Post # 1
Sorry, this is long…
Invitations have been sent out to all of our family in friends with the exception of my Future Sister-In-Law. While I am excited about sending out the invties, I have also dreaded this next situation. I had asked my Fiance about 3 months ago to kindly tell his sister that we will not have children at our wedding ceremony/reception so that she would have more than ample time to arrange childcare. We both toured the venue previously and both of us decided to not allow children since we wanted our guest to be fully present and and enjoy the night as adults.
Well it turns out that instead of my Fiance telling his sister, he actually told his mother about the situation. I had no idea until she came to my house (she never comes over unless she needs something). She sits down to tell my that her grandchildren need to be in attendance because they are HER flesh and blood and his sister will not attend our wedding. She also proceeded to tell me that if the children were not in attendance, I would be the one responsible for breaking up the family. My gut reaction was to show her the door but instead I told her that our wedding is not to be confused with a family reunion which can be done at any time of the year. I also mentioned that some of my cousins will not be able to bring their children either, her response, well you can’t compare your cousins kids with my grandchildren. My Fiance and i also stated that we cannot make exceptions because then other people will get hurt that they could not bring their children. We told her that we would like his sister to be at our wedding but if she chooses not to be there, that would be her decision.
So since the time that his conversation occurred, that phrase of that “I am breaking up the family because the grandkids are not invited” has been really hurting me. This is the same woman that did not congratulate Fiance and I and has expressed no interest whatsoever in the wedding planning. About a week ago, FI’s other sister(that will be a story for later) told my Fiance that his mother made everything up because she wanted the kids to go. I was hurt because like always, nothing is said to me directly, i just get information second hand from my Fi, even if I call them directly and leave a text or voicemail.
So I told my Fiance again that we need to make it clear to his sister that our decision is not to single them out. I love his niece and nephew dearly but there is no place on the boat to change the baby and if either of them get sick or bored, they will stuck on the boat until the reception is over. My Fi is telling me that I worry to much and I should be worried about other wedding issues but I feel like whatever I do i will still be the bad person for not wanting to invite the kids.
Part of me just wants to mail out the invitations. The RSVP states that we have reserved 2 seats for you and be done with it. Let them figure it out and move on, but I’m afraid that will cause more drama. What do you think, fellow bees?
Post # 3
don’t invite the children. if you want to keep the peace you can offer to pay for a babysitter for the night
Post # 4
Every single one of us who has a no-kids reception ends up having this particular drama at one point or another. You are good company here. Darling Husband and I had a few people refuse to come to our wedding because they didn’t feel like leaving their middle-school age children for a day, which was their own choice, and so they missed a wonderful time.
Those of us who stick to our original plan, regardless of who throws a fit or what they threaten as punishment, end up putting an end to the drama. It does end eventually, as the person or people who get nasty over this eventually realize they won’t win the fight and give up. The brides who make an exception, or cave to strong-willed FMILs or SILs or whoever, end up with proliferating drama, as now everything is a case by case basis, and the person who strong-armed you sometimes gets the idea they can start controlling other things as well.
Take a deep breath and just keep repeating your policy. Don’t argue it, don’t defend it, just repeat it. Don’t let her lashing out at you get to you – it’s designed to get you to question yourself and cave. Weddings bring out the worst in some. Make sure that you and your Fiance present a united front on this, and then move on to the next subject.
Post # 5
To avoid future misunderstandings, would it be possible for you and your Fiance go in person to your SIL to explain the situation? That way there won’t be any miscommunications, and no one else (FMIL) will be involved.
Post # 6
First of all you should explain to your Mother-In-Law that this isn’t your choice but something both you and Fi decided on and you kept your part of the agreement for your family and expect him to do the same. Tell her it’s her son choice and she should direct any questions or concerns to him.
Second, wait until you hear from the sister personally, Future Mother-In-Law may be attempting to manipulate you by saying she isn’t coming while they may not be the case. Mail out the invitations then let your Fi deal with his family so they don’t turn you into the bad guy. Good luck
Post # 7
I hate to say it but I sort of agree with your Future Mother-In-Law. We also had a no kids reception but our two exceptions where DH’s brother’s son and my cousin because they are immediate family and to us it was unimagineable to exclude them. That would be like excluding a sibling or our own child.
We firmly held our ground on all other children however. I think with controversial decisions like this that are likely to put some people out it’s important to have a gray area. Not inviting a distant cousin’s kids or a friend’s kid is very different in my opinion than not inviting immediate family.
Post # 8
I feel for you. It really seems that you have been put in the middle here and I think your fiance needs to stand up for you with his family. By staying out of it, he is giving the impression that this is your call alone. It also seems like your Future Mother-In-Law is really manipulative.
You and your fiance have to decide if this issue if worth the fight with his family. For some people, having a wedding and reception with no children present is absolutely worth the negative opinions they undoubtedly face. For others, it isn’t. Children are not included on our invitations, with two exceptions- my niece and his god-daughter. That said, we are not going to get really upset if someone brings their child. To us, it just isn’t worth the fight. A wedding is a one day (although very memorable) event, while family and friendships are permanent.
Good luck with this situation! It is a tough call and you run some risks either way. I hope it all works out for the best. : )
Post # 9
I take from your post that your venue is a boat, and I agree children really shouldn’t be there. You want your friends and family to be focused on you and having a good time – not running and tending to children all night. There is nothing wrong with that, and I’m really loving the fact that you said that stuff about your wedding not being a family reunion!
I think you just need to put your foot down and weather the storm.
Post # 10
You made the right decision. Don’t let it bother you. You are in no way “breaking up the family” because you are holding one event that you prefer not to have children at. I do however think that Fiance needs to talk to his Mother and not have you end up looking like the bad guy. It was rude of her to speak to you that way and to act like this was a decision that you made on your own. Tell your Fiance that HE needs to speak to his Mother and let her know that you BOTH made this decision and are standing by it.
Best of luck to you!
Post # 11
@Msconfusedbride: You are making the right decision. Children and babies do not need to be on boats. Stand your ground. Your Future Mother-In-Law seems to be using this situation to cause trouble for you for her benefit.
Have Fiance call his sister and explain to her the reasonsing. If she choooses not to come, so be it. Too many things could happen if little Johnny is left unsupervised for one minute.
Post # 12
Your Future Mother-In-Law is behaving in a crazy and manipulative fashion. That sucks. What I would like to know is how your Fiance feels about all of this. Is HE okay with his sister’s children attending? Have you told family members on your side not to bring the kids?
@Sheepshead: Yeah but how does her Fiance feel about the kids?!? She might not be related to them but he is
Post # 13
Stick to your guns… everyone will get over it and when the day comes they will realize that keeping the kids at home was not a big deal.
Post # 14
First of all, your Fiance needs to go speak to his sister directly about this, what is with him getting his mommy involved and then allowing her to attack you? But I agree with PPs, stand your ground. A boat is no place for small children, I assume they won’t be able to leave early if they get tired, cranky, and start having a temper tantrum. My niece & nephew were not invited to my wedding, and our family has remained intact!
Post # 15
@discodance: I agree.
And at the end of the day it is only the choice of you two. I personally wouldn’t have this fight as they are the children of your sister in law but it is your choice. I do think that children shouldn’t be on a boat though. God forbid something should happen.
Post # 16
Yyou have your Fiance full support, leave it alone and carry on as you both have planned this event.