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Author Topic: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?  (Read 3862 times)

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Lady_Belle

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Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« on: August 10, 2016, 05:06:52 PM »
Hi all... I scanned through but couldn't see if this had been discussed previously.

My fiancÚ has a LARGE family of half a dozen aunts & uncles and cousins. I wouldn't say any of them are ACTIVELY a part of our lives but they're considered to be close knit and we get together for celebrations a couple times a year. We are trying to stay within our means and not exceed 40 guests at our wedding.

We are deciding whether not to invite ANY of his extended family (brother & in laws only) OR invite just the aunt & uncles.

One of the cousins had an intimate wedding and only invited my finances grandmother and 2 other aunts... And another had a large wedding and invited everyone - including us - so I am wondering if that has set a precedent?

My question is obviously... Is it rude to invite the aunt & uncle of each family but not their adult children??? If not, would an explanation be necessary and how would you word it? Or is it better to all or none? Thanks in advance
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 05:22:05 PM by Lady_Belle »

shortstuff

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2016, 05:21:55 PM »
I vote not rude, especially since one cousin already had a small wedding.  Presumably, if there was any hard feelings or pushback, you would have mentioned it. 

Plus, that they are adult children makes it even more firmly 'not rude.'  To be nice to my dad's side and try to let  them have a family reunion event at my wedding, I invited my dad's cousins, who I hadn't seen in years.  I did not invite their adult children, and my dad was the only one who said anything, and even he was content once I said "I had to have a cut off somewhere!" 

green.and.blue

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2016, 07:01:03 PM »
We were in the same boat as my DH is basically the youngest cousin, so all his cousins were adults when we got married. Inviting all of them and their spouses would have doubled our guest list. We stuck at just aunts and uncles, for both sides. Etiquette-wise, I think we were okay because we were exlcuding an entire group of people (cousins) rather than just one or two. And his cousin got married the weekend before, with all the cousins there. Everybody understood that we were just having a much, much smaller wedding.

Runningstar

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2016, 08:49:15 PM »
Just my 2 cents, having been the aunt & uncle invited but not our kids (late teens & early 20's).  It is ok of course to invite whomever you want to - but much less hurtful if there is some sort of sense to it.  My kids were not invited, but cousins of the same age were invited.  I guess that it was because they are closer to the couple, who knows and I didn't ask. 

My 18 & 22 year olds aren't invited, but their 19 year old cousin and the other 3 cousins that are mid-teens are invited - ouch.  That hurts to be honest.

#borecore

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2016, 08:00:04 AM »
You would be fine to invite one generation but not the other. In fact, I think that seems quite logical.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2016, 08:03:01 AM »
Agree that it is fine to invite the Aunts and Uncles but not the cousins.

LtPowers

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2016, 02:32:12 PM »
It's not rude to exclude adult cousins while inviting their parents.

But Miss Manners suggests setting the guest list first, and then figuring out how extravagantly you can host them (or, I suppose, how frugally you have to host them). Setting a numerical limit and then trying to fit your families and friends into that presumably arbitrary number causes problems such as this.


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lmyrs

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2016, 04:38:50 PM »
I think you can cut off at generations but I strongly believe that you must be consistent. So, if you are not inviting your FH's cousins, you can't invite yours either.

gellchom

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2016, 07:45:03 AM »
Absolutely no etiquette problem.

But as you wisely surmised, etiquette isn't the end of the story where feelings can be hurt and where families and communities have different customs.  And sometimes there is also a sense of reciprocity.

Well, I come from a family and community where weddings are big and inclusive extended family events.  And even I agree that you are going to be just fine from every angle!

You are having a very small wedding, and that's that.  This has happened a couple of times in my family, and although it was rare, everyone understood and was just fine with it.  The cousins were disappointed (I mean, if they all love each other, of course they'd like to be at their cousin's wedding -- the "good" kind of disappointed, you know?), but they weren't angry, and yours won't be, either.

The key, as others have said, is that you aren't inviting some but not all (especially if it's several out of a smallish total -- inviting, like, one super-close cousin out of fifty is a reasonable exception). That is where feelings get hurt and you might be causing problems for others.  And I would add that the size of the wedding is key, too -- if you were having 200 guests, it would feel different.

I disagree somewhat with Lt. Powers -- I think that might apply more to the specifics of what you offer your guests than to the overall size of the wedding.  Otherwise it would always be rude for people in big families to have small weddings, and that simply isn't the case.  But the general principle does apply to many things in wedding planning.

iridaceae

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2016, 09:49:54 AM »
I think you can cut off at generations but I strongly believe that you must be consistent. So, if you are not inviting your FH's cousins, you can't invite yours either.
That's a bad generalization, though. I have 3 first cousins and really know none of them. If I were to get married and had a fiance who knows and socializes with his it wouldn't be fair to tell him no because I wasn't planning on inviting mine.
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Bethalize

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2016, 10:55:35 AM »
We said we would invite anyone we had seen in the last two years. That worked very well.

gellchom

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2016, 11:59:20 AM »
We said we would invite anyone we had seen in the last two years. That worked very well.
It works well if you all live near each other.   But far-flung families can be very close emotionally and still go years without seeing each other in person (especially if, say, someone couldn't attend the last family event).  For such families it's often even more important to invite people to weddings and such, otherwise they'd only meet at funerals. 

I think you can cut off at generations but I strongly believe that you must be consistent. So, if you are not inviting your FH's cousins, you can't invite yours either.
That's a bad generalization, though. I have 3 first cousins and really know none of them. If I were to get married and had a fiance who knows and socializes with his it wouldn't be fair to tell him no because I wasn't planning on inviting mine.

Yeah, I think most of us were thinking in terms of consistency within families.  Sometimes even within two sides of the same family, especially if they don't even know each other -- e.g., groom invites his only maternal first cousin but not his twenty paternal ones.  You just have to know the real facts, not apply a blanket rule.

FauxFoodist

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2016, 03:26:07 PM »
I don't think it's rude to invite aunts and uncles but not adult kids.  DH and I had to institute the cut-off somewhere; otherwise, our guest list would've been huge (I have 21 aunts and uncles who are the siblings of my parents).  I did, however, have to play the "relative" card when DH whined (yes, *whined*) about wanting to invite individuals he hadn't seen/spoken to in 20-30-40 years or 2nd/3rd cousins.  It was the only way to make him see reason (he was being a bit of an emotional groomzilla, complete with tears).  I had to point out that my closest extended family was to be invited ahead of those he hadn't seen/spoken to in decades and those who are distantly related to him and who he rarely spoke to.  Still, I didn't invite all of my adult cousins because, for one branch of the family, inviting those three adult cousins would've also meant inviting their wives (+3) and kids (+10).   Also, one of those cousins is a drama queen (male, but we never say drama king).  His SS behavior a few years ago that then triggered his mother's (my maternal aunt's) even worse SS behavior at a family gathering resulted in that entire branch of the family being cut off from all future family gatherings (they managed to so upset the entire maternal side of the family that there were no big family gatherings for a year or so after that).  I didn't want to even invite Aunt, but my mother pointed out that I couldn't invite all of her other siblings and not that one so I invited Aunt and Uncle (but hoped that they wouldn't attend, which they didn't).  I didn't invite those cousins (who I didn't grow up with) but did invite the adult cousins I grew up with (two from another branch of the family).  I was never invited to the weddings of the not-invited cousins so I wasn't worried about them caring (plus they would've had to expend a great deal of money and time to attend since I live several hours away).

Twik

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2016, 11:19:58 AM »
I think you can cut off at generations but I strongly believe that you must be consistent. So, if you are not inviting your FH's cousins, you can't invite yours either.
That's a bad generalization, though. I have 3 first cousins and really know none of them. If I were to get married and had a fiance who knows and socializes with his it wouldn't be fair to tell him no because I wasn't planning on inviting mine.

It would be a problem if I were getting married. I have four first cousins I adore, one who I haven't seen in 10 years, one who I haven't seen since she cut the rest of the family dead twenty years ago, and one I'd need to hire a PI to find. I certainly wouldn't avoid inviting my sweet cousin Maria (the writer!) in order to justify not inviting my cousin from the other side last seen screaming abuse at the rest of the family at a funeral.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Hmmmmm

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Re: Rude to invite aunts & uncles but not adult kids?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2016, 11:56:16 AM »
I think you can cut off at generations but I strongly believe that you must be consistent. So, if you are not inviting your FH's cousins, you can't invite yours either.
That's a bad generalization, though. I have 3 first cousins and really know none of them. If I were to get married and had a fiance who knows and socializes with his it wouldn't be fair to tell him no because I wasn't planning on inviting mine.

It would be a problem if I were getting married. I have four first cousins I adore, one who I haven't seen in 10 years, one who I haven't seen since she cut the rest of the family dead twenty years ago, and one I'd need to hire a PI to find. I certainly wouldn't avoid inviting my sweet cousin Maria (the writer!) in order to justify not inviting my cousin from the other side last seen screaming abuse at the rest of the family at a funeral.

I agree that the rule should be applied to family you actually interact with. I have 2 first cousins on my mother's side. They were invited to my wedding. I have around 35 first cousins on my Dad's side. About 20 of them I hadn't seen since a child when my grandparents passed away and I think the other 15 attended my Dad's funeral about 5 years before my wedding but I had no contact really before or after that. None of my cousins on his side were invited to my wedding. Since then, my sisters and I have re-engage with 2 of those cousins after attending their mother's funeral. Those 2 were invited to my nephew's wedding a few years ago. None of the others were as again, there's been little to no contact with them in decades.

I doubt the cousin you haven't seen in 10 years, the one who cut the family off or the one in need of a PI would know about or care about being invited to a wedding of someone they do not engage with.