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Do I go to brother's wedding?

(256 Posts)
RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 08:23:06

My brother is getting married next year but has decided not to have any children at the wedding. My children are the only children in the family. They are 2, 3, 5 and 6.

I was fine with their decision but said that as my DH and I have no childcare and the wedding is 5 hours from our home I wouldn't be going but we could have a celebration seperately after the event.

This all seemed to be agreed until I got an e-mail from my Mum begging me to go and alying it on thick about it being my brother's one wedding etc etc. I thought this was just my Mum getting emotional so I rang my brother to get his opinion.

I was shocked that he said he expected me to attend and would not forgive me if I didn't. It is possible for me to go on my own (DH would have to saty with the DCs) but it would mean my DH rearranging a busy work scedule and me staying away for 2 nights, including my DS's 7th birthday. Financially, it would be a stretch but as my brother pointed out I have been given a year's notice!

I have never stayed away before and don't really want to go on my own. However, I don't want to fall out over this. When DH and I got married it was a registry office with two witnesses so I have never understood the fuss over weddings!

Anyway, WWYD? I have a feeling I will have to go to keep the peace but I am upset that I will have to leave my DCs and go on my own.

AKissIsNotAContract Mon 15-Oct-12 08:25:22

Did you ask why you can't bring the children? I'm having a child free wedding but my nephews are the exception.

Trills Mon 15-Oct-12 08:26:17

Are you sure you couldn't go for just 1 night rather than 2?

And are you sure that between now and then (quite a few months) you could not work out some kind of childcare? A year is a long time.

He is wrong to "not forgive you" for not being able to go, but it doesn't sound as if you are trying very hard.

Iheartpasties Mon 15-Oct-12 08:26:56

Well it's all very good him laying all this guilt on your about going, why is he so un-caring about your kids though! I'd be very annoyed at my brother if did this. I know its a contraversial topic on MN though.

BlingLoving Mon 15-Oct-12 08:29:32

I am a but surprised at how quickly and casually you decided not to go. Can you not take children to wherever you re and then you go to actual weddi g while dh stays with Dc? I think it's entirely reasonable your brother expects you to attend. If you can't take family to near the weddi g then I would say leave kids with dh. Surely the weddi g of your brother is important enough to do the fiddling with schedules required?

rubyrubyruby Mon 15-Oct-12 08:31:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ithaka Mon 15-Oct-12 08:32:30

I would not miss my child's birthday for a wedding, so in your circumstances I wouldn't go - after all, it is your DS's one 7th birthday.

If you don't want to go, don't. He will get over it, whatever he says now. The marriage may or may not be his only one (time alone will tell) but it will definitely be the only time your DS turns 7.

As a mother who lost a child shortly after his first birthday, I cherish every birthday as I can never feel certain how many they will have. I accept my feeling may the stronger than most on this subject due to my circumstances.

LonelyCloud Mon 15-Oct-12 08:59:44

Have you asked if he can make an exception for your children, if he's so keen on you attending? Given that they're his nieces/nephews, he may be able to explain those away as close family if he's invited other guests with children.

But I'd be annoyed at my brother if he did this. I can understand wanting a child free wedding (DH & I had one) - but it's really not on to then complain or be unforgiving about non-attendance if guests can't or won't attend because their children aren't invited. Especially if the wedding clashes with a childs birthday.

Or is there any possibility of you, DH & DCs having a short break near the wedding venue? Not ideal, I know, especially given your DC's ages, but at least you'd be around for part of your DS's actual birthday.

I probably would go though, as it sounds like it's going to cause problems with your family if you don't.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 09:17:45

I would like to say that I get on really well with my DB and do not want to cause upset for the sake of it. That is why I am considering this so carefully. I understand not wanting DCs at weddings but that puts me in a really difficult position.

We hav no childcare so it is not an option to leave the DCs with anyone but DH. The wedding is at such a time that I would have to go two nights because of the train timetable. I have looked into travel and accomodation, I haven't just said no. I just feel torn between my family here and my DB. I don't want to upset anyone.

It is unfortunate the date they have picked as it is my DH's busiest weekend of the year because of events on during this weekend so it would be difficult for him and stressful juggling the DCs and work but not impossible.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 09:18:18

Sorry, to date. I appreciate all your responses as I feel I need some unbiased opinions on the issue.

RainQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 09:18:31

Not date- add!

DoubleYew Mon 15-Oct-12 09:30:06

Its also your dc's 7th birthday. I understand there are reasons why people want a child free wedding but they are forcing you to miss the birthday of a child who is old enough to know it is on that day. And its the other end of the country by the sounds of things. You have a large young family, I can see it would be hard to arrange childcare. If you were my sister I would be sad you weren't there but frankly they aren't making it easy for you.

SarkyWench Mon 15-Oct-12 09:32:59

If you had all been invited, would your DH have gone?

I think you need to work out whether you are saying no because your family genuinely can't manage to take off the whole weekend, or because you are pissed off at him for not inviting your kids.

JennyWren Mon 15-Oct-12 09:46:34

Have you made it gently clear to them that your reason for not going is childcare? Have you explored their reasons for stipulating no children? Does the bride have lots of (any?) nieces and nephews? Perhaps a message to both your DB and DM to say that you are devastated to be missing the wedding and would love to go, but that it will be impossible if your DB's nieces and nephews are not able to join the celebration with you. You would love to join them and hope that they will agree to allow their whloe family to share their special day.

That puts the ball in their court. What do they want more - you, or no children? They are very definitely entitled to make the 'no children' decision, and to have it respected, but they also have to graciously accept the consequences of their decision.

PrimrosePath Mon 15-Oct-12 09:48:51

I've been in a similar position to you - my sister had a child free wedding miles away from where I live. I didn't go in the end simply because the logistics of it all was causing me more stress than my own wedding day.

I don't think your dm and brother are being fair trying to guilt you into going. They aren't exactly bending over backwards making it easy for you to attend.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 15-Oct-12 09:53:32

I think he's being really rude, TBH. You have children.

If he'd not minded much about you coming, fair enough, maybe. But insisting you should come and not inviting your children stinks. So you're important enough to be vital family, but not your kids?

I think you should tell him of course you want to go, but you have four children, and what does he expect you to do about them/the birthday?

He is being a selfish arse, frankly.

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro Mon 15-Oct-12 09:58:47

I'm torn. On the one hand, you DO have a year's notice to rearrange your DH's work schedule and/or arrange childcare, and save up for the financial hit.

On the other hand, they have had seven years' notice of your DS's birthday. I am very much in favour of childfree weddings and I see why they don't want to make an exception for family, but I think that's a bit rotten of them, given that their ideal scenario is presumably that you and your DH both attend and the DCs don't.

Basically there's a fair bit of inflexibility all round, isn't there.

pumpkinsweetie Mon 15-Oct-12 10:00:39

He cannot lay it on thick and expect you to go when he has a total child ban.
Only go if you want to go, but just go to the ceremony then travel back home.

I think he has a cheek, if you are the only one in the family with dc i cannot see why he won't make an exception or atleast agree to disagree that it's not possible for you to go.

squeaver Mon 15-Oct-12 10:09:23

I KNEW this was going to be a no children at the wedding thread.

This sounds to me like the bride is very much in charge and you could argue that she is perfectly entitled to be - presumably the wedding is in her home town and her parents are paying for it? Your dd's birthday probably didn't enter their heads when they set the date - and why would it? Does your brother's fiancee know you and your family well?

But they've made their decision about no children, as many people do and as they're perfectly entitled to do. So, a good question to ask is, would you all have gone if the kids were invited? If the answer to that is yes, then you absolutely should go.

You've got plenty of time to make arrangements to do something special for your dd around the time of her birthday, if not on the day. If you'd all have gone, then presumably that would have cost a lot more. And with a year's notice, maybe there are some other childcare options you can investigate.

If, on other hand, you wouldn't have gone even if they had invited all of you then you need to have a good think about the effect on your brother and, by the sounds of it, your mother. Weddings may not be a big thing for you, but they are a big deal for other people. Put yourself in their shoes.

purplehouse Mon 15-Oct-12 10:10:12

Your brother has said that he will not forgive you for not going. I wonder if he has considered whether you will forgive him for not inviting your DCs but requiring your presence nevertheless.

Anyway, from a practical point of view, have your DCs been overnight without you before? The first time I left my DS (necessary hospitalisation for me), he scratched at the front door in the middle of the night and my mum was unable to console him, despite seeing him very frequently and being a well loved granny. He was 2 and could not understand I was in hospital.

My brother and SIL got married when my DC were 1 and 3. They invited my DCs without a 2nd thought because they love them. I did point out that at this age, particularly the youngest, their behaviour could be quite unpredicable and very difficult to control. My brother and SIL did not mind one bit and would not have considered getting married without their (only and much loved) niece and nephew there. They love them as though they are their own children and if say your brother was on his 2nd marriage but had children from his first marriage, I wonder if he would exclude them due to a child ban? Child bans are usually to limit numbers and also to ensure the wedding doesn't become a children's party. Excluding such close family member's children when the travelling is onerous = behaving like a shit in my book.

TBH I'm surprised your mum isn't trying to talk your brother into letting your kids come. My BIL arranged a child free wedding and I was not particularly happy about travelling 3 hours there and staying overnight without my children but I didn't say anything and just accepted the invite and arranged for 2 family members on my side to share the babysitting. MIL on the other hand was absolutely furious and said to BIL (her own son) that she was extremely unhappy that he had excluded her grandchildren from his wedding and she wanted them to come. Go MIL!

You are talking about 5 hours travelling. Is it possible to fly? Additionally, I would be looking to limit the stay to 1 night. Presumably the most important part is the ceremony, followed by whatever reception they are having? This is so that if you go on your own, you can minimise time away.

KaraStarbuckThrace Mon 15-Oct-12 10:14:44

I wouldn't go. I would also tell my brother to fuck off. I would be furious if my brother decided not to invite my children to his wedding, if he then kicked off as to why we won't be going.
Your brother is being a selfish brat, and your mother is enabling him.
It is fine for him not to want children at his wedding, that is his prerogative. But it is most definitely not fine for him to spit his dummy out because you don't want to go - especially if it means being away for one of your DC's birthday!

squeaver Mon 15-Oct-12 10:23:34

Look, people are funny about weddings.

The smallest things happen and decisions are made that have repercussions decades down the line.

Presumably you love your brother and you don't want to have a massive falling-out with him and your mum. Sometimes the path of least resistance is the best one.

LemonBreeland Mon 15-Oct-12 10:25:17

It is all very well your Mum and DB laying it on thick and saying you must be there, but you need tp be quite clear how difficult he is making it for you to attend. I would not miss my childs birthday and make my dhs life unnessecarily difficult because of the selfishness of my db.

Of course your db won't understand this as he has no dc yet. His problem not yours. In a few years he will realise how selfish he is being.

MrsEricBana Mon 15-Oct-12 10:27:01

We had similar re SIL wedding (kids were invited but was week abroad during school time which we couldn't do in terms of cost and time off school) - I honestly think if someone plans their wedding in a way they would really like (100% fine obv) then they cannot make a fuss if it doesn't work for some invitees. In your case I really think YANBU if your db has not invited your young children and the wedding is a long way away. You will have to handle it a bit carefully as you don't want to cause a long term rift but he could have anticipated that this would be tricky for you. (In our case dh went on his own for part of the week at great expense and SIL's husband has never been the same with me since, but I still think we did the right thing).

MrsEricBana Mon 15-Oct-12 10:27:59

I'd say Kara above has a fair point!

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