Wedding Etiquette Forum

How to cut family from the guest list

My FI and I just bought a house, thus, money is tight. We would like to do a reception for about 100 people, close family and friends. His family alone is 68 people! His mom has 5 brother and sisters plus all their kids and kids spouses, his step dad has family he is close with, plus some family from his deceased father's side. We are paying for the wedding ourselves and I would hate to not have friends come because his family is so large. How do we even begin to cut the list of his family in, like, half?? I know family will be upset if they don't get invited, and he isn't even going down that far in the family tree! Help!
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Re: How to cut family from the guest list

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    Marrin713Marrin713 member
    5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment First Anniversary
    edited May 2011
    Maybe do a cocktail party type reception with apps/drinks/cake?

    Sorry, that wasn't your question, but I thought if it was mandatory that all these people be invited, an option would be to scale back the reception.
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    You're going to have to cut your guest list.  Sit down with FI and go over it because there's no reason to invite someone just because they are related
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    I agree with PP, my guest list is similar and i'm scaling back as a result.

    Our venue is for 149, I'm having 6 "family guests" this includes my maid of honor who isn't actually a relative, though she and her mother were invited. My family all lives out of state so, the likelihood of many more showing isn't very high.

    My FI on the other hand - has roughly 70 people in his close family circle (huge family, both sides) and they're very - well lets just say it would not be pretty if someone got invited and someone else did not, something I don't want to start a marriage dealing with.

    On top of that his mom says we need to invite a ton of other people (she doesn't think they're going to come, but just to be polite) so my guest list has ben widdled down very small for friends as well and I unfortunately cannot say no entirely, because FMIL is financially contributing.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these people know how to rsvp and I can invite more friends.

    Doesn't much solve your problem, just letting you know I understand where you're coming from, and i'm scaling it down to help keep costs down.
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    Invite in tiers and make the cut consistent. Aunts/uncles/first cousins. No kids. Do not over invite as you have no way of knowing who will show up. Invite 100 people and plan on all of them saying yes. 
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    Would all 68 people attend? my FI family guest list was about 70 people also, but most live in upstate NY, so we have been getting NO's from most of them. (the one's he's not close to) In my mind, I would cut everyone out but the family members that he considers close. Same with friends, only super close friends.

    Or just do parents, GPs, 1st cousins, and aunts/uncles & super close friends.

    Good luck

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    I would invite in tiers.  

    I agree people should not be invited just because they are related.  I also think people should not be cut only because his family is larger.  

    DH and I had the same relationship with 1st cousins.  I would have been pissed if he told me I had to cut some of my 24, but his 3 were allowed.. KWIM?    

    Since my family is so large, kids are automatically cut from the list.  It's standard in my family and it's never an issue.   I would start with them.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    I had to deal with the same thing. As a result of divorce, I have two families. We have to keep the guest list to 140 people and literally, my grandmother has 48 grandchildren. For one side of the family I only invited aunts and uncles or second cousins and no kids. For the other side, I ended up saying to myself "If it's been a couple years since I've seen or spoken with them, I'll cut them." 
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    I feel for you.  When I started to mention no more than 50 (or so) guests, mom wanted to invite step-cousins!  I had not wanted to invite any of my cousins as I am not really close to any of them and I have and there are 17 on my side alone!  This does not include spouses, if there are any.  I don't know if any of my aunts can make it as they are not in the best of health, out of state (12+ hrs) and between the ages of 74-88!
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    We had the same issue with only space for 60.  We only invited immediate family.  We had to make the cuts along the line of no aunts or uncles because C's has 14 of them...which would mean that he would not be able to invite any friends outside of the 3 groomsmen (and their partners).

    Make the cuts consistent and stick with your decision.  

    Good luck!
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