Another weddingy/children-y/invitey one

(82 Posts)

I know there's nothing I can do about this, but I just wanted to know if I am being unreasonable in feeling a bit sad about this.

A good friend and colleague of mine is getting married in two weeks. I've had the invitation for the evening part for ages. The invitation doesn't actually say who is invited, just a generic "You are invited to the wedding of...."
I can't remember what was on the envelope.

Originally, my parents were going to have DS (aged 4) so DH and I could go, but then they got the opportunity for a last minute holiday, so I said I would ask the bride if we could take DS, and if it was a "no children" wedding, DH would stay home with DS and I'd go with my other colleagues from work. No probs.
Before I managed to contact her, about two weeks ago, DH landed a new job and is now working nights, so can no longer have DS that evening if he needs to.

I phoned the bride to ask if it was OK to bring DS, and she replied with "I just can't have children or partners of work colleagues because of numbers". I said that was OK but that I have absolutely no one to have DS so wouldn't be able to come. Then I said "Oh, I didn't realise it was no partners either" and she replied "Oh, that's just for people from work. My other friends are bringing their partners and children, of course, but it's just a numbers thing"
So basically, the wedding will be full of kids (my friend has several nieces and nephews of a similar age to DS) and her other friends and family are all bringing husbands/wives/partners etc, but work colleagues can't bring partners or kids, and that is now the reason I can't go.

So, when I saw her at work, I said "I'm so sad that I can't come to your wedding" and she said "Well, family comes first"

It's not a case of "family comes first" though - I would really prefer to go to her wedding, but I don't want to push or hassle about it, because she obviously has this rule. I've spoken to my colleagues about it, and none of them actually want to take their kids - in fact, most of them are booking into hotel rooms so they can make a night of it

I know, I know - it's her wedding and it's her rules. And she is genuinely such a lovely person, but I feel as though she has just made up this rule arbitrarily to solve a problem, and can't quite see that her "rule" is the one thing that is stopping me from going. We've been colleagues and friends for 8 years, and we are ordinarily quite close.

I just feel sad that I'm missing out on a) her wedding and b) what looks like being a great social event for my colleagues and friends.

Sorry - I banged on about it there, I just feel that it's a bit odd and I'm just a bit sad about it.

HopeS01 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:27:46

It's a shame that she can't make an exception, OP sad. If you really want to go, could you hire a babysitter for the evening?

I did think about a babysitter, Hope, but we are on a bit of a tight budget with DH having been out of work until recently.

sparechange Thu 10-Oct-13 13:29:39

Has she met your DH before?
I had a 'no meeting anyone for the first time at my wedding' rule, and don't see that as unreasonable

Hullygully Thu 10-Oct-13 13:31:00

Much as it astonishes me that I think this, I think YABU, tho I can understand your disappointment. A lot of people have to have different rules for colleagues and family, and if she lets you bring ds, she'll have to let others.

I know the lines are blurred between being a colleague and being a friend in your case, but the other colleagues wouldn't see it that way.

Try and get a babysitter.

EdithWeston Thu 10-Oct-13 13:31:15

It's utterly crazy to omit the names of exactly who is invited on the invitation.

But when you replied in the first place, surely you confirmed who was going (so if there was a muddle it's cleared up as early as possible).

It does sound as if DH was never invited, let alone DS. I can see why you're feeling blue about it. And perhaps if you'd had more time you could have found another place to park DS. But sometimes it's just not possible to make th admin work.

Can you perhaps find another treat for yourself for that weekend?

GhostsInSnow Thu 10-Oct-13 13:31:23

She doesn't seem much of a friend who can't make an exception for your DS given the circumstances to be honest, especially with other kids being there.
I don't think I'd be feeling too sad about not being able to go.

Hullygully Thu 10-Oct-13 13:31:32

Babysitters don't cost that much...

hermioneweasley Thu 10-Oct-13 13:32:33

I think there's a distinction between work colleagues and other friends. Also, you couldn't really take a 4 year old to an evening do anyway - it's bit different if there are nieces, godchildren etc who've been there all day.

So you are being a little bit unreasonable.

Yes, she's met my DH loads of times - we've been out with her and her DF a few times.
She said it was a "numbers thing" - that she thought it was easier not to invite partners of work friends to keep numbers down - which is fine, and I wouldn't have a problem with it at all ordinarily, as I could go with everyone else. Was just hoping she'd make an exception. sad

I'm afraid you'll just have to suck it up, but it is of course ok to be sad about it!

cestlavielife Thu 10-Oct-13 13:33:02

it's a "free" night out, right? so spend the money you might have spent otherwise on a dinner, on a babysitter ......

depends how important it is to you whether you can justify spending money on a babysitter.

LegoStillSavesMyLife Thu 10-Oct-13 13:34:45

I think it s quite normal just to invite work colleagues and not their other halves to a wedding.

Do you tend to socialise with her at non work events? Or just a work things.

DeWe Thu 10-Oct-13 13:35:41

She should have made it clear on the original invitation who was invited.

However, if you had come to her with this problem when you first had the invitation, then she might have been able to squeeze him in, at 2 weeks' notice she may have had to confirm numbers, or have invited a couple of extras because she had space.

PeppiNephrine Thu 10-Oct-13 13:36:02

I think YABU. You can't invite every persons entire family to your wedding, for work colleagues a personal invite is fine. For real friends or family a plus one is the norm, but children I would only think for family and maybe the very closest friends, if any at all.
Just pay a babysitter or ask a friend to mind.

CoffeeTea103 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:36:15

Yabu, if you are close to her then there might be other colleagues just as close, so if she invited your DH then she would need to invite everyone else's partners and that's how the numbers increase.
If she is as close to you, you can get a sitter and be there for your friend.

Ooh - loads of replies. Sorry

Hully: I've spoken to all of my other colleagues who are coming (about 10 in total) and none of them want to take their kids. I know babysitters might not cost much, but also DS has never had one, and I'm not sure how he'd settle. We'd usually ask family, but there is genuinely no one available that date.

Edith: In some ways I'm glad that I had to speak to her about it, otherwise I would have merrily taken DH along. I sent an acceptance card and put both our names on it, but she didn't say anything?

Juice: I was really hoping she would make an exception. Perhaps you're right

Hermione: DS would be fine at an evening do - we've been to a few. And I see the distinction you're making between the day and the night guests, but I know that some of her other friends (not colleagues) are just going to the evening and taking their DC

Actually, on writing this all down, and reading all of your replies, maybe we aren't quite such good friends as I thought...!

EdithWeston Thu 10-Oct-13 13:45:22

"I sent an acceptance card and put both our names on it, but she didn't say anything?"

Then yes, she has made a huge error. She should have taken the initiative back then to clear it all up. Not that that helps you now, other than the knowledge that you really didn't make any part of the situation.

Floggingmolly Thu 10-Oct-13 13:49:27

When she said "oh we'll, family comes first", you seem to have taken it as your family coming first with you confused
I'd have assumed she meant her family were catered for first, and work colleagues had to fit into the places that were left - which is reasonable really, why should she fill her reception with people (and children) she's never even met?

Oriunda Thu 10-Oct-13 13:49:57

You think she's a good friend who just happens to be a colleague. She thinks you are a colleague who is also a good friend. It's quite usual to invite colleagues without partners as the assumption is they can all entertain each other. By the time the evening reception starts the other invited children may already have left. Your colleagues will want to drink and enjoy the party. You presumably won't because you would have a (possibly tired) DS in tow. Won't be a fun night for you surely?

Thank you Edith.

CoffeeTea - I'm not bothered about not beign able to take DH - he can't go anyway, and I totally get why she wants to restrict numbers in this way for colleagues' partners. But I didn't know, and assumed (wrongly!) that the invitation was for both of us.

DeWe - I phoned her as soon as I knew that DH had the job, to see if I could take DS. I couldn't have contacted her any earlier.

I do completely understand why people have these rules, particularly if they are really pushing it on numbers, but it was a bit of a mix up and I was looking forward to it.

Have been looking at local babysitters - we live quite rurally, and there are not many around. I really don't think we can suck up the cost of the ones that are available, and I'm just not sure if DS would be ok with a stranger.

Thanks for the replies. Some varied opinions, and yes - a babysitter would be the best solution, probably, but I just don't think it's tenable for me.

I will, of course, wish her well and send her a gift!

WipsGlitter Thu 10-Oct-13 13:52:15

I'm sorry but bringing a four year old to an evening piss up reception is not on. I can't believe you asked.

I think generally work colleagues don't really bring partners as they don't know anyone and it's more fun without them!

FloggingMolly - she did mean my family. I only quoted a bit of the conversation, but she was talking about me doing what was best for my son.
Also - she has met my son, lots of times. We've been out with her and her nieces on several occasions.
Oriunda - She is a colleague who is also a friend. We are colleagues first, and, as I said, I don't mind that she didn't invite partners etc. I just didn't know! I don't think the other children will have left, but who knows? The evening do starts at 6pm (just looking at the invitation again) so it is quite early. I don't mind about staying late and drinking - just would have been nice to have seen her on her wedding day, and wished her well

WipsGlitter - all of our partners do know one another. We socialise quite often. This is the third wedding this year of our department, and partners and children were invited to the other two.Also, it was my 40th this year, and someone else's 30th and partners and children all came to both of those. Sorry, that's just a abit of background for those who think I was weird thinking it was partners/children. It usually is, that's all.

I did make an assumption about DH coming, granted, but I did send an acceptance with both of our names on it, and she didn't say anything then (that was in July)
And regarding DS, was just asking - if it had been a child-free wedding, I would have been fine with it. But there will be plenty of other children there, and some of them he knows.

But yes, some of you are right - it probably won't be much fun, if my colleagues are all drinking and I'm not. Although, even if I did get a sitter, I would still have to drive!

Perhaps I'll just have a DVD and Chinese instead smile

Treaguez Thu 10-Oct-13 14:04:07

I appreciate it's not that convenient, but she hasn't really done anything unreasonable. She hasn't applied a "rule" for everyone except you and she seems to have been pretty nice about telling you no.

You have a clear choice: get a babysitter, go, enjoy it. Or stay back, miss out on a big social event with your colleagues, but save some cash.

I think these are quite normal sorts of choices once children are involved to be honest: this is adult life.

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