Lynnie
WeddingWire Admin October 2016 North Carolina

Where do you draw the line on family?

Lynnie, on 11/October/2018 at 13:05 Posted in Plan a wedding

When it gets down to the nitty-gritty of making those guest list cuts - where did you draw the line on family? Did you invite your first cousins? Second cousins? Families of in-laws? Where did you draw the line?


Where do you draw the line on family? 1

Photo by Jan Perreault Photography in Oshawa, ON


For more guest list discussions, check out: Guest list breakdown!, How many guests are you inviting? , and What's your plus one plan?

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21 Comments

  • Bianca
    Featured August 2019 Ontario
    Bianca ·

    Ugh. This is a sore topic for me. We're inviting our first cousins since neither of us know our second cousins. We're also letting FH's parents invite some of their friends because they're "like family" to them.

    Aside from that, it's all friends.

  • Stephanie
    Master July 2018 Alberta
    Stephanie ·

    We stuck with aunts and uncles. I have too many cousins to be able to invite them all! One of my husband's cousins came, but that was to replace an uncle's girlfriend who backed out without telling us!

    We also invited my sister-in-laws mom and a couple of her sisters. Her sisters helped make our bouquets, and her mom, well, her mom we invited because my mom wanted us to. Since our parents paid for part of the wedding, we obliged. Especially since their "invite these people" list consisted of one person!

  • Emily
    Devoted February 2020 Ontario
    Emily ·
    I am mostly sticking to my closest family, cousins, aunts and uncles, but I am inviting a few of my second cousins that I see the most. It is super tricky with family.
  • Gina
    Super April 2019 Alberta
    Gina ·
    We only invited family we are close with. So I didn’t invite 2 of my Aunts and 2 of my uncles (I haven’t spoken with them in at least 15+ years). I only invited 2 out of 16 first cousins. Again, some of them I haven’t seen in 20 years, some I don’t like. Lol. Can you tell I didn’t grow up in a tight-knit family? Haha. FH sadly doesn’t have a lot of family. (Most have passed away) but we invited all his Aunts and Uncles (only 4 total) and a couple of his first cousins. We keep in contact with his family. So they were invited
  • Peggy
    Expert May 2019 Alberta
    Peggy ·

    I drew the line at 2nd and 3rd cousins that I never see except at big family events (Weddings, funerals, etc), especially if I wasn't invited to any of their weddings. I do have a few 2nd and 3rd cousins I am close to and see more often; they got invitations.

  • A
    Frequent user October 2019 Ontario
    Amanda ·

    For us it's hard making a guest list, neither of us are close with our families other than parents and siblings. That being said I do have some family members that I chat with weekly on FB or text but have not seen in years. So we are struggling to come up with a list.

  • Brittany
    Featured January 2019 British Columbia
    Brittany ·

    We were going to stop at first cousins, which left us at almost 150 people.... Then we cut "kids" (under 19), which cut 35 people, then my FH started cutting his cousins that he doesn't talk to anyways, haha... But I have "cousins/aunts/uncles" on my side who are actually my mom's cousins... So our lines are blurred... haha. Our rule is, if you're actively in our life, you're invited... It's not about how closely you're "technically" related. We have settled around 107 people right now.

  • Vinod
    Master August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
    Indian families are huge and never draw the line for them. We invite everyone and anyone related.

    For our list, i just sticked with maon family to cut the numbers. Total would be over 100 if the line was drawn.
  • K
    Frequent user June 2019 Ontario
    Kim ·
    We didn't really "draw a line"... We're inviting the family members we're close with. Some first and second cousins are invited and some are not... same goes with aunts/uncles. If we haven't talked / hung out regularly then they're not invited. I don't see anyone being offended - I know I wasn't when I wasn't invited to a cousins wedding. We aren't close so why would I go/invite them? 🤷‍♀️
  • Alexandra
    Featured November 2019 British Columbia
    Alexandra ·
    Honestly with my family I couldn’t not invite second counsins because I have some that I call aunts and uncles because we’re so close. And then their kids are super close to me. I got lucky where because my family is mostly in England and we have to account for people not coming, I didn’t actually have to cut people on my side at all.
  • Leah
    Featured April 2019 British Columbia
    Leah ·
    My FH has a small guestlist of both immediate and extended family.

    I honestly just chose the family I’m closed with now. There’s no way we could invite everybody soooo 🤷🏾‍♀️. It was either do it this way or elope. I’m sure there will be some folks who are hurts, but it’s ok, and they’ll be ok.
  • Allison
    Featured October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·

    Right now, we are inviting grandparents, aunts/uncles and cousins. Some of my cousins have kids but we are not inviting them since a lot of them are really young (under 10) and are chaotic, they would be running around during the ceremony and jumping in the pool honestly. Only two of my cousins are under 18 and can sit through a ceremony without fussing.

    My FH is inviting cousin's kids since they are in their teens and behaved, plus I have more family and this is a good way to balance it out. Plus no one will know that his side got to bring cousin's kids and my side didn't.

    We have some aunts/uncles/cousins that we'll invite since we don't want to start any family feuds, but will probably not come due to existing feuds. We're not close with those individuals so it won't affect us too much.

  • Angel
    Frequent user June 2019 British Columbia
    Angel ·

    I was obligated to invite everyone in my family because my aunt said it was disrespectful if I didn't....I was upset about this because I felt that it was unfair that I had to exclude some friends of mine in order to save seats for a cousin that I've barely talked to in the last 5 years! Thankfully, most of the relatives from Asia decided not to come because my cousin is also getting married next year and they don't want to pick between the two weddings...I think this is a win-win situation and I feel great relief that I can take their names off and invite friends that I truly want to be present on my big day!

  • Casey
    Expert October 2019 Ontario
    Casey ·

    This is a tough one for us. When I made my family list, i have quite a bit of people because I have my dads family, my moms family, and my step moms family. I am quite close with my dads family seeing them multiple times a year. With my moms family we are still quite close, my step moms family, only her siblings and their kids will be invited so it is not that bad

    My FH's family on the other side is Italian, and then his moms side of the family. His sister got married and invited everyone, but in the 5 years that we have been together I have not met all of the extended family, nor do I have a relationship with them. Thankfully my FH does not want it to be that big, but I have a feeling the in laws will feel that there needs to be more people invited.

  • Allison
    Curious June 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·

    I don't know if we really drew a line at all. It was really tough to cut anyone in our family (as I am sure it is for most of us). My fiancé's father has 6 siblings and they all have kids who have kids. The dilemma is the first cousins are at least 5-10+ years older than us and their kids are mostly under the age of 10. Growing up, he was always a part of their weddings and they enjoy family get-togethers every chance that they get. Soooo, thats how we ended up with 70 family members on my fiancés side right off the bat. I love it though, I absolutely adore them all.

    As for my smaller side of the family - thankfully each of my parents only have two siblings each - I am close with my cousins who are all roughly the same age as us. But I was able to cut great aunts and uncles as I don't regularly see or speak with them. It sucks but if we won the lottery I would add them in a heartbeat.

    We couldn't exclude kids - although we talked about it - because there are 3 young ones (all will be under the age of 2) in our most direct, close family (siblings & such) and it wouldn't be fair to say oh this person can bring their kid but you can't - so kids it is!

  • S
    Frequent user January 2021 Alberta
    Sara ·

    We are breaking the standard "invite in circles" etiquette rule and inviting based on our actual relationships with people, not on their blood relation to either of us. Some cousins are getting invited, some are not. Same is true for Aunts and Uncles.

    We are both very close with some of our family and not with others, so we are essentially treating our entire potential guestlist the same - we are inviting the people who we are closest to and their family status has nothing to do with it.

    Guess we will wait and see if anyone is offended haha but honestly, I don't anticipate that anyone will be and, if they are, well... it doesn't really matter because we're not close with them anyways ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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