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Letting 16yos decide if they attend a wedding or not

(67 Posts)
lyralalala Mon 04-Mar-19 18:54:41

What age would you let your kids decide if they wanted to attend a wedding?

My 16yo twin DDs have decided they don't want to attend a weddding on their father's side. They were previously close to the bride, but haven't really seen her much.

There was an issue in that she asked DD1 to be a bridesmaid, but told DD2, who is narcoleptic, that she didn't want to stress her out (DD2 has been a BM several times and it's never been an issue) so they wanted her to attend just as a guest.

DD1 has taken huge offence on her sister's behalf and declined being a BM. After more to-in and fro-ing (including one amusing text in which I was told I was allowing them to be selfish brats) they have decided they don't want to go at all.

Their grandparents, who I usually get on very, very well with (they have a much better/closer relationship with the girls than their father does, see the girls weekly and take the on holiday each year) have asked me to intervene and tell them that family weddings are just one of those things and they must go.

However, I'm inclined to think that 16 is old enough to decide for themselves.

janetforpresident Mon 04-Mar-19 18:59:31

Well personally I would talk to them about how they might regret their decision if they once cared for the bride and this was an important day for her etc. But ultimately I would let them decide. As long as they are giving enough notice of course.

ltk Mon 04-Mar-19 18:59:59

Define 'family'. How close a relation are we talking?

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 04-Mar-19 19:02:44

I agree with you completely and good on your DD1 for standing up for her sister.

The bride sounds like a twat. She made her choice. Your daughters get to make theirs.

DelphiniumBlue Mon 04-Mar-19 19:09:17

Is the issue that the girls feel that DD2 has been insulted by the bride? Was it that the bride intended to ask DD2 to be a bridesmaid if it wouldn't stress her out, but it was interpreted as " you can't be a bridesmaid because of your narcolepsy"?
It's not really a question of teenagers not wanting to go to A wedding, it sounds as if they have been really offended and are boycotting for that reason. Treating them as spoilt children won't help if they have grounds for being offended.
Has the reason they don't want to go been discussed with a) grandparents and b) bride?
Personally I would be defending them and suggesting that an apology is in order.

lyralalala Mon 04-Mar-19 19:09:43

It's their cousin who is getting married.

Their grandparents are already upset because their father won't be there (he's in the military) and his wife won't go without him so their younger half siblings won't be attending.

Normally the girls would go without him. They are much more likely to attend events with their GP's than their father as he barely bothers with them.

I've spoken to them about it being a big day for the cousin, and their Aunt etc. We've discussed their Grandparents, and also that extended family will be there but they just don't want to go.

lyralalala Mon 04-Mar-19 19:13:31

Is the issue that the girls feel that DD2 has been insulted by the bride? Was it that the bride intended to ask DD2 to be a bridesmaid if it wouldn't stress her out, but it was interpreted as " you can't be a bridesmaid because of your narcolepsy"?

It is exactly because of that. They both feel that basically DD2 was specifically left out in case she falls down and spoils the photos (their words, not mine).

DD1 is particularly annoyed because she said that it was doubly rude to dress it up as doing DD2 a favour. Whereas she feels that the bride should either have "wound her neck in and remembered that DD2 is DD2" or just not asked either of them.

I have explained it to their grandparents. So have they, and they do understand it. The bride has taken the stance that it's her wedding, which is fair enough, but then it also feels fair enough that the girls have their opinions too.

HaventGotAllDay Mon 04-Mar-19 19:14:01

I didn't want to go to family weddings when I was their age either. Night out with my mates, or sitting around in a posh frock listening to the Macarena played by some dodgy bloke dj-ing in his spare time- no contest really.

But that's not the point.

You (not them) need to weigh up the fact that this will probably cause a rift if they don't go. It will fall back onto you as well, as allowing them to do what they wanted.

I don't see where she's being a twat tbh. Her wedding, her choice. You can also choose to let your kids not go, but it's not going to be pretty.

Awrite Mon 04-Mar-19 19:15:35

Crap of the bride to ask one 16 year old twin but not the other to be a bridesmaid. Terrible reason makes it worse.

Are you going?

No point forcing them to go if you are not. Up to their grandparents to try to appeal to them if it matters to them.

YANBU.

Cookit Mon 04-Mar-19 19:18:15

I think actually if I had been given the opportunity to say “no” to something I had a problem with (good on your DD1!) at 16 I’d remember it really well as a time when my parents stuck up for me and treated me as an adult.

GoGoGadgetGin Mon 04-Mar-19 19:18:49

Have they always been bridesmaids together?

WinnieFosterTether Mon 04-Mar-19 19:26:21

I know this is going to be unpopular but I'd encourage them to go. Otoh they think the cousin should have known DD2 was able to cope with the pressure but on the other, you say they're not close any more.

I also don't agree that twins need to be treated exactly the same or that people have a 'right' to be a bridesmaid.

Ultimately I'd be asking my DCs to support their grandparents. It's one day.

FaithFrank Mon 04-Mar-19 19:26:27

YANBU it's crap of the bride to exclude DD2 because of her narcolepsy. It's understandable that they are offended.

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 04-Mar-19 19:28:45

The bride is the one causing “the rift” by separating twin sisters.

It’s not their fault their dad can’t go and SM won’t go. They’re old enough to have an opinion and they’re absolutely right to feel offended by her discriminating against one of them for something she can’t help and then patronising them by pretending she’s doing DD2 a favour.

As ever, it’s an invitation not a summons. Including when the invited are 16 and it’s a family wedding.

Continue to back your daughters up. If the bride wants to kick off because she’s not going to enact her vision (which includes being mean and leaving one DD out) then that’s on her.

lyralalala Mon 04-Mar-19 19:31:19

Have they always been bridesmaids together?

No. DD1 was a BM at her godfather's wedding. DD2 was BM for the DD of a family friend that she's close too because they share an illness.

So they have done it solo, but it's always been because they've had a closer personal relationship with the bride or groom. The twice they've been BM's at family weddings it's been both of them.

Are you going?

No, I'm not invited. Which is fine. They often go to family events on that side with their GPs.

lyralalala Mon 04-Mar-19 19:33:24

I also don't agree that twins need to be treated exactly the same or that people have a 'right' to be a bridesmaid.

I dont' think people have to treat the exactly the same. They have their own friends, hobbies etc. They are very much treated as DD1 and DD2 rather than 'the twins'.

There would have been absolutely no issue with them not being asked to be bridesmaids at all. The issue is that they are offended by the reasoning for only choosing one.

PanamaPattie Mon 04-Mar-19 19:33:25

Can they still go if DD1 steps down as a bridesmaid? Just go as a family?

lyralalala Mon 04-Mar-19 19:43:03

Can they still go if DD1 steps down as a bridesmaid? Just go as a family?

They're still invited, but they don't want to go.

DD1 isn't a bridesmaid. She said no when they discussed it as the comment about DD2 having a stress free day was made first.

STOPSCRATCHINGTHECRADLECAP Mon 04-Mar-19 19:44:24

Cousin?

I would let them decide at any age. Weddings suck for children most of the time. My kids would be bored and play up.
If they didn't want to go, I wouldn't make them. Regardless of their age.

HeathRobinson Mon 04-Mar-19 19:50:07

I would let them decide. They're old enough.

And if SM is excused because she just doesn't want to go, well same goes for your dds.

pointythings Mon 04-Mar-19 20:03:44

I'd let them decide. The bride screwed up by not asking DD2 and giving a stupid non-valid reason -- here are the consequences, she sucks it up.

Good on your girls for sticking up for each other.

whyayepetal Mon 04-Mar-19 20:04:29

DD1 is particularly annoyed because she said that it was doubly rude to dress it up as doing DD2 a favour. Whereas she feels that the bride should either have "wound her neck in and remembered that DD2 is DD2" or just not asked either of them.

I have explained it to their grandparents. So have they, and they do understand it. The bride has taken the stance that it's her wedding, which is fair enough, but then it also feels fair enough that the girls have their opinions too

Sounds like the grandparents understand the girls' feelings, which is excellent. Your daughter has decided not to take up the offer of being bridesmaid, and both your daughters have decided that they would rather not attend the wedding at all. If they were my daughters, I would be proud of their integrity, loyalty and resilience. As long as they continued to handle the situation in a mature way (i.e. write a formal card declining the invitation politely, no drama llama antics grin ), then I would have no issue at all with them not attending. From what you say, it doesn't seem that you or their grandparents would have a major problem with their decision either.

Doobigetta Mon 04-Mar-19 20:05:24

I don’t agree with their reasons for not going- I think their cousin has an absolute right to choose her bridesmaids for whatever reason she wants, and I think it’s petty to refuse to go to something because you’re offended on someone else’s behalf. But I do think they’re old enough to make that decision for themselves, and beyond offering your opinion you should respect that. They’re 16, I think you can still enforce “my house, my rules”, but only around their behaviour actually in your house. They’re too old to be “made” to go somewhere. What are their grandparents going to do, put baby reins on them and bundle them into a car?

PanamaPattie Mon 04-Mar-19 20:06:21

Ok. Fair enough. Their decision.

ideasofmarch Mon 04-Mar-19 20:11:11

Bride to-be has handled the situation really badly IMO, and I can quite understand why they don't want to go. One of them has been deeply insulted, and the other is backing her up. Good for them, I say, and unless the bride does some serious grovelling then they should be able to decide for themselves whether they go to the wedding or not.

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