Author Topic: What's a wedding invite without family drama?  (Read 5325 times)

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TealDragon

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What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« on: November 20, 2012, 05:14:51 AM »
DF's mom's side of the family is difficult. I want to try to keep this brief, I am sorry if I fail. I'm not sure what's relevant and what I'm just overthinking. Many of these people are not very rational or etiqutte-y, from what I am told, if that influences your answers at all.

BG: There was a lot of unhappiness/abuse in that side of the family by DF's grandparents which resulted in a lot of anger and problems (mental illness, alcohol/drug problems, some criminal activity) for a lot of their children. When DF's grandparents were dying, no one wanted to do anything about it so DF's mom stepped up and took control over the situation and got the family's finances back in order and facilitated many members of her family going to jail/rehab/therapy as appropriate. She was apparently seen as controlling and selfish and difficult for this and much of her family cut off contact with her after the grandparents died. It's been many years, things are on the mend, everyone seems to want to patch things up and get along and it's been going well. DF's mom even went on a vacation with her sister this past summer after they did speak for almost 10 years.

Now: DF and I have just received a wedding invitation from his cousin Jack. Jack's dad is DF's mom's brother and they have the rockiest relationship at this point. We would very much love to go to the wedding because I've only met most of these people once and DF hasn't seen his cousins since he was pretty young and people have babies now and it's all just very exciting. However, the wedding isn't until July but the RSVP cards are due back by Christmas. In theory, this is fine with us, but I have had some serious health problems lately. There is simply no way to predict the state of my health in July. Most likely, I will be fine for a small trip (it's about three hours away), however with certain chronic conditions, flare ups are often unpredictable and severe and the medication leaves me in a permanently immunocompromised state. The invitation mentions dinner and dancing to follow at the reception location, however no options for food, so that makes me think that it's a buffet, which I cannot eat at. DF talked to his mom and she thinks we should just call Jack and explain and see if there is a plated option for those with health concerns, however we are all aware that Jack's dad still feels that DF's mom is difficult and demanding and I've never met him but I don't want to have him think of me that way forever over this or have him get angry that DF's mom and her part of the family are being selfish and special snowflakes and whatever all else. I really don't want to strain their relationship any further either.

We genuinely would love to go to this wedding, so while we realize that simply RSVPing no might be easiest, we want to try all other options first. DF and Jack were very close as little kids and haven't seen each other since they were in high school and DF's great grandmother is coming from Russia and seeing her frequently is something that does not get to happen, so we'd love to be able to go for that reason as well.

Which option sounds the best?

1. RSVP yes and call Jack and explain my health situation and that we can't really give a for sure answer. We can RSVP yes and as long as things are ok about a month out, I should be fine, but if an emergency situation pops up the week before, we'll have to deal with that and cancel but we have every intention of being there and if it turns out we can't, we'd of course give every possible bit of notice. And then ask about a special meal for me. This risks the discord it may or may not cause if his dad hears about it.
2. Assuming I can go and am healthy, eat before and after the wedding and maybe bring a light snack in my purse to eat in the bathroom or something but not actually eat at the reception (I have to eat frequently). This would be slightly unpleasant for me but worth it if it doesn't start a family feud.
3. Call my doctor and see if I can have a one time buffet exception (Oh how I'd love it if she'd say yes to this!). This is unlikely but would be easy and make me happy. :P
4.  Don't go, too much potential for problems (although DF's mom thinks that not going would actually present another set of problems in that they'd think we're refusing to go because we don't like them or some nonsense)
5. Other option?

RingTailedLemur

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 06:16:10 AM »
I think you should RSVP yes, because you do intend to go and it's not rude to cancel at the last minute for something like serious illnes.

Eating before/after and having some snacks with you might be best as well.

Bethalize

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 06:17:42 AM »
If you want to, accept the invitation but write that you have a medically restrictive diet which some people find strange so you will bring your own food. Say you prefer to do that as it's easier all around. It's not like you're doing it for fun, is it? People can bluster and blow but it's none of their beeswax.

Cancelling because you're unwell is allowed. However, I would make preparations for your DH to attend without you if possible, especially as it's his family. If DH is your nurse then of course that might be difficult but make what preparations you can. Would staying for a few days near the location be any help?

I do hope that you will (1) prioritise your own health needs properly (2) be assertive about what you need and give family the chance to make accommodations (3) ignore anyone who isn't kind towards you.


Two Ravens

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 06:40:02 AM »
I would RSVP yes and then make plans to bring your own food/eat before you come, etc.

I would also have plans in place so that if you are not feeling well, that you husband can attend without you.

TurtleDove

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 07:00:58 AM »
I'm curious what is about a buffet that would be automatically off limits? But yes, eat before or after and don't mention it to the HC at this point. RSVP yes and if you have to cancel, you do. But I wouldn't preemtively state you are RSVPing yes but probably won't be there and if you are you will need specially plated food. (I keep getting confused on this because it seems like it would be the same food as the buffet?)

JoyinVirginia

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 07:41:32 AM »
Rsvp yes. If you are unwell close to the date, then df can contact his cousin and explain. Also df should go even if you can't, since he wants to see his cousin and family.

Kaypeep

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 08:12:05 AM »
No pre-selected dinner choice automatically means 'buffet'.  9 out of 10 weddings I've been to did not have this option on the RSVP, and they were regularly plated dinners where we were presented a choice of beef, fish, chicken or vegetarian once we got there.

I say RSVP yes, and eat beforehand in case the food is not to your preferences.  Keep additional food in the car so you can eat afterwards or go outside and grab a snack if you must.

rigs32

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 08:45:07 AM »
Anyone can have a health issue come up after saying yes, so that's a non-issue.

I think knowing the reason a buffet is off-limits is necessary to advise you.  If you're gluten-free, then I'd ask that the couple see if the caterer can provide a GF meal.  If you have a phobia of serving spoons, then I'd advise you to just eay before you go or have DH make you a plate.

o_gal

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2012, 08:50:10 AM »
No pre-selected dinner choice automatically means 'buffet'.  9 out of 10 weddings I've been to did not have this option on the RSVP, and they were regularly plated dinners where we were presented a choice of beef, fish, chicken or vegetarian once we got there.

Or it could be the "alternate drop", which is not very common in the US but is fairly common in some other countries. With this, there are usually 2 or 3 plated entrees and person 1 at the table gets beef, person 2 gets chicken, 3 gets beef, 4 gets chicken, 5 gets beef, etc. There are loads of other etiquette issues with that option.

cattlekid

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 09:20:40 AM »
I am not the OP, but I am awaiting a kidney transplant.  I have been told that buffets are off limits after I receive a transplant due to the immunosuppressive drugs that I will be taking.

I'm curious what is about a buffet that would be automatically off limits? But yes, eat before or after and don't mention it to the HC at this point. RSVP yes and if you have to cancel, you do. But I wouldn't preemtively state you are RSVPing yes but probably won't be there and if you are you will need specially plated food. (I keep getting confused on this because it seems like it would be the same food as the buffet?)

Twik

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 09:26:13 AM »
Anyone can have a health issue come up after saying yes, so that's a non-issue.


Yes. While we might want to consider an RSVP sacrosanct, there are plenty of things that can happen that would make someone stay away. Illness, accident, job demands - few people can guarantee so far ahead that *nothing* could occur that would stop their attendance.
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TootsNYC

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 10:01:05 AM »
I'm with everyone else.

Just RSVP yes. And if you get really sick that weekend, give them as much notice as you possibly can.

Bring food if necessary.

(And I've proofread a ton of real-life wedding invitations, and very few of them had meal choices, and all of them were plated food.)

WillyNilly

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2012, 10:05:02 AM »
Honestly in real life I have never been asked nor known anyone to be asked at time of RSVP what their dinner choice is - that is a practice I've only read about on the internet.  Buffets are very rare in my area/my circles.  99.9% of weddings I've gone to or worked at in my several years in the party industry the waitstaff verbally asked each guest what they wanted to eat from 2 to 6 options.  To me no dinner option listed on the RSVP tells you nothing.

I also think a December RSVP deadline for a July wedding is A) obnoxious and B) going to blow up in their faces pretty darn badly.

So that in mind I'd RSVP your "honest now at this time" answer.  And then when its a reasonable time frame out from the wedding (2-8 weeks prior) then you give them the updated "honest for the new now" answer as to your attendance.

It's good to be Queen

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 10:13:48 AM »
I have been to weddings where there is no menu choice and it is not a buffet.  Everyone gets the chicken (or filet or whatever) and that is it.  At the last wedding I attended, it was a plated meal and everyone was served the same thing, a small filet and a piece of salmon.  My sister won't eat beef, so she and I traded.  She had two pieces of salmon and I had two pieces of beef. 

I would RSVP yes and let them know you have a restricted diet and just give them a heads up that you may need to bring your own food.  See if they offer soemthing else. 

mbbored

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Re: What's a wedding invite without family drama?
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2012, 10:36:59 AM »
I would RSVP yes and let them know you have a restricted diet and just give them a heads up that you may need to bring your own food.  See if they offer soemthing else.

This is what I would do.