You will never know your family tree better until it is time to start inviting people to your wedding! Laaawwddyy! I swear it felt like cousins were coming out of the woodwork. I love my family, but there was no way I could include them all. And I didn’t.

Besides pulling out your wedding etiquette handbook (and you can do this), how are you to know which relatives to include in your wedding ceremony? Honey, it is YOUR wedding, I say go with your gut. Here’s why:

You and your honey bunny will know what’s right for you. BUT, you’ve gotta sit down and really talk about this. And not while one of you is watching the game and the other is working away on a laptop. Set up face-to-face, dedicated time when you both make a list of which aunts and uncles must attend and which cousins can’t … on BOTH sides. Reasons for and against will pour from both of you. By the way, this is a great way to get even closer to one another. You’ll learn things you wouldn’t have otherwise! (Can you say fun family #gossip?!)

When making your list, start with your immediate family and work your way out. If you’re on a second marriage, like I was, even this can get tricky because you’ve most likely got birth parents and their spouses to consider. (I had one friend whose father had been married three times. Each wife was dear to her, and she ended up inviting all the wives!) And what about adult stepbrothers and stepsisters (and their spouses)? Numbers can soar when you’re in this situation, and you haven’t even gotten to your close friends list. As you make the siblings list, keep that general rule of thumb that if you invite one, you must invite all. So, unless you want to start WWIII, try to invite all siblings, step or otherwise. They’ll most likely respectfully decline if there’s any awkwardness, yet will appreciate the thought. War averted. Peace kept.

Try to keep it fair. If your hubby-to-be has a large family and you have a smaller family, try to give him more of the invite seats to extend to his second cousins rather than you taking more seats for your sister girls.

If it gets really tough weeding out family, you can always think about a destination wedding … or eloping. This day is for the both of you. Remember, everything else is yummy icing on the cake. Let me know how you worked through your icing in the comments below!

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