Wedding invitations are a study in quantifying your relationships. All of a sudden you need to either come up with or pare down to a specific number of loved ones that you want to share your day with. And this is no easy feat.
There are those that are in your life today. You talk to them, love them, go out with them, see them, live with them, share your life with them - current best friends, university friends, church members, family friends. And you plan on continuing these relationships for an interminable time to come - therefore, they are invited.
Then there are those who you know you should invite - relatives from afar, people you might have met once or never in your life time that your parents insist must come, people who helped you become who you are, your boss (maybe), your eighth cousin. You don't see these people regularly, but you know that if you don't invite them, you will never hear the end of it. EVER. So, these people are invited.
Then there are those from your past lives. For me, this was looking at elementary school and high school friends, searching my heart for teachers and church members that watched me grow, people I loved and cherished in my more youthful days (I know I'm only 23, but there are a lot of people in my past!). And these people are fondly invited.
Then there are the relateds. I know that's not a real word, but as an English major, I'm taking the liberty of meeting my quota for made up words. The relateds are a group of people that are related to the people above. People you are inviting because the aforementioned people are invited - present love interests/partners/live-ins/fiances/fiancees/husbands/randoms. You don't know these people, but they come with the people you want to invite, and therefore your guest list has just doubled. Terrific. Fine. They are also invited.
And then there is the least desireable list - the list of people you aren't speaking to right this moment, but have a feeling if you don't include them in your day, then you will regret it, painfully, in the future. And I don't mean that they will hunt you down, tie you up, and demand why they weren't invited. I mean, when you become reconciled in the future, and you realize that your petty fight (which it usually turns out to be) prevented them from sharing your day with you, and all you can think about is how awful their absence was. That's the regret I'm talking about.
We have one such person on our guest list, and interestingly enough it is not my undesireable or my fiance's undesireable. It's my mother's.
She has been feuding with one of my uncles, and has declared that he shall not be invited. That if I do invite him, he will ruin my day by getting drunk and being an awful guest.
But I have to think...
In the future, when everyone is more old and grey, and my mother is speaking to her brother again, and we are attending his children's weddings...what will the regret feel like?
That's why I have invitations filled out and ready to send to my uncle, and his children, my cousins, just in case.
Just in case my mother realizes that she will sorely miss him when albums are pulled out, and cooed over, and his absence, instead of his drunken prescence, is the focus.
Just in case.