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Ultimately, there are relationship dynamics here that are much larger than just a wedding invitation, and it's worth considering carefully whether, once your wedding is over, you want to leave the door open to reconciliation.

In certain situations, there may be issues like restraining orders involved.

Yes, make this wedding your own and celebrate what you have, but also acknowledge to yourself that you are grieving some lost relationships, and that grieving will be an important part of letting go and moving on. Yeah, you're going to find yourself in truly awful conversations that could dredge up a lot of painful family history.

But challenge yourself to find as many ways as possible to be loving, appreciative, and gracious in your conversations about not inviting family.

If they don't respect that, then politely end the conversation.

Don't get triggered into arguing or rehashing old wounds. If your decision has made, then all fighting over it accomplishes is wasting time and energy better spent elsewhere. If someone starts fishing for an invitation, politely refuse to do battle.

You could even add a bit to your ceremony telling them that if they were there, they are family.

Try to minimize times that would highlight your family not being present, if possible.

If not inviting family members feels like the best solution for a toxic situation, that's cool…We're just going to assume that you feel you've got a really, truly legitimate reason. This is about you feeling like you're making the best decision you can for yourself and your wedding.It's not our place to judge the legitimacy, and ultimately it doesn't matter: if you feel it strongly, then that's your decision to make. As always, you can't control other people or their behavior. This is a post no one wants to write, but that definitely needs to be written.Most of us really do wish our weddings could be sweet celebrations of love and family, commitment and community. This is going to be hard, so you need to be completely solid in your decision.

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