Page 2 | Wedding very small do, not inviting family - AIBU

(180 Posts)
Herecomesthebrideagain Mon 29-Nov-21 17:37:04

My partner and I are having a very small, cosy wedding next year (my second marriage and he hasn't been married at all).

We're both on the same page in that we want as little fuss, pomp & ceremony and stress as possible. Also we don't have a lot of spare money to have a big & elaborate do; we want to do something within budget without having to ask our guests to subsidise our day in any way.

We originally thought of going to the Registry office and pulling in 2 witnesses from the street, but now we want to do this with a handful of close friends, followed by afternoon tea (for us + 8 people) and overnight stay in a wonderful country hotel (us and our best friends couple). We don't want any hen or stag dos, presents, and my outfit is already in my wardrobe (but I do need to lose a stone to get into it - i have time).

When I told one of the invitees about the plan, we explained we couldn't do it with family as I have a very large family which would extinguish any possibility of a small wedding (and I'd hate to ask only some family and exclude others - it's just not on). So we explained it would be a few close friends only and it was to be kept a secret from the family for obvious reasons.

However my friend that I mentioned it to, took me slightly aback when she commented - "what, not telling the family? How sad!"

We don't think it's sad as we're planning to have a small ceremony that will be very special for us and comfortable to manage (and less stress and affordable) - but what do you all think?

OP’s posts: |
ouchmyfeet Mon 29-Nov-21 17:58:27

I think it will put a massive strain on your sibling relationships. That may or may not matter to you both, I don’t know what your relationships are like already.

How on earth do you know this?? I think your day sounds perfectly reasonable OP. I'm so sorry neither of you have parents left to share the day with, if you were my sibling I would understand (and did understand in very similar circumstances)

IncompleteSenten Mon 29-Nov-21 17:58:57

I think your siblings would be more hurt to learn you invited friends than they would be if you got married with two randoms as witnesses.

DDivaStar Mon 29-Nov-21 17:59:01

Obviously its completely up to you.

I can see why siblings or children may be hurt by being left out, assuming you get on. I think you need to be realistic that close family might not understand and it could impact your relationship in future.

ExtraOnion Mon 29-Nov-21 18:00:28

My sister did something similar … it was her second wedding, they had a registry do and a meal. Her husbands sisters were invited (with partners) as witnesses, but, myself and my other sister were not invited. TBH, that particular wound has never quite healed .

ChicCroissant Mon 29-Nov-21 18:02:07

So guests are expected to keep it a secret? Have you considered how that might make them (the guests) feel, never mind how excluded your siblings might feel as well?

AuntieMarys Mon 29-Nov-21 18:02:25

Do it!!! We did similar. Nobody kicked off and if they had, would have been ignored.


Holly60 Mon 29-Nov-21 18:02:32

Yeah I don’t like the secrecy. I also can’t imagine not inviting our siblings in your circumstances, but then we count our siblings amongst our closest friends anyway.

I would say at the least let your siblings know you are getting married. I’d be gutted to not have the chance to send a bottle of bubbly for you in the morning

Notonthestairs Mon 29-Nov-21 18:02:42

I'd understand if my sibling wanted a small wedding without family - but I'd love to know beforehand so I can send a nice bottle of fizz/flowers/cake or just something I'd know they'd enjoy to mark their day. I'd also love to see the photos!

Dressingdown1 Mon 29-Nov-21 18:07:57

I think you risk causing a lot of hurt feelings in your siblings, especially if you keep the wedding a secret.

bowchicawowwow Mon 29-Nov-21 18:10:49

I would be wary of inviting friends over siblings. As much as it might sound romantic right now, this stuff can cause resentment for years down the line. I'd stick to two witnesses off the street.

Slippy78 Mon 29-Nov-21 18:12:23

Both my sister and my mum had Registry Office weddings with witnesses off the street. I was living with my mum at the time and didn't find out until weeks later, I didn't find out about my sisters for a couple of years.
I was very close with both of them at the time and not knowing didn't bother me in the slightest.
Do whatever wil make you happy.

LivingNextDoorToNorma Mon 29-Nov-21 18:12:53


Our thoughts were to let family know afterwards, should anyone bring up the question 'when are you going to get married?'

I think you, and everyone else should have the wedding they want. I would be completely supportive of any of my siblings doing it without me there.
But I would be hurt if I found out that they’d been married for, say 3 months, and not told me. Are you not close? I’m not sure I understand why it needs to be a secret.

DriftingBlue Mon 29-Nov-21 18:13:18

Given your parental situation, I think it’s lovely.

ImInStealthMode Mon 29-Nov-21 18:14:07

You should have exactly the wedding that you want, but I'd be uncomfortable with the secrecy of it, I think that's got more potential to cause damage to relationships than being upfront to start with.

SeasonFinale Mon 29-Nov-21 18:17:31

I think your vote is skewed as people vote after the initial post where you haven't made it clear that your parents are no longer alive

3scape Mon 29-Nov-21 18:20:33

If you're not close, why would you mention it to family?

Sally872 Mon 29-Nov-21 18:24:50

Are you close to siblings? I would invite any I am close to.

3WildOnes Mon 29-Nov-21 18:25:02

I would be upfront but also prepared that some of your siblings could find this very hurtful and it may irreparably damage your relationships with them.

ittakes2 Mon 29-Nov-21 18:25:51

There is nothing wrong with a small ceremony - but if you are close to the family you are hiding your wedding from there will be a fall out about it with some feelings hurt at some point.
If you are happy with your choice - don't hide it - be honest about it and explain the reasoning.

Georgyporky Mon 29-Nov-21 18:27:40

Best wishes - FWIW I totally agree with you.
You choose your friends, you're lumbered with family & their DPs.

toastofthetown Mon 29-Nov-21 18:31:32

I think it depends on how close you are to your family and how you want the relationship to be in the future. I'd be hurt to be told after the fact about a sibling's wedding. The secrecy of it would bother me more than missing the wedding and it would probably permanently hurt the relationship. Not out of spite, but having something as big as a marriage kept secret would tell me that we're not that close anymore so I would withdraw. Why can't you tell them that you are having a small private wedding?

toastofthetown Mon 29-Nov-21 18:33:42

Also if you are keeping it secret to avoid hurt feelings, then you're just kicking the can down the road. They still will have all their feelings about not being invited to the wedding, as well as the whole wedding being kept from them in the first place.

PinkSyCo Mon 29-Nov-21 18:37:32

I actually think the amount of money some people spend, and the amount of time and money they expect their guests to spend on their wedding quite vulgar. I think your way is much nicer and your should do whatever makes you happy. And if other people have a problem with it then that shows that they don’t really care about your happiness so weren’t worth inviting anyway. 🤷🏻‍♀️

TedMullins Mon 29-Nov-21 18:43:44

It sounds lovely. For many people their friends are closer and more important than family. If any of the siblings were also close friends I assume they’d be among the 8 invited

lap90 Mon 29-Nov-21 18:47:59

I like the idea of a small wedding but can understand your friend's reaction about you being so secretive about it all.

Oh to be a fly on the wall should you be asked when you are going to be married and for you to then announce you have already wed.

Was your first wedding small too?

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