- 4 years ago
Ok. Strap in. My Fiance and I are having a formal wedding (6pm ceremony, evening dinner and dancing at a heritage mansion) and I had said no kids.
Backstory – when we got engaged, in the same text message as “Congratulations!” his SIL proclaimed that her daughter (his niece) will be the flower girl. This same SIL scheduled a gender reveal party for his family on my birthday, and had a sixty person birthday party for her daughter. I love her to pieces, but we differ in a lot of ways. Her daughter (our niece) will be just under three at the time of the wedding, and we also have two nephews (7 mos). It was important to him that niece be included, and I originally proposed that she attend the wedding and cocktail hour, but be picked up prior to dinner/reception. He seemed fine with this, and at a spa day with my 2x SILs and Mother-In-Law we chatted logistics. They advised that they weren’t planning on bringing their babies, and when I suggested 3yo niece leave before dinner Mother-In-Law seemed to have an issue with it, suggesting she stay for dinner. SIL mentioned something about her getting picked up at 9 or 10, and I figured we had compromised and all was well.
Well as it turns out months later, this was not fine, and things were simmering below the surface. Everyone felt that the niece was “unwelcome”, “disallowed”, “not invited” etc. Since we’re not having a wedding party and the walk is down about fifty cobbled stairs to our altar, I maintained that niece not be a flower girl. Esp since she’s so young (just under 3) she won’t have the same connection to the experience as if she were five or six, in which case I’d be a lot more inclined.
Needless to say, in an attempt to smooth things over with his family (who apparently was offended but never said anything to me) I chose to reach out to SIL, apologize profusely for being such a dick, assure her that niece could stay as late as she wanted, and apologize some more. I also reached back out to Mother-In-Law to apologize and remind her that if she ever has an issue I hope she would feel comfortable reaching out to me.
This is something that is still coming back to rear it’s head – my Fiance and I have had multiple fights about his family and he’s brought it up repeatedly… Truthfully if I knew it would blow up I would have never even said anything in the first place, I just had hoped that all of us (FI and his grown up siblings and mine) could have a fun kids-free night where we all have tons of drinks etc. My girlfriends are thrilled about leaving the kids for the evening.
I should also mention Fiance lost his dad a year and a half ago, and the niece (first born and doted on) has been a light in my MIL’s life, especially since losing her husband.
I feel like I’m coming off as this child-hater (I’m not) who hates his niece (I don’t) but tends to monopolize attention and events. Was I offside to think that she leave early? I hate that I was in the dark and no one told me that this was an issue. Now Fiance insists there’s an undercurrent of resentment and awkwardness. FML. Now I’m wondering if I should get her a little bouquet and she can walk out with my mom and Mother-In-Law, and try to keep everyone happy…?