Wednesday, May 5, 2010

WEDDING BELL BLUES: THE HALF-BAKED INVITATION

Wedding season is here again and so is the drama that surrounds it.

A friend of ours, we’ll call him Peter, was informed by his brother that two of Peter’s three children could come to his son’s wedding reception because they were over thirteen, the youngest, eleven years old, could not. “My brother called me two weeks before the invitations were sent out even though he knew about the age issue for several months. The invitation was addressed to four out of the five family members.” So what to do with the eleven year old? Peter decided to attend only the ceremony with his wife and children."

Peter and his brother have a sister. Her two daughters are in the wedding party but because of their ages, they too weren’t invited to the reception. “My sister had already bought the dresses for the girls, had she known sooner, she wouldn’t have gone through the expense of having her daughters in the wedding party.

“So, Dad,” asked Peter’s 16 year old, “the kids in the wedding are basically going there to work?”

Let’s digress for a moment. In Italy, and perhaps in other countries, some guests are invited only to the church and others are invited to both the ceremony and reception. Invitations are sent to both sets of guests and it’s perfectly acceptable.

Back to Peter’s situation, we’re in New Jersey at a country club and we don’t have to do as the Romans do, we couldn’t because the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception are all in one place. You can go in that room, but don’t come in this room or you just have to go home.

After some back and forth discussions, an invitation was extended to Peter and his family to stay at least for the cocktail hour. While the gesture was appreciated, Peter figured that since the ceremony starts at five, he’d rather leave, drive back to Connecticut and have a nice dinner at home. (We hope the kids under thirteen in this family won’t develop inferiority complexes or fear of wedding invitations.)

We think Peter is doing the right thing by going to the ceremony and his decision to skip cocktail hour is sensible thinking.
We wished his brother had told his siblings sooner about the age limit.
We think Peter’s sister’s daughters should be invited to the entire wedding. (If not, what a waste of their pretty little dresses.)
We understand the expense of weddings but we understand the importance of family, it’s priceless.

Maybe his brother should have listened to Sinatra when he sang, ‘All or Nothing At All’.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely priceless. Great job.

You are great.

Divamom-Act II said...

Where does common sense factor into this scenario? If the kids are well behaved enough to participate and attend the ceremony, don't you think they could handle the reception-they're not just any children, they are family. What you do for one, you must do for all. That was manufactured drama-totally not necessary.

Tecia said...

I love this post and agree totally with the remarks of the previous commenter. I feel this issue stems from the fact that most children today are not taught social graces that would make them a pleasure to have at a celebration such as this. We have become a culture that relegates children to the place where being indulged with every electronic device under the sun gets in the way of them knowing how to engage in the events that are part of the celebration & enjoyment of everyday life.

Tecia said...

I love this post & totally agree with the previous commentator.
I feel the root of this issure lies with the fact that children today are often not taught the social graces that make them a pleasure to have at such an event. We have become a culture that relegates children to a place where indulging them with every electronic device under the sun keeps them from really participating in family events that are part of the celebration & enjoyment of life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Yvette and Yvonne! 
> Loved this week's post! I finally saw the spot on

Anonymous said...

read the blog. If I were "Peter," I'd just save the use of fossil fuel
and stay at home with my family

Anonymous said...

Hi Yvette and Yvonne!
> Loved this week's post! I finally saw the spot

Aviva said...

Wow. Good for Peter for not taking offense and yet honoring the fact that it's inappropriate to invite some kids in a family and not all.

Personally, when I got married, I invited families. Some chose not to bring their children, some did. All were welcome at both ceremony and reception.

I did have to have my arm twisted a little to include my then-12-year-old niece as a bridesmaid. (I'd already asked three, including my sister, and felt like that was already too many for a 35-year-old bride.)

I remain convinced that having a 4-month-old in a gorgeous white dress and lacy tights, as well as all the other kids, was a highlight of my wedding.

I understand adult-only weddings, at least somewhat, and I respect people's choice to have them. But arbitrary age cutoffs -- for immediate family and wedding party members? That's just rude. IMHO, of course. :-)

Miss H said...

When I got married, my fiance and I wanted to exclude one particular demon child so we sent word thqat the only children inbvited to the wedding wereb those in the wedding party, with our regrets. Alas, the only person who ignored the invitation was the father of the demon child. 4 ye4ars old this kid, and at the reception he managed to a) pick up a cigarette and light it; b) grab my breast during the reception line; c) terrorize my nephew the ring-bearer; and d)lose his trousers and his underwear and run around the reception wagging his wiener at everyone. Oh, he also managed to open many of the individual chocolate boxes and take a bite out of each one. Poor kid was effed up and I felt for him and whatever it was that made him a sociopathic Satan changeling. In retrospect, inviting all the children would have been better as he'd at least be outnumbered by children who weren't completely inappropriate.