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How Can We Include Our Loved Ones In Our (Suddenly) Intimate Wedding?

Help us make lemonade

Hey APW!

Our wedding isn’t until next year, but we’re already thinking about changing our original plan with the possible ripple effect of Coronavirus. Our Plan A was a 2021 destination wedding out of country with all of our family and friends. But we’re realizing that traveling internationally still might not be an option next year (and/or guests might no longer be comfortable traveling out of the US, even next year).

So on to our Plan B, which is an intimate, local wedding of just our immediate family and friends. This new plan feels right, but also breaks our hearts to not include the aunts, uncles and cousins we love (we both have so many).

Our question is: what are appropriate ways to still include those extended family members in the celebration of our union without inviting them to the actual wedding? (Note that they live all over the country, and not locally.)

We’re thinking maybe we could have a big engagement party or bridal shower or one-year wedding anniversary camping trip, and invite everyone to those events, paying their own way and asking for no gifts. Is this fair? We believe the etiquette is to not invite individuals to ancillary events, if they’re not invited to the wedding, but are there exceptions here?

Sincerely,
Two Torn Brides

Let’s hear it APW. What are your thoughts on including family and friends in an (suddenly) intimate wedding? Have you guys discovered (or are you exploring) ways to include people on the day-of? Have you been brainstorming ways to include people after the fact? How are you dealing with creating community and connection during this time of forced isolation… and an endlessly changing landscape. (What’s up is now down! What’s down is now up!)

Hit us with your best ideas for including folx you love in a wedding that’s way smaller than you wanted it to be.

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