Wedding Woes

Wedding Invite Stress

It has come that time where I really need to sit down and create a guest list since Save the Dates will be coming out soon.  With all the wedding planning that I have done so far this is the most stressful.  I really wanted a no kid wedding, but in my fiance's family kids are always invited no matter how young they are.  I feel like I have to invite my cousin's kids because I don't want them seeing all the kids on my fiance's side and get upset that their's were not invited.  And then there is my mother who doesn't want to invite any of my cousin's kids (even the one's who are over 18).  Either way I feel like I am going to make someone angry.  Then there is the issue of my step cousins.  My uncle has two step kids with families.  I don't want to invite them since I really don't know them  (and honestly I don't think his step daughter's family even knows who I am).  Then there is my mother's niece who is remarried and now has two step daughters (1 which I've never met).  However, I can't see how I can invite her three kids and not her two step kids.  AAHHHHHHH!!  Right now I just want to elope.

Re: Wedding Invite Stress

  • 6fsn6fsn member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    What does four fiancé think about inviting kids on his side?  I do think if you do one side you should do the other. 

    Isn’t your mother’s niece your cousin?  You can’t invite 3 kids and not the other 2. They are a whole family now. 
    charlotte989875ernursejahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
  • Also, how many kids total are we talking here? 

    If you invite kids on one side, you should invite them on the other. 

    Do not split up families (aka, invite your cousin's stepkids, too)

    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    It's annoying that your plans aren't turning out the way you'd like, but unless you want to dig your heels in and not invite kids at all, I'd just invite all the kids and not die on this hill.

    Maybe you can compromise by inviting the kids to your ceremony and reception but hold an adults only after-party?
    ernursejahoywedding
  • It has come that time where I really need to sit down and create a guest list since Save the Dates will be coming out soon.  With all the wedding planning that I have done so far this is the most stressful.  I really wanted a no kid wedding, but in my fiance's family kids are always invited no matter how young they are.  I feel like I have to invite my cousin's kids because I don't want them seeing all the kids on my fiance's side and get upset that their's were not invited.  And then there is my mother who doesn't want to invite any of my cousin's kids (even the one's who are over 18).  Either way I feel like I am going to make someone angry.  Then there is the issue of my step cousins.  My uncle has two step kids with families.  I don't want to invite them since I really don't know them  (and honestly I don't think his step daughter's family even knows who I am).  Then there is my mother's niece who is remarried and now has two step daughters (1 which I've never met).  However, I can't see how I can invite her three kids and not her two step kids.  AAHHHHHHH!!  Right now I just want to elope.
    I had such a hard time with the guest list at first, so I feel your pain. First, know that Save the Dates don’t have to go to everyone. In fact, I recommend only sending them to VIPs and out of town guests (and even then, maybe only VIP out of town guests). 

    Then sit down with your FH and decide who are your VIPs. Who are the people you absolutely can not imagine getting married without them there? For us it was immediate family and a handful of friends who are like family. Then who is in the next closest group? That was aunts/uncles/cousins and other close friends for us. That might be the total guest list or maybe you have more room in the budget and can invite family friends, co workers, cousins kids, etc.  

    PPs are correct though, you can’t split up families (inviting 2/3 children under 18) and you should try to treat each side equally. 

    Unless your mother is helping pay for the wedding, this is a decision between your FH and you. If she is helping pay then she (and anyone else contributing) might want a say in the guest list. 
    short+sassyahoyweddingInLoveInQueenscharlotte989875
  • Agree with PPs. Just start by writing down every single name of anyone that you might invite (group them together by family) and then you can start to remove names. I used a spreadsheet and had a column for my family and a column for H's family. We had a separate column for friends and another for work colleagues. We then looked at our venue capacity and our goals for a small wedding and started cutting. In the end, we chose to have more friends than family (just immediate family) as we would have ended up with more than 150 people when you include aunts/uncles/cousins etc. We were happy with 50 people. No one is entitled to receive an invite to your wedding and as long as you invite in circles, you should be fine. Only send STDs to VIPs. Anyone who receives a STD must be invited to the wedding.
    short+sassyahoywedding
  • Unfortunately, I don’t think you can invite some and not all. If it were me, I would limit to the immediate family or none at all. I'm sorry you are going through this. 

    H and I discussed early in the planning process we decided that we wanted a child-free wedding and reception. We took the care to address the envelope to the parents only and gave them cute little stickers based on the number of people who were invited based on the household. 

    Well…once the invites went out, people were writing in their kid's names and we had to make a decision if we would open the reception up to kids.  

    In the end, we decided that adding the 10 extra children was not the end of the world and they were all well behaved. In hindsight, I wish I would not have let the guests dictate what I did, but it all worked out.

    There are so many more important things about your wedding day that this probably isn't the sword you want to fall on. 

    short+sassy
  • I think the easiest thing to do is sit down and make the big list and figure out what numbers you're seeing there.

    To start to shave off, think of it in circles if possible.   For us, that meant that we didn't invite any of our second cousins and we didn't invite the children of friends.   We did invite the children of our cousins.   Our siblings didn't have children but if they did they would have been invited.

    Most of the time it's easier to keep the circle aspect on both sides even if it means one side has more guests than the other. 
    MesmrEwe
  • I realize that you want a no-kids wedding, but what does your FI want?  If he wants a no-kids wedding also, then that is ABSOLUTELY what you all should do.  Who cares if people in your FI's family usually invite children?  Those were decisions made for THOSE weddings.  People on his side might squawk but, unless they are contributing, they get zero say on your all's guest list.  Nobody is "owed" an invite to your all's wedding.

    However, I do agree that you all should invite in "circles".  Which means, if you all are inviting your FI's cousins and their kids, then you all should invite your cousins and their kids.  Quite frankly, you all don't even need to invite cousins at all or necessarily all cousins...though I wouldn't exclude just one or two.

    And to repeat @MesmrEwe perfect words of advice...stepkids=kids.  Period.  End of discussion.  It doesn't matter if they know you.  It doesn't matter if you've never met them.  They are part of your family and you can't split up families (if you are inviting kids).

    The wedding industry has brainwashed people into thinking that weddings need to be these big, gala affairs where everyone you've ever met needs to be invited.  That simply isn't true.  Set a budget you all are comfortable with.  Keeping in mind that this money is for essentially a one-day event.  An important event, for sure.  But still, ONE event/party.  And if that means you can only invite 50 people or 100 people or whatever, then you adjust your guest list accordingly.   

    I've rarely heard someone say, "Darn it!  I wish I'd spent more money on my reception."  But I've heard a whole lot of the opposite, lol.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueensMesmrEwe
  • Wait, how did you get this far in the planning without a guest list? How did you find a venue that would fit everyone (legally and comfortably) without knowing who would all be invited?

    How does your FI feel about kids at the wedding? If you're both on the same page and you're paying for the wedding, I would say don't invite any children. In my family, kids are always invited too, but my cousin recently got married in a smaller venue and chose not to include kids (except those in the wedding). It was fine, but our family members with young children chose not to travel and attend.

    Step kids = kids. I would say the exception *may* be for your uncle's step children, if they are grown adults and if you have no relationship with them. It maybe also depends on when your uncle married their parent; if you were all older or you haven't met them, they may not even want to come. Your mom's niece (aka your cousin) should be invited with her young children. 
    short+sassyInLoveInQueenscharlotte989875MyNameIsNot
  • ernursej said:
    Agree with PPs. Just start by writing down every single name of anyone that you might invite (group them together by family) and then you can start to remove names. I used a spreadsheet and had a column for my family and a column for H's family. We had a separate column for friends and another for work colleagues. We then looked at our venue capacity and our goals for a small wedding and started cutting. In the end, we chose to have more friends than family (just immediate family) as we would have ended up with more than 150 people when you include aunts/uncles/cousins etc. We were happy with 50 people. No one is entitled to receive an invite to your wedding and as long as you invite in circles, you should be fine. Only send STDs to VIPs. Anyone who receives a STD must be invited to the wedding.


    I did this too! And it really, really helped with narrowing down the guest list. Essentially we included formulas to account for how much it would cost for X guests (so we had the catering figured out before we did the guest list to see how it affected the budget).  And we color coded to differentiate between VIPs, then the next circle, then the next ... We did not send out STDs - I didn't find them necessary except for out of town guests, and they were all informed verbally in advance about the date.

    My family is also big on kids, but I only invited kids in one circle, that being my siblings children.


    short+sassycharlotte989875ernursej
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I Feel like you are talking about separate things here: young minor children and adult children of relatives. 

    There are several factors here:

    - How many children (minors) are on your fi's side
    - How many children (minors) are on your side that you are concerned about?

    Just because you invite minor children of cousins on one side, doesn't mean you have to invite adult children of cousins on the other side (But you can't split families- ie all kids or no kids of someone). 

    InLoveInQueenscharlotte989875
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