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Author Topic: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama  (Read 17961 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2016, 03:03:16 PM »
My takeaway from this is that when people throw a wedding, and want it to be child free, they get all kinds of grief from people with kids because they have to find child care.


It's not just about child care.

I have kids, and they are part of my family. They're not some separate entity; they're not my employees or my neighbor.

So if I'm being invited because *I* have a family relationship to the bride & groom, then my children absolutely have a family relationship as well.

They don't stop being a nephew/niece or cousin simply because they are young.
It's not that different from saying, "I won't invite your husband because I'm not blood related to him--he just married in." We'd find that terribly insulting.
   Heck, many of us would find it insulting to say, "I'll invite you, my colleague, but not your wife, because I don't really know her."

To not invite children is to say, "The fact that they're young is SO much more important than whether I am related to them, or have any relationship to them."

Is it so hard to understand how that can be seen as insulting?

That is a huge part of the objection people have to a "no children" wedding. It's not all about child care.

I'm not personally bothered by any of the child-free weddings I've been invited to. I've declined to bring my kids to events that others thought they should attend.

But I'll also say--my kids have never been left out of an aunt or uncle's wedding--I might feel a little differently if they had been.

gellchom

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2016, 03:50:16 PM »
Well put, Toots.

I never expected that my children would be invited to friends' or friend's children's weddings, unless they happened to be friends with the bride or groom themselves.  Even when the relationship was family-to-family, it doesn't seem strange when our children aren't invited (although it would if all the other children in the same circle of friends were invited except ours, but that never happened).  It didn't seem strange even though the weddings weren't "child free" -- in the sense that there were children who were related to the bride and groom there.  It never occurred to me that just because they invited their own cousins, my children of similar age should be included.  It wasn't my family's event.  Not everyone looks at it this way, of course, but in my community, weddings are very much family events; so it feels like an especial honor to be included if you aren't related (and I think for most people, most "must-invite" people are usually relatives).  I would think someone unrelated would be a SS if they insisted that their children should be included just because the HC's own young relatives were.

By contrast, most weddings in our family and community include children who are relatives (sometimes only over a certain age for all or part, especially if it is a very formal evening wedding). 

So it's almost like a presumption or at least a starting point that in general young relatives would usually be invited, but the opposite for other, unrelated guests' children.

And the HC's own nieces and nephews*?  Unless they were really babies, and, given the hope that they would be attendants, that doesn't seem to be the case in the OP, it would seem very surprising to me to see them excluded.  That doesn't mean anyone must include them.  But I can see someone being hurt as well as terribly disappointed if their own sibling didn't invite their child, especially where other children were invited and even included in the wedding party.  I have a lot of trouble imagining how that last bit wouldn't feel like a big slap, in fact.


*Why isn't there a good one-word unisex plural (like "siblings," "parents," "cousins," or "spouses") for "nieces and nephews"?  And for "aunts and uncles," for that matter.  Probably someone has already coined them.  If not, someone please get on it!

goldilocks

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2016, 04:01:55 PM »
But unfortunately - some kids do not behave.   And no one, even their relatives, want them at weddings.   I think the advisor put it perfectly - the groom wanted his parents in involved and paying attention to his wedding, not playing with the kids because his sister and BIL were busy elsewhere.

TootsNYC

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2016, 04:18:58 PM »
But unfortunately - some kids do not behave.   And no one, even their relatives, want them at weddings.   I think the advisor put it perfectly - the groom wanted his parents in involved and paying attention to his wedding, not playing with the kids because his sister and BIL were busy elsewhere.

I think it's even possible that these kids aren't particularly badly behaved--I think you're right, goldilocks, that the groom just wants to be the one who matters on that day. And that the niece & nephew just seem to suck up all the oxygen in the room (or, that the grandparents' attention to them does).

TootsNYC

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2016, 04:29:03 PM »
Quote
It never occurred to me that just because they invited their own cousins, my children of similar age should be included.

I've sometimes advised people to invite those people you are close to, regardless of their age. So you invite your friends' children whom you know and babysit regularly, but not your cousins' children whom you don't.

I have two weddings that illustrated this, both in the same family (brothers who are cousins to us). This is a family that we spend Christmas with, 4th of July, Easter, Memorial Day barbecue.

For the first brother, he had spent some time w/ my kids, and felt that he knew them. My son was at a cute age, so he was asked to be in the wedding. He and his older sister (my DD) were both invited to the wedding & reception. (If they hadn't wanted him at the reception, he wouldn't have been in the wedding--it was too far away from home; we'd have declined the honor and left the kids w/ a sitter).
    One of the aunts asked the MoB: "Why weren't my grandchildren invited?"
    MoB stammered, "Well, we couldn't not invite the ringbearer, and then we couldn't leave his sister out."
    That aunt never attends those family holidays, except for the 2 BBQs. And her children only sometimes attends those. Therefore, the groom's family doesn't really know those grandkids.

The second brother married, and my kids had interacted with the brothers less as my kids got older. So they weren't invited.
   But there were children there--the older brother's now-3 kids, and a young man whom the bride had babysat for years.
   My MIL pointed out that there -were- children there, maybe my kids could have come. "No," I said--"My kids don't have much of a relationship with the bride & groom. But absolutely, she should invite her young friend--how hurtful it would be to leave him out! She -does- have a relationship with him."

A lot of people see only the age. And I actually have a problem with that, in the theoretical. I get the whole "it's an adult event," I can live with that. But when you are close to people, it doesn't matter how old they are.


LifeOnPluto

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2016, 06:10:20 AM »
You know I just reread the original letter and 2 things struck me:

1. She imagined she’d be a bridesmaid, that her little boy would be a page and her husband at least an usher.

The sister's grand dreams do not take into account the 10 month baby at all. Where would this baby be while she was doing bridesmaid duties and her DH was doing usher duties (at least - maybe groomsman duties). Especially since the little boy page would be getting ready with one or the other. Where does the 10 month old go during the ceremony? On the altar?


I bet that during the wedding, the 10 month baby would be held and fussed over by the LW, just as the Groom feared.

On another note, I find it rather odd that the LW thinks of the MIL as family (or specifically, close enough family to be invited along to a very intimate engagement dinner for her son. Not to mention, her son's wedding). While MIL is absolutely the daughter's family, and the grandkids' family, she is not the son's family. Yet the LW seems to think her son and his fiancee should be treating her as their family, which I don't think is reasonable at all.


violinp

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2016, 07:48:38 AM »
Well put, Toots.

I never expected that my children would be invited to friends' or friend's children's weddings, unless they happened to be friends with the bride or groom themselves.  Even when the relationship was family-to-family, it doesn't seem strange when our children aren't invited (although it would if all the other children in the same circle of friends were invited except ours, but that never happened).  It didn't seem strange even though the weddings weren't "child free" -- in the sense that there were children who were related to the bride and groom there.  It never occurred to me that just because they invited their own cousins, my children of similar age should be included.  It wasn't my family's event.  Not everyone looks at it this way, of course, but in my community, weddings are very much family events; so it feels like an especial honor to be included if you aren't related (and I think for most people, most "must-invite" people are usually relatives).  I would think someone unrelated would be a SS if they insisted that their children should be included just because the HC's own young relatives were.

By contrast, most weddings in our family and community include children who are relatives (sometimes only over a certain age for all or part, especially if it is a very formal evening wedding). 

So it's almost like a presumption or at least a starting point that in general young relatives would usually be invited, but the opposite for other, unrelated guests' children.

And the HC's own nieces and nephews*?  Unless they were really babies, and, given the hope that they would be attendants, that doesn't seem to be the case in the OP, it would seem very surprising to me to see them excluded.  That doesn't mean anyone must include them.  But I can see someone being hurt as well as terribly disappointed if their own sibling didn't invite their child, especially where other children were invited and even included in the wedding party.  I have a lot of trouble imagining how that last bit wouldn't feel like a big slap, in fact.


*Why isn't there a good one-word unisex plural (like "siblings," "parents," "cousins," or "spouses") for "nieces and nephews"?  And for "aunts and uncles," for that matter.  Probably someone has already coined them.  If not, someone please get on it!

I say "nieblings" for nieces and nephews. I saw it first on Ehell (can't remember who said it first!).
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


MariaE

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2016, 08:07:07 AM »
*Why isn't there a good one-word unisex plural (like "siblings," "parents," "cousins," or "spouses") for "nieces and nephews"?  And for "aunts and uncles," for that matter.  Probably someone has already coined them.  If not, someone please get on it!

I say "nieblings" for nieces and nephews. I saw it first on Ehell (can't remember who said it first!).

*Raises hand* Might have been me. I've used it for years - predating Ehell.
 
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Twik

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2016, 03:25:45 PM »
Aunklings?
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."

Winterlight

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2016, 09:05:58 PM »
You know I just reread the original letter and 2 things struck me:

1. She imagined she’d be a bridesmaid, that her little boy would be a page and her husband at least an usher.

The sister's grand dreams do not take into account the 10 month baby at all. Where would this baby be while she was doing bridesmaid duties and her DH was doing usher duties (at least - maybe groomsman duties). Especially since the little boy page would be getting ready with one or the other. Where does the 10 month old go during the ceremony? On the altar?

Being shown off by Grandma and Grandpa, probably. And Daughter's MIL.

Quote
2. There is no indication that the SIL was not invited to the engagement announcement. She claims that the bride's brothers in law were not invited and that may or may not be true (they could have just chosen not to attend). But even if I take her at face value, she never once says that her own SIL was not invited. Only that his mother was not invited. So, while she may not believe that the husbands should have been excluded, it's fine. No one tried to exclude any husbands from her side. They only expressed surprise that an invite for 2 adults seemed to include those 2 adults plus 2 children and an extra adult. If the SIL chose to leave as a result of feeling bad that he added 3 extra people to an invite with no prior notice, then good. He should feel bad.

Agreed.
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Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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Huh

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2016, 09:39:09 AM »
I had to read the letter to make sure it wasn't someone I vaguely know. I'm still not 100 percent sure it's not!

Brother getting married, sister's kids not invited (I saw the invite and there's a cutesy little poem about this being a child-free wedding but I don't know if there's to be a ring bearer/flower girl.) The entire family is angry about it being child-free. As far as I know, the family is going, they are just  >:D off about it. They also make a big deal about how close they all are and faaaaaamily, so this is a big ol' cut into that image they portray, and maybe there's something like that going on with the LW.

However, I did think it odd that the sibling's spouses weren't at the engagement party dinner and the B2B didn't seem to know her soon to be BIL's name. And I can see how not inviting your own niece and nephew to your wedding, but having a young cousin and goddaughter IN the wedding would be hurtful. I wouldn't blame the LW for pointing that out to her son.

Something for the LW to consider as well: Perhaps her son doesn't like young children (baby/toddler age?) I'm not throwing shade at all, my own grandfather, not into that stage at all. School-age and up where you can do more, he was all about.

VorFemme

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2016, 12:06:57 PM »
Or maybe the groom is just flat out tired of playing second fiddle to his sister, his sister's kids, his sister's MIL, and any other random relative his parents see in the vicinity that isn't HIM?
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artk2002

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2016, 02:15:36 PM »
Or maybe the groom is just flat out tired of playing second fiddle to his sister, his sister's kids, his sister's MIL, and any other random relative his parents see in the vicinity that isn't HIM?

That's what I'm reading from this. The family reaction just intensifies that. They're not happy that the groom is getting married, they're unhappy that the kids aren't invited. That smells of skewed priorities to me.
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Redneck Gravy

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2016, 03:20:50 PM »
I think if you read just the first few paragraphs of the letter you will see, "My daughter won’t stop crying and refuses to go. She imagined she’d be a bridesmaid, that her little boy would be a page and her husband at least an usher."

The daughter seems to be the drama queen here and demands to be included or named Queen of the Universe... 

Further in the letter, the LW were invited to a restaurant and the HC engagement was announced.  Well who called the daughter to share this information?  How did she know to load up and rock on into this private gathering (that she obviously was NOT invited to)???   

"There was some awkwardness when my daughter arrived with both our son-in-law and children and her mother-in-law, as they had been out together that day.  My son’s fiancee and her family seemed completely bewildered and her mother asked who my son-in-law’s mother was and why did she think she was invited?"  this sounds like the future DIL's parents were the hosts. 

The mother (LW) should be mortified and completely embarrassed by her family's lack of manners.  Instead of looking for validation she should be looking for a way to apologize.
 
 

 

 

sammycat

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Re: Problem page letter - child free wedding drama
« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2016, 05:39:32 PM »
Or maybe the groom is just flat out tired of playing second fiddle to his sister, his sister's kids, his sister's MIL, and any other random relative his parents see in the vicinity that isn't HIM?

That sentiment jumped out and hit me in a big way too. I'd lay bets on the daughter being the golden child/spoilt brat of the family, with the son getting any leftover scraps.