Wedding Etiquette Forum

Not inviting certain family members

I'm sure this is an issue someone else is dealing with...right?  I want a small wedding - I want 125 people AT MOST.  In order to do that, I want to not include my mom's extended family except for those that we see on a somewhat regular basis.  Here's the problem, my Grandpa has essentially two families - a foster family, and a blood family.  We never spent any time with either of them growing up ... but they are the kind of people who include everyone out of politeness in their weddings/events, and my mom thinks they will expect the same from us.

My mom is convinced that it would be terrible and rude to exclude them.  I think that in this day and age, it's OK to tell people that you're keeping your guest list extra small, and would have loved to invite more, but are trying to keep it intimate.

Since my parents are contributing the majority of the money, I feel that my opinion has no pull.  And that's frustrating.

Thoughts? Solutions? What does current ettiquette dictate?


Re: Not inviting certain family members

  • This is tricky because they're paying... How many people will it put you over? It gets said often here, weddings are not tit for tat. It's ok to not invite people even if you went to their event(s).

    Good luck!
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  • My grandpa has his biological siblings and family who he's still in touch with, and then he has a "foster family" with brothers and sisters.  My mom thinks we are expected to invite allll of them.  As it is, our tentative guest list without them is 140.  I don't want to add 20 more people to that list that I don't really want to see.

    I guess my bigger issue is, I want the wedding to be full of people I care and know - and those people, in my mind, don't qualify.  And my mom only really feels close to maybe one or two of them - but says that if she invites them, she has to invite them all.

    I know the wedding isn't super small - but we're trying to do it all for under $7000, and I don't think that will happen with 150+ people with the details/food/drinks that I would like.
  • Weddings aren't tit for tat and I definitely don't think you need to invite this famly simply because they've always invited you.

    That said, if it's your parents money, they get a major say in who is invited. You can try and convince your mom that they needn't be invited, but if she wants them there, you either turn down her money or acquiesce.
  • My mom says, no, if you invite one you have to invite them all ... or else.  I don't know, her side of the family is pretty screwy and dramatic ... another reason I'd rather not have them there.
  • In Response to <a href=" BoardsForum:9Discussion:5d0d6270-11fd-4280-b832-dd4d59bb09d5Post:84a799a1-880d-459a-9a0e-190f9f481faf">Re: Not inviting certain family members</a>:
    [QUOTE]My mom says, no, if you invite one you have to invite them all ... or else.  I don't know, her side of the family is pretty screwy and dramatic ... another reason I'd rather not have them there.
    Posted by ktnakanishi[/QUOTE]

    Since your mom is footing the bill she does have the final choice.  If she wants to spend the extra $$ on relatives you barely know, that's her decision.  All you can do is make a budget of what everything would cost including these extra guests and show your mom so she knows what she's getting into financially.  She may even say that other guests have to be cut to make room for these people (since you've already said you're over your max as it is without them).  This is the downside to having other people contribute financially to your wedding, it usually comes with strings attached.
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  • If you aren't close, they probably won't attend unless you attended all of their weddings.  So in that case I would invite them out of politeness (and hey, you might get more gifts even though this obviously not the point of inviting someone).  However, your parents need to be prepared to pay for them if they decide to come, and of course don't invite more people than your venue can accomodate.
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  • My FI's dad has two exes. His mom, so of course his mom's family will be there, because they are related to him. But now, the most recent ex's family has to be there, too, because they were married for 20 years. So, that adds another 50 people. By the time we're married, it's possible he will have married AGAIN (he's seeing someone else), adding ANOTHER 50.

    It is what it is. FI's dad is not paying or helping in any way. But. I can't see telling these people that just because FI's dad divorced them, they are cut from his life forever, after 20 years of vacations and Christmasses. 

    This has nothing to do with your post other than to say I get it. But since your mom is footing the bill...just let her do it. IF you aren't that close to these people, they probably won't come.
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  • If mom is paying she does in fact have the say. If you want the control you will likely have to pay for the wedding yourself. That being said if you do your research on how much it will cost to have that many people and show it to mom she might realize how it may not work cost wise to have that many people.  That being said $7000 is our budget and we are inviting 135 people and it looks like we will probably come in about $500-$700 under budget without sacrifing anything (other thn a photobooth) so it can be done.
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