Wedding Etiquette Forum

Unsure about guest list

There's two main questions here, but I'll give a little background first. This will be my 2nd wedding, but the first for my FI. Unfortunately, his family (and a couple friends) are on the other side of the country and either 1. aren't in good enough health to travel or 2. can't afford to travel here. In addition, he's not very close with any of them other than his parents/stepparents and siblings. [Sidenote: We will send invitations to them regardless as I'm sure they'd appreciate it and it's the right thing to do...they know we understand their situations. In addition, we're planning on visiting them for our honeymoon.]

We are trying to keep costs down for our wedding and want to have it small(er)...50-80 people. The venue where we're having it is actually an old Victorian home that's been restored to a B&B, so it also has limited space to some extent.

1. At my first wedding, my best friend at the time (let's call her Dana) was my MOH. We grew up in the same town, then both moved to another city after graduating from college (different years). My FI and I were still living in the other city for awhile and we hung out with Dana & her H a few times, but not a whole lot. A year and a few months ago FI and I moved back to my hometown (about 1.5 hours away)....since then, we've only seen Dana & her H one time...and Dana & I rarely email each other, call, etc. Partly I'm sure they're busy, as we are...and my FI's work schedule is kinda crazy. We've talked about getting together a couple times, but it never seems to work out.

At this point, I don't really consider her a BF anymore, just a friend...So, I'm torn as to whether or not I should invite her & her H. I don't want to hurt her feelings or anything (and I'm sure people will post photos on FB of the wedding, so she'd see them there...ugh FB), but partly I don't feel like I "need" to invite her...Just not sure.

2. My dad's side of the family is a lot closer than my mom's side. On dad's side, we regularly get together with my Great Aunts & Uncles and my dad's cousins (other than some who live in other states)... On my mom's side, we see one of my Great Aunt's and one of my mom's cousin fairly regularly, but not any of the others (some live in other states and in general that side of the family isn't as close).

My dad told me he thought that some family on his side (great aunts & uncles, his cousins, etc) would be upset if they weren't invited. The best he could come up with was to either 1. invite them or 2. later on have a more 'informal' get together with the rest of the fam who isn't invited to celebrate.

My mom told me that I could probably simply not invite some of the family on her side since they never come (especially the ones out of state), but to check with my grandma. My grandma seemed to think I could avoid inviting all of them but the one great aunt & mom's cousin who come to get togethers regularly.

My general feeling is that I need to go out to the same extent on both sides of the family (either invite great aunts/uncles & parents cousins on both sides, or on neither side)...but I'm not sure... Some of the relatives on my mom's side probably don't even realize I'm not still married to my first husband (since they don't really talk to each other).

Inviting only my parents, grandparents, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a few friends would bring me to around 50-60 guests...including great aunts & uncles and parents cousins brings invites up to 100 (likely around 80 showing). Or maybe just invite great aunts & uncles and exclude parents' cousins???


(Sorry this was so long! Thanks for taking the time to read it!)

Re: Unsure about guest list

  • Options
    1) you have to decide foryourself. If you don't think the friendship is going anywhere, I don't think you need to invite her, but know she might be hurt and she might fizzle out on her end, too. 

    2) If they really don't talk to each other, I think you should use your mom's side extras for your dad's side, since you maintain a relationship with them. Normally I was suggest inviting in circles, but I think you should invite people you have a relationship vs. people you don't. 

    Just remember if you send them STDs, you must invite them, so I would skip it for anyone you're not 100% sure about. 
  • Options
    There's a lot to tackle here, but this is my two cents:

    1) Don't invite more people than you can accommodate and want to have, even if you think they will decline.  We had people travel from as far as Hawaii and the Middle East for our wedding, including people we did not think would travel for health reasons.  So don't send your FI's family invitations unless you are okay with them coming because you never know.

    2) If you think you will regret not inviting your friend, invite her.  If you are okay if the friendship fizzles out (as it seems like it might be), then don't.  Your call.

    3) I think that you are fine inviting the relatives that you are close to on your mom's side without inviting the "equivalent" relavites on your dad's side, but only you know the family dynamic for this.  We invited all of my mom's mom's siblings (my great aunts and uncles), as I grew up with them and know all of them.  However, we did not invite any of my mom's dad's siblings, as I have only met a couple of them once or twice when I was very young.  On my dad's side, we invited a few of his cousins that were like aunts and uncles to me growing up.  We did not invite any of my mom's cousins.  On my H's side, we did not invite any of his parents' cousins.  You get the idea.  I would recommend inviting in circles within sides, but if they are different sides, I think it is fine.  I mean, if some of them still think you are married to your first husband, you clearly aren't in close contact!

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