Wedding Woes

Impossible Niece - Maid of Honor?

I have a niece, who I have had a challenged relatonship with for about a decade now.  

I am 37 and finally getting married and I didn't want the big show.  My fiance who has already been married I might ad wants a big wedding.  Big to me at least, 150 people.  He wants it at a fancy venue, high end catering blah blah blah.   Long story short now I am having the circus I didn't want.  Suddenly my uncle and aunt are giving me a hard time about not asking my niece (who I have had to return xmas presents for because she wouldn't return my messages to get together to give them to her) to be in my wedding.  'She is 18 and just quit college and she is "having a hard time growing up", I should be the bigger person and i will regret not asking her'.  

My bridal party was set and she didn't even come to mind.  Am I jerk or are they wrong for telling me what to do on our day (that we am paying for by ourselves btw).

Arghhh....

Re: Impossible Niece - Maid of Honor?

  • Regardless of who is paying for the wedding, you are under no obligation to include estranged members of the family in your wedding party. Its your choice. Other people need to butt out. Just tell everyone that your bridal party is set, and change the subject. 

    As far as your wedding becoming a circus and you being uncomfortable with it, you need to be honest with your FI about how you feel. If he's unwilling to meet you halfway, then I'd be concerned about how you are going to handle other issues in the relationship. This is just the first of many things that you will have to compromise on. If it were me, I'd ask him if he'd be willing to have a smaller guest list, if you concede with the fancy venue. Appeal to his wallet, and point out that you will more easily afford all of the fancy things if the guest list is smaller. 

  • I get that they are hurt. (But wow, they suggested she should be a MOH?) But I also agree that your WP is your choice. There's always asking her to be a reader so she can be involved.

    I also don't think that people in general should use weddings to make up, break up, get closer, ..... ect.

    I see 2 bigger issues here. 1.) You & your Fiance haven't found a balance on what YOUR (plural) idea wedding. In most cases, this will lead to resentment. 2.) You have a "challenged" relationship with your niece. Maybe, try to be there for her instead.
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  • zitiqueenzitiqueen member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_wedding-woes_impossible-niece-maid-of-honor?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:47Discussion:fb27a316-bfcf-400e-8086-2f17edc1fc8dPost:6a0c4c49-9fcb-496e-8500-5f8d7d44a757">Impossible Niece - Maid of Honor?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have a niece, who I have had a challenged relatonship with for about a decade now.   I am 37 and finally getting married and I didn't want the big show.  My fiance who has already been married I might ad wants a big wedding.  Big to me at least, 150 people.  He wants it at a fancy venue, high end catering blah blah blah.   Long story short now I am having the circus I didn't want.  Suddenly my uncle and aunt are giving me a hard time about not asking my niece (who I have had to return xmas presents for because she wouldn't return my messages to get together to give them to her) to be in my wedding.  'She is 18 and just quit college and she is "having a hard time growing up", I should be the bigger person and i will regret not asking her'.   My bridal party was set and she didn't even come to mind.  Am I jerk or are they wrong for telling me what to do on our day (that we am paying for by ourselves btw). Arghhh....
    Posted by alboutstyl[/QUOTE]

    Who cares what your aunt and uncle want? Why on earth would you pick somebody you don't seem to like to be in your WP? Why is it your job to help your niece grow up? Sounds like maybe they did a piss-poor job raising her and they want everybody else to fix their mistakes.

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_wedding-woes_impossible-niece-maid-of-honor?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:47Discussion:fb27a316-bfcf-400e-8086-2f17edc1fc8dPost:6a0c4c49-9fcb-496e-8500-5f8d7d44a757">Impossible Niece - Maid of Honor?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have a niece, who I have had a challenged relatonship with for about a decade now...
    Suddenly my uncle and aunt are giving me a hard time about not asking my niece (who I have had to return xmas presents for because she wouldn't return my messages to get together to give them to her) to be in my wedding. ....
    Posted by alboutstyl[/QUOTE]
    Just curious; I've got some more questions for you so I hope you come back...

    Is your Aunt & Uncle raising your niece? What does your brother or sister say?

    Why did you return the gifts? Why not just mail them or wait until you do get together? She's 18; teenagers do not always have their priorities in check.

    And did you leave her messages to be in the wedding? Maybe she didn't return them, because maybe she doesn't want to be in your wedding. Maybe she feels embarrassed that your Aunt & Uncle are making a big deal out of something she doesn't want to do. Or maybe she does want to do it. I just hope that if you offered her to be in your wedding, your willing to follow it through now. Talk to her. Leave Uncle & Aunt out of it- If they ask, just tell them that it's between you & her and change the topic. Don't feed into their nonsense.

    And I'm sorry but to have a "challenged relationship" with your niece "for about a decade" that's 18 is kinda funny to me. Most parents have "challenged relationships" with teenagers. Give the kid a break. You said you don't want her in your WP, you don't need to justify your reasons.
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  • You do not have to have her in your wedding. It is your day with FI of course. You need to find a common groud with FI of what each of you want for the day. Is he helping you pay for this big day he is wanting? If not, do not go into debt over it. Just my thoughts Have a blessed day and Happy NEw Year!!!
  • So...  The chalenged relationship includes several things.  Starting with the most recent moving backwards.  She not calling to congratulate me on my finally being engaged at 37.  She not spending any time with me when i flew in to spend July 4th weekend with her in South Jersey, yelling at me while i was there, slamming the door in my face when I stepped a foot in to her room to ask her the best place to go for pizza and then ignoring me when i was knocking on her door to ask her to come to the beach with me.  When I moved to Dallas she was still going to school in LA,(She has since quit college) and I offered to pay for her plane ticket to come visit me in Dallas.  That was in May and then again while I was there in July.  The xmas presents were returned becuase I called, texted, FB'd, im'd on gchat and emailed her over 15 times while she was home from school telling her I had her presents and I wanted to see her to give them to her.  She replied she didn't have the money to get in to the city to see me, I offered to reimburse her.  She said she would call me when she knew when she could come.  I was borderline stalking her she never replied after that.  So short of mailing gifts to someone who was so unappreciative that they couldn't return 15 attempts to see her (while I was offering to reimburse her travel gifts) I decided to return them.  She didn't even call me to apologize for blowing me off while she was in town. Not a phone call text nothing.

    As for my sister, well lets say it took her two months to admit to me that her daughter had dropped out of college.  I found out from someone else in the family and called her, that was how I learned of the situation.  She does nothing but make excuses for her daughters behavior.  I wish I knew what to say/do but at the end of the day its not my place.  My sister and I have argued in the past about her daughters behavior, there have been several times when I niece told my sister to "F off" in front of me and when my sister did nothing I told my niece that if that was the way she wanted to speak to her mother it wasn't going to be in front of me.  Then my sister found a backbone and jumped down my throat.  

    So my sisters response to all of this?  Initially she said that we are never going to agree on it so I should do what I want and maybe I should look at some of the girls I did choose especiallly &&&& becuase she has never been a good friend to me .  Maybe I should consider removing her and that would solve the issue I have with having too many bridesmaids and not enough groomsman (if my niece was added).  Then she went back to she will support whatever decision I make.    

    Why are my uncle and aunt so involved?  No they are not raising her.  I have to beleive it has something to do with the fact they are paying for the rehearsal and now they think they have a say in things.  I tried yessing them to death, tried telling them I would think about, that it was my day and the bridal party was already set.  No dice.  My uncle runs a very successful law firm and he is vertically challenged, he has a napoleanic complex and doesn't take no for an answer.  He kept repeating the phrases, "you are acting her age" and "what do you have to lose", "its the right thing to do".

    I agree with you that a wedding is not the time or the venue to repair a relationship.  I have done more than my share to look past the fact that she is being a 19 year old and have repeatedly put the olive branch out.  She has not reciporcated.

    So my final decision? I never invited her to be in the WP, they were pushing the idea on me.  I made her an usher.  I know its unconvetional but I am already there.  I have my uncle (he would have lost a gasket if I didn't include him, he keeps saying he is my surrogate father in my fathers absence) and my brother in law giving me away.  My father passed 5 years ago and my mother is not in the picture...  She will have a matching dress and will be in all of the pictures.  That should satisfy the peanut factory.  

    As for my FI its an ongoing conversation and we are trying to negotiate daily.  It is a challenging process to say the least.

      


  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_wedding-woes_impossible-niece-maid-of-honor?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:47Discussion:fb27a316-bfcf-400e-8086-2f17edc1fc8dPost:6fdeba25-e8ff-4f5b-9d9e-64d9fa6ba8c8">Re: Impossible Niece - Maid of Honor?</a>:
    [QUOTE]So...  The chalenged relationship includes several things.  Starting with the most recent moving backwards.  She not calling to congratulate me on my finally being engaged at 37.  She not spending any time with me when i flew in to spend July 4th weekend with her in South Jersey, yelling at me while i was there, slamming the door in my face when I stepped a foot in to her room to ask her the best place to go for pizza and then ignoring me when i was knocking on her door to ask her to come to the beach with me.  When I moved to Dallas she was still going to school in LA,(She has since quit college) and I offered to pay for her plane ticket to come visit me in Dallas.  That was in May and then again while I was there in July.  The xmas presents were returned becuase I called, texted, FB'd, im'd on gchat and emailed her over 15 times while she was home from school telling her I had her presents and I wanted to see her to give them to her.  She replied she didn't have the money to get in to the city to see me, I offered to reimburse her.  She said she would call me when she knew when she could come.  I was borderline stalking her she never replied after that.  So short of mailing gifts to someone who was so unappreciative that they couldn't return 15 attempts to see her (while I was offering to reimburse her travel gifts) I decided to return them.  She didn't even call me to apologize for blowing me off while she was in town. Not a phone call text nothing. As for my sister, well lets say it took her two months to admit to me that her daughter had dropped out of college.  I found out from someone else in the family and called her, that was how I learned of the situation.  She does nothing but make excuses for her daughters behavior.  I wish I knew what to say/do but at the end of the day its not my place.  My sister and I have argued in the past about her daughters behavior, there have been several times when I niece told my sister to "F off" in front of me and when my sister did nothing I told my niece that if that was the way she wanted to speak to her mother it wasn't going to be in front of me.  Then my sister found a backbone and jumped down my throat.   So my sisters response to all of this?  Initially she said that we are never going to agree on it so I should do what I want and maybe I should look at some of the girls I did choose especiallly &&&& becuase she has never been a good friend to me .  Maybe I should consider removing her and that would solve the issue I have with having too many bridesmaids and not enough groomsman (if my niece was added).  Then she went back to she will support whatever decision I make.     Why are my uncle and aunt so involved?  No they are not raising her.  I have to beleive it has something to do with the fact they are paying for the rehearsal and now they think they have a say in things.  I tried yessing them to death, tried telling them I would think about, that it was my day and the bridal party was already set.  No dice.  My uncle runs a very successful law firm and he is vertically challenged, he has a napoleanic complex and doesn't take no for an answer.  He kept repeating the phrases, "you are acting her age" and "what do you have to lose", "its the right thing to do". I agree with you that a wedding is not the time or the venue to repair a relationship.  I have done more than my share to look past the fact that she is being a 19 year old and have repeatedly put the olive branch out.  She has not reciporcated. So my final decision? I never invited her to be in the WP, they were pushing the idea on me.  I made her an usher.  I know its unconvetional but I am already there.  I have my uncle (he would have lost a gasket if I didn't include him, he keeps saying he is my surrogate father in my fathers absence) and my brother in law giving me away.  My father passed 5 years ago and my mother is not in the picture...  She will have a matching dress and will be in all of the pictures.  That should satisfy the peanut factory.   As for my FI its an ongoing conversation and we are trying to negotiate daily.  It is a challenging process to say the least.   
    Posted by alboutstyl[/QUOTE]

    Now I understand why you don't "want a big show" for a wedding. I'm going to respond to you in 2 posts.

    Your niece sounds like a brat. I thought maybe she was a drug addict when you said "challenging."

    The gift thing: The thing is, you wanted to give the gifts to her face to face. That's strings attached. Maybe- just maybe she's embarrassed to see you face to face after how she had treated you. It may seem like I'm grasping at straws here, but I just like to think of gifts as something that is given with no expectation behind it. I just think returning them was kind of a "well f*** you then." And 2 wrongs don't make a right type of a thing.

    As far as her not coming to see you, again- maybe she's embarrassed. Or maybe she doesn't want to feel like a charity case. Sometimes, people are uncomfortable when others offer to pay for things. But let me say, that I think it's great of you to offer. It does sound like your willing to try to be there for her. You can't read her mind- so your going on her actions and what she is telling you. I can't blame you for making assumptions with broken communication.

    As far as them not telling you about her quitting college, I had to quit college at 18 and I felt like a failure. I was having my own issues then and I really resented my mother when she told everyone in the family. Now looking back at it, I'm glad she didn't "cover" me. But it was how I felt at the time. Perhaps your sister was trying to protect her daughter's feelings.

    Please don't remove your sister from the WP. It's not important to have even sides (a lot of brides don't nowadays.) It's considered extremely rude to remove anyone from the WP and it can just spell disaster. It's a relationship ending move. If she removes herself, let her- but don't encourage it. Let her make that decision herself.
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  • edited January 2012
    Personally, I would decline your Uncle's offer to pay for the rehearsal, if you really feel he's holding a string attached to have your niece be in the WP. It's not worth it. If it's cost your concerned with, take your WP out for pizza for the rehearsal.

    I think it's nice that your being the bigger person by inviting her to be a part of your wedding as an usher. My DH did not want my step-son (his son) as his BM and the son was extremely hurt by it. So we made him a reader. At first my DH was pissed & felt pressured into having to do something he didn't want to do. But now looking back, he is happy that we did include him. My point is sometimes "in the moment" you can't get passed the emotions. Eventually the sh*t falls from the ceiling/fan and things can return back to normal. (Sometimes, not always- but I'm optimistic.)

    And for the record, my wedding vision was different than DH at first- but we were able to make our wedding "US" completely. I wouldn't have changed a thing. It wasn't really until we started to look at venues that he understood what I wanted. (It took bringing him to a visual place to get my vision.) He also sent me a bunch of wedding ideas that he liked from websites- so that helped me "get" his vision. So keep on working with planning a wedding that YOU both want. You don't want to start off married with resentments.

    Good luck to you.

    EDIT: Grammar
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