Wedding Etiquette Forum

Issue with Grandma exploding...literally

Ok... so my FI's Grandmother (GM) and Grandfather (GF) are driving to Dallas, TX from Albuquerque, NM... a really long drive needless to say.... and she is a chain smoker...They are both handicapped - they can't walk very long distances, and they are in their upper 70s

The facility where we are having our ceremony and reception allows people to smoke outside, but there is a REALLY BIG ISSUE...

His GM is like one of 5 (max) people at our wedding who smokes (~100 people coming) BUT SHE IS ON OXYGEN 24/7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is realllllllllllly dangerous for her to be smoking while an oxygen tank is sitting next to her and flowing through a tube into her nose....
 
I really don't want her to explode at our wedding (or at any time if I can help it) and my mother (who very upset about this) doesn't want to pay for the damages that this would most definately cause.... plus she is my future GM in law!

I don't think my MIL will tell the GM that she can't smoke ahead of time (or at all), so I was thinking about talking to the facility about my concerns and asking the DJ to anounce during cocktail hour that smoking is prohibited on the premises... a small lie, but one I think is beneficial.... IS THIS THE CORRECT WAY TO HANDLE THIS? or do you think I am being unfair by not allowing her to smoke because her health is so poor and she has to travel so far? We would be telling her last minute that she isn't allowed to smoke...

EDIT ADDED: Also, my other concern is that if an explosion were to happen, the other 99 guests would also be at risk for being burned, or even worse dying because we caught the reception hall on fire...

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Re: Issue with Grandma exploding...literally

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_issue-grandma-explodingliterally?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:1dc2cb84-64fc-424a-9f03-da44edc39b87Post:18404991-9964-4b9e-ad83-2efdced64ffd">Issue with Grandma exploding...literally</a>:
    [QUOTE]Ok... so my FI's Grandmother (GM) and Grandfather (GF) are driving to Dallas, TX from Albuquerque, NM... a really long drive needless to say.... and she is a chain smoker...They are both handicapped - they can't walk very long distances, and they are in their upper 70s The facility where we are having our ceremony and reception allows people to smoke outside, but there is a REALLY BIG ISSUE... His GM is like one of 5 (max) people at our wedding who smokes (~100 people coming) BUT SHE IS ON OXYGEN 24/7!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is realllllllllllly dangerous for her to be smoking while an oxygen tank is sitting next to her and flowing through a tube into her nose....   I really don't want her to explode at our wedding (or at any time if I can help it) and my mother (who very upset about this) doesn't want to pay for the damages that this would most definately cause.... plus she is my future GM in law! I don't think my MIL will tell the GM that she can't smoke ahead of time (or at all), so I was thinking about talking to the facility about my concerns and asking the DJ to anounce during cocktail hour that smoking is prohibited on the premises... a small lie, but one I think is beneficial.... IS THIS THE CORRECT WAY TO HANDLE THIS? or do you think I am being unfair by not allowing her to smoke because her health is so poor and she has to travel so far? We would be telling her last minute that she isn't allowed to smoke... PLEASE HELP FAST!!!!! THANKS!!!!!!
    Posted by kxp004[/QUOTE]

    I think that at 70+ years old, she's an adult that can make her own decisions.
    I also think that your mom is a bitch for being worried about the potential damages to the venue that your potentially exploding grandmother may or may not cause.
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  • So shes a chain smoker and hasn't exploded yet? Maybe the explosion is waiting for your wedding day!

    But I would seriously reconsider if your venue didn't have insurance. 
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  • no it doesn't have insurance... actually the besides the dead grandma, the contract says: any overages or damages will be charged to "such and such" person's credit/debit card...
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  • Grandma knows this is dangerous, I assume?  And the doctor has told her to stop? 

    The only thing you can do is tell venue security that you have an oxygen-toting smoker they should be on the lookout for.  They can tell her, if she goes out to smoke and gets caught, that it's not permitted to smoke within 10 feet of the oxygen tank.  Other than that, nothing you can do.

    Also - since this is your FGMIL, why not let your FI and/or his parent(s) talk with her about it?
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  • @squirrly
    Yes, the doctor has told her to quit smoking 1) because it's bad for your health in general and 2) because it's not safe! .... But she doesn't care...


    Good idea about the security though... we do have off duty police officers on cite since there is a bar


    I really wish my MIL would talk to GM about it, but we can't even get her to help plan the rehearsal dinner and make sure her invitees RSVP, so I will ask my FI to ask her to handle this, but I HIGHLY DOUBT she will...

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  • You do know that the risk of her actually exploding after all this time smoking with the oxygen tank is pretty low, right?

    You could have security enforce a "no smoking within 10 feet of the buildings" rule that is becoming more common at a lot of venues.  That way, in the unlikely event that FGMIL actually explodes, she probably would cause minimal damage to the building.  :P 
  • yes, i know it's not flammable, just an accelerant, but if she is outside smoking and something happens, god forbid we wouldn't know about it... her husband wouldn't go outside with her to smoke and the MIL doesn't even want GM at the table with her....sooooo I'm not sure who would babysit her everytime she wanted to take a smoke break in the 2-4 hours that she would be there... call me selfish, but I'm not going to babysit her, I have 99 other people to worry about too

    I mean they obviously have the warnings for a reason... Smoking and breathing oxygen results in some very sad endings... There are just tons of things that could go wrong, but then again as others have said she can make her own decisions...

    but really if her decision could seriously imact my life in a devastating way, I do have some say so...
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  • In my experince..Grandmas do what grandmas want to do..and no one really has much control over that..

    If you tell her shes not allowed to smoke, there is a good chance she will do it behind your back, I'd rather know about it so I could have someone keep an eye on her incase she does catch fire.
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  • I'm sure she's well aware of the possibility that she could explode if she smokes while she's on oxygen.  Her doctors would probably not exclude that little nugget of information.

    I see where you're coming from - you're worried about her safety, and the safety of your guests, and you don't want to have the wedding where Grandma blew up.

    But honestly - I just can't see this happening.
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  • akhensley81akhensley81 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments
    edited August 2010
    This might be a good case for you to get Wedding Insurance. As a former smoker, I can tell you that your GMa is going to smoke when and where she wants to. If she's prohibited on the premises, she'll find somewhere else to go if she really wants a cig. I'll add that if you decide to tell her there is no smoking on the premises, you may want to give her more notice. Perhaps she can get herself a patch or nicotine gum to get her through the reception.

    When I was smoking, if I went somewhere where I fully expected to be able to smoke... then found out that I couldn't, it wasn't cool. If I got a head's up ahead of time, I could at least plan for it.
  • From current smoker: akhensley is wise, if I know ahead of time I can't smoke it's fine...I find out when I get there (like when my work started a no smoking policy) it doesn't go over well. It doesn't go over well with a lot of smokers and in my experience, they'll still try to sneak it.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_issue-grandma-explodingliterally?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:1dc2cb84-64fc-424a-9f03-da44edc39b87Post:3c250269-b0ff-45eb-9303-d131a4f43c20">Re: Issue with Grandma exploding...literally</a>:
    [QUOTE]no it doesn't have insurance... actually the besides the dead grandma, the contract says: any overages or damages will be charged to "such and such" person's credit/debit card...
    Posted by kxp004[/QUOTE]

    You know, if your main concern is that could maybe be charged to your mom...they invented this wonderful thing. It's called liability insurance. You can purchase it for a few hundred dollars for a wedding.
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  • I used to sell oxyge/supplies to hospitals and doctors offices. Most often, people just kind of burnt the hair off their upper lip when smoking on oxygen. Other than being a little hurt and embarassed, your Grandmother will be fine. The venue won't blow up. The problem is if the house is already on fire and there are 10 o2 tanks sitting inside.
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  • If she is a chain smoker like you say, do you really think she is going to be able to handle 4+ hours without a cigarette very well.  She will be livid by the end of your wedding.  Also, she can make her own decisions.

    If you were actually worried about the entire place going boom, get wedding insurance.  The facility might not offer it, but there are third party places to get it from and then you will be covered if your Uncle Bob or who ever decides its a good idea to hang from a chandelier, or if one of your candelabras makes a drapery go up in smoke.
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  • Wasn't there an episode on Grey's Anatomy about a patient catching his face on fire after lighting up while on oxygen.  I believe everything I see on TV so ....

    Ditto PPs.. you won't convince your GM overnight to stop smoking and all the fuss you put into it will only lead to a headache and strained relationship with her.

    I suggest you have a fire extinguisher ready and put the cops on alert.  If it really is as dangerous as you think- there will be a law about it.. so maybe the cops can enforce that.
  • OP:  you are worrying about this WAY too much.  GM has been smoking on oxygen for a while right with no issues?  LIke others have tried to explain to you, she will not explode.  If you are that worried about it, just get wedding insurance.  It will be fine.

    I will say though that your posts sound really insensitive and selfish.  You seem more worried about how this will impact your day and your finances rather than your GM!  And mentioning this about your MIL as well makes you sound so entitled.  Try to act a little more graciously towards your new family.

    "I really wish my MIL would talk to GM about it, but we can't even get her to help plan the rehearsal dinner and make sure her invitees RSVP, so I will ask my FI to ask her to handle this, but I HIGHLY DOUBT she will..."
  • Honestly, this concern is ridiculous to me.  I don't care if your grandma is 1 of 5 or 500 at the wedding that smoke, and how you feel about it.  She is obviously a grown woman and can do whatever she pleases.  You said yourself she knows all the dangers of smoking and of smoking on oxygen, so you or anyone saying anything to her about it is just going to be annoying to her.  Honestly, I think its absurd that you are even putting any thought into this.  Grandma (or any smoker for that matter) is gonna smoke whether you approve of it or not, and whether you say its "permitted" at the reception or not.  If you try and lie and say its not permitted, then they will just walk farther away from the building where they think it is accepted, and take more time away then being in the reception.  Grandma's not going to explode, get over it, and move on.

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  • She's old. My friend's grandfather was dying of emphysema and still couldn't stop smoking, so I really think trying to get her to stop is a waste of energy.

    If she routinely smokes at home, she's not at any more risk on your wedding day. Just let it go.

    She's not going to light the reception hall on fire if she's smoking outside.

    Plus, way to be more worried about venue damage than GMIL.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_issue-grandma-explodingliterally?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:1dc2cb84-64fc-424a-9f03-da44edc39b87Post:3c250269-b0ff-45eb-9303-d131a4f43c20">Re: Issue with Grandma exploding...literally</a>:
    [QUOTE]no it doesn't have insurance... actually the besides the dead grandma, the contract says: any overages or damages will be charged to "such and such" person's credit/debit card...
    Posted by kxp004[/QUOTE]

    You should get wedding insurance, then, if you're that worried about it.
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  • You should get your nose out of your FI's family business.
    This entire issue is up to FI and his mother to handle. Or not.

    And if your mother is interested in sticking her nose into your FI's family business, I would suggest that you try to get her to think of other things - instead of buying into her hysteria and posting some long rambling thing on TheKnot.  But since you are into the Kool-Aid too, I'd suggest that your mother call FI's mother directly and talk about this issue if she must talk to someone about it.  It's inappropriate for your mother to be dumping this on YOU.
  • considering his family is going to be MY family, I think I am fully "allowed" to stick my nose into his "family business', but thanks for your advice anyway even though you didn't have to be rude...
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  • I think your priorities are out of order here.  You seem to be more concerned about the damage to the hall and others than your grandma. 

    With that being said...does your venue have the option to make the whole place non-smoking?  My venue had an enclosed area and when we booked the hall, they told us we had the option of making that smoking or non-smoking, although the ballroom was always non-smoking.  However, since Michigan has enforced the non-smoking law, that is no longer an option.  But maybe you can make the entire event smoke-free?
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  • Thank you jholbel for your suggestions :)


    Yes, I have discussed the issue with the venue, and they suggested that we either move the smoking tables farther away from the reception hall, or make the entire event non smoking...

    I was planning on making the entire event non-smoking, but obviously everyone here thinks I'm being a bitch to GM because I don't want her OR anyone else getting hurt... it may sound like I cared more about the venue damages, but someone ASKED if the venue had inurance and the answer I gave which was that "no and the damages would be charged to us" was obviously taken by everyone else here that my FI and I cared more about the venue damages... We're not that insensitive.... seriously

    I'm just trying to make sure that EVERYONE is safe... and I'm not trying to make some lifechaning event here where GM miraculously stops smoking for the rest of her life... She's not gonna change, I know that, but I didn't think it was that big of a deal to ask her not to smoke on oxygen at the ceremony/reception which would only be 2-4 hours....

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  • Your MIL isn't responsible for her mother, planning the rehearsal dinner or making sure her invitees RSVP. Her mother is responsible for herself, you and your FI are responsible for the RD unless someone else offers to host, and each invitee is responsible for RSVPing (with follow-up from you or FI if necessary).

    You're freaking out about something that's really unlikely and not your concern.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_issue-grandma-explodingliterally?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:1dc2cb84-64fc-424a-9f03-da44edc39b87Post:fd3a8c02-6371-4cdb-89f6-82ff588f1b27">Re: Issue with Grandma exploding...literally</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thank you jholbel for your suggestions :) Yes, I have discussed the issue with the venue, and they suggested that we either move the smoking tables farther away from the reception hall, or make the entire event non smoking... I was planning on making the entire event non-smoking, but obviously everyone here thinks I'm being a bitch to GM because I don't want her OR anyone else getting hurt... it may sound like I cared more about the venue damages, but someone ASKED if the venue had inurance and the answer I gave which was that "no and the damages would be charged to us" was obviously taken by everyone else here that my FI and I cared more about the venue damages... We're not that insensitive.... seriously I'm just trying to make sure that EVERYONE is safe... and I'm not trying to make some lifechaning event here where GM miraculously stops smoking for the rest of her life... She's not gonna change, I know that, but I didn't think it was that big of a deal to ask her not to smoke on oxygen at the ceremony/reception which would only be 2-4 hours....
    Posted by kxp004[/QUOTE]

    Just make the whole event non-smoking.  Although I may be biased because I hate smoking in general and I love that Michigan is now non-smoking everywhere (except casions).  I would want it to be non-smoking even if there wasn't the issue with grandma.

    Although realize that you can't control your grandma smoking in general.  If she wants to smoke, she'll go outside.  But don't expect her to just stop smoking altogether.  I'm guessing this has been a habit for decades and you can't get her to quit just like that.
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  • In Florida, we have no smoking policies for almost every public space.  I believe our venue is providing an outside area for smokers, but that's about it.  Institute a no smoking policy for indoors and have someone else ferry her in and out when she needs to smoke.  It's not your issue if she can't get someone to take her in and out.  Your FI's folks should arrange that.

    I don't necessarily believe your a bitch to you GM or GMIL (not sure which it is), but there should be an area she can smoke in (and other smokers).  Either outside or whatever..a designated place for her to smoke. It's doubtful that she'll burn down the venue. 
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  • If you're really that concerned about liability issues, look into wedding insurance.  No it's not great, but you will surely have smokers there and disallowing one (which, btw, it's dangerous for all of them to smoke in the first place!) would not okay.
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