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Tue Jul 24, 2012, 08:49 AM

Wedding etiquette poll

OK, maybe I'm an old fogey, but I thought I'd put this out there and see what people think.

Here's the situation: my niece is having a formal evening wedding in another state from where we live.
Hubby and my two adult sons and I are attending. I have previously cut off communication with the bride's mother (my brother's wife) over political and other issues. My brother and his wife are Repubs. I have not wanted to go to the wedding, but decided I would suck it up for 'family' sake. I have been asked by the bride to read a poem during the ceremony and agreed.
One of niece's brothers and his wife just had my brother's
first grandchild on July 16th--the new mother/father are attending WITH baby. I saw a fb post
last night where the bride indicated she was working on sit-down dinner seating assignments
and her brother (the new father) asked could new baby have a seat of his own--for car seat--
at the table and could they sit with his wife's family who are attending (also from another state)
and wouldn't that fill the table? Bride responded, "of course baby can have seat" but table seats
two more and she was thinking--but not decided--about putting great-aunt, uncle (me and hubby)
at the table, too. Well, I about fell off my chair. I can understand having the baby at the ceremony
and cocktail hour, but cannot for the life of me understand wanting to impose a 3 week old infant
on a formal sit down wedding dinner. I thought about it overnight and decided to write the bride
a fb message this a.m., diplomatically putting in my $.02 and expressing my reaction that I would
not be thrilled to find myself seated with a 3 week old infant at a formal sit down wedding dinner
and wondering whether anyone was going to suggest brother/wife get a sitter for baby during the dinner
so they could not be focused on baby care all evening?

So, lounge folks, what do you think?
20 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
You were right to express your opinion, but your opinion stinks.
0 (0%)
You were right to express your opinion and it was correct (no stinky 3 week old babies at formal evening wedding dinner).
9 (45%)
You were wrong to express your opinion, it's the bride's day and you sit where you're told.
6 (30%)
You were wrong to express your opinion, even though your opinion is correct, so suck it up.
1 (5%)
Why the hell are you going anyway?
4 (20%)
Show usernames
Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll

53 replies, 4547 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 53 replies Author Time Post
Reply Wedding etiquette poll (Original post)
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 OP
snappyturtle Jul 2012 #1
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #10
Lisa D Jul 2012 #2
HERVEPA Jul 2012 #3
kwassa Jul 2012 #12
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #17
trixie Jul 2012 #40
PassingFair Jul 2012 #46
OmahaBlueDog Jul 2012 #4
pipi_k Jul 2012 #5
frogmarch Jul 2012 #6
Phentex Jul 2012 #7
bigwillq Jul 2012 #8
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #16
bigwillq Jul 2012 #19
trixie Jul 2012 #41
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #9
kiva Jul 2012 #27
BlueJazz Jul 2012 #11
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #15
BlueJazz Jul 2012 #20
pipi_k Jul 2012 #25
HERVEPA Jul 2012 #30
pipi_k Jul 2012 #35
PassingFair Jul 2012 #47
HappyMe Jul 2012 #13
trixie Jul 2012 #42
LoveMyCali Jul 2012 #52
Kali Jul 2012 #14
trixie Jul 2012 #43
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #18
GoneOffShore Jul 2012 #21
Lisa D Jul 2012 #24
kimi Jul 2012 #26
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #49
haele Jul 2012 #22
benld74 Jul 2012 #23
CBGLuthier Jul 2012 #33
pipi_k Jul 2012 #37
LNM Jul 2012 #28
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #32
trixie Jul 2012 #44
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #50
gollygee Jul 2012 #29
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #31
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #34
pipi_k Jul 2012 #36
seaglass Jul 2012 #38
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #51
JVS Jul 2012 #39
alphafemale Jul 2012 #45
Motown_Johnny Jul 2012 #48
mnhtnbb Jul 2012 #53

Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 09:02 AM

1. I don't understand today's parents of infants.

I had infants 34 years ago and wouldn't have subjected THEM to a event such as this. I just don't think it's a good idea and has the potential to making the event less than memorable for attendees. Good for you for speaking up! (I'm an old fogey too.)

edit: word choice

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 12:28 PM

10. Thanks. Yes, I'm 61. My boys are 25 and 22.

I don't understand the concept of hauling infants (or toddlers or young children)
around everywhere and expecting everyone to think 'how cute'.

It's an evening (6 PM ceremony) formal wedding!

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 09:08 AM

2. If you had just politely expressed concern

about the baby being uncomfortable around all the people/noise, I think the FB message might be okay. But I think it crossed the line when you expressed your reaction of not being thrilled to find yourself seated next to a 3 week old infant. This infant is part of the family, right? And is probably loved and adored by said family. Also, many new parents are hesitant to leave such a young baby with a babysitter.

I guess I'm looking at how I would react. If my aunt had sent a FB message stating that she would not be thrilled to find herself seated near my new baby at dinner, I would be very hurt. Part of that hurt would derive from the feeling that she didn't respect me enough to know I would take the baby outside if it started to fuss--and your niece *may* feel that same way.

I could be completely off base here, but I'm wondering if posting that FB message was a way to get yourself disinvited from a wedding you don't want to attend or subconsciously hoping the message causes enough of a kerfuffle that it would cause you not to attend.

Best of luck to you! I hope the FB message is received in the way you intended.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 09:41 AM

3. Out of linein my opinion.

I'm sure you know 3 week olds sleep a lot, and parents would likely remove the baby if he (s)he was crying loudly.
I don't see why it's a problem , or your business.

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Response to HERVEPA (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 01:37 PM

12. I agree with you, the baby will probably sleep through it.

and it is the bride's day, and whatever she wants is what should happen. Many infants are quiet.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #12)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 03:57 PM

17. See, this is one of the reasons I didn't want to attend in the first place.

Whatever the bride wants...she should, if she's been raised to consider other people,
be interested in creating tables where people have an opportunity to discover
other interesting people and conversations. Tables that are dominated by
baby baby baby conversation need to have people interested in baby baby baby
conversation at them.

I still think this is the bride's mother's idea...the SIL with whom I don't get along...
and it's an opportunity for the bride to think about how to create interesting tables
at a formal sit down dinner.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #17)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 05:53 PM

40. You should stay home

You aren't into the spirit of the wedding and looking for an argument. In our family we love babies and jostle around to BE NEAR the baby.

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Response to HERVEPA (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 07:42 PM

46. Yep, suck it up. It's only one night.

Jeez.

And to post about it in a semi-public forum like FaceBook?

WAYYYYY out of line.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 09:46 AM

4. I don't like wedding receptions

Family politics + booze = crap that people bring up for decades

I think writing the bride was a mistake. I agree with your viewpoint, but it's her day. I'd rely on the parents to step in when the baby acts up. You can't unwrite the letter. What's done is done. I'd also add that many people look at three-week olds as delightful conversation pieces, not impositions.

If I were you: I'd find family members/friends of the family you enjoy talking with, and find your way over to them as soon as possible and see how long you can chat them up without being noticed - and to Hell with the seating chart. Otherwise, agree in advance on a "respectable" timeframe after dinner, but before the end of the reception, to make an exit.

The bride's mom should be too busy with photographs and visiting tables to discuss politics or any other issues.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 10:10 AM

5. Even though I chose

no choice, I would have voted for choice #3 if it had been worded differently.

Without the "suck it up" at the end, I mean.


It's the bride's day. She'll have her wedding when and where she wants, and invite whom she wants and sit them where she wants, and that's it.

Which isn't to say your opinion/feelings aren't valid. I think they are.

But I do think it was wrong...which is probably not the correct word but the best I can do right now...to add pressure to her day.

Anyway, we nearly had a family disaster involving my oldest niece and her sister. My niece lives here in Mass but will be married in Florida August 25th. Her sister and brother-in-law will come in from New Mexico.

Well a few weeks ago my younger niece asked if she could bring (a previously uninvited) friend to the wedding as well. THEN she asked if the friend could bring her boyfriend.

This caused what could have been a horrible rift between them but they worked it out somehow. Personally, if I had been the "friend" and knew that two sisters were arguing on my account, I would have told the younger of my nieces to forget it. I don't know who thought of that brilliant plan in the first place...my younger niece, or her friend.

Weddings suck. That's why Mr Pipi and I went with only two friends as witnesses to a JP.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 10:41 AM

6. Since you’re planning to go the wedding only

for the sake of your family, don’t you think that your objecting to the baby – a family member too, and nephew of the bride, no less - being at your table defeats your reason for going?

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 10:49 AM

7. I am a known baby hog and babies love me so *I*

would be thrilled! However, I am sure I would be disappointed because said baby will not actually sit in the chair and will more than likely be held by someone more closely related (although I am known for holding other people's babies at weddings so the guests can eat and enjoy themselves.)

I would NOT have fb anyone about this. I find that to be very rude. IF I had such concern, I would have called. I think the seating arrangements are none of your business really, even though you might have been able to express some concern but only IF it became a concern at the actual event.

Now you've gone and added stress to an already stressful situation. You are going for family's sake not because you are extremely close to the bride so I don't think you should have any say so in the seating. And if I were you, I'd call and apologize. That's just my ten cents.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 12:06 PM

8. Not wrong to express your opinion

But unless you're throwing the wedding, you really have no say in who is invited or who attends, including a 3mo old baby.

Enjoy the wedding!

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Response to bigwillq (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 03:39 PM

16. Not 3 months--3 weeks old!

We actually took our 5 month old son (and his almost 4 year old brother) to a wedding once.
We brought a baby sitter. The sitter had to take the baby out of the ceremony when
he started fussing...and she stayed with him in the hotel room during the reception.
Our almost 4 year old attended the reception with us...and it was impossible to focus on
anything else other than keeping him entertained and somewhat quiet.

The bride was a former baby sitter for the 4 year old. She was very excited and happy
that we brought him...but as a guest...I don't think other guests were very appreciative.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #16)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 04:16 PM

19. No matter what the age

I still stand by my reply.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #16)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 05:56 PM

41. you're just digging a bigger hole

that last story was not a good add-on.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 12:19 PM

9. I wrote the bride as a fb message--no one else will see it.

She, however, posted on her wall--for everyone to see--that she was 'thinking'
about seating us at the table with the baby and baby's mother's family whom
we've never met. I took that as her raising a flag...giving me the opportunity
to say something because she knows I'm not a baby person.

The bride has 3 other adult brothers who will all be at the wedding. My 2 adult sons
will also be at the wedding. My guess is that the idea of seating
us there is her mother's. She could seat us with any other family.

Yes, lots of people think 3 week old babies are charming and often the conversation
is baby baby baby baby ad nauseum. Fine! Put someone at the table who LOVES
that concept and everyone is happy.




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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 09:02 PM

27. Her post is what, at least to me, makes your comment OK etiquette-wise.

If she was publicly feeling you out about table situation, I think that sending her a personal message was a polite way of answering her.

And yes, I agree, not everyone wants to spend the entire dinner talking babies...so it would be great if the bride would put the baby with people who would love it.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 01:31 PM

11. I think you did/wrote the correct thing. Some people are not bothered by a screaming, poopy baby...

...but at a formal sit-down ??
No, No, No
I believe it shows an extreme lack of consideration on the mother of the child.
She sounds like the type that brings their child to a movie....and then can't understand why people around her are pissed.

Ask if you can bring your dog. (They're usually not as noisy)

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 03:35 PM

15. It's as much about the presence of the baby (quiet or not) becoming the focus of the dinner table

conversation as anything.

The table is loaded with 6 people who are going to think/talk baby baby baby.
Even if the baby is quiet--and NO guarantee that will happen--the focus still becomes
baby stories of the last 3 weeks since the baby was born. It's just not conducive
to adult conversation at a FORMAL SIT DOWN DINNER.

At a park wedding? OK. At a backyard wedding? OK. At a church social hall
reception? OK.

NOT a formal sit down dinner evening wedding.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #15)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 04:23 PM

20. Very good points. nt

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #15)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 08:41 PM

25. Not to mention....

Babies and bowel movements are inescapable facts.

I can't think of anyone who would enjoy sitting next to (or within sniffing range) of a messy baby shit during a nice dinner.

Leave the babies and small children at home.


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Response to pipi_k (Reply #25)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 11:40 PM

30. Good grief! The baby poops, you change the diaper. Not rocket science.

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Response to HERVEPA (Reply #30)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 09:30 AM

35. That wasn't my point

My point is, you're sitting there enjoying a nice dinner and all of a sudden a cloud of babyshit stink from someone's kid overpowers the aroma of Stuffed Chicken Breast.

It's not your kid, so you don't change the diaper.

So what do you do? Wait till the parents notice it, or point out that you're about to vomit onto your plate because their kid has spewed mustard gas from his ass?

Some people can't even stand the smell of perfumes or colognes. I would imagine that the smell of shit in close proximity to their dinner is not their idea of a fun time.

I really don't understand people who think they can use their kids to be inconsiderate toward others.

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Response to pipi_k (Reply #25)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 07:48 PM

47. You should be glad you never had to sit next to my Auntie Mae....

She is a REAL party-pooper.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 01:51 PM

13. I never took my sons to formal,

night time weddings. Or any weddings, for that matter. It's really no place for a baby or a toddler. I have attended weddings where the invitation stated 'Please, no children'.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #13)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 06:11 PM

42. Please, no children?

We immediately decline the invitation. Weddings are for family and children are family. But we're Italian so we would never think of not having kids at weddings.

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Response to trixie (Reply #42)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 09:10 PM

52. That's actually what I was thinking too

I'm also from a big Italian family and I have wonderful memories of attending family weddings as a child. Also since there will be a lot of family from other states won't they want to see the new baby?

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 03:21 PM

14. this is another PERFECT example of how and why

facebook SUCKS

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Response to Kali (Reply #14)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 06:14 PM

43. So true!

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 04:02 PM

18. Here's the bride's response to my fb message (edited to omit names)

Glad you mentioned this to me. I hadn't really though about this myself, however I do know that (mother of baby's) Mom and mother's Grandmother are specifically coming to the wedding so that they can give extra care for the Baby and my brother and his wife will be able to enjoy themselves a little. As I am still working on the seating chart, I can easily put you and (Uncle....) with some other family (one nice thing about having a big family). I am trying to be accomodationg to everyone's needs for the evening so thank you for stepping up and saying something because I don't want anyone to be unhappy at the wedding, especially if I can help it!




So...I'm glad I said something. I would NOT have been happy to discover myself at that table for the dinner.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #18)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 04:29 PM

21. She handled that well.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #18)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 07:45 PM

24. That was a very gracious reply.

She sounds like a lovely young woman.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #18)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 08:47 PM

26. Becca sounds like a very mature & thoughtful woman

I think you're lucky that she's joining the family, frankly!

I probably would have not said anything to her - but that's just me. Weddings are incredibly stressful events, & brides have so much on their minds - so I'm very impressed that she took your message so well. Personally, I might not have, & I know plenty of "bridezillas" who wouldn't have, either. But looks like it'll work out .

FWIW, I understand your concerns. When my ex & I got married, we had a son already, who was 8 months old. We got a babysitter for him - he wasn't at our wedding or reception, due to concerns that you've raised, basically. And ours was not a formal celebration either, but we just didn't want the baby or the guests to feel uncomfortable.

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Response to kimi (Reply #26)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 08:54 PM

49. She's not joining the family--she IS my brother's only daughter and has 4 brothers.

I think people have missed part of the description.

The bride asked me in June to be a part of the ceremony by reading a poem that she selected
which has meaning for her--as a dancer--and meaning for me knowing that I gave up dance
when I was younger.

She has also asked me to loan her a bracelet for the "something borrowed" part of the bridal
tradition.

It's too late to 'not' go now. I have to suck it up and carry out the role.

It's doable. I'm an actor. But I'm ticked at putting myself in this position--for
not having another commitment (although this wedding has been planned for years)--
and standing my ground and not going.

All things considered, I'd rather be going to the beach.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 04:42 PM

22. Three week old wouldn't be too bad. Three months old, now...

Our 9-month old grandbaby lives with us, so the fussiness experiance is still fresh. Amelia wasn't very fussy at all until she was about six weeks old. At three weeks, she was sleeping most of the time. The majority of her noise until two months old were more of a "coo" or slightly loud "ahhwhanhhh" than actual screaming.
As long as the three week old gets fed beforehand, you probably won't even know he or she is there.

From about three months through about eight months, I'd probably look to getting a sitter for a formal meal. You never know when they'll get colicky or they will begin a teething cycle.

Haele

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 04:43 PM

23. If ya have a kid, stay the heck home and take care of it. BOTH do not HAVE to attend.

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Response to benld74 (Reply #23)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 09:04 AM

33. That is silly. A sibling gets married and someone has to miss it?

Because a baby might inconvenience some poor party guests.

DO we know anything about being members of families any more? A baby is not a fucking prison sentence.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #33)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 09:45 AM

37. Yeah, because heaven forbid

we should have a little bit of consideration for others.

We'll just do and say what we please, and fuck 'em all.


anyway, you're right...a baby isn't a prison sentence. It is, however, a helpless being totally dependent on its parents to make the best decisions for it.

See post #34 about risk of infection for babies

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 09:56 PM

28. I don't have an opinion on your response ..

however I have an opinion on asking if the baby can have a seat of its own at the reception. My daughter recently got married and people don't realize that the most expensive part of the reception, at least in her case, was the table settings. The chair covers were $5 plus $3 to have the caterer seat them and tie the bow correctly. Plus all the glassware, dishware, etc. for each individual chair. It really adds up.

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Response to LNM (Reply #28)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 09:00 AM

32. Cost is NOT an issue. It's going to be a big (250 guests or more) wedding

and my brother is more than able to handle the expense.

Although when I add up what it's costing us to go to the wedding--when I don't want to be there--
I almost think I should have written the bride/groom a check for what we'll spend and stayed home.
The only problem with that would be jealousy on the part of the bride's brothers--we didn't do
that for the two that have already gotten married and she has two other brothers who are single.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #32)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 06:18 PM

44. Don't go, really, really, don't go

You will be miserable and make everyone else miserable.

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Response to trixie (Reply #44)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 08:58 PM

50. Not going is not an option at this point. See # 49.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 10:00 PM

29. I wouldn't have been able to get a sitter for a baby at 3 weeks

If you're breastfeeding a baby that age, they almost certainly aren't able to take a bottle yet. And it was the groom's brother and his family? I think if it's "go to your brother's wedding" or "stay home because you have a tiny baby who isn't ready for a sitter," you probably take the baby to the reception and bring along reinforcements to help if the baby has trouble.

I should add that I'd just miss the wedding if it wasn't immediate family as in this case.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 08:57 AM

31. Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I answered my own poll

with "why the hell am I going anyway?"


I haven't wanted to go to this wedding for a lot of reasons--and I didn't go to the wedding
of the bride's brother who is bringing the baby--and when I saw that she was thinking of
seating me at the table with the baby and baby's mom's family--oh, boy...I was thinking I was
going to have to disappear to the bar and drink my dinner. That still might be an option.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 09:28 AM

34. A little research has yielded these tidbits about etiquette for formal weddings and babies


If you're throwing a formal evening wedding, most guests will expect the event to be adults only.

Read more: How to Specify an Adults Only Wedding | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4749981_specify-adults-only-wedding.html#ixzz21dmKxn5m

So, given that formal attire was requested on the invitation, I'm not wrong in being surprised that I would be seated
at a table with a 3 week old infant.




According to Brides.com, babies younger than two months old should not attend because of their increased risk for illness and infection.

In my day, I wouldn't have been traveling with a 3 week old baby, let alone considered bringing him to a wedding reception
with 250 other people. Apparently, it is still questionable for the health of the baby.

Read more: Wedding Etiquette for Babies | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6663304_wedding-etiquette-babies.html#ixzz21dlxMvop

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #34)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 09:39 AM

36. Thanks for sharing that...

it's good to know.

Of course, there will always be some who will scoff at the "rules" of etiquette, but what is etiquette but the means to keep the wheels of society moving in a smooth manner via consideration for others as human beings...

Consideration for others.

As well as this tidbit about a high risk of infection for tiny babies, whose immune systems aren't even fully developed yet.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #34)


Response to seaglass (Reply #38)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 08:59 PM

51. Not going is not an option at this point. See # 49.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 05:06 PM

39. 3 weeks is very young

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 06:23 PM

45. No One's asked the ALL IMPORTANT Question yet?

Is breast feeding involved?

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 08:29 PM

48. I wouldn't worry about it either way

Odds are they will either duck out early or the new mother will spend a good part of the evening, with the baby, in some side room somewhere.

The baby will sleep for the majority of the evening also.

Expressing your opinion is fine but you need to respect whatever they decide.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 06:13 AM

53. I had a very long talk with hubby last night about all this (he's a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst)

Last edited Thu Jul 26, 2012, 09:54 AM - Edit history (2)

and came to the conclusion that I am not going to let
myself get sucked into attending another family wedding as long
as my SIL will be there. I managed to get out of the last one--
but the fact this wedding has been scheduled for a very long time (over a year)
made it almost impossible to beg off.

I guess at 61 you can still have a learning experience. I broke off communication
with my SIL some years ago--a lot of history there--and I've known her for
over 40 years. I finally just had enough. She reminds me so much of my mother--
with whom I had a very difficult relationship
(she was very critical and abusive to me along with being opinionated and domineering). I just
refuse to be around her any more. My brother confided in me some years ago
that he was thinking of divorce, but feared his wife would turn the kids against
him--and he'd end up missing a relationship with his grown kids. There are two
reasons I decided to go in the first place: my brother wanted me to attend;
I wanted to remind my niece that she doesn't have to become her mother (I'm talking
physical appearance in that her mother is morbidly obese and her mother's family
are all significantly overweight). Remember, my niece is a dancer and she has struggled
with her weight in the last few years. There's a lot of family pressure to ignore healthy
eating and healthy lifestyle. Two years ago I embarked on a weight loss program myself
(which my SIL criticized as 'unrealistic') and dropped 40 lbs.

So, I will go--looking fabulous in my size 6 formal--and stay out of SIL's way as much
as possible (won't be easy since we're also attending the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner),
but be prepared for the back-handed barbs that I know will be coming. But, I'm not going
to subject myself to the stress of the situation again. It's just not worth it.

On edit: I am convinced that my niece put up a trial balloon on the table seating and that
it was her mother's (my SIL) idea. The baby and baby family will probably be seated at the edge of the dining area,
away from the band, and easy access to leaving the table for breast-feeding/changing. What better way
to neutralize a sexy, svelte relative than to put her where all attention will be on baby--at the edge of the room?
It's exactly the kind of thing my SIL would do: how could you not want to sit with the baby--but really an opportunity
for her to distance herself from someone who will make her uncomfortable? And then, of course, when the baby family
all leave the reception right after dinner, you're left sitting alone.

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