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Etiquette

NWR: Guest list for Anniversary party

TerriHuggTerriHugg member
Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its First Answer
edited October 2014 in Etiquette
Hi ladies,

I'm in the midst of planning a surprise anniversary party for my parents and I have a few questions about who should or shouldn't be on the guest list. Any feedback would be of assistance. The hall we selected can fit 100 people and we are planning on inviting up to 80 to accommodate our budget. Because of the budget I want to know if it would improper to exclude the following people from the guest list...

1. My hubbies family. My parents and in-laws have met on a few occasions, (our wedding, my bridal shower, a christmas dinner, etc.) While they get along, I would not call them friends of my parents. Would it be in poor taste to leave my in-laws off the guest list for parents' anniversary party? If my brother and I do invite them, could we limit it to just my husband's mother, meanwhile excluding my husband's siblings?

2. My parents are from and got married in Trinidad. We still have many family members that live in the islands. Because they likely won't be able to attend due to distance, would be ok if we don't send invitations to those people?

3. Again to keep budgets done, my brother and I were thinking of excluding children under 14 from the guest list. However, we have some family with a child 14 or older and siblings younger than 14. Would it be wrong to not include an invite for those younger siblings if the older siblings gets invited?

4. Both my parents have A LOT of siblings which means I have A LOT of cousins. Would it be wrong to only invite the parents and not the cousins to the anniversary party?

5. We already plan on inviting work friends of my parents, but do you typically invite bosses as well? 

Lastly, this isn't guest list related, but what do you all think about showing a video of my parents wedding 30 years ago? My brother and I were debating if that would be a good idea or just simply dumb and boring. 








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Re: NWR: Guest list for Anniversary party

  • Kudos to you and your brother for this wonderful gift to your parents!

    1) I think this is fine.  It's a party for your parents and the guest list should include the people THEY are closest to.

    2) I think this is fine also.  I am assuming many of these people are perhaps not that close to your parents anyway because of the distance.  But, either way, unless there is a person/family member here or there from Trinidad that you know your parents would esepcially have liked to receive an invite, this makes sense.

    3) It is fine to exclude children who are under 14, but not fine to break up families.  You will need to make exceptions for those children under 14 for whom their siblings are invited.

    4) Totally fine to only invite siblings and not their children.  This is what people mean by inviting in "circles".  I often recommend this when I read posts from brides who feel like they need to invite ever 1st and 2nd cousins they have.

    5) This depends.  Generally, it is fine to invite work friends only...and, by that, most people mean coworkers whom your parents socialize with outside of work.  However, where this can get iffy is if you are inviting 90% of the people from an office and excluding just a few...whether they be bosses or notI'.

    I've had this happen to me and it SUCKED and was so hurtful to be one of only three people out of an office of 20 who was not invited to a coworker's Superbowl party.  Either way...even if it is just a few coworker friends being invited...make sure to mail the invitation to people's homes and their workplace.  It helps to keep the "chit chat" about the party down and not have hurt feelings. 

     

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    TerriHugg
  • Oh!  And about the wedding video.  I think it would be really sweet and cute to maybe have the wedding video running continuously in one area of the party...where guests can stop and watch if they want to.  But don't make it an "everything stops" and everyone is forced to watch it.  Or, if you are doing a presentation anyway...perhaps have just a few minutes of it...like when they are saying their vows and presented as man and wife.  But not the whole thing (for a presentation).
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    TerriHugg
  • 1. Don't invite your husband's family.  This is a party for your parents, not for you.

    2. Don't invite people who live in Trinidad.  People may come from far away, but I'm not sure they'd come from THAT far away.

    3. Don't split up families.  The age of 14 sounds like a very arbitrary number.  You can invite the kids in the family who are 12,16, and 17 and not invite the family where the kids are 7, 10, 15 without breaking any rules.  Invite the kids your parents are close to, don't invite the rest.

    4. You can invite just your parents' siblings without inviting your parents' nieces and nephews.  But would your parents think this is weird?  Are your cousins always at family gatherings and so not having them there would make it seem like an incomplete guest list?

    5. It's an anniversary party, not a work party.  Invite friends.  If they have friends they happen to have met at work, invite them.  Don't invite bosses just because they're bosses.  In fact, that might be awkward for the bosses (who are not friends) to be invited to what is basically a family event.

    You can show the video, but only if it's playing in the background and doesn't require the exclusive attention of everyone attending.  They can stop and look at it, and walk away, or they can stand and look at it for its entirety.  Don't bore people.  But having it on a loop off to the side would be ok.
    TerriHugg
  • adk19 said:
    1. Don't invite your husband's family.  This is a party for your parents, not for you.

    2. Don't invite people who live in Trinidad.  People may come from far away, but I'm not sure they'd come from THAT far away.

    3. Don't split up families.  The age of 14 sounds like a very arbitrary number.  You can invite the kids in the family who are 12,16, and 17 and not invite the family where the kids are 7, 10, 15 without breaking any rules.  Invite the kids your parents are close to, don't invite the rest.

    4. You can invite just your parents' siblings without inviting your parents' nieces and nephews.  But would your parents think this is weird?  Are your cousins always at family gatherings and so not having them there would make it seem like an incomplete guest list?

    5. It's an anniversary party, not a work party.  Invite friends.  If they have friends they happen to have met at work, invite them.  Don't invite bosses just because they're bosses.  In fact, that might be awkward for the bosses (who are not friends) to be invited to what is basically a family event.

    You can show the video, but only if it's playing in the background and doesn't require the exclusive attention of everyone attending.  They can stop and look at it, and walk away, or they can stand and look at it for its entirety.  Don't bore people.  But having it on a loop off to the side would be ok.
    Thanks for the feedback. In regards to the first point, I don't want to invite my husband's family. I was only asking if I needed to because I didn't want to find out I was breaking etiquette. Now that I know it's ok not to invite them, I'm happy. 

    Also, I feel like I should clarify the Trinidad part. Both my parents still have a few siblings that live in Trinidad. Obviously because they are siblings they would normally be invited if they lived in the US. Plus, I have two grandparents that still live in Trinidad as well. Other than a grand parent and siblings, there are still some friends, cousins of their etc. they are not as close with but still live on the island. Because of the relationship, that's why I"m not sure if I should send them an invitation or not. I'm wondering if it would be best to mention it to those relatives casually in conversation to see if they think it's even a remote possibility for them to attend to gage whether should be sent an invitation. 

    Otherwise, I'll do as you both suggested and just leave them off the invite list completely. Thanks for the advice. 
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  • lilacck28lilacck28 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2014
    Unless there is some horrible family feud, I would send siblings and grandparents invitations regardless of where they lived or if they could attend. I would be horribly insulted if I was not invited to an anniversary party for my brother, and I would be very sad and confused if my brother was not invited to that type of a party for me. Same goes for my mother and father.
    TerriHugg said:

    Thanks for the feedback. In regards to the first point, I don't want to invite my husband's family. I was only asking if I needed to because I didn't want to find out I was breaking etiquette. Now that I know it's ok not to invite them, I'm happy. 

    Also, I feel like I should clarify the Trinidad part. Both my parents still have a few siblings that live in Trinidad. Obviously because they are siblings they would normally be invited if they lived in the US. Plus, I have two grandparents that still live in Trinidad as well. Other than a grand parent and siblings, there are still some friends, cousins of their etc. they are not as close with but still live on the island. Because of the relationship, that's why I"m not sure if I should send them an invitation or not. I'm wondering if it would be best to mention it to those relatives casually in conversation to see if they think it's even a remote possibility for them to attend to gage whether should be sent an invitation. 

    Otherwise, I'll do as you both suggested and just leave them off the invite list completely. Thanks for the advice. 

  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    TerriHugg said:
    Hi ladies,

    I'm in the midst of planning a surprise anniversary party for my parents and I have a few questions about who should or shouldn't be on the guest list. Any feedback would be of assistance. The hall we selected can fit 100 people and we are planning on inviting up to 80 to accommodate our budget. Because of the budget I want to know if it would improper to exclude the following people from the guest list...

    1. My hubbies family. My parents and in-laws have met on a few occasions, (our wedding, my bridal shower, a christmas dinner, etc.) While they get along, I would not call them friends of my parents. Would it be in poor taste to leave my in-laws off the guest list for parents' anniversary party? If my brother and I do invite them, could we limit it to just my husband's mother, meanwhile excluding my husband's siblings?

    2. My parents are from and got married in Trinidad. We still have many family members that live in the islands. Because they likely won't be able to attend due to distance, would be ok if we don't send invitations to those people?

    3. Again to keep budgets done, my brother and I were thinking of excluding children under 14 from the guest list. However, we have some family with a child 14 or older and siblings younger than 14. Would it be wrong to not include an invite for those younger siblings if the older siblings gets invited?

    4. Both my parents have A LOT of siblings which means I have A LOT of cousins. Would it be wrong to only invite the parents and not the cousins to the anniversary party?

    5. We already plan on inviting work friends of my parents, but do you typically invite bosses as well? 

    Lastly, this isn't guest list related, but what do you all think about showing a video of my parents wedding 30 years ago? My brother and I were debating if that would be a good idea or just simply dumb and boring. 









    1. Yes, it is okay to exclude your husbands family.

    2. I think you can go either way on this one. It's all about inviting in circles, and that can mean in relationships or location.  Personally, I don't think distance or not expecting them to come is really a valid excuse to not invite them.  I invited about 75 people to my destination wedding and I knew in advance that most of then wouldn't be able to come due to distance... I ended up with 25 guests. I would probably go with relationship circles.  I would invite the close family, grandparents & siblings, in Trinidad, but not friends or other people there. Most likely they won't come, but they will still appreciate the invite.  And imagine the awesome gift that would be to your parents if they did decide to make the trip.

    3. It is inappropriate to break up families. If you invite one kid, you need to invite their siblings, regardless of age.  But, that doesn't mean you need to invite a cousins 10 & 12 year olds just because you invited someone else's 8 & 15 year old kids.

    4. You can exclude the cousins and just invite your parents siblings.  Some family may question it, but there's nothing improper about it.  I did this for my wedding to keep guest list down.  Adding just my 1st cousins would have doubled my total guest list, so I invited just my aunts & uncles. I didn't even invite cousins I was somewhat close to, since I wanted to keep within invite circles to avoid hurt feelings. But, I did have a couple cousins who sent gifts and apologized that they weren't able to make it to my wedding... even though they weren't invited. So, be prepared for some people that assume they are invited, just because their parents are.

    5.  That would depend on the relationship to the boss and office size.  If it's a small office and you are inviting everyone else, invite the boss too. If it's a large office, you are only inviting a couple people, and relationship with boss is purely professional, it's okay to exclude the boss. I work in a small office and my boss is almost like family to me.  My mom is also close to her boss, even if they don't really do anything outside of work, so I'd probably invite her boss.  My dad had more of a professional only relationship to his boss, so I wouldn't invite him. It really depends on who all is invited and their office dynamics.

    6.  Like others said, I wouldn't show the video as a stop-the-party presentation.  It would be okay to have it playing in the background, off to the side, or to show a few highlights.  But, people often get bored when being forced to watch that type of stuff.  Some people, particularly those that were there for the wedding 30 years ago, may enjoy seeing it though.

    image 

    TerriHugg
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