To politely decline a request for DD (4) to 'perform' at a wedding reception?

(60 Posts)
Primafacie Mon 29-Jul-13 20:15:20

I can't believe I've got my very own wedding threadgrin

It's not a real AIBU because I know I'm not, more of a 'how would you phrase it?'

In a nutshell, we are invited (with kids!) to a wedding reception next month. To say we are not close friends is an understatement: Brides' parents are friends with my ILs. We have never met the groom, and have seen the bride twice in the last 4 years. I expect it will be a big party with over 100 guests, a handful of whom I have met a few times. DH will probably know a larger number, but we do not socialise with any of them, except when ILs are visiting once a year. ILs live abroad so won't be at the wedding reception either.

The bride's mum sent us a text asking if DD aged 4 could do a little performance at the reception, such as singing a song or dancing. Now DD is not shy, but is a bit reserved around people she doesn't know, and she will literally not know a single soul other than DH, DS (2) and I. Nevertheless, I asked her if she could recite a poem from her kindergarten's end of year show or dance gangnam style but she says she doesn't 'want to show off' - which I think is legitimate and actually quite sweet. I don't want to force her as I don't see the point, and she is not a performing seal.

How do I politely decline the request without hurting the MOTB's feelings? Please don't suggest that 'no is a complete sentence' cliché, I would like something a little less abrupt and I don't want it to sound like we cba. I also don't want to phrase it as 'DD is too shy' because I know she isn't, and I think her reservation is entirely natural and not a 'problem' to be addressed. The thing is, apparently other children of the same age will be performing, and I know there will be some gossip about DD not doing the same - I know it sounds silly but it is a very close knit community and all they do is talk!

So how do I politely say no?

If you've read this far, congrats. Please help!

<wipes brows>

TIA

YouTheCat Mon 29-Jul-13 20:19:01

I just wouldn't go. They're having kids 'performing'? Sounds bloody awful tbh.

sugarandspite Mon 29-Jul-13 20:21:39

'Oh that's so kind of you to offer her the opportunity to perform but she'd rather not. Now tell me again about the favours...'

Frame it as an offer rather than a request and it will be easier to refuse

JacqueslePeacock Mon 29-Jul-13 20:23:43

I think "I have asked DD and I'm afraid she'd rather not, but thank you for the invitation" would be fine.

IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat Mon 29-Jul-13 20:27:51

How about:

Thank you for thinking of DD and asking her to perform at the wedding, but DD is not comfortable performing at such a large event.

snickersnacker Mon 29-Jul-13 20:27:57

This sounds quite weird. They're having children to perform at the reception, like little dancing monkeys? It sounds like a Mickey Rooney - Judy Garland film.

parakeet Mon 29-Jul-13 20:28:49

What Jacques said.

Also, why do you give a flying fuck about people silly enough to "gossip" about a four-year-old's (completely understandable) wish not to perform.

RoadToTuapeka Mon 29-Jul-13 20:30:13

How you have explained it sounds entirely reasonable; many adults don't like to get up on a stage at weddings even when they do know people, let alone a 4 year old!

Not sure how you'd phrase it exactly but could you say that DD is sometimes uncomfortable with doing performances for people she doesn't know well so she is unlikely to take part.

As an aside maybe she could have a poem or whatever practiced just in case she changes her mind on the day if she gets friendly with other children there and wants to join in.

The MOTB might be relieved on the day that not all the children are doing something!

SwedishHouseMat Mon 29-Jul-13 20:30:35

I would reply with the truth. Your DD has said that she doesn't want to show off.

Say that you are delighted that the MOTB has thought to include your DD in the reception entertainment but that DD wouldn't be happy in the spotlight and would rather enjoy the day with her family.

mrsjay Mon 29-Jul-13 20:33:27

oh god it will start with twinkle twinkle and end up with a 7 yr old singing im sexy and i know it <wiggle wiggle> grin sounds awful anyhoo say oh no I dont think she would do anything but thanks for asking,

HollyBerryBush Mon 29-Jul-13 20:36:09

How odd - is this a British wedding or somewhere else where this sort of thing is more traditional?

mrsjay Mon 29-Jul-13 20:36:59

I remember at a christening they all did d turn and the kids were expected to take part poor dd1 was 9 at the time and burst into tears saying oh no auntie X i dont want to dont make me poor kids I was quite annoyed actually as sil and her family tried to make her do a song while i was out of the room and i had just said oh no she doesn't want to,

oops sorry that has turned into my rant blush

maja00 Mon 29-Jul-13 20:37:18

Something along the lines of "that's a lovely idea but unfortunately DD isn't keen on performing. Looking forward to seeing you on the big day".

MissStrawberry Mon 29-Jul-13 20:37:32

Bollocks to people talking and other kids performing. You don't think your child would want to do it so I would say

Thank you very much for asking Maisie to do a turn at the wedding but I hope you appreciate it isn't something I/she would want to do so she will not be taking part.

soverylucky Mon 29-Jul-13 20:39:54

I really wouldn't worry about it - just say its not really her thing. I am pretty certain that the MOTB won't mind one little bit.

maja00 Mon 29-Jul-13 20:43:48

That response sounds a bit critical though MissStrawberry - like it's something a bit awful they are asking you to do shock

georgedawes Mon 29-Jul-13 20:51:12

I wouldn't go.

WaitMonkey Mon 29-Jul-13 20:55:46

I was nervous enough doing a reading at my bf wedding last week. There's no way I would put a child through that.

thebody Mon 29-Jul-13 20:56:01

well if others are doing a turn she might change her mind so just keep it flexible.

guaranteed another child either will weep and refuse and others will dominate.

sounds a nightmare to me as hate being forced to watch kids perform. only like my own on any level.

they probably don't want to leave your dd out as other kids are doing stuff and being nice.

tell your dd its up to her in the day but not a biggie if she says no.

MissDuke Mon 29-Jul-13 20:56:29

I also wouldn't go. Why go to all the effort and expense that comes with attending a wedding when you don't really know them?

Patchouli Mon 29-Jul-13 20:59:16

Don't go?
I don't think you have to do it to yourselves for such a flimsy acquaintance.

Otherwise, what Jacques said/

cocolepew Mon 29-Jul-13 20:59:23

I would say you're getting in touch with you DDs agent and they will be in touch with the payment details.

LilacPeony Mon 29-Jul-13 21:06:49

I like maja's idea. "that's a lovely idea but unfortunately DD isn't keen on performing. Looking forward to seeing you on the big day"

Xihha Mon 29-Jul-13 21:11:10

Wow, that sounds terrible, who would want other peoples kids performing at their wedding?!

I would just say 'thank you for the offer, it was very kind of you to think of dd but we asked her and she said she would rather not as she would feel uncomfortable performing in front of so many people she doesn't know.'

I would of made excuses not to go by now though, I don't enjoy weddings at the best of times so going to someone i barely knows wedding is my idea of hell

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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