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Author Topic: The Bridesmaid's In-laws  (Read 12608 times)

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kansha

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Re: The Bridesmaid's In-laws
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2015, 05:40:28 PM »
anyone else think the BM's family might take the 'opportunity' to have 'family' pictures taken by the wedding photographer?  after all, they're all there, and the photographer is taking pictures anyway...

caverat

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Re: The Bridesmaid's In-laws
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2015, 06:19:28 PM »

A "plus one" (whom you many never even have met) is no more "one of the people you love" than this couple.  Why wouldn't the "plus one's" presence at the ceremony and possible inclusion in the background of photos make you feel "very weird"?  Consider whether the difference in how you feel about it isn't just a slight overreaction to being caught off guard at your friend's having assumed they were invited (which would be totally understandable).   In fact, if you do include them, I bet you will find that your displeasure at having these "people ... that [you] don't know or particularly care about" will be much less than you anticipate -- you probably won't even notice them -- and anyway no different from having your friend's date. 

To me, under the unusual circumstances, your best friend's in-laws are in a fairly comparable situation to the single friend's date.  They are spending a lot of time and travel so that your friend and her husband can attend your wedding; and it doesn't even cost you anything to have them at the ceremony, nor is it a very tiny, virtually private ceremony.  So it really is sending a message that their mere presence in a group of 60 or so would be unwelcome.  On top of that, it doesn't sound like they'd be in a place with a lot of other things to do while their son and DIL attend the ceremony.  It's not required that you invite them as it would be if they were spouses of people you want to invite, but in this situation it's the gracious thing to do.

I guess I wasn't very clear on the +1s that will (possibly) be attending.  I'm talking about people who have SOs that they're not yet married to, plus one friend who is bringing someone I already do know.  Sometimes you can't avoid the strangers without being completely rude.  For instance if my second cousin comes (unlikely), he should certainly bring along his girlfriend.

Regarding the 60 people, recall that this is the number invited, it is not the number actually coming.  If we discount immediate family members (10 of the total) and the number who have indicated they'll actually come is probably going to be closer to 20-30.  They would definitely stick out.

I think I also saw something about nothing to do in the area, but that's just an assumption being made.  There is a ton to do, no chance anyone could get bored in our location unless they despise the outdoors completely.  Many people have called this a 'camp' but it's a cabin community outside of a vacation town, and that's as specific as I care to be on that  :)

anyone else think the BM's family might take the 'opportunity' to have 'family' pictures taken by the wedding photographer?  after all, they're all there, and the photographer is taking pictures anyway...

This, I doubt.  Actually I'm planning to have the photographer to do a pic of the nuclear family anyway, but they're just not the type to think they'd all be in one (of course I thought they'd not invite in-laws to someone else's wedding either, so I who knows, I suppose).  And, after all, they have those from their own wedding in any case.  The photographer will probably be at the ceremony plus the group photos afterwards.  I don't need professional photos of a bbq... I'll probably have my own camera out by then!

shhh its me

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Re: The Bridesmaid's In-laws
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2015, 06:51:38 PM »
  OP I may have missed it ...Did you ever actually say "oh since your in laws are coming to the camp ground they should join us for the reception meal."? or anything similar?  I think if you initiated the reception invite (whether it was an offhand verbal 3rd party  invite or and Official invite doesn't matter) then I don't think your friend was unreasonable to assume that included the ceremony as well.  I even could get behind "Oh at our church people can just show up to the ceremony(a camp ground is just like a church because its open to the public/) so I assumed they would come to that and then do their own thing for the reception."   I would think it was totally unreasonable for your friend to assume an invite to the reception just because her in laws chose to travel with her family. 

caverat

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Re: The Bridesmaid's In-laws
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2015, 09:15:35 AM »
  OP I may have missed it ...Did you ever actually say "oh since your in laws are coming to the camp ground they should join us for the reception meal."? or anything similar?  I think if you initiated the reception invite (whether it was an offhand verbal 3rd party  invite or and Official invite doesn't matter) then I don't think your friend was unreasonable to assume that included the ceremony as well.  I even could get behind "Oh at our church people can just show up to the ceremony(a camp ground is just like a church because its open to the public/) so I assumed they would come to that and then do their own thing for the reception."   I would think it was totally unreasonable for your friend to assume an invite to the reception just because her in laws chose to travel with her family.

Actually, now that you mention it, no I hadn't talked about the reception at all yet.  I brought it up after I realized she thought they were coming to the ceremony as a sort of "well I was going to ask if they'd like to join us for dinner since they'll be right there, but that's all" sort of a response after we'd discussed why I didn't want them at the ceremony itself. 

Lynn2000

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Re: The Bridesmaid's In-laws
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2015, 09:52:24 AM »
  OP I may have missed it ...Did you ever actually say "oh since your in laws are coming to the camp ground they should join us for the reception meal."? or anything similar?  I think if you initiated the reception invite (whether it was an offhand verbal 3rd party  invite or and Official invite doesn't matter) then I don't think your friend was unreasonable to assume that included the ceremony as well.  I even could get behind "Oh at our church people can just show up to the ceremony(a camp ground is just like a church because its open to the public/) so I assumed they would come to that and then do their own thing for the reception."   I would think it was totally unreasonable for your friend to assume an invite to the reception just because her in laws chose to travel with her family.

Actually, now that you mention it, no I hadn't talked about the reception at all yet.  I brought it up after I realized she thought they were coming to the ceremony as a sort of "well I was going to ask if they'd like to join us for dinner since they'll be right there, but that's all" sort of a response after we'd discussed why I didn't want them at the ceremony itself.

So the bridesmaid assumed her in-laws would attend your wedding ceremony and reception, even though you had not mentioned that at all in any form? That's really not cool of her, and it would make me lean more towards not having them at either event. (They can keep the grandkids in their cabin and watch them there/away from the wedding, if the kids need watching.)
~Lynn2000

Mikayla

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Re: The Bridesmaid's In-laws
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2015, 10:02:24 AM »
I agree with the majority.  Also, it's easy to see how this miscommunication occurred.  Even though etiquette has always said it's ok to invite a larger group to the reception than to the ceremony, many people aren't aware of this.  In fact, I've seen it cause problems IRL.  There's an assumption floating around that an invite to the reception does mean this will include the ceremony, and that it's actually rude if this isn't the case. 
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 10:58:35 AM by Mikayla »

lowspark

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Re: The Bridesmaid's In-laws
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2015, 10:52:10 AM »
I agree that you are really under no obligation to invite them, and that it's perfectly understandable why you don't want to. But I can tell you, based on my own life experience, this is the kind of thing that when you will look back it on later, it's much more likely that you will feel bad about not inviting them if you don't, than about inviting them if you do. I've seldom regretted taking the higher path, even at my own inconvenience, whereas I have definitely regretted sticking to my guns and saying "it's my decision and I'm doing what I want and it's perfectly justifiable."  Even when it was perfectly justifiable, I have still looked back and thought, "man, I shoulda given in because in the long run, it really would have been the right thing to do."

So I've learned that sometimes, doing something I initially wasn't inclined to do, can turn out to be better for me, simply because I have to live with my decision.
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gellchom

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Re: The Bridesmaid's In-laws
« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2015, 11:32:42 AM »

A "plus one" (whom you many never even have met) is no more "one of the people you love" than this couple.  Why wouldn't the "plus one's" presence at the ceremony and possible inclusion in the background of photos make you feel "very weird"?  Consider whether the difference in how you feel about it isn't just a slight overreaction to being caught off guard at your friend's having assumed they were invited (which would be totally understandable).   In fact, if you do include them, I bet you will find that your displeasure at having these "people ... that [you] don't know or particularly care about" will be much less than you anticipate -- you probably won't even notice them -- and anyway no different from having your friend's date. 

To me, under the unusual circumstances, your best friend's in-laws are in a fairly comparable situation to the single friend's date.  They are spending a lot of time and travel so that your friend and her husband can attend your wedding; and it doesn't even cost you anything to have them at the ceremony, nor is it a very tiny, virtually private ceremony.  So it really is sending a message that their mere presence in a group of 60 or so would be unwelcome.  On top of that, it doesn't sound like they'd be in a place with a lot of other things to do while their son and DIL attend the ceremony.  It's not required that you invite them as it would be if they were spouses of people you want to invite, but in this situation it's the gracious thing to do.

I guess I wasn't very clear on the +1s that will (possibly) be attending.  I'm talking about people who have SOs that they're not yet married to, plus one friend who is bringing someone I already do know.  Sometimes you can't avoid the strangers without being completely rude.  For instance if my second cousin comes (unlikely), he should certainly bring along his girlfriend.

But this is just saying why you feel that you are required by etiquette to invite the SOs.  It doesn't change anything about that they are (except for one) people that you don't even know.  You say that having your best friend's in-laws there would make you feel "very weird," but for no other reason than that they aren't among your nearest and dearest.  Well, neither are these dates, presumably even including the one you've met.  You don't say why that won't make you feel "very weird" -- what's the big difference?  Well, feelings are subjective, but the point is that it isn't stopping you from inviting them, even though it sounds like at least one is not a "must invite" social unit situation.

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Regarding the 60 people, recall that this is the number invited, it is not the number actually coming.  If we discount immediate family members (10 of the total) and the number who have indicated they'll actually come is probably going to be closer to 20-30.  They would definitely stick out.

Okay, it's 30-40, not 60 (I don't understand why immediate family members are subtracted from the total).  Plus the two of you, and perhaps your attendants -- not sure if you counted yourselves and them in the 20-30.  That's still not a tiny, "private" group.  It's enough that you probably aren't even going to notice these people's presence, and certainly that their being there isn't going to be a disruption or distraction.  If the thought of them (but not people's dates) being in the background of ceremony photos is that disturbing for some reason, use Photoshop or crop the photos.

So I think both of these are red herrings.  I think you just don't want them there for some reason.  And you know what?  That's fine.  Everyone understands that feeling; there are always people that for one reason or another we are trying to decide if we must include even though we don't want to.  It isn't easy, especially when you don't have an etiquette rule to sort of make the decision for you.  But I think you also have a strong feeling that the right (as in gracious and kind) thing to do here, even though you aren't required to, is just to include them, and what you're seeking here is a way to justify to yourself not doing it.

That's where most of us are coming from, I suspect -- we've been in comparable situations.  And as Lowspark very wisely said, in our experience, you are much, much less likely to regret including them then not.  For that matter, if you make up your mind to include them, you won't keep second-guessing yourself between now and the wedding, as you are now.  Think how nice it would be to free up all the brain space and time you are wasting on this.

No, etiquette does not require you to include them at the ceremony.  But it will cost you zero, you probably will barely even notice them (they may not even come, you know), it will make your best friend happy and avoid potential problems for her, and you will not ever have to wish you would've been more gracious.  What's the down side?

Reika

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Re: The Bridesmaid's In-laws
« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2015, 11:35:18 AM »
This is the OP's wedding which is going to be one of the most memorable events in her life. Not some random party where squeezing in a few more people might not make an impact. How many stories have we seen where someone was talked into inviting people they didn't know that made them regret it later?

I'm still flabbergasted that the bridesmaid thought it'd be okay to invite her inlaws to the OP's wedding.

wheeitsme

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Re: The Bridesmaid's In-laws
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2015, 12:22:36 PM »
So let's see if I have this clear:

Quote
My wedding is our closest (6) friends and our family.

(Mine was like that.  Due to the constraints of the facility, we only had room for a few friends outside of our families.)

So there will only be around 6 people that aren't directly related to the happy couple.  Now with the possible BM's IL's, 8.  Not including the children who will now be attending because if the husband attends everything and his parents attend everything, then the kids (including a nursing child) will have to attend. 

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The ceremony, if all goes as planned, is about a half hour away and probably 8 hour earlier in the day.
(emphasis mine)

So it's not like everybody is going to the wedding and then directly to the reception.  There are 8 hours between the two. I hope the kids get naps.

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The reason the in-laws are coming at all is that her husband was starting to suggest that she come alone and he stay with the kids, an option neither she nor I liked (and frankly surprised me - my fiance traveled across the entire country for their wedding).  Apparently this was the compromise they made - his parents would come too, and they'd make a small vacation of it.

Her hubby was a little irritated at having to do both so soon together and she resolved it by having her in-laws come out as well, so they could turn my wedding into a sort of family vacation.

Among other things leading to that decision, she'll still be nursing and doesn't want to just pump and leave them behind.

The only way the BM could get her husband to agree to come with the kids was if his parents could come, too? And she's a nursing mother? I am not impressed with this person.

...I think you are being very gracious, OP. 

Twik

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Re: The Bridesmaid's In-laws
« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2015, 10:45:25 AM »
No, etiquette does not require you to include them at the ceremony.  But it will cost you zero, you probably will barely even notice them (they may not even come, you know), it will make your best friend happy and avoid potential problems for her, and you will not ever have to wish you would've been more gracious.  What's the down side?

Well, there's no guarantee that they won't be noticeable. They may very well be a problem. Particularly as they seem to be good at creating them where they didn't exist before.

But in any case, the fact that the OP is (correctly) following the social unit rule should *not* be used as a wedge to get unconnected people invited on the grounds that "Well, you don't know Cousin Amy's BF very well. Why can't you throw in Bob my uncle's best drinking buddy? It's the same principle, isn't it?"

Any problems for the best friend are of her own making.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."