something that isn't about you. 

    STUCK

    I disagree with this. It sounds like OP and her mom have already discussed the cousin, mom wasn't into it, so it doesn't seem right to just invite her anyway and hope mom doesn't notice.

    Also, we don't know the conditions of Mom paying here. Some parents give their kids a checkbook and that's it. Some parents plan, pay for and host the entire thing, essentially making the B&G guests at their own wedding. I don't think we know enough about OP's wedding to assume she has any say in the guest list, really.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    SP29MyNameIsNot
  • I have a cousin who no longer speaks to most of the family, after a falling out with her mom, but keeps in touch with me. My aunt explained it away as a squabble, but I recently heard a very different story from my cousin herself, which presents a very good reason for their estrangement. My cousin has never been portrayed as honest by her family, but she has never lied to me (to my knowledge) and her mom has. My cousin's story makes more sense to me, but the rest of my family seems to believe my aunt. 

    My mom wants to invite my aunt and uncle, but not my cousin, to avoid drama, but that just doesn't seem right to me. My cousin has always been very supportive towards me. I'm a lesbian and my aunt was homophobic in the past, though she either changed or is faking it recently. My cousin and her husband have always stood up for me in that regard and I'd like to return the favor and stand up for my cousin. I don't mind my aunt and uncle coming, if they can be accepting, but my cousin really deserves to be included.  I plan to invite her to the bachelorette at least, but I would like her to be able to come to the actual wedding. 

    My cousin has agreed to be polite, but will avoid conversations with her mom (which is generous considering her side of the story). The wedding should be big enough to allow this. To further complicate matters, my parents are paying, so I get less say in the guest list than I'd like, though I'll be fighting to get her invited.

    How should I handle this situation? If I do manage to get her invited, how can I help avoid any drama on the wedding day?
    Thank you!
    Even though your mother is paying, you still get input into the guest list. If you really want your cousin and her husband there, invite them. If they RSVP yes, set them on opposite sides from her mother, with people you think she may get along with. Avoid any large family pictures, and have security ready in the event something gets out of hand. 

    Finally, try to stay out of any family conversations about this leading up to the wedding. If aunt starts saying "cousin is terrible and and a big liar" excuse your self from the conversation and don't let yourself get dragged into something that isn't about you. 

    STUCK

    I disagree with this. It sounds like OP and her mom have already discussed the cousin, mom wasn't into it, so it doesn't seem right to just invite her anyway and hope mom doesn't notice.

    Also, we don't know the conditions of Mom paying here. Some parents give their kids a checkbook and that's it. Some parents plan, pay for and host the entire thing, essentially making the B&G guests at their own wedding. I don't think we know enough about OP's wedding to assume she has any say in the guest list, really.

    Sure, I didn't mean to imply that she should do this without talking to her mother, but if it is that important to OP, then I think she should have a conversation with her mother about why invited cousin is so important to her. I don't buy that just because the mother is paying she gets to dictate the entire guest list. 
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    I have a cousin who no longer speaks to most of the family, after a falling out with her mom, but keeps in touch with me. My aunt explained it away as a squabble, but I recently heard a very different story from my cousin herself, which presents a very good reason for their estrangement. My cousin has never been portrayed as honest by her family, but she has never lied to me (to my knowledge) and her mom has. My cousin's story makes more sense to me, but the rest of my family seems to believe my aunt. 

    My mom wants to invite my aunt and uncle, but not my cousin, to avoid drama, but that just doesn't seem right to me. My cousin has always been very supportive towards me. I'm a lesbian and my aunt was homophobic in the past, though she either changed or is faking it recently. My cousin and her husband have always stood up for me in that regard and I'd like to return the favor and stand up for my cousin. I don't mind my aunt and uncle coming, if they can be accepting, but my cousin really deserves to be included.  I plan to invite her to the bachelorette at least, but I would like her to be able to come to the actual wedding. 

    My cousin has agreed to be polite, but will avoid conversations with her mom (which is generous considering her side of the story). The wedding should be big enough to allow this. To further complicate matters, my parents are paying, so I get less say in the guest list than I'd like, though I'll be fighting to get her invited.

    How should I handle this situation? If I do manage to get her invited, how can I help avoid any drama on the wedding day?
    Thank you!
    Even though your mother is paying, you still get input into the guest list. If you really want your cousin and her husband there, invite them. If they RSVP yes, set them on opposite sides from her mother, with people you think she may get along with. Avoid any large family pictures, and have security ready in the event something gets out of hand. 

    Finally, try to stay out of any family conversations about this leading up to the wedding. If aunt starts saying "cousin is terrible and and a big liar" excuse your self from the conversation and don't let yourself get dragged into something that isn't about you. 

    STUCK

    I disagree with this. It sounds like OP and her mom have already discussed the cousin, mom wasn't into it, so it doesn't seem right to just invite her anyway and hope mom doesn't notice.

    Also, we don't know the conditions of Mom paying here. Some parents give their kids a checkbook and that's it. Some parents plan, pay for and host the entire thing, essentially making the B&G guests at their own wedding. I don't think we know enough about OP's wedding to assume she has any say in the guest list, really.

    Sure, I didn't mean to imply that she should do this without talking to her mother, but if it is that important to OP, then I think she should have a conversation with her mother about why invited cousin is so important to her. I don't buy that just because the mother is paying she gets to dictate the entire guest list. 


    Ah, okay I read your comment as "just invite Cousin anyway". Sorry.

    I agree with you on the guest list personally. An old coworker of mine had no say in her wedding, except for her dress. Her parents paid for and planned everything without her or her now husband. I'm not even sure she knew what the colors were until the day of. Luckily they were all on the same page, Bride was happy and Parents weren't crazy, but I was just trying to play Devil's Advocate here that OP might be in a similar boat.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    charlotte989875
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited October 2016
    I have a cousin who no longer speaks to most of the family, after a falling out with her mom, but keeps in touch with me. My aunt explained it away as a squabble, but I recently heard a very different story from my cousin herself, which presents a very good reason for their estrangement. My cousin has never been portrayed as honest by her family, but she has never lied to me (to my knowledge) and her mom has. My cousin's story makes more sense to me, but the rest of my family seems to believe my aunt. 

    My mom wants to invite my aunt and uncle, but not my cousin, to avoid drama, but that just doesn't seem right to me. My cousin has always been very supportive towards me. I'm a lesbian and my aunt was homophobic in the past, though she either changed or is faking it recently. My cousin and her husband have always stood up for me in that regard and I'd like to return the favor and stand up for my cousin. I don't mind my aunt and uncle coming, if they can be accepting, but my cousin really deserves to be included.  I plan to invite her to the bachelorette at least, but I would like her to be able to come to the actual wedding. 

    My cousin has agreed to be polite, but will avoid conversations with her mom (which is generous considering her side of the story). The wedding should be big enough to allow this. To further complicate matters, my parents are paying, so I get less say in the guest list than I'd like, though I'll be fighting to get her invited.

    How should I handle this situation? If I do manage to get her invited, how can I help avoid any drama on the wedding day?
    Thank you!
    Even though your mother is paying, you still get input into the guest list. If you really want your cousin and her husband there, invite them. If they RSVP yes, set them on opposite sides from her mother, with people you think she may get along with. Avoid any large family pictures, and have security ready in the event something gets out of hand. 

    Finally, try to stay out of any family conversations about this leading up to the wedding. If aunt starts saying "cousin is terrible and and a big liar" excuse your self from the conversation and don't let yourself get dragged into something that isn't about you. 

    STUCK

    I disagree with this. It sounds like OP and her mom have already discussed the cousin, mom wasn't into it, so it doesn't seem right to just invite her anyway and hope mom doesn't notice.

    Also, we don't know the conditions of Mom paying here. Some parents give their kids a checkbook and that's it. Some parents plan, pay for and host the entire thing, essentially making the B&G guests at their own wedding. I don't think we know enough about OP's wedding to assume she has any say in the guest list, really.

    Sure, I didn't mean to imply that she should do this without talking to her mother, but if it is that important to OP, then I think she should have a conversation with her mother about why invited cousin is so important to her. I don't buy that just because the mother is paying she gets to dictate the entire guest list. 
    I totally agree with this! I can't think of a single instance where the MOB/FOB were paying a dictated the entire guest list. Sure, mom might say if you invite cousin I won't pay but she might not (I would hope not). If she does say that, OP has a decision to make.

    ETA: I didn't read SSC's about her friend's parents. I can't imagine that happening in my world.
  • My parents are hosting it in their backyard and paying for most of it, so I basically need my mom to okay it. My dad might be easier to convince, but I can't go to him after my mom said no, so I have to convince my mom. I think if my mom knew the whole story (and believed it), she'd be much more understanding, but it isn't my story to tell and my mom isn't easy to sway. I'm very stubborn though and, if there is a way, I'll find it.
  • mollybarker11mollybarker11 member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited October 2016
    I hope you are able to convince her! Your mom may be trying to avoid "drama", but there's no way for her to avoid ticking someone off in this case. Either your aunt will be ticked off about having to be in the same room as her daughter, or you will be ticked off about not being able to invite your cousin/friend! Your mom will have to decide whose feelings she wants to protect more.

    Note that it is considered rude to invite people to pre-wedding events (eg bachelorette parties) if they're not invited to the wedding itself.

    SP29
  • I hope you are able to convince her! Your mom may be trying to avoid "drama", but there's no way for her to avoid ticking someone off in this case. Either your aunt will be ticked off about having to be in the same room as her daughter, or you will be ticked off about not being able to invite your cousin/friend! Your mom will have to decide whose feelings she wants to protect more.

    Note that it is considered rude to invite people to pre-wedding events (eg bachelorette parties) if they're not invited to the wedding itself.
    I know that it's considered rude to invite her to only the bachelorette, but she totally understands. I'm trying to get her invited to the wedding and want her to be as included as possible. It's not like I don't want to invite her to the wedding. I wouldn't invite someone I don't want to come to the wedding to the bachelorette, but I have more say in the bachelorette guest list than the wedding guest list.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I hope your mom decides not to choose between your cousin and aunt. The host isn't obligated to take sides. Just invite both, use a seating chart to provide a buffer between them. What's going to happen to the family members who ostracize your cousin after she and your aunt reach an understanding? 
                
    SP29
  • The fact that the wedding is at her house is what's complicating matters here.  If it was anywhere else, ultimately "your wedding, you decide with FI" even if someone else is contributing...  Given that it's on her private property, ultimately she gets the final say, nothing more nothing less.  You two need to have the discussion together and work it out depending on what the parameters are of the reason for not wanting to invite the particular cousin because as a property owner.  I know people I'd never want invited on my property but could be cordial with out and about no issue.   It's difficult, but have the communication opened so you can be at peace with whichever way it ends up being.  
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