Wedding Etiquette Forum

How to have a Small Wedding with not offending other family members?

Fiancé and I are beginning to start planning for our wedding and we’re having a hard time deciding on who to invite. A little bit about us;
- we are introverts 
- long distancing for 6 years 
- moving in together Summer of 2021 
- Both come from big close-knit families 
- never liked the idea of having a wedding 
- we’re young (23-24) 
- we do not feel comfortable spending a lot of money on a wedding 
- we do not like to be the center of attention 
- I also suffer from anxiety & OCD 

 So we decided to come up with a few scenarios: 

Option 1: Have a small wedding in summer 2021 (50ppl). Although his mom's side of the family will be there (literally no one). His mom said it’s fine to not invite her family since it’s so big. I feel like it’s unfair. 

Option 2: Get married in 2022, invite parents, our siblings, parents siblings, and their children. Also really close friends (100ppl). Still have lots of our remaining family members we talk to be upset with us. 

Option 3: invite everyone on our big list (160ppl) to have a wedding in 2022. No problems with our family. 

Fiancé feels like it’s unfair that we would have a long engagement just to save money for other people. Although he has the most guest on our list. 


We really don’t want to make our family upset and possibly leading to some of our family not talking to us. Which option would you pick? 

Re: How to have a Small Wedding with not offending other family members?

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Fiancé and I are beginning to start planning for our wedding and we’re having a hard time deciding on who to invite. A little bit about us;
    - we are introverts 
    - long distancing for 6 years 
    - moving in together Summer of 2021 
    - Both come from big close-knit families 
    - never liked the idea of having a wedding 
    - we’re young (23-24) 
    - we do not feel comfortable spending a lot of money on a wedding 
    - we do not like to be the center of attention 
    - I also suffer from anxiety & OCD 

     So we decided to come up with a few scenarios: 

    Option 1: Have a small wedding in summer 2021 (50ppl). Although his mom's side of the family will be there (literally no one). His mom said it’s fine to not invite her family since it’s so big. I feel like it’s unfair. 

    Option 2: Get married in 2022, invite parents, our siblings, parents siblings, and their children. Also really close friends (100ppl). Still have lots of our remaining family members we talk to be upset with us. 

    Option 3: invite everyone on our big list (160ppl) to have a wedding in 2022. No problems with our family. 

    Fiancé feels like it’s unfair that we would have a long engagement just to save money for other people. Although he has the most guest on our list. 


    We really don’t want to make our family upset and possibly leading to some of our family not talking to us. Which option would you pick? 
    It doesn't matter what you do, someone is going to be irrationally upset about it. You are not responsible for other people's irrational feelings. 

    Have the wedding you two want and can afford. Ignore assholes. 
    short+sassyknottieb56a7ee6e2f1bd0fcharlotte989875
  • No one is "entitled" to an invitation to your all's wedding.  The only exceptions to that is if a guest has an significant other (SO) by THEIR definition, then that person needs to be invited also.  Or, if you send a Save The Date or verbally promise someone they will be invited, they need to be sent an invitation.  You also can't split up immediate families...for example, it's okay to invite Cousin A and their spouse or SO, but not their kids.  However, if you do invite one of their children, you need to invite all of their children.

    Another helpful way to try and avoid hurt feelings is to invite in "circles".

    From what you all have described as your preferences, I'd go with Option 1.  And specifically invite your all's parents and your all's siblings with their immediate families.  Maybe grandparents.  Plus a few close friends (if you wish).  But don't invite any aunts, uncles, or cousins.

    If you get any guff from relatives, you can say something like, "It's nothing personal against you, Uncle Jon and Aunt Jane.  We just wanted a very small ceremony and only invited parents, grandparents, siblings, and our BFFs."  
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I'd stop worrying about people being "upset" about not being invited to your wedding and plan the one that works for you. If that means fewer people and some not invited, then that's how things go. As long as you do not split up couples or minor children in the same families, you will be within the bounds of etiquette.

    It sounds like either Option 1 or 2 will be the one that will work best for you. You don't owe anyone apologies or explanations for why they are not invited, although you can express it as "Unfortunately, it wasn't possible for us to invite everyone we would have liked."
    short+sassy
  • I think you are overestimating how many people would be upset. Also, if your family will stop talking you over this then who the fuck cares. They are being ridiculous and frankly I wouldn't care if they talked to me or not. 
    zitiqueen
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm going to go plan for C because you mentioned the family dynamics involved of being very close families and am going to guess you likely don't want the drama...  

    - HOWEVER -

    Actually write out 100% of the names because that 50 can turn into 300 in a hurry!  This has happened to knotties in the past!  On DH's side, we had a Bride & Groom that went out and booked a venue thinking 125 tops was the size of both families combined only to send out invitations and get 285 RSVP's.. Yea - that was a fun one for the MOG to make the calls to uninvite their entire side because the Bride & Groom were too embarrassed and the parents of the Bride were paying so ONLY the Groom's parents & direct siblings ended up invited!

    Rework some things so that you aren't the "center of attention" more than you're both comfortable with.  Yes, you'll be the guests of honor, that doesn't mean you have to have things like a head table that put a spotlight on you.  Have your ceremony/reception someplace relaxed and low key.  Choose your attire to be more low key for the ceremony/reception or even have two dresses, one for the ceremony/pictures and one more casual/blending for the reception (or if it's in the fall, add a jean jacket for example).  Have an event that gives the feel of a relaxed get together that your families would normally do for other events like a grad party.  Hire out a community center or KC/Lion's Club/Legion/VFW/farm/etc. type venue that you don't have to bring everything to yet can do a simple luncheon instead of a dinner (one of the Legions near us you rent the hall, they do a per plate "chicken and ham" meal and the profit goes to their charitable work in the community, no frills, relaxed, and reasonably priced..).  Skip the elements that bring too much attention in your opinion or create high expenses (like DJ/Dance type things for example, instead of a big tiered cake, do a dessert table with cut up desserts, instead of a dinner, do a luncheon so the event is over by mid-afternoon!)..  
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