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Author Topic: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members  (Read 13518 times)

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Cali.in.UK

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Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« on: May 16, 2015, 05:13:53 PM »
My sister is getting married in about two months.
B/G - My mom moved far away from her family after college so my sister and I really don't know them. My mom's siblings are both much older and had kids decades before my mom, so my first cousins were grownups when I met them as a kid. I didn't particularly click with my cousins (they are very loud and very pushy and I'm not confrontational) but I have almost no relationship with them and they live very far away so it doesn't really matter. The only person that keeps up with my immediate family is one cousin Rob and his family that lives nearby and our elderly uncle Tommy who has visited, kept in touch and even gave my sister and I money for college (which was so kind and unexpected, he's very generous). Sister invited Rob + family, Tommy and none of our other cousins because we barely know them, some we haven't seen in 20 years.

Tommy's daughter and husband found out about the wedding and demanded an invite (they are the same two from the beggars, moochers and scammers thread that brought their whole family to stay with my sister in her tiny apartment and were loud and rude the whole time). After they were given their invites they kept pushing for more and more (wanting to stay at our house so they don't have to pay for a hotel that they can very much afford) wanting to crash events with our in-laws (on the in-laws dime of course), wanting special accommodation etc. and then acting very bent out of shape when they are told no. It's just been an added stress on my sister and mom and it makes me mad. I don't know them really, but everyone else seems completely intimidated by these two.
The newest update is that they are bringing their children to our state during the wedding, and heavily fished for their kids' invitations too but were told, as ehell says, "I'm afraid that won't be possible" but I'm pretty sure they are just going to show up at the wedding with the kids. I spoke with another cousin about it who has that same gut-feeling. They've been apparently kicking up a storm about it with our other family members, but not saying anything directly to my sister about it. My sister doesn't want to have to talk about it again with them because she already said no.
So, how do I act if they show up with their kids? I wouldn't/couldn't bar them because it's not the poor kids fault and I don't want to punish them for their parents' boorish behaviour. But it makes me mad that my cousin's would be so rude and pushy. Also, they will be staying with Rob who live hours away so if they did show up with their children, there would be nowhere for their kids to go.
The tables have seating arrangements and the caterer would charge $50 per extra person so in addition to just being rude, it would also be difficult to accommodate them.
Advice?




« Last Edit: May 17, 2015, 02:05:28 PM by Cali.in.UK »

Luci

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2015, 05:54:54 PM »
Honestly: I would cancel the wedding except for the caterers and venue and officiant.

Then, swear everyone to secrecy, including Tommy and others whom you really want to attend, that the wedding will go on as planned. You all need serious spines. That includes rescinding Tommy's kids' invitations.

Hire security. It would be a lot cheaper than hundreds of dollars for plates.

That is, if you really, really don't  care about seeing these people again.

It tragic to me that families split, but for your own sanity, I fear you must.

kherbert05

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2015, 06:01:47 PM »
Honestly  - You should never have given them an invitation.  That is done. Call them and tell them point blank their children are not invited and can not be accommodated. When they fuss tell them you understand they can't get a babysitter, so you will change their RSVP to no - then make sure security at the venue knows to boot them when they show up. Better yet talk to Rob and have him contact them with a no vacancy message sense they aren't attending the  wedding their rooms have been given to someone else.


But I can say that because in my family there would be blow back but 100% on Tommy's Daughter and DH not you and your family.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

PastryGoddess

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2015, 06:23:57 PM »
Here's the thing, you need to nip this in the bud and contact them directly.  Let them know that their children are not invited and will not be allowed to attend the wedding.  Of course you understand if they cannot attend and will miss them.

If you think it's mean, just remember, they have no issues with pushing your boundaries and stressing you out.  They are not nice people and you don't really like them.  I mean what's the worst that could happen?  They never talk to you again...

Weddings are stressful enough without people you don't really like causing drama for the sake of drama. 

JenJay

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2015, 08:04:19 PM »
Here's the thing, you need to nip this in the bud and contact them directly.  Let them know that their children are not invited and will not be allowed to attend the wedding.  Of course you understand if they cannot attend and will miss them.

If you think it's mean, just remember, they have no issues with pushing your boundaries and stressing you out.  They are not nice people and you don't really like them.  I mean what's the worst that could happen?  They never talk to you again...

Weddings are stressful enough without people you don't really like causing drama for the sake of drama.

Exactly. They have no qualms about upsetting you, so don't worry about them.

Benni

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2015, 11:57:32 PM »
"I am terribly sorry, but we will no longer be able to accommodate you at the wedding."  Cancel the invitation - it will be the best move.

iridaceae

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2015, 05:26:55 AM »
The whole "it isn't fair to their kids" bit you mentioned is exactly why they get away with it. Talk to them and be firm. Tell them kids= not welcome. Even if they bring the cutest baby ever.
Nothing to see here.

Mikayla

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2015, 12:53:41 PM »
From the OP:  "... but not saying anything directly to my sister about it. My sister doesn't want to have to talk about it again with them because she already said no."

So this is your sister's wedding?  If it's yours, I agree with everyone else, but if it's hers, she's the one who needs to handle it.  I don't know why she wouldn't want to just send an email telling them more forcefully they can't be accommodated, but if she won't do that,  it's not a good idea for you to do it on her behalf.



Cali.in.UK

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2015, 02:01:33 PM »
From the OP:  "... but not saying anything directly to my sister about it. My sister doesn't want to have to talk about it again with them because she already said no."

So this is your sister's wedding?  If it's yours, I agree with everyone else, but if it's hers, she's the one who needs to handle it.  I don't know why she wouldn't want to just send an email telling them more forcefully they can't be accommodated, but if she won't do that,  it's not a good idea for you to do it on her behalf.

It's my sister's wedding, and you hit the nail on the head about why I'm feeling apprehensive about saying anything to them. If it were my wedding and I would have already sent them an email "hey, Rob said that there was a miscommunication about your invitation, like I mentioned before it's only for you and husband and we cannot accommodate more of your family". When I spoke with my sister about my concern that they might show up with the kids, she said that she already explicitly said it was only the parents invited so she shouldn't have to tell them again (which in terms of etiquette with normal people, I'd agree, but since our cousin's are used to steamrolling their demands to be met, I'm worried).

I know that my family is not going to bar them if they show up, and it's not a wedding with security, it'll be quite a simple shindig so that's why I was asking ehell if maybe I should say something on behalf of my sister but I also worry that could not go well because its not my wedding. I basically have the least bit of attachment to these two cousins because I never see them so I don't feel as uncomfortable with the idea of telling them "no", but my mom, sister and Rob see them more often and seem to be incapable of standing up to these two.

Cali.in.UK

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2015, 02:03:27 PM »
*Sorry, I just realized that I edited out "my sister is getting married" in the OP> Sorry for the confusion. When I originally wrote the post it got way to long so I snipped out a few paragraphs and in doing so I removed a crucial part! I will go back and change it.

Margo

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2015, 05:55:33 AM »
As it is your sister's wedding, you can't do anything too decisive if she does not want you do.

What you might be able to do is to help her by reinforcing what your sister has already said. (assuming you have any contact with these people at all) for example "What arrangements did you end up making for your kids while you are at the wedding? Are they staying home or have you found a local sitter?"

In terms of the wedding itself, you can encourage your sister to speak to the caters and let them know that they are not to provide, and will; not be paid for, additional plates unless specifically authorised by [give them names - as your sister will be occupied, maybe this something she could delegate to you]
If you think they will show, than you might want to consider having some fall back position - e.g. "Sorry [Cousin] - as I know sister explained, the invitation was for you. The children were not invited and cannot be catered for.  You can share your meals with them, and if you are still hungry after that I have some power bars in my car I can offer you / there is a McDonalds you can pop out to 10 mins drive away ( or as appropriate). If you or you parents will have a car available I would consider having *something* available, even if it is simply cereal bars or some bananas. That might help if you//sister get any push back from other family members "Yes, it was so awkward - Cousins knew that the children were not invited, I can't imagine why he brought them along -  still, even though they gatecrashed Sis was too polite to ask them to leave, and fortunately I had some snacks with me, so even though  were no meals for them,as they were not invited,  we were able to provide them with something to eat"

You could also consider telling them that you can see whether the cater can do anything, and then tell them that they will need to pay, upfront,  $60 for each extra meal needed (i.e. tell them this only if, and when, they are standing there at the reception, demanding their kids are fed. (suggesting $60 to include a tip for the caterers if they end up having to rush around at the last minute!)) 

Most catered meals tend to be reasonably generous, it would not be the end of the world if they  end up feeding the kids from their own plates, and buying themselves something else to eat later in the day.

You mentioned that they are staying at 'Robs's - Do you talk to him at all? If so, you might be able to drop it in conversation with him "Do you happen to know what arrangements Cousin made for his kids?  Cousin seemed surprised when it was made clear that it wasn't possible to add them to his invite, it would be so embarrassing for him if he showed up at the wedding with them and they had to be asked to leave.."
It may not stop them showing up but at least it makes clear that any issue with the catering is down to them gatecrashing, not to poor hosting.

Pooky582

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2015, 09:03:16 AM »
I know it's not your wedding, but like you said, your sister seems to think that them being told no is synonymous with them listening. Obviously they are the type of people who think rules don't apply to them. I think someone should tell them again. That way, if and when they do show up with the kids, they can be told that two different people explained quite clearly that kids weren't invited. I'd also aak them to leave, not share meals and rearrange seating for them. If you allow them and kids in, they win. They get what they knew they would, a very expensive free meal.

I, thankfully, only received one RSVP back where someone added a "plus one" when it was only addressed to him. We nicely explained that we didn't include guests for anyone, and he apologized profusely and assured us it was okay. That would be a normal response, not demanding more and more invites.

I also am lucky to have a sister/maid of honor, with a great back bone who would have no problem telling unwanted guests that they had to leave. It is the brides day, so I think it is perfectly acceptable for people to help her with situations like this. Why give her the added stress? It's not like you are making the decision for her. She already said she doesn't want them there. This would just be people helping make sure her wishes are carried out.

Psychopoesie

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2015, 10:43:55 AM »
If it's your sister's wedding, OP, then you're a guest too. Unless your sister specifically tasks you with managing the pushy relatives beforehand or on the day, it's not your business to say anything to them.

It sounds like your sister has a different approach to her wedding. When pushed, she extended an invitation that you may not have if this was your event. She's told them explicitly that only adults are invited and feels that should be enough whereas you'd email in the same situation. You've clued her in to the possible problem so it's her job to take it from there.

You could offer to deal with them on the day if things go pear-shaped (assuming that's something you want to do). But if she'd rather wear the cost of the extra plates than have a potentially nasty scene at the reception, or family fallout later, then that's her call.

gellchom

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2015, 03:19:57 PM »
If it's your sister's wedding, OP, then you're a guest too. Unless your sister specifically tasks you with managing the pushy relatives beforehand or on the day, it's not your business to say anything to them.

It sounds like your sister has a different approach to her wedding. When pushed, she extended an invitation that you may not have if this was your event. She's told them explicitly that only adults are invited and feels that should be enough whereas you'd email in the same situation. You've clued her in to the possible problem so it's her job to take it from there.

You could offer to deal with them on the day if things go pear-shaped (assuming that's something you want to do). But if she'd rather wear the cost of the extra plates than have a potentially nasty scene at the reception, or family fallout later, then that's her call.

I agree completely with this.  I don't disagree with the other posters who are saying these people are incredibly rude and pushy, and there was no need to invite them at all, and so forth -- but that wasn't the OP's call.

And it wasn't the OP's question, either.  It was:

Quote
So, how do I act if they show up with their kids?

OP, I think you know the answer to that.  Politely and graciously.  How would it help to be rude or punishing? 

Your sister certainly didn't have to invite them, and perhaps she wishes she hadn't.  But she did.  Which puts them on exactly the same footing as every other guest.  The duty of hospitality does not vary on the merit system.  If, as you seem to feel, you are, as a member of the immediate family, sort of a quasi-co-host (that's how it is in my family, so I would feel that way, too), then that extends to you, too. 

Do your best to keep the wedding and reception running smoothly, without snark, recriminations, or scolding, whether or not they (or for that matter any guest) does something rude.  If your sister asks you to run interference with them, then do so, but as discreetly as possible -- don't let it become a point of focus.  Minimize, don't dramatize.  It's not a matter of what these people deserve, it's what will work best to make the wedding nice.

The same goes about their children.  If your sister really, really doesn't want them to bring the children, then she can must tell them in advance that they will not be able to accommodate them and advise them that they will need to make childcare arrangements.  If she doesn't -- perhaps because she doesn't care as much as you (and I!) would, so to her it's worth it to let it happen -- and they bring them anyway, you handle it just as you would any other uninvited/unexpected guests.  What that means she will choose to do will depend upon whether they can easily be accommodated (e.g. beach BBQ vs. formal plated dinner), how it will affect the other guests (she doesn't want to throw cold water on her own wedding no matter whose fault it is), and whether she and the groom simply do or don't want to let them stay.  But whatever choice they make, they -- and you, to the extent you are involved -- must communicate that choice nicely, not meanly.  Your regret may be entirely faked, but when we turn people away, we have to do so "regretfully," not smugly. "I'm so sorry, I'm afraid it just won't be possible."  No need to explain or help them find other arrangements, but no need to say "I don't know why the *&^!! you expected you could bring your *^&%!! children, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised after how &^%!! pushy you've been about the whole thing!  Get the *#(!! out!" (even if that's exactly what you're thinking -- I probably would be)!

hopeful4

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Re: Etiquette of "hosting" wedding crashing family members
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2015, 12:58:03 PM »
While I understand your concern for your sister and her wedding, if she is going to allow these cousins to run steamroll over her, I don't see what you can do except to encourage her to stiffen her spine in dealing with them and have her back if there is fall out afterward.  She really should not have allowed them to push her into inviting them.  Although rescinding invitations is usually an etiquette no-no, in this case I would say it is not only justifiable but a smart thing to do.   Doubtful these people will stop there with their demands. 

As these people will show your sister NO respect on her wedding day (judging from what you have written here about their demands and behavior) rescinding the invite and hiring a bouncer or two would be in order in this situation, IMO.