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Etiquette

Destination wedding guest etiquette

My fiancé and i chose a destination wedding in order to have a small ceremony. we are very very close with his paternal side of the family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) which is about 15 people. I'm only expecting about 10 of my own family (from both sides of my family).

The problem is that his mother has 4 siblings and each sibling has 1-3 children. We see them about once a year, or every few years, because they live about 8 hours away. Is it okay to just invite his maternal grandmother...keeping in mind we are inviting more of his paternal family?

 If we invite all of his mother siblings, the invitation count goes from 46 to 60. We only wanted about 30 guests maximum.


What should we do?

Re: Destination wedding guest etiquette

  • What does his mother say? Would she want her siblings invited? You could invite the aunts and uncles but not the cousins. Don't know if the cousins are adults or minors. When my daughter was married, I would have felt slighted if they had only invited my husband's side of the family and not mine. I'm sure my husband would have felt the same way. It all depends on family dynamics.
    charlotte989875MairePoppyWestCoastGirl05
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My fiancé and i chose a destination wedding in order to have a small ceremony. we are very very close with his paternal side of the family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) which is about 15 people. I'm only expecting about 10 of my own family (from both sides of my family).

    The problem is that his mother has 4 siblings and each sibling has 1-3 children. We see them about once a year, or every few years, because they live about 8 hours away. Is it okay to just invite his maternal grandmother...keeping in mind we are inviting more of his paternal family?

     If we invite all of his mother siblings, the invitation count goes from 46 to 60. We only wanted about 30 guests maximum.


    What should we do?
    Are your FI's parents paying for any part of the wedding?  They may want a say in the guest list, if so.  With money comes strings sometimes.  So maybe a discussion with FILs is warranted regarding the guest list.

    But if FILs aren't paying, then you and FI are welcomed to only invite the people you feel close to.

    If you do want to try and find a compromise, you could only invite the mothers siblings (plus SOs) and not the children.  Its best to invite in circles, so your circle for FMILs side would be inviting her siblings, their SOs, and grandmom.  
    SP29cowgirl8238
  • My FIL are not paying for anything, but she definitely expect to have her siblings invited. 
  • Just about all of the cousins are minors

  • Why is 30 guests the number, why is that so different than 35 or 25? Additionally, do you know all the 30 you want to invite will be there? Even if you've talked to them and they're interested, invites haven't been sent, RSVPs aren't back, trips aren't booked. My point being you have no idea if you invite 30 that 30 will show up (although you should absolutely plan for full attendance). 

    Do you have to invite these people? No, but if it were me and my FMIL were asking that they be invited I definitely would. 
    ei34
  • wmam35wmam35 member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited September 2016
    My husband isn't close with his family at all, but we still invited his aunts and uncles on both sides.  I'm not close with all of my step-dad's brothers, but we still invited them all to our wedding.  I can't imagine why you'd invite one parent's siblings and leave another's out for no other reason than to keep numbers down even though you admitted you aren't even sticking to the original number anyway.  You technically don't have to invite them, but if your FMIL expects them to receive an invitation, you know there will be hurt feelings.  I know "no pay, no say", but you still have family dynamics that you should consider. 
    ILoveBeachMusicmollybarker11cowgirl8238
  • We know for sure that 30 can come and have actually booked their hotels before any save the dates and that includes about 6 small children. We are still sticking to 30 -- even though we are inviting 40. those extra people are elderly but are receiving invitations (all family). We just really wanted a private ceremony with people who are most close to us. Its not a deal of trying to exclude some and not others. 

    I will probably end up inviting them, its just stressful to know what is right to do. Eloping is not an option and we just really wanted small. 
  • As per etiquette, you are not required to invite these aunts/uncles, but as per family relationships, you probably should. This does not mean you need to invite their children though.
    short+sassy
  • This is a really tricky situation, and I'm sorry you have to make these decisions.  I have exactly 3 living family members on my side and would be really uncomfortable if my FI insisted on inviting all 50+ aunts, uncles and cousins (and cousins kids, etc).  He doesn't care and so far his parents have been understanding (it helps that like you we are paying for everything ourselves).  We're also hosting a "meet the newlyweds" party the weekend after the wedding for the 50+ relatives and the old family friends of his parents - is that an option?

    I understand the desire to not invite a ton of strangers to the wedding when your own side is so small.  

    Regardless, as PPs have said, you should not feel like you have to invite children (whether minors or not) if you do invite the aunts and uncles.  
  • We know for sure that 30 can come and have actually booked their hotels before any save the dates and that includes about 6 small children. We are still sticking to 30 -- even though we are inviting 40. those extra people are elderly but are receiving invitations (all family). We just really wanted a private ceremony with people who are most close to us. Its not a deal of trying to exclude some and not others. 

    I will probably end up inviting them, its just stressful to know what is right to do. Eloping is not an option and we just really wanted small. 
    To the bolded - you need to plan for 100% attendance. Does the venue only accommodate 30 people? If so, you absolutely cannot invite more than that (and the venue max would include you and your H, and possibly vendors as well).

    You mentioned you've invited 46 people, and inviting more family takes the count to 60. What if you end up with 50 "yes" RSVPs? Are you going to uninvite people?
    BabyFruit Ticker
    southernbelle0915InLoveInQueens
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