Something there is about a son or daughter's wedding that can multiply problems rather than joys. A lot of the issues for us as parents--besides whether we're going to foot the bill--is what can be called, for lack of a better word, our "allotment." That is, the number of people we can invite. It's often smaller than we would like.
That was the issue in a query to Carolyn Hax. The groom's mother was upset that her allotment would not allow her to invite the many cousins with whom she is close. Here's her lament:
My son just got engaged, and we are all thrilled. He is giving me such a small list, though, that I can only include some first cousins and not others. I hate to hurt anyone’s feelings, but we are closer to some than others. I’d be happy to give my son and daughter-in-law more money, but my son says it’s about the space, and even more than that, he just wants to keep numbers down. He doesn’t want his wedding filled with people he doesn’t really know.
Carolyn gets right down to a solution: