Wedding Etiquette Forum

Well I did this. Where did I go wrong?

Long story short. Destination wedding in California. I'm having my bachelorette 2 days before the wedding to minimize multiple plane tickets for people. I'm renting a vacation home that's explicitly ok with parties that I plan to cram some 10-18 of my bridal party and old college friends in. Sleeping on the floor may very well happen. Random 4am karaoke may very well happen. My friends joke that once I left my alma mater it got down-graded from being number one party school in the country. I think you get the atmosphere of debauchery I'm encouraging. 

Additionally bachelorette activities include a wine tasting party bus and obligatory bar hopping. 

SO, I'm talking to a bridesmaid when I discover she seems to be under the impression she will be bringing her newborn (3 months around party-time, her first one) to said party-house and wine tasting and bar-hopping. She explicitly mentions she can't afford for someone to watch him, and before you ask, her husband is on a submarine for the Navy. 

I try to hint I don't want a baby subjected to that atmosphere with "I understand baby comes first. I wont be upset if you cannot attend :smiley: " But she bulldozes that with "he isn't very loud" (soooo?) and "everything will be fine". Finally I flat out tell her the baby can't stay in the house. If she can't find someone to watch him, she can't attend the wine tour or bar hopping anyway so I look forward to seeing her at rehearsal picnic dinner.

Now, typically we have excellent relations. We've been friends since we were 12 (29 now). The next day I get a text from her how upset she was I've excluded her from everything. I sent a text back emphasizing she's not excluded per say... just her baby, and I don't want her to waste money spending extra time in Cali just to not be able to do anything. Also, I know my college friends, absolutely no baby should be around them drunk. I have another new mom friend who decided not to attend when she learned about the bachelorette activities so I sort of feel like I'm saying very obvious things to the bridesmaid.

She's still upset. I love her like a sister. What did I do wrong here?

PS I sent an email with airbnbs and motels close to the party house should she be able to find care for the kid because her mother and father are attending the wedding. I really WOULD like her to attend.
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Re: Well I did this. Where did I go wrong?

  • you dont plan the party your wedding party does and the plan everything this sounds like a huge drunk fest cramming all those people into one large house. 

    your mades should have figured out what everyone could afford for said party and then went from there and planned something accordingly she has every right to be mad, and you cant expect her to find a babysitter and have a stranger watch her child 
  • I guess that was the idea (from somewhere?) But I made my sick little sister maid of honor so I knew pretty early on she couldn't be of much help.
  • Long story short. Destination wedding in California. I'm having my bachelorette 2 days before the wedding to minimize multiple plane tickets for people. I'm renting a vacation home that's explicitly ok with parties that I plan to cram some 10-18 of my bridal party and old college friends in. Sleeping on the floor may very well happen. Random 4am karaoke may very well happen. My friends joke that once I left my alma mater it got down-graded from being number one party school in the country. I think you get the atmosphere of debauchery I'm encouraging. 

    Additionally bachelorette activities include a wine tasting party bus and obligatory bar hopping. 

    SO, I'm talking to a bridesmaid when I discover she seems to be under the impression she will be bringing her newborn (3 months around party-time, her first one) to said party-house and wine tasting and bar-hopping. She explicitly mentions she can't afford for someone to watch him, and before you ask, her husband is on a submarine for the Navy. 

    I try to hint I don't want a baby subjected to that atmosphere with "I understand baby comes first. I wont be upset if you cannot attend :smiley: " But she bulldozes that with "he isn't very loud" (soooo?) and "everything will be fine". Finally I flat out tell her the baby can't stay in the house. If she can't find someone to watch him, she can't attend the wine tour or bar hopping anyway so I look forward to seeing her at rehearsal picnic dinner.

    Now, typically we have excellent relations. We've been friends since we were 12 (29 now). The next day I get a text from her how upset she was I've excluded her from everything. I sent a text back emphasizing she's not excluded per say... just her baby, and I don't want her to waste money spending extra time in Cali just to not be able to do anything. Also, I know my college friends, absolutely no baby should be around them drunk. I have another new mom friend who decided not to attend when she learned about the bachelorette activities so I sort of feel like I'm saying very obvious things to the bridesmaid.

    She's still upset. I love her like a sister. What did I do wrong here?

    PS I sent an email with airbnbs and motels close to the party house should she be able to find care for the kid because her mother and father are attending the wedding. I really WOULD like her to attend.
    Floridabride beat me to it.  You went wrong when you started planning a bachelorette party for yourself.  Other than that, I got nothin'.


  • adk19 said:
    you dont plan the party your wedding party does and the plan everything this sounds like a huge drunk fest cramming all those people into one large house. 

    your mades should have figured out what everyone could afford for said party and then went from there and planned something accordingly she has every right to be mad, and you cant expect her to find a babysitter and have a stranger watch her child 
    You need to stop posting until you can learn how to capitalize and punctuate and spell.  This is getting really old.

    I guess that was the idea (from somewhere?) But I made my sick little sister maid of honor so I knew pretty early on she couldn't be of much help.
    Nobody deserves a bachelorette party.  It's something people GIFT to you.  It's not the requirement of a Maid of Honor to throw this party for you.  Anybody can do it, your MOH, your bridesmaid, your cousin, hell your mother can do it if it's the kind of thing she's into and good at.  Or nobody can do it.  In that case you don't get one.  It's just the way it is.
    Oh.

    Well I guess the way things are is pretty boring. Most people seemed extremely excited to attend. I guess I'll just rename it Optional Pre Wedding Activities You Could Possibly Join Me On. 
  • Sooooo does that make my wedding rude too? Because I've been planning it this whole time. :wink: 

    But seriously, I will be more clear going forward on the semantics. It's a fair point.
  • SP29SP29 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    banana468 said:
    The throwing of the bachelorette is a poor move.   That's a party in your honor.   The wedding isn't.   It's actually a party for the guests where you're hosting them and thanking them for attending the wedding.

    Here's the deal with the friend:
    1) She's now postpartum.   The time after you have a kid can suck.   If her DH is on a sub then that means that she's doing almost all of this alone.   If you haven't had a kid, that's every night feeding, all the day stuff, all the grocery shopping alone.   And when your DH is on a sub, you have limited contact.   Keep that in mind because this isn't like a business trip where you can email and call on an as needed basis.   It can be days or more without hearing from your spouse all while you have someone to care for who thanks you with a smile and a burp.   That's not stimulating conversation.

    2) Does she have anyone near you / the wedding or near her who can watch the kid?   If not, you're making it impossible for her to attend.   No, you don't need to shift your plans (that you made in honor of yourself), but in a scenario like this and with the closeness that you have to this person, IMO I'd consider it.

    3) Is she nursing?   Because if she is, the options are to take the kid with her or to take a breast pump with her.   Have you used a breast pump?   They're a large bag to lug around, if you're traveling then you need an ice pack, bottles and all the sterile pumping stuff and there's no good way to do it without it being rather obvious that you're doing it.   I wore a cover every time I did but that's still 20 minutes at a clip that I needed to devote every time.   And at 3 months, I was pumping every 2-3 hours.  The alternative was that I'd be engorged, leaking or getting plugged ducts.   Those are SOO much fun let me tell you.

    So during all this time you'd say "no babies" she'd have to excuse herself to go do this.

    FWIW, by the time a lot (not all but a lot) of babies are 3 mo, they're in a groove, they're not so loud and they are easier to manage than a toddler.   I'd easily bring one of my kids at the 3 mo stage with me somewhere over one of them now at 19 mo or 5 years.   

    You're entitled to the plans that you made now that you made them.   But I know that I wouldn't make plans that excluded someone who I feel is close enough to me to feel "like a sister".   

    And maybe your other mom friend is cool to bow out.   But as I said with #1, if your friend has a DH at sea this may be one of the few outings that she has and you opted to make plans that make it really difficult to be there all because you and your friends are wanting to be so drunk that you may harm a 3 mo. 
    Good points.

    OP- Is there a portion of this event that includes dinner at a restaurant or something? Can friend attend earlier portions of the party with baby in tow? (If you are out in public at a restaurant or wine tour, you shouldn't be getting so crazy a baby can't be there).
  • I was a BM in two weddings this past fall with a weeks-old baby. I wasn't pregnant when they asked me. When I found out, I said that I wouldn't be leaving my baby at home.

    If they had told me that they really wanted a kid-free wedding, I would have backed out and not attended. Because I couldn't.

    I would not have taken it as a personal exclusion. It's their right to prioritize a child-free wedding.

    However, you definitely should not have planned this party.
  • mollybarker11mollybarker11 member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2016
    Yep ^. The host of the bachelorette (in this case, you) is perfectly within their rights to say "sorry but we won't be able to accommodate your baby". I can't see why she'd want him at a house party but would she even have been allowed to take him to a winery and bars??

    I personally wouldn't have mentioned the bit about it being a waste of her money to go to Cali early, but I think the way you handled it otherwise is fine. Just one of many logistical situations she'll have to deal with now that she's a mother.


    If she doesn't get over it and you're looking for a way to do some damage control, maybe offer to grab lunch of coffee in the days leading up to your wedding so you can spend some time together in a baby-friendly setting.
  • banana468banana468 member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited April 2016
    Yep ^. The host of the bachelorette (in this case, you) is perfectly within their rights to say "sorry but we won't be able to accommodate your baby". I can't see why she'd want him at a house party but would she even have been allowed to take him to a winery and bars??

    I personally wouldn't have mentioned the bit about it being a waste of her money to go to Cali early, but I think the way you handled it otherwise is fine. Just one of many logistical situations she'll have to deal with now that she's a mother.
    Fwiw, I've never had an issue with an infant in those places.  Last year DS was 3 mo and spent the afternoon with DH and me at our friend's brewery Christmas party.  I kept him away from speakers but wore him the whole time.  He slept for most of it.   

    Edited to add: it was an afternoon Christmas party open to the public.   I never brought a baby into a rowdy bar but wouldn't hesitate to in a bar and grille type place.  
  • I'll admit I find the idea of wanting to bring a 3 month old to stay at a house for a bachelorette party and go on drinking activities to be really odd. I can see her wanting to spend time and celebrate with you especially if she is essentially a single mom right now. I'd try to see if  the activities included something she could attend with a baby and she could bow out of the bar hopping part. 
  • Since the PPs covered the issue of you hosting your own bachelorette party  (which does violate etiquette), I think you're okay to tell this bridesmaid, "While we'd love to have you join us, we cannot accommodate the baby. We understand if this means that you can't attend the bachelorette party, but he is not invited."
  • Pff to all the people saying you shouldn't have thrown the party for yourself. I don't have a wedding party, and I'm not having a bachelorette party or bridal shower, but I do intend to have a pre wedding celebration with all my girls that I'm throwing for myself. Because I can. And who cares about etiquette. Your friends know you well enough to know you're not doing it for more gifts or something equally self motivated (I would hope not anyway) 
    peope get way too upset about how things "should" be. 

    As to your friend, depending on when you started planning all this, did she just find out about these events after she was pregnant or before? I can understand her sour feelings, but you also can't stop the world from turning just because someone says to. See if maybe you two can celebrate together prior to these events so she knows you're not excluding her or being malicious. 
    Other than that, it's up to her to respond how she chooses. 
    And also, if someone else had planned this, they would still have to be dealing with said friend and said friend would still end up unhappy. 
  • Yep. Now I'm convinced it's MUD. 
    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
  • Pff to all the people saying you shouldn't have thrown the party for yourself. I don't have a wedding party, and I'm not having a bachelorette party or bridal shower, but I do intend to have a pre wedding celebration with all my girls that I'm throwing for myself. Because I can. And who cares about etiquette.
    Uhh, most every other person reading a forum that's literally called "Etiquette"...?
    A person doesn't have to follow EVERY piece of etiquette out there. Etiquette is a guide, not a rule. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited April 2016
    Pff to all the people saying you shouldn't have thrown the party for yourself. I don't have a wedding party, and I'm not having a bachelorette party or bridal shower, but I do intend to have a pre wedding celebration with all my girls that I'm throwing for myself. Because I can. And who cares about etiquette.
    Uhh, most every other person reading a forum that's literally called "Etiquette"...?
    A person doesn't have to follow EVERY piece of etiquette out there. Etiquette is a guide, not a rule. 
    You obviously do not understand what etiquette is.  It is a set of rules that determine how you are treating your guests.  There are not many rules, but they are not optional..

    1.  If you invite guests to an event, their comfort and convenience should be your FIRST concern.  No time gaps between ceremony and reception.  If your guests attend your wedding, you must thank them personally, and offer food and drink at the reception, which is held after the ceremony on the wedding day.

    2.  You may give a party to celebrate any event, but that party cannot be in honor of yourself.  That is attention seeking, and very rude.  If you are hosting your own wedding, the invitation must be worded in the passive voice, so that it is not obvious.

    3.  Never plan anything that might embarrass a guest.  If you have sent someone a Save the Date, promising them that an invitation will follow, then that invitation MUST follow.  Couples in a relationship must be invited together.

    4.  You cannot invite someone to an event, and then expect them to pay money to attend it.  This means, no cash bars, no cruise weddings at sea (unless you are prepared to pay for all of your guests), and no pot luck.  Gifts are optional, but all gifts must be acknowledged with a hand written thank you note as soon as possible.

    5.  You and your FI are the only ones who are responsible for planning and paying for your wedding and reception.  If others offer to help, that is fine, but it is not an entitlement.  Bachelor parties and showers are completely optional, and if no one offers to hold one in your honor, you don't get one.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Pretty sure none of her friends  are  silently judging her for throwing a party where they all get to drink and have fun. 

    I wouldn't anyway. Unless she was requesting gifts or money or for them to help pay for something she decided to throw.  
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