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Do I have to invite my dramatic older cousin?

I am the youngest grandchild in a family of 20 adult cousins. I am 31, with my oldest cousin being 60. A lot of my cousins I am not as close to because of the age difference, but am close to their children. A lot of my second cousins cut their guest list easily but stopping at first cousins, but I am highly conflicted because I am close to half of my first cousins and half of my second cousins. One of my first cousins specifically is very dramatic and nobody (I mean NOBODY) in our family can stand her, but we come from a family that feels bad leaving anyone out. I however am sick of her causing drama and starting rumors over every family event and do not want her to ruin our special day. Our family is pretty close, so it's not something we could keep secret, especially since she lives with her parents who I want there. Do I really have to invite her? And if I do, do I need to personally contact her and tell her why? I know it'd be easier to just suck it up and invite her, but I really don't want her there. But is it wrong not to? Or is there some way I can do it without causing her to be even more dramatic?

Re: Do I have to invite my dramatic older cousin?

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited January 2016
    No, you don't have to invite her...but your should.  It will keep family drama and repercussions to the minimum, and that is what you want, isn't it?  Assign her to a table in the back of the room.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I'm always an advocate for not inviting anyone simply out of obligation, but I do recognize that family dynamics sometimes come into play, and it sounds like in your case it would be more trouble not to invite her.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • Unless she has done something to physically harm you in the past, I'd suck it up and invite her to avoid family dynamic drama as others have mentioned. I think sometimes we get caught up in the "what if" that someone could ruin the day when in reality unless she has a history of ruining weddings or attacking people it is probably much ado about nothing.
  • I agree with PPs that it might be easier just to invite her and try not to pay attention to her on the day of.  Also, if you invite her parents that she lives with, but not her, she might just show up anyways.  If she's that dramatic, and she'd have access to the date, time and location, I could see it happening.  That would, of course, be very rude of her, but it might cause more drama than if she was invited.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Ditto PPs. You don't have to invite her, but you also can't control the repercussions if you don't.

    I have a dramatic family member too. In my case, she's an aunt. She makes everything about her and most of us find her insufferable. If she is being generally obnoxious, we just roll our eyes and ignore her. But if she were upset because a cousin invited everyone but her to a wedding, a lot of the family would suddenly be on obnoxious aunt's side. It would legitimize her drama. 
  • I chose not to invite an aunt and uncle because they're terrible people and no one likes them. They have done some really terrible things to my family and everyone seems to just ignore it to keep the peace in our family. These people cause drama wherever they go also. Were feelings hurt by not inviting them? Yes. I had to deal with my mother pestering me over and over to invite them for the good of family peace. She even invited my aunt to my surprise bridal shower in hopes that I'd change my mind and invite her to the wedding. 

    Personally I don't regret my choice, now that it's over so is the drama for the most part. So if you really don't want to invite this person, don't, but realize it won't get rid of the drama b/c it will cause some. 
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    While you don't have to invite her, not inviting her could cause more drama than inviting her.

    You can have security on hand to escort her out if the situation warrants it, but if she's just being a jerk, I'd ignore her as much as possible.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    It sounds like you will find yourself in very sticky family drama is you only invite the people closest to you.  Like this dramatic cousin, you want her parents but not her.  You also mentioned you are closer to second cousins but not their parents.  If you start picking and choosing like that you will probably cause many hurt feelings in your family.  Since you are close to some of your 2nd cousins, I would probably invite all first cousins and then only the 2nd cousins you are close to.  This is what we did for my wedding and it worked for us. 

    Also, if there is any person dramatic cousin puts her best behavior on for, like a grandmother or aunt, etc.  Make sure dramatic cousin sits at that person's table.  It should help lessen any dramatics.

  • AddieCake said:
    I'm always an advocate for not inviting anyone simply out of obligation, but I do recognize that family dynamics sometimes come into play, and it sounds like in your case it would be more trouble not to invite her.

    I agree with this sentiment! I think it's so silly to feel obligated to invite or not invite certain people strictly based on the defined relationship (ie cousin) rather than the actual relationship (close, non-existent, etc.).  Full disclosure, we went ahead and invited a couple guests based strictly on obligation and assuming they wouldn't come since it is a destination wedding. Well, they are coming and there has already been numerous issues and I'm sure there will be even more come the actual wedding date. Knowing then what we know now, we would have dealt with the issue by not extending them an invite and just dealing with the fallout then.
  • If you are planning on inviting ALL your first and second cousins, than I could definitely see it causing a lot of hurt and family drama to exclude one cousin.  You would be well within your rights to do that, it's not rude, but it would be hurtful.

    I'd be more in the camp of just inviting the cousins you are close to, whether they are 1st or 2nd cousins.

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  • No, you don't have to invite her. It is your choice to invite or not invite any adult. No, you would never tell someone they aren't invited- that would be rude. You simply do not send an invitation. 

    I am also in the camp of inviting people because you are close to them, not because you have to.

    But only you know your family dynamics best. What is going to be more trouble for you? Inviting, or not? You can always stick her at a table at the back of the room with other family members she does get a long with. But I can also understand how on principle you don't want someone there, as well as the large cost associated with so many cousins. 

    I agree that if you were inviting ALL the first and second cousins BUT her, it would be VERY awkward and I'd invite her anyway. But if you are planning on inviting some first and some second cousins, it would be fine to not invite her even though you are inviting her parents-- of course considering your family dynamic.
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