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DS not invited to brother's wedding

(185 Posts)
shawad Tue 09-Dec-08 10:00:29

What would you do - I'm supposed to be his best man, and my son will be the only 'child' who is being excluded by their 'no children' policy (other than 2 friends who wouldn't have brought their children anyway).

He'll be 20 months, and #2 is on the way and will be 4 months by then (next August). Both will be too much to leave with the mother in law.

It's not really that much of a surprise, she doesn't like children, and doesn't want any herself, but I had hoped that she'd have been talked round by my brother.

My parents are both upset and angered by the decision, as are my wife and I. We see the wedding as a family event, and she is joining our family so better get used to children being part of it. She sees her wedding as a big party for her friends, to the point my Parents aren't even getting to invite any of their family/friends.

I'm most disappointed with my brother in all this - it's his wedding too, so I think he should be putting his foot down and having his family there, but he's probably just wanting to keep the peace.

At the moment I've decided that I can't be his best man (although I've not told him yet), my wife will probably be staying at home to look after both kids, and I'm not even sure I want to go now at all.

Am I overreacting? What have other ppl on here done when they've been in this situation?

Upwind Tue 09-Dec-08 10:03:27

Yes overreacting.

Their wedding, their party, their decision as to who is invited.

Doodle2U Tue 09-Dec-08 10:09:06

Your views on weddings match my own but I learnt long ago that not everyone shares them.

Speak to your brother on his own. Don't make decisions about attending/not attending until you have done so. Trust me, it'll bugger up family relations for a looooooong time.

McDreamy Tue 09-Dec-08 10:11:38

I think you should still be his best man, you'll regret it if you stand down and as Doodle said could cause so many problems but I can understand you DW not being able to attend. Very sad situation but it is their wedding and they get to decide who's invited and who isn't even if you (and me) don't agree sad

wannaBe Tue 09-Dec-08 10:14:04

children at wedding threads are always contentious...

Tbh, while on the whole I can understand why people do have childless weddings (we did), once there are children in the family I think that this becomes harder to achieve and less fair on the children who are a part of the family.

I had a child-free wedding because at the time we didn't have children, and having children would have meant additional cost/excluding other people we wanted there because of space. However this was do-able because the people we invited that had children were friends who were only too happy to part company with their children for a day in order to come and have fun at our wedding. However if there had been young children in the family I think we would have had to make allowances for those.

If this whole wedding is upsetting all the family then I would be inclined to talk to your brother and tell him exactly how people are feeling.

I do think that weddings bring out the worst in people, and while I appreciate that it is her day, your children are going to be a part of her family, so to exclude them seems very harsh.

juuule Tue 09-Dec-08 10:17:16

You are over-reacting although I can understand why you are upset.

BUT it is their wedding. Help to make it enjoyable for them.
Let him know that your wife won't be going as she will have to look after the children and that maybe as soon as the ceremonies are over you will probably leave. Don't use it as a threat, just a fact.
Don't refuse to be his best man. He is still your brother.
Try not to be upset.
As Doodle2U says, not everyone sees these things the same way. Try not to turn it into a family feud.

McDreamy Tue 09-Dec-08 10:19:39

Good advice from Juule, don't use theats, just make the facts clear ie,unfortunately DW can't come, you of course will be his best man but won't be able to stay all evening.

ComeOVeneer Tue 09-Dec-08 10:20:38

I (personally) don't get this "parents inviting their friends" to their offsprings wedding.

XmasFairyGrrrl Tue 09-Dec-08 10:21:19

I do think it's quite rude to exclude him, especially since you'll presumably then have to arrange childcare because all your family will be there, but at the same time, it is their wedding, they can invite whomever they chose and it's tough really.

I think refusing to be best man won't achieve much- everyone will be upset, and if they do relent and say he can come to ensure you don't step down, the atmosphere is going to be pretty crappy.

And do you know that your brother isn't in on the decision anyway? Maybe he's in agreement with his fiance?

Best you can do now is tell your brother that you're disappointed but will respect their decision, explain that your wife can't attend because of the exclusion and grit your teeth on the day.

HolidaysQueen Tue 09-Dec-08 10:21:55

i know it's 'unfair' but it is their wedding and therefore their call i'm afraid.

fwiw, we didn't have kids at our wedding. a lot of our friends had kids and we spent so much of our time having our social life dictated by their needs - lunches at 12pm, very few nights out etc. - that we actually wanted to be a little bit selfish about our wedding and have a grown-up bash for once (plus the space/cost thing was a concern as well). we did however recognise that my DH's niece and nephew were a more special case than random 3rd cousins and children of schoolfriends etc. so we invited niece and nephew to the ceremony, post-ceremony drinks/nibbles and photos. they got to be part of the wedding ceremony and be in the photos, but then my SIL's parents took them home so it was an adult only dinner and party. DH's brother and his wife were more than happy with that - their children were part of a family event but they then enjoyed having the night out themselves to have a drink etc.

could you propose something like that to your brother as a compromise? having said that, it will be harder with a 4 month old - my niece and nephew were 13 months and 3 at that point so easier to send home with ILs.

the best man thing is a separate issue - your brother wants you to be his best man. i don't think your agreement should be based on whether your children are invited or not. you are either happy to be his best man or you're not, you can't attach conditions to it i'm afraid.

stitch Tue 09-Dec-08 10:22:17

weddings are about families.
not inviting the grooms nephew. why bother inviting his parents or brother then?
very shocking behaviour

flowerytaleofNewYork Tue 09-Dec-08 10:22:32

I think you are overreacting, and considering not being his best man or even not attending is over the top and would involve creating a family feud which you will regret later on.

I also agree with CoV - why should your parents get to invite their friends? Surely it's about the bride and groom and their family and friends.

MascaraOHara Tue 09-Dec-08 10:24:42

Can't you just phone him and say "do you really not wna <DS> to be at your wedding" if he says no, just say "OK then, we will see if we can arrange childcare but both I and <DW> are hurt by this exclusion"

I expect he will say "Yes of course I want him there" at which point you can diuscuss what's actually going on..

chequersandroastedchestnuts Tue 09-Dec-08 10:26:39

You expect them to respect you, your family and your wishes and yet you feel it's ok to not respect their wishes?

It's just one day, it's not about your children, it's about this couple.

You are going to look extremely ungracious if you don't go.

And so what if the focus is on a party for their friends? It's not how you would do it but it's not your weddding.

sunnygirl1412 Tue 09-Dec-08 10:27:25

I have been to a friend's wedding where children were not invited - mainly for the reason of space - I was not offended or upset at this because we were not close relatives of the bride or groom. There were some children at the wedding who were close relatives, and I certainly didn't feel miffed that these children were invited when mine weren't - I'd hope that anyone would understand a similar situation.

I've also been to weddings with my children, including when ds1 was just 2, and ds2 was only 4 months old - and I'm as sure as I can be that they were good wedding guests.

I think that it is very unreasonable of your future s-i-l to exclude her future nephew and nephew/niece - that's certainly not the way to foster good relationships with her in-laws!!

I'd suggest a tactful word with your brother - say how hurt you are by this situation and how divisive you feel it is. Yes, a wedding is the bride's special day - but it is also the groom's special day and a day for the family to celebrate together.

When dh and I got married, we talked to both sets of parents and found out how many people they wanted to invite - and we accomodated that with the greatest of pleasure. It made the day a happy one for everyone concerned. Your brother certainly ought to be able to invite some guests of his choice to the wedding - and if that includes you and your children, I think your future sil will just have to get over it.

stitch Tue 09-Dec-08 10:35:06

i disagrree. weddings are not about the bride and groom. they are about families.
personally i think the op is underreacting.

skidoodle Tue 09-Dec-08 10:38:08

Parents' friends should be invited out of respect for your parents.

It sounds like your brother is starting life with a complete and utter cow and that this wedding will be just the beginning of fights and arguments for your family.

The hosts of an event invite who they want. This means that whoever pays draws up the guestlist. In the case of a wedding it is polite to consult the bride and groom and both sets of parents about the guestlist.

To not invite the children of your brother and best man is an unspeakable rudeness, particularly if it is going against the expressed wishes of your parents. Your brother should be ashamed of himself and his wife to allow such a thing.

I don't think you should refuse to be best man. Do as juuuule suggested and just explain that your involvement will be necessarily curtailed. Depending on your relationship with your brother, I might not bother explaining to him how upset you are. Your parents have already made the point, so he KNOWS what he's doing is unacceptable to his family and he either doesn't care, or thinks that his fiancée must be indulged in all things.

Try not to let the fact that he is marrying someone so dreadful get in the way of your relationship if you can. You will probably have to bite your tongue a lot in the next few years, but maybe she'll chill out, maybe he'll grow a spine, or maybe they'll split up.

Oovavu Tue 09-Dec-08 10:39:10

It is their wedding and you have to respect their decision, regardless of your own feelings. Pre-kids we had a childfree wedding, mainly because our nephew was 3 and so badly behaved that we knew MIL and PIL would spend the day trying to control him while dh's brother and SIL did nothing.

However, it did upset one or two friends whose dcs would have behaved perfectly well so in that way it was a bit of a shame but at the time we didn't give it much thought.

Now we've got the dds we can see we were a bit precious about it all, but there;s nothing can be done now - I don't regret it, but I do se both sides much better now. I know that if anyone (esp family) had tried to make a big deal about it, I'd have been really cross and it would have made things worse (blush at being such a Bridezilla at the time)

compo Tue 09-Dec-08 10:39:32

'my Parents aren't even getting to invite any of their family/friends.'

I take your point that your brother should want his nephew there but I see no reason at all why your parents should get to invite their family and friends!!

I'm afraid you're just going to have to deal with it - their wedding, their rules.

I am quite sure neither your brother nor his future wife tried to dictate who should or shouldn't attend your wedding.

Oovavu Tue 09-Dec-08 10:42:21

and hmm at posters saying the bride is a cow and horrible etc.

and even more hmm at weddings not being for the bride and groom!

families can be a pita

hunkermunker Tue 09-Dec-08 10:42:26

Who is paying for the wedding?

redhotredhead Tue 09-Dec-08 10:43:27

I don't think you are overreacting. I have been in this situation (though not with the best man angle) and def got the hump. I agree with the others though you shouldn't not go because of it. Be gracious and wise. They will learn one day, maybe when they have kids of their own, what a daft decision they made. Weddings should be about families.

pooka Tue 09-Dec-08 10:46:14

I don't think you are overreacting. I would be very upset as well.

However, I do think you should go to the wedding.

Oovavu Tue 09-Dec-08 10:47:08

let them get on with it and if they want white doves flying out of each others' arses and decorations made from gilded unicorns horns, then fine, because it's their wedding.

As redhot just said, they will probably be completely different people in a few years' time and realise how precious they were. but in the meantime, let them get on with it and be as gracious as you can.

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