Need Wedding Advice

I’m getting married in a couple of months and want a very simple small dignifed wedding. my fiancee doesn’t drink and is not having any guests. certain relatives said they want to come when they heard I was engaged and I flat out told them that I want a very small wedding. They did not take the hint and have been contacting other family members to get news about the date which unfortuantely some family members passed on to them and I am now being pressured/bullied into inviting them. they have been very nice to me in the past so it’s not that I don’t like them, but I resent these manipulative tactics. another issue is that one of them is co-habiting - which I think makes a mockery of marriage and I would never want that situation with the danger of sacriligeous communion at my wedding. I’d like to say something to her about the cohabiting but not sure what. would like to hear some advice about how to handle this in a charitable way without being a doormat.

Who you invite to your wedding is your business. You do not need to explain or feel pressured. Simply send out the invitations to the folks you want. If you want to keep the reception very small and private, I suggest holding it at a resturant in a private (party) room. Then you will have much more control over who is there.

However, the church is a public place in that if someone walked in during the Mass/wedding, no one would be standing at the doors to kick them out. And a reception in a hotel or similar place will also mean that it will be near impossible (without a scene) to stop “cousin Harriet” from coming in.

All that said, what your cousins or other relatives are up to sin-wise has nothing to do with your wedding and I would not approach anyone about their sin as a reason for keeping them out of your wedding. Cohabitating is a public sin, yes, but unless you station a priest to hear confessions at every door to the church, other guests may also have serious sin on their consciences that you know nothing about.

Invite the friends and family you are closest to. Keep the wedding very small if that is your desire. But please don’t choose who to invite based on your judgement of the state of their soul.

Your day, your choice. But, like was already said, you can’t bar someone from entering the church. Send out the invites you want and let the others get mad. Again, it’s your day.


thanks for your thoughts and comments. yes - I totally agree with what MrsSally said - that I should not need to explain or feel pressured. But get this - I’ve been told by my own mother that I am “rude, ungrateful and stingy” if I don’t invite them (I’m almost 50 years old). plus they would be flying in from Europe and would be expecting a big bash. I don’t like noise, crowds and the last thing I want is a boozefest/circus. The whole thing is making me sick. On the other hand I know that they just want to feel like part of the family and I hate to hurt their feelings.

re: the cohabitation. Doesn’t one of the works of mercy obligate us to say something? there’s a scene in Brideshead Revisited where Bridie does not invite his fiancee to his house because his sister is living with a man there and his fiancee is very Catholic. He did not want to offend her sensibilities.

I know the mass is public and don’t have a problem with people coming to the ceremony - but if they came a long way I would feel bad about them not being at the reception.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit