My Kids Were Not Invited to My Nephews Wedding

Updated on August 04, 2017
J.R. asks from Chester, NH
26 answers

My nephew is getting married and did not invite my kids to the wedding. There are 7 first cousins on my side of the family (mother of the groom) and all of them have been invited except for mine. The reason - no children are invited - My boys are 17 (almost 18) and 15, and my daughter is 11. We actively participate in my nephew and his fiancé’s life - going to family cookouts, etc. and see him several times a year. We have been planning to attend the wedding for months.

My sister (his mom) mentioned to me several months ago that kids would not be invited to the wedding, but said my 2 oldest would probably get invited because they aren't really kids anymore. I explained, at that time, that it was not okay that my kids would be excluded, especially because they were 1st cousins and would be the only ones excluded. A few weeks after the discussion she said that she thought they would be invited, so I didn't think much about it. She did say that the cost per plate was $100 and that my nepher kind of hoped that my husband and son would be away that weekend (they travel a lot for baseball) to keep the cost down. As it got closer, it looked like all of us would be able to attend. I decided that I would give them $1,000 as a gift to cover the cost of our meals plus some. I did not tell anyone my plan because I was pretty sure we'd all be invited.

I got the invitation and it was just for my husband and me. I confirmed with my sister that my kids were not invited. I declined the invitation.

Since the responses were online, I began putting in other names of relatives on my side of the family. Second cousins and second cousins-once-removed, as well as a great aunt were invited. These people, along with at least one of the 1st cousins (who got an invitation with a guest), NEVER stay in touch or acknowledge my nephew and fiancé. In fact, those people have either declined the invitation or haven't responded at all.

Needless to say, I am hurt and my declining of the invitation has hurt my sister. She now says she never told me that my kids would most likely be invited. However, she agrees that it is not okay that her son's (and fiancé) excluded my kids. She said it wasn’t her decision. You’d think that the mother-of-the-groom would have a little say on who she’d like to have at the wedding.
Although age has been given as a reason, I have a hard time with that since my kids aren't annoying little kids, babies, or toddlers that would distract from the day. I also see a wedding as a chance to share your commitment to the one you love with your close family and friends and as long as the inner family circle is invited that it would be appropriate to cut based on age when it comes to the outer family circle.

I told my sister that I was sorry for not wanting to go. My reason that it would be painful for me to see the distant people that were invited to the wedding, while my family were excluded. I did ask her if it would be okay for all of us to go to the wedding ceremony, but leave before the reception. She said that we could go.

I'm curious to see what others think about my decision. Are my emotions getting in the way of making the right decision?

Thanks for the advice,

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you to those who responded. I definitely have a different idea of what a wedding means compared to most people. I’ve always seen it as sharing with close family and friends, but I see it is really about money and the party. I’m fine with not going to the wedding and I’m pretty sure my nephew and his fiancé are okay if I don’t go. I’m not saying they don’t want me to go, just they have more on their mind than me – and that’s why I’m okay with not going. The day will go great with me there or not, so who really cares if I go.

It’s my SISTER that I’m worried about. She seems pretty upset that I won’t be there. Not mad, but sad. We are openly talking about it and have no harsh words for each other or my nephew.

I’ve apologized for hurting my sister and asked her to leave it be and not talk to my nephew about it. She wants me to go (she is way more vocal and I’m the quiet one), so, I told her that I would think it over and contact my nephew if I change my mind. Obviously, I would have to do this very soon since they need an attendance count within the next few days.

Should I go for my sister? I'm not staying home because I'm mad, so I guess I could go.

Again, thank you for the advice.

Featured Answers

N.G.

answers from Boston on

I have to agree with the school of thought that prohibits kids from certain events. Sorry, but somethings are best with adults only.

Edit My Answer
2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

D.B.

answers from Boston on

The problem here, as with many weddings, is that there are a whole bunch of assumptions about who's invited and who's not - all before invitations are sent! The point of an invitation is to invite people. So the pre-invitation negotiating is a big pain in the butt.

For all you know, a decision was made on the bride's side that a bunch of relative with pain-in-the-butt children (or normal but boisterous young children) would be excluded. That cuts down on the hassle of children's meals and a hired babysitter or alternate entertainment that turns into a huge expense for whoever is footing the bill. If they then go around and say, "Oh well, so-and-so's 11 year old is okay because she's not annoying," it turns into a divisive thing for those kids who are not included. So they made a blanket decision about no kids. Unfortunately, the groom's mother said, "Well, maybe your kids...or some of your kids..." Bad form on her part. And she also disclosed the cost-per-plate - bad form. And she suggested that maybe your son and husband would be away? Super bad form! But those should have been big clues to you that kids weren't invited! The fact that you were going to pay for them to come really turned this into an event for which one purchases tickets, rather than a family wedding.

Now you have a big pile of hurt feelings, and you're rating your children vs. Great-aunt Tillie and Second Cousin Marvin. Really??

As a potential guest, you do not get to dictate the guest list. You violated that several times over by discussing it ahead of time, and by going back and forth about whether all would be able to attend. Bad form on your part. It's not up to you to decide who means something to your nephew (or his parents) and who does not. Nobody gets points for staying in touch more or sending more birthday cards in order to "earn" a "ticket" to the wedding.

I'm sorry - I think there was a whole bunch of "assuming" done well beforehand, and a whole bunch of manipulating of invitations when it's the job of the hosts to decide who they are inviting to their party and who they are not.

Re the ceremony - if it's publicly announced, it's a public event. You don't have to ask permission to attend the ceremony with your children. But your problem is that you have already declined and said you aren't coming, so you are at the point of ONLY attending the ceremony yourself and not attending the reception at all.

It's a shame everyone made mistakes here. I sincerely hope that not one whisper of this drama gets back to the bride and groom. It would be a shame to ruin their day because you don't like the guest list.

14 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Added after SWH: I read your follow up. I would go to this wedding. This is a big day for your nephew, his bride, and your sister. Don't miss out on it because they decided not to have kids at the wedding. Things don't always go our way. People don't always see the world as we do. We rise to the occasion, put our feelings aside, and do the right thing. The right thing is to honor their day. Use this as a lesson to show your kids that sometimes it is not about us.
Please please please send a huge apology out to your sister. This wedding is all about the couple, and they should have your blessing to invite whomever they want to invite. It is their wedding and their special day. Don't be "that family member" who makes an issue over something about the wedding. There is one at every wedding.

13 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Your kids weren't invited not because they are annoying little kids but because to add 3 more people is $300 + all the other people under 18 they would then feel obligated to invite. This added expense could easily be in the thousands of dollars when you include the bride's family.

Personally, I would have gone to the wedding and considered this a nice opportunity for a date night with my husband.

I also think you should extend an olive branch and apologize for trying to dictate who is invited to a wedding that you are not throwing. I would think you have really upset your sister. I also hope your nephew didn't hear about the drama. Planning a wedding is stressful enough.

EDIT after SWH - your nephew and his bride are concerned about how to pay for the wedding therefore they had to limit the guest list some way. It is common to do this by inviting adults only. To say you now see it is about the money is just wrong. It sounds to me like they are not thinking about what gifts they are going to receive but are making the assumption that they will receive nothing and just need to be able to afford paying for the guest they have.

Practically every response you got was in favor of apologizing to your sister and going to the wedding with your husband. Instead of listening to the advice received you decided to double down and act like you and your family are Personally being slighted. (To you weddings are about sharing the day with love ones but to them it's about the money). You are attributing bad intentions to their motives. Since you were planning on giving $1000 as a gift I think you just can't comprehend how a couple could be cost consious. Perhaps this couple just doesn't have an extra $300. Perhaps adding 3 more people would require they have their wedding in a larger room which requires a minimum of 30 more people than what they were planning on inviting. IMO you are being totally unfair and frankly mean to your sister.

13 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.B.

answers from Houston on

My son got married in May. If you even THINK the mother of the groom has ANY say on the wedding you are kidding yourself. I had ZERO say and my list was reviewed and refined.

Second, your nephew and bride have every right to decide who to invite. Its not up to you to decide who in the family should and shouldn't be invited. Doesn't matter what you think or how you see a wedding. Not your show. Some weddings have no under 18 rule. That would include your kids. Again, not your decision. But it is your decision on how you act. YES you have overreacted. Plain and simple.

Weddings are expensive. They are trying to keep costs down. This isn't a diss to you and your family. You are making that way. Please stop!

Call you sister, throw yourself on her mercy and plead insanity. Tell her how sorry you were in being such a stinker and making this about you and your family. Tell her that you and your husband want very much to attend and celebrate with your nephew and his wife. Leave money at home for the kids to order pizza and bring some wedding cake home for them to enjoy. Time to eat crow my friend.

12 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.B.

answers from Honolulu on

I think that you're confusing, or mish-mashing, two separate things. And those are: family, and a wedding ceremony.

You haven't been disowned by your family, or rejected by your relatives. You still are talking with your sister, and your nephew and his fiancee have invited you and your husband to their special celebration.

However, your teens and tween have not been invited to the wedding. It's not your sister's choice. Often the bride's parents are the ones who are paying for the wedding, and the bride is often the person whose plans and desires take center stage. I don't see where you're thinking about the bride. Your sister, as mother of the groom, may be trying to be as pleasant as possible to her prospective daughter-in-law, showing her that she's not going to try to run the show. Not now, not down the road.

Some weddings include alcohol, and it can sometimes be a concern that there will be under-age kids present. it adds an extra layer of responsibility, especially if there's an open bar. A young man who's not of legal drinking age can appear to be over 21, and it can be difficult for a busy bartender to have to check IDs or worry about whether an underage person is being served. Having all adults eliminates this issue. Of course, this may not be the case with your nephew's wedding, but it is a possibility.

Your kids are getting older, and there will be lots of events where one is invited and one is not, or one is away at school, and it's time to realize that. Not inviting kids is a frequent wedding situation. Go to the wedding with your husband, leave your kids at home, dance and eat and enjoy, and let your sister and nephew know how thankful you are for family. Don't mention your kids. Apologize to your sister for adding stress to what should be a happy time for her.

11 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.W.

answers from Portland on

Please, please get past this.
The wedding was not planned to exclude your children in particular.

It may be that the young couple wants to have a more adult 'fun' time at the wedding. Remember, they are young and being self-interested. Perhaps they have heard horror stories. I know that some families have that ONE kid who is so awful, they just don't invite any kids to this sort of thing.

But the biggest problem here is that you are making this about you and your family when it patently *isn't*. Do you really want this bad feeling hanging over you for years on end?
Life is short. Go, be supportive, and if you really care so much about him, put your emotions aside. And remember, one day it might be you who is the mother of a bride or groom who is upsetting someone else with their decisions. Put yourself in your sister's shoes. She's raised her son and is sending him off on his way. She's not responsible for his behavior. But you are for yours.

11 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Boston on

Sorry but you're being petty. This is a wedding. It's not about you or your kids, it's about the bride and groom. If they made the decision to not have kids attend, then that's it. It's their prerogative to have an adults-only wedding. It may very well be the case that if they invited your kids, then there would be kids on the bride's side of the family who would have to be invited, etc. Really, it's none of your business.

If I were you, I would accept the invitation with gratitude and look forward to a nice, grown-ups only night out with your husband.

10 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

Z.B.

answers from Toledo on

I don't think you necessarily have a different idea of weddings than most people. I think most people do believe that weddings are a way for the couple to celebrate with friends and family. That doesn't mean the couple or the parents of the bride don't still have to pay for the reception. They can't invite everyone, so decisions have to be made. You are not wrong to feel disappointed that your kids aren't invited. But I don't think it's fair of you to make the leap that because you're kids aren't invited, your nephew only cares about having a party and getting lots of gifts/money.

If you truly believe that the wedding should be about the couple celebrating with family and friends, then be a supportive aunt. You've been invited, your sister wants you there, you should go. My kids are a little younger, but I'd LOVE to be able to go to a wedding without them. I have nieces and nephews in high school, and there's no way they would want to go. Seems like a win/win to me!

10 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I think your emotions got the best of you.

No kids at the wedding means no kids at the wedding. If you start justifying your kids, then everyone will try to justify their kids and it blows up. You already blew it up by assuming differently.

I say suck it up, say you are sorry for your emotional outburst, and hope you mend fences.

Go to the ceremony with your husband with your head held high. Keep it classy.... respect the wishes of the couple.

This is not something you should allow to ruin relationships with your family. If you can't let it go and be bigger about it, don't go at all but look at the risk you take with your children losing that connection.

Big picture.... is it really worth the damage that's already done to the relationship? Don't make it worse.

9 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.6.

answers from New York on

Clearly, this is an adults only wedding, and the bride and groom have every right to choose the guest list based on what they want THEIR wedding to look like - not who they feel "obligated" to invite.

My daughter's wedding is this weekend. We had to make some hard choices with the guest list. I'm sure some family members are pissed off they weren't invited. A few people that we did invite elected not to come because of the choices made during the guest selection process. Guess what, my daughter and her finance really don't care.

If you take a stand, honestly the only folks that will notice is you. The bride and groom are overwhelmed with the wedding day, and their close family are probably swamped as well. Any other family members that note your absence will either assume you were too busy to attend or had some other obligation.

Please don't take your uninvited children to the wedding and leave. This day is NOT about you, it is NOT about your children, it is about the bride and groom. Please respect THEIR day and THEIR wishes.

9 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

I understand why you find this to be hurtful, but I think you should try to remember that this is your nephew's wedding and he and his bride-to-be get to choose who to invite. They don't owe your children an invitation. Yes it would be nice and I understand your perspective on why it seems unfair that others were invited and your children weren't. But they get to decide who they would like to include at their wedding.

I don't know if you made the right decision or not. If you would have been in a bad mood at the wedding and reception, then you did make the right decision. But if you declined because you were trying to punish your nephew, well, I don't really think he's going to notice other than not having to pay for your plate.

I think when it comes to family, especially extended family, it's healthiest to try to not have expectations, be grateful for the good things they do and not be concerned about what you thought they should have done. Try not to think about it in terms of what other people owe you or trying to keep track and make sure everything is even. No one ends up winning when you keep track on that spreadsheet in your mind.

9 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

Yes, you are letting your emotions get in the way. Your kids are old enough to understand that they aren't owed an invitation to everything or anything, and that yes, some people do choose adults-only weddings. It is not personal. It is not about people who you deem closer to the couple than others. It is a choice in the type of celebration the couple prefers. You making it a big deal by declining the invite is going to show your children that you are holding a grudge. Seriously, sit the kids down and tell them this particular wedding is adults-only, so just you and your husband will be going (if you can beg a change in RSVP) They may be disappointed, but they will get over it quickly and move on to their own plans and peer focuses, if you don't make it a big deal. They will be fine. Why create more drama? Accept that surely there is a lot more behind the scenes that you don't know about, and needn't concern yourself with. Maybe the bride has some child relatives that 12, 9 and 8 that are terrors? Maybe they are trying to use a fair standard that has to apply to all kids. Maybe the guest list was something they couple agonized about. Go make a date night of it and have fun!

8 moms found this helpful

T.D.

answers from Springfield on

you should suck it up. so what the kids are not invited. my uncles sister: who we have all accepted into the family and i call her aunt even though she is just my uncles sister (dads brothers wife's hubby is the uncle so i am not related to the sister at all) is getting married. i noticed an invite at my parents house. i immediately knew i was not invited. was i hurt? yes i was sad she didn't invite me but did i make a big stink about it? nope. i just assume that they chose who they wanted and couldn't afford to extend the invites to my level of relations.

you need to apoligize for your upset, suck it up and go without the kids. lower the gift amount to cover the meals and a lil bit more and enjoy the wedding. bring the kids to the ceremony and hire a sitter or have them stay home alone.
your biggest mistake was assuming the kids would be invited ( my great auntie used to always say... when you assume you make an a$$ of u and me)

7 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.W.

answers from Harrisburg on

My husband is 1 of 7 and has many nephews and nieces. Because he is the youngest, our kids are pretty much the youngest and have been excluded and it's ok. Most of them had an 18 or older policy. I was never offended. My sister-in-law was offended because one of her kids was invited and one wasn't. Weddings are expensive, you have to limit it someway and it's up to the couple how they decide to do things. It's just how it is. Please don't hold this against them and ruin family relationships.

7 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I think you over-reacted.
It's an adults only wedding. This is very common and not a personal slight against you or your kids. Your kids are not adults thus they were not invited to an adults-only event. That's it.

And I completely disagree with this statement of yours "as long as the inner family circle is invited that it would be appropriate to cut based on age when it comes to the outer family circle". Making different rules for different people would be very rude. It's either an adult-only wedding or it's not. This one is.

If you choose to make a big to-do over this and hold a grudge against your sister and the betrothed couple, the only one being hurtful is you.

ETA: In response to your SWH, you asked this question "The day will go great with me there or not, so who really cares if I go." Apparently the answer to this question is YOUR SISTER. She seems to care very much if you go. It's your sister, and I'm sure she's having a lot of mixed emotions about her son getting married. Is that not reason enough?

7 moms found this helpful

V.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

In a nutshell, yes.

It isn't your wedding. It isn't you're sister's wedding, either, despite the fact you seem to assume she holds sway over the guest list. She doesn't. It's you're nephew's wedding, and HE more than likely is deferring to his bride-to-be (and probably HER mother) as to the guest list.

Don't get your panties in a wad over it. YOU were invited. YOU chose to decline, then to ask about coming anyway and not attending the reception.

It doesn't matter who else was invited. Not your business, unless you are footing the bill for the entire ceremony and reception, including venue, dresses, gifts for attendants, the officiant, the rehearsal, etc. And really, even then, it's still not YOUR wedding. It's theirs. You were invited to share in their joy and witness them make their vows. Rather than being happy to do so, you chose to pick apart their decision and create a potential rift and add stress to one of the already most stressful things a couple undergoes (followed by building/buying a house, and having children). What a wedding gift.

---
I just wanted to also point out one other thing. It may not be about the money. We don't have the details, maybe you do (maybe you don't). But this could just as easily not be solely about a "no kids" rule, which is very common, and exceptions for any one person can create lots of hurt feelings and broken relationships for those the rule did NOT get broken for (just as you are so hurt over), but also might be about the venue itself. Perhaps the venue just will not accommodate the extra space for all the guests they would have liked to invite. You probably are not in the know about how they chose the venue. Perhaps it's their 3rd choice b/c the first and second were already booked for the date they wanted. Perhaps it's a bit smaller than they would have liked, but otherwise was perfect, and they opted to have the *perfect* venue and just trim the guest list to make it work. Do NOT take this personally. It isn't. But all the other details and planning that are going (and already have gone) into this event are near and dear to the hearts of the bride (and her mother, for sure) and extended family just does not tip the scales of priority here. And it isn't a personal reflection on you. This is their BIG DAY. It IS in fact about THEM.

7 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from New York on

This whole thing is so ridiculous - you are blowing this way out of proportion.

First of all - what are the chances that, for example, your 15-year-old boy really wants to attend a wedding reception with no other teenagers there? *That* is the hill you want to die on in battle with your sister? Unless this wedding is far away for a few overnights, you should be happy that you do not even need to pay for a babysitter! Your sons can host a much more fun party for their friends while you are away (just kidding about that last part).

Secondly - your nephew is an adult and you do not know the private specifics of the wedding finances. For example, if the bride's parents are paying (and possibly even set a budget), your "$1000 gift" would have absolutely no connection to the actual wedding bills (the groom will receive your gift long after the wedding has been paid for with deposits etc). The only way to do what you are basically describing would be to tell your sister: "I'll pay for my kids, tell whoever is writing the check for meals that I'll pay for my kids" - but, that would be a crazy thing to say, as you would effectively be turning the wedding into (as Diane B says below) a "ticketed event", which is not how invitation-based parties work!

Thirdly - "You'd think the mother-of-the-groom would have a little say...." HAHA!! She is no longer the woman in charge of your nephew! ;-) But also, ask yourself: why was Second Cousin Never-in-touch Nick invited? Because your nephew so dearly loves the Second Cousin he barely knows? Sounds like maybe your sister *did* have some influence on the guest list, and she used her influence to suggest that (for example) your nephew should send an invitation to Nick to see if that would bring him back in touch with the family.

Last thing - do NOT go to the ceremony if you are not going to the reception. Why do I say that? Because at this point it sounds to me like you will be nothing but a pile of whispered muttered complaints about the lack of a kids' reception invitation, and you will just bring that negative energy into what should be a very joyous day for your nephew.

7 moms found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

I'm sorry. But I do think you are taking it too personally. They are trying to reduce their costs that is all. Your kids can have fun hanging out with friends that night instead...it's really no big deal. It's just a wedding. A blip in the timeline of life. Many teens would find it incredibly boring anyway...I know my teen would. He would probably be constantly asking me when we could leave. Anyway, please try to let this go. It is common to have an adult only wedding. I know your kids are not little anymore, but really it is not something to battle over. The happy couple are simply worried about cost and if they invite some kids they probably feel like they need to invite all kids. Think of it as a date night for your husband and you...enjoy some drinks, dinner and dancing. That is what I would do.

7 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

As the mother of a bride who preferred to have her friends instead of children at her wedding, I totally understand their point of view.

We had an issue just like this. We spoke with the mother of the groom a year in advance stating that my daughter did not want children at the wedding. We said that we would provide a babysitter and that if they wanted to attend the church ceremony, they were more than welcome. She agreed.

Fast forward to a year later after the invitations had been addressed and sent only to the adults. The MOG decided that the 4 children absolutely HAD to be there. Our venue was small and our budget was very tight. (I was the wedding planner. I made all the arrangements. I paid the bills! I placed the order for the flowers from the grocery store. Oh the list goes on!) Wedding receptions are very expensive. Children don't eat $75 worth of dinner, and to be honest, should not be around adults who may be drinking to excess, partying hard, and not watching their language. People don't want kids running around or bored 12 year old boys whining that they would rather be playing video games.

This "issue" cost my daughter's mother in law her relationship with my daughter. My daughter is still very angry about the whole situation. The MOG put the groom in the middle and caused all kinds of angst. Fortunately our priest was great and taught them both how to handle this situation - which will raise its ugly head in one form or another sometime in the future.

My daughter's husband is away on military training and duty and she refuses to have anything to do with her in-laws. It is a very sad state because she really used to enjoy spending time with them.

Do yourself a favor. Let it go. YOU declined the invitation. YOU made the decision not to attend. Don't ruin your relationship with your niece. And honestly, don't cut off your nose to spite your face -- go to the ceremony, get a babysitter for your kids, and go to the reception with your husband and have a good time.

5 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.M.

answers from Tampa on

I don't think you are necessarily wrong for feeling hurt...I would probably feel hurt as well. You were invited but your children were not. You simply don't get to make demands regarding the guest list....the bride and groom have every right to have whatever guest list they want. That being said, it is perfectly reasonable for you to be uncomfortable with their guest choices and to decide that it doesn't work for your family.

Lots of folks would love an adult night out, but I get it if you don't. I wouldn't make a huge deal of this to your sister....I would just say that you are unable to attend based on the circumstances.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D..

answers from Miami on

ETA after your SWH:
I talked below about taking the high ground. That's what I would do here. Since you are willing to go for your sister's sake, go. It will make future family get-togethers easier.

I will say that one thing you might think about is what your own children's weddings may be like, especially for your sons. You may have daughter-in-laws (and their mothers) who feel the same way about weddings that your nephew and his fiance do. And there are a lot of brides and grooms who do NOT want children in their ceremonies. We have seen countless youtube videos of kids and babies disrupting ceremonies (drunk groomsmen are bad enough!) and that scares brides. They want their ceremonies to be perfect. So as hard as it is give up on the idea of "sharing with close family and friends", you need to be able to put aside your wishes for how your future DIL's feel. It's not worth hurting years of a relationship with your DIL's over this. Believe me... When your daughter is getting married, perhaps you work with her on the kind of reception that can include the families' children.

Original:
Mother-in-laws-to-be do NOT have say in who is invited to the wedding. You have put her under a lot of stress with this, and now she is changing history.

In my view, there are basically 2 reasons it could be that they have done this. Either they are leaving all 3 kids out because of the 11 year old, feeling that it's either all or nothing. That they can't have ONE youngster or they'd have to issue invitations to other people's youngsters...

Or, you are not important enough to them to consider your feelings in this. OR, both of these, which is what I think.

Here's the thing. They have probably invited these other people who never have anything to do with them because they know they won't show up, but are hoping to get a gift. Weddings really ARE gift grabs. And families don't usually give better gifts than couples.

If you had offered the $1000 before getting the invitation, that would have been one thing. But don't do it now after you've been dissed...

Your nephew may be just ignoring all this and letting the bride do everything. Or he just doesn't care. How would you know? It's not like you can ask.

If you want to keep your relationship with them, go to the wedding, take the family and leave after the ceremony like your sister said to do. It will probably make your sister feel better. Don't talk about it anymore and certainly say NOTHING at the wedding. Quietly leave. That's taking the high road. And just give them a regular gift. It would be SO inappropriate to give a big one after this.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.M.

answers from New York on

You are a guest! You don't get a say in the guest list. You seem close to your nephew, so I suggest rethinking your spiteful decision. Weddings are full of stress and drama--don't add to it! And, the mother-of-the-groom has little to no say in the wedding.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

I think you are wrong on this one. I agree that for me weddings are about family, I have never understood the no child rule, but this is not MY wedding, as it is not yours. I have a feeling that your older children may have been included if you had not also insisted that the 11 year old not be excluded, an 11 year old is still very much a child. Or, they may have all been excluded because the couple intends to have an open bar and does not want to have to monitor for underage drinking (which could get them in trouble). Any way you slice it, it is their special day and and they are entirely within their rights to ask that it be an adults only event. If you needed to decline because you would not have child care that would be completely understandable, but I am guessing the 17 year old is fully capable of providing child care if you choose to go. In the end the choice is yours, but whether you go or not you need to let go of your saltiness, your nephew did nothing wrong.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.J.

answers from Sacramento on

The guest list was a real challenge in our family. My MIL wanted to invite all sorts of people we'd never met and insisted they wouldn't show, so not to worry. But we knew we lived in a prime location and people very well might show. We simply couldn't afford to invite everyone. It took a lot to stand up to her and thankfully my husband did.

Keep in mind that the bride and groom aren't the only ones creating the guest list. There may be a ton of pressure from parents and others. There may be reasons that distant relatives were invited -- maybe due to their age, family history with them, etc. I don't think we invited anyone's kids to our wedding. We wanted close friends and family there, but we also had a strict budget and space limitations.

This doesn't sound personal. It sounds like they made a consistent "no kids" rule to keep the list from getting out of control and had to stick with it. You have three kids, so that would be a significant expense on their end and they'd take up a lot of guest list spots. They invited you and your husband, so your family is represented there.

1 mom found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

We had everyone or all ages at our wedding/reception (this was 28 yrs ago) - and a few that weren't invited crashed for a free meal at the reception anyway (some relatives brought dates).
We only had 75 people, but we planned on a few extras and it was all fine.
The kids were great, the babies were held and didn't get in the way - me and the kids did the chicken dance (my favorite) and everyone did the hokie pokie.
We had a blast!

It's your nephew and his brides decision how they want their wedding to go down.
They wanted no kids - and you couldn't agree to going without your kids.
So declining was the right thing for you to do.
And since you declined - you can send them a nice card and you are not obligated to send money nor gift.
In our family we believe kids are a part of life - so they are there for weddings - and funerals and all the other rites of passage.
Don't second guess your decision now.
I'd plan on doing something else that day with your family and don't bother with the wedding at all.

Next question: Weddings That No Kids Are Allowed Except Family Kids