Wedding Etiquette Forum

Invite Question

My brother and his now ex-fiance have a daughter together; my niece.

Before their split, they were invited as a family to my wedding.

Once they split I assumed I would invite my brother and niece, but no longer include my brother's ex since she was invited originally as part of a social unit that now doesn't exist.

Problem- my parents aren't even really sure where my brother is living right now. He won't speak to them and has basically been completely uninvolved with my niece since the split.  So, I don't know where to send an invite.   Question one- even if he's being a d-bag right now, I still want my brother to know he's invited to the wedding, although I have a hunch he won't show.  Since we have no address for him, do I just send it in care of my parents to him?

Question two- normally I would include my niece on my brother's invite; but since he's not talking to anyone, and may never come to their house to get his invite, do I invite my ex-FSIL and include my niece on her invite? 

Other info in case it matters:

  • I don't dis-like my ex-FSIL; honestly, I hardly know her.  I'd have no problem inviting her to the wedding since she is the mother of my niece
  • Ex-FSIL is not keeping my niece from my parents (at least at this point).  They tried taking my niece w/ them on a vacation earlier this month for a week, but it ended early b/c niece was homesick.  This also means niece may not be okay in October to travel with my parents for a week or more away from home, especially if one of her parents isn't with her.
  • Doubtful that ex-FSIL will attend.  She lives far away (Arizona), is essentially a single, working parent, and may not be able to afford time off of work.  And she just may not want to go to a wedding so shortly after ending an engagement.
  • My parents are willing to bring my niece if she wants to come / mom lets her; my mom's sister (my aunt) would stay with my niece during the wedding ceremony.  Niece and my aunt have "met" via Skype sessions.

Thanks Knotties!

Re: Invite Question

  • Are you close enough to talk to FSIL about this directly?   I'd pick up the phone to say that you'd like to invite her DD to the wedding and you would love to help arrange getting her there.   In a situation like this, I feel like just writing something down can be rather impersonal.   Instead, talking to her shows that you care about the niece and if your brother is MIA, it also shows the former FSIL that you would make sure that the child would be in good care. 
    STARMOON44SP29mollybarker11huskypuppy14
  • banana468 said:
    Are you close enough to talk to FSIL about this directly?   I'd pick up the phone to say that you'd like to invite her DD to the wedding and you would love to help arrange getting her there.   In a situation like this, I feel like just writing something down can be rather impersonal.   Instead, talking to her shows that you care about the niece and if your brother is MIA, it also shows the former FSIL that you would make sure that the child would be in good care. 
    I am not close to her.  I have spent probably a total of 36 hours with her and have spoken to her on the phone twice in all the time she was dating/engaged to my brother.  No real reason, I just don't see them often since they live in AZ and I live in IL.  I don't even converse that often w/ my parents, let alone my brother.  Love them all, we are just not a family that talks daily / weekly or even monthly for that matter. 

    Even though I'm not close, I wouldn't have a problem calling her.  She hasn't done anything rude/wrong to me or my family, and I don't think there's any reason why as grown ups, I can't just tell her that she's welcome as my niece's mother if she can make it.  And if not, I get it. 

    Maybe that's what I do and see where it goes from there.

  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm missing something- why don't you know where your brother lives? Call him, e-mail him, Facebook him. Even if his answer is that he lives in his car (I hope not), nothing stops you from saying the wedding is at x time on x date and you hope to see him. 
    ________________________________


  • edited July 2015
    I'm missing something- why don't you know where your brother lives? Call him, e-mail him, Facebook him. Even if his answer is that he lives in his car (I hope not), nothing stops you from saying the wedding is at x time on x date and you hope to see him. 

    He is not answering calls / texts / emails / etc.  I have texted him 3 times since I found out about the split- nothing.  His FB has been inactive for over a year and a half, he never really used it.  He doesn't have an email address that I've ever know of (weird). 

    My dad's birthday was last week.  Called to wish him happy birthday and asked if he'd heard from my brother and he said no, not for over a month.  My brother is not communicating with any one.

    ETA:  Him dropping off the face of the planet for a while after doing something stupid is not unusual- this happened several times when he was a teenager and in his early 20's when he got caught steeling and went to jail, got busted for drug use, etc.  I was kind of hoping that he'd grown out of this kind of thing (doing douchy things AND feeling he had to stop talking to everyone)- especially since having his daughter, but it appears that is not the case.
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I'm missing something- why don't you know where your brother lives? Call him, e-mail him, Facebook him. Even if his answer is that he lives in his car (I hope not), nothing stops you from saying the wedding is at x time on x date and you hope to see him. 

    He is not answering calls / texts / emails / etc.  I have texted him 3 times since I found out about the split- nothing.  His FB has been inactive for over a year and a half, he never really used it.  He doesn't have an email address that I've ever know of (weird). 

    My dad's birthday was last week.  Called to wish him happy birthday and asked if he'd heard from my brother and he said no, not for over a month.  My brother is not communicating with any one.
    Yikes. I don't have any great advice. I'd probably call exFSIL and see if she knows how to get ahold of your brother. At this pint I'd be concerned for his safety. Have your parents asked her if she knows how to contact him?
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    I think at this point I would not put any of them on your guest list. 

    It sounds like none of them want to be in your life if your brother refuses to communicate with you and you aren't close to your ex-FSIL.  And if you're not close to her and she won't come (especially after breaking up with your brother), she may well not be willing to let your niece attend. 

    This is not to say that you can't be hopeful, but I would be prepared for neither of them to accept any invitation you send them.

  • I'm missing something- why don't you know where your brother lives? Call him, e-mail him, Facebook him. Even if his answer is that he lives in his car (I hope not), nothing stops you from saying the wedding is at x time on x date and you hope to see him. 

    He is not answering calls / texts / emails / etc.  I have texted him 3 times since I found out about the split- nothing.  His FB has been inactive for over a year and a half, he never really used it.  He doesn't have an email address that I've ever know of (weird). 

    My dad's birthday was last week.  Called to wish him happy birthday and asked if he'd heard from my brother and he said no, not for over a month.  My brother is not communicating with any one.
    Yikes. I don't have any great advice. I'd probably call exFSIL and see if she knows how to get ahold of your brother. At this pint I'd be concerned for his safety. Have your parents asked her if she knows how to contact him?
    I am concerned, but not concerned at the same time.  I mean, anything can happen at any time- as a "good Buddhist" I try not to actively "worry" about things I can't control.  I would always "wish" for him to be safe and happy but I'm not going to make myself anxious over it.  It's his life. 

    I haven't asked if my parents have asked her if she knows how to reach him.  I honestly try not to bring it up too much with them as I know my mom is hurting a lot over this.  I think she's disappointed in my brother, and also, on some level, worried that a day will come when she won't get to see my niece, which would be crushing for her. 

    My parents practically co-raised my niece b/c of my brother and ex-FSIL's work schedules.  They saw her EVERY DAY and is and will be the only grandchild (my Fiance and I aren't having kids and my brother had a vasectomy about 2 years ago).  So to think about the possibility that her granddaughter might be "withheld" from her is scary for my mom. 

    So far, my exFSIL seems to be acting like a grown up.  She still lets my parents see my niece and my mom said that from what she can tell, exFSIL has said nothing to my niece to "make her dad look bad."  To use my mom's words, she's not trying to "turn" my niece against my brother.
  • Jen4948 said:

    I think at this point I would not put any of them on your guest list. 

    It sounds like none of them want to be in your life if your brother refuses to communicate with you and you aren't close to your ex-FSIL.  And if you're not close to her and she won't come (especially after breaking up with your brother), she may well not be willing to let your niece attend. 

    This is not to say that you can't be hopeful, but I would be prepared for neither of them to accept any invitation you send them.

    I'm very prepared for all or none of them to show.  Even when they were together as a family, there was a good possibility they wouldn't come b/c of the expense involved in traveling so far. 

    I simply don't want to assume they won't attend.  I'd like them to have the option, that's all, and am trying to find out the best "etiquette-approved" way to handle the invites.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Jen4948 said:

    I think at this point I would not put any of them on your guest list. 

    It sounds like none of them want to be in your life if your brother refuses to communicate with you and you aren't close to your ex-FSIL.  And if you're not close to her and she won't come (especially after breaking up with your brother), she may well not be willing to let your niece attend. 

    This is not to say that you can't be hopeful, but I would be prepared for neither of them to accept any invitation you send them.

    I'm very prepared for all or none of them to show.  Even when they were together as a family, there was a good possibility they wouldn't come b/c of the expense involved in traveling so far. 

    I simply don't want to assume they won't attend.  I'd like them to have the option, that's all, and am trying to find out the best "etiquette-approved" way to handle the invites.

    I understand that.  But I agree with the PPs who suggest talking to your ex-FSIL directly to see if she has contact information for your brother and if she would be interested in coming with your niece or allowing your niece to come alone.  If you can't come up with a snail mail address for your brother, you might try sending him the information through Facebook if you have no other means of contact. 

    That said, it sounds like he doesn't want to communicate with any of you.  I wonder if he is trying to avoid child support by being incommunicado. 

  • Jen4948 said:
    Jen4948 said:

    I think at this point I would not put any of them on your guest list. 

    It sounds like none of them want to be in your life if your brother refuses to communicate with you and you aren't close to your ex-FSIL.  And if you're not close to her and she won't come (especially after breaking up with your brother), she may well not be willing to let your niece attend. 

    This is not to say that you can't be hopeful, but I would be prepared for neither of them to accept any invitation you send them.

    I'm very prepared for all or none of them to show.  Even when they were together as a family, there was a good possibility they wouldn't come b/c of the expense involved in traveling so far. 

    I simply don't want to assume they won't attend.  I'd like them to have the option, that's all, and am trying to find out the best "etiquette-approved" way to handle the invites.

    I understand that.  But I agree with the PPs who suggest talking to your ex-FSIL directly to see if she has contact information for your brother and if she would be interested in coming with your niece or allowing your niece to come alone.  If you can't come up with a snail mail address for your brother, you might try sending him the information through Facebook if you have no other means of contact. 

    That said, it sounds like he doesn't want to communicate with any of you.  I wonder if he is trying to avoid child support by being incommunicado. 


    Yes, I think after reading some of the suggestions I will probably just call her.  I wasn't sure if that would be weird since we never really talked other than for 5 minutes on the phone to say Merry Christmas and did you like your gift, but it seems like this would be fine.

    It's possible he's avoiding child support (if he's even working right now- who knows!), but this is also just his MO.  He did this several times as a teen and in his early 20's when he'd do stupid things.  I think some of it is shame.  Or maybe trying to avoid a lecture from my parents (which they NEEDED to do when he was a teen and were still responsible for him as a minor, but doesn't seem like something they'd bother to do now).
    Jen4948
  • Oh, for sure that conversation it going to be awkward, but it has to be done.  If I were her in that situation, I would assume inviting me was out of pity and you wouldn't really want me there, but are doing so because I'm your niece's mom.  Which might be the case, but doesn't lend itself to being a very welcoming environment. 

    Make the call, say that even though your brother is being a d-bag, you would like to maintain a relationship with her and kid, and would like it if both could come to your wedding or you'd be willing to make arrangements for kid if she's not able to get time away.

    As for your brother, I would send it to his last known address (hopefully he put in for mail forwarding) and leave him a message at all other points of contact saying where you sent the invite to and get in touch. 
    SP29
  • @jacques; I'm not actively wishing she couldn't come- like I said, I have nothing against this girl, I just don't know her well and she doesn't know me.  So yes, the main reason I'm inviting her is because I assume she would chaperone my niece since my brother is MIA, unless she agrees to let my parents bring her.  But pity isn't the word I would use. 

    LOL- I'm laughing about the mail forwarding because the Christmas card I sent them was returned to me since he didn't renew his PO Box fees on time.  I am doubtful he filled out a change of address.  Never know though!
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm sorry about the family drama. Like others suggest, call and invite her and your niece, leave messages for your brother where you can, and let the cards fall where they may. 
    ________________________________


    [Deleted User]
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    1) As per your brother- tough situation! I think I would text him the info, "Hey bro! I want you to come to my wedding, X date, Y time at Z location" and hope he responds. You could also ask around, try ex-SIL, any friends of his you know? But otherwise, not much you can do when he's essentially fallen off the face of the earth (by his own doing).

    2) As per niece, if you invite her (a minor), then you should invite mom (her guardian). I do agree in light of the craziness that a phone call would be helpful. I don't think it has to be awkward, something as simple as, 'Hey SIL, how are you? I know things have been crazy with my brother, but I wanted you to know our family still wants to maintain a relationship with you and niece. As such I'd like to invite you to my wedding, so keep your eyes out for an invitation in the mail. If you can't come, just wanted you to know that Grandma and Grandpa are willing and would love to take care of niece for the weekend, if she can come."


    mollybarker11[Deleted User]santiago2615
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