LordL and I met with his parents to catch up as well as to get their help putting together our wedding guest list, to make sure he gets current information (addresses, etc.) for all the family friends and people we'd like to invite. As we were going down the list his mom provided info on some of the people, such as "Oh, your great aunt Alice isn't likely to come although she'd love to - she isn't in great health and hasn't flown in years, but she'd love to receive an invite." We put a special mark to indicate that those people were unlikely to be able to attend but should be invited more as a gesture than anything else. As we kept going down the list his mom kept saying things like "Yes, they won't come, but invite them anyhow - they'll probably send you a card." In the case of people with health problems I understood but those I wasn't sure what to make of, and figured I'd just talk to LordL about it later. Finally we got to one name and his mom says "Oh, your second cousin Lucy - definitely invite her! She lives all the way across the country and she'll never come, but she's rich so she'll probably write you a big check! She used to buy all her friends brand new cars, but since the economy tanked she isn't THAT rich - but she'll still send you a nice gift if you invite her!"
Inside I was all
but outside I just put on my best "everything is fine"
So, ehell, I really have no intention of inviting people to my wedding just for the gifts. I am pretty sure that is the very definition of "gift grab" yes? And therefore terribly rude, correct? My MIL's argument is that some of these people would just be pleased to get an invite and know that we thought of them and it's more about the gesture, and that they might respond in kind with the gesture of a gift and that makes it a reciprocal situation. I can see that argument in the case of an elderly relative who you actually would want to come if they were able to (i.e. if their medical situation were to improve) but not for people who you have no actual expectation of actually showing up to the wedding. I only plan on issuing "genuine" invitations if that makes sense. If we invite 20 extra obscure/far flung/etc. relatives as a "gesture" (ignoring the tacky gift expectation) what happens if they decide it's a great opportunity for a family reunion and all RSVP yes? Seems like a terrible ploy to me.
Am I being too harsh on my MIL here? Do people actually do this? I seriously have no idea since I've never had to plan out a guest list for this type of event. My strategy was originally just to invite the people who we actually want to be there as it seemed like the sensible way to do it.