Kids not invited to wedding, need advice

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lady_katie
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04 Oct 2017, 4:36 pm

Hi there, I need some advice regarding a wedding invitation, and I have absolutely no idea who to ask. My old college roommate (from 10 years ago) is getting married, and she invited my husband and I to the wedding. Our two children, who both have autism, were not invited. The wedding is 3 hours away, and it is on a Monday afternoon. We do not have overnight childcare, or any childcare situation that I can think of that would allow us to both attend the wedding together. That means that my only real option is to drive 3 hours, attend alone, and then stay alone overnight in a hotel. I really, really do not want to do that. I'm hesitant to decline the invitation, however, because the bride was in my wedding party when I got married a few years after we graduated. I feel like the least I could do is attend her wedding after she was one of my bridesmaids. And it's not that I don't want to attend - I would love to see her get married, it is just so awfully difficult for me to do so. I guess I am just wondering if she would be horribly offended if I said that I couldn't make it, or how much difficulty one is expected to go through to attend a wedding in this scenario. If it makes a difference, we haven't really spoken in years, and we are not close anymore.

Any honest advice would be appreciated. I really wish that I was not in this position, and I was SO hoping that the kids names would be on the invitation (as difficult as bringing them to a wedding would be), but they weren't :( Thanks!



ASDMommyASDKid
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04 Oct 2017, 5:00 pm

If you are not that close, it is possible that is it is an invitation of obligation, which means she is inviting you b/c she was in your wedding but does not care if you go. If this is the case, you have an easy out.

The other thing, being honest, is that is that a lot of people do not want kids at their weddings, especially kids to whom they are not close. Is she in that camp? I have no idea. She is less likely to want autistic kids at her wedding, especially if that is the case, because even if yours are well-behaved, many are not -- and there is a reputation of that out there. Also, if it is an invitation of obligation she definitely does not want to pay for them to be there.

Then just to add to the confusion, there is always the category of person who expects everyone to move heaven and earth to go to their wedding b/c it is the most important thing in the history of the world.

Generally, etiquette will cover you either way. If you really want to go,RSVP as a "yes" and go without your kids. If you don't and/or it is too much of an undertaking, RSVP with a "no," and your regrets, and you can send a nice card/gift if you are inclined.

If you were closer to her, I would say maybe send her a text or dm or call and ask if there are child care options she knows of near her. (This way it does not sound like you are trying to get your kids invited,but if she really, really cares, she can ask questions and maybe help you with a solution) -- but I don't know if this makes sense to do, given your current relationship.

Yeah--I know, not a lot of help and also FYI -- most of this is stuff I have learned from reading way too many advice columns, trying to figure NTs out.



traven
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05 Oct 2017, 1:16 am

i wouldn't go - if you don't have to go, really, why would you?

last wedding i was at, after church, no it was townhall doing weddings in a chapel, everybody went to dine, we were stopped at the door, apparently some (few) people were not supposed to dine, while waiting for a while on a windy corner with two toddlers, we decided to go home and give the rest of the day the middlefinger

no one will miss you anyway, too busy a day for that



DW_a_mom
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06 Oct 2017, 2:09 pm

The situation is unfortunate, but honesty usually works for me. Explain to her that you cannot leave the kids because they are special needs. Will she understand when you tell her? Probably not. But she may finally get it years down the road after she has her own kids. Or she may not. I was one of those brides who didn't know how hard I was making it for my guests, and I feel bad about it now. You can't control how she will react; only what you choose to say.

This is probably worth a personal phone call. Let her know how torn it all makes you feel. You will know how badly she wants you there by how eager she is to help you find a solution. I couldn't have kids at my wedding because of a strict guest count zoning limit, but I was able to make a deal with one friend who personally called me about their infant; we gave the infant the first declined invitation. Or, if she suggests you come by yourself, that might be the incentive you need to choose that option.

Whatever you decide to do, be gentle. Brides tend to be stressed out, as you may recall, and easily upset. But they do often get their heads straightened out later.


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BTDT
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06 Oct 2017, 3:02 pm

There are lots of reasons for not inviting kids, including a tight budget that doesn't allow for that.



catmiao
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06 Oct 2017, 4:02 pm

Sorry and I understand how you feel.

I second what others have said, many people do not like to invite kids to their weddings. Although indeed this is inconvenient, the day is for the wedding couple. (kids just can add too much uncertainty so I won't blame them)

We attended my other half's brother's wedding earlier this year, no kids invited either (we have two). It was a destination wedding so it was far. We spent over 1k on the babysitter alone. But to be honest it was a breeze without the kids haha.

If finding a babysitter is not an option for you, explain to your friend. I believe she would understand. I wouldn't be offended if I were her. I think most people understand how busy life could be with kids, let alone autistic kids. (I couldn't imagine before I met my guy)

Wish you the best to sort this out :)



pddtwinmom
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07 Oct 2017, 8:03 am

Snarky sidenote: why don't you want to go alone and stay in a hotel? That sounds like heaven to me! A night alone to watch TV and relax with no kids??? I'd be running to that event. Lol!



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10 Oct 2017, 4:49 pm

Are you an important part of each others' lives now??

Is she someone you call when you're lonely, or have great news to share, or you need to talk about a problem??

Or have you "definitely drifted apart" over the years??

If she's still a close friend and it's emotionally important to you to go (as distinct from "I feel obligated"), go, at least unless it's going to be a major major major logistical hardship for your partner or financial hardship for the family. Go, and DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. You've got a long road maintaining marriage, raising a pair of ASD kids, generally living life. Self-care isn't selfish; it's a survival skill.

I would go to my best friend's wedding (4 hours away), kids welcome or no, almost regardless of what I had to do to get there (literally short of endangering our well-being or our marriage). Because he's the one, other than my husband, that's there for me when my s**t is hitting the fan and when things are excellent.

If you're that close, she's close enough to call and talk to about your concerns and how important it is to her that you attend. If you can't do that, believe me, however tight you were in college, she's not that close any more.

If she's not?? This isn't something you're looking forward to. It's a logistical issue. Decline the invitation, with your apologies, and send a nice present if you really feel obligated.

The only caveat I would add to that is-- I've been legally married for 16 years, married in fact for 19 years as of like this week. We have 4 kids. None of them are more than "special needs lite" (have a DS10 with mild ADHD and a DD5 with probable mild apraxia and possible very mild autism, and a perfectly NT DD8 who is frankly a flaming brat). I'm dutiful. I love my husband, I love my kids, I love doing the family/mom thing as much as any sane and honest person. If I had my husband's blessing and his mother wasn't doing poorly at the time, I would JUMP at the chance to choose the station and set the volume on the radio for 6 hours, spend time "being grown-up with grown-ups," and then have a bed (and a TV or a book) to myself for a whole night in my softest, most bleach-stained, most beloved sweatpants and t-shirt. I would find a convenience store and blow $15 on soda pop and chips and dip and maybe even candy and eat it all and read 150 pages of whatever book I've been dreaming about...

...and then I would come home a do laundry and wash dishes and defuse meltdowns and all the rest of it with a little bit of a fresh wind.


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lady_katie
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12 Oct 2017, 6:09 pm

Thank you for all of the advice everyone - it looks like this situation is going to work out! I was honest with my friend and explained the situation to her. I told her how badly I felt about it, and she responded by telling me that it was alright with her if we brought the kids :D I assured her that my husband would keep them far, far away from the ceremony, so she doesn't have to worry about any disruptions. This is such a relief. Thanks again!



DW_a_mom
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12 Oct 2017, 7:45 pm

I am so glad! Thanks for updating us!


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