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Wedding musings part two - guest list

l pinkmountain
4 years ago

Still working on a wedding plan. LOTS of roadblocks being thrown up. SO has to have hip replacement surgery (we knew this and were planning on it as part of the picture), but his employer changed insurance carriers at the start of 2018 and he can't find a doctor that takes his current insurance, so for now he is going to wait until he is eligible for Medicare since there will be a better level of payment. It would be so costly otherwise as to eliminate any money we could spend on a wedding. We thought he would have had the surgery in Feb. and be well on his way to recovery now, but no such luck. So we are planning around a July surgery now.

Second roadblock is that my dad's increasing mental illness is making it impossible for us to stay in the house I inherited from my mother. Since dad bought it and owned it, he is harassing us constantly even though he no longer lives there. He has major untreated depression, anxiety and narcissistic personality disorder. He makes living there hell. We didn't want to stay in the house forever anyway, but were planning on waiting a while until SO was in full retirement and I found a full time job in one of the areas we want to move to. We don't really want to stay in my dying hometown, but were staying around really to try and care for the home and my dad. Now we are just trying to find anything we can afford to get mom's stuff out of the house and away from my dad's mental illness. He is also harassing my SO (nobody is any good in my dad's world). Who knows how he will react to the wedding. He doesn't want me to be happy (all associate's moods should be subservient to the narcissist) or "lose control" of me as he will imagine he does in a wedding. I am 58 BTW, and have worked and lived on my own for 32 years. That ship has sailed. But anyway, now SO is a no good hanger-on as far as my dad is concerned and he's not shy about telling everyone this. (It is an outrageous accusation, not supported by facts, btw). I have some close friends who have offered to help however they can. My best friend I grew up with volunteered to handle all "What's up with your dad?" questions if he chooses not to attend or makes a scene! :)

So now I'm torn up about what to do. More than ever we need to keep costs down, since we are buying a home now. The wedding has to be on the East Coast near Bethlehem PA due to SO's family living there and not having the funds to travel, so that also adds to the cost. We both want it small, but also want to have our family and closest friend there to witness our vows and demonstrate their support. Even with me limiting it to friends who have invited me to their weddings and folks reasonably close to the area, (3-4 hours travel time) the guest list still is looming around 100, although not sure how many will actually come. I'm old, I've been to a LOT of weddings! I'm thinking around 50-80 would come. Also depends on how I parse the invitations.

I also have no children and really desire to have a close relationship with my remaining family, which is ever shrinking. I don't know what to do about inviting the grown children of my cousins. They are the closest thing I have to nieces and nephews, as I am more or less an only child with no children of my own. Some of them are lovely people and I have had a nice relationship with them over the years, although most live very far away and money and distance make it unlikely that we can get together much. Other children of my cousins are estranged even from them. So I don't know what to do, just invite all second cousins (most I don't even have addresses for, only the ones I know) and let the chips fall where they may, or just invite the ones I have had a relationship with?

My cousins are all very much older than me, because my parents were the babies in the family. One of my cousins is 78 years old, and I doubt she would come without her daughter and son in law, who live next door to her. But then should I also invite my cousin's son and his wife, who are estranged from both my cousin and my cousin's daughter? That's the kind of dilemma I am dealing with. But I don't want to slight people. I could just explain that I am having a small wedding and only able to invite cousins, so hopefully others would understand. But some cousins might want to attend with their grown children . . . Oh woe!

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