It’s said that a good compromise means that each of the parties walk away somewhat unhappy. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, there simply is no compromise; instead, one party needs to give in. How unfortunate that a celebration as lovely as a wedding needs to be marred by hard feelings.
The father of a Hudson Valley bride asks: “My dad has asked us to invite a distant relative, one who is close to him and my mother, but basically unknown to us or the bride. My wife has adamantly refused to invite this person. Months ago I brought this problem to both my wife’s and daughter’s attention. The bride was okay adding this guest, but my wife is not budging. My dad is really upset, because he and this relative are in regular contact with one another and knows that there’s going to a wedding, making it very awkward for Dad. I should mention that both my parents have always been there for us and have always been very generous with us, so I feel that we’re obligated to acquiesce to this one small request. If I side with my wife, my parents will be hurt. If I side with my parents, my wife will never let me forget it. Any ideas of how to assuage my wife’s anger and to calm my dad’s hurt feelings?”
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The Wedding Guru says: If you and your wife are paying for the wedding and if money is not the object, I see no reason not to make your parents happy and invite this distant relative, especially since they’ve always been very generous to you. Maybe if you remind your wife about their generosity, she will be more inclined to change her mind.
If, however, inviting this distant relative will cause a problem because other distant relatives aren’t being invited, then I think you need to talk to your mom. If this is the case, explain to her that you would love to have her relative attend, but you have cut off the guest list to closer family. Tell her that others in the family will be hurt if you make an expectation with the distant relative. Hopefully she will understand. I hope things work out for you.