Family threatening to boycott wedding…

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  HappyG 2 years, 9 months ago.

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    My FH and I are getting married at the beginning of next year. When we sat down to discuss the size of the wedding we decided to put a limit on it- we both come from very big families and have large social circles but we really wanted the day to be very special only our closest friends and relatives there. We decided that we wouldn’t invite any but our closest friends and when it came to family, if we hadn’t spoken to somebody in the past 3 years, we would not invite them. Last year my Aunty asked me if her oldest daughter (in her fifties) would be invited. I said no and explained this was because I hadn’t spoken to her in over 8 years, my FH had never spoken with her, I was the only member of my family not invited to her daughter’s wedding last year and on top of all this, the last time I had seen her she made it very clear that she has no time for me, so as we are not a part of each other’s lives, she is not invited to our very small intimate wedding. There are a number of other relatives not invited, but not on that side of the family.
    Since then, another aunty had called me to tell me that I should change my mind on this. I again explained my reasons and that it was nothing personal, but she is not a part of our life. Last week, that cousin’s sister called and said that she is being placed in a difficult position as her Mother has banned her and her family from attending our wedding unless her sister is invited. I thought this was getting ridiculous, and I told her that I would invite this cousin but I didn’t appreciate the threats about people boycotting our wedding or the hypocrisy that it was acceptable that I be the only one in the family excluded from her daughter’s wedding but I had to invite her to mine. The conversation ended positively and I told my cousin that I would invite her sister and hopefully we can put this drama behind us.
    Last night however, my aunty calls me and says that she knows I have already spoken to her other daughter and agreed that her oldest daughter will be invited to the wedding but she wanted to call me to tell me that you can’t exclude a person from a wedding. I reminded her that I am not, I have agreed to invite her. She then says that “Our family sticks together” and no one will come to my wedding if this woman is not invited. I remind her that she is invited, but she just keeps pushing, it was an extremely bullying, horrible phone call when she already has her way- so what was the point in doing it?
    I got off the phone and cried and cried. What makes this worse for me is this side of the family is my father’s side and as my father has passed away I feel like falling out with them is losing a part of my father at my wedding. I am devastated at the nature of these calls, the demand that a person who is not in my life be invited to our small wedding, the threat of the entirety of my father’s family not attending my wedding and the hypocrisy that it was completely acceptable that I be excluded last year from their much larger wedding. I am so hurt and while I am reluctant to give in to such blatant harassment and bullying, I don’t want to stand up to this and end up pushing my family to choose sides and possibly not attend my wedding.
    I thought your family was meant to be happy for you. Even though I wasn’t invited to her daughter’s wedding I found out her address and sent her a lovely card saying congratulations and wishing them many happy years together. I’ve certainly not had a card or any contact from them since FH and I got engaged- how can they be so hypocritical?



    You poor thing, what an awful situation to be in.  What I’m wondering is how this aunt is banning people from attending your wedding – how is she going to stop them? It’s not like they’re kids who she can physically stop leaving the house, what’s she holding over them to prevent them from attending? 
    Your reasoning sounds perfectly sound to me; we will be inviting some of FH’s cousins but not all (and none of mine) for very similar reasons.  I actually think in your shoes I would un-invite the aunt who is making these ridiculous demands and bullying you so horribly – I’m guessing now that you’d rather she wasn’t there at all? I understand the reluctance to have one side of your family not attend your wedding, but if they’re not going to be supportive and nice at your lovely intimate wedding, is it better that they’re not there? You can honour your father in other ways (have a reserved seat at the ceremony with your favourite picture of him, light a candle in memory of him and other family members who have passed away, have a picture of him on your bouquet etc etc) without having bullying family members there.



    I think this is a combination of issues, for one thing, you’ve repeatedly brought up that you weren’t invited to the daughter’s wedding, even though you said yourself that you hadn’t had contact with the cousin in at least 8 years. He daughter probably had the same reason to not invite you as you do her mother now; regardless of her reasons, it sounds like you took this lack of invitation very personally. Also, sending a card for a wedding you weren’t invited to, to an address that want expressly given to you for that purpose could be considered a guilt-trip rather than a well-meaning gesture of goodwill.
    The best thing to do is let it go, and stop using it as a defense as it will sound petty and immature to your father’s family, leading them to think your decision is based on spite and anger over a wedding that happened ages ago. It is just a celebration, there’s no point taking it so personally and turning it into a bigger issue than it needs to be. I’ve had friends get married and not got an invite, but I figure they have their own reasons, whether it is cost, location, family or they’ve just been really busy planning and just forgot; it isn’t a personal attack or commentary about me.
    As for your own wedding, you shouldn’t feel bullied or pressured into inviting people. You should take into account their thoughts and feelings, perhaps even come to a compromise but be clear that it is your wedding and you and your partner’s decision. If family members are threatening to boycott your wedding,  tell them where to shove it, this is a day of celebration and joy, and you can’t afford to pander to everyone. Explain your perspective, your reasons and as long as you’re being reasonable it shouldn’t be an issue.
    Weddings will never be perfect, family and friends can be a huge point of stress for anyone, so try not to take their issues on board and just enjoy your big day! As DerbyBride said, honour your father in your own way, whether in a speech, his favourite song, lighting a candle or leaving a seat; you don’t need an angry Aunt to remember him by on your wedding day.

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