Post # 1
My SO and I will be engaged within the next few months, and as we want a short (4-8 month) engagement I figured I should start thinking about our wedding! So far I’ve thought of a few potential issues and would love the advice of the bee on how to handle them if they arise. I fear that the stress of planning a wedding in such a small amount of time (when we already lead busy lives), could mean I’ll be anxious if the issues do occur, and I won’t handle them in the right manner if I haven’t decided how to deal with them beforehand.
We are adamant on having a child-free wedding and the only issue we can see is with my SO’s cousins’ wife. She is due with her second child mid-September (she is having a scheduled C-section, so won’t go over that date) and their baby will be 8 weeks old at the time of our wedding. She formula fed her first child and is planning to formula this baby from birth as well. When she had her first child, she left the baby (who was 4 weeks old) with her husband’s parents from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon, to go to a city 2.5 hours away, to celebrate her birthday. She seems to have never had an issue leaving her child with family or friends for short (and occasionally long) periods of time and the child is now 3 years old. Because of this we feel we do not have to offer an exception to her to bring her second baby; my SO doesn’t think she’ll have a problem with us hosting a child-free wedding, but I’m unsure. Her and I have never gotten along (because of the very rude and upsetting things she said to me in the past and the way she continues to treat myself, my SO’s sister and my SO’s cousin – who is her SIL) and I wouldn’t be surprised if she makes a fuss about us not inviting her baby (and possibly the 3 year old) to our wedding.
I’m aware that just because she left her first child, doesn’t mean she has to leave her second, but it does make me feel as though she shouldn’t have a problem with it and if she does ‘kick up a stink’ I would be rather annoyed. My SO isn’t concerned and will happily tell her that if she doesn’t want to leave her baby for the day, she is more than welcome to decline our invitation. I, however, would like to be able to sort the issue (if it arises) without it causing any family drama.
I’d like to know how others feel about the reasoning behind our decision, and if given the same circumstances would make the same, or a different decision.
Post # 2
I would leave it up to her. Each baby is different and I don’t think it’s fair to ask anyone to leave their 8 week-old baby behind to attend a wedding. I would tell her that you’re having a child-free wedding but that you understand that she will have a tiny baby and would like to let her know that she’s welcome to bring the baby if it would make her feel more comfortable. It’s also the first step to getting along better with her – be the bigger person.
Post # 3
Some babies don’t take to formula, hard to predict what she will need before the baby is born. She may have to take the baby. It is her decision to tend to her child’s needs as she sees fit, not yours on what is best for her baby even if the baby could be away from the mother. If you truly do not want children, and it sounds like you truly do not want her to be there, kindly suggest that she stay home with the baby rather than separate them.
Post # 4
Even if she’s not breastfeeding, 8 weeks is very young. I doubt an 8 week old is going to cause very much ruckus and everyone who didn’t bring their children will understand this exception.
Post # 5
I don’t see anything wrong with making clear that it’s a no kids event and inviting her and then she can choose to come without baby or not come. I think maybe the trouble is… what if your best friend had an 8 week old? Would you make an exception? Ie are you not making an exception simply Bc u don’t like this person?
Post # 6
What if it was a different guest that had an 8 week old? One that you don’t know whether they nursed their first baby or not. Would you allow them to bring their baby? If yes, then there is your answer.
I think if you set your personal trouble with her aside you’re choice will be clear.
Post # 7
I’m finding it difficult in this instance to be the bigger person. I have been the bigger person each and every time a situation has occurred when she’s been rude, so I kind of want to be able to just say no one time. But, ugh, I know that sounds so bitchy.
She didn’t attempt to breast feed her first baby, the baby went straight on formula and she has said she is doing the same thing baby #2. It’s not that I don’t want her there (she is family after all) but I don’t want her there enough to bend our wants for her, if that makes sense.
This is part of my issue though, because while I know an 8 week old baby is very young, I feel if she was happy to leave her 4 week old baby for 2.5 days, I don’t see why she couldn’t be able to leave an 8 week old baby for an absolute maximum of 10 hours.
I’ve replied to you together because you both brought up the same point. We are having a very close family and friends only wedding, so yes, if my best friend, SIL etc. was breastfeeding I would allow their baby to attend the wedding. If I had another guest who was bringing her baby to our wedding I would definitely allow my SO’s cousins wife to bring her baby, as I would never allow one new born and not another. However as are not having any other guests under the age of 18, or other guests bringing babies/children, that her baby will be formula fed, and she has left a younger baby for a longer period of time, I feel as though we don’t need to offer her an exception.
Post # 8
Again, some babies don’t take to formula. Doesn’t matter if her first did or her age.
Post # 9
Every baby is different so just because she was comfortable to leave baby 1 doesn’t mean she will want to leave baby 2. I kind of feel exceptions to the no kids rule need to be made for nursing babies (including bottle fed). I kind of feel like you don’t like this person and so are almost hoping she won’t come…. sorry if I’m wrong, I don’t mean to offend.
Post # 10
I think you just proved lim3’s point, in saying that you would let her if someone else was bringing their baby. Two babies would be okay but one isn’t?
Also, breastfeeding isn’t the only reason to keep a baby close to it’s mother when it is so young. And you know that leaving her other baby for 2 days really doesn’t have a bearing on this.
I totally get not wanting to bend to her when she’s such a B-word. But if you think of it as “it’s a no KIDS wedding, infants are always allowed” then maybe you won’t feel so much like you’re caving for HER. And I’m assuming it will avoid drama, which is what you wanted in the first place.
THEN, seat her far away! 😉
Oh, lastly, if you make it a non issue by welcoming the baby, she might just leave it with her parents so she can have fun! Make an issue out of it, and she’ll make a point of being a pain in the ass.
Post # 11
It’s your wedding, so you and your SO are the ones to determine the guestlist. Invite just your SO’s cousin and his wife. The two of them may simply decline your invitation. If they don’t, be prepared for her to bring the baby anyway and just try to ignore it.
There’s always one in the bunch who tries to control your guestlist. I have in-laws who have bullied their kids’ way onto adult-only guestlists, in the past. Some family members have just ceased inviting them to anything.
Post # 12
I’m not sure what her age has to do with anything? After all the things we have heard from her about breast feeding I would be extremely surprised if she didn’t feed her baby formula, but I guess nothing in life is certain.
No offence taken, you’re completely right in stating that I hope she won’t come. I definitely think my dislike for her is tainting my view on this and that I’m sick of bending to her wants to make sure she doesn’t cause any drama within the family. I’m totally okay with her declining because she doesn’t want to leave her baby (though I would question her motives), so perhaps we should stick with the child-free policy and let them know we completely understand if that means they cannot attend our wedding.
I meant that if another mother (a woman I’m close to, who was breast feeding etc.) was invited to our wedding, I would allow her baby to attend and then would allow cousins wife to bring her baby out of obligation, because it would be unfair of me to say yes to one mother and no to another. I realise that my entire thought pattern with that is biased.
And you know that leaving her other baby for 2 days really doesn’t have a bearing on this. Can you explain why, because IMO it does.
If we invited her, she would be sat far away lol. I’m seriously torn between not wanting to cause drama and wanting to have our wedding, our way.
Oh, I understand people trying to control guest lists and it is so frustrating! She invited her grandparents and a few of her friends to an immediate family only celebration of her SIL and BIL’s first wedding anniversary. Every event has to be about her, otherwise she snobs people, bitches about it constantly and I just don’t feel we should have to change what we want for our wedding for her…but this is hard, because there’s a tiny baby involved.
Post # 13
“Can you explain why, because IMO it does.” Because you said so yourself in your OP: “I’m aware that just because she left her first child, doesn’t mean she has to leave her second”
I like that you admit you’re being biased against her, and I really don’t blame you – she sounds like a real treat!
There is another post right now on the exact same situation, except the mother is a bridesmaid so the poster obviously likes her more than you like FI’s cousins wife 🙂
I think ultimately they come down to the same thing though: you are hosting so you can make whatever restrictions you like on who can come. BUT, you can’t control their reaction to it and have to be prepared for the consequences in the knowledge it is worth it for what you want for your wedding. For her, she’ll be down 1 bridesmaid and possibly lose her friend unless she does it very carefully. For you, I suppose it’s a bit of family drama? And obviously her possibly not attending, but that doesn’t faze you. So, I suppose you’ve got less to lose!
What I want to say is, you can say the baby can’t come, but you can’t expect all of FIs family to agree that you’re in the right.
Post # 14
Honestly, if she’s rude, she’ll probably find something to complain about regardless, so I would just go with your gut on this one. Let your Fiance talk to his family if they have any problems.
I don’t really see a wedding as a great place for an 8-week-old, though I doubt the baby would be a real problem. Your cousin’s wife is more likely to be a problem, lol.
Post # 15
every child is different you can never predict what will happen until the baby is born. I say invite her to lunch or dinner and have that conversation with her. Then you guys could come to a compromise but if I was the mother I would not bring my new born baby with no immune system around strangers.