(Closed) Help with Understanding Invitation

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Which solution is best?
    Take your mother to the wedding if she wants to go : (20 votes)
    50 %
    Have your mother ask your brother to bring her to the wedding : (10 votes)
    25 %
    Tell your brother that your mother wants to go and that you cannot bring her : (10 votes)
    25 %
  • Post # 4
    882 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    Your kids aren’t invited. As a recent bride I would advise not to ask the bride if you’re kids are invited, as it would put them in a very awkward position. It’s really hard and stressful to make the guest list, and they probably had a cut off like-no kids of cousins or something. I’m sure they feel horrible about it, but they have to cut the list down somehow. You and your husband should graciously accet their invite, take your mother, and enjoy a weekend away from your kids.

    Post # 5
    59 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I don’t think your kids are invited. It’s expensive to put on a wedding. Like BrooklynWife said, I’d pick up mom, and enjoy a weekend away from the kids. They’ll understand when they put on their own weddings. If you decide you don’t want to go that much, buy something pricey on their registry 🙂

    Post # 6
    1710 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World

    Maybe I missed something in the original post, but is your mother (bride’s grandmother) invited?  Did she receive a separate invitation?  It does sound like your children aren’t invited, which is a shame.  If you don’t feel comfortable attending, I would send regrets.

    Post # 7
    4512 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    You’re right that only you and your husband are invited. If its hard for you to go without your kids, I would just decline. I’m sorry…I know you wanted to go with the whole family !

    As for your mom, I can’t tell from your post whether she was invited or not. If she was, and she depends on you for help, and you decide not to go, then yeah, I’d let your brother know.

    Post # 8
    418 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Agree with the above that your children aren’t invited. I can see why they didn’t invite the 20 year old…if you invite one child (adult or not) it’d make feelings hurt even more I’d think.

    I do think you should try and attend, and this is a good lesson for your children about disappointment and not having everything the way we always would want. Can’t you still go and attend and have your older children watch your younger ones, so that you can take your mother to the wedding.

    I’m sure your brother would appreciate not having to take care of your mother while putting on a wedding. Also, I don’t know how much it would impact the relationship with your brother for you to decline because your children are hurt. From the information you’ve provided, I would say it would be important to find a way to attend.

    Post # 9
    12885 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Your kids aren’t invited and likely were not invited so they wouldn’t look like they picked favorites.  It would cause more hurt feelings if they invited some kids and not the others.

    Personally, I think not going because your kids weren’t invited is a bit rude, and not at all supportive of the marriage.  I think you should go, bring your mom, make the day easier on your brother and his family, and try to have a good time celebrating the start of a married life without bitterness.  If you can’t do that, though, certainly decline, but just know, it’s not going to improve relations with your brother, and will likely cause the bride and groom to be hurt too.

    Post # 10
    1696 posts
    Bumble bee

    Hello, knitterBee!

    Welcome to the board. We have something in common: I started to frequent these boards when my nephew was getting married, got fascinated by the sometimes-odd innovations of manners and style I was seeing, and got ‘hooked’ and stayed around to pontificate on the traditional understanding of etiquette. So be warned:-)! You may end up loosing all manner of time to this site! At least you will be a member already when your own children start planning weddings!

    You are quite right, that only the persons named on the invitation are invited. Although it is always possible that the hostess herself didn’t know that and is assuming “come one, come all” prevails, I would go with the standard etiquette and not ask into it for fear of embarrassing the bride. You are also right that your adult child, and even possibly the seventeen-year-old, would properly get a separate invitation if invited. That is fine: a hostess has the sole and absolute right to invite whomever she pleases as long as she does not break up couples.

    However, you also have sole and absolute authority over your own social calendar.   Not everyone does enjoy “a weekend away from the kids”. Indeed, it speaks well of your humanity and your parenting that you actually enjoy the company of your children (and I sympathize: there are ten-year-olds and twenty-somethings in my extended family whose conversation I enjoy more than some of the thirty- and forty-somethings.) The old rule, that a wedding is so significant an event in the lives of both the couple and their community that acceptances are nearly mandatory, has largely fallen by the wayside as a consequence of the simple truth, that the ‘wedding’ of two people who have been living together in a conjugal relationship for years and enjoying social recognition of their couplehood just as long, is relatively INsignificant. Modern bride’s as a result face looser rules about who “must” be invited; which carries as a flip-side lowered obligation on invitees to accept those invitations.

    If you want to decline, then decline. There is nothing rude or unsupportive about a polite refusal. Brides who choose not to invite children, or who choose to get married at a distance from their families, do so with the prior knowledge that some of their guests will not be able to attend under those conditions, and accept the fact. Even in the old days when weddings were actual rites of passage, inability to travel was an acceptable reason to decline.

    Two of the saddest trends I have seen on wedding boards since I began haunting them (and the WeddingBee is better than most so I haunt it the most), are the general sense of entitlement some guests and some brides show, and the general disrespect to their older relatives. You are in a wonderful position to push back against that trend: let your mother know if you decide not to attend, and let her — whom I presume to be a competent adult who has negotiated the modern world for sixty or seventy years — decide how to manage her own commitment as a result. She can ask your brother for a ride — he is, after all, her son and she may have a better relationship with him than you do. I will not assume that “your brother would appreciate not having to take care of your mother while putting on a wedding” — taking care of a grown adult is not a chore and taking care of his own mother may well be — in fact I would hope to assume it would be — a pleasure for loving son.

    When you decline if that is what you decide, give one of the old-fashioned acceptable reasons: a prior obligation, illness, or an inability to travel. Even if your “prior obligation” is a commitment to being there for your children to tuck them in at the end of every day, the bride does not need to know details that she might interpret as a judgement on her guest-list decisions. Make the simple polite excuse, and leave it at that. That is the first step in combatting the atmosphere of entitlement that many of these (usually novice) hostesses are navigating, with every friend and relative feeling entitled to voice an opinion on their choices. Then help your older children to see that they were not “entitled” to invitations and that close as they are to their cousin, she might be working with limitations that restrict her guestlist to an even closer small list of guests. Help them decide on gracious un-resentful ways of welcoming their cousin’s new husband into the family and recognizing her new status as wife and matron.

    Post # 11
    493 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    @KnitterBee:  It kinda sounds like she invited you based on principle. I think she didn’t want to be rude, but it sort of seems like she’s expecting you to decline.

    Post # 12
    4803 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    It sounds like they’re having a smaller wedding and invited auncts and uncles but not cousins. Sorry if your children are hurt, although it does seem a bit contradictory that you say they’re close to their cousin, but then you also mention that you’re not close to your brother and you really don’t speak – how close can they be if their parents aren’t speaking? To be honest, I think you’re having a bit of entitlement issue here, so unsurprisingly your children are acting the same way. You and your 17 and 20 year old are all an age where you should be able to understand that it can be hard to make a guest list for an event like this because of budget and space restrictions. Maybe they just want a small event, maybe her fiance has a ton of cousins and it would blow up the guest list to invite them all, so in the sake of fairness they aren’t inviting cousins from either side. But it doesn’t really matter why. I completely agree with @MrsConnick: that this could be used as a lesson to your kids about disappointment and that we don’t always get what we want and aren’t invited to every party. It’s fine for them to be disappointed, but it’s not fine for you to pass on to them an attitude of entitlement where they feel that of course they should be invited, and it sounds like that’s exactly what you’re doing. It’s your niece’s one day and it is supposed to be a happy occasion, how about you just let it be about her without trying to control her guest list? Because there is really nothing for you to be stressed about here – your 17 and 20 year old can surely take care of themselves for one night if you want to attend this wedding.



    If you don’t want to go, you can decline – it’s an invitation, not a summons. But don’t ask the father of the groom to spend four hours driving to pickup and drop off his mother on his daughter’s wedding day.

    Post # 13
    3264 posts
    Sugar bee

    @KnitterBee:  Only those listed on the invitation are invited.  So you are correct that only yourself and Mr. Knitter are invited.

    If you don’t want to go without your children then don’t go.  Though please know that not inviting children is perfectly polite, and not a slight towards your children.  Just becaues you consider a wedding a family reunion of sorts, doesn’t mean everyone agrees.

    Your mothers transportation is not your issue.  Though I understand caring cause it’s your mom.  But if mom needs bro to give her a ride, then she should ask him.  You can let your mom know that you cannot make it to the wedding, so she will have to sort out another ride, if she would like to go.

    Post # 14
    1966 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I’d think you’re correct that you’re kids aren’t invited. Its a common thing now a days. Personally declining an invite bc my kid isn’t invited is not something I would do. I get a babysitter & keep it moving. But if you don’t feel comfortable then don’t go. 

    Post # 15
    207 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    Agree with the above comments. We are just inviting aunts and uncles and aren’t inviting any cousins since it isn’t fair to invite some and not others. (Also, we are inviting 150 adults and even that is hard. So to include kids… then it would get out of hand). At so much money a plate, that seemed reasonable, and no one seems to mind. In fact, they said they will enjoy some time alone with their spouses. And especially if the kids are older like your twenty-year-old, then those parents don’t have to worry about babysitting, so that would make me feel even more inclined not to worry about their invites. I’m sorry you are upset since I know you want to spend time with your kids, but it’s easier to just say “adults only” then pick and choose cousins – that’s when feelings would really get hurt.

    I hope you go and enjoy some nice food and dancing! If you are really uncomfortable though, sending a gift would be fine, though I hope it wouldn’t further hurt your relationship with your brother.

    Post # 16
    9056 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I agree with the others that your kids aren’t invited.  If you’re going to decline go for it.  I’d just let your brother figure it out himself that now his mom obviously isn’t riding with you to the wedding, and if it’s important to him/her to have her attend, they’ll figure out arrangements.  I think it’s very odd to “ask” someone to take over a task that isn’t necessarily yours to begin with.  (And perhaps this is part of the issue as to why nobody else steps up, if you consistently present these things as your responsibility and others “help” you with it). 

    The topic ‘Help with Understanding Invitation’ is closed to new replies.

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