Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My SIL’s Baby Will Steal All the Attention at My Wedding!”

From the forums:

no babies

My fiancé is the youngest of three sons. His two older brothers are both married. One is married to a great woman, and her two daughters are going to be my junior bridesmaids. His other brother’s wife is, to be blunt, a complete and total bitch. She has refused to make any effort at all to get to know me over the last three years, two of which I’ve been engaged to her husband’s brother. She does not like my fiancé, me, or our dog. She has made up several lies about me and my fiancé. His brother is amazing, but every time we are around her we literally sit in silence because she is consistently so mean and nasty that we now have absolutely nothing to say to her.

She has a 3-year-old who is going to be our ring bearer, and now she is pregnant and due sometime in December, I believe. I am very concerned that she will try and bring this new baby to our wedding next fall and deliberately make her child be the center of attention. I honestly believe that this girl, not woman, would do anything to ruin our day and make it all about her, as this is what she typically tries to do.

I have been advised to not say anything, but, as the wedding gets closer, I want to know how I should go about addressing this situation. I have been told that she is the type of girl that, if she finds out that I do not want the new baby there, she will do any and everything in her power to make sure that that baby is there and probably crying the entire time. So, how should I handle this? — Not Sharing the Spotlight with a Baby

I’m confused by your rules around the wedding. Are all children who aren’t babies invited? Or just the children who will be in the wedding? Do you not have any other guests who have young children/babies? If you do, how were you planning on letting people know that babies aren’t invited? I mean, at some point — usually when the invitations are sent out — you clarify who is actually invited to the wedding. Maybe that’s what you mean when you talk about your fiancé’s SIL “finding out” that you don’t want her baby at your wedding, but it sounds more like you aren’t actually planning to tell her yourself or to indicate such on her invitation, and you’re expecting word about the no-babies rule to simply get back to her eventually. And, frankly, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. It’s like you’re purposely setting her up to piss you off.

Quit being so passive and, if you don’t want babies at your wedding, make that clear on your invitations by addressing the invitation only to people invited and including a little note that says something like: “We love your babies, but our wedding is for children three and up” or whatever. Or, you could be proactive in a different way and decide that, since you’re going to have children at your wedding anyway, you’ll allow babies, but you’ll have areas where their parents can take them when they’re fussy or need to be fed. This really isn’t that hard.

And, my God, if someone else’s baby being present at your wedding is going to ruin your whole day, you might want to work on your threshold of devastation because I promise you that a baby’s presence — even on your special day — is not even close to the worst thing that will ever happen to you. It’s probably not even the worst thing that will happen at your wedding. And if it is, then, congratulations — it sounds like it will be a very pleasant day.

Bottom line: While you don’t like your SIL, she is going to be your extended family, which means she’ll likely be in your life for a very long time. You need to make an effort to get along, for your brother’s sake, his family’s sake, and the sake of any children you might have. That means acting like a grown-up and not stooping to whatever level you think the SIL is on. You talk about her being “a girl” and not a woman, but I can’t think of a whole lot that sounds more childish than a grown woman bellyaching about a damn baby stealing all her attention on her special princess day. Grow up! And take some responsibility for the tension between you and this woman being partly your fault, because, if you treat her like your letter indicates you might, the SIL is clearly not the only one acting a fool in this scenario.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

54 comments… add one
  • avatar

    va-in-ny October 18, 2016, 9:03 am

    I commented on the “button pusher SIL” in the forums, but more focusing on the wedding now. Hire a babysitter! Reach out to someone in the town where you’ll be hosting the wedding (ask for recommendations, go to care.com, etc.) and ask them to provide childcare in another area of the wedding location – we had a designated hotel room for this – so that the parents can bring their children, but drop them off during the important parts of the wedding.

    I’m only suggesting this because you’re allowing their one child to attend, but you don’t want the other one to be there. Level the playing field for them and just make other, local, arrangements for the younger child. Sure, you’d have to pay them, but what’s $200 for your sanity?

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover October 18, 2016, 9:09 am

      This is a good idea. When a friend of mine had a destination wedding, they had an extra room rented that they gave us access to (we weren’t all staying at the same hotel). It was great because I had a 4-month-old at the time, and I could go there to breastfeed, and also just to give him a break from all the action. Some of the others brought their kids there when they got bored of the wedding. If you could get a room with a DVD player or something, that would be amazing for the kids. Then the parents would have somewhere to escape to, with whiny kids as well as crying babies. Win-win for everyone.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros October 18, 2016, 9:19 am

    I didn’t gather that the LW is concerned about babies in general or is concerned in that way that people typically are when they choose to have an adults-only wedding. She seems to be concerned that her SIL will use the baby as a way to get people to pay attention to her. I assumed along the lines of “I have a new baby! Notice and talk about my new baby instead of the bride.” I commented in the forum, but I think this is one of those things that seems like a big deal because people get really anxious over their wedding being perfect but matters very little.

    Sorry, but when someone is worried about the attention being taken away from them at their own wedding — when they are literally one of two people standing in front of everyone saying vows and wearing the fanciest dress of the entire crowd and are the entire focus of the entire typically very expensive event — I get a little eye rolly. I get annoying people, but aside from a natural disaster, I don’t think anyone is going to take that much attention from you at your wedding. People are capable of seeing a new baby and meeting it while also remembering that they are at a wedding.

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover October 18, 2016, 9:26 am

      I agree. Also, LW, you will be so busy on the day of the wedding that you’re hardly even going to notice the baby or your SIL. Seriously, don’t even worry about it.

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    • FireStar

      Firestar October 18, 2016, 10:36 am

      I got this too. Babies might be welcome but not THIS particular baby because the bride doesn’t want to share the spotlight with a new baby in the family. The bride sounds absolutely delightful and I can’t imagine why the sister in law doesn’t like her. I have no chill when it comes to brides whining about infants stealing the spotlight from them on their special, special, I’m a special snowflake day. You are a bride. Everyone will look at you. It’s a given. Even if you were the ugliest bride in history, everyone will tell you you are beautiful. What is it you want? For no one to rip their eyes away from you to look at a baby and coo at it? FFS. We have reached the point where the infant is more mature.

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    • juliecatharine

      Juliecatharine October 18, 2016, 10:49 am

      Honestly I would be grateful for someone to take attention away from me at our wedding….hmmm…too late to rent a baby???

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy October 18, 2016, 11:04 am

        I was the same. I get uncomfortable with too much attention on me, so I was happy to have Drew’s then 2- and 3-year-old niece and nephew, respectively, walk down the aisle before me and take some of the pressure off me.

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      • avatar

        Wendy's Dad October 18, 2016, 2:06 pm

        And here I thought that all of those people were looking at me.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy October 18, 2016, 4:07 pm

        That, too.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros October 18, 2016, 11:06 am

        Yeah, I feel like that’s part of the reason why people get so nervous. I had a lot of friends who were really worried about tripping or something. A lot of people don’t want THAT much attention on their every move.

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      • avatar

        snoopy128 October 18, 2016, 11:44 am

        This is honestly one of the reasons that I was happy to have a wedding party (bridespeople and groomspeople)- to have more people standing up there with me and to remove some of the attention off of me.

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      • juliecatharine

        Juliecatharine October 18, 2016, 12:24 pm

        It’s actually really helpful to hear that! There’s such a stereotype that every bride wants-nay-demands to be the center of attention that I feel like a weirdo! Thanks ladies

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  • avatar

    jamie5015 October 18, 2016, 9:48 am

    I got married recently and we just invited our nieces and nephews, due to space constraints. Granted, that was still about a dozen under 18s. However, a few of my cousins brought their littles, uninvited – but at some point, you grin and bear it, say the more the merrier and enjoy everyone’s company. Babies aren’t the worst thing to happen at a wedding. Having an adversarial relationship with your family for the next 50 years might be, however.

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  • avatar

    SLS October 18, 2016, 9:49 am

    Oh… so I was expecting this baby to be due right before the wedding! Do you know what is great about the baby being born in December?? All of your family will see the baby prior to your wedding = baby won’t be “new shiny object” to upstage you at your wedding.

    I had a friend at my wedding that spent more time looking for a dress to wear than me finding my own wedding dress (she had a reading in our wedding)! I am pretty sure she wanted to have everyone in the room wondering “how she was, she is beautiful”. But, quite honestly, no one looked her way because it wasn’t her wedding. I KNOW your future SIL drives you crazy, but you have to just let her go. People won’t give her the time of day. Babies cry. Maybe have her sit next to a family member if you don’t think she would do it, such that if the baby cries, the family member can just “let me take Baby X out and calm Baby X down”. Or like other’s have said, hire a babysitter.

    Have a little more faith in the rest of your guests, that they will be there to celebrate y’all on your wedding day! Also, people use weddings to catch up in general – so while 90% of the attention will be on y’all, people will show the baby attention but that will be short lived. Especially once the reception gets started, people start dancing, etc.

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  • avatar

    haggith October 18, 2016, 9:52 am

    “You talk about her being “a girl” and not a woman, but I can’t think of a whole lot that sounds more childish than a grown woman bellyaching about a damn baby stealing all her attention on her special princess day. Grow up!”
    I was about to comment on this until I saw Wendy’s last paragraph… this a million times!

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  • avatar

    Fyodor October 18, 2016, 9:52 am

    Send a threatening note to the baby. Make sure that baby knows not to hog all the attention and sabotage your special day.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph October 18, 2016, 9:53 am

      Need the thumbs back for this comment alone.

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    • avatar

      va-in-ny October 18, 2016, 9:57 am

      Seriously. Put Baby in a corner.

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      • avatar

        Vathena October 18, 2016, 11:23 am

        Oh my god, this made me spit coffee at my desk. THANK YOU.

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      • juliecatharine

        Juliecatharine October 18, 2016, 12:25 pm

        Omg that was awesome

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph October 18, 2016, 9:52 am

    I chimed in in the forum, but while we’re on the subject…
    One of the few things I really had to stand up to my mother about while wedding planning was the issue of inviting kids. I really wanted to invite the kid relatives, as did my husband; my mom suggested that a wedding was no place for children.
    My husband comes from a big Catholic family and his parents are among the younger of their generation, which means many of his cousins already had children before we got married. I come from a small family, one aunt, one uncle, two cousins. My father has 2 cousins who live in CA. We only saw those cousins handful of times growing up, most notably at both of their weddings which were really fun memories.
    We ended up inviting the families, kids included. First, because I think that is how you establish a relationship with people far away, is to invite them to the big things. And second, even if we didn’t want the kids themselves there (which we did), we did want the parents to come. And giving them an option of whether to bring their kids and decide what worked best for their family gave us the best opportunity of getting the parents to come.

    All of that to say that Wendy is right that your SIL is going to be family, like it or not. But ALSO and even more so, their kids are your family. And weddings are not just for the bride and groom, but for their family and community, too. It’s one thing to have a childfree wedding (which I am as mentioned not a big fan of, but ok, it’s common) but you are not having a childfree wedding. You want to somehow exclude one child– the one who at about 9 months old will most warrant an exception to the no kids policy– but invite his older brother and his 2 cousins? That’s obviously spiteful and the SIL would be kinda right to be offended. Then its not bitchy SIL creating a family rift, it’s YOU.

    And to repeat what I said in the forum: a baby cannot steal your thunder. It really can’t. Even if people spend some of the night going “oh, how cute, a baby,” that won’t stop them from being there to celebrate you and your wedding.

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    • avatar

      Vathena October 18, 2016, 11:28 am

      Seriously. This baby will be her niece/nephew too. I get that the SIL is obnoxious, but what’s one obnoxious person and baby out of 50-100 people? “Everything in her power to make the baby cry the entire time” – not a lot of parents want their baby to cry. Stressing out about this months before the baby is even born, and almost a YEAR before the wedding, is ridiculous.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki October 18, 2016, 11:45 am

      I think the only way the baby would be able to steal her thunder is if it decided to get married the same day at the same time in the same location.

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      • FireStar

        Firestar October 18, 2016, 11:56 am

        In the same dress.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph October 18, 2016, 12:01 pm

        Everyone would say later ‘I mean LW looked nice, but dayum did that baby pull off tulle!”

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    • FireStar

      Firestar October 18, 2016, 11:56 am

      I like kids at weddings. Weddings are such family things…two families coming together to watch a new family being created… I mean you can want what you want and want it scrubbed of all children and formal…but I love little kids on the dance floor or daddies dancing with their daughters…and there is no sincerer compliment in the world than a 2 year old telling you you are pretty. Sorry…. There just isn’t.

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      • avatar

        Vathena October 18, 2016, 12:15 pm

        One of my favorite memories of our wedding was when the 6-year-old son of my husband’s best friend from grad school told me, completely unprompted, “You look SO BEAUTIFUL!” As a parent, I have a better time at weddings if we get a babysitter and don’t have to worry about our young child’s sleep schedule/choking/falling down the stairs/etc, but as a bride or guest I love seeing kids at weddings. It’s less formal, but more joyous.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant October 18, 2016, 12:26 pm

        Personally, I don’t necessarily love kids at weddings, if I notice them at all (which typically I don’t) it’s usually for a negative reason. So I don’t blame a couple if they want a childfree wedding.

        But! If that’s what you want, you have to be consistent. You literally cannot invite one sibling and not the other for some asinine reason about worrying they’ll be the center of attention.

        And, even if you want a childfree wedding, if a good number of your guests have kids, it’s a loving gesture to help them come to your wedding and not worry about what to do with their kids (like a hire a baby sitter onsite or provide a separate kids room), particularly if people are having to travel at all for you. I realize there’s no love lost between the LW and her SIL, but perhaps some of her other family and friends have young children and would appreciate these things?

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      • juliecatharine

        Juliecatharine October 18, 2016, 12:27 pm

        Agreed! There’s nothing cuter than a bunch of kids rocking out on the dance floor!!

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki October 18, 2016, 2:17 pm

        We had more than 30 kids (12 and under) at our wedding. And they’re the ones that got that dance floor moving! We even did a “teddy bear toss” (like the bouquet/garter but for the kids).

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph October 18, 2016, 3:49 pm

        This is adorable and I wish I had thought of it (or heard about it) before my wedding.
        We didn’t do bouquet because I didn’t need the grand total of my sister, my cousin, and 3 friends who were unmarried adult women to be publicly called out for their singleness. I do think the little girls enjoy the bouquet far more than the adult women.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl October 18, 2016, 10:15 am

    LW – You have a shitty relationship with the wife of your brother-in-law and I think you are letting that color your response to her being pregnant. While we all hope to have great relationships with our extended families, there normally will be one or two (or more) people that you dislike. As pointed out, the baby will be 9 months old at the time of your wedding therefore he or she will not be as much as a draw as you think. He or she will actually be at a great age since they are not mobile and likely require that your husband’s sister in law to leave early. You and your husband will be the center of attention for the entire day (and likely for months leading up to the wedding). My sister/matron of honor had a baby a month before my wedding and guess what – I was still the center of attention. Of course family was happy to see the baby, but they were also happy to see me and my husband. There will be so many people at the wedding including your and your husband’s friends who have no idea who your husband’s sister in law is and could care less about her procreating – you will have so much attention you will be exhausted and ready for a break by the end of the day. Take a deep breath and focus on what makes you happy – the relationship with your future husband.

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  • avatar

    Arra October 18, 2016, 10:29 am

    LW: Grow. UP.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray October 18, 2016, 11:14 am

      A. MEN!!!!!

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph October 18, 2016, 12:03 pm

        Be honest, Addie, how many weddings have you ruined by taking your baby? Didn’t you know that the mere presence of a baby means that everyone forgets they came for a wedding.
        “This is good cake. Why are we here again?” *baby cries* “Oh, must be a first bday party.”

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki October 18, 2016, 2:18 pm

        And you know that AP is all about getting the attention, so she’s probably pinching that precious baby just so he will cry and draw all the attention!

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray October 19, 2016, 4:13 pm

        Only 1 wedding was ruined b/c I took my most handsome son. Except because he’s a he, I guess it’s more fair to say that the groom was upstaged??? He did wear a really cute tux onesie. Back when he could wear onesie, le sigh. (My 13 month old has now outgrown just about all his 24 month clothes, which for whatever reason seems to be the max size of onesies!)

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      • avatar

        mertlej October 18, 2016, 12:56 pm

        Addie, how has sleeping been going lately? I’ve been thinking about you! (not in a creepy way… in a solidarity way)

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray October 19, 2016, 4:15 pm

        Better, for sure. But not great. I’m still up a few times a night. But it’s all my fault. I am an enabler, you know. My new plan of attack is to just wait until we can have a conversation and I can say “son, you need to go back to sleep and stay in your bed, ok?” And he can say “ok, mama, if you say so.” And then all will be fine. …

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  • avatar

    Essie October 18, 2016, 10:39 am

    I know that it’s pretty easy to lose perspective when planning a wedding, so let’s add some here.

    A wedding isn’t a coronation. You are not a princess. You are not staging a play, or filming a movie. It’s a ceremony to join you and your husband together, for the rest of your lives, in the presence of your family and friends. If you’re doing this in a church, then it’s a very solemn ceremony that creates your new family in your faith. Does it really matter if a baby cries?

    Are you the only one getting married that day? There’s two of you, right? While you’re busy obsessing about who might be plotting to take the attention off of you by deploying a stealth baby, you might spare a moment to think of your husband-to-be. It’s his day, too. This is his brother’s child you’re talking about. Not a prop in a play.

    Weddings aren’t just about the joining of a couple, they’re about the joining of families. This child who annoys you so will be your family on that day. As will its mother.

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  • avatar

    ele4phant October 18, 2016, 11:42 am

    I too posted in the comments, but I think the LW is really losing perspective as her wedding gets closer and because she doesn’t get along with her SIL.

    Kids are tricky at weddings, but you have to have a consistent line. You can have a childfree wedding, but you can’t then make exceptions. You can draw the line at children in the family, but then you can’t invite *some* of the children you are related to and not others (and you definitely can’t have one sibling in your wedding party while you have the other stay home). I mean, you CAN do these things, but prepare to have it reflect poorly on you.

    Honestly, I think you are overthinking how big of a distraction this child will be. You will be focused on a million different other things, and you will be some overwhelmed with attention and people trying to pull you in different directions that if some of it gets siphenoed off by the child, you won’t even notice.

    If you’re really worried about your SIL, take some measures beforehand like having another family member run interference for you. Or hire a baby-sitter. Or have a kids room set-up. Don’t target this kid, but take away your SIL’s excuses for letting her baby have a melt-down during your vows or something (which by the way, the kid’s not even born yet; you have no idea the temperament of this baby could be the mellowest baby ever and will sleep the whole time).

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  • avatar

    for_cutie October 18, 2016, 12:40 pm

    LW, we have the same SIL! Except for mine just had one kid age 7 for our wedding. I was explicit, no kids, for a Friday night, formal wedding. She brought my nephew and she was the only one who brought a kid. Other family members gave her a side-eye glance about it. It was fine. The SIL was just trying to stir up drama, but who cares. I even hired a babysitter for them and the SIL just never brought the kid by. I cannot control her and you cannot control your SIL. It will be fine. Your wedding will be fine. Things will go wrong. Other things too. You’ll deal.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie October 18, 2016, 2:48 pm

    I think the LW is getting a lot of unwarranted grief. It’s not that the baby will take attention – it’s that the SIL will use the baby in such a way to grab attention. We’ve all had that conversation, where you say “I dropped my keys” and the person says “you know who loves playing with my keys? The BABY! I love playing drop the keys with the BABY.” Sometimes it’s about their child, themselves, their love interest, their dog, their imaginary friends – whatever it is that turns the focus back on them. That’s how I read this letter anyway.

    I’m half picturing the SIL trying to time her entrance with her baby so that when the “welcome the bride and groom” music starts playing the SIL walks into the hall holding the baby aloft Lion King style.

    I get it – there are people who can not possibly stand to have the day be focused on anyone else. They use every tool possible and it doesn’t matter if it’s good attention or bad attention. Think munchausen by proxy down a few steps.

    Having relatives like this means that you have to have a few trusted souls who will redirect and manage the situation. As I recommended in the forums, a trusted aunt to sit during the ceremony and pluck the kid out of the mother’s arms and briskly walk outside. A couple of youngish cousins who want to play with the baby in the hall way . Someone who can manage feigned emergencies with either swift action or a penetrating stare (depending on situation of course).

    Long story short if she makes a scene – only she looks bad. If you make a scene – she will never let you live it down. Ever.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros October 18, 2016, 5:03 pm

      I think most people do realize that she’s more upset about the SIL than the baby itself. It came up in several of the comments. But I don’t think for most folks it changes their advice. Whether it’s a baby or it’s how someone is using a baby, I think you’ve just gotta go with the flow and accept that you can’t make everything go your way.

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  • avatar

    Chrissy October 18, 2016, 4:01 pm

    What is it with the posts about grown women being jealous of babies lately? Ridiculous.

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymak October 19, 2016, 12:40 pm

      Beat me to it!!

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  • avatar

    keyblade October 18, 2016, 5:10 pm

    As usual, I agree with Wendy. I wondered if this letter was real because I don’t understand why the letter writer would invite two nieces and the sister’s son to participate in the wedding and then be worried about another niece or nephew stealing all of the attention. A lot of three year old children would need a parents help walking down the aisle, especially if it’s a big wedding and they are shy.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark October 19, 2016, 12:39 pm

    Ugh. Weddings somehow ALWAYS reveal one’s true character. Especially when one is desperate, needy and rather pathetic. What’s with all these LW’s who are constantly living in fear of beingstaged by babies?

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    • Nookie

      Nookie October 20, 2016, 7:42 am

      The more I read DW, the less I want a wedding. Sounds like too much stress and bother to me.

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  • avatar

    JayH October 20, 2016, 4:43 pm

    I wanted to start out by saying a huge thank you to everybody that replied. I am so thankful to everyone who took the time out of their day to respond and give me some advice, constructive criticism and kind words of encouregment. To those of you who are yelling at me through a keyboard to “grow up” and have resulted to calling me a “princess”, “desperate, need and rather pathetic” I am so sorry that my problem has made you so angry that you felt the need to result to name calling. I don’t expect any of you to read this but if you do my hope is that you will understand my situation a bit more and be a lot kinder with your words if you choose to comment again. I chose this website over many others because I felt that the women on this page would be much more kind and compassionate, and while a lot of you have, others have been quite nasty.

    I also want to clarify that I, in no way, am upset about the baby, it is the mother that I have an issue with, and how I believe she will use that baby to try and sabatoge my wedding day. One of you had touched base on that I wanted to thank you for actually taking the time to understand what I was saying instead of just reacting. I also want to clarify that I LOVE babies. In fact, I work with babies everyday! If I could have all of the babies that I help to take care of every day at my wedding, I would because again, its NOT about the baby, its about the mother! I know that I will have to deal with her for the rest of my life since her husband and my future husband are brothers, but I was very concerend about her trying to sabatoge this one day.

    I also want you all to know that my concern over this has nothing to do with me thinking that I am a “special princess”. This has more to do with the feeling of the atmosphere for my wedding. The vibe that I will get from my guests at my wedding is something that is exremely important to me. I am 24 and have spent the majority of my life being told that I am worthless, a piece of shit, a bitch…, the list goes on. All of this was said to me on a daily basis by one of my step-dads and while he is no longer in my life, the emotional and mental scars that are left behind from his words is something that I deal with on a daily basis. I also basically raised myself, due to my mom only paying attention to whatever guy she was with. So, I was brought up being neglected by my mom, and hated and verbally abused by my step dad for over 8 years.

    Since I met my fiance and his family my entire life has changed around . I have never in my life been surrounded by so much love, and all of it comes from my fiances family. The ONLY hiccup is his one sister-in-law. So yeah, as some of you had pointed out I got a little hyper focused on this one issue, but its because of how important it is to me to feel nothing but love, happiness and kindness in that room on my one day.

    I hope that this clears things up for those who think that I am upset about a baby being at my wedding and again THANK YOU to everyone who gave me constructive opinion. You guys have helped me so much and I defiantly have spent a lot of time thinking about everything you guys have said. I even came up with my own idea on how to make this situation better for everyone.

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    • avatar

      keyblade October 21, 2016, 10:15 am

      “This has more to do with the feeling of the atmosphere for my wedding. The vibe that I will get from my guests at my wedding is something that is extremely important to me
      Since I met my fiancé and his family my entire life has changed around. I have never in my life been surrounded by so much love, and all of it comes from my fiancés family. The ONLY hiccup is his one sister-in-law. So yeah, as some of you had pointed out I got a little hyper focused on this one issue, but it’s because of how important it is to me to feel nothing but love, happiness and kindness in that room on my one day.”

      Thank you for supplying an update; With the additional information I have some follow-up advice. You haven’t gotten far enough away from your past to feel confident in your identity. Your husband’s family are wonderfully supportive people, but while this unrest is still in you, you will react to occurrences in your life with the unsettled, hurt feelings creeping out into your decisions and the way you relate to others. It is important to find some peace with what happened to you when you felt powerless and unprotected from others who hurt you or didn’t protect you. It will help you make a distinction about when your feelings are about an injury in the past as opposed to the true gauge of what you are encountering in the present. It is a wonderful thing to find love and join a family; it’s healing. But it won’t erase all the gray. Life is complicated and people are, too. Having sadness doesn’t make you broken, but interesting and experienced. But your sadness is still yours alone to manage. Your husband can bring warmth, love, and goodness. But he can’t make internal peace for you, you have to do that.

      Your wedding day, is just one day of your entire life. Don’t define the “success” of your wedding by accurately it lives up to your mental vision. I advise you to make some internal room in your mind for expecting and accepting hiccups (and not just on your wedding day, even a wonderful, great marriage will be full of them). You are involving your fiancé’s sister’s child in your wedding. That means she will be involved, too. There is a limit to how much you can reasonably corral her. Sure, plan ahead and have some tactics for dealing with passive-aggressive, but don’t lose the forest for the trees. Forget about perfect, If YOU emanate love, happiness, and kindness, and plan a reasonable amount for the comfort of your guests, you can’t fail. Good luck with everything.

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      dinoceros October 21, 2016, 11:19 am

      Thanks for the update. I said this in a reply to someone else, but I think the vast majority of the commenters knew what you were trying to say, even if you feel like they didn’t. Yes, you are talking about your SIL upstaging you, but you expressed that she would do it by using her baby. Thus, the comments regarding the baby.

      I empathize with what you’ve been through, but I think the reassurance you want related to that part of your life is going to have to come from the inside, rather than the outside. It sounds like you are building this wedding up to be a culminating event to prove that you’ve made it and that you are no longer in that life. That’s too much pressure for one event. I think learning that you can enjoy the love and happiness in your life even without the guarantee that every single person and moment in that situation is going to be perfect is going to be important. One person who may or may not try to draw attention to herself at your wedding isn’t going to make or break it. Sure, for her to do that would be rude and annoying, but rude and annoying doesn’t turn into life-ruining or monstrous simply because you’ve chosen to affix *so much* symbolism to your wedding in regard to your own self-esteem. I hope you have a wonderful day, but I hope that if there are glitches, you’re able to be happy anyway and laugh about it.

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      RedRoverRedRover October 21, 2016, 11:45 am

      It’s concerning to me that you call it “my one day”. I think you’ll be a lot happier with whatever happens at your wedding if you can stop framing it like that. First of all, it’s “our day”, not “my day”. And I get that you want it to be perfect, we all do. But it probably won’t be, because nothing’s perfect. Just remember, the only thing that can ruin that day is if you end up unmarried at the end. Focus on your fiance and yourself, and if anything doesn’t go according to plan, just think “whatever, I’m getting married!”. Don’t worry too much about the rest of it.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom October 21, 2016, 3:18 pm

      Radiate the love that you feel outward to your guests and it won’t matter what one person does. If she does something rude everyone will think less of her but it won’t mean that everyone else loves you less or thinks less of you. You and your fiance will set the vibe for your wedding. If you are looking around for problems you will probably find them and make that the vibe. If you are angry or upset about something that someone does or says then that will be the vibe. If you are happy regardless that will be the vibe. You are the only person who can choose to make you unhappy at your own wedding. It doesn’t matter what awful thing any guest may due. An incident that would make one person cry or another person angry might make a third person laugh. If you can be the person who laughs you will enjoy life a lot more and that includes your wedding day. You set the vibe.

      I agree with RedRover that you need to start thinking of it as “our day” and “our wedding” and start thinking of it as the first of many special days. It will never be your “one day.”

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