Friday, February 26, 2010

Dealing with Uninvited Wedding Guests

I’ve read about other brides' moms inviting guests who they don’t want coming to their wedding.  Guests they don't want to invite for various reasons.  It might be personal, or it might be that they want to keep the guest list under a certain number because of the size of their venue or budget.  I’ve always respected that.  And for months now I’ve felt very confident that I was not going to have to deal with that awkward situation at my wedding.  (Oops).  Because I know my mom, she always says that I'm an adult and can make my own choices (and it's my money) and she supports my decisions.  (...)

See, early on in my wedding planning process, I had some fears about our wedding guest list.  One had to do with an estranged family member, but that person is not the focus of this post.  Another fear had to do with the fact that Adam is very shy and not good with crowds (and though I don’t get “stage fright,” I am also painfully shy) so I want to keep the wedding guest list small.

So I talked to mom about my worries about the guest list.  She agreed that this estranged family member does not need to be invited to the wedding.  Totally respected my feelings and fears about the situation.  It was a HUGE load off my mind.  During this same conversation, I let her know about how concerned I am about Adam being comfortable too.  I want him to enjoy our wedding and be more happy than nervous!  So I mentioned another family member that I was not really comfortable inviting.  Her sister.

Now, my mom complains about my aunt all the time.  She tries to be controlling, she’s kooky, and she’s very self centered.  Mom’s successfully dodged her visits for several years now (she invites herself over every summer and mom’s figured out a way out of it each time).  So we were on the same page when I said, “I’m not sure where to seat her…” and mom said “You don’t have to invite her either.”  Cool.

*Takes a moment to prepare for a flaming for this post*

It’s not that I hate my aunt.  She’s not awful to me.  It’s just that she acts REALLY entitled.  She will hit on married or 20 year old men.  I could see her hitting on Adam on our wedding day, and/or his dad, who is in a relationship (seen her do similar in the past).  She’s fussy, and I could see her insult our caterer (seen her do this in restaurants).  She’s a fashion consultant so she prides herself on what she wears, and I know she would be the one to wear white to my wedding (seen her dress inappropriately for a funeral).  And how often are my new English family going to get together with my blood relatives?  I’m thinking so few that it could take DECADES to erase the image of my family that she paints in a single day from the minds of my new family.  And I’m thinking that her presence is NOT going to make the day more special for Adam (or anyone else, but again, I’m most worried about my future husband on OUR wedding day).

I have a feeling many people would say, “But she’s family.  That’s what the wedding is about, not proper behavior, so laugh it off.”  And I get that.  I do.

But when I think about our situation coupled with my relationship with her in general, my gut tells me to just not invite her.  I haven’t seen her in about 10 years.  She’s never bought me a birthday gift.  When my sister was still a kid and mom was getting things set for Nana's funeral, she bought HERSELF lunch and told us she didn’t get enough for us so we’d have to go buy something (I’d just got my license and we were in a strange town and there was literally no food in Nana’s fridge.  Also, this was well before the GPS was invented and I have NO sense of direction).  So yeah, she’s family, but I’m having fewer than 25 guests.  IMMEDIATE family and friends.  I think that is grounds for disqualifying her.  And it was mom’s idea, so it’s not hurting HER any.  No problem, right?

Well, tonight mom told me, “Your worst nightmare is coming true.”


“Your aunt has invited herself to your wedding.”

“Oh really.”  I wouldn’t say it’s my worst nightmare, and I was more amused than upset.  “How did she do that?  We don’t even have a date set.”

“Oh.”  Mom thinks a minute.  “Well, I told her you were hoping to get married next summer.” 

“Oh.  YOU told her that, hmm?”

“Yeah.  Oh, I remember.  She was interested about those bridal shows you go to…”

[I’m sorry, just an aside here:  Once she found out that I have been having fun attending bridal shows, she started signing up for some.  She is not getting married or even seeing anyone currently.]

“She was interested in those bridal shows you go to and I told her that you need to tell them the date of your wedding so you tell them August 15, 2011.”

“Ahh.”  I didn’t say anything else.  One of us changed the subject at that point (I think we were getting out of the car and heading into a store and started focusing on the thrill of the impending shopping).  But what I was thinking was, “I wonder how YOU are going to tell her that she’s not coming.”

Like I said.  My aunt doesn’t even buy me birthday gifts.  She’s never called or written to me.  I haven’t seen or spoken to her in 10 years.  If I decided to become a Mrs. tomorrow, neglected to tell her, and she gets put off, that’s no skin off my nose.  I already have my list of who's getting an invitation.

Mom’s the one who talks to her every other week.  Mom’s the one who suggested I don’t invite her.  Mom’s the one who told her when I hope to be getting married before we can even set a date.

Sorry mom.  This one is not my problem.


  1. I'm sorry, but your aunt sounds like a piece of work, Ha ha!

  2. I’m sorry, and I hope it works out. I think it's well within your right to not invite her. In the end, I invited a couple relatives I’m not close to because I knew that not doing so would result in very hurt feelings. I figured our wedding was one day, but those relationships would have to last a lifetime. In the end, it was fine. The day went by so fast that I really didn’t spend much time with these folks.

  3. That is funny.
    I know the feeling. I don't get along with my father's family. If it was for me, I wouldn't invite a single soul but I know that would hurt my dad's feeling, so I just gonna let it go and see what happens :-)


  4. I think it's fair for you not to invite her if you really don't want her there. It's your day! And she does sounds like a hand full who could totally ruin it.

  5. I love how your aunt "invited herself" when you haven't even set a date or send invites. You are absolutely 100% not obligated to invite her. There are plenty of people my parents are making me invite. I do have a cousin no one speaks to anymore. She's not invited. Even if I did invite her and she does come - where would I sit her? Not happening. My mom gets it. It's one of the few things I really put my foot down about. Good luck! :)

  6. Thanks for your support, ladies :)

    I feel like in addition to the fact that I'm worried about her offending people and she never bothered to be there for me, I'm not really breaking etiquette so long as I stick to "immediate family and friends." Like, if I invited some other aunt I liked better but not her that would be more of a snub. But I don't have other aunts/uncles/cousins coming either. I should be okay. Hopefully.

  7. dealing with things like that is tough. Do what feels right to you- if having her there is going to stress you out it's just not worth it to appease your mom, ya know?

    jessica from

  8. I would let your mom deal with it for sure! :)
    I understand where you're coming from.. except my situation was a little different. I wanted to invite an aunt I haven't seen in years and my mom doesn't want me to invite her. It's hard because it's my fiance and I's wedding; I told my mom I have final say but I will take her decision into account. We'll see. lol

    Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog, they make my day! :)


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