(Closed) How to tell a family member their special needs daughter is not invited…

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: How would you handle this?
    Sit down and talk with her. : (80 votes)
    53 %
    Send one invite to her&husband, then a second invite to her other kids. : (2 votes)
    1 %
    Other. (Explain!) : (70 votes)
    46 %
  • Post # 62
    2783 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Please listen to the PPs who are mothers or sisters in very similar situations.

    These women have had to watch their family members judged and left out, and can understand how your Future Sister-In-Law will probably feel if you do the same to your future neice.Not inviting this girl is going to make you look pretty low.

    Her mother will either know this is not something she can handle, or will probably either care for her herself all evening, or bring someone else who will. Don’t leave this girl out just because you don’t understand her.

    Post # 63
    697 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I would be willing to bet that they aren’t planning on bringing her anyway. Bless her heart, I hope she gets the help she needs.

    Post # 64
    2965 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    As a mother of a special needs child (my son has aspergers) I would be offended if you invite the other children and not the one with special needs. Fiance and I never take our children to weddings. Invite them all or adults only. 

    Post # 65
    11744 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Sorry but I don’t think you can invite 3 out of 4 children.  either just invite the parents or invite all 4 and hope they won’t bring the 4th.  I think your Fiance should sit down and talk with his sister about the situation.

    If I had a special needs child prone to outbursts as you described, I would probably not bring them with me to a wedding if they were invited, however I would certainly be pissed as all hell if my other children were invited but the special needs child wasn’t – it’s a bit discrimnatory in my opinion.  

    I see this situation no differently than bringing a baby to a wedding. The parent should know to remove the child if an outburst occurs – regardless of age.

    Post # 66
    854 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I appreciate your sensitivity in trying to ask advice before upsetting anyone, but i also agree that you need to invite all the kids or none. Could your fiancé sit down with his sister and ask her how the two of you can make the situation the most comfortable for the girl and her family? Maybe that means providing a separate room where she can have some comfort items and a caregiver for when she needs a break from all the stimulation? One of my finances cousins has severe special needs and get very overstimulated and upset at large events, so we are providing a separate “cool down”  hotel room where she can go with one of her sisters and calm down (we are also providing this room for anyone who needs to take a small child who gets a little out of hand, or who would like some privacy to nurse a baby, etc.) Ultimately this is a family event, and she is family. We cannot imagine getting married without her there, but part of being a good host is making sure that all your guests (even those with special needs) are comfortable. Good luck, and I am sure you will find an ideal situation for everyone! 

    Post # 67
    719 posts
    Busy bee

    @sara_tiara:  I hope that you and all the other PP’s are right that the parents will know if it’s appropriate to bring this child or not.  This was NOT the case at my wedding and the negative behaviors really put a black mark on the day for me. We were put in a position where WE had to deal with the behaviors by being more concerned about them then ourselves and allowing him to be a part of the wedding that he shouldn’t have been.  I believe this bride has a right to say it’s their day, and they want it to be special. They should not be put in position where they have to deal with negative behaviors if the parents do not deal with the situation.   

    Post # 68
    22 posts
    • Wedding: April 2013

    one of my bridesmaids has special needs, yeah she can be loud and unpredictable but so can most people. although were not blood related ive always considered her to be one of my sisters, we grew up together so it was a natural choice. Now, this girl sounds like she has a wide range of problems but remember this is not her or her (your) family’s fault. by not inviting her you will only highlight the negative side of her condition, which her parents are more than aware of. however, by inviting the whole family will allow the parents to decide if its a suitable occasion for HER, they will feel touched that you want to invite her thus highlighting her positive elements. do have a sit down with her parents and try to figure out a way in which it would be possibble for her to enjoy the occasion, if they decide she would be happier at home then so be it. i know it i eaier for me to say as im not in your situation, but remember that she has a life too being invited may light up her day! its also a good idea to find out if she been to a wedding before, this way you can lead by example, or create a wonderful path for her in future social events. 

    Post # 69
    1684 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I don’t think there is a nice way to invite everyone in her family except this specific niece. I understand that you have concerns about her behavior, but this is a different case than some crappy parents with a spoiled brat kid, and to me, not deliberately and obviously excluding my deaf-mute niece would be pretty high on my list of priorities. (I can only imagine how that would make her feel. 🙁 )

    I think, before you go any further with the invites, you should talk to the parents and explain your concerns with having her there and ask, specifically, if they’re even planning to bring her, and if so, what needs to be done to accomodate her special needs. If it’s as hard for them as you say, they probably won’t. But if I were in their situation, it would mean a lot to me that you hadn’t automatically excluded her.

    Post # 70
    1826 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    My FI’s nephew is special needs and if I even brought something like this up to him I wouldn’t need to be concerned anymore because I wouldn’t be marrying him…he’d be out the door in seconds!


    @speechgal44:  They can completely avoid dealing with the negative behaviors by inviting only the parents.

    Post # 71
    482 posts
    Helper bee

    @Soon2BeeMrsG:  but does your disability cause a disturbance like the OP is describing about the 4th child? the child she is describing sounds severe and not in control of her behavior.

    big difference from someone who is disabled, coherent and not violent/disruptive


    and i say this as a mother of a disabled child, except he isnt severe. if i was in the OPs shoes i can see where that could be a concern. it may not be PC to most but this is her wedding. i say she talk to the parents and get a feel of the situation.

    Post # 72
    11231 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I think that some of you are being a little harsh. The OP has no idea what to do, and is really trying her best to be sensitive in this situation. This girl obviously has some very large and hard to handle issues–her family sent her to live in a special needs home before they moved, which tells me that even they have a hard time with her. Being that the OP and her Fiance are close with the other three kids and not the fourth, I can see how this came about. And then there’s the whole not inviting any of the kids, when other kids are invited. There’s just no good place to go.

    My advice, like several others have said, is for you and your Fiance (or maybe just him) sit down with his sister and talk to her about this. Don’t say that you don’t want to invite her or anything like that, but maybe ask if she’s been to a wedding before, or if she would enjoy attending, like @JenGirl suggested.

    I really hope you guys figure something out that works for everyone.

    Post # 73
    2780 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    This is your soon to be niece, you have to either include all the kids, or exclude all the kids. You can not invite 3 of the 4, that will cause your relationship with the in-laws to start off very rocky and poorly. 


    Post # 74
    7770 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I think that, in all honesty, they likely will not bring the child.  But IMO, you cannot not unvite her unless all kids are not allowed.  I don’t see how they won’t be hurt.  I would be mad.

    There is no way, NO WAY, you can NOT invite one specific person, especially one that is not able to be responsible for her own actions- and think this is acceptable.  It isn’t.

    I would be super duper offended.  Most people I invited didn’t even plan to bring kids, because they were going to be drinking.  But, I would be super hurt, mad, and offended if someone didn’t want this family member there.  I would want it to be my choice to bring her or not, as her parent-.

    Post # 75
    663 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2017 - Vegas Wedings

    I have a (NON SNARKY) question for mothers of special needs children. Do your non-special needs children (I dont know how to say ‘normal’ in a PC way) ever not get to do things because their sibling isnt able? I keep seeing it from the point of view of the other children and it just seems so unfair that the 3 of them might not get to go to the wedding (if none receive an invitation) because their sibling has outbursts and a history of destructiveness.


    Post # 76
    440 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    @NickiBee My disability isn’t a distruptive one, but I have certainly been left out of events because it was assumed I wouldn’t enjoy it/shouldn’t go and that is irrelevant in this case. The OP is, rightly or wrongly discriminating against the decision to NOT invite someone because of a disability they cannot control and making assumptions about what inviting the child will mean for her day. The MOTHER of the child in question will be well placed to make the decision of if the child should/shouldn’t attend the wedding.

    The major point here is the fact that the other children would be invited.

    The best way to approach this to best avoid offending is to say something like “I’m so excited I’ll be able to share my day with you all, nothing makes me happier. I want to make sure everyone is able to enjoy the day as much as they can, so I wanted to ask if there was anything I can do make you and (Child’s name)  more comfortable”

    She should ABSOLUTELY NOT say anything along the lines of “I’m really excited about the wedding, I hope you guys can come. Do you mind if (child’s name) doesn’t attend as I don’t want her to distrupt my wedding”

    The topic ‘How to tell a family member their special needs daughter is not invited…’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors