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Shannon
Just Said Yes October 2021

Wedding invitations as olive branch

Shannon, on June 16, 2021 at 3:38 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 9

The set up is important. My dad has never been super close with his brother/my uncle (we'll call him S). His wife (M) and he have a daughter (C), who is a high school freshman. I'm not close with any of them, because a few years ago, M got into it with my dad and S's father. M and C haven't come to any family events or acknowledged the rest of us for years. S would show up like once or twice a year to drop by and say hi, or would call my dad on occasion to talk about what was going on in his life (but never my dad's). For at least the last 5 years, I haven't seen my aunt or cousin, and maybe saw my uncle twice. It goes back further but I wasn't keeping count then.

Fast forward to 2020. My dad dies in May 2020. S comes to see my dad before he passes, and makes a big deal that family is important to him. I hear from my grandparents that M and my grandfather have decided to move past whatever feud they had going on. We're all going to be one big happy family now.

Jump to August 2020, my brother's wedding. S and M show up, and bring C. They've never met my SO, so I introduce him. S says hi and asks where he lives, and that is the end of the conversation. Awkward, but fine. M is sitting with her back to us - she looks over her shoulder at us, says "hi", and then goes back to her conversation with another cousin. C is shy but at least makes eye contact and says hello. I shuffle through a conversation with her and I'm understanding of her situation (young, doesn't know these people, probably feels weird). Come to find out later that S and M didn't bring a gift or a card to my brother (I know that isn't the point, but it leaves a sour taste in my mouth that after years of ignoring us, you show up for a free meal and that's it). M has the balls to hug my mother and say that she loves her.

Father's birthday in October, nothing. Thanksgiving, nothing. Christmas, nothing. My parents' anniversary, nothing. Dad's anniversary of passing, NOTHING. Easter, M is sick so no one comes.

S and M have done absolutely nothing to back up that family is now important. I want nothing to do with them, and think that they are garbage people (there's more to why they're unpleasant people but this isn't reddit and this post is long enough).

The conundrum: I don't want to isolate my cousin. She has done nothing wrong to me, and I don't want to shut a relationship down before it's started (and maybe one won't come). I've weighed my options, done pros and cons, extrapolated how this will affect me and the rest of my family. I'm still torn. The way I see it, I have four options: 1. Don't invite any of them and piss people off; 2. Invite all of them and be pissed that S and M are there; 3. Give invitation to S and C, omitting M and pissing people off; and 4. Only invite C and piss people off.

What would you do in a situation like this? Would you suck it up, or stand your ground? I don't want to invite people that I won't be happy to see on my wedding day. I will not be happy to see them. I would be happy to see C. I know if I asked my grandparents, they would give her a ride, and even if she can't come, the gesture is important to me.

Thanks!

9 Comments

Latest activity by AJ, on June 16, 2021 at 4:58 PM
  • AJ
    Super October 2022
    AJ ·
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    Sounds like you are going to piss people off either way, I would stand your ground and not invite.

    My FH has a strained relationship with his half brother, my FH does not want to invite him, but would love to have his sister in law and niece nephew. Since that isn't possible we opted not to invite the entire family, even tho sister in law and kids did nothing wrong. I hate that my FH is pushing everyone else for his brothers childish behavior. His grandparents threatened not to come if we don't invite half brother and family but thats their choice. His mom is trying to get me to change his mind but its not up to me, we have to make compromises and I need to be supportive of his choice.

    Your happiness is what is important on your wedding day, you def don't want to be around people who cause stress

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  • Jessi
    Super October 2022
    Jessi ·
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    I'd say unless your cousin is an adult living on their own who you have a good relationship with, don't invite any of them. You'll be busy enough at your wedding that you won't actually have time to do any decent relationship building and there's no point in causing extra drama for you.

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  • Cristy
    Master May 2021
    Cristy ·
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    Since C is only a freshman in high school, you can't really invite her without her parents. And you don't need any additional drama at this stage of the game. Option 2 doesn't really make you happy, because you have to invite the garbage people, but at least then your cousin would have a chance to come, and you can maybe continue to develop a relationship with her. If that's what you really want, then option 2 is your best bet. It won't happen with any of the other options.

    Also, don't forget, you'll have so many other people there, and the day will be a whirlwind of happiness for you and FH. You won't even have time to notice the garbage people. You can easily ignore them for most (if not all) of the event. I just got married 3 weeks ago. I only had 20 guests and the day still went by in a blur!! There were a couple of people there that I wish hadn't made the trip, but I was so busy enjoying myself and my new husband, that I didn't really spend much time with them anyway.

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  • Shannon
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Shannon ·
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    That's what my brother said too. They were so busy on the day of that they didn't really spend time with anyone. I was even in the bridal party, and I had probably 5 minutes with my brother that whole day.

    Thanks for the feedback!

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  • Shannon
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Shannon ·
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    That's a good point. Thanks!

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  • Mcskipper
    Rockstar July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
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    Don’t invite any of them.


    If you want to foster a relationship with C that’s great, but frankly a wedding is a terrible place to start, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much there now. You’ll be busy and will have a million people to interact with. And to be completely honest, attending weddings a teen was always kind of a drag for me. I went to many out of love and a bit of family obligation, but it certainly wasn’t where I went to enjoy myself, particularly as the shy cousin.
    Also, I’d think inviting her without her parents would actually hurt the relationship more. She’s still young enough that they basically control her movement and they would certainly be offended and would likely prevent her from going or even continuing a relationship. She’s also closer to them so may be heavily influenced by their side of the story. I appreciate the idea, just expect it would do more harm than good
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  • Shannon
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Shannon ·
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    Ugh, I hate that people are using it against you two! My grandmother tried to talk to me about it pre-emptively, and I shut her down immediately saying that it's my wedding and none of her business. Anyone who can't be respectful that it's your wedding and your party can stub their toe on every corner for the rest of their life.

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  • C
    Super July 2020
    Cool ·
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    I wouldn’t invite any of them. It sounds like it’s only opening the door for disappointment and like you said, you don’t even have a relationship with the younger cousin. It sounds like if it weren’t for your wedding you may never speak to any of them again regardless.
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  • AJ
    Super October 2022
    AJ ·
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    We will still be inviting his grandparents, but if they choose not to come and support their grandson thats on them, then we know for any other major life events (if we have kids) they will not be involved. LOL I love that can stub their toe on every corner - I agree. Hope everything works out, wouldn't be a wedding without some kind of drama - sadly.

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