Do You Have to Invite Your Toxic Relatives to Your Wedding?

Weddings are a wonder-filled time of love and joy - and extreme stress. From budgeting to booking, there’s a lot to make a person pull their hair out. And some relatives are only determined to make that stress higher. If you’re getting married and you’re tempted to keep a certain relative off your list, here’s how you know it won’t backfire:

Can Anything Change Before or After the Wedding?

There’s a difference between a damaged relationship and an unsalvageable one. Uninviting an important member of your family from your wedding can cause damage all-around, not only with your relationship to that person, but to other family members. If there’s enough interest, you may be able to salvage the relationship before the wedding. Of course, if you don’t see yourself ever forgiving the relative, and won’t be interacting with them at future family events, there’s no reason you have to. But before you set your boundaries and stick to them, consider if there’s a possibility of change before the wedding that can leave everyone happy.

Will Their Presence Negatively Affect the Wedding?

Sometimes relationships are irreversibly damaged, and no amount of negotiating will repair them. Of course you wouldn’t want someone like that at your wedding. If having the toxic person in question at your wedding will have an overly negative effect on your wedding - making you or your guests uncomfortable - then it may be worth any of the other hard feelings that may arise just to have peace on your special day. Blood may be thicker than water, but if it’s going to spoil your wedding then there’s no reason you should have to invite someone genuinely toxic.

Are They Paying For the Wedding?

If said relative or a couple’s parents are footing the bill for the wedding, then they can more easily be pressured into inviting people they may not want there out of obligation. It would be pretty rude to uninvite someone who had made significant financial contributions, after all. But if you’re footing the bill yourself, then you have more say in who gets to celebrate with you. Don’t feel like you have to invite someone just because they’re family.

January 2020

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