I have a huge family and am having a hard time with our guest list. My great grandmother had 7 children so I have a ton of family and I cannot invite them all. My plan is to invite the cousins that I’m really close with, but this means that I may be inviting some sibling cousins and not their other sibling. Is this tacky? I know my cousins will understand, but their parents are going to be upset. What are your thoughts?
I completely understand your dilemma. My mother is one of 13 children! And all of them have children, and even some of their children now have children. I was in the same position as you. With over 70 cousins, the guest list was completely out of control. I wanted to only invite the ones I was close to and actively saw, but that meant splitting up siblings. Although I knew they were aware that I wasn’t as close to them as some of the other cousins, not inviting them seemed like a jerk move. When I thought about how I would feel if my parents and brother were invited to their weddings and I was the only one that wasn’t, it still felt crummy even though I knew I wasn’t as close to them. I think it’s just the basic desire to not want to be singled out/left out. And on top of that, I knew their parents would be upset if we did that to their children. I didn’t want hurt feelings and years of awkwardness between me and my family, so in the end we decided it wasn’t worth it to invite some and not others. We basically decided to either wait and save more money so that we could invite everyone, or just have a small destination wedding with only our parents, siblings and closest friends. We decided to go with the latter option lol My best advice is to really think about how this will impact your relationship with your cousins and aunts and uncles in the future. If you think it is going to cause long-standing hurt feelings or awkwardness with them, you will need to decide whether you feel it is worth it or not. My heart definitely goes out to you. It is such a tough situation! Especially if you are close to your family.
We ran into this as well as my MIL is one of 13 and FIL is one of 8. In order to avoid splitting up siblings or running the risk of some being upset we decided to only invite aunts and uncles but no cousins at all. They're still welcome to come to the destination with their parents for a vacation and to hang with us outside of the wedding, but no cousins on his side of the family are invited.
This is a know your crowd thing but among ourselves and folks we know they would find it more odd to invite people they have no relationship with just to please others whose opinions don’t matter (aka not the hosts) than to invite full “circles” to be polite. It’s more polite to not invite them because it comes across as a gift grab if you do.
I think if you're going to invite some of a family, you should invite them all. Not splitting up siblings is definitely more complicated because of the added volume of guests though. I understand the dilemma!
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Thank you all for your words of advice. Many of the cousins I don’t talk to at all…not even on social media, so that is why I was thinking about inviting their sibling because in that case, we talk often….many are the guy cousins that I don’t talk to so they would be more okay with it I’m sure, but I could see how feelings could be hurt.
I think to be honest if you are inviting some cousins and not their siblings that could border on a bit rude. Some people invite to the wedding and if the reception is at a different venue they cut down the guests there due to cost. That could be an option. Hurt feelings may be had, but in the end it's your day.
I really feel for you with this dilemma since my fiancé has a big family, but personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable excluding certain siblings or part of a family. That comes off as rude to me, I'd hate to have to handle the aftermath of the decision, and I know it would embarrass my parents if/ when they had to explain that to anyone. Like Cece mentioned, if I was the one who was singled out, I'd feel hurt too. That would also lead to a LOT of family drama, awkwardness around family get-togethers, and cause (potentially irreparable) damage to those relationships.
Could you have an age cutoff somewhere? Either a blanket "no kids" policy or an age cutoff (I've seen 16, 18, or 21) could potentially help trim the headcount. Those are fairly common and would probably be received better. Are there family friends or coworkers in the list that could be cut? Generally, those groups of people tend to be more understanding.