Wedding Drama

So here’s the question  facing anyone planning a wedding… it ok to invite only the people you have a personal relationship with? Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Not really, as I am finding out as we plan my daughter’s wedding.  We have a large, extended, third generation Italian family with many cousins. So does the groom. We also have a certain number of guests we contracted for with the reception place, based upon what we can afford. So, call me crazy but it would seem to me that the people we want there should be there, rather than according to  the politically correct, family dysfunctional hierarchy.  There are cousins we are close to and cousins we barely know. Sometime even within the same nuclear family. Yet the attitude within the family seems to be, “You invite all of us or none of us”. (Picture this pronouncement coming from Marie Barone, the mother on Everybody Loves Raymond ) And the looming threat, if we do it our way, is that offended parties cut us off for who knows how long. (See my previous post “You’re Dead to Me”)

Since my daughter and I are both therapists, we are opting for clinically correct rather than what’s politically corect in this family.  Meaning that we’re not going to buy into the family dysfunction…but neither choice feels particularly good….Has anyone else been through this, and how have you handled it?



3 Responses to “Wedding Drama”

  1. Miki Says:

    Having no children I never had to organise a wedding party myself, and to face these unpleasant decisions.
    But I know that in my French family it would be a big faux-pas not to invite everybody. Well everybody means first grad family (sorry it is so difficult for me to explain in English, I don’t know the appropriate words). And for the rest of the family we invite the ones with whom we still have contact.
    But you having Italian families, I guess the problem is even more complicated. I suppose the Italians are very sensitive to this kind of things, aren’t they?
    Anyway, I wish you good lick with your decision, and to your daughter too, of course!

  2. OrSoSheSaid Says:

    When I got married to my husband his extended family was/is notably larger than mine. He is from a Catholic Italian family and they are all very much of the thought process that they are not only supposed to be invited, but also based on relation to groom should be seated in closer proximity at the reception- can you imagine?

    There was also a rift going on between 2 families. Wherever one went the other refused to show. My husband and I were very fond of one of the brothers’ feuding and had not even met the other. We agonized over who we would/could invite but in the end we decided to invite all family because ultimately it seemed like the right thing to do for us. It was a little sad because the family we were close to did not show and instead the other did. On the up side we had the chance to meet some new family.

    You also have to figure that if you invite everyone, not everyone will show. If there are people you are less excited about coming they may or may not decide to partake. If they do though, it will be to celebrate your daughter’s marriage- what a wonderful thing! Also even those people you do like and want there may or may not be able to make it. I guess the bottom line is the people that can make it and really want to be there will.

    Good luck, in whatever you choose. I know wedding planning can be tense business, but oh so worth it in the end!

  3. amberfireinus Says:

    OK well… yay… some real help!!!

    I only took the therapy courses to help my friend with OCD.

    For years I made my living doing Large scale events (which includes weddings). Ettiquite and style are my….. forte!

    This is the rule with wedding invitations and may surprise you.

    It is completely rude to send an invitation to a wedding of people/relatives that you have no relationship to. They see it as you seeking a gift rather than a warm extention of hospitality.

    When you are planning a wedding, remember a few basic things: A wedding is one day of a marriage that lasts a lifetime. Every single person that should be invited to that wedding should be people that you will continue to see after that wedding ends.

    It is not a place to have old college friends of whom you have mostly lost touch for a big drink fest and party. You will more than likely never ever see these people again.

    You should not invite anyone who would make you or any of your guests feel uncomfortable by being there for the most part. If Uncle X is a drunk…and can’t behave… he doesn’t get invited. Very simple. This is your day and that ends the conversation.

    Never make excuses for who you invite or who you exclude. It is no one else’s business. You are paying a lot of money, and no one should question what it is YOU can afford to do. If the person wants to feel included, then they are free to send you a nice card wishing you well. You don’t owe anyone anything.

    Maybe I should write you a private email about the ettiquite of certain things…

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