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Ok so this isn't about my future in-laws but more about my own family. DF and I have decided instead of a nice big (we have big families) wedding next year we are going to elope of sorts off to Vegas for a small intimate wedding with very clsoe friends and some family in the fall. For him it's not really an issue becaue his imediate family is small and most likely would just include his mom/stepdad and sister and her new husband. His brother's wife is going to be due and they really don't like to travel at all with kids (this will be their third). He has a big extended family who will more than likely be fine with missing the wedding and just have a big bash afterwards (and they do know how to party!). I on the other hand have a big imediate family (I'm the fourth of seven kids). Of course my parents can come if they want and I told my older sister who I am really close with that she and her husband could come. My sister then proceeds to work out the details of emailing the whole family. When I objected to this (I'm not that close to my brothers or my other sister) she and my mom both had a fit. I explained that it was just going to be something small and I really didn't want to deal with all the family drama that would happen if everyone came. Everyone would be invited to the big party we would have afterwards back in our home town. So now I'm being very unfamily like and rude and I just need to suck it up. The are especially mad that I would include two couples that are very close friends to DF and I and not my family. And it's not just my siblings my sister wants to invite it's the whole freaking family cousins and all, which I put my foot down because DF isn't inviting his cousins, I'm not inviting mine. So am I wrong for not including all my siblings? Only one or two will really be offended and the two that would be offened I really don't like anyway (my SIL from H*LL and my little sister who is quite the little nightmare). My brothers won't care and would be glad just to go to a big party afterward where they don't have to dress up.
That's a hard one for me to answer since I'm so close to my family. On one hand, it is your wedding and you should have who you want there, on the other hand, your family is your family for better or for worse. If I were you, I would invite all my siblings and their immediate families but draw the line at extending it any further than that. Here's my reasoning, family will always be your family. You can let them know that you won't be offended in the least if they don't want to make the trip. Once you hurt their feelings then you may never be able to repair the damage and like I said they are your family for life. Is it really that big of a deal if there are a few more people? Big enough to hurt some of your family? And you may never know who you've hurt because they may be too tactful to say anything. Case in point: My brother got married this last summer and he and I were very close growing up but for whatever reason my now SIL decided that neither of them would ask each other's siblings to be in the wedding party. I was so crushed not to be included in my brother's big day. I cried myself to sleep for days. I don't think I will ever be able to truly forgive her for that. But my brother and now SIL have no clue that I felt that way. I put on a happy face and dealt with it because what was done was done and there was no sense in making my brother feel bad because she is an idiot. She had all these girls that I know she isn't very close to in the wedding party, people they don't even see anymore. Her "friends." The situation was fine for her, her sister was in the wedding party but my brother only has two sisters so none of his siblings were. So anyway, I always think how stupid it was of her to put family aside (I've never been to a traditional wedding with bridesmaids etc where all siblings weren't included) when we will still be around 50 years from now. You have to do what you think is right for you but in a case where some siblings are invited, I would say it's best just to invite them all so as not to really hurt someone.
Last July, DH & I had a very small, immediate family only wedding in Vegas. It was suppose to only be our parents and our siblings. We have one sibling each. We also allowed his grandparents to come. My grandparents didn't go. My mom's mom has health issues and is too bitter for Vegas. My dad's mom takes care of my handicap uncle who is prone to seizures. Vegas wouldn't be a good place for him. Plus, it was way too hot for them. DH's family INSISTED on inviting now BIL's girlfriend, although we made it very clear that no boyfriend/girlfriends were invited. DH's mom continued to throw a fit and stir up all sorts of drama. DH's aunt tried inviting herself to our wedding. She is one of those people who thinks the whole world revolves around her.
We had a huge party back in Wisconsin (my home state) a week after the wedding. Everyone and their mom were invited to this party. DH's family apparently thought that wasn't good enough. DH's mom bought a plane ticket for BIL's girlfriend behind our back and hid it from us until two months before the wedding. It really pissed us off. His family caused nothing but drama and pretended they ran the show although they didn't even offer $1 towards the wedding. I found it very disrespecting to not only myself, but my parents.
DH's entire family refused to come to the reception since they couldn't have their way at our wedding. It was the most ridiculous, selfish, childish thing I had ever seen in my entire life. DH no longer talks to his family because of their idiotic behavior.
We don't regret anything that happened. We are glad we stood our ground and didn't let someone else run our wedding. If you feel comfortable doing the same thing, then do it. It's YOUR big day, not theirs. You can do whatever you want to do.
See, that is exactly what I am worried about. My sister and my mom are already trying to run the whole weekend with planning out what shows we will go to where we are eating for every meal. I still want them to come and just plan on ignoring whatever they say and planning it the way DF and I want to do it. As for my little sister and SIL that I don't like they are like your aunt and think the world revolves around them. My little sister will most likely whine and pout and throw fits for not being included in the wedding party (which we aren't having anyway) or where we eat, or the shows we go to. To top it off she will pretty much make a fool of herself hitting on every male item that walks on two legs including but not limited to my DF regardless of the fact that she is pregnant and her husband would be there. My SIL will just huff and puff how having to go to some wedding ceremony during HER vegas vacation is ruining all her fun. My brothers in all honesty really won't be offended because they are like me and just go with the flow and know that there are so many more important things in life. Right now we haven't set a weekend date yet but we will soon. My DF is being such a gem about it all, very cool if we do invite all the siblings but also will have no tolerance for bad behaviour.
Also we plan on having a huge blow out casual party a few weeks after first here in Arizona where we both live with our friends and family and pretty much anyone who wants to come. We will then probably have a second party in LA where most of his extended family lives so no one from his side will have to travel. And they know how to throw a party. We already talked to his oldest cousin and she thinks it's a great idea and was happy to volunteer to arrange the party out there for us so all we have to do is show up.