How to politely ask for a date change or decline being in a wedding?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 151
Member
2645 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2007

mama2bee71 :  Right? 10000% there’s no way I’d skip my child’s first birthday! I’ve had my kids birthday parties on different days, but always have a family celebration on their actual birthdays.

 

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eaglebay :  I would definitely decline in your position, I know I’d feel awful forever if I missed my child’s 1st birthday. Definitely just be honest with your friend, hopefully she’ll understand. I probably wouldn’t ask her to move the date, but I don’t think it’s as insane as some are making it sound if you did ask her. I had a sister in law and a friend ask me to move my wedding date, and I actually did it to accommodate my sister in law.  I couldn’t change it again when my friend asked (she’d accidentally booked her own wedding for the same day, and she ended up moving hers up). 

Post # 152
Member
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

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mama2bee71 :  There are multiple people who have posted that they do have kids and wouldn’t care about celebrating on a different day (or that they have done so in the past). It’s almost like people have different preferences and everyone doesn’t magically have the same exact opinion just because they have a kid…

Post # 153
Member
1829 posts
Buzzing bee

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hotdoglover :  ok… but again everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this subject… .with kids… without kids… with pets… with whatever. If the bee doesnt want to attend her friends wedding, it is her choice. 

Post # 154
Member
1810 posts
Buzzing bee

I can see that a lot of people are pointing out that they’d celebrate the first birthday on a different day (which isn’t a big deal usually, birthdays don’t always fall on the most convenient days). I think what other people may be looking past is the fact that OP would have to be away from her LO for the entire weekend surrounding her birthday; that would be extremely difficult for me to handle as a mama (personally- not saying everyone should feel that way). 

I do like the suggestion of asking OP’s parents to tag along for the weekend so they can still spend time as a family during that very special time.

Post # 155
Member
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

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mama2bee71 :  I 100% agree with you, I’m just not a fan of the gatekeeping or the judgment of people who have kids and didn’t celebrate on their exact birthday.

Post # 156
Member
679 posts
Busy bee

Just don’t go. Also are you pregnant right now? Only 5% of women deliver on their due dates. Otherwise IDK how your baby’s 1st birthday is a year out and so is the wedding. 

Post # 157
Member
3941 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

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sunburn :  wanting to be with your baby on their first birthday is asinine and part of the cult of self?! Lolol.

My baby had failure to thrive for months, has a genetic condition where most babies have heart defects and many die, etc. The fact that he makes it to a year old is going to be special and worth celebrating. Your judgement on parents who don’t ignore their kids’ birthdays is ridiculous. 

Post # 158
Member
257 posts
Helper bee

I couldn’t imagine not running a date past VIPs like parents and wedding party, I certainly did before booking my venue.

Would I have changed entire date for one bridesmaid/groomsman? Maybe, maybe not, but either way I wouldn’t just throw a date at them either

I don’t have kids yet but I have friends who went all out for 1st birthday, for some it was less of a big deal it all depends on you! I don’t think you need to feel guilty at all OP.

If my bridesmaid declined due to this, I would for sure be bummed but I would never end a friendship or even have it hindered because of this.. it is absolutely no one business to judge what’s more important etc.. however you can’t ask her to change the date.

 

Post # 159
Member
6200 posts
Bee Keeper

My children had the exact same due date, and my oldest was born on her due date. So that I wouldn’t be in the hospital for my older child’s birthday, we decided to hold her party earlier. And yes, as it turned out I was in the hospital on her birthday. I didnt realize that I was supposed to be traumatized by this…or that my daughter should have been. 

I accept that other people think baby birthdays are so special and that a bridal party should be consulted. That I think this is ridiculous, because life just tends to happen and not everything can be planned is just my opinion and I have the right to express that. Feel free to disagree, I will do you the favor of not arguing about it. 

Post # 160
Member
13951 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I still say the real issue is that this is a destination wedding, on a Friday, six hours away, not the birthday or that they didn’t run the date by you. That makes it local to no one and inconvenient for everyone involved. I think it would have been more considerate to put people ahead of venue, but that’s just me. Had they done that, you might have been talking about juggling an afternoon or evening away, not an entire three day weekend. 

I had no problem skipping out of town weddings, even to some relatively close friends and family, when my kids were that age and not invited. It was just not always practical logistically or financially. When you heard the date or the plans you could have opted out or stepped down on that basis.

All this to say that if it’s not easy or possible to attend, you should raise your concerns with the bride, not to ask her to change dates or venues, but to give her a heads up that it may not work for you after all. 

Post # 161
Member
435 posts
Helper bee

I wouldn’t ask them to change the date, but I wouldn’t have any problem with declining. They have the right to choose whatever date they wish for their wedding and all of the guests and potential bridal party have just as much of a right to decline to attend for any reason they choose. There’s nothing wrong with prioritizing something in your own life over someone else’s wedding. 

Post # 162
Member
1810 posts
Buzzing bee

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sunburn :  I feel like you’re purposely being obtuse now. No one is saying that you as a mom have to feel a certain way, they’re just saying it’s not unreasonable to feel upset about missing your child’s birthday. Again, this isn’t about OP not being able to have a party on the actual date of her LO’s birth, it’s about being away for an entire weekend for her very first birthday. I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask someone to change their wedding date, but it’s not insane for OP to consider declining either. For me personally, while I wouldn’t be thrilled, I’d be less upset if it wasn’t my child’s first birthday, but celebrating their very first birthday (as well as any big milestone in life) can be quite sentimental for parents.

Also, in your example, you didn’t have a choice as to whether or not you would attend your own labour (or when it would happen for that matter). OP has a choice whether to participate in this wedding. 

Post # 164
Member
2943 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

I get that you might feel a bit emotional being away from your baby on a day that you consider significant, but choosing to miss someone’s wedding who is supposedly an important person in your life because your rather be at home with your child doing nothing that can’t be done another day, is a huge step towards a pattern of behaviour that is very self isolating and damaging to your sense of self. 

It’s way too easy for women to find themselves sucked into defining themselves as mother’s and losing touch with those parts of themselves that don’t revolve around their children, but it is incredibly damaging to allow that to happen.

I’ve met far too many women who become so wrapped up in being mother’s that they have no idea who they are or what to do with themselves as their children age out of their dependence. When you define yourself as a mother and put everything and everyone else on the backburner for years on end, when those children no longer need you all the time it feels incredibly isolating and even threatening because all the people and interests you had before are gone and you’re stuck feeling like a shell of a person with no friends that aren’t “mom friends”, no hobbies that aren’t your kids hobbies, etc. 

Don’t do that to yourself. 

It’s absolutely ok and totally normal for your priorities to shift when you become a parent, but that shouldn’t mean that people and things that were priorities before are completely tossed aside if they so much as infringe upon your role as mother in some small way. 

If someone I considered one of my closest friends not only stepped down from being my Maid/Matron of Honor but skipped my wedding entirely because it happened to be the same weekend as her one year olds birthday, I wouldn’t be angry or completely cut her out of my life, but you can bet your ass I’d read it as a very clear message that I am no longer a priority in her life and I would adjust my efforts toward that relationship accordingly. 

I generally go out of my way to accomodate my friends who have children and make sure that I make it as easy and convenient as possible for us to spend time together, such as hosting gatherings that are family friendly, going to their house instead of asking them to mine, trying to schedule stuff that would require a sitter as far in advance as possible, etc. And I absolutely will put additional effort into maintaining the relationship because I know it’s hard for them to do so when they’re in the thick of things. 

But if their priorities have shifted to the extent that they view staying at home with their kid who is completely oblivious to the whole thing as a vastly higher priority than witnessing my marriage then I’m taking the hint and will leave any efforts to maintain our friendship in their court. 

If you’re comfortable with sending that message to your friend and comfortable with the potential consequences that message entails, go ahead and skip the wedding. But I’d think long and hard about just how low you want to place your existing friendships on your list of priorities. 

Post # 165
Member
2533 posts
Sugar bee

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sboom :  This is where I fall on this too. 

I don’t have kids myself, and I don’t work with kids as young as 1. But it seems strange to me to prioritize an event that does not have to be done on that exact day over another special event that does. Weddings are a big deal. It’s – hopefully – a once in a lifetime occasion. I think it’s more special than a birthday, and especially the birthday of a child who is largely unaware. I can’t wrap my head around the idea that a birthday is less special because it’s not done on the exact day, and I can’t understand why there needs to be a choice of doing one or the other. 

I do understand that being away for an entire weekend sounds exhausting, and if you want to decline because you feel your child is too young to have you away or it’s too much of a hassle to bring your child, I would understand that MUCH better than hearing you can’t come to my wedding because you have to throw a birthday party. 

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