How do I tell my family they're not invited?

My cousins and aunts and uncles aren't invited to our very small, very unimpressive ceremony the day before our reception. My mother is incredibly unhappy about this, and I really don't know how to tell them. They know it's not about budget, and we are a pretty close family, but I don't want lots of people there on that day.

Every excuse I write down just sounds childish... I could really use your help ladies.


  • Tell them the truth?? That you want it to be a small intimate ceremony with immediate family only.. but make sure you express the fact you would love them to celebrate with you the next day at your big party x

  • You mean there are only your immediate family in your ceremony?If so,you just tell them you want a small ceremony to be together with your closest relatives.Tell them you love them and hope them to attend your reception and get their benediction.

  • I've not invited cousins and know it has upset my family too. They'll get over it and when they all start getting married I'm sure they might be a bit more understanding! 

    Just be honest and say it's only immediate family x



  • Jomc11Jomc11 Posts: 484

    Why do you need an excuse? Just say its not what you want.

    We are having a small ceremony & i was expecting the aunts/uncles to expect an invite, so we sent out save the dates early on with "evening invite to follow" so that no-one was mistaken, there was a few facebook posts early on planning as well so that there was no awkwardness. Once your invites go out (if they haven't already) if someone brings it up just tell them this is how you want it, if they don't understand well tough its your & your other halfs day not theirs

  •   We are only having a small ceremony for immediate family so we really hope you can make our evening reception to celebrate our marriage.


    Don't apologise for it either - it's how you would like it, so it's important xx

  • My mum is making me feel so guilty about not inviting them, to the point where she's crying down the phone, I feel I have to apologise because that's how bad she's making me feel.

    i need to think of some seriously good wording to express wisely what I want to say... Think I'll have to Google.

  • Tell them the room only seats 10 people. And then be careful about photos!

  • JulyBugJulyBug Posts: 420

    That's really tough Sheandhim, I'm so sorry you're being made to feel so guilty about this. I like BrideintheShire's wording above - I think you should say that your planning to have a very intimate ceremony but that you're so looking forwarding to seeing them and celebrating with them at the reception. Best of luck!

  • hf1989hf1989 Posts: 416

    Maybe explain that you don't want them to feel offended, but this is what you want and it is your day. Perhaps also mention that you don't like being the centre of attention, so this arrangement will be the most comfortable for you. Does your h2b have a big family too?

    As we're not having friends at the ceremony, I told them that they'll miss the 'boring bit'. Friends are a lot easier to appease than family though!

  • This is exactly it, we're calling it 'the boring bit' because I think it is, however my family doesn't. The problem is "intimate" means the rest of my family usually.

    The room does only fit 12 people, so there's no lying there. I do need to give them more of an explanation though, as I say we are really close.

    H2b also has a big family, if we were to invite both sets of families it would be over 50, which is not what we want.

    This is driving me BONKERS.

  • JulyBugJulyBug Posts: 420

    Poss wording??

    Hi guys,

    I really wanted to explain why we aren't able to invite everyone to the ceremony on X at X. I would really love to have you all there but the main issue is that the room only holds 12 people. As well as my side of the family, H2B has a close family and between us, our loves ones and relatives number over 50 people! Because of this, we've decided to restrict the ceremony itself down to just us and X and Y in order to make it fair to both sides.

    However, the celebration and the 'main' part of our wedding will be happening at the [reception venue]. This wouldn't be the same without you there. I really hope that you can understand why we've had to make the decision that we've made. I'm so looking forward to celebrating the day with you.



    Something like that?! I can understand why this is so hard but what you've said above sounds completely understandable and HOPEFULLY if you put it like that then they'll understand?! There's also the possibility that your mum is more upset than the rest of them - because she feels more responsibility toward you as her mum etc? Or are they all upset about it? Really hope this blows over for you.

  • Love the wording JulyBug, although I probably wouldn't include the actual details like time and date of the ceremony.

    I had a similar situation, except for my mum was a bit more understanding; I am really close to my family but there was no way I could have them all there at the ceremony. I just explained that wanted a really small ceremony but then a huge celebration. I did have a few people call me weird, but hey ho! image

    hope it it all goes well.

  • That wording could really work for us actually, thank you so much for that!

    I'm fed up of apologising for what we want. My mother seems to think we're going to change our mind, and that's why we haven't sent out the other invites yet, but to be honest it's because we aren't getting married for over a year. The reason the ceremony attendees have theirs is because some of them are teachers and need to get the time off.

    We will have to send them out soon though otherwise Christmas is going to be AWKWARD!

  • JulyBugJulyBug Posts: 420

    Best of luck SheandHim, I think once it's out there and explained then your mum will be able to start getting over it - it sounds like she's still making a big deal out of it coz she's hoping you'll change your mind. Really hope it's all okay - I'm sure it will be!!

  • I'll keep you all updated! thanks very much ladies.

  • Spam88Spam88 Posts: 1,001

    I would suggest maybe with what julybug wrote changing the beginning of the second paragraph to say "the real celebration" maybe?

    To be honest, I don't think you should need to explain on the invites - just invite them to the bit they're invited to.  

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