Tricky wedding situation, who to invite?

I have yet another random question, but this one is really getting us, and we don’t know what to do.

My husband and I have reverted back to Catholicism and will be having our marriage convalidated. We are going through a full nuptial mass. Originally, we were just going to have it be us and our priest. Then, we had to have 2 witnesses, so we thought since our parents tried to raise us Catholic they would be overjoyed to be there to see us return and married in the faith.

Now here’s where it gets tricky. No matter what we do, people get hurt. I have on my side of the family just my mom, dad and younger (but still adult) sister. She is not married, and does not have any children. So, my parents would like her to be there. Now that wouldn’t bother me. But then we started thinking about it, and if word got out that my sister was invited but my husband’s brother and sister and their spouses and all their children were not invited, plus my husbands’ nephews and their wives and children (whose wedding *we *were invited to) do not get invited, they will probably be hurt.

But then we also think “We’ve already been legally married for how many years, does it really matter if we don’t invite everyone to our Catholic ceremony, especially since only a handful of those people are practicing Catholics or even nominal Catholics?” Granted, the first marriage was only a justice of the peace wedding and no one was invited…

We are just not sure if we can invite my sister to be there without inviting everyone else.

Thoughts? :confused: :confused: :confused:

Edited: forgot to add that we have purchased a wedding gown and rented a tux for him, so it will be a “traditional” wedding in that sense, too.

Trying to keep a wedding “private” rarely works… mainly because Christian marriage is a public witness to a Christian life.

First off, WHY, exactly, do you wish to keep it to a bare minimum? Are you having a reception afterward and just worrying about the guest list getting out of control? If that’s the case, I can understand your motives (not that your family would), but if it’s just the Mass (I don’t mean to make that sound so minimal… the Mass is everything!) I don’t see why it’s problematic to invite whichever family members wish to attend. Especially since it is a MASS and not just a marriage ceremony. But of course that’s entirely up to you.

I have a friend who married a non-Catholic in a simple ceremony, with just the deacon presiding and two witnesses… no other guests, not even her two sisters or the groom’s brothers. Her mother and his father were the witnesses and so far no one seems to have complained about being left out.

What I’m reading (and maybe I’m mistaken) is that you’re planning to include your sister primarily to make your parents happy. As you noted, that opens up the possibility of other siblings and relatives being offended that she “made the cut”. So it seems like it boils down to this: if you include your sister, then other family members should be included. If you keep it to just your parents, then don’t worry about inviting anyone else. I think people will understand, “We wanted to have just our parents there” rather than “We wanted to have just our parents there, but we felt bad leaving my sister out and then…”

Just my two cents, for what it’s worth. I hope things work out for you and your families. And congratulations on your convalidation! Welcome home!

Well, what it boils down to is people who we are uncomfortable having there, for various reasons. We are doing it not to put on a show, but to get right in God’s eyes and in the eyes of his Catholic church. Most of the people who fall under the category of immediate family are not practicing Catholics, or are anti-Catholic, or whose lives do not reflect Christian values. We just feel that it would be irreverent to have people there who do not understand what is going on or who misconstrue what we’re doing. People will say what they want to say, but we don’t want that to put a damper on our special day with Christ.


Can you talk to your sister about this? Maybe she would be okay to not be there in order for you not to feel obligated to invite all your husband’s siblings and their families.

Or, you can limit it to just your sibling and parents and your husband’s siblings (and their families) and his parents. No cousins, no Aunts and Uncles etc.

I know you said in your most recent post that some of the “immediate” family are “even anti-catholic”. What is your definition of “immediate”? Mine is parents and siblings - no one else.

You can scale back to just yourselves and your witnesses again too.

Just some ideas to help you and your husband percolate them and work it out :stuck_out_tongue:

Brenda V.

Invite your parents and stop at that.

Stop worrying about who gets their feelings hurt. You are already making up scenarios in your head about nieces and nephews and their wives and children being offended. Stop! You also already stated that you aren’t even fond of these people who are non-practicing or anti-catholic… so why do you care if their “feelings” get hurt?

Invite your parents and be done. If your parents start to lobby for others to attend, just say NO.

have your private wedding and then send out announcements to those who need to know, at the least, to your family.

When I had my convalidation, I told my parents and in laws that it was me making right with God.

Not me making up for having a small court house wedding. That meant, my maid of honor, best man, our parents, siblings and spouses of those.

That meant that no Aunts, Uncles or Cousins. And those that were not thrilled for us, could stay home. I was very matter of fact about the stay home part. My sister has not attended Mass in a very long time. She was thrilled for me. She did a reading. If anyone came that wasn’t thrilled, I never knew it. It was one of the best days of my life, no one was going to ruin it.

If you don’t want his siblings, and he agrees, stop at just inviting parents. Don’t let some person that is anti-Catholic tell you that a convalidation isn’t needed or that you are already married, what is the big deal. Don’t let anyone ruin it for you.

I always thought that convalidations were supposed to be rather private. I would stick to immediate family only (including parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, all from both sides and that’s it PERIOD!) Less would be even better. I like the both sets of parents and stopping there, especially for a convalidation.

Also, I think that children, especially young ones might get confused why “Aunt/cousin so and so and Unlce/cousin so and so” are getting married “again.” :confused: It might be wise to keep it for adults and teenagers who understand only.

Just some thoughts. Ask the priest who’s convalidating the marriage what he would recommend. :thumbsup:

And, most of all, congrats! I am so happy for you! What a wonderful witness you are giving to others, and what a great thing you are doing for your marriage. I wish you the best.

Let us know when the date is…and we will pray for you. :smiley:

I think this is the exact reason TO invite them. Send them a note or email explaining (briefly!) why you are doing this and why you are going to the ‘trouble’ of having a whole mass and dressing up. Of course, you also need to make sure they understand that you aren’t also having a reception and they you don’t expect presents!!

My parents had a convalidation ceremony and invited immediate family (parents, brothers, sisters, and their children). They had a party afterwards at grandma’s house.

There’s nothing wrong with inviting immediate family and having a little celebration afterwards, in fact, you SHOULD celebrate it. It really is your wedding day.

Don’t worry about what people think or who’s practicing or anti-Catholic. If anything, it sends the message to those people that making your marriage “right” with God and His Church is a “good” thing to do. You are setting an example, hold you head high and move forward. :thumbsup:

This would be a perfect thing to do. Simple yet joyful, remindful of the happiness due the occasion. Private, yet inclusive of all the most important persons! Very well put! :thumbsup:

I still caution children attending, however, because at their age they are easily confused. They might see it as a second wedding, rather than what wonderful thing it really is. Especially if you don’t see them often, or if they are not being raised in the faith. Just a thought. OBVIOUSLY, if you have children of your own, they can and SHOULD come! :slight_smile:

Thanks to everyone for the replies. After some prayer last night, my husband and I came to the decision that it was only right to announce what we are doing to everyone in our family and letting them know why, and to invite all who would like to be a part of the day to do so, and that if they’d rather not we won’t be offended or hurt. We also let them know: no reception, no gifts, not making up for the past, but getting right with God.

I have to agree with most of you that it’s a great witness to them that we are making it right with God, and that if we don’t invite them to be there, then that witness is lost.

Thanks again! Oh and it’s on May 26, 2007.

YAY! Congrats again! How wonderful you are making things right with God. And, for those who cannot attend in person, you can have a party/dinner with even on a different day. Just make sure that you and your hubby have time to celebrate that night! :wink: :wink:

God bless you and Mary keep you! Thank you for making this wonderful step, and letting us all share in it! :slight_smile:

We will pray for you! :gopray2: I am glad it is so soon! :smiley:

You know, you’ve already answered the most important question.

Who are you doing this for? You said that you wanted it right with God. That’s all that matters!

If it were me involved, I would invite who I want to invite. I guess I’m a person who has the “could care less” kind of attitude with things like this. I’m recently married and all I invited on my side were my mom, uncle, 2 aunts and all my cousins. All the rest of the guests were from my wife’s side. I could care less if my other relatives complain. I’m not marrying for your sake… I’m marrying because God said so.

My hubby and I had our marriage convalided in the church and we didn’t need any witnesses since we were already married civilly. It was just me and dh along with the priest.

Wonderful! And big congrats!

Before I read all the posts, including your hubby’s and you choice, I was going to tell you to invite all of them who chose to come- by phone or email. If they are anti-Catholic, well, it won’t hurt them to see what it’s about. I was also going to say a small reception of cake and coffee never hurt too many people. Get a sheet cake or go to the Sara Lee thrift shop and pick up some ready-made cakes for slicing. Borrow the church coffee pot. Make a couple gallons of non-alcholic wedding punch, the one with Sprite and lemon Kool Aid. It doesn’t have to a 4 star production.

And congratulatiuons and belssing supon you both.

I totally understand this. I’ve been in your shoes, kind of. My sister and mom actually told me they wouldn’t come to my wedding if the aunts, uncles, and cousins weren’ty invited. I should have taken them up on that;)

You’re in a hard spot. Do you normally get along well with these people? Could you just mention that it’s a Catholic ceramony and you thought they wouldn’t feel comfortable being there?

Yikes. I feel for you. Good luck.


You did the right thing. Invite them all and let them decide if they want to come. You reached out with the olive branch and they chose the acceptance. Plus - you actually may have done a little evangelizing by doing so - good for you. Sometimes other family members think -well if they are doing it - maybe there is something to this - it must be important…hmmmmmmm.

Congratulations and many more blessed years to you both. Thinking of you both on May 26th. God Bless.

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