Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Who to invite?

My fiance and I are planning a large destination wedding (~100) and I'm having a hard time narrowing down who to invite.  Specifically, I don't know how to cut down on my extremely large family.  My parents each have 11 brothers/sisters most of whom are married, with grown children who also have families of their own.  I'm not very close to the majority of them, but how do I invite some and not others?  Also, am I obligated to invite whole families, including children if it is a destination wedding?  Help!

Re: Who to invite?

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    The easiest thing, and the thing that will hurt the least amount of feelings, is to invite in circles. Start by just inviting your parents' siblings. If you have space after that, invite your cousins. If you have space after that, invite the cousin's kids.If you play favorite and only invite some aunts and uncles and some cousins, people will get angry.How far away is this destination wedding that you're expecting 100+ people to come? Doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose?
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    for a DW, i'd personally just invite the relatives that i am closest to, and with whom i have  relationship.  even then, many might not be able to come. there is no obligation to invite anyone to your wedding, even your parents.
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    The easiest thing, and the thing that will hurt the least amount of feelings, is to invite in circles.This logic is the reason that our guest list is beyond ridiculous...because we wanted to invite FFIL's cousin that we see on a regular basis, FMIL insisted that we invite all of his cousins, including the ones FI hasn't spoken to in a decade.If your family is close, this could be a good rule of thumb. If they're like my FI's family and only see each other at weddings and funerals, just stick to the people you're closest to.
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    Yeah, but if you only see each other at weddings and funerals, people expect to go to the wedding, you know? Not that someone wanting to come is a good reason to invite them.I'm still scratching my head over the 100+ invites for a DW. Unless by DW she means a beach 2 hours from her house. For me, the best part about getting married in my current city, 2500 miles from my hometown, is not inviting my dad's 40 cousins, plus their kids and spouses, which would be expected if I had an in-town wedding.
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    Make a "family tree" type guest list, starting with immediate family, then their immediate families. For a big family, I'd cut it off at first cousins. Then add your WP and closest friends. If your guest list goes over 100 (realistically, it will be more like 200), that's OK. While there is no reliable way to predict what percentage of invited guests will attend, having a destination wedding automatically means fewer people will attend. In my experience, only best friends and close family will go to the trouble and expense to go to an OOT or DW wedding. If it requires flying, how many of those many relatives will be likely to attend. *Of course you should never invite more people than you can accommodate, so you have to be prepared. But once you get your responses, you will have a better idea on the numbers. Then if you are prepared, you can scramble your back up plan, like adding chairs, or leaving off some unnecessary frills.
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    Yeah, I'm a little confused by the 100+ invites for a DW too...I get what you're saying about people "expecting" to be invited too. Thing is, these people talk to each other so rarely, if we just didn't invite them they'd probably never know we'd gotten married. FMIL forgot a cousin and just remembered her this week! FI has no idea how he's supposed to entertain a room full of people he hasn't seen since age 13. We had to B-list every one of our friends not in the WP.So yeah, I feel heartless sometimes for wishing I could invite more friends instead of FI's random relatives, but they're just that--random.
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    I just wanted to say that a good friend of mine told me to my face that they were getting married in Hawaii because they wanted a small group of people at the ceremony (about 25), but that they were inviting absolutely everyone (about 300) so they could score a big bunch of great gifts.  Oh, and so no one could say they weren't invited to come.
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    I am also perplexed by that many invites for a DW. The idea of a DW is typically to keep it small. It has the added bonus of having a reason not to invite some if you are a bit scared of saying "no" (my FI and I weren't though..ha).We invited 24, 18 (possibly less) are coming. We did not invite ANYONE we did not want there, even if feelings would be hurt (and yes, that even meant neither of us invited entire swaths of family - neither of our fathers or their families are invited for example as we just are not close to them). It may not be proper etiquette, but we ONLY invited those we wanted pure and simple. That meant yes, we may have invited one friend and not another, one parent and not another, and so on. And even though we know if we invited more and they could not make it they may send a gift...for us it is NOT about the gifts (we see the gift as those we invited showing up for the wedding!).
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