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Author Topic: Help...My husband won't go to his brother's wedding if our kids aren't invited!  (Read 48969 times)

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**OP update pg. 5**

I hope you all can help me. 

My BIL (hubby's brother) is getting married in November at a restaurant that is not really child friendly, so I've assumed that my sons (aged 12 & 8) will not be invited.  My husband has already said (to me) that he won't go if our boys aren't invited.  I asked why and he said that we take them everywhere (not true but I let that slide) and that they are part of the family and aren't a problem at other family gatherings.  I didn't start an argument because at this stage it is all conjecture.  If it helps, some other points are:
1.  Our boys are well behaved but do get bored so I spend a large chunk of hubby's family gatherings with the kids.
2.  I want to go to the wedding.
3.  If our kids are invited, doesn't etiquette say that the ONLY other kids on both sides are Hubby's niece & nephew (age 3 & 5 - and the 5yo is naughty) should also be invited?
4.  Child care is not a problem for us.

So what do I need help with? When we get the invitation & it is for us only, what words can I use to 1) calm hubby down, 2) convince him that it isn't rude for the boys to not be invited and 3) that we should go.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 06:41:29 PM by Brisvegasgal »


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I am not sure the age of your second son but I would think that by age 12 a restaurant that was not child friendly would not be a problem for most well behaved kids of that age

You could put your husband in charge of the kids if they are invited.  You could also have your husband stay home with them and you go.  I am pretty certain that if you get him to go grudgingly without the kids invited you won't have much fun.

I think the couple could draw an age distinction even between cousins in the same "category"


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You could tell him that your children's attendance might not be in the Happy Couple's (HC) budget, but would he reply that he would pay for his children's meals?

A Weddings is a Big Deal, and perceived slights over invitations and attendance may be remembered for a long time.  His brother and new SIL will probably not forget his attempt to dictate the guest list by refrusing to attend without his children.  It's not uncommon for family rifts to start with this kind of nonsense.  Is that what he wants?

Etiquette doesn't require an all or none approach to children at weddings, although it's acceptable to do it that way.  Some HC's choose a more mature cut-off age, like 12 or 16, to try to keep disruptions at a minimum. 

Would the boys want to go, or would they be happier doing something else fun (which you can think of in the meantime)?

Oh Joy

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No advice for our OP, but I'm assuming the boys are 12 and 8.  Typing a ) after an 8 makes the Cool  8) emoticon.


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Ahhh.  I do think that he can't insist that they be invited but OTOH I actually think he can turn down the invite if he would rather stay home with his kids.  They aren't obligated to invite the kids but the flip side is that he isn't obligated to attend. 


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It is his BROTHER'S wedding. And it's his brother's choice to invite the children or not - and hubby needs to get over himself. That being said - no one knows yet, do they?

If the children aren't invited, sit hubby down when he's calm and content. Tell him that your brother and his fiance are allowed to do what they want, and, as family, it's important that you be supportive and go to the wedding. Point out that the children would be bored, and that you, as 'babysitter', wouldn't be able to enjoy yourself - and won't this be a great date night?


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I think you can simply tell him "Honey, it's not rude to have an adults-only wedding if that's what they want.  Not every event needs to be child-friendly, and it might be nice to have a fancy date night, if that's how this wedding is going to be.  You will also be massively offending your brother if you either refuse to go to his wedding or are massively rude by insisting on the invite for the kids if they aren't invited."


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I sort of understand your husband's stance but! But I also totally understand not inviting the kids on behalf of the couple.  Honestly they have probably celebrated all kinds of things with your kids - holidays and family parties, etc.  And they will again.  But for their wedding they want a nice adult night.  Kids at parties does change the tone and atmosphere.  Heck maybe its even meant as a bit of a compliment to you - you usually spend your time entertaining your kids, maybe this time they want you to be able to enjoy the party as engaged guest instead of distracted mother. So while I understand your DH's stance, I think he should put it aside for you, because there are times when a spouse should favor their spouse over their kids, and this is absolutely one of them IMO.

I think your kids probably would be just as happy at home with a DVD and pizza and a babysitter.

As for etiquette since those other kids are so young, I don't know if they are comparable as far as grouping.


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Here's the thing - I think that if  people want the space to make the decision to have a child free wedding they should have it.  They deserve it.  However, I think they then need to give a whole lot more space to everyone, even close family, in deciding whether to accept that invite.  It seems ridiculous to expect it to only work one way to me.


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My response once I knew for sure, "Oh, date night.  Nice and romantic.  Oh, honey, this is going to be great.  You and me dressed up.  Good company.  Nice food.  ... (hint, hint)."  See if that doesn't change his mind.

I would suggest planning a time to have the kids spend time with the couple doing something the kids enjoy when it can just be the six of you.  That would mean much more to the 12 and 8 year old than a wedding.


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OP, you’ve received great advice from other posters, and I particularly agree with the thought of making it a date night for you and your husband. He might find that idea quite appealing!

But… I think your DH is way out of bounds with his notion of not attending his brother’s wedding because his children are not invited. You seem to be in agreement that the venue is not appropriate for children and are ok with it. Also, you say that you and DH not take your children with you everywhere. Why is he so adamant on this? Is it because it is his sibling’s wedding? I can kind of sympathize, but I get the feeling that he is being stubborn on this issue.

Perhaps if your DH was the parent tasked with amusing/distracting the boys he might have a different outlook on taking your children everywhere. This was a concept I had to teach my now ex-husband. He loved bringing our 2 children everywhere, but he refused to parent them in any manner. According to him, that was my job. As a consequence, I never had an opportunity to enjoy any type of adult time at those events. I more or less endured the time until we could leave with our two tired children.


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Your husband may be able to force the invite, but that could cause the Happy Couple to resent the kids. Would your DH want to risk that? I know I would resent my brother dictating my wedding guest list because of his kids.  I am not sure where that resentment would stop, but is it worth it to your husband to cause that kind of resentment.
  It sounds like he's feeling resentful of the couple choosing their guest list: can you pose it to him that he might cause his brother to view his sons in the same light?
 I would not push for a time with the couple to do something the kids would enjoy....this is not about the kids, it is very much about the life the couple is starting. If they suggest doing something with the kids, fine and dandy but if it were and my brother said something to the effect of "you're not having my kids at your wedding, so you have to to do something to make it up to them."  I would think that my brother had grown a third head ( and my brother is the most self centered person I know.)


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Since you say that your kids do not attend everything with you, can you start asking your DH why this is so important to him?  Does he feel it is a slight to the kids?  Does he feel like they will be upset to not attend?  Is it a control issue with dare his little brother not include his kids in a family event? 

Can he think of instances where he would get together with other family members but not necessarily invite everyone?  Would he expect his sons to be invited to the bachelor party?  Would he expect you to be invited on the brother's fishing trip?  Does he demand to be invited to all family baby showers? 

He doesn't get to impose his expectations that weddings include all family members on others.

Honestly, if he becomes that self focused that he thinks he should get to dictate the couple's wedding invite list, then it would probably be best to have him stay home.  Tell him you'll be happy to go alone and represent the family while he has a night with the kids. 


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”I want to enjoy myself at a grown up event. The boys would be bored and not have fun. I am going to get a babysitter and plan to go to the wedding. You can stay home and guarantee your brother will be hurt and I will be peeved, or you can come with me.”


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Have you pointed out to your DH that the reason your kids are not out of control at events is because you run after them constantly?  Even if they are invited, will it be expected that you do the same at the wedding?  Wouldn't you like to have a night off for once?