Wedding Etiquette Forum

Etiquette complaint/logistics question

FI's grandmother passed away and he was at her wake last night (We live out of state and although I would've loved to be there to support him financially and due to my exams this week I was unable to go with him). Well he texted me last night asking if he can add some of his family to our guest list. This side of his family is very large, many of them he hasn't seen in 20+ years and there was a large falling out among his dad and some siblings so he had originally had only the aunts and uncles and their families that he is still close to on the invite list. Well at the wake they had some sort of display of pictures and included our STD. I can't believe whoever organized these pictures would be so thoughtless as to include our STD without at least asking. It sounds like he spent most of the night dodging questions from people who are not going to be invited. Now the questions:

FI wants to invite 2 additional cousins and their spouses and children. He does not want to include their siblings (his other cousins) or their parents (his aunts and uncles). He does not stay in regular contact with any of these people so it's not like he has a relationship with these 2 cousins and not the others. I think they are just the closest in age to him so the ones he was closest to when he was young. Our current guest list is based on which aunts and uncles are still on speaking terms with his dad. Those aunts and uncles and all of their children and their children's families are invited and none of the aunts and uncles that no longer speak to his dad or their children are included.  Is it rude to invite one cousin from a family and not the siblings and parents? When we originally made the guest list I said family units needed to be invited together to avoid hurt feelings. Was I wrong? Is it ok for him to add these 2 cousins or will those 2 invites make an already rocky family situation worse?

My next question, as we figure out financially how to make it work. Our ceremony site has a set amount of chairs if we need more than that we must rent them ourselves. We are looking at having about 30 more people than there are chairs for. Do we rent enough chairs for all the RSVPs plus a few extras just in case or should we be renting 10-20 extras so that everyone doesn't have to sit next to each other? I want to save money wherever I can but we also don't want to make our guests uncomfortable. 

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Re: Etiquette complaint/logistics question

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    First question: Can you actually afford to invite these people and fit them in?  If so, I don't see why you shouldn't invite them.  You are required to invite partners together, but there is no etiquette rule about having to invite a whole family unit together, as in parents, siblings, and children.  The fact that you don't talk to some of them doesn't mean you have to exclude the others.

    Second question:  You do need a chair for every person.  I'd rent enough chairs for everyone confirmed plus a few extras just to play itself.  This is one corner that shouldn't be cut.
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    1. Maybe your FI should ask his dad since it seems like dad has the issues with certain family members.  But, you don't have to invite the whole family, no.

    2.  Just get enough chairs for everyone. You don't need to pay for extras.  People can put their big boy/girl panties on and sit next to people they may not like at the ceremony.
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    edited March 2013
    I'd ask FI WHY he wants to invite these specific 2 cousins after they werent on the original list. It could be considered rude in normal circumstances to invite only part of a family, but if there is already a split based upon an earlier fight, the family may just work that way.

    As for chairs, I'd probably rent 3-4 more than total guests. That way your photographer(s) or others could use them.
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    Thanks for the input. I won't worry about renting too many extra chairs. I will talk to him more and make sure his parents are ok with his decision. I just wanted to make sure etiquette-wise we were ok inviting these cousins before I talk to him about it.
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