To invite or Not to invite…What’s the Answer???

8 Jun

Okay, I guess every person who has organized a wedding has had to go through this — who do you invite?

The original plan was to keep our wedding super small (like 20 people) with only really close friends and immediate family. The problem is that I have a huge extended family out here in Southern California — some of whom I’m close to and others I’m not. Whenever I first talked to my mom about this she said that I should still invite 3 of my cousins who I haven’t seen in over 4 years (who also have pretty big families themselves — at least a kid or three each). I’m pretty close to the brothers of these cousins and would like to invite them to the wedding (they call and keep up with me and were really there for me after my dad died) but not really the women. In fact, one of the women cousins really annoyed me at her sister’s wedding when she turned to the priest and introduced me,

“This is my cousin, Katie. She’s an atheist. ” (Which isn’t even true, but probably her description of anyone who is not a practicing Catholic.)

My take on the situation is that this is Our wedding, meaning that the only people we would want there are people we truly care about and love. We’re planning on having a potluck BBQ sometime after the wedding to include the people who couldn’t come, and I think that for the 3 cousins I’m not close to this would be a great time to see them. (I’m trying to keep to the rule of thumb that anyone I haven’t talked to or seen in the past year isn’t invited…)

So, how divisive would it be to not invite these people, I wonder? (Inviting them will easily add 1/3 to our total count because of the size of their families…)

Any thoughts out there???

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6 Responses to “To invite or Not to invite…What’s the Answer???”

  1. Em June 9, 2007 at 12:28 am #

    Dru and I had been living together for 11 years, then we got married. We had a really, really small ceremony with just our parents, siblings, and one great-aunt, held in a heritage inn, officiated by a JoP who really “got” us, and it was better than I even imagined it would be. The next day we had a BBQ in his folks’ backyard for the friends and family — some of my VA relatives even drove up! — and it went down without a hitch (people are still talking about the food, and what a cool guy the FIL is!).

    Remembering it is *your* day is key: do whatever you need to do to make it well-and-truly *right* (not “magical” or “perfect”, eschew that junk) for you. If others get offended then they’re the ones who’ve missed the point of it all!

    Not that I have any strong opinions or anything… 😉

  2. ingrid June 9, 2007 at 3:04 pm #

    I have to agree with Em. It was tough when I was planning my wedding also because my parents are each one of 8 kids and that’s a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins. We finally decided that we really only wanted to invite people who were really important to us vs. making it a family reunion type thing. We then had our parents sort of casually “get the word out” that we were having a very small, intimate wedding but were planning a family reception/bbq sometime at a later date. Everyone not invited totally understood and were happy to get announcements vs. invitations. (then at the last minute we eloped!)

  3. teresa June 9, 2007 at 4:34 pm #

    I think your past year rule of thumb is a good one, and you should stick with it. The whole point of a small, intimate wedding is to surround yourselves with the people you really *want* to spend your wedding day with.

  4. Rina June 10, 2007 at 12:25 am #

    I agree with everyone so far: invite those you want to invite, never mind the rest. 😉 My husband and I had 17 people at ours–ourselves, our immediate families plus a few of our closest friends. My FIL wasn’t crazy about the arrangement, but we let him deal with that on his own, and he got over it eventually. Ultimately, it was a great wedding and everyone enjoyed how relaxed and intimate it was.

  5. Kelly June 11, 2007 at 1:17 pm #

    Raven and I were going to do a “small church wedding” – church to satisfy the Catholic half of the family and small to satisfy our budget. But the number of family and friends who we “had” to invite kept growing, and when I realized that I was being encouraged to invite people just because they’d invited me to the wedding of their child…
    It’s your wedding, not a greeting card! We went to city hall, and had a backyard party just like Em and Dru did. It was a wonderful, intimate time with people I cared about. And people you aren’t close to will secretly be relieved NOT to be invited. One less social engagement to schedule, and they aren’t any closer to you than you feel to them.

  6. Lindsay June 14, 2007 at 12:37 am #

    You can always have a BBQ/chips & dip kind of event to accomodate everyman and his dog . . . but your wedding should be the way YOU want it. The last thing you want to do is have people at your wedding that you feel awkward talking to, or worse, people you secretly suspect don’t want to be there. Not sure if you know this site, but you should check out for lots of great, advice and moral support. I’ve been the taskmaster behind several weddings, and trust me, the most important thing is that you’ll be married to someone you love at the end of a fun (but never perfect!) day.

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