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Replying to a wedding invitation - tricky

(306 Posts)
HerculesMulligan Tue 03-Dec-19 21:23:51

We've been invited to a wedding in the spring which is about 3.5hrs from home. We know the groom well (one of my DH's oldest, closest friends) but have only met the bride once although they've been together for a few years. They are having a child-free wedding in a beautiful location but DH doesn't drive and it's not somewhere easy to reach by public transport.

We have two children - DD is a few months old and was premature. Our 5yo is autistic and has had a tough time recently because I've also been unwell. DD is healthy now and my parents have offered to babysit them both, but I'm not prepared to be so far from her, or for us both to be away from our DS overnight. Doing the drive there and back in a day wouldn't usually feel like a stretch for me but I haven't driven more than 2 hrs in any one day for almost a year, because I've been ill.

WWBU to say to them that our only options are :

(1) to decline outright; or

(2) to come for the ceremony only, with the baby in tow, acknowledging that they would be making an exception to the child-free rule for her, and head for home after it?

I don't quite know how to say that without sounding churlish - it's hard to know how it will be received as we haven't seen the groom as much as we once did and don't really know the bride although she seemed lovely when we met her. My DM thinks that as they know our (currently fairly unusual) circumstances they will understand. If it was a child-inclusive wedding we'd be there and very happily, but being away from the DC right now just isn't something I can do.

I'm not sure how best to have the discussion. None of this is made better by us RSVPing late because things have been so chaotic with us and because we kept hoping a perfect solution would appear, which it plainly hasn't.

Tiredmum100 Tue 03-Dec-19 21:25:57

Could you afford to take your dc and mother with you and pay for a hotel for you all. Could they do something whilst you're at the wedding and you pop back/ are on hand if needed?

Justmuddlingalong Tue 03-Dec-19 21:26:57

Could DH get a lift with someone else attending and go alone?

TartanMarbled Tue 03-Dec-19 21:26:56

Take your mam with you to babysit.

dontalltalkatonce Tue 03-Dec-19 21:27:21

Option (1)

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Tue 03-Dec-19 21:27:34

What about booking an airbnb nearby and your parents joining you so that they can babysit locally?
Obviously there would be some logistics in getting all 6 of you there.

TartanMarbled Tue 03-Dec-19 21:27:47

Or send DH with another mate/train for first bit, mate collects at other end.

Starrynights86 Tue 03-Dec-19 21:27:53

yes why don't you take your mum with you? that's what we do when we get invited to childfree weddings.

TitchyP Tue 03-Dec-19 21:28:29

Could DH go alone? It sounds like too much of a mission for you all to go.

TartanMarbled Tue 03-Dec-19 21:28:41

Can you guys really not think of these solutions yourselves? Especially a solution for your husband getting there alone?

HerculesMulligan Tue 03-Dec-19 21:29:43

We considered asking my parents to come with us but they have been extraordinarily supportive this year and while they'd do anything for us, I don't feel I can ask them to drive hundreds of miles to wrangle two small children in a house none of them know in the middle of nowhere.

Napqueen1234 Tue 03-Dec-19 21:30:03

I’d just say no. It puts them in an awkward position asking to bring a child when it’s a child free wedding. If your parents can babysit close by so you can be around all the better but otherwise I would just send apologies (ASAP if already late!) and explain why

ChaosisntapitChaosisaladder19 Tue 03-Dec-19 21:31:01

They stated no children please respect their wishes. You're dh should be able to attend alone or get alift with others who will be attending. Alternatively could you're dm not go to the hotel with you? Being away from you're dc overnight isnt the end of the world and it might do you some good to get a much needed break from you're dc I say this a dm of three.

GrannyBags Tue 03-Dec-19 21:31:03

I wouldn’t ask if I could take DD personally. They have made it clear it’s a child free wedding and whilst they might understand your circumstances, other guests may not. Having the family stay at a nearby hotel is a good suggestion if that’s possible.

TartanMarbled Tue 03-Dec-19 21:31:29

It sounds like you really just don't want to go. Send your husband on his own, he'll have a great time!

badguyduh Tue 03-Dec-19 21:32:02

Don't try and take the kids or work around it by getting a hotel etc - far too much stress imo.
Basically, you and the kids can't realistically go without it being a huge headache, which it sounds like you don't need at the moment.
Your husband can go but can't get there, unless he can get a lift or sort out public transport/uber etc.

So I'd decline on the basis that you can't make it (due to childcare responsibilities) and your DH can't drive.

DillyDilly Tue 03-Dec-19 21:33:03

The most obvious solution is for your DH to go to the wedding solo. I’m sure he could organise a lift with other friends?

MojoMoon Tue 03-Dec-19 21:33:27

Your husband goes, you stay at home?

He can ask the groom who else is travelling in the same direction and get a lift or a lift from the station. It's quite common at weddings - sometimes there is a section on the wedding website with people''s travel info

Etinox Tue 03-Dec-19 21:34:21

Don’t ask. Also encourage your dh to get driving!

HerculesMulligan Tue 03-Dec-19 21:34:27

You're right that DH could go alone by public transport - it would make it a three-day trip which is hard on me and DS given the year we've had, and really quite expensive - probably upwards of £800 for train fare and hotels. I'm the primary wage-earner and am on maternity pay, and my illness has also given us some unexpected expenses recently.

Daisydoola Tue 03-Dec-19 21:35:15

No I don't think it's fair to ask them to make an exception for you.

turkeyontheplate Tue 03-Dec-19 21:35:55

If people insist on excluding an entire class of human being from their event, surely they can't be surprised when some of the invitees can't or don't want to attend. Just decline.

badguyduh Tue 03-Dec-19 21:35:58

Jesus, don't spend £800 on going to a wedding. Just don't.

DirtyWindow Tue 03-Dec-19 21:36:06

Nowhere in the UK is that far from public transport. Why doesn't your husband go alone and get a taxi from the nearest train station, or get a lift from a friend?

HerculesMulligan Tue 03-Dec-19 21:36:32

Tartan, of course we can. We've been round and round the houses trying to find a solution but as neither of us has been able to focus properly on this until now, I thought it worth asking in case we'd missed something.

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