Jump to content

Menu

Is it reasonable to want to have a child's birthday party the day before a wedding?


Recommended Posts

Let's say someone is getting married to a lovely woman with a wonderful 7yo son.

 

Let's say that person's sister is coming from another state for the wedding. She will be in town for two full weeks.

 

Out-of-state Sister's son's birthday is the day before the wedding (9yo). Sister thinks it's important to celebrate the birthday ON the ACTUAL day of the birthday. Sister says it can be kept simple, but can the family please do a little something for her son ON his ACTUAL birthday? She envisions cake and games after school that day. Or, if there is no rehearsal dinner (something no one knows just yet) perhaps a party can be had in the early evening?

 

Older, bossier sister quietly expresses concern for how busy that day will be not only for the bride and groom, but also for the other family members who will naturally be involved with the wedding. Older sister is concerned for how crazed and stressful it will be to have a party the day before the wedding. Out-of-town sister feels hurt at older sister's concerns.

 

So--are out-of-town sister's hopes for a party reasonable? Should older, bossier sister just shut up about it? Older Bossier Sister doesn't want to hurt anyone and wishes she'd kept her trap shut even though she tried so hard to be sweet about it.

 

ETA FURTHER CLARIFICATION--No one objects to singing to the birthday boy or making him feel special on his special day. No one objects to having a party on any other day of Out-of-Town Sister's visit. The objection is to a PARTY on the day before the wedding.

 

Guests would be the bride and groom's son, Older Bossy Sister's two kids (one in particular being key to birthday boy's fun), Other Younger Sister's three kids (Other Younger Sister is also a bridesmaid in the wedding), and possibly five extra cousins.

 

All of the invitees live 45 minutes from each other in different directions. The proposed venue for the party is Other Younger Sister's house, which is a solid hour or more from the wedding site. I personally do not know the bride well so have no idea if there will be a rehearsal dinner or the bride's family culture or bride's organizational abilities.

 

Out-of-State Sister's plan is for Other Younger Sister to pick up her own kids and the Bride's kid from school, and then all the kids meet at Other Younger Sister's house for games and cake, "just for a little while."

 

Older Bossy Sister is more than willing to throw as big a party as necessary at her own expense and in her own home or anywhere else Out-of-State Sister wants. Older Bossy Sister loves her nephew, wants to lavish him with attention, and has no objection to a great party. Nor does Older Bossy Sister object to smaller measures to make her nephew feel special on his birthday. Older Bossy Sister is just concerned about an actual party, however short, on the day before the wedding, especially since said party will involve one Bridesmaid (Other Younger Sister) and kids as well as the Bride's son. Logistically it seems difficult at best.

Edited by strider
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's say someone is getting married to a lovely woman with a wonderful 7yo son.

 

Let's say that person's sister is coming from another state for the wedding. She will be in town for two full weeks.

 

Out-of-state Sister's son's birthday is the day before the wedding (9yo). Sister thinks it's important to celebrate the birthday ON the ACTUAL day of the birthday. Sister says it can be kept simple, but can the family please do a little something for her son ON his ACTUAL birthday? She envisions cake and games after school that day. Or, if there is no rehearsal dinner (something no one knows just yet) perhaps a party can be had in the early evening?

 

Older, bossier sister quietly expresses concern for how busy that day will be not only for the bride and groom, but also for the other family members who will naturally be involved with the wedding. Older sister is concerned for how crazed and stressful it will be to have a party the day before the wedding. Out-of-town sister feels hurt at older sister's concerns.

 

So--are out-of-town sister's hopes for a party reasonable? Should older, bossier sister just shut up about it? Older Bossier Sister doesn't want to hurt anyone and wishes she'd kept her trap shut even though she tried so hard to be sweet about it.

I agree with Older Bossier Sister.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just in a wedding this past Sunday. The entire weekend was very hectic.

 

I think it is unreasonable for the sister with a son to expect a birthday party. If she is not engaged in pre-wedding activities she should do something special with her son. Why not have a party before the visit or after the wedding?

 

We always acknowledge our boys' birthdays on the actual day with a small gift and a special meal of their choice (something low key). The fun stuff is at their birthday party which is usually on a weekend day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can it just be the immediate family of the 9 year old? So don't invite the bossy older sister, or the cousins, etc. I would also not insist it be the 'day of the birthday'. If having it a day early makes life easier for everyone, then move it one day.

 

Also I can't imagine they couldn't spare an hour for a party the day before the wedding.

 

I don't remember any weddings where the bridal party had that much to do the day before the wedding. Is it going to be one of these over the top affairs? Has the bride given people 'jobs' to do? Is the bride insecure and feels it would ruin her special day?

 

So much depends on the personalities involved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Parent(s) of the child should acknowledge the birthday with a cake and (if time allows) a fun activity, but the extended family should not feel obligated to participate. If there is a rehearsal dinner, cake for the birthday boy would be a nice gesture.

 

A small party the day after the wedding would be less stressful for everyone, I think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The acknowlegement of the boy's birthday doesn't have to be a big deal, does it? Can it be something simple like a special meal of the boy's choosing, and everyone eat cake in the evening while he opens a couple of presents? Is that really such a big deal that people can't tear themselves away from wedding stuff to eat a piece of cake and watch him open presents for 10 minutes? I think it would hurt his feelings if his birthday went totally unacknowleged.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest submarines
Can it just be the immediate family of the 9 year old? So don't invite the bossy older sister, or the cousins, etc. I would also not insist it be the 'day of the birthday'. If having it a day early makes life easier for everyone, then move it one day.

 

Also I can't imagine they couldn't spare an hour for a party the day before the wedding.

 

I don't remember any weddings where the bridal party had that much to do the day before the wedding. Is it going to be one of these over the top affairs? Has the bride given people 'jobs' to do? Is the bride insecure and feels it would ruin her special day?

 

So much depends on the personalities involved.

 

:iagree:A small celebration might be really important to the out of town sister and her child. How much time would a birthday celebration take anyway? Not much. Of course I'm imagining something family-centered and simple.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At 9? The actual day is of huge importance. A small celebration should be held for him at some point during the day. A meal, cake, and a little gift opening is plenty; but it is my nsho is that a kid should have family singing the happy birthday song at some point in recognition of his life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's unreasonable at all to expect to do something small for the birthday boy the day before the wedding. Younger sis and her family are traveling to be a part of older sis's day and I don't really get why it would be a big problem to acknowledge the boy's birthday. If I were the bride, I would make sure something was done for my nephew.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Parent(s) of the child should acknowledge the birthday .

 

 

.

A small party the day after the wedding would be less stressful for everyone, I think.

 

Kid's mom can swing by the bakery, get kid a cupcake, wish him a happy day. Maybe give him a present. Have a nice lunch with cake/presents on Sunday. Younger sister should listen to older sister. ( I can't believe you made me say that!!!!!!!! Of course, we weren't talking about MY older sister. :lol: )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a cake during lunch or dinner the day before (even during the rehearsal dinner if there is one) would be fine, but a party is asking too much. Of course, we usually don't do anything for birthdays, so I may be biased. :D And if we do something when gradnparents insist, it is on the closest Sunday and not the actual day anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started young that the actual day may not be the day of the party. So much so that youngest didn't think his age changed until his party. Birthday person always gets to decide dinner on the day.

 

If younger sis is out of town and expecting things to be done for her, then no party. If younger sis is coming from out of town and is doing it all and wants people to show up, maybe.

 

I agree that the best plan would be a small thing for the immediate family and/or a cake at the rehearsal dinner. I think others may be caught up in other things the day of. I wouldn't expect anything to be done on the day of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If out of town sister's family has a tradition of needing to celebrate on the actual day, then it could be a big issue for the 9 year old. You are dealing with their family's culture versus older sister's family's culture--kind of like the conflict that can happen between newlywed's, but in this case a 9 year old's feelings may be involved, not two adults' feelings.

 

I would accommodate something simple. It's not that big a deal. It could be a bit of an "open house" so that other family members could come as their schedule suits.

 

I don't know why the rest of the family needs to be busy the day before the wedding, unless that is family culture, too. :tongue_smilie: I don't recall anyone in my family doing anything for me on the day before my wedding except attending the rehearsal dinner. I don't recall ever attending a rehearsal dinner as a family member when I had had to do anything other than get dressed for the rehearsal/dinner.

 

I think older sister should just say she didn't understand because in her family it would not have been a big deal to celebrate on a different day, but now that she understands that, of course she'd be thrilled to attend something simple for her nephew.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At 9? The actual day is of huge importance. A small celebration should be held for him at some point during the day. A meal, cake, and a little gift opening is plenty; but it is my nsho is that a kid should have family singing the happy birthday song at some point in recognition of his life.

 

 

I agree. At age 9, a small celebration is appropriate. It doesn't have to be a huge shindig, just an acknowledgement to the child that in the middle of the wedding craziness, he's still remembered and appreciated. :)

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At 9? The actual day is of huge importance. A small celebration should be held for him at some point during the day. A meal, cake, and a little gift opening is plenty; but it is my nsho is that a kid should have family singing the happy birthday song at some point in recognition of his life.

 

:iagree: It would take so little time from the family but mean very, very much to the boy. Sorry to "Older Sister" but I think it would be right to give a child a few minutes of recognition. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At that age I think it would be hurtful not to do something. I think she is thinking about her son's feelings. I'm a little confused about bossier older sister. Isn't this her nephew? If any of my nieces or nephews were coming into town and it was their birthday, I would want to do something special for it (it doesn't have to be gigantic). I don't care what else was going on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agreed with others that it's totally reasonable to do *something.* Not doing something would be a slight to the kid, IMO.

 

If there's not a rehearsal dinner that day, wouldn't it actually be a service to everyone if their kids were all whisked away in the afternoon or evening for a couple of hours of running around or playing board games and eating cake?

 

Of course, with everyone up in the air, I think the out-of-state sister should probably say something like, "We're pretty set on doing something to recognize ds turning 9. That's important to him. We'd love if we can fit something in with family in the afternoon, of course. Maybe even by getting the kids out of everyone's hair. But if not, we understand. However, if that's the case, we won't be able to be around for wedding preparations and events for a chunk of the day so we can have some time with ds."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BIL got married ON DDs birthday . . . in Vegas. DD was IN the wedding. They had a birthday cake for her at the wedding party's table. It was very sweet.

 

HOWEVER, a party the day before a family wedding is INSANE if you expect the wedding guests to participate. Little Sis needs to get over herself. Take son for a family night out the night before (if you can't slip a cake into the rehearsal dinner without taking over the event). It's OK for Junior to learn that there are other people and that wedding trumps birthday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to clarify why I stated what I did. I got the impression from the OP that out-of-state sister wanted to throw a party for her son. If that is the case, then I still stand by the older sister. A last minute, in the middle of wedding prep, birthday party is inappropriate and appears as though one is trying to take attention away from the bride and groom and seek attention (even though I'm sure the mom of the boy isn't thinking this way). I also imagine that it may bother the other relatives who may have had other plans and not wish to feel obligated or guilty for not being there. I just see it as potential for friction.

 

I agree that some recognition should be given to the child. Mom can take the child out to lunch or breakfast. Mom can give the child a small gift with more to come when back home with the rest of the immediate family. But, the child is nine years old and it's a good thing to teach him to understand the circumstances and be gracious to others due to those occasional circumstances. I don't believe children are traumatized by putting off an actual party, especially if it is explained to them and they realise that Mom hasn't forgotten and loves them (and even does something small).

 

I also think it would be nice to have a small birthday cake at the rehearsal dinner, as long as big sister is in agreement (and I would hope she would be...it would be a nice gesture to her nephew...but it would be rude for mom to try and push it onto the bride).

 

This is just my opinion. Yes, I've had to do this to a couple of my kids before (but then, we were never the "party" type people...it was always the birthday person chooses supper and we have brownies or cake). One specific instance I remember is when the towers fell on my daughter's birthday. We moved her celebration to the weekend and she was younger than nine. She understood, we wished her a happy birthday, and we had fun a few days later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hm, I must be in a low key part of the universe. :D All of the weddings in which I have been involved (including my own) weren't these hectic, chaotic, crazy events where everyone was running around non-stop the day before. With mine and with my sisters, relatives came in from out of state and the rehearsal dinner was more like a family reunion between the two soon to be tied families. Having a cake and gifts for one of the dc would have been simple. Maybe I am missing something, but is there some sort of expectation on the part of the younger sis that everyone is going to spend 3 hours at Chuck E Cheese the night before the wedding?? Including a cake, singing, and a few gifts seems so simple to me. I guess I don't understand the fuss. If we are talking about renting a hall, decorating, and catering food, that seems way out of line. But I wasn't getting the impression the younger sis was looking for a big deal, just a little acknowledgement.

 

I hope something gets worked out that leaves everyone feeling special, with no hard feelings, and no melt downs of stress over a birthday. (Just what every 9 year old wants - people fighting over having to acknowledge his birthday. :( )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My whole family was busy the day before my wedding. Dh's whole family was busy the day before his sister's wedding. We are wedding DIYers, so there is lots to do as the family of the bride on the day before a wedding (food prep, decorating, etc.). I hope to afford wedding planners with my dds. :tongue_smilie:

 

I stick with what I said earlier about the child's parents/siblings doing something special, but it might be impossible to get the extended family together. My children know that sometimes birthday celebrations have to get moved. We always have parties on a Saturday. We do a special dinner on the actual birthday. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:D:D:D I've GOT it!!! Little Sis schleps all over town, loads the family children into the mini-van, and hauls them all off to Chucky Cheese for a celebration while the rest of the adults scramble with last minute wedding prep. She then returns the little guests to their home. Her son gets a party and nobody looses those last hours that were set aside for picking up flowers, tuxes, panty hose, Aunt Susy at the airport, etc. It's win-win! :D:D:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a party is out of the question, but I would bring a cake along to brunch or lunch with a few presents. Have cake and sing Happy Birthday after lunch and he could open his gifts and it would be no more than a 15 minute slice out of the day.

 

Insisting that everyone is there is also out of the question; just have a modest celebration with whomever is present. "Hey, it's _________'s birthday today. Let's sing and have some cake! ________, here's your present from Dad and me."

 

That said, if it were MY younger sister who was convinced her son would be hurt otherwise, I would try to juggle it with the rest of the busy schedule, show up with a small present and have a nice time for my nephew's sake. :) (And then politely excuse myself shortly after to wedding duties.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:D:D:D I've GOT it!!! Little Sis schleps all over town, loads the family children into the mini-van, and hauls them all off to Chucky Cheese for a celebration while the rest of the adults scramble with last minute wedding prep. She then returns the little guests to their home. Her son gets a party and nobody looses those last hours that were set aside for picking up flowers, tuxes, panty hose, Aunt Susy at the airport, etc. It's win-win! :D:D:D

 

:lol: I love your plan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with Older Sister on this one. Asking for a party on the day before the wedding is too much.

 

My wedding was not a big affair but I don't think I had any down time the two days before the wedding. I do remember getting up at 5 the day before my wedding, going to bed at 1 and getting up again around 5:30 am in order to make sure that everything was set up for a 1 PM ceremony. I don't even think I ate lunch the day before my wedding because I was so swamped. I would gladly had a small cake at my rehearsal dinner for a nephew's actual day, but that would be the extent of the time that I had. As it was I didn't get everything done.

 

In a similar vein, we flew in town for my cousin's wedding two years ago and aside from the 90 minutes that my uncle hosted a rehearsal dinner the whole family was busy decorating the church, getting nails done, double checking with vendors, picking up tuxes, folding invitations--definitely no extra time for my aunt and uncle to spend with us so we went to the natural history museum instead. I was able to catch up with my extended family AFTER the ceremony. Spend time with your son as the immediate family--maybe invite grandmaand grandpa for a special breakfast--but don't expect more especially from the bride and her son.

Edited by ChristineW
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A last minute, in the middle of wedding prep, birthday party is inappropriate and appears as though one is trying to take attention away from the bride and groom and seek attention (even though I'm sure the mom of the boy isn't thinking this way). I also imagine that it may bother the other relatives who may have had other plans and not wish to feel obligated or guilty for not being there.

 

I get that a wedding is supposed to be about the bride and groom, but would even an awful Bridezilla begrudge a 9 y.o. a little attention on his birthday? :confused: It's not fair to penalize the child for having the bad form to have his birthdate on the day before the wedding. If relatives were in town for a different event, it wouldn't be seen as attention-seeking to hold a birthday party. Anyone with prior committments can just say, "So sorry, we can't make it because..." and tell the kid Happy Birthday when they see him.

 

Maybe we're all talking apples and oranges, though. I'm picturing our kind of family birthday party: A cake, a present or two from Mom and Dad, maybe a birthday balloon, Happy Birthday to You, blow out candles, anyone who wants to celebrate with us can join us at the pizza place, we're springing for the pizza. I do think an all-out clowns and ponies and everyone bring a gift, several-hour party would be a strain on everyone's time and energy.

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get that a wedding is supposed to be about the bride and groom, but would even an awful Bridezilla begrudge a 9 y.o. a little attention on his birthday? :confused: It's not fair to penalize the child for having the bad form to have his birthdate on the day before the wedding. If relatives were in town for a different event, it wouldn't be seen as attention-seeking to hold a birthday party. Anyone with prior committments can just say, "So sorry, we can't make it because..." and tell the kid Happy Birthday when they see him.

 

Maybe we're all talking apples and oranges, though. I'm picturing our kind of family birthday party: A cake, a present or two from Mom and Dad, maybe a birthday balloon, Happy Birthday to You, blow out candles, anyone who wants to celebrate with us can join us at the pizza place, we're springing for the pizza. I do think an all-out clowns and ponies and everyone bring a gift, several-hour party would be a strain on everyone's time and energy.

 

Cat

 

Yes, maybe this is the disconnect. Our parties are always simple, with the exception of a few biggies like 1, 5, 13, 16...(that's as far as we've gotten). I guess it depends on what some people mean by "birthday party." :tongue_smilie:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Older Bossy Sister is more than willing to throw as big a party as necessary at her own expense and in her own home or anywhere else Out-of-State Sister wants. Older Bossy Sister loves her nephew, wants to lavish him with attention, and has no objection to a great party. Nor does Older Bossy Sister object to smaller measures to make her nephew feel special on his birthday. Older Bossy Sister is just concerned about an actual party, however short, on the day before the wedding, especially since said party will involve one Bridesmaid (Other Younger Sister) and kids as well as the Bride's son. Logistically it seems difficult at best.

 

Well, then, if we're talking a real full-on Party with games and presents and a capital P, I am doing an about-face. I think Older Sister sounds perfectly reasonable. (And not too Bossy, either.) Many kids have a immediate family do on the actual day and a Birthday Party on another day, without a wedding thrown into the mix. My poor ds is 11 tomorrow, and will have to wait 2-1/2 weeks for his Birthday Outing, and he's only got to deal with Thanksgiving.

 

I do like the idea of Out of State sis taking all the kids for a while, though, if it helps everyone get the kids out of their hair for a while.

 

Weddings make people crazy. ;) and :grouphug:

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ETA FURTHER CLARIFICATION--No one objects to singing to the birthday boy or making him feel special on his special day. No one objects to having a party on any other day of Out-of-Town Sister's visit. The objection is to a PARTY on the day before the wedding.

 

Guests would be the bride and groom's son, Older Bossy Sister's two kids (one in particular being key to birthday boy's fun), Other Younger Sister's three kids (Other Younger Sister is also a bridesmaid in the wedding), and possibly five extra cousins.

 

All of the invitees live 45 minutes from each other in different directions. The proposed venue for the party is Other Younger Sister's house, which is a solid hour or more from the wedding site. I personally do not know the bride well so have no idea if there will be a rehearsal dinner or the bride's family culture or bride's organizational abilities.

 

Out-of-State Sister's plan is for Other Younger Sister to pick up her own kids and the Bride's kid from school, and then all the kids meet at Other Younger Sister's house for games and cake, "just for a little while."

 

Older Bossy Sister is more than willing to throw as big a party as necessary at her own expense and in her own home or anywhere else Out-of-State Sister wants. Older Bossy Sister loves her nephew, wants to lavish him with attention, and has no objection to a great party. Nor does Older Bossy Sister object to smaller measures to make her nephew feel special on his birthday. Older Bossy Sister is just concerned about an actual party, however short, on the day before the wedding, especially since said party will involve one Bridesmaid (Other Younger Sister) and kids as well as the Bride's son. Logistically it seems difficult at best.

 

The bolded. The logistics for the birthday party are not workable.

 

If I were the birthday boy's mom, I'd arrange for something special with the immediate family only.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been reading this thread, wondering why something about it seemed so familiar, and then I remembered ... Sixteen Candles! Maybe younger sis also recalls that movie? :D

 

A party seems unworkable; celebrating the child's birthday with cake and song does not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HOWEVER, a party the day before a family wedding is INSANE if you expect the wedding guests to participate. Little Sis needs to get over herself. Take son for a family night out the night before (if you can't slip a cake into the rehearsal dinner without taking over the event). It's OK for Junior to learn that there are other people and that wedding trumps birthday.

As gracious as I generally try to be, the above is what I really think.

 

The day before a wedding is just not the time to add in another event of any kind. Birthdays come every single year. Theoretically, a wedding is a once in a lifetime event. Celebrate quietly with just mom, or arrange a party on another day, or *both* even, but no, no party the day before a family wedding.

 

As I've told my own dc, celebrating their birthdays quietly on the day of, and then having a bigger celebration on another day allows for an extension of the fun. Nothing wrong with that! :)

 

If sis is already making an issue of it though, then she's probably already taught the kid that not celebrating on "his day" is a snub. I'd probably end up going along with it, rather than hurting the kid's feelings, even though the parent sort of created the hurt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I restate:

Younger sister is out of her ever lovin mind.

 

Well-stated, Martha! The day before the wedding is too crazy. This sis and nephew are in town for 2 weeks? Then save the party with friends and family for another day. Mom could still provide her son with balloons, birthday breakfast of his choice, cake, and gift on his actual birthday. That should still make the day special for him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would be very careful that,

whatever decision older sister

makes, that the child who is turning

9 is made to feel very special on

his day. That child will always associate

that wedding with whatever it was that

happened on his 9th birthday (get over

it, kid--you gotta learn there's other

people in the world -- vs. you are very,

very important to us, and remembering

your birthday is a big deal to us because

you are a big deal to us).

That child will grow up and so will the

older sister, and that child will be in the

older sister's life forever, and small things

like this will be very important.

So, I am not saying "do this" or "do that."

But I am saying, be very careful with the child

himself. He is a human being with feelings.

Don't make him feel bad in any way. However

you choose to do it, make sure child knows he

is loved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Me too, but I am the older bossier sister in my family.

 

That would be me as well. :)

 

I know the day before my wedding we were decorating the church, getting the tuxes picked up, nails done, rehearsal and dinner, fixing food for the next day.... Fitting in a trip to someone's house for a party just wouldn't have happened. I don't understand why younger sis just can't do something fun that day with her son and then allow a bigger party after the wedding. It still lets the little boy know that his day is special and that he's loved, but also teaches that sometimes we have to wait for things (the big party).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...