Deciding on a guest list is all about politics. Who does and doesn't make the cut? Who gets a plus one? Who should you invite even if you know they won't be able to attend? It can get pretty tricky to navigate (especially when you're worried about hurting someone's feelings). Drawing a line amongst friends is hard, but drawing a line amongst family is even harder. If you've got a big family, but you aren't close to everyone and are tight on space or funds, do you have to invite them all? Here's what our experts have to say.
Sure, you might only see some of your aunts or uncles every few years at family gatherings, and you probably don't even have their numbers in your phone to call on birthdays or holidays, but weddings are a different story. With so much emotion involved in the decisions that have to be made, your best option is to be as inclusive as possible, especially when it comes to family members. Says Dr. Jane Greer, New York-based marriage and sex therapist and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship, "You don't want to create conflict and resentment that will live on after the wedding. Although you might only be close to a portion of your family, weddings are family celebrations. Whether you're more connected to some than others doesn't make any of your parents' siblings less of a family member. Feelings get hurt very deeply around weddings when people aren't included, so it would be best to invite the whole family to encourage harmony after the wedding."
Does this mean you'll immediately become closer, or obligate you to get to know them better between now and your wedding day? No. You don't need to go out of your way to change your relationship with them, but extending an invitation will make sure everyone feels included and cared about. And hey, it just might jump-start a relationship you didn't know you wanted to have.