Wedding Party

Not Flower Girl For Rehearsal Dinner???

So for those of you keeping score, you may remember the flower girl drama I had previously. Long story short, we asked one child from FI's side and one child from my side to be in the wedding. My cousin for ring bearer, his cousin for flower girl. I know his cousin (he doesn't know mine) and of all his little cousins she and I have the best relationship and the most in common. So, fine.

A few weeks after the ask we get an email from flower girl's grandmother. Flower girl's cousin (also FI's cousin) aged 10 or so was SUPER SAD she wasn't in the wedding, was there any way we could make her a junior bridesmaid or something? It became a whole family freakout with family members exclaiming "Oh just have all the kids in the wedding we love kids!" etc. etc. which I DID NOT WANT AND PUT MY FOOT THROUGH THE FLOOR ON. 

Now it seems flower girl and not flower girl (who was appointed to hand out programs because apparently that's what she wanted) have the same dress. I told flower girl's mom to just get a dress in the color, and they got the same ones. Oooookay. Just ... okay.

ANYWAY I am paying for and planning the rehearsal dinner. FI's family likes all these parties and such to be HUGE with EVERYBODY included. But since the rehearsal dinner is mine I'm trying to do it just for those who have to come in a day early to rehearse as a specific thank you for their trouble. So it's flower girl's family, flower girl's grandparents (special thank you), FI's parents, bridal parties, my grandparents, my aunt and uncle (special thank you), ring bearer's family. 

FI and I talked about it and we agreed if we discount program girl's family from this it's going to cause huge family drama. Like huge. But I really don't want to reward their bad behavior of just inching closer and closer to forcing the flower girl issue. I have a sick feeling in my stomach that we'll be going down the aisle and this little girl will either start running up and down or get pushed up and down by her family because SHE'S A FLOWER GIRL OR JUNIOR BRIDESMAID OR SOMETHING. Will it 'ruin' the wedding? So long as I'm legally a Mrs. by the end of it no. But the whole situation has really sickened me. It's shown me that our marriage doesn't matter as much as making sure their little girl doesn't throw a tantrum. I'd much rather include the flower girl in this special opportunity because she and I really click. 

So what do I do, Knotties: Not invite program girl's family to the rehearsal dinner, thereby not perpetuating the myth that program girl is a flower girl but bringing down the wrath of that entire side of the family? Or suck it up, invite her and reward their rude behavior but keep the peace?

I know I'm not obligated to invite them. But I'm trying to figure out what the best choice is. For survival and sanity. 

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Re: Not Flower Girl For Rehearsal Dinner???

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2015
    Don't invite them to the rehearsal dinner or even tell them when it is.  If you're paying for it and your FI's family isn't, they can build a bridge and get over it that every family member isn't invited regardless of what they like.

    And if she shows up wearing that dress, just make sure that your coordinators, officiant, other wedding party members, photographers, et al understand that she is not a flower girl and is not to be treated as such.

    FI really needs to put his foot down, have your back, and make clear to his family that Cousin Jealous is not going to be a flower girl and that it's entirely up to you who is invited to the rehearsal dinner, the subject is closed, and no amount of drama will change that. 
    [Deleted User]OliveOilsMomJerseyBeachGal22
  • OK, rehearsal dinners are literally hosted events because you asked certain people to attend a rehearsal. Only those certain people (and their SOs) have to receive invitations.

    To keep thing simple, I would invite:

    -wedding party and SOs
    -parents, siblings, grandparents and SOs
    -FG and her parents (since she can't come alone)
    -RB and his parents (since he can't come alone)
    - any readers and then SOs

    That's it. No "special thank you" people. Because if you make it into something like that, I do think you should invite program girl and parents since she's doing a job for you.
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    frenchiekinOliveOilsMom
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    OK, rehearsal dinners are literally hosted events because you asked certain people to attend a rehearsal. Only those certain people (and their SOs) have to receive invitations. To keep thing simple, I would invite: -wedding party and SOs -parents, siblings, grandparents and SOs -FG and her parents (since she can't come alone) -RB and his parents (since he can't come alone) - any readers and then SOs That's it. No "special thank you" people. Because if you make it into something like that, I do think you should invite program girl and parents since she's doing a job for you.
    The special thank-you, in the case of my aunt and uncle for example, is because my grandparents can't really come alone. So my aunt and uncle paid for their hotel room, got a hotel room next door to grandma and grandpa, and will be escorting grandma and grandpa everywhere, including the rehearsal and dinner. However, I do see your point about FI's aunt and uncle. They aren't doing any special assistance or anything like that for anyone and if we remove them from the list it becomes much less awkward about program girl. This might be a really great solution -- thank you! 

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  • I sort of remember the original post, but please refresh my memory - did your FI talk to them and emphasize that only one of the girls is the flower girl?  Are the flower girl and non-flower girl sisters?

    I'm sorry you're dealing with all this.  I have no patience for adults who try to manipulate a situation to get what they want like it sounds like the parents are here.  I swear, weddings bring out the true crazy in some people and I don't know why.  Definitely make it clear to your coordinator/photographer/whoever else that there is only one flower girl, only one for pictures and one to walk down the aisle.  

    The same dress thing is crap.  I'm just putting that out there, that's way out of line.
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  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited July 2015
    FG and Program Girl (PG) are cousins. We decided that if it came up again we would say something. It would be weirdly confrontational to just out of the blue while they're visiting us to say "By the way your kid isn't a flower girl." So, yeah. But the RD thing, in my mind, is that next chance. The chance to solidify things as no, not a flower girl because no, not coming to the R or RD.

    There's been some developments though. FI didn't love the plan because he felt it would still cause family conflict. I want to point out here how bad this has been on FI. Some really horrible things were said -- his mother calling him crotchety and mean, his extended family insinuating that the only reason he was allowed to be an usher in their weddings was so they could cash in that chip for their at-the-time-unborn-child to be in ours, etc. And he is positively crushed by the whole experience, he's almost in tears every time a decision like this comes up.

    So when he came home last night I told him that he's out of wedding decisions or discussions. Not for my sake to be all bridezilla but because it is literally tearing him apart, all the family drama. His family is paying for catering, they have a whole swath of randos coming to this wedding as a result, fine. But they don't get to make any more decisions. At this point FI will say yes to having his hands cut off just to make the family BS go away, he'll say yes to anything or anyone. So fine -- if I'm making the rest of the decisions and doing the planning and if anyone asks him about it he doesn't know and can't get involved.

    I know this sounds really really weird and a bad idea -- FI should be able to stand up for us to his family. Most times he can, but it's never been an issue like this and from what he's said they've never behaved so badly and it is breaking his heart and his body as a result. He's a ball of stress, can't relax even when we went on vacation a few weeks back. But if I'm taking command of this dysfunctional ship, from now on there's NO WEDDING CONVERSATIONS with drama makers. Got an email this morning -- who is coming to the RD? Response was rehearsal people, btw here's some news about work. 

    It also means I'm going to likely be venting here a lot more because I don't want to expose FI to this toxicity any further lest he develop an ulcer. 

    tl;dr I'm taking the reigns and RD is limited to R people and everyone can stfu about it. :D:D:D 

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    Jen4948
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    MegEn1 said:
    FG and Program Girl (PG) are cousins. We decided that if it came up again we would say something. It would be weirdly confrontational to just out of the blue while they're visiting us to say "By the way your kid isn't a flower girl." So, yeah. But the RD thing, in my mind, is that next chance. The chance to solidify things as no, not a flower girl because no, not coming to the R or RD.

    There's been some developments though. FI didn't love the plan because he felt it would still cause family conflict. I want to point out here how bad this has been on FI. Some really horrible things were said -- his mother calling him crotchety and mean, his extended family insinuating that the only reason he was allowed to be an usher in their weddings was so they could cash in that chip for their at-the-time-unborn-child to be in ours, etc. And he is positively crushed by the whole experience, he's almost in tears every time a decision like this comes up.

    So when he came home last night I told him that he's out of wedding decisions or discussions. Not for my sake to be all bridezilla but because it is literally tearing him apart, all the family drama. His family is paying for catering, they have a whole swath of randos coming to this wedding as a result, fine. But they don't get to make any more decisions. At this point FI will say yes to having his hands cut off just to make the family BS go away, he'll say yes to anything or anyone. So fine -- if I'm making the rest of the decisions and doing the planning and if anyone asks him about it he doesn't know and can't get involved.

    I know this sounds really really weird and a bad idea -- FI should be able to stand up for us to his family. Most times he can, but it's never been an issue like this and from what he's said they've never behaved so badly and it is breaking his heart and his body as a result. He's a ball of stress, can't relax even when we went on vacation a few weeks back. But if I'm taking command of this dysfunctional ship, from now on there's NO WEDDING CONVERSATIONS with drama makers. Got an email this morning -- who is coming to the RD? Response was rehearsal people, btw here's some news about work. 

    It also means I'm going to likely be venting here a lot more because I don't want to expose FI to this toxicity any further lest he develop an ulcer. 

    tl;dr I'm taking the reigns and RD is limited to R people and everyone can stfu about it. :D:D:D 

    I can understand why you might choose to do this, but it sounds like you may have to adopt the same strategy throughout your marriage if your FI can't tell his family to stfu and back off on any subject.  Because if they think they can pressure him into giving way with his wedding, they'll do the same with your kids and everything else.

    Some professional counseling and maybe even a visit to a medical doctor might help him learn to deal more effectively with his family without his developing ulcers.

    OliveOilsMom
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    It's definitely not something he's had to deal with before. We've put our foot down on other things both as a dating couple and an engaged couple and it's been fine. For some reason weddings are bringing out the crazy. 

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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    So you never had the "You're daughter isn't a flower girl" conversation AND the girls have the exact same dress????  Yeah, this isn't going to go over well at all!  This is probably what you will get at your wedding - "Come on Meg, she handed out the programs and has the exact same dress as FG.  She HAS to walk down the aisle."

    If I were you, I would not do programs.  Just say that you didn't have time to make them.  You were so crazy the last few weeks with wedding tasks, you had to remove a few items from your list and sorrynotsorry, the programs were one of them.  That way, she is not standing in the back when its close to start time.  PG would already be sitting down in her seat with her parents.  It will be much easier to deny her walking down the aisle, when she hasn't been waiting in the gathering area for the majority of the pre-ceremony time.

    [Deleted User]JerseyBeachGal22mrscomposer
  • So you never had the "You're daughter isn't a flower girl" conversation AND the girls have the exact same dress????  Yeah, this isn't going to go over well at all!  This is probably what you will get at your wedding - "Come on Meg, she handed out the programs and has the exact same dress as FG.  She HAS to walk down the aisle."

    If I were you, I would not do programs.  Just say that you didn't have time to make them.  You were so crazy the last few weeks with wedding tasks, you had to remove a few items from your list and sorrynotsorry, the programs were one of them.  That way, she is not standing in the back when its close to start time.  PG would already be sitting down in her seat with her parents.  It will be much easier to deny her walking down the aisle, when she hasn't been waiting in the gathering area for the majority of the pre-ceremony time.

    This.  All of this.  I was trying to think of a good way to express the bolded.  It's a great idea also to nix the programs.
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  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited July 2015
    Quoting doesn't work for me so apologies for that.

    UGHHHH I know. We didn't know what the hell to do when we found out they had the same dresses so we just side-eyed it and moved on. By the time we were like whoah we really should have said something it was way too late. So we're just waiting for it to come up again at all to reiterate things. But to bring it up now out of the blue is going to get everybody butt-hurt and revive the whole issue. 

    I DO have a plan regarding the programs and dresses and such. Well, two plans. My first plan was no programs but fiance (back when he was allowed to participate, heh) really wants them for legitimate reasons -- no one on my side has ever been to a Jewish wedding, he likes the idea of talking about all the traditions in the program and having a little section on the history of the site because having a historical venue was one of his three requests for this entire soiree. I really respect his reason for wanting them. 

    Naturally I will be alerting the photographer, DOC, venue coordinator about this AND I already informed FMIL that I will cause a scene if Program Girl (read: her mother) misbehaves at all during this thing. 99.9% of the bullshit I am willing to let slide. This will be the hill I die on. 

    But the venue is shaped in such a way that the program basket will be set on a small table right at the entrance. Guests will be required to cross a courtyard to find a seat, and we will be coming down the aisle from the opposite direction from the main entrance. No one's going to give program girl the programs. They're just going to be there. If she wants to pick them up and throw them around wtfever because that's not the hill I die on. Would I rather she didn't pick them up and throw them around the courtyard? Sure, those bitches cost me money. But that's the kind of wedding oopsie I can blink at and never think about again. Logistically though unless she hides out near where we're all emerging for the processional, she can't get into said processional. And if I catch her there? "Why dear, why aren't you out front handing out programs? WE ABSOLUTELY NEEDED YOU TO DO THAT OMG." 

    I know I'm in the right and should verbally smack down every single fool who is making this an issue (except the kid because while she drives me nuts she is a product of her environment) but the family rift that would cause would be positively epic. I think knowing the wedding tore apart his family would kind of ruin the experience for FI. 

    EDITED FOR CLARIFICATION: So I was about to note that this woman knows that her daughter isn't a flower girl but now I'm starting to wonder. I'm sure she does but it's perfectly possible that someone in the family has lied to her since and said she is. I don't think it's likely but jesus it's possible and now I'm freaked out. 

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  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    Ugh fuckity fuck fuck. Running down some answers and setting up to have a proper conversation with program girl's mom. If there's been lying going on in this whole situation some cap will be busted. Will update when I know more. 

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  • I would absolutely have a conversation with the mother. I'm so glad you said what you did about not taking this out on PG. She's what, 11 years old? I don't think she realizes what a mess her parents have made of this (or at least, I hope she doesn't because I would be absolutely mortified and not even want to attend the wedding if I knew my mother behaved this way on my behalf). I really feel for her and hope she isn't the one who ends up the most hurt from all of this with a mother who is leading her to believe she's going to be the FG and walk down the aisle and shoving her down everyone's throats.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2015
    MegEn1 said:

    EDITED FOR CLARIFICATION: So I was about to note that this woman knows that her daughter isn't a flower girl but now I'm starting to wonder. I'm sure she does but it's perfectly possible that someone in the family has lied to her since and said she is. I don't think it's likely but jesus it's possible and now I'm freaked out. 

    It sounds like you need to pick up the phone, call her, and tell her, "Look, I can't make this any clearer.  Your daughter is NOT a flower girl in our wedding.  We have planned the wedding accordingly and our vendors know that she is not to be treated as a flower girl.  Also, we will have security at the wedding who will remove anyone if that's necessary.  I don't care what dress she wears, but this is a closed subject."

    (And be sure to actually have security, because it sounds like you're gonna need it big-time.)

  • You could also make an itinerary for the day of. I did this for my wedding and sent one to everyone involved with their portion highlighted so they all knew who was supposed to do what and when.... 

    So as an example, Jenny's parents would get this....

    "Thanks for sharing in our celebration! Please see below for the who, what, when, where. Anything you're involved in is highlighted below:

    2-3:00 - bridesmaids getting ready at the Marriott - room 317
    2:30-3:00 - groomsmen meet at the Marriott - room 125
    3:00 - B&G first look
    3:15 - bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents and siblings of the B&G meet in hotel lobby for pre-ceremony photos
    3:50 - BMs, GMs, parents, siblings, B&G leave for ceremony site
    4:00 - program distributor (Jenny) arrives at ceremony site and meets MegEn1 to get programs
    4:00-4:30 - Jenny hands out programs 
    4:15 - flower girl (Sally) arrives at ceremony site and meets MegEn1 to get petals and basket
    4:25 - bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, and B&G line up for processional
    4:30 - Jenny leaves extra programs on guest book table and sits down with her parents 
    4:30 - Ceremony begins"

    I would not add the info about Sally lining up for the processional just because they might try to add Jenny to the itinerary.
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    Jen4948kmmssgOliveOilsMomlc07
  • You could also make an itinerary for the day of. I did this for my wedding and sent one to everyone involved with their portion highlighted so they all knew who was supposed to do what and when.... 

    So as an example, Jenny's parents would get this....

    "Thanks for sharing in our celebration! Please see below for the who, what, when, where. Anything you're involved in is highlighted below:

    2-3:00 - bridesmaids getting ready at the Marriott - room 317
    2:30-3:00 - groomsmen meet at the Marriott - room 125
    3:00 - B&G first look
    3:15 - bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents and siblings of the B&G meet in hotel lobby for pre-ceremony photos
    3:50 - BMs, GMs, parents, siblings, B&G leave for ceremony site
    4:00 - program distributor (Jenny) arrives at ceremony site and meets MegEn1 to get programs
    4:00-4:30 - Jenny hands out programs 
    4:15 - flower girl (Sally) arrives at ceremony site and meets MegEn1 to get petals and basket
    4:25 - bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, and B&G line up for processional
    4:30 - Jenny leaves extra programs on guest book table and sits down with her parents 
    4:30 - Ceremony begins"

    I would not add the info about Sally lining up for the processional just because they might try to add Jenny to the itinerary.
    @southernbelle0915, I often love the way you phrase your posts and I just wanted to comment that IMO, this is fantastic. 
    kmmssgsouthernbelle0915lc07
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    I'll likely do that with the itinerary. 

    I guess part of my problem in this whole process was that I wasn't even really sure if Jenny's (program girl's name after that awesome itinerary post) mother was trying to force the issue or just being quirky. She loves matching outfits, and I'd been super laid back about what people wear. Like MOG was like "What color are your girls wearing I'll wear that!" and I really couldn't care less (she ended up going with a color that will match the flowers, still don't care as long as she's happy). So I was always worried but she never actually did force the issue. Maybe it was all to peer pressure me -- I don't know. Maybe she didn't know how crazy she was coming off after she tried to force the flower girl on me because she can't handle her kid's temper tantrum.

    I spoke with someone in the family last night and she says that Jenny's mother is aware, so I am not going to cause any drama by bringing it up unless it comes up again. Rehearsal dinner is rehearsals only -- and I love the itinerary idea.

    One thing I might do however is drop Jenny's mother a message in the next day or so -- hey we're just starting to draft the programs, we'll get a basket soon too and they'll be all set for little Jenny. Hurray. Whatever. 

    I really do thank you guys for sticking with me on this through my insanity. It's not my family and I want to tread carefully and while I know I'm in the right on these issues as most of you know there comes a time when other people don't care that you're in the right and the outcome could well be worse because of it. 

    Honestly cutting the special guests from the RD and this itinerary thing (I wasn't planning to include Jenny in it at all before) I really feel a whole lot better about this. Will let you know what Jenny's mother says! 

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    southernbelle0915Jen4948OliveOilsMom
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I can't wait to find out what happens on the day of the wedding with this girl. 
    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
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    OliveOilsMom[Deleted User]
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    OH DON'T WORRY YOU WILL. 

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    AddieCakeDaniBitessouthernbelle0915[Deleted User]
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Another option could be that you ask your coordinator to put a program at each seat during the set up of the ceremony space.  That way Jenny doesn't need to hand them out and you can blame the venue that they like to leave that space clear of any obstructions.  So they always place any programs on the seats already.

    Southernbelle's itinerary idea is a great idea.  I would leave off any room numbers for Jenny's mom, she would probably show up so that Jenny could get ready with the rest of the BP!

    southernbelle0915
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    I thought about doing that but if I'm on a path right now where everyone gets what they 'want' and still stays in everyone else's relative good graces (except for mine, that bridge is burned) then I'm pretty happy. I'm hoping giving her programs will distract her from anything else. 

    Honestly though like I cannot overstate how helpful you guys have been. Before this thread I was planning on hiding the programs, not speaking or contacting anyone about this etc. But no -- if I go at this and embrace the program girl role with open arms and make a big deal about embracing it, it makes it harder for them to armtwist this into something else. AH GOD. I love this place. 

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    [Deleted User]NowIAmSyp[Deleted User]mrscomposer
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