GIOVANNI FRANCESCO DA RIMINI - Le Mariage de la Vierge
Two years ago, when a co-worker was in the throes of being a first-time grandmother, she asked her son to invite his sister's toddler to his wedding. The son and his bride refused. My co-worker argued the point but the bride and groom's vision for their Saturday evening formal wedding did not include small children. The mother of the groom pouted and complained, and then came up with a solution: She brought the toddler to a casual morning-after brunch where due homage was paid by extended family and friends to an adorable child: a grandmother's pride, salvaged.
I was reminded of that episode by a letter to Philip Galanes at SocialQs. A grandmother was outraged that her husband's niece failed to invite his (and her) three pre-teen grandchildren to her wedding--a destination event at a popular resort. The grandmother writes that she had told the bride that she had rented a large home at the resort to accommodate her adult children (who were invited) and the grandchildren. Once again, the bride had her own vision of her wedding and said No to adding the children to the guest list. The grandmother wrote to Galanes to say she has refused to go to the wedding and has canceled the rental. Her husband, who is to officiate at the wedding, and her son would attend, but she would stay home. "We should have been told about the children [not being invited] much sooner," she wrote. "Thoughts?"
Galanes had plenty of them. "The din of your foot stomping and harrumphing has caused you to miscalculate: You are throwing away a lovely family vacation at a 'popular tourist destination'...in a fit of pique over your grandkids' exclusion from a rubber chicken dinner they probably wouldn't enjoy anyway."
Beyond that point, Galanes notes that "Brides have more on their minds than other people's grandchildren. And making an exception for yours would probably rub others guests with children the wrong way."
It's a reminder, once again, that we are not the star of events--weddings or other occasions our children plan. lWe can ask for a favor but adult children (or nephews and nieces) will have their own reasons to say yes or no. As they should.