Wedding Etiquette Forum

Large Family...Medium Guest List

My mother's side of the family is large. That being said, I'm having trouble with our guest list. My wedding isn't until June 11 2016, but I thought we should start the list. My cousin and his wife have about 6 children all under 15 years old, they would be considered out of town guest and might bring one or two children. My question is do I address the invite to just him and the wife or invite all of them? We also have guest with maybe two or three children max that are under 12 which makes it alot cheaper.
We are having a plate dinner and as we know that can get costly, but we refuse to have buffet style. In my opinion its less formal.


Re: Large Family...Medium Guest List

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    My mother's side of the family is large. That being said, I'm having trouble with our guest list. My wedding isn't until June 11 2016, but I thought we should start the list. My cousin and his wife have about 6 children all under 15 years old, they would be considered out of town guest and might bring one or two children. My question is do I address the invite to just him and the wife or invite all of them? We also have guest with maybe two or three children max that are under 12 which makes it alot cheaper.
    We are having a plate dinner and as we know that can get costly, but we refuse to have buffet style. In my opinion its less formal.


    Personally, I would not invite the children.  Because you can't break up families so you would need to invite all the children of a certain couple/person.  Since you have such a large family on your one side then you need to start making a cut somewhere and the best place to begin making cuts is with your cousins kids.  If not inviting kids means some people are not able to make it, well there isn't much you can do about that.

    But inviting in circles is really the best method.  So depending on numbers I would invite up to your cousins and then that is it.

    OliveOilsMomsouthernbelle0915
  • I think this is a know your family and know your budget type of situation. We were considering having an adults only wedding because I have a huge family and that guest list adds up fast (so does the cost of feeding everyone). But I love my big crazy family and it wouldn't be the same without some of them there (even the little ones). For us we could afford it, we just didn't really want to put that much money into it. To avoid any family drama and because I know I will have more fun if they are all there we raised the budget and went with everyone. 

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    My wedding was OOT for everyone.      I also have a large family on my mom's side.   We just invited up to my first cousins.   If I added their kids it would add another 60-something people.   Some of my first cousins are grandparents when others have kids under 10.  I didn't want to get into a why did you invited their kids and not mine situation.  You have to cut somewhere and that was our line.

    I do not think it would be fair to tell the OOT cousin only a few of their minor kids are invited.    Just add them off or cut them all.     






    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. 
  • NowIamMrsKleinNowIamMrsKlein Cold Canadian North (British Columbia) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited May 2015
    My mother's side of the family is large. That being said, I'm having trouble with our guest list. My wedding isn't until June 11 2016, but I thought we should start the list. My cousin and his wife have about 6 children all under 15 years old, they would be considered out of town guest and might bring one or two children. My question is do I address the invite to just him and the wife or invite all of them? We also have guest with maybe two or three children max that are under 12 which makes it alot cheaper.
    We are having a plate dinner and as we know that can get costly, but we refuse to have buffet style. In my opinion its less formal.


    If you end up inviting the whole family, please make sure you include all children in your final tally of potential guests. Don't assume only 2 will come and therefore invite 4 extra people over your max amount. I say this because there is always the potential that all will come. My cousin and his wife have 3 school aged children. Our wedding is in September during the school year, and it would be a 13 hour drive or a 2 hour flight for them. My parents and I assumed that there was no way they would attend because of the cost of 5 people flying, as well as the possibility of it interrupting school. However, thankfully I had lurked on here long enough to know never to invite over your max venue capacity, because apparently the entire family is coming.

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    SP29
  • edited May 2015
    I am from a large family with endless cousins. We decided to just not invite any children. It cut out about 30+ people. It was just cleaner and more simple. Some people complained but it wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it'd be. 

    In your case, I would consider having a child free wedding. That way, you won't be accused of playing favorites, or whatever. If you do this, you'd only address the invite to the parents.

    If you decide to invite thier children, you need to invite them all, because it's against etiquette to split families (i.e. invite the 5 and 8 year olds but not the 11 and 14 year olds). 
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  • Thank you all for the advice. Knowing my cousin he would probably have himself come and not his entire family...lol (mini vacation). Like someone mentioned , my OOT guest will have a 13 hour drive, but flying its only 2 hrs. I will add all of them, because the budget allows it. I just wanted to save some money
    :)
  • My venue allows for 200 guest.
  • I'm not a big fan of a child free wedding especially if i know alot of people with children. Thank you for the responing !
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    As long as you are not inviting some children (from the same family) but not other children (from the same family), what you do is up to you.

    Comes down to what you decide regarding space and budget. But your options are inviting all children, inviting no children, or inviting some families with children (like the children of first cousins, or the children of friends). While inviting in circles is recommended for keeping the peace, realize you are not required to invite EVERYONE's children just because you invited some. So, if you are close to some families in particularly, you could invite them all while only inviting the adults of another family. 

    Also talk to your vendor about meals. With our venue, children 2 and under were free, 3-11 was a reduced price for a kids meal, and 12-18 received an adult meal at a reduced price (minus the cost of the bar). 
  • @SP29 our vendor is the same as yours with the cost .
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