Wedding requests and woes
Dear Annie: My daughter is getting married in two weeks. My 80-year-old mother-in-law is unable to attend, but she called us with a request. Her daughter, “Donna,” the bride’s aunt, will be flying across the country with her two young children to attend the wedding. She asked whether Donna’s two children could have a role in the celebration because she thinks Donna assumed they would be asked to participate after going to the expense of buying three tickets to attend.
We do not feel this is an appropriate request and it puts us in an awkward position. My mother-in-law is trying to make us feel bad for saying no to something that was never a consideration. Donna has a history of being manipulative. No other children were invited and we do not want other parents to feel bad that their children were not included at all.
If we say no now, my motherin-law will push even harder, adding more stress to an already stressful event. Can we simply say we are “taking under advisement” and let it go? — Stressed in Shrewsbury
Dear Shrewsbury: Yes, that is one way of dealing with a presumptuous request. You also can bite the bullet and say firmly, but politely, “No, but we appreciate that Donna is coming and bringing the children.” What someone spends to attend the wedding is up to them. It should not be used as blackmail to get a starring part in the production.
Still, you might consider finding a small role for the children, possibly handing out programs, asking guests to sign a welcome book or directing them to their seats if the kids are old enough to handle the responsibility. It’s a minor effort that will make the children feel important and assuage your in-laws.
And please don’t worry about not having invited other children. The bride’s first cousins are in a separate category. But you should not be held hostage by someone else’s inappropriate demands on your daughter’s big day.