(Closed) Sing Happy Birthday at Rehearsal Dinner?

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1258 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Generally, I wouldn’t mind to sing Happy Birthday to a dear friend or close relative at my rehearsal dinner. After all, they are spending their birthday night at my rehearsal dinner.

But you have a background story here and it sounds like this would be for some random person you hardly know and who happens to be an attention hog.  That would tick me off, too. Is there a chance that you can let step mom know that you understand it’s step sisters brithday and therefore she should feel free to go out with her friends/fiance and not feel obligated to attend your rehearsal dinner?

Post # 4
2018 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

if the rehearsal dinner was actually on her birthday, i would say do it. but it’s not.

Post # 5
1258 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

@kitzy: Oops, I missed that it wasn’t her actual birthday. In that case, heck no!  And I would still tell step sister to feel free to go out with her friends instead of attending the dinner.

Post # 6
1223 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I agree.  From my first wedding one of my favorite memories and photos are from singing Happy birthday and giving a cake to my great uncle…  and at our rehearsal dinner to someone else in the family.

BUT – I certainly didn’t have that back story. 

It’s tough.  Maybe you can explain to your stepmom that you want everyone to feel comfortable and since the large majority of your guests do not know her daughter it would be inappropriate.

that’s a tough one – good luck!!!

Post # 7
4211 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I would be annoyed too and I would probably just “forget” to sing happy birthday to her. Why not you and Fiance just get her a card and some cookies or something and give those to her in private if you want to. WHen I was reading this originally I thought your step sister was like an 8 year old until I got to the part that she is turning 33. Ridiculous.

Post # 8
4005 posts
Honey bee

I might not be the popular opinion, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. I think it’s kind of sweet to make her feel a little special for her birthday. I realize she has a birthday once/year and you only get married once, but I honestly don’t think it’s all that big of a deal. Have a small little cupcake made for her with a candle…you’ll look like a totally selfless bride should you do it, and I’m sure she’ll appreciate the nice gesture.

Sometimes you need to pick and choose your battles with your parents/in-laws…and I think this is one of those where you just let them do their thing.

Post # 9
1741 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

It’s not on her real birthday. No.

If she needs something, give her a boxed cupcake to take home, with a little note :Thanks for taking your birthday weekend to celebrate with us!: Give it to her at the end as she’s leaving, so no one can be made to sing.

No public singing.

Post # 10
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I personally wouldn’t have a problem with it but that might be because we are doing it at ours. Our rehearsal dinner is on my nephews birthday and he will be 6 so we are bringing balloons and having everyone sing happy birthday to him.

However I think it is a personal decision. My nephew will only be 6 and will appreciate it and it is on his actual birthday but I’d probably do it anyways if his birthday was a few days before or after just because I know he’d like it.

Post # 11
3982 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

we actually did this at our wedding – it was my cousins 13th birthday the day of my wedding, my sister in laws 14th birthday the day after and my sisters boyfriends birthday the day before – it meant alot to me (as well as the rest of my faimy) to have this aknowledged – i didnt want the wedding to overshadow their special day as well.

I actually bought little gifts for each of them – something small (bracelets for the girls and borders giftcard for the BF) and gave those out as well 🙂

i think they all really appreciated it and it took all of 2 minutes to do it

though my backstory is nothing like yours.

Post # 12
15 posts

!. It’s not her birthday

2. She is not a close to you, like a beloved uncle or little nephew.

3. It is not the time or the place, send a nice card and leave it at that.

4. What does she do for your birthday?

5. If her mom wants to arrange a “do” for her then she should do it on her own time and her own dime.

Post # 13
3230 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Personally, I wouldn’t see anything wrong with this. I don’t think it was a rude request.

However, you should do what you feel most comfortable doing, there is no reason for you to feel awkward or obligated, only do it if you want to.

Post # 14
5166 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Everyone is different but I personally dont think it matters. Singing happy birthday only takes a couple of mins, so I personally dont see it as a big deal. You could do it right at the beginning and then the focus would be back on you for the rest of the dinner.

Post # 15
2 posts
  • Wedding: March 2013

Since it is not her actual birthday, I think you should not have to do this and agree with kitzy!

Also, if she was a friend of the groom or a close friend of your family, it would be appropriate…this is your event and not someone elses that you don’t know.


Post # 16
1696 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

In my own opinion, I would let Happy Birthday be sung to my step-sister. As long as nothing like that happens on my wedding day… it’s fine with me. I understand your step-mom’s reasoning as well. You step-sister doesn’t really get to celebrate her birthday because she is working on Thursday, going to your rehearsal on Friday and going to your wedding on Saturday. I would want a little recognition, but I wouldn’t want to steal the spotlight from anyone. I’m 25 and I get kind of sad if people over look my birthday.

Then again, I see where you’re coming from. Ultimately it just depends on what you want. I assume that after they sing happy birthday they’ll probably forget about it anyway and resume with the wedding celebrations! 🙂

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