So What Do You Do When You *Don’t* Want to Invite Family Members to Your Wedding?

So What Do You Do When You *Don’t* Want to Invite Family Members to Your Wedding?

What happens when you don't want to invite any family members ... or there are just a few you'd like to exclude?

By Jen Glantz

If you’re planning a wedding, there will come a time when the excitement from making all the fun decisions, like what kind of cake to order or what style dress you’ll wake down the aisle in, will fade, and the real headaches, the unplanned stress, and drama-filled decisions will rise to the surface. Usually that downward spiral of “what the heck should I do?” comes out to play when you start figuring out the names of who you want to put on your guest list, especially family member’s names, who you hardly even want to invite. 

It happens to most people, even the rich and famous, and the royal. Meghan Markle decided to opt-out of sending her father an invite to her much hyped wedding to Prince Harry, and Brody Jenner, who left out a laundry list of step-family members he acquired after his father, Caitylin Jenner married into the Kardashian family, found that the few invitations he did send out to half-sisters, Kylie and Kendall, never came back to him with an RSVP.

So how do you pick and chose which family members make the cut and which don’t? Follow these four steps so that your guest list has the names of people you care about ... and not people who you (feel like you) should care about, just because you’re related to them.

1. Don’t invite when the drama is flaring

If you have unresolved drama with a family member, make a decision on whether or not you want to resolve the issues with them before the wedding or not. If you don’t want any added pre-wedding stress, and your relationship has been rocky in the past, it might be worth it to skip inviting them to your wedding and deciding after you’ve tied the knot whether you want to rekindle the relationship with them. But, if you know having them at your wedding is an automatic trigger for pop-up problems and drama, it might be worth to skip having them on your guest list.

2. Don’t send a pity invite.

When you think back on your wedding, years later, one of the things you will want to know is that every single person you had there meant something great to you. Skip the pity invitations to family members that you just don’t feel like inviting, but would invite to save face and to keep peace within your family. If close relatives start to challenge why you left certain people off the guest list, explain you wanted to keep your wedding small, intimate, and meaningful.

3. Don’t invite if the relationship is absent.

You don’t have to feel guilty for not inviting a relative that you haven’t seen in years, hardly speak to, or never had a relationship with. Your wedding isn’t an opportunity to bring family together that wasn’t ever together. It’s not a family reunion or a bonding session with distant cousins or even siblings that you haven’t chatted with in years. If there’s no relationship present, there shouldn’t be an invite sent.

4. Don’t invite if their RSVP 'yes' will make you mad.

Remember, every guest you invite costs you money, a lot of money. If you’re thinking of keeping the peace and sending out invitations to people you hope will RSVP no, don’t send the invitation in the first place. If they respond yes, you’ll be upset and you’ll be out a couple of hundred dollars for each one.

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