The Big Wedding vs. Surprise Family Affair

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  BrideToBe13 3 years, 8 months ago.

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    Hi fellow knotties! I’m just writing this because I feel I obviously have something that I need to make my mind up about, and I’d really value some of your sage advice!
    My fiancé and I have our venue, band, wedding car, celebrant, caterer and photographer booked, with deposits paid. I’ve bought my dress and my shoes, and I’m pretty certain about the bridesmaid dresses. The wedding is in October 2014 – I’m trying to be prepared rather than turning into a bridezilla a year out.
    Here’s the crux – my side of invitees will probably max out at around 40 people, tops. The groom? Easily over 80 – and that’s if his parents don’t invite many of their friends. We floated the idea to start off with of a destination wedding – it didn’t go down well with his mother, because it would require all of her side to travel, and she didn’t want to offend anyone (long story short, with a daughter who’s divorcing an American and a son who just married a Canadian, I believe she wants ours to be the “easy” wedding.) 
    We’ve previously discussed a low-key wedding, because we don’t want to spend heaps of money on one day – and we’re both fairly relaxed, low-key people. My fiancé doesn’t like most of his family, but with the wedding being someone close, it’ll be hard not to invite them (read: definite alienation for years to come.) My mother has begged us to elope, even offered to pay for it, so I don’t have to deal with the stress of a big wedding that’s largely to please his family. 
    The biggest problem I have is knowing that his family will show up because they have to, not because they want to be there to celebrate with us. I am having a hard time deciding whether to go ahead with our wedding at our rustic century old barn with our Irish folk band, or whether we’d possibly be best off to just have something small and low-key (secret, surprise, mystery wedding.) 
    i know that I’d love to have the wedding we’ve planned. But knotties, have any of you had similar thoughts? Does anyone else experience the “you don’t really care so why should I have to invite you” dilemma? 


    That is a tough one! We had a similar situation.  I’ll tell you what we did (it does take the support of hubby-to-be). We invited EVERYBODY to the engagemement party – and I mean every possible long lost relative, ones I haven’t even met yet from his side. We got to catch up with people he hadn’t seen in ages which made it much more comfortable for me to be inviting them to our wedding and the ones that weren’t even polite enough to rsvp no, we have taken off the wedding list. We told my mother-in-law this, nicely, and she has been very good about it! Our wedding list is still 30 people more than we would have liked but we feel as though the people coming are going to be there because they love and support us, not for a night out!
    You are obviously very organised and know what you want for your dream wedding, don’t give it up because of others. Remember you can always tell those not invited it was due to venue size or budget that you couldn’t invite everyone (this works for keeping kids out as well).
    PS if your groom doesn’t like some of his family and they alienate you (ie stop coming to events) will he really mind!?!


    I feel your pain here Siobhan! FH and I are having similar issues, but with my side of the family. My dads parents and sisters refuse to acknowledge myself, my parents and brother and sister as family (to the point where we run into each other in a shopping centre and they turn their heads and walk away when we say hello…) but my mum says we need to be polite and invite them, even if it’s just for my dads sake. My nan and pop would be the same as your partners family, and just show up because they feel they have to be there but they wouldn’t actually want to be. I’m thinking I’m going to talk to my dad and get his opinion on it, but knowing my dad he will just say to keep it the immediate family and not worry about them. In all honesty, if your FH doesn’t like his family there’s really no point in inviting them – I apologize if this offends anyone – but do you really want to have people in your photos who are so obviously disinterested in being there?? I agree with Michelle, you could always let them know it wasn’t within your budget to invite everyone – with a lot of couples funding their own wedding these days, it can’t be expected that you will come up with the money to host an extra however many people just because they Share the same surname…. I hope you come to a resolution soon!

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