Niece at Wedding – Family Drama/Rant – Am I being unreasonable?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
Member
5163 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

You can get her a little buquet, but I think you were wrong to apologize to them.

They didn’t deserve an apology, and they acted like immature brats. You made it clear it’s a no kids wedding, and they still tried to (and succeeded) in steamrolling you. 

Post # 3
Member
3430 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

busybee86 :  were you wrong to suggest that she leave early? Yes. Were you wrong to want a kid free wedding? No.  It’s pretty rude to invite anyone (regardless of age) for only part of the event (in the US). It’s an all or nothing deal – otherwise you are pretty much sending the message of not wanting her around but begrudgingly allowing her for a bit. You have every right to have a kid-free wedding. They can cause a stink about it, but you don’t need to apologize for that. Three year olds can be right terrors (we had a kid free wedding and specifically did not want DH’s 2.5 yo nephew – and yes, his sister threw a shit fit over it, but oh well), and frankly they have no appreciation for the event. There is no reason to have them around. But if you are going to have them, then they should be allowed to the whole thing. 

Post # 4
Member
151 posts
Blushing bee

I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with in-laws drama so soon!  It sounds like you’re trying to be very accommodating and considerate about their feelings even though they aren’t taking into account that it is totally YOUR wedding and, therefore, YOUR wishes (and your fiance’s, of course) should take precedence.  Your suggested compromise sounds very generous, considering your neice’s young age.  Most 3 year-olds have early schedules/bedtimes, so I’d imagine that she’ll probably get very tired and possibly cranky be about the end of the dinner (if not before).  Offer the option and don’t let their bullying opinions bother you anymore.  

Post # 5
Member
4717 posts
Honey bee

Admittedly, they were very much in the wrong to make the assumptions they did, strong arm their way in etc.  But then the ship sailed for being firm and standing your ground and that is where things go a bit south on your end.

So, keeping in mind that they clearly were in the wrong from the get-go for sure..it seems like you and your fiance were not on the same page (and you needed to be BEFORE you started handing out mandates to his family) and wedding party kids can be exceptions (should be, in fact – they are guests taking part in your wedding, so that means they get invited to the whole thing).  Once you decided to give in to them, you should have just let them be the parent and decide what is best for their own kid rather than dictate their exit time.  Chances are someone would have picked the kid up when she started getting cranky, but the minute you dictate that and decide what is best for OTHER people’s kids, you put people on the defensive.  You also should stop assuming that all parents are just looking for excuses to dump their kids for a night.  It is great that your friends are cool with it, but it is a risky assumption to make for everyone – you don’t get to decide that everyone should just look forward to a night away from their kid and be cool with it.  You are free to decide whether you have a kid-free wedding (though you caved and that is no longer an option), but you are not free to decide how other people should be feeling about it.

So at this point, I would defer to your husband on this one in terms of how to proceed and communication about it with them.  It is his family and clearly they are close and this is important to him.  Stop bringing it up and act as inclusive as possible.

Post # 6
Member
624 posts
Busy bee

Since I’ve been on wedding forums I’ve learned that a lot of people, like you, want formal, child free weddings. And let me say I think that’s totally your perogative! And your SIL really was rude by proclaiming that your niece would be flower girl. But I may be able to explain a little bit about how they might be feeling (which in no way excuses any bad behavior from them). If they’re not used to kid free weddings this might seem really foreign to them. I’ve never been to one or even heard of them, I don’t live in a big city or wealthy city and kids are just kinda always around. So that might be where some of it is coming from, that they don’t understand why you’d want that. And some more perspective on what they may be feeling – I’ve been a mom almost 17 years and have been an aunt for a few months. I would have been very sad/offended if my sister didn’t want my daughter at her wedding because I would’ve taken it personally. I know you don’t mean it personally but they’re probably taking it that way. Even at age 3 she was just as much a part of the family as anyone else and if she hadn’t wanted her there because of her age it would’ve hurt me a lot. Just as I couldn’t imagine having a family event without my niece. And from the grandma perspective I know my mom couldn’t imagine a family even without them either. And I noticed you said your girlfriends are happy to leave their kids and that makes sense, if I was going to a friend’s wedding it wouldn’t bother me at all to not bring her, it just feels different when it’s family being excluded.

So I’m not saying you’re wrong at all, please don’t take it that way, not siding with anyone, just wanted to offer some insight into why they may be hurt and why they may not understand it. And I agree with PP that she is either invited to all of it or none of it. If you really want a child free wedding you should stick with it. But along with that you’ll have to accept that they have feelings about it too. I don’t think you needed to apologize for anything though. Or I could be totally wrong and they are used to kid free weddings and they’re not actually offended at all but just being jerks. Just though I’d offer up a possible perspective. 

Post # 7
Member
1239 posts
Bumble bee

You’ve apologised, it’s done, move on. No need to over compensate. I think there’s nothing you can do now to make them think otherwise (if they do indeed think the niece was unwelcomed). If you got her flowers it will be like “oh look NOW she’s trying to pretend / compensate for what she said / did”. They’re the ones acting like children for not speaking up and communicate like adults. 

I think the issue now is really your fiancé not his family. Whatever the family thinks, that’s on them and you’ve already communicated your side, they can believe it or not. But your fiancé keep bringing this up and participating in essentially needless drama is an issue. You should talk to him about that. You’re a team. But he’s not acting like a team mate. It looks like he’s actually not taking any responsibility in this (when you suggested this arrangement and he agreed it’s fine and didn’t say anything opposed to it), now instead of trying to smooth things over for you which he should be as he has a much better say with his family than you, he’s hanging you out to dry and throwing it in your face when you fight. I think it sets a bad precedence for your married life and need to be addressed now.

what else does he fight with you about his family?

Post # 8
Member
3161 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

busybee86 :  Your fiance and his fam are wrong.  You graciously made an exception for the child and they have bulldozed you.  You even bent over backwards apologizing to try to smooth everything over and that is still not good enough.  I am concerned that your fiance fights with you about his family, sides with them and keeps bringing this issue up. That will only get worse after marriage. 

Post # 9
Member
6696 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

Did you do this without your Fiance on board? It sounds like he disagrees with your child-free wedding idea. If so, THAT is the issue you need to solve. You two need to be on the same page, and should have been before this even came up.

Post # 12
Member
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

busybee86 :  I have seven kids between my brothers that will be at the wedding not including the guest kids. My plan is to have an extra room the venue has, even the bridal room is need be to be turned into a “daycare” we hire a 16 year old girl or so to watch the kids during reception hour. Have a little iPad set up to watch a movie and some snacks. That way your niece can be there, and any other kids if your guest don’t have a babysitter. 

Just a thought! 

Post # 13
Member
1239 posts
Bumble bee

busybee86 :  Wow. Just wow. How can he blatantly state something like that? This really does not sound good for your marriage seriously.

You should’ve told him, while you would never make him CHOOSE between his mum and you, it is part of HIS responsibility to manage your relationship with his mum / family, short of you deliberately causing drama, HE should be the one to ensure peace and manage expectations / relationships on both sides and if it’s not done, HE is the one at least partly responsible for any “rift” or whatever, he can’t put it all on you. 

But seriously anyone who would say they’d choose their mum over me every time, I would’ve dropped in an instant, it’s just not good enough. But..easier for me to say than for you to do.

Post # 14
Member
400 posts
Helper bee

For what it is worth I don’t think it’s weird for the child to leave after the ceremony. Our flower girl (5) and ring bearer (2.5) are both leaving after the ceremony to stay with their in laws. They would have been the only kids except for a teenager but this was their parents decision really as they would rather not be watching them the whole time 

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