Snarky Brides

It finally happened, the inevitable family drama

The story goes like this:

My cousin is a bridesmaid in our wedding.  Her parents are divorced, and her father is my mother's brother, thus a biological member of our family.  He is remarried and has been for about 10 years now.  When originally coming up with the guest list, I had included both the BM's father/stepmother and her biological mother.  I am not very close to her mother, but I do still consider her an aunt, am friends with her on FB, and am on friendly terms with her.  I felt like she deserved an invitation and would appreciate receiving one (i.e. would be offended to NOT get one).  To be honest, I didn't think she would make the effort to come, as she lives about 8 hours from the wedding location, but I still wanted her to receive an invitation. 

All was well until just a few days ago, when my mom informs me that her brother and his wife have stated that they "aren't sure they can come" if the mother comes to the wedding.  I was copied on this long, dramatic email from my step-aunt, saying that she shouldn't be forced to be uncomfortable, and that they would be at the ceremony, but not the reception.  Personally, I was offended b/c it seems really petty and dumb to not be able to sit in the same room with someone for 2-3 hours.  According to them, the mother would come to the wedding JUST TO SPITE THEM and then "hog" her daughters all night. 

Now, my problem is that my mom agrees with them and wants to leave the mother off the invite list now.  Personally, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that I was brought into their divorce/family drama and honestly, it makes me want to leave things the way they are and just tell my uncle/step-aunt to go screw themselves.  However, my parents are paying for the entire wedding, so apparently I don't get much of a say.

What would you do in this situation, and how would you feel?  I know lots of people have to deal with divorced parent situations, but this is just weird and unneccessary.  I will probably end up having to leave her off the list, and I'm not sure how hard I should fight considering I'm not that close to her.  However, I feel peeved that I'm being forced/manipulated into changing my guest list.  I also don't want to hurt my BM's feelings, considering that is her mother.  I'm also wondering what my uncle/step-aunt are going to do when my cousin and her sister get married...

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Re: It finally happened, the inevitable family drama

  • First off - she is not your step-aunt, she is your aunt.  She is your uncle's wife so she is your aunt.  Sorry, that just bugged me.

    You should NEVER invite someone if you don't really want them there.  Your wedding is an opportunity for this woman to spend time with her children, even if they are grown.  That is a very appealing thing - especially when that includes dinner and drinks!  If she is fond of you and you invited her, that sets up a pretty enticing reason to attend.

    If you have invited her you can't uninvite her.  You are going to have to talk to your aunt and uncle, let them know  you didn't realize this would make them so uncomfortable, but you can't take back the invitation.  Let them know it is important to you that they attend and then make sure you seat these people at opposite ends of the room.

    Moral of the story for new brides to be - do NOT send an invitation if you don't really want that person to attend!

    MairePoppychibiyui
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I agree they are being ridiculous. However, if the aunt is not really part of your everyday life, I wouldn't invite her. We didn't invite anyone who wasn't part of our regular lives, regardless of where they fall on our family trees, including my husband's grandparents.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    If you DO want her to come, I would invite her. However, your parents paying and objecting does complicate things a bit
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • AddieL73 said:
    I agree they are being ridiculous. However, if the aunt is not really part of your everyday life, I wouldn't invite her. We didn't invite anyone who wasn't part of our regular lives, regardless of where they fall on our family trees, including my husband's grandparents.
    This is a good point, and what we will probably end up doing.  The bad thing is that same thing can be said for a good portion of our guest list.  Not my decision to have it that way, but as I said I am not paying for the wedding.  Ultimately I'm just annoyed I'm being forced to choose.  But I guess that's how it goes sometimes.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Yeah, I got lucky in that my father paid for the whole wedding but left all the decisions up to us. Other than requesting salmon as one of the food choices, he had no demands or requests at all. I am always so grateful for that when I see brides struggling with the strings attached.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    Amyzen83pinkshorts27
  • The fact that you're not paying for the wedding makes it hard, but in the end it IS still YOUR wedding, and you should be able to invite whomever you'd like.

    Why, 10 years later, is there still drama? If anything, I would think the ex-wife would have more reason to be uncomfortable than the woman who has been with your uncle for ten years. They are being really petty and, it's uncalled for. How does your cousin feel about the whole thing?
    Amyzen83
  • This is tough. I also have plenty of people on my list who are not part of my everyday life, but they all mean something to me and I want them all there.Personally I would try to still invite her. Even if your parents are paying they still might let you have the final say on it. To me it isn't right for other peoples drama to dictate who you are allowed to invite some place. Everyone is an adult and they can decide if they want to go or not. If they can't be in the same rom with someone that should be their choice and not something put on your shoulders. I also have guests that aren't happy with each other so I will simply seat them far apart. But if your parents insist they have have final say of the guest list then just consider it out of your hands. At least you can honestly say you have nothing to do with the silliness.
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    Amyzen83
  • The fact that you're not paying for the wedding makes it hard, but in the end it IS still YOUR wedding, and you should be able to invite whomever you'd like.

    Why, 10 years later, is there still drama? If anything, I would think the ex-wife would have more reason to be uncomfortable than the woman who has been with your uncle for ten years. They are being really petty and, it's uncalled for. How does your cousin feel about the whole thing?

    That's what I'd like to know lol.  My uncle/his wife claim that she is still very bitter about their divorce and that she is nasty about splitting time with the kids, etc.  I'm not close to the situation, so I can't say whether or not this is true.  It could very well be true, but really, it has nothing to do with me or my wedding.  I'm not sure why they feel the need to bring all of this into it. 

    My cousin doesn't yet know her mom isn't invited and probably hasn't thought about it at this point.  I made it clear that they need to be the one to explain why her mother is not invited.  They claim she won't care and will understand.  I guess we'll see if that turns out to be true.

  • She's your cousin and you chose for her to be your bridesmaid, so I assume you care about her. Well, mother > fathers new wife. True story. Who cares if stepbitch is *uncomfortable*... she sounds manipulative and controlling (as I suppose is traditional for a stepbitch). Be happy if she doesn't show. 
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    She's your cousin and you chose for her to be your bridesmaid, so I assume you care about her. Well, mother > fathers new wife. True story. Who cares if stepbitch is *uncomfortable*... she sounds manipulative and controlling (as I suppose is traditional for a stepbitch). Be happy if she doesn't show. 
    Except that the father is actually the OP's uncle, where his ex-wife is her aunt by marriage. I'm going to assume she wouldn't un-invite her own uncle to her wedding and if he's invited then his wife needs to be invited also.
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    Amyzen83
  • She's your cousin and you chose for her to be your bridesmaid, so I assume you care about her. Well, mother > fathers new wife. True story. Who cares if stepbitch is *uncomfortable*... she sounds manipulative and controlling (as I suppose is traditional for a stepbitch). Be happy if she doesn't show. 
    Except that the father is actually the OP's uncle, where his ex-wife is her aunt by marriage. I'm going to assume she wouldn't un-invite her own uncle to her wedding and if he's invited then his wife needs to be invited also.
    Her Aunt by marriage yes but still her cousins Mother. Regardless, she invited them all - which is the right thing to do. However, uninviting the Mother because new wife has a problem is awful... as I said, if stepbitch is uncomfortable, that's her problem and hopefully Uncle will grow a pair and just come solo if need be.
    natswild
  • OP said she has not sent out invites yet. Maybe you could just talk to your cousin about it? She will likely have much better knowledge about her parents' relationships with one another. Speaking as a child of a bitter divorce, these things can get ugly and any situation in which they have to spend time in the same building is often to be avoided. However, I do have to say that the new wife seems to feel rather entitled in this situation which I find odd. If OP has a good relationship with her cousin's mother she has every right to want her to be at the wedding and if new wife has any kind of proper manners she will just treat her as she would any other guest she may not know. It is her prerogative if she does not want to stay for the reception, but it is unfair of her to force her husband to miss part of his niece's wedding, especially when his daughter is a part of it.
  • HaileyDancingbearHaileyDancingbear Arkham Asylum member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I would talk to your mom and say something along the lines of "Listen, Cousin's biological mom has just as much of a right to spend time with cousin as her biological father.  Not inviting her because she may 'hog'  cousin is ridiculous.  If she wants to spend time with her DAUGHTER then let her.  uncle and his wife are being very petty by saying they won't come just because they don't want to be in the same room as her, and I don't want to reward petty behavior.  I would like to invite all of them, and expect them to behave as adults, rather than cave into such ridiculous demands."

    I think since your mother is paying it gets a bit tricky, but you should give it your best effort to explain how you feel about the situation and why you would like to invite your aunt.  

    My two cents is that your uncle and his wife are being total babies.  They should be able to deal with having one person they don't like being in the same room as them, and they are being extremely immature by expecting you to tailor your guest list based on their own inability to handle a barely potentially awkward situation.  I say barely potentially awkward because the thing about situations like this is, it rarely ever gets awkward.  Funny thing about people who want to avoid each other because it may be awkward or tense etc.- they tend to avoid each other and not interact all night, therefore avoiding all of the awkwardness or tension etc. they worried about.  They worry so much and its very rare that anything actually happens.
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    Amyzen83
  • I think what hurts the most in all this is the fact that both my aunt AND uncle have stated that they wouldn't go to the reception if the mother is there.  My own uncle apparently stated this...making it clear that petty drama is more important than celebrating with me and the rest of our family.  The stupid thing is I will probably have to give in to their drama b/c my parents will basically make the decision on who to invite.  My mother has already shown that she wants a significant amount of control in planning this wedding, so I don't see her backing down on this.
  • I would talk to your mom and say something along the lines of "Listen, Cousin's biological mom has just as much of a right to spend time with cousin as her biological father.  Not inviting her because she may 'hog'  cousin is ridiculous.  If she wants to spend time with her DAUGHTER then let her.  uncle and his wife are being very petty by saying they won't come just because they don't want to be in the same room as her, and I don't want to reward petty behavior.  I would like to invite all of them, and expect them to behave as adults, rather than cave into such ridiculous demands."

    I think since your mother is paying it gets a bit tricky, but you should give it your best effort to explain how you feel about the situation and why you would like to invite your aunt.  

    My two cents is that your uncle and his wife are being total babies.  They should be able to deal with having one person they don't like being in the same room as them, and they are being extremely immature by expecting you to tailor your guest list based on their own inability to handle a barely potentially awkward situation.  I say barely potentially awkward because the thing about situations like this is, it rarely ever gets awkward.  Funny thing about people who want to avoid each other because it may be awkward or tense etc.- they tend to avoid each other and not interact all night, therefore avoiding all of the awkwardness or tension etc. they worried about.  They worry so much and its very rare that anything actually happens.

    Trust me, I've said almost exactly this to my mom already.  She agrees that they are being petty, but since she doesn't have a crazy high opinion of my cousin's mother either, she's giving in to their demands.  I'll continue to bring it up, but I don't see much changing.  I'm still shaking my head about it...it's so immature.
    HaileyDancingbear
  • I think what hurts the most in all this is the fact that both my aunt AND uncle have stated that they wouldn't go to the reception if the mother is there.  My own uncle apparently stated this...making it clear that petty drama is more important than celebrating with me and the rest of our family.  The stupid thing is I will probably have to give in to their drama b/c my parents will basically make the decision on who to invite.  My mother has already shown that she wants a significant amount of control in planning this wedding, so I don't see her backing down on this.
    Well there you go - clearly all they care about is making trouble, hurting your uncles ex-wife and causing you drama. If they cared about you, your cousin or your wedding they wouldn't do any of this. I think it makes it pretty clear whose feelings you should be prioritizing. If my mother tried to force me do something this awful, I would decline the money... Ultimately your actions will be on your conscience alone, you can't put the blame on someone else to justify doing something that is wrong.
    HaileyDancingbearhuskypuppy14
  • I think what hurts the most in all this is the fact that both my aunt AND uncle have stated that they wouldn't go to the reception if the mother is there.  My own uncle apparently stated this...making it clear that petty drama is more important than celebrating with me and the rest of our family.  The stupid thing is I will probably have to give in to their drama b/c my parents will basically make the decision on who to invite.  My mother has already shown that she wants a significant amount of control in planning this wedding, so I don't see her backing down on this.
    Ugh I see where you are hurt in all this. Who honestly does this? I cannot imagine ever asking someone to alter their invite list because of me.
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    Anniversary
  • If your cousin is old enough and close enough to you to be a bridesmaid, i'm wondering why you haven't brought this up with her.  Tell her that you'd like to invite her mother, but her father and step-mother have indicated that her being there would make them uncomfortable.  Your cousin probably has a good deal more insight into the situation than your mother, since she is closer to it.  See what she has to say.  If she thinks her father would actually not go to your wedng because her mother was there, then maybe you don't know very much about her mother's true character.  That's a pretty strong reaction.  If she thinks her father is just using this as an empty threat on behalf of her step-mother, she will tell you to just invite everyone, and tell them to get over it.

     

    I mean really, what's going to happen when your cousin gets married herself?  Is her father going to insist that her mother not be there?  That's ridiculoius.  My father is literally married to the woman who he was cheating on my mother with while they were married, and none of them are acting like children because they're going to have to be in the same room for my (and my sister's) upcoming weddings.

    Vivandiere8
  • delujm0 said:

    If your cousin is old enough and close enough to you to be a bridesmaid, i'm wondering why you haven't brought this up with her.  Tell her that you'd like to invite her mother, but her father and step-mother have indicated that her being there would make them uncomfortable.  Your cousin probably has a good deal more insight into the situation than your mother, since she is closer to it.  See what she has to say.  If she thinks her father would actually not go to your wedng because her mother was there, then maybe you don't know very much about her mother's true character.  That's a pretty strong reaction.  If she thinks her father is just using this as an empty threat on behalf of her step-mother, she will tell you to just invite everyone, and tell them to get over it.

     

    I mean really, what's going to happen when your cousin gets married herself?  Is her father going to insist that her mother not be there?  That's ridiculoius.  My father is literally married to the woman who he was cheating on my mother with while they were married, and none of them are acting like children because they're going to have to be in the same room for my (and my sister's) upcoming weddings.

    I do plan on bringing this up with her. I feel as though there is a possibility that her mother has done things that might warrant a negative reaction to her being there.  It still has nothing to do with me.

    To the bolded:  that was my point to my mom.  It doesn't make any sense and it sets a really bad precedent for any future weddings in our family. 

    HaileyDancingbear
  • Wow, it sounds like your uncle and his wife need to grow up.  Unless your aunt has done something extreme like physically attack/threaten them, they really don't have a valid reason to ask that she not be invited.  They should be able to put on their big boy pants and suck it up for a single event.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    Amyzen83
  • AddieL73 said:



    . she sounds manipulative and controlling (as I suppose is traditional for a stepbitch).  



    I think this is kind of offensive. Not all stepmothers are horrible.

    I do too because it seems to be generalizing all stepmothers and automatically calling them bitches
    hellohkb
  • Well from the sample size i've encountered, i'm at 100% success... but fully open to having my mind changed should the person present themselves. Regardless, didn't mean to offend anyone... the idea of a new wife trying to cut out someones mother (and the incredible hurt she must feel) just struck a very personal chord with me and I was honestly pretty angry that OP was even considering uninviting the mother (assuming she has not done something terrible that was no mentioned here). Haaaving said that, it's the internet and not my life - so while I was initially angry, i'm over it... and again, apologize if I offended anyone.
    Amyzen83
  • Well from the sample size i've encountered, i'm at 100% success... but fully open to having my mind changed should the person present themselves. Regardless, didn't mean to offend anyone... the idea of a new wife trying to cut out someones mother (and the incredible hurt she must feel) just struck a very personal chord with me and I was honestly pretty angry that OP was even considering uninviting the mother (assuming she has not done something terrible that was no mentioned here). Haaaving said that, it's the internet and not my life - so while I was initially angry, i'm over it... and again, apologize if I offended anyone.
    I can get behind what you are saying about new wife trying to cut out mom, that would grind my gears too! It does sound like both uncle and new wife are very selfish and petty people. OP even stated that she doesn't even know the reason for this. So it's a fair assessment that uncle and new aunt are jerk mcgerks.
  • Just have to add, I bet you anything you aunt and uncle will go to both the wedding and reception even if the ex-wife is invited. The fact that they said they might not go as opposed to will not go says everything.
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    Amyzen83
  • Well from the sample size i've encountered, i'm at 100% success... but fully open to having my mind changed should the person present themselves. Regardless, didn't mean to offend anyone... the idea of a new wife trying to cut out someones mother (and the incredible hurt she must feel) just struck a very personal chord with me and I was honestly pretty angry that OP was even considering uninviting the mother (assuming she has not done something terrible that was no mentioned here). Haaaving said that, it's the internet and not my life - so while I was initially angry, i'm over it... and again, apologize if I offended anyone.
    So then he needs to stand up to his wife and keep the family drama between them.  He's allowing his behaviour instead of behaving as the appropriate buffer.

    FI doesn't like my ex-husband, and I don't blame him however I also don't allow him to bad mouth him in front of my kids or get involved with interactions because it's not appropriate and serves no productive purpose.  
  • What would I do? I'd thank my parents for offering to pay, turn down their offer, pay for my wedding myself and invite who I damn well pleased. Then my relatives could decline based on not liking my guest list while looking petty and ridiculous. This plan would keep your mother from having to deal with her brother (or his wife's) issues while giving you the opportunity to decide for yourself which relationships are worth your while. Your uncle and his wife are within their rights to decline so as to not socialize with people they'd prefer not to. They are not within their rights to ask to weigh in on your guest list. 
    Amyzen83
  • Nah, I wouldn't let someone's drama control who I invited. We had a few people on the guest who don't get along. They managed to keep it civil for the wedding. They also had the option to decline if they preferred not to be in the situation (although none did).

    They don't get to tell you who you can or can't invite. I'd be super pissed that they were trying to guilt me or threaten non-attendance. Oh well, don't come then if your drama is more important.

    My parents were great and didn't make demands on the guest list, so I feel for you in that respect. Can you talk further with your mom and explain your POV? Why is your mom getting sucked into their nonsense? My mom's response would have been: "I'm sorry that you feel that way but my daughter is free to include anyone she likes at her wedding. We hope you'll join us to celebrate".
    Amyzen83
  • I agree that your aunt and uncle are being incredibly petty. I say invite them all and just seat them far away from each other. They don't even have to know that they are at the same wedding! Sometimes at weddings, you don't even see half of the guests who are in the same room as you and when you're dancing and conversing with other people, nothing else matters!
    Amyzen83
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