Should I allow my daughter to be in the wedding?

Valerie D. asks from Beaumont, TX
14 answers

My husband's best friend is renewing his vows to his wife of 1 year. We live several miles apart and I have never met his new wife. The wedding is a destination wedding in which we have already spent a lot of money for the trip alone. When plans fell through for another little girl to act as flower girl, his friend asked if my daughters could fill in. One of my daughters is 8 and the other is 12. My 12 year old is too old to be a flower girl but I thought maybe she could act in some other capacity and I had other questions about the type of dress the bride wanted and other details... So, I try to reach out to the bride to no avail. I tried to friend her on FB and she would not accept my request. Although the denial upset me, because the men were so excited about the girls being in the wedding, I then even emailed her and let her know that if she needed anything for the wedding to not hesitate to ask. She simply responded with a thank you. I chose not to ask if she wanted the girls for the wedding at that time because I feel that is her place to ask me and not something for the guys to be planning (at least not that part). To me, this does not sound like someone that wants my daughter(s) to be in their wedding. So I just forgot about the whole thing and have just been planning for the trip. But because the wedding is now less than a month away, my husband brings it up to his friend that his wife still had not contacted me. So he sent money for my 8 yr old's dress (I still don't know anything about my 12 yr old) but then his friend got mad when my husband insisted that she contacts me to discuss the details. She still did not. So I emailed her and asked her straight up and got another vague response. I don't know her and I don't want to be quick to judge but I am leary of her and already a bit afraid to be going out of the country with them on a vacation. I don't want to have ill feelings towards someone on an exotic vacation when I'm supposed to be having a good time. I also don't want to jump to conclusions...what do you think may be going on? Am I overreacting?

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So What Happened?

I would like to thank everyone for the advice! It has really helped me to work through this because I didn't want to be "difficult" like my husband's friend was making me feel. You all confirmed what I was thinking - it should be the bride communicating with me and as I can tell, she doesn't care one way or the other - even after I reached out to her several times.... I had already planned for my girls to be on the trip with us, as there will be other families, etc. Hubby and I have another vacation planned for just the 2 of us later on :-) so, I had planned this one to be a family vacation (which is why the friend had the bright idea of including my girls in the wedding) ...So I ended up emailing them both to gracefully decline the invitation to participate in the wedding. I told them that the girls and I will be there as guests only. That was a couple of hours ago and no response yet....this is all so weird. I just pray things aren't weird between us on the trip. Thanks again!

* UPDATE* 06/24/18 - Well, I never heard directly from either my hubby's friend or his wife. Instead, hubby's friend text him to tell him how everything was all messed up since I wrote the email bowing out of the wedding and that his wife was very angry. So we just decided to still go on the trip but decided not to go as a group with them. We are going to a different resort and not attending the wedding either. My husband was very upset with all this and made this call! Whew! thank goodness! ...again, thank you all for your advice.

14 Answers

Suz t.

answers from Sharpsburg on

she sounds incredibly rude.

in your shoes i'd plan to go the wedding and have a lovely time. i'd return the money for the 8 year old's dress, and let the best friend know that there hasn't been enough information to plan for your daughter to be a flower girl, but you're all looking forward to the wedding.

take yourself out of the middle of this.

it sucks, but try to have a good time in spite of it.
khairete
suz

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Natalie K.

answers from Miami Beach on

They sound like they need to grow up. Why is it so hard to define things, instead of playing games and being so vague and secretive about it all? SHE should have reached out to YOU. When she had no tact to do so and YOU reached out instead, SHE should have thanked you and mentioned in what capacity she wanted to use the girls (or if she was going to have someone else fill in and did not need that favor from you anymore, if she was not going to use one, whatever...that was her cue to speak to her husband about it too, assuming he spoke up on her behalf about wanting your daughter to be the flower girl, without talking it over with her. If she had an objection, that was the time for her to discuss it with her husband and come up with a good response for you).

Not responding is extremely rude, especially if her husband is your husband's best friend and you followed up with her and tried to get in touch with her more than once. For her husband to then get mad at your husband, who wanted to clear the air up about the whole situation? Maybe if they would have given you a straight answer, like grownups do, instead of beating around the bush, this whole situation could have been avoided. Like I said, they both sound immature and the type of people who like stringing people along, instead of being adults and responding to questions that are important because they impact you and your plans.

How inconsiderate of them, especially her! She has made no effort to show you hospitality or a desire for friendship. If anything, I'd view her desire to avoid you as a sign that she doesn't want to have much to do with you, and this was a formality because of her husband's friendship with your husband. Who needs cold friends like that? Return the dress money you were given, since she never made an effort to discuss any plans, and go since you already invested in this trip, but I would keep my distance from these drama queens in the future...they're not trustworthy.

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chacha

answers from Brooklyn on

Renewing vows after one year? Haha! Many leases last longer than that!!

It's good that you emailed them BOTH to decline. For all you know, the friend was trying to spin it to the bride as if *you* wanted this involvement (as Diane B says below, the idea of you being the pushy one). Your email made it clear - friend invited the girls to participate, you their mother are declining.

ALSO: The most disturbing part of all of this - you are treating your 8-year-old like a pawn!! She is not that much younger than 12. In the future, INVOLVE HER in these decisions.

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Elena B.

answers from Aiea on

Traditionally, the flower girls, bridesmaids, etc, are the bride's decision. And this bride has not extended any invitation to you or to your daughters about wedding participation. It might not be that she doesn't want your daughters in the wedding, so nothing particularly against them. She just might be thinking that at a vow renewal, one doesn't need flower girls, ring bearers, the whole original wedding party. Often vow renewals are simpler than the first wedding.

I'd return the dress money and politely tell your husband that the bride has not expressed any interest in having a flower girl in her renewal, and that you're not going to be a pushy wedding guest or force the bride into accepting a flower girl. She has not reached out regarding dresses, styles, rehearsals, etc. Take your cue from the bride (whom you haven't even met). Let your husband and his friend enjoy their friendship, leave your girls home, and enjoy a vacation with your husband.

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Diane D.

answers from Norwood on

A vow renewal after a year of marriage? Meh. At this point I would tell your hubby's friend that you are sorry but the girls won't be part of the wedding and call it a day. Most likely the little girl that dropped out is the wife's niece or a good friend's daughter. Someone the bride decided to have participate. While it would be nice for her to communicate clearly with you its obvious that this isn't happening. Don't stess over it just move on to planning a wonderful vacation.

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Annette D.

answers from Saint Paul on

I think you need to talk to your husband's best friend yourself, face to face. Thank him for thinking of your daughter, but tell him you're going to have to decline her involvement. It's coming up too soon, you aren't getting any kind of communication suggesting the bride is happy about this or helpful in making you and your daughter(s) comfortable either. I'd tell him you know he meant well, offering the kindness of including them. But since his wife doesn't even know them, and maybe she is disappointed her original flower girl plan fell through, or maybe she was caught off guard by his asking your husband. In any case, just level with him. It's awkward, communication that hasn't been great has left you too uneasy for you to allow your daughter to participate.

Go as guests and have a great time. I would do like Michelle said, keep near your kids, and focus on having fun with your own family. Sorry the bride hasn't been friendly with you. Who knows why. Her loss. I'd just go with the mind-set that you are just there with your husband who wants to support his best friend.

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TF Plano/Allen

answers from Plano on

Someone has some poor communications skills.

My questions:
Why have you not met your husband's best friends' wife?
Wasn't your husband involved in wedding #1?
Why such an elaborate vow renewal?
Did they marry fast and quick with no celebration a year ago and this is their "event"?
This seems pretty extravagant for a vow renewal.
Your daughter's don't know the couple and there is no reason for them to want to be involved. The 12 yr old would likely be embarrassed to be a flower girl.

I'd be upset with my hubby for committing my children and sending money for them to participate.

I would back out of going altogether. Go somewhere fun with your family and make memories with your children, not someone you do not know.

This does not sound like an "exotic" vacation.. sounds like a drama filled clusterf..k.

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B

answers from Chesapeake on

Sounds like there's some necessary communication between the husband and wife that's not happening.
It kind of makes me wonder why they are doing a vow renewal after 1 year.
I don't know but maybe they should be thinking about why they are married to each other at all.

If it were me - I'd thank them for the offer but tell them "No thanks!" and leave my kids out of it.
And then I'd have a sit down with my Hubby to have a talk about sending money for something that's not been agreed on and getting the kids wound up over nothing.
For now - just consider that the money sent for dress is your wedding gift.

Although if it hadn't happened accidentally - for a renewal after 1 year of marriage, I'd send a nice card and there would be no gift - because this trip is costing you plenty already and I really think maybe they are doing a renewal so soon because they are trying very hard to convince themselves that being married in the first place was not a mistake.
With the way they don't communicate - I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for an invite to a 5 yr anniversary - I'm not sure they are going to last that long.

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LadyBug C.

answers from Delaplane on

I would tell my husband to tell his friend that you’ve decided to leave the girls at home. Go, have a good time. Cut your losses and call it good.

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Margie G.

answers from Portland on

Normally, you'd call and thank the bride for inviting your kids to be in her wedding party at the very beginning. So nothing about this is normal.

Is your daughter wearing the other girl's dress or something? I don't think I am following this.

If you don't let your daughter be in it, with a month to go, will this cause drama and will you feel awkward at the wedding?

My personal thought is your daughter(s) don't know the bride, and things are awkward between you and the bride, so this may not be the most fun for them. Do they know anyone in the bridal party?

I would talk to hubby and decide if this is the best thing for your kids. Go from there.

I would stop contacting the bride though. She obviously isn't interested. You can speculate but who knows why. Sounds like her hubby just threw out your kids names and she said sure, and that's all the involvement she wanted for whatever reason. She hasn't met you so don't take it personally - she's likely very busy with trip, and focussed on that and leaving this to her hubby.

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mamazita

answers from Orinda on

This is confusing, why don't you just let your husband handle this? These are HIS friends after all, why can't he just get the info from his buddy and get whatever dress he's requesting?
Though I do hope your daughter actually wants to it if that's what your husband's friend wants. She's eight years old, old enough to have a say in whether she wants to participate or not.
Whatever you do try not to stress over it and ENJOY your vacation! After all it's not your wedding.

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michelle s.

answers from Herndon on

Weird. This was obviously the groom's idea. I would just talk to the groom and give him a firm no as far as your daughters go. Go and have fun. It's probably too late to leave the girls at home so just let your husband hang with the groom and you go off and have fun with your kids while you are there. I'm guessing the bride will have her family and friends there for her. Don't be angry with her. She was just probably caught off guard with the guys' plans.

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Marda P.

answers from Portland on

I agree with Diane B. I suggest the wife either care one way or the other or that she doesn't want your daughter to be a flower girl and is letting you know in a passive aggressive way. Perhaps the couple are disagreeing. The husband is pushing the issue with her and she's staying out of it. Perhaps she's staying out of the line of fire, hoping her husband will blame you instead of her.

I suggest this situation looks to be one in which no one wins. Perhaps, if your daughter is a flower girl, she can say "I didn't ask her to be a flower girl and she can be upset with her husband. Or if your daughter isn't a flower girl she can be upset with you for not doing as her husband asked. You said the best friend was upset that you required his wife to contact you. I suggest this may mean the idea is his and not hers. Are they fighting over this.

I would be prepared for your family to vacation on your own if you find the situation difficult when you get there. Is it going to be just you and them with no other couples? I too would wonder how you and his wife will enjoy each other.

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Diane B.

answers from Westborough on

I would have stopped this about 3 emails ago.

The woman wants a destination wedding, and her husband of 1 year is coming up with all kinds of ideas about how to give her what he thinks she should have. He's trying to include his best friend (your husband) as the provider of a "temp" flower girl when the regular "employee" is out. The men are doing all this stuff that the woman doesn't want. She's seeing you as the pushy one, and you keep feeding into that by assuming that she engineered this request, which I'm guessing she didn't. Your husband made it worse by telling his friend that she didn't contact you, and she feels that makes her look bad.

I don't know whether she rejected your FB friend request or whether she's just not on FB that much. But all the other responses (or lack of them) should tell you she's just not interested.

When you say "he sent the money for the dress," do you mean your husband sent money to the friend, or that the friend sent it to you? I'm not sure what to do with that. Either way, I'm guessing the wife wants nothing to do with any of it. If they sent the money to you, I'd send it back. If you sent it to them, I'd write it off as a loss or a wedding gift.

Now, were you planning to take your children on this trip before the flower girl thing came up? It seems very expensive, and usually when people have a destination wedding, they are looking for a party that (frankly) most people don't attend because of cost and logistics. I think you're kind of stuck now, because it seems most sensible to leave your kids at home with Grandma or a sitter, but everyone (all 3 of you) have pushed so hard on this that I don't know what the bride expects. Emailing her again, or putting the men in charge of communications, seem like bad ideas too.

I don't think you should be leery of her, because I'm not sure she did any of this. I think she and her husband don't have great communication, or she just wanted her friend's daughter or her niece (whoever the original kid was) but didn't want to open it up to auditions and substitutions, which is what it turned into. Maybe she should have answered you, but then again, maybe she thinks her husband was handling it (and he wasn't, at least not to her satisfaction). I suppose you have to do something to say you're sorry it's gotten so out of hand and you think it's best if the kids bow out of this whole thing to make it easier for her.

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