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Cece
Rockstar November 2022

Would you tell people they aren’t invited?

Cece, on July 7, 2022 at 9:15 AM Posted in Community Conversations 0 20
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I am really struggling with what to do with this situation. A little backstory: My whole life I have always said I am never getting married. I’ve never had an interest in it. So when I got engaged, my entire family was shocked and elated! Everybody has been super excited for us and immediately started asking questions about the wedding. I’m not a traditional person and don’t enjoy traditional weddings, so I knew immediately I wanted to have a small, fun destination wedding. The problem: my family is HUGE. Just my family members alone would have been over 120 people. So FH and I decided to only invite parents, siblings and wedding party (and everyone’s significant others of course). After postponing twice, we had hoped my family would settle down on asking about the wedding, but the haven't. They know we are having a destination wedding, and everyone wants to go! So now I’m conflicted on whether we should make an announcement that, due to venue space restrictions, we would not be able to invite everyone and we couldn’t imagine “picking & choosing” between our loved ones, so we have decided to elope with only our parents, siblings and wedding party…. Or just have the wedding then announce our marriage after the fact. What would you do in this situation??

***edited to add: most of them already know all our plans and are asking my mom when we are going to decide on a new date. Because we never specificallly said we were going to have a very small wedding (because tbh we kept going back and forth about maybe changing venues so that we could just invite them all so we wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings) I think they are all expecting to be invited. Plus, everyone in our family has always had huge weddings where everyone was invited, so it's likely just expected. I am very close with family, so there's no negative feelings about them assuming they are invited or anything. I just need to find the most tactful and respectful way of breaking the news to them that they aren't. I can't put my mom in the position of telling people the decision we've made, so I definitely need to make an announcement one way or the other. Just trying to feel out whether others think it would be better to announce now so everyone knows what's going on... or just post a photo after the wedding announcing we eloped.

20 Comments

Latest activity by Barbara, on July 12, 2022 at 7:41 PM
  • Kelly
    Rockstar October 2023
    Kelly ·
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    I also have a large family that I'm not inviting. I'm not close with them, but most still expect to be invited. I'm not going to say anything to them and let them figure it out on their own. If someone asks, you can just tell them that it was a small ceremony/you eloped.

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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece Online ·
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    I am actually very close with nearly all of my family members, so I definitely have to announce it one way or another. They would be incredibly hurt if I just got married and never said anything. And I definitely want to share the news with them. I just don’t know if I should do it prior so they know what’s going on, or just announce it after with a photo of the wedding.
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  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa ·
    • Flag
    I would address it with people as they ask you about wedding details, and let word of mouth take it from there. If they ask about where you're hosting the wedding, or what your venue looks like, you can totally slip in the info while answering their question: "We chose a beautiful venue in New Orleans! I love that it has [favorite parts of venue here]. The only downside is that it's very limited on capacity, so we're only able to invite our immediate families and wedding party members to our wedding,"


    If someone directly asks whether they are invited, maybe something just like you said - "Our venue doesn't have space for everyone, and we couldn't imagine picking and choosing between our loved ones, so we have decided to do a very small wedding with just our immediate family and wedding party members. We are bummed that we can't include everyone, but are looking forward to finally becoming husband and wife after having to postpone multiple times!"
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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece Online ·
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    I probably should have included more details in my initial post, but I was trying to keep it as short as possible. They all already know all the details of the wedding… they just keep asking about the new date. I think because we never specifically said we were keeping it small (mainly because we kept contemplating just inviting everyone b/c we didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings) they are all expecting to be invited. And to complicate things, they mainly ask my mom about it. So I can’t put her in the position of breaking the news to them. Which is why I need to make an announcement either now or after the fact. Word of mouth doesn’t go well with my family because there are just soooooo many of them, and stories tend to have details changed, omitted, etc as the game of telephone goes down the line. I’m just trying to figure out if it would be better to make it known now or after the fact
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  • Imani
    Rockstar July 2022
    Imani ·
    • Flag
    I’d just let them know now. Keep it short and simple. We decided to have a ceremony with only our immediate family. And just leave it at that. I think you might be overthinking it because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. But that’s okay. As long as you’re happy with your decision that’s all that matters. It just helps to tell them now instead of waiting because if you wait you’re going to get more inquiries about the new date.
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  • Pat
    Expert May 2023
    Pat ·
    • Flag

    Is there a way you (or mom?) host a big family picnic after the fact? You could actually send out invites for that .... something along the lines of "help us celebrate our newly wedded status" wording. That way folks can see that it isn't a 'come to our wedding' invite, just a 'come to celebration picnic" deal.

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar August 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Oh my gosh, Pat. You're asking her to host another reception. 😂 I think with her postponements, she's ready to celebrate & be done.


    I don't think you have to send formal cancellations in the mail for your prior event. It's a bit late. But, if you were feeling really generous, you could call each household. What's wrong with word of mouth? Would you post on your old website?
    During the winter holidays, you can send a Merry and Married card with wedding pictures as you wish your relatives a happy new year.
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Absolutely not. The only time I can see this being appropriate is if someone has a legitimate reason to not be invited, such as they may have a substance issue that they are not willing to control and not attending will be best for everyone, or the potential guest has an intolerance towards the couple based on religious beliefs/race/ethics/etc. Beyond that, no explanation is needed why someone does not receive an invitation other than the couple chose not to invite them. The reason could be anything from space to budget to just because they want to not have anyone else in attendance. None of those reasons are anyone’s business beyond the couple who is inviting their select list.



    A lot of people don’t realize that the wedding is not the only event they will host as a married couple or the only event they will attend just in general. If family wants to get together in one space and your venue and budget don’t allow, arrange a family reunion picnic at another time at a local park that everyone contributes to but is not on your dime. It can be a home cooked potluck where people share their famous recipes or find super cheap restaurant drop off catering to feed everyone.
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  • Orianna
    Devoted December 2022
    Orianna ·
    • Flag

    We had the same situation and we literally used the exact phrase you mentioned above; we didn't want to have to pick and chose or put anyone in the position of having to say they couldn't come due to budgetary restrictions, so we are not having any of our family from the east coast (my entire family) come to our wedding.

    We are having a second party back each for them (which is not in everyone's budget) and my mom has been fielding a lot of these questions and she's simply saying that we didn't want to force any of our family to have to make an expensive trip to California two weeks before Christmas and we'll see them the following April at that reception.

    The other thing we are doing (shout out to making this normal during the pandemic) is we are setting up a zoom of just our ceremony that a friend of mine is going to be in charge of filming so that people can see us get married if they want. We're also going to record it so that we have it for anyone who wants to see it in the future.

    I would say that if anyone asks, simply say that due to the restrictions of your location, your guest list is being kept very small but that you appreciate their wanting to be there and hope to be able to celebrate with them in the future. That way they feel like you want them there (to celebrate!) but you just can't because of the location. And keeping the wording about "in the future" vague allows you to simply "celebrate" the next time you see them.

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  • Jacks
    Champion November 2054
    Jacks ·
    • Flag

    As long as someone hasn't actually been invited, verbally or otherwise, you don't owe them an invitation. If someone asks, say "actually we're keeping it very small, but look forward to celebrating with you sometime soon" or something similar. Don't give reasons or excuses, because those not invited will try to come up with solutions to them.

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  • R
    Rosebud ·
    • Flag

    Oh this is a hard one but I d probably say something along the lines of Due to space and budget restraints we have decided to elope/have a very small wedding with immediate family only. We hope you understand, it was a difficult choice for us. I'd love to share the photos with you when we return. Thank you so much for your support and excitement during this special time for us!

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  • Pat
    Expert May 2023
    Pat ·
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    I guess I was thinking more in the lines of what Michelle posted - " arrange a family reunion picnic at another time at a local park that everyone contributes to but is not on your dime. It can be a home cooked potluck where people share their famous recipes or find super cheap restaurant drop off catering to feed everyone." I just didn't word it very well. Smiley catface

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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece Online ·
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    Thanks Imani, you make very good points!
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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece Online ·
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    We had thought about doing a local reception after the wedding, but tbh after having to plan a three weddings, I’m just reeeeaaaaalllly over planning events 😂 FH and I are just ready to get married and be done with the whole thing LOL
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  • Imani
    Rockstar July 2022
    Imani ·
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    Sure thing! I hope it works out Cece.
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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece Online ·
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    You hit the nail on the head Michelle- after planning three weddings, we are ready to just do this thing and be done with it! Lol


    Luckily, we have never gotten far enough to send invitations to anyone. And we only sent STDs to our parents, siblings, and wedding party (The people we knew for sure would be invited no matter what), so we didn’t have to send out any formal cancellations, change of dates, etc. And we never even made our wedding website public, so no one (who isn’t invited) even knows it exists. If we were to make an announcement, we would likely just do it on social media, as I am friends with at least 90% of them on there; and then we would let word of mouth do it’s thing from there on out. Calling everyone would definitely be the more personal way to go about it, but I have over 120 family members that I would have to call, and don’t have the time nor energy for all those conversations 😆
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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece Online ·
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    Oh, we are very aware that our wedding is not the only event we will be hosting or attending as a married couple. And our huge family already gets together at least once a year for a weekend reunion. This year it will actually be just 10 weeks before our wedding. So it’s nothing like that. It’s just an assumption that has been made based on what every single married member of our family has done ever since the current oldest generation were children. We are the first to stray from this tradition, so we want to be sure everyone understands why we made this decision. Not explaining will certainly be viewed as rude and hurtful by the family. So we definitely want to make sure we make an explanatory announcement out of love and respect. We are just trying to figure out whether it would be best to do it before hand, or after the fact.
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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece Online ·
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    Oh my gosh, OF COURSE you have the same situation Orianna- I am convinced we are just having the exact same wedding experience! 😂
    Thank you so much for this post. It was very helpful. We had also toyed with the idea of live streaming the event. I think it’s a good option if we do make the announcement beforehand. And now that I think about it, if we make the announcement now, we could gauge peoples responses and determine whether or not a secondary celebration is a good idea- if everyone immediately starts asking about one, then we could at least contemplate doing one (although it makes me want to cry thinking about having to plan yet another event!), but if everyone just offers their well-wishes, then we won’t even have to worry about bringing it up.
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  • Orianna
    Devoted December 2022
    Orianna ·
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    Hahah I think we are!!


    I will say, the idea of planning another event has been daunting to me as well (even though it was our plan from the start) but I’m kinda taking a back seat on it. Because it’s my family, I’m letting my parents take complete control. It’s not formal like my wedding is, and I basically am responding with “I don’t care, sounds great!” To everything they suggest. The way I’m looking at it? It’s a big party in my home town vs my wedding where I’m over seeing every aspect. It takes the pressure off knowing it’s not the big ceremony day party and that in the end if something goes wrong, we’re already married (and will be for about 4 months by the time we have this party) so there’s no pressure.
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  • B
    Just Said Yes October 2022
    Barbara ·
    • Flag
    We are having a small wedding, 50 guests including photographer, DJ and officiant and her husband. We notified some of our friends and family that we knew would not be included, including my coworkers, just so I could relax and enjoy planning without later upsetting anyone. Everyone understood and wished us well!
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