Author Topic: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!  (Read 3766 times)

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jmarvellous

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Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« on: May 13, 2013, 04:57:05 PM »
So I just got an email from my future father-in-law asking us to include his sister's birthday in our wedding day (this Saturday!!). I am not opposed to wishing her well, of course, but I have never met her and my fiance barely knows her, from what I understand, so we don't know what to do. We have no idea whether she'd like or hate the attention (and FFIL most likely is a bad gauge of this -- he seems to be a 'the louder the better' type).

What is the least obtrusive way to include her happy day in ours without seeming callous?

(As for what I am not looking to do, FFIL's suggestion that we all sing to her over wedding cake is right on top of the list. I am looking forward to the *wedding* cake, not a birthday party.)

Would a candle and song the night before at our family welcome dinner be ignoring her actual birthday?

Rohanna

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 05:03:52 PM »
I would *not* sing to her over the wedding- if someone did that to me I'd be so embarressed!  :o

However, are you doing speeches? A lot of times people take that time to mention guests that have travelled far etc- could perhaps your MC say something like "And FFIL would like us to extend a Happy Birthday today to his sister Aunt Whatsis- all the best to you from the happy couple for sharing our day!" or something like that. The speeches tend to mention other people a fair bit anyhow so it wouldn't be as out of place. If you're feeling really generous, the catering hall can probably also write Happy Birthday in chocolate on her dessert plate.

While I would not personally do this for an adult guest - if it keeps the peace with your new family I'd probably take the time to shoot off an email to my caterer and add the line in for the MC.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 06:51:41 PM »
Since your having a family welcome dinner the night before, I think that is much more appropriate time. Maybe ask about a cupcake with a candle be brought out with dessert?

Or if you feel something during the reception, maybe tell the DJ or bandleader if your having one to dedicate a song to her... not Happy Birthday but some other song you already have on your playlist.

WillyNilly

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 07:56:17 PM »
I think the night before is a fine time to address the birthday, so even just a private "happy birthday ! thanks so much for coming" in person at the wedding (not an announcement, just when you speak with her individually. Co-opting your wedding cake as a birthday cake is not, IMO, an even remotely ok thing for your FFIL to have suggested, and i don't think you shoudl consider it for even a moment. As a guest I wouldn't even appreciate witnessing that - it would cheapen the importance of the wedding to me. Not a huge amount or anything, but it would be a sour note for sure. A separate cake, or a call out from the DJ would be ok, but she might feel very self conscious about that! I don't mind waiters singing, or that kind of thing, but being announced at a wedding would make me very uncomfortable.

LadyR

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 01:23:39 AM »
At my cousin's wedding, my mother's birthday was briefly acknowledged in one of the speech's (either bride or her father). DH said they did sing to him at his brother's wedding, which was on his 18th birthday.


Gail

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 03:43:22 AM »
My cousin got married the day of my birthday. I didn't told her and I thought she didn't knew, but at the end of the meal she got the mike and told another cousin and me to stand up. We did, and she asked the hall to sing happy birthday for us  :o :D

I didn't expect it but I thought it was lovely :)
The last time I said what I was really thinking there was an "intervention".

Aoife

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 06:12:26 AM »
I got married on the birthday of my twin cousins and one of my best friends. I put cards along with the placemats and a present at my best friends and my husband thanked them all for coming and wished them happy birthdays in his speech. That was the subtle bit  :)

Then when the dj came on we got him to play Happy Birthday and sang it to them, I liked having the music to help it along, plus everyone was more relaxed after the meal and speeches so it didn't feel as awkward/ formal as it might have done. Would that be an option?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 06:14:10 AM by Aoife »

Margo

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 06:35:59 AM »
I don't think it is necessary to do anything other than wish her a Happy Birthday when you speak to her. If you and your new husband (congratulations, by the way!) want to, then getting a card for her and arranging for this to be left at her place setting, or given to the the evening before, would be a nice gesture, but is not necessary.

Does your fiance normally send his aunt a card or gift? If so, then he should do so this year as well.

If your fiance wants, he could say happy birthday to his aunt in his speech but personally I would stick to doing so when you see her (in the receiveing line, if you have one, r when your are circulating and speaking to guests)

It's not out of the realms of possibility that there will be one or two other guests who also have birthdays or anniversaries and singling her out might embarrass her, and make another guest who isn't mentioned feel overlooked.

I would only mention it in the speech if Aunt is doing something special for you (so if you'd be thanking her specifically anyway, and want to add that not only did she do X,but she gave up her birthday to do it) or if she has a very special, close relationship with your fiance.

If FFIL is likely to make a huge issue out of it I might go as far as to get a small gift for her and pout this on her place at table, as well as the card, just so if he brings it up you can respond with a "Oh didn't you notice, we did include it, we spoke to her personally and she had a gift and card"

If I were in aunt's place, I would not want it raised publicly - I would feel it put any other relations who had not mentioned it or given me a card/gift feel uncomfortable and if I were a guest it would strike me as a bit odd.

CakeEater

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 07:15:06 AM »
I would *not* sing to her over the wedding- if someone did that to me I'd be so embarressed!  :o

However, are you doing speeches? A lot of times people take that time to mention guests that have travelled far etc- could perhaps your MC say something like "And FFIL would like us to extend a Happy Birthday today to his sister Aunt Whatsis- all the best to you from the happy couple for sharing our day!" or something like that. The speeches tend to mention other people a fair bit anyhow so it wouldn't be as out of place. If you're feeling really generous, the catering hall can probably also write Happy Birthday in chocolate on her dessert plate.

While I would not personally do this for an adult guest - if it keeps the peace with your new family I'd probably take the time to shoot off an email to my caterer and add the line in for the MC.

Ahh, the bizarre last minute requests the week before your wedding when you have nothing better to think about than how you will incorporate your distant relative's birthday into your wedding reception.

I'm not a great lover of celebrating adult birthdays every year, and I would not want to be mentioned at a wedding reception. But if you think the birthday girl or FFIL will be offended if you don't do something, then Rohanna's suggestion is the way to go.

magdalena

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 07:33:11 AM »
I got married on a dear friend's birthday (we share a birthday, it was mine as well). Our favor were packed as tiny little presents and their name tags served as place cards, her package was slightly bigger and there was a birthday present in there. Also, I personally wished her a happy birthday and thanked her for sharing our special day that year.
She seemed happy with that and it wasn't distracting at all.

I agree that including the mention in speeches might be the way to go for the OP.



Fleur

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 07:42:44 AM »

It was pretty nervy of your FFIL to suggest co-opting your wedding cake! What an idea. Personally I wouldn't do more than mention the birthday to her in person. I can't get my head around the idea of expecting a birthday to be acknowledged at someone else's wedding.

sammycat

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 07:59:55 AM »

It was pretty nervy of your FFIL to suggest co-opting your wedding cake! What an idea. Personally I wouldn't do more than mention the birthday to her in person. I can't get my head around the idea of expecting a birthday to be acknowledged at someone else's wedding.

I agree, especially as in this case the birthday person is virtually a stranger to OP's DF and IS a stranger to the OP.

jmarvellous

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 08:29:11 AM »
Thanks, everyone! I knew you'd have some good suggestions!

I think most of them are out due to the informality of the event, but I will try to wish her well once I know who she is, and maybe give her a chance to blow out our birthday candle on Friday, if she wants. (We are having a dinner in our home.)

To give FFIL a pass, somewhat, he didn't directly say we should do a birthday/wedding cake, just suggested we sing it, and it seemed to me candles were supposed to be involved. He's a very nice guy but probably not thinking this through too deliberately.

lowspark

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 10:30:56 AM »
The fact that he is only just now mentioning this, less than a week before the wedding, leads me to believe that it just suddenly occured to him that your wedding day is also his sister's birthday. So... if it took him this long to come to that realization, it sort of says something about how much this actually means to him. I like the low key ideas - having a birthday card at her table or a quick acknowledgement when you greet her, that sort of thing.

Personally, I'm with those who say that unless I were very close to the HC (or at least one of them) that I'd feel embarrassed to have any kind of fuss made over my birthday. In addition to that, as a PP mentioned, you run the risk of hurt feelings if anyone else is also having a birthday or anniversary or whatever that day and you don't mention that.

gellchom

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Re: Happy birthday, dear wedding guest!
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 10:56:00 AM »
I am not sure what you mean about the nature of the event.  No speeches or toasts?
Otherwise I would have said just to include a happy birthday wish to Aunt Trudy in the little welcome speech, whoever gives it. 
I doubt he meant a gift or card.  And please please no song!  It's the longest song in the world.  You don't realize it until it is your birthday!