Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Guest list issue

Our guest list has been pretty much set since last summer, but recently we have run into some issues.  I was adopted and have met my entire birth family.  (Immediate and extended.)  So basically FI and I have three families invited to the wedding.  We did the circles thing and do not have any of my biological cousins on the list.  

I am very close to my biological parents, who ended up getting married, and to my two siblings that arrived 8 and 9 years after me.  I also have a pretty good relationship with my bio aunts and uncles as well as grandparents, but not with the cousins.  Most of the cousins are adults and are on their own now, but there are six still at home.  (My bio-mom had 9 brothers and sisters!)  We sent STD's to everyone on our list, but there was no indication of kids or no kids.  Invites haven't gone out yet.

Flash forward to now.  My biological mom asked if the cousins who were still living at home were invited.  I explained that I would have no problem including them, but they were not currently included due to etiquette and inviting in circles.  She basically replied that inviting ALL the cousins would be too many people and that we should stick with the aunts and uncles only plan.  Problem solved...

Well she just emailed me again with this question: "If some of my family want to make your wedding a part of their vacation, how would you feel about kids coming to your dance?  What I was thinking was that the parents can attend the wedding and dinner while the kids all hang out at the hotel.  After dinner, someone could go pick them up and bring them to the dance."

I am so confused!  The thing is we have no problem adding the kids for the whole event, but I don't feel comfortable adding ALL the cousins since that would be like 20 extra people.  I also don't know them very well and can't even tell you half their names.  I would much rather add the few kids that are still at home and have them come for the whole event than have them just show up later.  I think that is way worse!  Since people are traveling out of state and we already have kids on our list, it makes sense for them to come.  I just don't know what is best etiquette wise for this situation.

Should I ask if she thinks it would be OK to only include the at home kids?  Or should I just say no cousins again?  Or should we include all of them?  My (adopted) parents said they would cover the costs of the extras if we ended up adding them and there is no problem with space at our venue.  I just feel odd inviting cousins whom I don't know well.  I don't want them to think we are being gift grabby, because that is not it at all!
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Re: Guest list issue

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    Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited March 2013
    If you don't want to invite the cousins, don't invite them.

    But to invite people to hang out somewhere other than your reception while you and their parents are there or inviting them to the dance afterwards but not dinner is totally not okay.  That's called a tiered reception and it's very, very rude.  Either invite everyone to the whole event or don't invite them at all.

    Who's traveling, how far, whether or not they're on vacation, how they are or aren't related to you, or whether or not they give you gifts should have no play in this decision at all.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_guest-list-issue-5?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:cb9e7474-3f68-4c17-bfe2-81e49fdea85cPost:87050713-5fb4-4be0-a3a6-deb53544def0">Re: Guest list issue</a>:
    [QUOTE]If you don't want to invite the cousins, don't invite them. <strong>But to invite people to hang out somewhere other than your reception while you and their parents are there or inviting them to the dance afterwards but not dinner is totally not okay.</strong>  That's called a tiered reception and it's very, very rude.  Either invite everyone to the whole event or don't invite them at all. Who's traveling, how far, whether or not they're on vacation, how they are or aren't related to you, or whether or not they give you gifts should have no play in this decision at all.
    Posted by Jen4948[/QUOTE]

    <div>I am fully aware that it is NOT ok to tier people and I never suggested it.  I said I would invited them to the WHOLE event.  That would be ceremony and entire reception.</div><div>
    </div><div>And I DO take into account how far people would be traveling and whether it would be possible for them to do that without their kids.  I consider that being polite and conscientious.  If this issue hadn't been brought up two times after I thought it was a done deal, I wouldn't be asking for advice.</div>
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    Do you have it in the budget to add these people? I think you should check into that first- more food, linens,centerpieces- I'm sure you understand how quickly it adds up.

    If you're not that close to them, I'd skip it. It doesn't need to be a familiy reunion on your dime.
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    The 'invite in circles' "rule" is really just to help protect you from family drama.  If inviting just the kids still at home won't cause aunt suzie to throw a fit that her precious angels weren't invited you can definitely just invite those few.

    But I personally would want to stick with the original plan of no cousins.  If you don't know their names they don't need to be there.  And if they're old enough to stay at the hotel alone during the ceremony they're old enough to stay there for the reception too; so their family travel plans aren't your problem.
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    I wouldn't invite the cousins. If they want to bring them to the hotel, that's their choice. They can meet up with them after the reception is over and continue on with their vacation.

    Perhaps there is a room at the hotel that could be used as a babysitting area. I know one person who did something like that (granted there were only 6 kids) but they had a little pizza party in a recreational room in the hotel that had some pinball machines and ping pong and things.
    imageimageimage

    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_guest-list-issue-5?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:cb9e7474-3f68-4c17-bfe2-81e49fdea85cPost:e8074fca-b41e-4a0c-b498-d7cded097ba8">Re: Guest list issue</a>:
    [QUOTE]The 'invite in circles' "rule" is really just to help protect you from family drama.  If inviting just the kids still at home won't cause aunt suzie to throw a fit that her precious angels weren't invited you can definitely just invite those few. But I personally would want to stick with the original plan of no cousins.  If you don't know their names they don't need to be there.  <strong>And if they're old enough to stay at the hotel alone during the ceremony they're old enough to stay there for the reception too</strong>; so their family travel plans aren't your problem.
    Posted by Kate61487[/QUOTE]

    <div>Thank you for your reply.  I am pretty sure there will not be drama if only the at home kids are invited, and I actually know them better than the older ones who are on their own.  I can at least tell you their names!  </div><div>
    </div><div>The original no cousin's plan seemed best until this issue came up more than once.  And the latest suggestion of having them come after dinner basically makes me more inclined to just out right invite them.  If they are going to be in town, I'd rather they be with us instead of alone in a hotel room all night.  The email specifically referred to brothers age 12 and 14, so I could see where leaving them alone in a hotel room for hours might end up in a mess.  Not that they are too young to be alone, but old enough to get in trouble.  Lol</div><div>
    </div><div>I mainly wonder if it would be OK etiquette wise to only invite the under 18's, as they are the only ones still at home.  There are no budget issues or space issues.  If it is OK etiquette wise and with all the aunts and uncles, I will just add the at home ones. </div>
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_guest-list-issue-5?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:cb9e7474-3f68-4c17-bfe2-81e49fdea85cPost:a001ce5d-11e6-44a6-b15e-7c1ced82ab66">Re: Guest list issue</a>:
    [QUOTE]I wouldn't invite the cousins. If they want to bring them to the hotel, that's their choice. They can meet up with them after the reception is over and continue on with their vacation. Perhaps there is a room at the hotel that could be used as a babysitting area. I know one person who did something like that (granted there were only 6 kids) but they had a little pizza party in a recreational room in the hotel that had some pinball machines and ping pong and things.
    Posted by BritniLeigh[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>We will already have 30 kids at our reception with on-site childcare/ entertainment, so it would be really strange for only two-six kids NOT to be at the reception, because they weren't invited.  That is part of the dilemma.  We are not excluding children at all, it was just that I did not feel comfortable inviting all 20 of my biological cousins since I barely know half of them.  </div>
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    Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited March 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_guest-list-issue-5?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:cb9e7474-3f68-4c17-bfe2-81e49fdea85cPost:05e4f38a-bfcd-405c-b1f8-c9464fd053a3">Re: Guest list issue</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Guest list issue : I am fully aware that it is NOT ok to tier people and I never suggested it.  I said I would invited them to the WHOLE event.  That would be ceremony and entire reception. And I DO take into account how far people would be traveling and whether it would be possible for them to do that without their kids.  I consider that being polite and conscientious.  If this issue hadn't been brought up two times after I thought it was a done deal, I wouldn't be asking for advice.
    Posted by GardenMaven[/QUOTE]

    Regardless of what you are "fully aware of," what you "said you would" do, what you "DO take into account," what you "do consider being polite and conscientious," or whether or not you would be asking for advice, you did ask for advice by posting here.  If you're not going to take it, don't ask for it and quit typing in all caps.  It's the equivalent of shouting online and makes you sound like a pissed-off adolescent.  And the tone of your post suggests that that's your mental age.  Your snottiness was uncalled for.
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