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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.

CinnabarRed Mon 05-Nov-12 11:21:41

Did you get it sorted, OP?

YouOldSlag Mon 22-Oct-12 10:23:51

Mummytolkatie- yes that has been mentioned up thread and it's pretty much agreed that it would be crap. It's also another reason why the groom is being a selfsih git.

MummytoKatie Fri 19-Oct-12 16:07:28

One thing that no-one has mentioned is that if dad is working away and mum is at a wedding then presumably the 7 year old would be spending the majority if his birthday with neither of his parents.

Which seems pretty unfair really.

TiredofBeingTolerant Thu 18-Oct-12 10:18:35

I wouldn't go either. I also am fairly happy to have babysitters/people to mind my children.

Given the logistics, it does seem more difficult than a usual child free wedding invite.

It is an invite - you've looked at the options and it really doesn't seem feasible given the conditions your brother has placed upon you. That's his call not yours. If he chooses to carry out his silliness of not speaking to you, then I hope he realises how much of a selfish prat his is being when he has DCs of his own.

Getting married doesn't entitle you to be completely unreasonable and put your sister (that you supposedly can't get married without her there) in an impossible situation for just one day, because you are too stubborn and selfish to invite your own nephews and nieces. Especially when one of them has a birthday that weekend too - you are removing their mother for their birthday because 'a wedding' is more important. Well it really isn't IMO.

Your Dbro is coming across as an arse.

YouOldSlag Wed 17-Oct-12 10:26:45

Good point about cost, Cinnabar.

I think it's fine to leave children with non family if they are used to them and if you trust them.

In the OP's case, she would have to start paying a nanny, childminder or babysitter several times before the wedding so that they are all used to each other. Seems like a lot of expense and bother for one event.

It never ceases to amaze me how getting married can send normal people on such crazy power trips.

CinnabarRed Wed 17-Oct-12 09:04:12

I leave my DSs with our nanny every weekday, so have no issue whatsoever with leaving them in the care of someone who isn't family. DS1 has also been to a childminder and nursery in the past - I have no "hang ups" with childcare.

I would also be prepared to leave them with our nanny for the weekend or overnight in extremis. In fact, I had to once when DS1 was rushed to hospital with pneumonia and DH in the US on business.

I would not be willing to leave them voluntarily even for one day with a stranger, no matter how qualified. DS2, who is 2.6 years old, would be absolutely distraught. He is a sensitive soul and it would cause him enormous upset. DS1 and DS3 would be fine - they're more robust.

And, as an aside, it would cost over £500 to hire a qualified temporary nanny for a weekend.

YouOldSlag Wed 17-Oct-12 08:52:30

I wouldn't turn up to the ceremony with the kids in tow.

The reason is I would never want my children to be greeted with a look of dismay.

If the groom has specified no kids, I would respect his wishes and not take them, but I would suggest this beforehand and at least try my luck i.e "How about if me and the kids just attend the ceremony? i would definitely be able to see you get married that way" If he still said no, I wouldn't take them, as it would just annoy him.

I want my children to be greeted with looks of pleasure, not with looks of irritation and annoyance.

HalloweenyHerrena Wed 17-Oct-12 08:21:45

I think that if I had specified no children and then my sister turned up to the service with all kids in tow (without warning), then I'd be really pissed off at the fact that my wishes had been ignored. It would not make me happy to see her - quite the reverse.

I also think I'd have been quite happy as a kid to have a special extra birthday treat as apology for either parent not being around, but of course that assumes the possibility of childcare on the day.

SundaeGirl Tue 16-Oct-12 23:50:58

God, it would be the birthday for me. I'd just say to my brother 'look, it's. DS's birthday. You've had seven years notice. Sorry, can't come'.

LonelyCloud Tue 16-Oct-12 23:38:45

brdgrl - it hardly seems reasonable for the engaged couple to have to have checked his work schedule for a year off

I certainly don't think it's unreasonable to check work schedules for 'must-have' guests. DH & I did this for our must-have guests (who included relatives who work as wedding photographers and teachers), because we didn't want to have to put them in a position where they had to choose between not coming to our wedding or cancelling work commitments that they'd already agreed to.

Presumably the OP's brother knows what field the OP's DH works in, and therefore knows that there are likely to be certain key dates, set a year or more in advance, that would cause a problem. And as such, I'd consider it sensible to check his work schedule if the OP's attendance is so important.

I do agree that bringing the kids to the child-free wedding won't go down well. And I agree that the OP should make an effort to attend. I just think that the brother shouldn't be making a fuss about her possibly not attending when his conditions are making this awkward.

mrsmplus3 Tue 16-Oct-12 23:37:36

No matter how many fools suggest it?
What kind of brother wouldnt be happy to see his nieces/nephews at his wedding. It's not "gate crashing" the reception, its going to the service- 2 separate locations (if thats how theyre doing it).
Lots and lots of people turn up at the ceremony, its usually in a public place.
At my wedding there were all these old dears (my nanas friends) and old school friends, who weren't invited, up the back of the church who had obviously heard I was getting married and wanted to see me walk down the isle. It's a compliment and very traditional actually.
Anyway, we're all arguing over nothing. The guy might be delighted at that as an option, we just don't know until the op has sorted it. Do let us know op! smile

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 23:18:01

OK, said I was leaving it, but crossposted and would like to respond to you, oldslag.

I am not putting words in anyone's mouth. The post which I quoted and replied to very clearly took issue with the event being held elsewhere. You are right that it was not the OP's position, and - as I have in fact been pointing out - the OP herself has acknowledged that the problem is not insurmountable; actually, there are other posters who have distorted her actual situation to make it appear more difficult for her than she herself reports, or who have made ridiculous statements about the unreasonableness fo her brother, going far beyond what she herself has reported.

Calling yourself "the reasonable minority" when you are wildly outvoted! Honestly.....

I have already said several times that I recognize mine is a minority opinion (that is what being outvoted means, you know). I am not sure that the court of public opinion is quite as decisive as you suggest, since the last bunch of posts have been all by the same people, but I really don't care and neither should the OP. She should probably read the arguments set forth and decide herself what their merits are - the fact that 75% of people believe "x" does not mean that they are correct or have a stronger argument. If the OP is asking for a headcount of people who think she has behaved correctly, then yes, I am sure she can count up "YABU" and "YANBU" responses and be done with it. She asked a question about a sensitive issue that will affect her relationship with her brother and family for years to come, and I've given her my opinion. The fact that it is unpopular does not make it necessarily wrong, any more than the idea of crashing the wedding with kids in tow can be made "right" no matter how many fools suggest it.

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 23:11:55

Turn that on its head.

Expecting your sister to dump her four kids on a babysitter they don't know for two days whilst her husband is tied up with work and can't look after them, and make a ten hour round trip to attend your wedding, even though she would miss her son's birthday and then refusing to forgive her if she didn't do as you asked, is not on the face of it, a reasonable thing.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 23:07:03

Look, I'll leave it at this.

Blowing off your friends and family for major life events, or repeatedly shunning social events because you think your children are somehow going to suffer from being placed in the care of a (gasp) non family member is not on the face of it a reasonable thing. (Nor is dragging your children along to every function regardless of the wishes of the hosts or the appropriateness of the event.) If you feel strongly enough about the childcare issue, of course it is your choice as a mother. But not very nice for those around you, and most likely not even best for your children in the long run.

I accept that some posters actually believe that "I don't want a qualified but unrelated person looking after my child under any circumstances" is a valid excuse for missing a sibling's wedding or other event. I obviously disagree and would find it hard to forgive my sister for deciding that the imagined or possible downside of using a babysitter would outweigh the real and immediate benefits of attending my wedding.

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 23:02:32

brdgrl- it's you who is being irrational by doing that annoying argument technique of putting words in people's mouths that they haven't said and then answering a question they haven't asked you.

You may as well argue with yourself.

Calling yourself "the reasonable minority" when you are wildly outvoted! Honestly.....

The OP has NOT said the wedding should be in her home town, she has NOT said it should be on a date that presented no obstacles and she has NOT said it should be in a manner of her choosing. Not in any way.

She is struggling to go on a 10 hour round trip to a wedding whilst trying to find childcare for her 4 kids under 7.

Her brother, has told her he will not forgive her if she doesn't go, whilst not even sparing a second of his life trying to imagine why it might be difficult for her. He also does not want his only nieces and nephews anywhere near his wedding and seems to have forgotten it's his nephew's birthday. He has not shown his sister one iota of care or consideration.

I know which one I'd rather be friends with and it's not the petulant groom, making demands and threats if he can't get his own way.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:50:42

I think it's disgusting to say that it's unforgivable if you don't attend but then haven't invited more than half of the family, the event it 5 hours away in each direction. Since when has a family relationship all been about 1 day!!!!

So...the wedding should have been held in the OP's town, on a date that presented no obstacles to her, in a manner of her choosing...

Yes, that's very rational. hmm

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:48:03

Anyway brdgrl, looks like you're a bit outvoted on this one.

Yes, I think I said that in my initial post. Happy to be in the reasonable minority on this one!

If the OP is counting votes, then I guess she will know what to do. I really hope she at least counts twice before she ambushes the ceremony with kids in tow...hmm

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:46:12

panda, yes, I would, if I couldn't arrange it to be otherwise.

As it is, my brother lives not five hours away, but a long plane trip away - so if he decided on a child-free wedding, I'd probably personally decide to take DD with me and hire a local babysitter in his town. I would be able to attend the wedding and also be with my DD on her birthday, although we'd probably defer any major celebration to a day when it could be more 'about her'. (In my case, I think DD would look upon the trip as a bit of a birthday adventure in itself!)

If she could not travel with me, then yes, I'd go, and we'd celebrate when I returned or before I went - just as we'd have to if there were an illness in the family or an unavoidable work commitment.

(Yes. It would be expensive - if I actually could not afford the plane ticket(s) at all, then that would be a different issue, as then I would be unable to attend the wedding fullstop, no matter what my brother's stance on kids. If this thread were "I can't afford to attend my brother's wedding", I might have a different reply to the OP.)

I'm not saying the OP should do what I would do - just answering your direct question about what I would do and we obviously don't share the exact same circumstances - but I am definitely saying that there are options available which the OP won't consider (the chief block being that she won't use un-related childcare).

(By the way, I believe that the OP says she'd have to be away two nights, including her child's birthday - not that the wedding is on the actual birthday. That suggests to me that it is on the day before or day after. So in those circumstances, at a distance of five hours, she actually would not necessarily have to miss her child's birthday - and she herself has said that she will probably in the end go just for the ceremony and then come straight back. If it is the actual day of, she has also acknowledged that it could be celebrated on another day. And her DH is going to apparently be very busy with work anyway, so perhaps an alternate date would make it more possible for both parents to fully participate as well!)

YouOldSlag Tue 16-Oct-12 22:33:26

But it is not reasonable to expect other people to be ok with it when you put that condition ahead of them.

I make no apologies for putting my children before social obligations. If my friends didn't understand that, then they don't really know me at all.

Anyway brdgrl, looks like you're a bit outvoted on this one.

RandomMess Tue 16-Oct-12 22:29:40

I think it's disgusting to say that it's unforgivable if you don't attend but then haven't invited more than half of the family, the event it 5 hours away in each direction. Since when has a family relationship all been about 1 day!!!!

PedanticPanda Tue 16-Oct-12 22:28:06

Brdgrl would you miss your child's birthday for your brothers wedding?

LtEveDallas Tue 16-Oct-12 22:27:41

I put my child ahead of everyone brdgrl. I don't care if people are OK with that or not. No-one is more important to me than my child, so I will always put that condition ahead of them.

My choice, and one I am extremely happy with smile

SchnitzelVonKrumm Tue 16-Oct-12 22:27:06

Is the wedding in a hotel? If so, take the kids and arrange a sitter there so you can pop in and out. My sister in law ordered no children at her wedding which was on a schoolday AND in another fucking country! We sorted something out in the end (stayed in another hotel and brought our own babysitter) but spent the entire reception fending off elderly relatives shouting "but we wanted to see THE CHILDREN!" angry

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:24:58

The OP doesn't have to make those choices, though. There are options which would make some of them irrelevant.

But yes, if your brother's wedding is insignificant, then you probably wouldn't go under even one of those conditions. Personally, I'd travel any distance to attend my brother's wedding, and make whatever reasonable efforts I could.

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:22:31

LtEve, I hope you at least realize that those conditions are bound to upset other people. And that is entirely your responsibility and your choice.

It is not a point of honor to say that you won't let anyone but family care for your children. Great - if you have that as a condition - good luck to you. But it is not reasonable to expect other people to be ok with it when you put that condition ahead of them.

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