Etiquette

Brother being difficult

Looking for some sisterly advice !

We are looking to have a no kids wedding. not because we don't like kids, not because they're brats, simply because there are WAY TOO MANY of them (we're talking over 50 in a guestlist of 130-150 adults). I haven't sent out invites or anything official yet, these are just basic rules we're starting to put together.

So my brother has 2 little girls, one of which is my goddaughter. They are the only 2 on my side of the family (and I have no contact with any cousins due to our parents falling out years ago), whereas FI has many uncles/aunts and therefore cousins and little cousins, who all grew up together and helped raise each other (picture little house on the prairie).

Well, he is absolutely furious that I am denying his little girls from being there with us. We are having a more upscale wedding (ceremony and reception at the same location), in the city, with hors d'oeuvres, sparkling wine, martinis and oysters. He thinks I'm heartless for not inviting them and that his kids are more important than all the others because they are immediate family and not just "random little runts from FI's family" (his words). 

I tried discussing this with him and in short, his conclusion was that he regrets choosing me as his child's godmother and that his wife and himself no longer want to be in the wedding party.

Am I being selfish? I'm just trying to be fair to all the others who also have kids. Please help ! I plan on sitting down with him to discuss the issue, just need to know whether I'm the one in the wrong seat! Thanks ! 

Re: Brother being difficult

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    I don't think you're being selfish if no kids whatsoever are invited.  Your brother needs to get over himself and accept that he and his daughters don't come as a packaged set.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
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    Your brother is being a tremendous ass, especially with the "I regret choosing you to be their godmother" line.  That was a dick move right there.

    There is nothing to discuss.  If you and your FI made this decision and want to stick to it then do so.  As Lynda said children don't have to be all or nothing, but if inviting just these two could cause major issues with your FI family then I can understand why you are doing the all or nothing thing.

    I would tell your brother that you are sorry that he feels the way he does and that you choosing to no invite any kids, including his, is not being done maliciously, but as a decision you and your FI reached after much discussion.  And if his children not being invited leads to him and his wife not attending your wedding, that you will miss him dearly, but your decision is final. 

    InLoveInQueensonefootinthebayouOliveOilsMom
  • OK - I think your brother's reaction is to act like a selfish ass.   BUT:
    1) Kids aren't all or nothing.   Example: We didn't invite our friends' kids but we invited the children of our cousins (no siblings had children when we got married).   That was an arrangement that made sense.   So you *could* invite your brother's children and no other children and that's fine.

    2) Would this create an issue for your brother?   Often it's easier to include the children of immediate family for the childcare issue.   If your parents would have been the baby sitters and / or other family members would be used and they're traveling to a foreign area, the childcare can be a problem.   So would this be a logistical issue of leaving the kids overnight with no one?   Are the kids young?   At this age, I'm not comfortable leaving DS yet but I would leave DD no problem.

    3) Did you discuss the plans before you asked your bro to be in the wedding?   He may feel blindsided that you asked him to BE in the wedding so he's close enough to attend and yet his kids aren't.   That doesn't mean you're wrong at all.   But I can understand his reaction.

    Can you wait and try to hash it out? 
    SP29huskypuppy14
  • edited August 2015
    banana468 said:
    OK - I think your brother's reaction is to act like a selfish ass.   BUT:
    1) Kids aren't all or nothing.   Example: We didn't invite our friends' kids but we invited the children of our cousins (no siblings had children when we got married).   That was an arrangement that made sense.   So you *could* invite your brother's children and no other children and that's fine.

    2) Would this create an issue for your brother?   Often it's easier to include the children of immediate family for the childcare issue.   If your parents would have been the baby sitters and / or other family members would be used and they're traveling to a foreign area, the childcare can be a problem.   So would this be a logistical issue of leaving the kids overnight with no one?   Are the kids young?   At this age, I'm not comfortable leaving DS yet but I would leave DD no problem.

    3) Did you discuss the plans before you asked your bro to be in the wedding?   He may feel blindsided that you asked him to BE in the wedding so he's close enough to attend and yet his kids aren't.   That doesn't mean you're wrong at all.   But I can understand his reaction.

    Can you wait and try to hash it out? 
    1) I know that it doesn't need to be all or nothing, but the majority of FI's family is travelling to see us, my brother is not. So asking them to spend a weekend away from their children and finding a babysitter, only to arrive and see that only certain guests were given *special* treatment, I feel would be a slap in the face to them. 

    2) By then the girls will be 5 and 6. Grandma (her mom) lives a block away and babysits them regularly anyway. Bringing the kids would only mean that they would end up leaving early (as they have done in all other weddings) and I'm trying to explain to them that I want them there with me to celebrate and spend this time rejoicing, as opposed to watching the kids and leaving early for beddy-bye. 

    3) I discussed it with her to get her opinion. I had not gotten the chance yet to sit down and discuss it with him. Which he thinks was backstabbing on my part. I only wanted to get her opinion and then once all the bridal party was announced and people know their roles, we could discuss the issue and if not, then they could renounce their bridal party position. This way they just flat out said they want no part of it.

    I told him he didnt even give me a chance to go over details with him, and he simply told me to f*ck off (sorry, are we allowed to swear on here? lol)

    All in all... my nerves are fried for the day... 
    Amanderson1290
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona
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    Like others said, your brother is wrong to get all bent out of shape over this.  Having an adult event is totally acceptable.  And kids aren't all or nothing. That's one of those "invite in circles" deals.  If you invite nieces & nephews, it's probably best to invite all nieces & nephews.  That doesn't mean you need to invite cousins kids, too. If brothers kids are the only immediately related kids, it's okay to invite just them. I have a lot of cousins... and they have a lot of kids. If I invited everyone, my ideal 50 person wedding would have grown closer to 200. So, we invited our nieces & nephews, but all other invites went out as adult only.

    How old are these kids?  If they are toddlers, that's a lot more annoying to have little kids that need to be watched than if they are teenagers.  And if they are too young to remember or care that they attended, it shouldn't matter that much.  If they are old enough to be offended themselves, I might consider inviting them.

    image 

  • Yeah, please don't say that your desire for an adult wedding is based on how you want others to feel.   That doesn't go well just because it's hard to force a sentiment on anyone (similarly why I'm not a fan of "accepts with pleasure" or "declines with regret").

    And while I understand why you feel like you feel like the exceptions made will stand out, you do have a leg on which to stand.   They're your brother's children vs. the children of extended family.   You most likely buy these kids Christmas gifts - not so for the extended family (at least that's my experience anyway).

    That said, based on the information provided, your brother is acting like a selfish turd.   And at this point, I'd feel hard pressed to want to accommodate anyone who used those words with me at all.   Now I wouldn't want to end my relationship with my brother, but I would definitely cool off for a long time before I'd engage with someone who used an ultimatum and told me to fuck off.   And if that kind of language and reaction continued, I WOULD sever ties.  
    adk19SP29huskypuppy14
  • Most of the weddings I've attended have allowed children, but the ones that were adult only made an exception for immediate family. It's your wedding, it should be your choice, but if it was me, I would allow my nieces and nephews to attend, even if I didn't invite the kids of my other guests. Don't use that as your excuse. Any reasonable person would understand that your nieces are FAMILY and that inviting them is not the same as inviting every child every guest has.

    But again, it's your wedding and you can choose to do what you want. Your brother should respect that.
    adk19
  • I have been to several weddings that were adult only.  Every single one of them had the children of immediate family there though.  Your nieces aren't the same as random cousins.  That being said, your brother handled it terribly, if his daughters are over 2 or 3, they are old enough to have their feelings hurt and sounds like he was trying to prevent that - but went way overboard. 
    scribe95adk19snowywinter
  • Wow that puts you in a rough spot. If you were still trying to decide now it feels like if you change your mind you're giving into his terrible ultimatum. I hate reinforcing bad behavior. If it were me and he had asked nicely I'd be inclined to change my mind but when things like we wish we hadn't chosen you as godmother comes out I'm standing my ground.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    YogaSandy
  • SP29SP29
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    Agree with all the above.

    1) As long as you invite all SOs, and you aren't splitting up a family (inviting one child from a family but not the other), you can invite whoever, or not invite, anyone you want- and you don't have to explain yourself.

    I understand about what you are saying about FI's family having to travel but leave their kids behind- that is a fair point. But it would also be fair to say (again, not that you have to explain yourself) that your niece and nephew were invited but not the children of cousins (immediate family, vs. not).

    2) It is 100% OK to not invite children, but realize some parents may choose to decline based on this- for various reasons, whether it be lack of childcare or they feel slighted that their kids weren't invited (this is their own issue to deal with, not yours). However, I would consider making an exception for children of immediate family or members of the WP in this case. Just because you invite children doesn't mean they will come, but if it would make it easier on your family/WP, then I would at least consider it.

    3) Just because your wedding is "fancy" does not mean kids cannot attend. Again, 100% fine to not have children if that's what you want, but don't use the reasoning of "the wedding is too formal for children". Let parents decide what is appropriate for their own children. My mom used to take me out to fancy restaurants when I was a child- I loved it! The food was so much better to me than McDonald's!

    4) Similarly to the above, even if your brother and his wife have a sitter does not mean that they will stay until the very end of the night. They may still choose to leave early in order to be with their children/ relieve the babysitter.

    OP- you have done nothing wrong with not wanting children to attend your wedding, but you've also been given some things to consider (and hopefully it helps you out, not making it more confusing) regarding your brother's kids. However, I think your brother is being a jack ass towards you. It's one thing for him to tell you that it would be easier if the kids could come, or that the kids are looking forward to your wedding too, but for him to swear at you and tell you he regrets naming you as a godmother? Jeesh. He needs to get over himself.

    I would have a cool off period and then talk to you brother- I would make it first about how rude he has been to you, not about the wedding, and then discuss from there.
    adk19mollybarker11Jen4948
  • @SP29 Summed up everything I wanted to say!

    The guests on your FI's side would totally understand why your nieces were invited & FI's 2nd cousins weren't. So if your main concern is this 'fairness' hopefully you're comforted by this knowledge and the problem's solved.

    If you still want to have an adults-only wedding -- which is perfectly reasonable, you're not selfish or in the wrong for wanting this -- try to keep your discussion with your brother brief. The reasons you've listed here will sound very harsh to him: "our wedding is too fancy for your uncouth kids", "we want you paying attention to us all night". Simply say you can't accommodate them at this event. That has no reflection on how much you love them? He is being a real jerk.

    SP29
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs
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    I had a formal fancy wedding, and I invited children. Children of the wedding party is also a circle that is usually accepted as is immediate family. We didn't invite any kids of friends, except my husband's groomsman's sons. I felt it was important to invite his kids, even though we didn't know them because we were asking their dad to be in the wedding.

    Regardless, kids are guests, just like any other adult guest, and you don't have to justify your guest list. 
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    SP29
  • Your brother needs to respect your decision. If your brother has to travel to get to your wedding, I would consider the accomodation, but if he were local I would be, if you want to bring them to the ceremony to see us all dressed up and to be in a few family photos, that's fine, but you need to find a sitter for them for the reception.

  • Erikan73 said:

    if he were local I would be, if you want to bring them to the ceremony to see us all dressed up and to be in a few family photos, that's fine, but you need to find a sitter for them for the reception.

    No, inviting guests to the ceremony but not the reception is very rude. Plus it would make things more difficult for the parents, having to run around dropping the kids off with a sitter between the end of the photoshoot and beginning of dinner.

    snowywinteradk19SP29InLoveInQueens
  • Bottom line: your wedding, your decision.  He'll get over it and it does NOT mean you love his kids any less...

    I think weddings make people crazy and irrational (not the couple, but family).  Everyone feels they should get special treatment because they are family and it's not the case.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    adk19 said:
    Thanks for all your input !

    I'm happy to announce that I gave him his space, and he ended up apologizing (with a little encouragement from my darling man !) He said he still has his opinions on the no-kids thing, but that his tactic was way out of line. I did mention to him that this was all speculation and if there are ANY kids invited, it would be his. So things are patched up and we will reconvene at a later date to decide, as a family, if the immediate kids will be coming.

    Phew ! There's a load off my chest. Our engagement party is this Sunday so I would have hated for this to overshadow the whole event, I do still want the both of them by my side :) 

    Thanks for all your insight ! I might be back on here for my next crisis tee-hee-hee ! 
    Do not make this decision as a family.  You and your fiance need to decide, together, that you will stand firm with whatever decision you make.  He will deal with it, either happily or unhappily.  But this does not need to be a group decision at all.
    This.  It's not okay for guests to decide that other people are going to invite their kids to their event.  The only persons who should have input into this decision are the hosts-you and your FI.
    adk19SP29InLoveInQueens
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