My Extended Family Is Mad Not to Be Invited to My Cousin's Destination Wedding | Ask the Rev. | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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My Extended Family Is Mad Not to Be Invited to My Cousin's Destination Wedding 

Published February 14, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated February 14, 2024 at 11:11 a.m.

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Dear Reverend,

My cousin is getting married, and she wants a destination wedding with only immediate family and a few friends. I'm psyched for my cousin, but her mother, uncles and aunts (including my mom!) are really angry with the bride-to-be for not inviting extended family. I want to help smooth things over, but I don't know what to do. How can I convince the family to cool their jets and support the bride's wishes?

Karen Cuz (woman, 31)

Dear Karen Cuz,

Over the course of my years as a mail-order reverend, I have officiated a lot of weddings. From big, fancy church affairs to short, sweet ceremonies at city hall, I've seen it all. One thing I've come to realize: The only people who really need to be at a wedding are the couple getting married and somebody to sign the papers. Everybody else is extra, and who they are ought to be up to the betrothed.

Your cousin and her partner should have whatever kind of wedding their hearts desire. Wanting a small ceremony with close family doesn't mean they love their extended family any less. Maybe they're shy and don't want a crowd when they declare their love. Or perhaps they're mindful that not everybody can afford to take time off work and travel to a destination wedding. Whatever the reasoning, people should respect their choices.

I'm sure your cousin is aware that feathers have been ruffled, and she's going to have to lead the charge in the smoothing. I suggest that she and her soon-to-be-spouse have a reception party shortly after they return from the wedding. Perhaps you could offer to assist with the planning. It doesn't have to be fancy. Even a backyard barbecue would be a nice way for extended family and friends to celebrate with the couple and feel included. Invite people sooner rather than later, and there's a good chance of nipping any hurt feelings in the bud.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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The Reverend

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