Etiquette

2nd Cousins Not Invited to Wedding- FMIL would like to make an exception.

We are 36 days away from our wedding, and about 12 days away from needing RSVP's to be turned in. We decided to have a "mostly" kid free wedding. The only children invited are my Fiance's nieces and nephews (there are 6 of them ages: 7,6,5,4, 12mo, 12mo). No other guest are under 21. We justified this since they are immediate family. Both my fiance and I have large extended families. I am the youngest grandchild on both sides of my family, most of my 1st cousins have children. We decided to draw the line on invites at 1st cousins. No second cousins. 

Now the problem. On my FMIL's side of the family her brother & his wife raise their grandchildren (my fiance's 2nd cousins). The children are not exactly children anymore (ages 13, 16 & 19). We did not invite these 3 to the wedding. We were careful in addressing our invites to just the adult couples hoping to avoid any confusion. Well we received their RSVP back and they included the 3 children on the response card.

I spoke to my FMIL about the situation, she thinks we should just let the 3 children come. The only way I can justify having the 3 children come is to let everyone else bring their children. Now everyone else in our families have made arrangements for their children including out of town family members. After figuring out how many 2nd cousins we would need to invite to avoid hurt feelings it proves much too costly for us to be able to accommodate (most children are over the age of 12). My FMIL is worried her Brother & Sister-in-law may not come because their grand kids cannot come. I'm worried that we will experience hurt feeling from my side of the family as well as my FFIL's family and end up with a larger scale mess on our hands by just letting the 3 children come.

I'm hurt that my fiance's Uncle & Aunt may not attend over this. I hate to feel this way but I feel as if they are being somewhat selfish here, my fiance and I consider ourselves very selfless people and really want to make everyone happy here. I just don't think that's possible here. Does anyone have any suggestions? 

Re: 2nd Cousins Not Invited to Wedding- FMIL would like to make an exception.

  • We are 36 days away from our wedding, and about 12 days away from needing RSVP's to be turned in. We decided to have a "mostly" kid free wedding. The only children invited are my Fiance's nieces and nephews (there are 6 of them ages: 7,6,5,4, 12mo, 12mo). No other guest are under 21. We justified this since they are immediate family. Both my fiance and I have large extended families. I am the youngest grandchild on both sides of my family, most of my 1st cousins have children. We decided to draw the line on invites at 1st cousins. No second cousins. 

    Now the problem. On my FMIL's side of the family her brother & his wife raise their grandchildren (my fiance's 2nd cousins). The children are not exactly children anymore (ages 13, 16 & 19). We did not invite these 3 to the wedding. We were careful in addressing our invites to just the adult couples hoping to avoid any confusion. Well we received their RSVP back and they included the 3 children on the response card.

    I spoke to my FMIL about the situation, she thinks we should just let the 3 children come. The only way I can justify having the 3 children come is to let everyone else bring their children. Now everyone else in our families have made arrangements for their children including out of town family members. After figuring out how many 2nd cousins we would need to invite to avoid hurt feelings it proves much too costly for us to be able to accommodate (most children are over the age of 12). My FMIL is worried her Brother & Sister-in-law may not come because their grand kids cannot come. I'm worried that we will experience hurt feeling from my side of the family as well as my FFIL's family and end up with a larger scale mess on our hands by just letting the 3 children come.

    I'm hurt that my fiance's Uncle & Aunt may not attend over this. I hate to feel this way but I feel as if they are being somewhat selfish here, my fiance and I consider ourselves very selfless people and really want to make everyone happy here. I just don't think that's possible here. Does anyone have any suggestions? 
    Why are you speaking to your FMIL about this? Your FI should be. It's his family and his problem to deal with.

    courtmcmMyNameIsNotOliveOilsMom
  • I could be wrong here, but we're talking about a 13, 16 and 19 year old.  We're not talking about young children.   Why can't her brother and sister-in-law come without the kids?   The two older children in question are old enough to stay home by themselves for a few hours, so I don't think this is a babysitting issue.   Are they coming from out of the town and don't want to leave the younger children alone overnight? 

    What is the exact reason these people can't attend without these teenagers (not children, one is an adult at 19)?   Could you provide more details about this, because I think that would help people to understand the situation. 
    randomsloveSTARMOON44OliveOilsMomKnottie0805461
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    Let your FI be the one to tell his mother, "No exceptions. If Aunt and Uncle don't want to accept an invitation that doesn't include their grandchildren that's their problem-not ours."
  • Your FMIL shouldn't be involved at all. Your FI should be communicating directly with the guests who (rudely) added 3 people to their RSVP.

    The polite/etiquette approved approach to dealing with them is to say, "I'm sorry for any misunderstanding, but the invitation was only for (uncle) and (aunt). We cannot accommodate (13 year old, 16 year old and 19 year old). Can the two of you still make it?"

    If you want, you can say that you had to draw the line at kids who weren't immediate family and it would be unfair to make an exception when you aren't making exceptions for anyone else. But really, you owe them no explanation at all.
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    mollybarker11courtmcmOliveOilsMom
  • At that age it's not unheard of for mom and dad to even take an overnight away from the kids.   

    Your FI needs to talk to his aunt and uncle first and then to his mom. 
  • I could be wrong here, but we're talking about a 13, 16 and 19 year old.  We're not talking about young children.   Why can't her brother and sister-in-law come without the kids?   The two older children in question are old enough to stay home by themselves for a few hours, so I don't think this is a babysitting issue.   Are they coming from out of the town and don't want to leave the younger children alone overnight? 

    What is the exact reason these people can't attend without these teenagers (not children, one is an adult at 19)?   Could you provide more details about this, because I think that would help people to understand the situation. 
    I think I see where you're going with this, but it really doesn't matter what their reason is. Even if it were a 1 year old, 3 year old and 5 year old who can't stay home along, they don't have to be invited.

    I get that it's family, but so are lots of people the OP didn't invite. And everyone has an excuse as to why XYZ is more convenient for them.... well sorry but when they host a wedding, they can decide if they want to let the guest list be a free for all. Chances are, they won't.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    Your fiance needs to tell his family that an exception will not be made for them. 
    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
    image

  • Your FMIL has no right to make you invite these kids (unless she's paying).
    You are under no obligation to let them come.
    BUT if you do let them come, you are under no obligation to invite extra kids.

    Your FI can call these people up and say "I'm sorry. The invitation was just for you two. We hope you can still come." No explanation is needed. Inviting no children except your immediate family is perfectly acceptable and you don't need to apologize for it. Now, if they try to accuse you of not inviting them because they aren't their blood-children, you're free to tell them you're only inviting children in the immediate family (though you aren't required to justify yourself).
    Just realize they might not want to go anywhere without their children and they might decline. That's any parent's prerogative.

    Now... the other course of action is letting it go. In this case you do not need to invite other people's kids. Inviting in circles can help with hurt feelings but it's not mandatory. And if anyone is rude enough to comment on their presence to you, you can always say "we invited first cousins and they have been raised like our first cousins." But again... you don't have to explain yourself. You can invite who you want to your own wedding.




    And an extra:

    This is completely unhelpful and somewhat pretentious, but some people may find interesting:

    Your FI's first-cousin's children aren't his second-cousins. They are his first-cousins, once removed. The first/second/third etc is decided by the common-ancestor. The common ancestor is your FI's grandparents, so these kids are still a first cousin, but removed by one generation. Now, your kids would be these kids' second cousins, because they'd share great-grandparents.


    MairePoppy
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    Your FI needs to call his aunt and uncle and explain that these "kids" aren't invited. 

    Inviting some kids doesn't mean you have to invite all of them, and you don't have to justify your decisions to anyone. But there's no reason to allow this rude couple to bully you into changing your guest list. If they can be rude and bring their kids, why can't everyone else?
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    First, your FI should tell his mom to butt out and that he will handle it.  Then, FI calls his aunt and uncle and explain that the invitation was just for aunt and uncle.  If aunt/uncle apologizes, then all is right with the world.  If aunt/uncle threaten to not come to the wedding, FI should respond with "We will miss you if you cannot attend."  No big elaborate excuses need to be made.  If you tell aunt/uncle that immediate family kids are attending, that opens the door for them to try and persuade you to allow their kids to attend too.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    You may invite or not invite these 1st cousins, once removed, as you please. While it was rude of the aunt and uncle to add them to their RSVP, it would be just a rude for other guests to question your list. What does your fi want to do? If he doesn't want to invite the cousins, then he should call his aunt and uncle to let them know they misunderstood the invitation.





                
  • edited June 2015
    I could be wrong here, but we're talking about a 13, 16 and 19 year old.  We're not talking about young children.   Why can't her brother and sister-in-law come without the kids?   The two older children in question are old enough to stay home by themselves for a few hours, so I don't think this is a babysitting issue.   Are they coming from out of the town and don't want to leave the younger children alone overnight? 

    What is the exact reason these people can't attend without these teenagers (not children, one is an adult at 19)?   Could you provide more details about this, because I think that would help people to understand the situation. 
    I think I see where you're going with this, but it really doesn't matter what their reason is. Even if it were a 1 year old, 3 year old and 5 year old who can't stay home along, they don't have to be invited.

    I get that it's family, but so are lots of people the OP didn't invite. And everyone has an excuse as to why XYZ is more convenient for them.... well sorry but when they host a wedding, they can decide if they want to let the guest list be a free for all. Chances are, they won't.
    Boxes-

    The reason I think it's important to know the reasons is because when you do let this person know you can't accommodate them, you can at least do it in a sympathetic way.   I've learned from my job that something just being harsh and saying, "Sorry, no we can't do that" doesn't get people to understand and just adds fuel to the fire. That's why I'm wondering their reason.   I'm wondering if there a different way you can approach this person rather than saying, "No, it's only for the couple." and just leaving it at that.

    I'm not saying you have to find a solution to their problem or issue. I'm not saying you have to justify your reasons (your never have to do that).  I'm just saying that sometimes it's good to look at the person's reason and then think of way to state your response from there.

    I just thought knowing the reason might give OP some better phrases to use to address this situation.   The response people gave are great, but I know sometimes when it comes to family it's better to make it personal than a generic, "We can only accommodate Mrs. Sister and Mr Brother-in-law" phrase. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    I could be wrong here, but we're talking about a 13, 16 and 19 year old.  We're not talking about young children.   Why can't her brother and sister-in-law come without the kids?   The two older children in question are old enough to stay home by themselves for a few hours, so I don't think this is a babysitting issue.   Are they coming from out of the town and don't want to leave the younger children alone overnight? 

    What is the exact reason these people can't attend without these teenagers (not children, one is an adult at 19)?   Could you provide more details about this, because I think that would help people to understand the situation. 
    I think I see where you're going with this, but it really doesn't matter what their reason is. Even if it were a 1 year old, 3 year old and 5 year old who can't stay home along, they don't have to be invited.

    I get that it's family, but so are lots of people the OP didn't invite. And everyone has an excuse as to why XYZ is more convenient for them.... well sorry but when they host a wedding, they can decide if they want to let the guest list be a free for all. Chances are, they won't.
    Boxes-

    The reason I think it's important to know the reasons is because when you do let this person know you can't accommodate them, you can at least do it in a sympathetic way.   I've learned from my job that something just being harsh and saying, "Sorry, no we can't do that" doesn't get people to understand and just adds fuel to the fire. That's why I'm wondering their reason.   I'm wondering if there a different way you can approach this person rather than saying, "No, it's only for the couple." and just leaving it at that.

    I'm not saying you have to find a solution to their problem or issue. I'm not saying you have to justify your reasons (your never have to do that).  I'm just saying that sometimes it's good to look at the person's reason and then think of way to state your response from there.

    I just thought knowing the reason might give OP some better phrases to use to address this situation.   The response people gave are great, but I know sometimes when it comes to family it's better to make it personal than a generic, "We can only accommodate Mrs. Sister and Mr Brother-in-law" phrase. 

    Unfortunately, saying anything in addition to "We can only accommodate Invited Guests" often gives the guests in question ammunition for pushback. 

    If you say that you can't afford to accommodate their uninvited guests, they offer to pay for them.  If you say that there's no room, they'll respond that their guests can sit in another room, on their laps, etc.  If it's a baby or a kid who wasn't invited, they say that they can't find a babysitter, the baby will sleep through it all, is so cute, it's a great learning experience for the kid, everyone wants to see the kid, etc. If it was the date of an unattached single, they complain about having to attend alone while everyone else gets to bring a partner, etc. And you get drawn into a never-ending argument which doesn't end in their understanding that their guests are not welcome because they're not invited. 

    Obviously this doesn't happen every time, but in order to keep them from pushing back, it's best not to give them anything to push back with.

    adk19zitiqueen
  • spglspspglsp
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    Jen4948 said:
    I could be wrong here, but we're talking about a 13, 16 and 19 year old.  We're not talking about young children.   Why can't her brother and sister-in-law come without the kids?   The two older children in question are old enough to stay home by themselves for a few hours, so I don't think this is a babysitting issue.   Are they coming from out of the town and don't want to leave the younger children alone overnight? 

    What is the exact reason these people can't attend without these teenagers (not children, one is an adult at 19)?   Could you provide more details about this, because I think that would help people to understand the situation. 
    I think I see where you're going with this, but it really doesn't matter what their reason is. Even if it were a 1 year old, 3 year old and 5 year old who can't stay home along, they don't have to be invited.

    I get that it's family, but so are lots of people the OP didn't invite. And everyone has an excuse as to why XYZ is more convenient for them.... well sorry but when they host a wedding, they can decide if they want to let the guest list be a free for all. Chances are, they won't.
    Boxes-

    The reason I think it's important to know the reasons is because when you do let this person know you can't accommodate them, you can at least do it in a sympathetic way.   I've learned from my job that something just being harsh and saying, "Sorry, no we can't do that" doesn't get people to understand and just adds fuel to the fire. That's why I'm wondering their reason.   I'm wondering if there a different way you can approach this person rather than saying, "No, it's only for the couple." and just leaving it at that.

    I'm not saying you have to find a solution to their problem or issue. I'm not saying you have to justify your reasons (your never have to do that).  I'm just saying that sometimes it's good to look at the person's reason and then think of way to state your response from there.

    I just thought knowing the reason might give OP some better phrases to use to address this situation.   The response people gave are great, but I know sometimes when it comes to family it's better to make it personal than a generic, "We can only accommodate Mrs. Sister and Mr Brother-in-law" phrase. 

    Unfortunately, saying anything in addition to "We can only accommodate Invited Guests" often gives the guests in question ammunition for pushback. 

    If you say that you can't afford to accommodate their uninvited guests, they offer to pay for them.  If you say that there's no room, they'll respond that their guests can sit in another room, on their laps, etc.  If it's a baby or a kid who wasn't invited, they say that they can't find a babysitter, the baby will sleep through it all, is so cute, it's a great learning experience for the kid, everyone wants to see the kid, etc. If it was the date of an unattached single, they complain about having to attend alone while everyone else gets to bring a partner, etc. And you get drawn into a never-ending argument which doesn't end in their understanding that their guests are not welcome because they're not invited. 

    Obviously this doesn't happen every time, but in order to keep them from pushing back, it's best not to give them anything to push back with.

    I've been down this road and you nailed it. So much drama, I just don't understand. If you can't make it without your child and your child isn't invited then you can't make it, decline with regrets, done. It reminds me of this:
    Just Married!

    image
  • he needs to call and say sorry they cannot attend it was for you and husband.

    btw they are not children they are teenagers
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