Q: We are planning a wedding in February. We are the bride’s parents and have all the plans completed for the reception. The groom’s parents have requested that during the reception the grooms’ fathers’ sister have a birthday cake brought out and have everyone sing to her. It is her 50th birthday. This is a wedding with 350 guests most of whom do not know the groom’s aunt. The evening is full with all the bridal traditions-toasts, cake cutting, garter toss bouquet toss, etc. We have suggested presenting the cake at the rehearsal dinner the night before and have the band sing happy birthday at the reception. The bride and groom also would like for it to be done this way. The groom’s parents are now very upset with all of us. Please tell me if we are incorrect in assuming that it is the bride and grooms night and not a 50th birthday party celebration.
A: You are not incorrect. Although it’s the groom’s aunt’s 50th birthday, a milestone, she will hopefully have many more birthdays. In contrast, hopefully, this is the couple’s only wedding. Therefore, it would be more appropriate for as you suggested that her birthday be acknowledged at the rehearsal dinner where it is more likely the guests have a relationship with her. It is unreasonable for the groom’s parents to expect the couple to share the “spotlight” with the groom’s aunt. Furthermore, as the hosts of the reception, it is ultimately your choice whether or not to acknowledge the aunt’s birthday at the reception.
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