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May 2013 Weddings

Need Advice - FI's Sister's Kids (long post)

So the plan has always been to have my sister's 3 kids and FI's sister's 2 kids in the wedding party. My sister's oldest girl will be nearly 10 y/o at wedding time, and her twins (boy and girl) will be 7 y/o this March. FI's sister's twin boys will be 4 y/o in March.. These are going to be the only children at the wedding...

Now, my sister's kids have been super pumped about being in the wedding from the get-go. When they found out we were engaged, they were immediately asking what their roles would be. It's never been a question for me that they'd all be in the wedding, and my sister is on board.

FI's sister's kids are obviously young and don't really know what's going on... I had asked her about a year ago to be a BM and asked if she'd have the boys as ringbearers... At the time, she seemed quazi-hesitant, but said yes. (Her husband is also a groomsman in the wedding.)

Nothing has really been discussed about it since then. Fast forward to present. FI got a voicemail from his sis yesterday stating that she now doesn't want the boys in the wedding. She doesn't want to have to worry about their behavior, and she wants her and her husband to actually be able to enjoy the day and not have to focus on the kids.

I'm torn on my feelings on this... I see where she's coming from and TBH, if that's genuinely how she feels, I don't want to force her to have to look after her children all day. I want her to enjoy the day with us and be able to focus on her brother.

Unfortunately, FI is extremely upset. He wants his only nephews to be a part of the wedding. I don't think he's as concerned about having them at the reception, but he wants them to be a part of the ceremony and pictures... He's very adament about this and feels like his sister is being selfish and not honoring his wishes to have his nephews be a part of the most important day of his life (his words).

He hasn't called her back yet to have a discussion with her about it, but knowing FI, he'll get even more defensive about it when he talks to her. Even last night when I was trying to explain where she might be coming from, he got upset saying I was taking her side and I didn't understand b/c my sister's kids will be there, no question.

I don't know how to handle this.. Of course I want the boys there as much as he does, but I don't want to guilt her into having them there if that's not what she wants to do.
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Re: Need Advice - FI's Sister's Kids (long post)

  • Is it possible to hire a baby sitter for the reception or maybe you can ask her if they can go to the ceremony only and have a baby sitter pick them up after pictures. I know it's a tough situation. Have you thought about calling his sister and talking to her about it? I'm not sure if this might make the situation with your FI worse. I hope you'll be able to com up with a compromise.
  • It's hard, but she probably knows her kids best and how they will react. If her and her husband are both standing up front, she might be afraid that they'll be unchecked and can start running up and down the aisles (or causing some sort of disturbance) and they'll have to leave from standing up front to chase them down, which could be double distracting. She likely wants to stand up there and enjoy the ceremony and rather than be thinking "please let the boys not do something silly!" and mentally missing out on the ceremony and keep you both from having other people be distracted from your vows by her kids.

    I'd talk to her and see if she's worried about them being distracting or has some other concern. You may be able to talk her about having another family member keep an eye on them or be responsible for them during the ceremony, but if you can't make her comfortable, it's ultimately her and her husbands choice if the kids are in the wedding.


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  • edited September 2012
    In Response to Re:Need Advice FI's Sister's Kids long post:It's hard, but she probably knows her kids best and how they will react. If her and her husband are both standing up front, she might be afraid that they'll be unchecked and can start running up and down the aisles or causing some sort of disturbance and they'll have to leave from standing up front to chase them down, which could be double distracting. She likely wants to stand up there and enjoy the ceremony and rather than be thinking "please let the boys not do something silly!" and mentally missing out on the ceremony and keep you both from having other people be distracted from your vows by her kids.I'd talk to her and see if she's worried about them being distracting or has some other concern. You may be able to talk her about having another family member keep an eye on them or be responsible for them during the ceremony, but if you can't make her comfortable, it's ultimately her and her husbands choice if the kids are in the wedding. Posted by rswans Exactly this. I would feel the exact same way if I was the sister. She is probably dreading the thought of them misbehaving and causing a scene. Since she and her husband are standing up with you guys, it would completely cause a scene if she had to get them to settle down. Plus they have a lot of financial responsibility in this too. His tux, her dress, AND two little tuxes? That's a lot. Obviously I don't know their situation, but maybe you don't either. Many people hide their financial situation. It might not be a huge issue, but maybe it was another reason why she decided to leave them out of it. She is their mother and it is unfair to ask her to do something she clearly doesn't want to do. Send your fiance here so he can read other people's objective opinions. The kids likely won't even remember it, but their mother will and so will you if they steal the show.
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  • I agree with PP. 

    I think your FI may be initially upset by her request, but she does know her children better than anyone else and Im sure she's not doing it for "selfish" reasons. Hopefully he can see past this. In the end, I know they mean a lot to him, but they're still very young and won't really remember anything. 

    I like the idea of seeing if they can coordinate a babysitter perhaps to get the kids after the ceremony. 
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  • Maybe if your FI spent some time with the children, he would understand her point of view. Perhaps he can arrange this. Being a mom of two wild ones, I appreciate her point of view and would want to enjoy the wedding. They are pretty young.
  • If FI and I were in your FSIL's situation, I'd feel the same way unless I knew that someone would be there to focus 100% on my kids since I wouldn't be able to. Just try talking to her, ask her why and explain to her that it means a lot to your FI but he doesn't understand her point of view.
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  • I'd let your FI handle this one. It's his sister after all, but I do get your point though and if I were a parent that's how I would lean too.

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  • Update!!
    Thanks for all the advice ladies... FI and I discussed the possibility of adding an additional guest to the reception... Someone FSIL asks to essentially babysit the kids at the ceremony and reception... So he spoke with her and brought this up... And she said she'd think about it, so we'll see...
    Turns out, there's an additional wrinkle in this saga... FMIL apparently has been a bug in FSIL's ear... telling her that there shouldn't be any children at the reception at all... so on top of her already-present concerns, FSIL felt uncomfortable with having her kids at the ceremony and then carting them off prior to reception...
    Now, we're not inviting children to the wedding, this is true. But my sister's kids and FSIL's kids are in the wedding and FI and I would never dream of telling them they can't be at the reception. We will have 5 kids at the reception - the ones in the wedding party. That's it.

    And the funny thing is, as close as FI is to his mother, he has asked me to speak to her about keeping her opinions to herself... He feels like this is more my job as the bride, which is extremely frustrating... ...the saga continues.
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