Open Thread

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

3 Comments

  1. Emily

    Help. My brother is getting marrried and having an adult only reception. (They will be providing a couple of babysitters.) My husband and I live about 9-10 hours from the wedding venue. We are not comfortable having strangers babysit our children. Should we,
    1. Attend the ceremony with our kids (kids are allowed at the church and their cousins are in the ceremony) but not the reception. Another sibling is not comfortable with the babysitter arrangement either and they live 2-3 hours away from the venue, so I thought that our 2 families could have dinner together after the nuptuals.
    2. My husband and I fly down for the night, and leave the kids at home with in-laws. (My least favorite option because my kids miss out on yet another family event because of our proximity.)
    3. Not attend at all and put all of the money we would save on travel into the wedding gift. (Too passive-aggressive?)
    I really am torn about the most appropriate/senseable solution without ruffling too many feathers.

    • Elizabeth

      The bottom line is that you have to do whatever you are most comfortable with. I realize that the ceremony is truly the most important aspect of the wedding day, but if you choose to leave with another family, you will be depriving yourself and your husband of a chance to socialize and renew family bonds that can only occur while breaking bread. Your brother is entitled to an adults-only reception, and it sounds like he’s doing everything he can by arranging for babysitters. Can you speak with the babysitters in advance to get comfortable with them? Will the sitting be available on-site (at the reception venue) so you can check in with them over the course of an evening? Could you hire your own babysitter (from a more trusted and reputable agency, or a friend of a friend who lives in that city) to watch your kids in the hotel room while you attend the reception? Would an in-law (or one of their regular babysitters) be willing to travel with you to provide baby sitting? Personally, I think the kids might all have a lot of fun together (and have a memorable bonding experience) at their separate “kid’s party,” assuming there are responsible adults watching them.

      If not, I think options 2 and 3 are better than 1. Your brother will consider it a snub (and you paranoid) if you and cousin’s family go out to eat instead of attending their reception. It’s better for you to attend the whole event or simply not attend. Since the travel is so far and onerous, it (from my point of view) doesn’t seem worth it to just witness the ceremony and have little or no other time to spend with your brother. Personally, I would go with option 2, since kids don’t love sitting through wedding ceremonies anyway, and a wedding ceremony is not the best place for them to catch up with family. You can always bring them out another time for a more relaxed family reunion.

      This is just my two cents. I’m sure other people (especially parents) will have other perspectives.

    • Alicia

      Option 2. Absolutely not option 1 which is the worst. Kids are not invited so not missing out due to proximity missing out because not invited. To bring the kids to a wedding where not invited and then to snub the reception because you are unwilling to leave the kids with the vetted babysitters is a huge snub. So either you and husband accept invite leaving kids with someone you trust or the vetted babysitters, or you decline invite.
      Kids will not enjoy or really get much family time out of a wedding ceremony anyway so they are missing out and will have a better time at home with in laws.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *