Wedding Invitations & Paper

Huge Family, Small Wedding Guest Count

I have been struggling with finalizing my guest list.  I have a HUGE family with plenty of aunts, uncles and cousins.

My fiancé and I are planning a wedding of under 80 guests.  Is it ok to invite 2 persons from each family group with the following verbiage to be addressed to the head of the family of each family group?:

“We have reserved 2 seats in your honor” 

That way each family group chooses among themselves who will be attending without me having to engage in the difficult task of choosing one family member over the other.

Any suggestions on how to tackle this will be greatly appreciated.

Re: Huge Family, Small Wedding Guest Count

  • geebee908geebee908 member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    edited April 18
    I have been struggling with finalizing my guest list.  I have a HUGE family with plenty of aunts, uncles and cousins.

    My fiancé and I are planning a wedding of under 80 guests.  Is it ok to invite 2 persons from each family group with the following verbiage to be addressed to the head of the family of each family group?:

    “We have reserved 2 seats in your honor” 

    That way each family group chooses among themselves who will be attending without me having to engage in the difficult task of choosing one family member over the other.

    Any suggestions on how to tackle this will be greatly appreciated.

    This is a horrible idea. You have to bite the bullet and decide who gets an invitation. You'll either get a lot of questions about who you intended the invitation for in which case you'll be forced to tell someone who is and who isn't invited anyway; or you'll get RSVPs with a larger number than you wanted and you'll be forced to call people and tell them that you only invited 2 out of their family and you really don't care who those 2 people are as long as it's just 2 people.

    Not great party planning strategy. If I were in those families, at that point I wouldn't feel my presence was particularly wanted.
    charlotte989875Casadenalevioosa
  • How many people are on your (and fiance's) VIP list? 
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    No, this is a horrible idea. Part of being an adult is making hard decisions. You need to decide who is important enough to you that you want them present at your wedding and send them the invitation. I agree with @geebee908, your idea will make it seem as if no one is important enough to get an actual invitation.
  • One thing you could do is invite in "circles".  For example, invite just your aunts and uncles (plus their significant others, of course), but not any of your cousins.  You don't have to do it that way.  But it's a suggestion on how to naturally cull the guest list, especially since you mentioned inviting two people from each family group.

    The other etiquette rule is you can't split up families with minor children, in the same household.  Let's say your aunt/uncle have a 5-year-old and a 16-year-old child.  It's okay to invite neither child and just the aunt/uncle.  But you can't invite the 16-year-old and then not invite the 5-year-old.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    ei34
  • This is a really tough decision, but one you can’t push off on to your family and that’s what you would be doing by asking them to choose who is invited. The guest list is, IMO the hardest part of planning. But if you want a smaller wedding than you have family you have to make the tough choices. 
    ei34
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'll just echo the rest and say this is a terrible idea. 

    You should invite in circles, and include full family groups. 

  • No.  Decide who you want at your wedding and invite them.  
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is really not a good idea. If you want to have a small wedding, that's fine. It's your decision. However, that means you have to decide which people you are going to invite. It's rude and confusing to push that off on guests. People wouldn't understand what you're trying to do and will RSVP for however many are in the family or were on the envelope. Pushing the guest list decision to them comes off as lazy and that you don't really want them there anyway.

    If you want them there, send them an invitation. If you don't want them there, don't. You don't have to invite any family at all if you don't want to. 
  • edited April 19
    Hi everyone, thank you so much for providing your very honest feedback and a different perspective! 

    I certainly do not want my family members to feel as though their presence is not wanted.  It is just extremely difficult to choose from my very large family and I didn’t want my selections to offend anyone.  Ideally I would want to invite my entire family to attend my wedding but I cannot realistically accommodate that financially.

    I’ll take what seems to be the consensus here and make a decision on the guest list considering all the very valid points made.
  • edited April 19
  • How many people are on your (and fiance's) VIP list? 
    About 20 persons in terms of immediate family.
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