(Closed) Best solution to a sticky situation?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
9720 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Are you still before the RSVP deadline? If so, there’s nothing wrong with calling and explaining the situation and saying you’re sorry you can’t make it. I would also send a gift and a card.

Post # 3
3332 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Can you not slip out to go to the wedding on the ONE evening in a whole weekend of birthday festivities? Unless it’s quite far I’d try to do both.

However, calling her up and saying that unfortunately you are not able to go, but appreciate the invite and would love to see her after everything has settled down, etc, is not rude. Whatever you do – decide before the RSVP deadline so she can adjust her numbers.

eta – It would also be rude of your Mother-In-Law to hold a grudge, considering you accepted this RSVP before they’d made any plans. So she is being very rude!

Post # 4
13668 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Having been through wedding planning, if the RSVP date has passed, rescinding an RSVP is a pretty crappy thing to do and will actually cost your friend money.

If the date hasn’t passed, immediately call her and apologize.

Post # 5
6763 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I’m going to guess if the wedding is in two weeks the RSVP deadline has long passed and you responded that you and your Fiance would be attending. Your friend may have already provided her numbers to the caterer and worked out seating. I understand the conflict but “canceling” your RSVP at this point would indeed be rude. 

You and your Fiance may have to divide and conquer on this one, or as a PP suggested, skip out of the weekend festival for a few hours to attend the wedding if it’s nearby. 

Post # 6
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

bummblingbee :  how far apart are the two events? If it’s reasonable distance I’d try to take Fiance and slip away for the wedding. You’d still be there for all of FFIL’s birthday festivities but you won’t have to take back your RSVP either. If it’s this close, I’m assuming you’ve missed the RSVP deadline which means she’s planned for you…if you do choose not to attend the wedding, I would call her ASAP and still send a gift and card. 

If it were me, I would make Fiance be the messenger since he has a better (eh, longer) history of communicating with his mother. I would have him tell her that you two already had plans prior to her reservations at this festival, and that you’ll be joining them for the entire weekend save for the evening of the wedding. 

Who knows it will probably be good for him and you both to stand up to her, and hold your ground as a unit…if you’re in for a lifetime of dealing with this lady better start now!

Post # 7
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Go to the wedding- its once in a lifetime. Birthdays are every year.

Post # 8
7199 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

bummblingbee :  I would say since you RSVPd before your Future Mother-In-Law made her plans and the deadline is likely passed you should go to the wedding. That said, I recognise that your Future Mother-In-Law might be too difficult to deal with and breaking etiquette with a long-ago friend is small beans compared to pissing Future Mother-In-Law off. So…. if you HAVE TO go to the birthday thing I think you should tell the bride right away and give a deep apology. Likely the final numbers haven’t been submitted to the caterer yet, so she shouldn’t be too put out. Still- send a really nice gift or a check at least large enough to cover both your plates in case she is out the money.

Post # 10
1578 posts
Bumble bee

Stop walking on eggshells, it’s a workbook. 

Post # 11
5154 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

You can’t let your MIL’s personality disorder dictate your life. You simply tell her you already committed to this wedding. Sorry. 

Post # 12
2507 posts
Sugar bee

bummblingbee :  even if the RSVP date has passed, I think if you call the bride asap there’s a 50% chance their final head counts aren’t due yet (some caterers it’s 4 weeks, others 2 weeks). So if your going to cancel, call like TONIGHT. Explain the situation, and while she’ll be bummed, I’m sure she’ll understand. Also, yes, send a nice card and a gift. I think as long as you’ve sent a gift, even if they will had to pay for you, couples are much more understanding and forgiving

Post # 13
7642 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

bummblingbee :  Is the birthday a major milestone?

If it’s not a major milestone, it’s no contest. Attend the wedding. I think making a big deal of adult birthdays (except major milestones) is silly.  I also agree with PPs that if you do drop out of the wedding and attend, you’re setting yourselves up to being at FMIL’s beck and call for every family birthday. 

If it is a major milestone birthday it’s a bit trickier. It is true that cancelling 2+ weeks before isn’t the end of the world – numbers can usually be adjusted – though it is hard for a small wedding. I’d still attend the wedding, but at least if it’s a milestone birthday I can see that it’s a dilemma. If it’s any old birthday, it’s no dilemma, the wedding wins hands down.

Extra thought: if it’s an all weekend birthday, and presumably a Saturday wedding, you could arrive after the wedding on Saturday night or Sunday morning. Future Mother-In-Law won’t be 100% happy with that but at least you’ll have made an appeaance. 

Post # 14
837 posts
Busy bee

Your Mother-In-Law behaves this way because it works. She pitches a fit and gets what she wants. It’s incredibly rude to plan an entire birthday weekend for a group of adults on short notice and then get angry if someone can’t participate. The fact that you are considering rescinding an rsvp for that reason will ensure her behaviour continues throughout your life. I would tell her that unfortunately you have other commitments, had she provided more notice, it might have worked. Make this her fault, not yours! 

And if she holds a grudge and refuses to participate in future events, fine by me! She doesn’t sound like much fun anyway. Stand your ground now Bee, this will get worse and cause you resentment later in life.

Post # 15
7642 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

WillowBee33 :  “It’s incredibly rude to plan an entire birthday weekend for a group of adults on short notice and then get angry if someone can’t participate.”  <—- This, times 100.

“I would tell her that unfortunately you have other commitments, had she provided more notice, it might have worked. Make this her fault, not yours!” <— This also. (Though I’d still throw her a bone by attending after the wedding).

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