People tend to struggle to strike a balance between expecting your wedding to be a picture-perfect, magical day and keeping expectations reasonable and flexible. You probably want to be surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones who are genuinely excited to watch you take your first step into the next chapter of your life. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone should get an invitation.
Although many brides and grooms invite every family member whose name they can remember (and some members who they can’t), you may be considering if it would be best and even if it would be appropriate for you to leave one, two, or several people off of the list of those who need to RSVP.
Toxic familial relationships can be tricky to work around, and they’re made even more complicated when you’re the one responsible for deciding if they’re allowed to come.
Balancing your desires with other people’s
While you may or may not have been solely in charge of guestlists in the past, people tend to ascribe special significance to weddings, and therefore special offense when they’re not invited. Maybe for regular family events, you have no say of whether or not the aunt you don’t have a good relationship with or your father who you don’t want to see again is there or not, so you don’t need to feel responsible. If they’re there, then you have to live with it, and if they aren’t, then you can enjoy the festivities as normal.
When you’re the one deciding if they can come or not, then you may feel like there are expectations thrust upon you by the simple merit of them being family. Really, though, you can rest easy and remember that it’s your wedding, and there are workarounds if you absolutely need them.
You may get comments from other family members about why you didn’t invite someone, but you can always politely remind them that it’s your wedding. If you need to make a white lie about just not having enough seats or enough money to afford the couple more people you wanted to invite but couldn’t, then they aren’t going to be able to check your bank account to see if you’re lying.
They have to take your word for it. You can also keep the final list quiet until the last possible moment.
If you’re concerned about the family member in question causing a fuss when they find out you’re getting married and are yet to receive an invitation, then you can always not answer their attempts to contact you or politely ask them to stop.
Appeasing with alternatives
To appease everyone, though, you can always offer to stream your wedding for them. In the wake of the pandemic, the wedding industry came up with some pretty impressive things, including a method for brides and grooms to stream their wedding to any loved one who couldn’t make it.
This can make weddings more accessible to those in a hospital or who live long distances away and can’t afford to make the trip, but it can also make it easy to not invite a toxic family member while keeping them pleased enough that they won’t bother you.
The familial obligation doesn’t trump personal happiness
Concerns about weddings are common, and navigating tricky relationships can be daunting. Luckily, experts on relationships have answered some of the more common or difficult relationships questions, so you may find further answers there.
In the end, it is your wedding. Between you and your spouse, you have to decide if someone’s presence will be more or less disruptive than any potential familial fallout to not inviting someone. While it can seem easier said than done to do what you want with the excuse that it’s “your day,” ultimately, you are the one whose memories are most important, and the guest list will probably be much less important than the marriage itself in a bit of time.