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’.