To think it's unreasonable for my aunt & uncle to be annoyed

(64 Posts)
Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 14:49:50

about me and DH not attending my cousin's wedding?

Cousin is getting married in another European country later this year. We were unable to attend his brother's wedding a few years back due to other commitments here in the UK, but had fully intended to go to this one. However, have now been told that it is a child-free wedding so dd isn't invited.

I could arrange for her to stay with a friend for a couple of days, but I really don't want to spend lots of money on an overseas trip without dd, I'd rather put it towards a family holiday instead. If I'm honest, I don't particularly like the whole child-free wedding thing anyway, but it's their day and I respect their choices. At the same time, I expect them to respect mine.

I don't suppose my cousin is that bothered either way, but my aunt and uncle are apparently "hurt" that we aren't going to make the effort. I'm not BU am I?

AThingInYourLife Sat 16-Feb-13 14:51:05


HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Feb-13 14:51:44

No you aren't. If people are going to hop off to far flung places to get married, then they cannot reasonably expect people to go.

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 14:54:03

They aren't exactly hopping off to far-flung places - they all live there, but we are in the UK. I think aunt and uncle are annoyed as we'd previously indicated that we were planning to be there. Apparently we're being "petty" to change our minds just because dd can't come. hmm

sue52 Sat 16-Feb-13 14:54:13

YANBU. It is a lot for your Aunt and Uncle to expect. People should not demand life to revolve aound their wedding.

Yama Sat 16-Feb-13 14:55:01


I would understand their hurt if you could go but didn't if your dd was invited. Rude to not invite your dd. Turn it round and send the message that you are hurt at family not being invited. Your dd is family remember.

Yama Sat 16-Feb-13 14:55:59

And if they are calling you petty then fuck em'.

riverboat Sat 16-Feb-13 14:58:05

YANBU. If there was just one thing requiring you to make a special effort, i.e. EITHER the overseas location OR the child-free element, then I might be a bit more sympathetic to their point of view. But considering both these things put together, I really don't think they can justify being all put out that you're not willing to go to all the organisational effort and expense necessary to attend this wedding.

Anyway, what's it got to do with the aunt and uncle? If the bride and groom understand your position and aren't making a fuss, it's not for the aunt and uncle to take up the cause...

raisah Sat 16-Feb-13 14:59:00

No you are not being unreasonable. You should tell your aunt & uncle that you are hurt that your dc wasn't invited. These people are quite selfish aren't they? They expect people to leave their kids behind to attend their childs' events & not think that their parents might not want to. If people want child free weddings fine but they shouldn't guilt trip people into going. Say if something happened while you were away? It would take at least a day for you to get back to your dc.

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 15:00:13

Well, I'm not really "hurt" that dd isn't invited (though she might be if she knew!). I think child-free weddings are a bit crap, but that's just my opinion - I happen to quite like kids! However, i understand that some people don't want them around, or it may just be a numbers thing, and perhaps there are lots of kids in his fiancee's family. It's fine if they can't extend the invite to dd but I was a bit surprised that they still expected us to go regardless.

Musomathsci Sat 16-Feb-13 15:00:41

YANBU. If they choose to make it a child-free event, I'm sure you won't be the only ones declining their invitation for that reason. They can't have it all ways. If anything more is said, I would just say what you did in your original post about it being a lot of money to spend, when you can't make a family holiday of it because DD isn't invited.
Have they thought about arranging some childcare so that kids are catered for during the wedding? My sister laid on some nannies and a creche for the day so that little ones could be left for the actual ceremony, and have 'time out' later if needed.

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 15:03:21

I don't really know what the bride & groom think tbh, I haven't spoken to them about it. But I can't see it making a huge difference to their big day. I am a bit sad that we won't be there to help them celebrate, but it's just one of those things.

HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Feb-13 15:06:17

Well, people never think about how much wedding cost guests to attend. Last one we went to in the UK cost the thick end of £1,000. 5 people, hotel, petrol, outfits, present - I just don't bother anymore, or Dh or I go on our own, depending on who is the primary friend. Let alone people who want them mid week and expect guests to lose a day or two days wages to attend on top of everything else.

thebody Sat 16-Feb-13 15:06:39

No it's an invitation not a royal summons.

If it doesn't suit you ( and it wouldn't me either) don't go.

Who would you rather please, aunt and uncle and cousin or a family holiday with your dd and dh.

It's a no brainer isn't it.

Squitten Sat 16-Feb-13 15:07:06

Petty?! Because you can't just dump your child and fly off somewhere?!

The way some people think really boggles me sometimes!

ENormaSnob Sat 16-Feb-13 15:07:35

Yanbu at all.

People can have whatever weddings they want as long as they realise not everyone can/want to attend.

Your aunt and uncle would irritate me with their attitude tbh.

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 15:08:15

Haven't heard any talk of nannies or creches etc. But even if that was on offer, I'm not sure I'd want to go - it's still a long way to travel to a family event from which dd would be excluded. Also, I don't really want to tell her that she isn't invited. We have been to adult-only weddings of friends, and she has been ok with that, but I think she would be a bit upset to be left out of a family occasion. I'd rather make up some other reason as to why we're no longer able to go.

HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Feb-13 15:10:42

It's a family wedding, and assuming all the family are going exactly with whom are you supposed to leave your daughter?

What plant are your aunt and uncle orbiting this week?

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 15:11:26

Who would you rather please, aunt and uncle and cousin or a family holiday with your dd and dh.

It's a no brainer isn't it.

Yes, when you put it like that, it is a bit of a no-brainer really. smile Am a bit sad though, as I have been quite close to said aunt and uncle in the past. And my poor parents feel a bit awkward about the whole situation now too. sad

KC225 Sat 16-Feb-13 15:15:03

YANBU - if people marry abroad (as I did) you have to expect a fair few will not be able to make it or want to travel. I think it's unreasonable of them to a) expect you to do it and b) to give you a guilt trip over it,

Ask your aunt and uncle to cast their minds back to when their children were small - would they have done it .......

lljkk Sat 16-Feb-13 15:18:50

Is the turn out for cousin's side of the family going to be kind of low and conspicuously absent? Have you given them short notice so they will still pay for your presence (food, accommodation)? Does seem odd that uncle-aunt are so bothered.

How old is your DD, Jinsei?

thebody Sat 16-Feb-13 15:19:35

Well to be honest they have hurt you, I would be a bit hurt in your shoes.

It's a family wedding and presume dd is family.

If they ask you or say anything then tell them the truth.

Can see its upsetting though.

exoticfruits Sat 16-Feb-13 15:23:00

I would just tell them that you would have made the effort but you can't justify the expense unless it is a holiday with DD.

DontmindifIdo Sat 16-Feb-13 15:25:06

YANBU - I would contact the bride and groom, say that you are really sorry to miss their big day but while you would be able to find someone to have your DD for a day in the UK, as it's childfree in another country you don't have anyone who you could leave your DD with for that long.

Is it's the fiance's home country or are they just doing a destination wedding? If purely destination wedding, then I assume they are working on the principle a lot of the people who'd go to a wedding in the UK won't bother and it'll keep costs down (and therefore they probably won't mind at all). If it's the fiance's home country then your cousin might feel a little put out that one side is going to be far more represented than the other, but that's a choice they have made.

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 15:26:58

DD is 7, will be 8 by the time of the wedding. Old enough to be left, but that isn't really the point.

I don't think they will have incurred any costs. Wedding is in the summer, so a few months away yet. We had a "save the date" card ages ago and we did indicate that we were planning to attend, but we only got the formal invitation this week. There had been no mention previously about the child-free thing, and I had told them that dd was really looking forward to visiting the country in question, so they knew we were expecting to bring her. They seem to think we are BU to change our plans just because dd can't now come, but for me, it changes the situation considerably.

I guess my cousin will have fewer family members there than his fiancee but there will be some. And in any case, that's not really my problem...

DIYapprentice Sat 16-Feb-13 15:28:07

How old is your DD? And how long would you spend in the country? We travelled to the other side of the world for a friend's wedding (best friend, mind you) with our DSs who were still very young. They went to the ceremony but for the dinner we left them with my DSis. Our choice though, as our friend would have been delighted to have us bring them, but it was a 'late into the night' do and I didn't particularly want to be dealing with them, and we also spent 2 weeks there so it was a family holiday as well (given that it takes 1 1/2 days to get there and same again to get back I certainly wasn't going to spend less than 2 weeks there!!!)

I wouldn't necessarily do the same sort of thing if we were only going to be there for a weekend, and certainly not if it meant no other family holiday.

(These are friends who moved their wedding date to make sure we could go - not a single member of my or DH's family would have done that. Travelling to the other side of the world was well worth it for them.)

SomethingProfound Sat 16-Feb-13 15:31:31

How old is your DD, as I get the impression she is not a babe in arms.
Perhaps you could say to Aunt and Uncle something like this "I'm very sorry we can't come but DD was incredibly hurt at being excluded from a family occasion, and we feel it would just upset her further for us to go with out her"

Personally I don't have a problem with child free weddings but I (for some reason which has no logic behind it) view this as being from the age of seven downwards assuming it is due to possible disruption, if your DD is old enough to be hurt at being excluded then she is old enough to understand how to behave appropriately.

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 15:31:33

It's not a destination wedding. Aunt, uncle, cousins, fiancee and fiancee's family all live there, so nothing unreasonable in them choosing to get married there. grin And I genuinely would have made the effort to go, if we all could have gone.

Think aunt and uncle are probably hurt because I didn't go to their other son's wedding a few years ago either, but there were unavoidable circumstances at the time which they did know about.

thebody Sat 16-Feb-13 15:31:35

It's their choice op, they have changed the goal posts so its their loss.

See, I think it's a bit borderline actually

I think YANBU if you can't afford to go there and/or you don't have any childcare for DD

But you can afford to go and you do have someone to watch DD

You just don't want to go.

I still think that's perfectly fine, and you shouldn't feel too bad about it.

But your question is whether your family are BU to be upset and I think it's normal for people to be a bit upset if they know you can come and just don't want to. Especially as you didn't attend the last one either.

If it were me I would combine the wedding with a family vacation somehow.

DontmindifIdo Sat 16-Feb-13 15:33:30

BTW - if your DD was invited, would you go and make a holiday out of it?

If they really want you there, then your cousin will make a compromise, if that means he says "yes" to your DD being there for the meal etc but not the ceremony (so your DH could stand outside the church with her for the ceremony), or finding you childcare in that country for the day/putting you in touch with other guests with similar aged DCs so you can share childcare costs for the day in the hotel etc. But getting an arse on because you're not able to travel to another coutry without your child for a few days or expecting you to track down childcare in another county isn't reasonable. I swear some people without DCs do think you can just put them in a cupboard for the day...

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 15:35:50

something, she would be 8 at the time of the wedding, and there would be no question of her being disruptive - she is very mature and generally very well-behaved. Ironically, she is incredibly family-oriented and puts a lot of value on being part of a big extended "clan". Which is why I think she would be upset at being left out.

But that's ok, because I'm not going to tell her that bit. wink


If your DD really would like to see that country then I don't get why you don't make a big family holiday out of it. The wedding is just one day. Make loads of fun plans for all of you and then just sort of do a drive by for the wedding.

I don't think an 8 year old would be 'hurt' not to go, unless you give her the idea that she's being excluded -- you can just explain it's an adult thing and there aren't any children going.

Floralnomad Sat 16-Feb-13 15:40:27

YANBU , I actually don't mind child free weddings / events as its been a very good excuse to not socialise for many years as I don't leave my children anywhere . I certainly wouldn't have left them with someone and left the country .

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 15:42:04

But you can afford to go and you do have someone to watch DD

You just don't want to go.

Well, I guess this is closer to the reality. We could do it if we chose to, but if I'm blunt, I just don't want to spend money on an overseas trip without dd. I work FT, and I want to spend my holidays with her.

I don't really want to start negotiating with cousin either. I don't feel comfortable about it.

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 15:46:25

See, I think dd would be hurt, as she tends to be quite sensitive about stuff like that. And she was looming forward to the wedding. But I'm not going to test this out, as I'm not going to tell her that she isn't invited.

We can't make a big family holiday out of it, as I can't take more than a day or two off work at that time. Basically, we'd just be going for the weekend of the wedding and then flying back afterwards.


Well to be clear -- I think that's totally fine, you shouldn't have to go on a trip you don't want to go on. I just think you need to be realistic that other people will be disappointed.

My family back home are constantly trying to get us to come visit, I don't want to go because they're lunatics frankly. But I tell them it's the cost and the time (transatlantic trip). If we then go take a long expensive holiday somewhere else, I don't think they'll be unreasonable to be upset, because then they'll know it's just that we didn't want to go.

I think turning the wedding trip into a family holiday is a good way forward actually.

sorry I'm a x-posting machine today blush

nancerama Sat 16-Feb-13 15:50:07

YANBU. We had a child-free wedding. It was a small venue and we simply couldn't have accommodated everyone if children had been added to the mix too. The venue was also on a river bank, so parents of toddlers wouldn't have had a relaxing day!

None of our guests were invited to make up the numbers - they were people who were special to DH and me and we wanted everyone we invited to attend, but if anyone couldn't come for whatever reason, we didn't take it personally.

The only people who I found rude or annoying were those who struggled to grasp the concept of RSVPing at all.

lljkk Sat 16-Feb-13 15:52:00

Hold firm Jinsei, You shouldn't let this bother you any further.

SomethingProfound Sat 16-Feb-13 15:52:55

YANBU to not want to go.

Your cousin and his DF have decided that they don't want children at their wedding, fair enough but by making this decision they run the risk that those who have DC's may choose not to come.

I don't have children, but if I did there is no way I would fork out to go abroad and use my holiday allowance when my child wouldn't be there it would feel like a waste and I would resent it.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 16-Feb-13 15:52:57


Can whichever of your parents is their sibling have a word? Who exactly are they thinking that you can palm your DD off on?

We had this exact issue when my DB got married. Childfree wedding so DS wasn't invited, but they got the hump when we said we wouldn't go. Now bearing in mind that all my family were going to be at the wedding, and MIL was at that time waiting for a knee operation and pretty disabled - where were we supposed to leave him??
DB even e-mailed me a list of nurseries close to the venue - which a) wouldn't have been open, and b) we were hardly going to dump him with a bunch of strangers.

In the end SIL was able to have him for the afternoon and we went just for a bit and then went home - which didn't go down well, but what else did they expect us to do?

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 15:54:01

Thanks lljkk. I know I shouldn't really, but feel a bit sad that this seems to have soured what was always a good relationship with my aunt and uncle. I just assumed that they would understand, I suppose, but obviously they didn't!

Floralnomad Sat 16-Feb-13 15:56:04

They'll get over it ,think no more about it ,its not like you've left it to the last minute to say no .

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 15:57:33

I don't really know if they have thought through what we'd do with dd tbh. They do know that none of my in-laws are in this country, so it's not like we could leave her with DH's family. Having said that, I'm pretty sure my friend would have her if I asked - but they don't necessarily know that!!

Yama Sat 16-Feb-13 15:58:22

I have a 7 year old dd too. I believe she would be hurt at being excluded from a family wedding that I had been invited to. Children have feelings too. She's been to a few weddings and understands their meaning.

Corygal Sat 16-Feb-13 16:00:48

YANBU - please, let the backlash against insanely pricy wedding 'invitations' continue.

Who do you know who isn't sick of it? The inconvenience, the time, and most of all the entire year's family holiday budget sent down the toilet for someone else's celebration meal.

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 16:01:01

It's my mum's side of the family alibaba, and she has spoken to them - that's how I know that they're hurt and that they think we are being petty. My parents can totally see it from our point of view, and understand why we're not going, but I think they feel bad for my aunt and uncle too.

Sorry OP but you are never going to get a good response to 'I could come but I don't want to'.

I know you feel like your DD is being excluded but that is obviously not what they intend, child-free weddings are not personally directed at anyone. For all you know it's simply to save lots of money because there's a gazillion children on the other side.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 16-Feb-13 16:04:53


While I respect someone's choice to have an adult only wedding, I would expect my choice not to leave my child behind, to also be respected.

I would also not be happy to give up precious holiday time with my dc and like you, would rather have a family holiday.

Floralnomad Sat 16-Feb-13 16:04:55

Perhaps your parents should suggest that they don't go so they can have their GD so that you can go and see how your aunt and uncle like that idea. At least that way it might get them to put it into perspective a bit better .

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 16:07:39

No, I realise that they may have good reasons for wanting and/or needing to exclude children, and I am genuinely not taking offence at that. It wouldn't be my choice, but it isn't my wedding either.

And I get what you're saying about the fact that we are effectively telling them that we no longer want to go. I guess I'm just surprised that they might think we would want to go, given that we can't take dd with us. If I were planning an event to which children weren't invited, I would assume that quite a few parents might opt out.

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 16:09:47

Perhaps your parents should suggest that they don't go so they can have their GD so that you can go and see how your aunt and uncle like that idea. At least that way it might get them to put it into perspective a bit better

haha, yes that might put it into perspective a bit! But my mum wouldn't miss it for the world, and I'm sure they know that! smile

Floralnomad Sat 16-Feb-13 16:13:50

Even more reason to do it then , and at least it would show your aunt and uncle that you are not the odd ones because your parents agree with you .

LemonBreeland Sat 16-Feb-13 16:14:12

I don't get why it means so much to your Aunt and Uncle that you are there. It is really strange to be so upset at people not being at a wedding.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 16-Feb-13 16:15:39

I have no issue at all with child free weddings nor do I have any issue with child friendly ones.

I've planned a few weddings for friends and have noticed that often including children can add a huge cost for whoever is paying for each couple you wish to invite as can it add additional costs to the couple attending.

When you arrange a wedding you have to understand that what ever choice you will make may lead to guests not wanting or being able to attend. Sometimes its distance sometimes its venue sometimes it could be the theme and it could just as easily be having children there as it could be not having them there that could do it.

Unless the invited guest says " I am not able to attend your wedding as I do not condone you getting hitched" then you have no right to be upset.


Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 16:16:27

I don't know lemon, we're quite a close family though. They were quite understanding when I couldn't go to their other son's wedding, so I thought they'd be ok about this one too. Obviously not.

Jinsei Sat 16-Feb-13 16:22:19

Unless the invited guest says " I am not able to attend your wedding as I do not condone you getting hitched" then you have no right to be upset.

grin Well, I certainly haven't said that!

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 16-Feb-13 16:30:12

Well then, they are being silly trying to guilt you.

Inertia Sat 16-Feb-13 16:49:54


When you indicated that you hoped to attend this wedding , it was on the basis that your whole family were invited, especially as it's a close family wedding.

I'd be inclined to tell aunt and uncle that you are very disappointed that DD isn't invited to a close family wedding, and you know she will be very hurt and upset to be left out of this family occasion. You respect your cousins desire to have a child free wedding, but the family need to respect your wish to make your own child your first priority . If this wedding would use family holiday budget and time, it would be unfair for your daughter to go without a holiday this year to save face for aunt and uncle.

whiteflame Sat 16-Feb-13 17:03:14

YANBU. Don't be guilted into spending your precious holiday time doing this that you don't want to do (i.e. spending it without DD). Life's too short and stressful.

creativevoid Sat 16-Feb-13 17:42:16

Is it possible to speak directly to your cousin and explain you don't feel comfortable leaving DD for a few days while you are in another country? They might make an exception for your DD.

I know a lot of people will say it's not polite to ask to bring an uninvited guest. We had a no children wedding- not because we don't like children but we just didn't have space and the expense would have been huge to invite a lot of children (many of whom we didn't really know.). We did make some exceptions, for example for a cousin whose son has downs. This wasn't a problem at all and I would think family visiting from abroad might fall into the same category (at least for reasonable people).

At the very least it would show willing and make your aunt and uncle feel better.

Itsaboatjack Sat 16-Feb-13 18:19:08

YANBU, but if its just a weekend is there a possibility of leaving your dd with your dh and going on your own? Only if you wanted to though. I wouldn't be guilt tripped into going to a family event that I didn't want to go to.

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