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Opinions on skids and weddings

Floral_SM's picture

Not sure which category to put this under so went General. I need opinions on this. I have a friend of mine that is going to be married to a man with 2 children. She has none. This man has gone through court to get divorced, settle, and now trying to get a bit more custody of his children. She chose to date him while all of this was happening. Now a year later they are getting married.

She says the ex wife is HC, and the children are stand offish with her. She vents a lot about the ex, and the kids. On social media it's a different story. She portrays a happy family. Takes photos of them all together. She says 'our kids' and posts their birthdays like she dotes on them. It's like two different situations. To avoid conflict with the BM they are keeping the date of the wedding a secret from the skids, until the weekend of the wedding.. and said in their invites to keep it a secret to avoid conflict of 'our kids'. 
 

We have been invited to their wedding and she's not having her husbands kids in the wedding. She said she wants to be about her. Apparently her fiancé is ok with it. We will be crossing interstate and she has invited DH to bring his kids along as it will be our weekend with them, and our bio, but no other kids are apparently invited. She wants to put her fiancé's kids and my DH kids on a table by themselves. My DH refuses to sit away from his kids. He said if they are not with me at the table, he's not going. Is my DH in the wrong here? DH even spoke to her fiancé and the fiancé said it's just easier for them to have the kids at the same table, and pointed out that not even his parents will be sitting with his kids. They didn't want to show 'favouritism to DH if people see him sitting with his kids'.  DH is flabbergasted that the children aren't even sitting with their family at their fathers wedding. The skids won't be comfortable sitting away from DH at the wedding in another state where they won't know anyone. Is DH in the wrong here for having such firm views on this? I would love to see what other people think on this. 

flmomma08's picture

Oh man. I would want my kids at the table with me, whether it was my own wedding or someone else's. Particularly if they didn't know anyone else there. My kids would not be comfortable sitting at another table where they don't know anyone. If it was a family party that's another story, we always do kid's tables.

SteppedOut's picture

They can choose their seating at their wedding, also your dh can choose if he is ok sitting away from his kids. 

If they will not budge, simply do not attend. 

caninelover's picture

If I were a guest with young kids, I would want them to sit with me.  Maybe if the 'kids table' were cousins, etc that knew each other, then maybe I'd be fine with it as they might enjoy that.

But to drag little kids to a wedding, then sit them with other kids that (I assume) they don't know?  No.  I would just decline to go in that case.

Sounds like your friend wants your kids to go to basically babysit her SKs so she doesn't look like an ogre making them sit off by themselves (since she clearly doesn't want them sitting with her).  So your kids are her Instagram accessory.

Good for your DH for saying no to this.

Floral_SM's picture

Yes thats what I wonder too. True that is where a kids table works as cousins all know each other. 

caninelover's picture

Is for you to volunteer for her SKs to sit at your table with your kids.  Not sure if everyone will fit or not, but that way at least your kids have their parents for comfort and supervision.

Also not sure if your DH would be keen on that as it doesn't sound like a fun time.

tog redux's picture

I'm totally lost at how it's showing favoritism to DH to sit with his own kids? Do they imagine anyone else wants to sit with the kids that aren't theirs? It's a wedding, not a bbq. There shouldn't be a kids table, especially if those kids don't know each other. 

Harry's picture

At a table with DH and his kids. So let DH sit at kids table and you sit with other adults to have some fun 

hereiam's picture

They didn't want to show 'favouritism to DH if people see him sitting with his kids'.

No, what the bride doesn't want other people to see, is her making her step kids sit at a separate table. How old are these kids?

How can it be favoritism if no other kids are invited? I fail to see how it's "easier" to have the kids, who don't even know each other, sitting at a separate table.

I think this man is going to regret marrying this woman.

And no, your DH is not wrong to want his kids to be sitting with him. That's usually how it is at weddings that I've attended, people of the same family, sit at the same table.

 

Floral_SM's picture

Well I did think of this! Otherwise it just doesn't make sense as no other kids are there? All 4 children range from the ages of 7-10 yrs old. If my child wasn't a 1 year old I'm sure she would be sitting awkwardly at that skid table too. Keep in mind her skids would not have any idea their father was getting married until that weekend. 

caninelover's picture

Here's our table of outcasts, I mean, stepkids...way to make them stick out like a sore thumb.

ESMOD's picture

In theory, I don't have a huge issue with the "kids table" if the kids are all of an age where they can behave appropriately and are similar in age to the other kids in attendance.  Maybe they have even hired or have someone who will be chaperoning that table so the kids are "there" but not really into everything.

It's not like DH and Your kids are alone there.. they are there with each other.. and the other kids know each other.. and possibly the two groups of kids might enjoy getting to know one another.

I do think that it would be appropriate to seat you and your DH at a table within "stern eye proximity" so that if any of "your" kids start to act up you can more quickly nip it in the bud.  Being friends of the people being married should not require you to be at the central tables and there shouldn't be a huge issue with seating the kids table near you.

She may want to do this to corall the kids.. to provide a special kid safe environment that is special and "fun" for the kids and in the end, it's her wedding and if there is no way she can be flexible.. you can always regretfully decline the invite.  But, perhaps she will agree that seating you near the kid's table would be a compromise you could all live with?

tog redux's picture

If a parent asks to sit with their kids they should be allowed to, no questions asked. They don't have to "compromise". For all Bridezilla knows, one of the kids has severe allergies or some sort of disorder that needs supervision for eating. Or a behavior issue. Or a mental health issue.  Again, if a parent asks to sit with their kids, that should be accommodated with zero questions asked.

 

Rags's picture

"Ooops, my kids wanted to sit with me.  Sorry about that."  Then get back to the open bar.

I am fine with not including kids in the wedding party.  I am also fine with an adults only wedding.

My niece and her fiance just had a kid free wedding except for the Ring Bearer and flower girl.  There were no kids at the wedding.  The Groom is the Uncle of both of the little kids in the wedding party.

Once the wedding events start, the plans pretty much go out the window and what happens happens.  If anyone gets all bent out of shape, so be it.

My niece had her one and only BrideZilla moment when she realized that she had not had her pictures taken with their two Golden Retievers.  The "boys" were what set them up on their first date so those pics were important to my Niece. It was during the reception dinner when she lost it when she remembered that the pics with the pups didn't happen.  Her Groom picked up on it immediately and took her outside to resolve the situation.  They were back in 10mins and the crisis was resolved.  The venue wedding planner immediately ran to their lodging on site and grabbed the dogs, the photographer was right on the spot, the pics happened, and BrideZilla disappeared.

Go, have  your kids join  your table when it appears appropriate, and if the Bride wants to micromanage she can just stroke out.

IMHO of course.

Hesitant to try's picture

but in the end, if your DH isn't comfortable taking his kids, I'd decline the invite. But to be fully honest, I'm very anti-bridezilla. A grown woman needs this day to be about her by basically shunning her future "wonderful family" and surprising children re: their own father's marriage? I predict a rocky road for this friends of yours, but you didn't write about that, so I digress...

If you go, hope it's a wonderful time for all.

Floral_SM's picture

Well she did suggest this but DH doesnt want his kids to sit on a different table with these other children, only because they are in a new state, and not know them. I honestly think they would feel comfortable sitting with their Dad anyway. I'm sure her skids would feel the same sitting with their family.. especially if they are the only kids invited? He will most likely not attend, and I'll just go with my child at this point. 

tog redux's picture

He shouldn't have to beg to sit with his own damn kids, lol. She sounds like a control freak. 

Floral_SM's picture

Yeah I agree, I think he should have that right to sit with his kids if he wants too. When we got married, we invited family and friends from interstate and we didn't even have a thought about the kids not sit with their families at their tables. 

ndc's picture

The whole thing seems kind of weird.  If I was a bride, I wouldn't want a table of four kids ages 7 to 10.  Kids that age still need adult supervision!  

When DH and I got married, his kids were in the wedding but we didn't sit them at the main table with us.  They sat with my MIL, their cousins (DH's brother's kids) and some other family members of DH.  DH's brother was at the main table, so he didn't sit with his kids either.  My MOH's son attended and he sat with his grandmother. There's no way I would have wanted  a table of young kids - better to intersperse them with responsible adults.  That said, if we were going to a wedding with the skids (now 6 and 8), we'd have no problem with them sitting at a kids' table with kids they didn't know.  They'd have each other, and most likely it would only be for dinner.  After dinner most people are moving around and sitting all over anyway.  SD8 probably would be a little nervous at first, but SD6 is a social butterfly, so she'd make friends quickly and they'd be fine.
But if your DH isn't comfortable with it, he should either decline or not bring his kids.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

The bride is only thinking of optics and tidy solutions, but that many kids together w/o supervision is a bad idea. Unsupervised kids at a wedding? Bad idea. Springing the wedding on the skids and then leaving them alone, knowing they have problems with SM? Terrible idea, potential disaster actually.

Odds are good this wedding is going to turn into a poopshow. I wouldn't want to waste money and time on such an event.

ESMOD's picture

Maybe they have hired or designated someone to sit at the kid's table to chaperone them?  I have heard of weddings offering special seating/menus/activities for younger kids.  

Floral_SM's picture

This could be possible ESMOD, but by the way my friend has handled things in this wedding regarding his kids, I doubt her future step kids got any special treatment. I might ask her though, but it's a bit awkward to talk about at the moment as my DH got a bit heated with them lol. 

bananaseedo's picture

Well he's acting like a pus*y lol.   Hon, tell him he's overreacting, because he really is.  Who the heck gets offended by their kids sitting with other kids for a dinner for such a short period of time?  Is he typically crawled up their as*es like this?  

Sandybeaches's picture

"Well he's acting like a pus*y lol.  "

REALLY?  Maybe these kids don't want to spend visitation with their dad going to an out of state wedding and sitting with people they don't even know.  What is the point in that?  I think you are missing the real picture here.  This is not about a kids table... Her friend is using her and her step-children.  DH is standing up to the BS as he should good for him!!!  I would never ask my DH to do that. 

I honestly think OP should leave her SK's at home and switch visitation with BM, or  go the wedding of her selfish friend lone or decline all together!!!  

Floral_SM's picture

Even if they kids do get comfortable no doubt they will get silly unsupervised at this table, and DH won't be relaxed if he has to keep looking over and checking on them. Plus our other child will be sitting with us and it's strange to seperate our family dynamic. I don't want to make it appear our bio can sit with us and the skids sit on a seperate table. I could be overthinking but if that got back to our HCBM I don't want to give her any ammo. Ugh this wedding has seriously got many red flags already. I don't agree how my friend has gone about how she has excluded her future step kids either. She doesn't give the impression that her home with her fiancé is also the home to his children. They only have them every second weekend, but I feel children that young (7 and 9? I think?) need to feel like their fathers home is their home too. 

She was very specific she didn't want the skids in this wedding. She told me her fiancé's son will be getting ready with him and by the sounds of things she compromised the SD7 can get ready with her she doesn't feel left out. I asked her what is SD going to wear that day? And she said she hasn't given it much thought. I told her I only ask because does she want to wear something to match your bridesmaids to feel a little included in the photos. She seemed surprised I mentioned including her in the photos. I was a bit firm and said you can't accept to have SS included in his fathers pre wedding preparations, and not give the same treatment to your future SD. His son will have photos taken with his father, don't you think you should do the right thing and have a few taken with you and SD? Otherwise it won't look good SD not included especially when the skids grow up. This isn't just her wedding it's also her fiancé's and she chose to accept he has two young children. It might ruffle feathers in his family and she is only 7 and would love that I'm sure. Going from my own personal experience with my own SD of course. I was more than happy to have her as my flower girl though, so I can't relate to how my friend is feeling about these kids.
Sigh, I don't blame my DH not wanting to go. He told me if that was how I treated his kids there would be no wedding. I told my friend that too, and she was shocked my DH was so firm how included he wanted his children in his wedding. I explained to her the skids were so young it wasn't a second thought to me to refuse. I thought the kids being flower girl and page boy was cute and was happy to have them in the bridal party. Plus, my experience is a bit different as he was never married before. Plus, I would want my small daughter to be in my wedding if I got re married. But, that's a different topic of debate. 

ESMOD's picture

We avoided all this by just planning a destination wedding with no guests.

I can see why they may want to keep the date and other details of the wedding from the kids.. but I honestly do think it's a mistake to not let the kids know that they are getting married in advance of that day.. even if it's a non-specific... "I am going to get married to Miss Mary.  We won't be having the wedding for a while but wanted you to know that we are going to plan on doing this in the future"... then they could even get the kids semi "fitted" for any outfits that they would need without a specific date.

I don't think a free for all kids table is a super good idea.  Perhaps if you have a kids table which has the parents of the kids in proximity to that table  (like the next table over).. and maybe a stand in aunt for the Skids since their dad will need to be at the head table?

I don't see a super big difference if theoretically your DH was sitting at a table 4 feet from the kids table that he couldn't supervise from that distance.. and the kids could have an opportunity to meet the other kids there.. but that would be the compromise I was willing to make.  If I am seated at a table next to the kids table.. I could still supervise and I am assuming your bio is too young to sit at that table since they may need help eating that a 7-10 year old wouldn't.  I think the bride may be actually trying to do a nice thiing by having the kids together thinking they would enjoy other kid company vs sitting with boring adults..  But, just unsupervised kids.. if the parents aren't able to be seated close by?  that is probably a recipe for some behavior issues.

I can understand if the child has some specific needs that prevent them from sitting 4 feet from their parent.. but if they are able to be in parental proximity to the kids.. and the parent can step in if issues come up.. I'm not sure this is meant to be a hurtful thing.

And.. of course.. invitations to social events can be declined if what is being offered is not acceptable.  It might be nice for them to accomodate a different seating plan but it may be that the bride is just set on this arrangement and so it's up to the guest to decide if they want to do it or not.

Stepdrama2020's picture

So the skids will find out last minute the wedding is taking place. Wonder how well they will react to the surprise. They are young. Be prepared for some cling on behavior with daddio. They wont be sitting at another table, more like clinging onto daddios lap. Do they have a back up plan incase the skids get tired or cranky. The evening may be ruined. Hate to be negative but this crossed my mind.

I get that BM is HC so the date was kept a secret, but still. This shall be interesting.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

This aspect is what bothers me the most about the whole scenario. The internet is littered with stories of skids behaving badly at parents' weddings - and that's when they know about the event in advance. There's also plenty of stories out there of skids having meltdowns when it's presented as a surprise. The bride and groom are fools for thinking they can spring this on the skids and not get blowback. 

Kids that young need someone looking after them at the wedding, someone familiar that they trust. And that person needs to be prepared to take them elsewhere if necessary.

Sandybeaches's picture

"Plus our other child will be sitting with us and it's strange to separate our family dynamic. I don't want to make it appear our bio can sit with us and the skids sit on a separate table. "

Wait what??????????????  YOUR kids are sitting with you and you expect your DH to let his kids sit at another table???? 

I honestly don't understand what the question is here anymore.  Why would you be considering this invitation at all?  Read between the lines here.  Steps are secondary at this wedding........ these are not blurred lines they are crystal clear.  

what was your question again??????????

bananaseedo's picture

Their 1 yr old is sitting with them because it's a baby- yes, that happens. Parents tend to the baby and older kids sit with other kids.  The bride is already compromising a lot, having the kids at the wedding, having the SD get ready and take pics with her, I don't find it a big deal that she doesn't want her skids at the COUPLE table during the meals.  Most people don't have their kids at the table since -well-they aren't born yet.  A lot of step-parents don't invite their kids alltogeteher to the wedding and rather have them out of the picture-it's a day for the couple and romance.  So what is she wants her reception/dinner to be a romantic one w/her husband and guests and have someone watch all the kids together.  

Sandybeaches's picture

Step parent's not inviting step kids to weddings; wanting a romantic dinner alone at a reception of 50-100 people. It's so delusional it's comical. 

The bride is comprising NOTHING!! She is smoke screening, gaslighting what ever you want to call it. She's using her friend and asking her to compromise her own marriage to have Some filler kids at a table so she doesn't have to deal with her stepchildren.  Great way to start a marriage. 

notarelative's picture

Unless your friend has spend a lot of time with these kids, they were invited to fill up the kids' table. I can't see them having a good time, sitting with kids they don't know, away from you and Dad, knowing no one else at the wedding. 

If this were my good friend and I wanted to be at the wedding, I would ask a family member to watch the kids for that time. It's the perfect reason for the kids to spend some time with grandparents or aunt / uncle/ cousins. Attending the wedding would be DH and I only. 

Floral_SM's picture

We are travelling to another state, there is no one to babysit for that night.. unless DH doesn't bring them at all. But they have never gone to this state before and it's an iconic place for tourists as it's super warm and theme parks. It's going to cost us $$ to go up and DH said let's make it a mini holiday then. His kids are perfect ages now for theme parks. DH other option is stay at our accommodation with the skids and I go on my own at this point. 

BethAnne's picture

Totally normal where I am from to have a kids table at events like weddings. Kids are better than most adults at socializing and will soon be having a great time with other kids.

Go on your own and enjoy a weekend away by yourself. It's not worth the hassle to try to include your husband and his kids. I have no idea why your husband cannot spend an hour or two half way across a room from his kids. Sounds ridiculous and like an excuse to get out of going to the wedding to me. 

Winterglow's picture

The last wedding we were at there was a kids table. It was full of 6-8 yo boys chucking food at each other. They stuck my 15 yo daughters at that table ... and they refused to sit there. One (she has Down syndrome and celiac disease so meals out are very complicated for her) squeezed in at our table. The other went and squeezed in at one of her aunts' tables. Who puts teens with feral children?

BethAnne's picture

Great example of what Rags talked about above. That once the wedding starts, the table plan often goes out the window and people will move around if they want to. No one is tied to their seats. People try their hardest with weddings and table plans are one of the most notoriously tricky parts with planning a wedding. They are not always going to get it 100% right. 

bananaseedo's picture

Most teens without special needs are used to babysitting other kids, it's actually the most normal thing in the world to have teens or young adults supervise a kids table at functions like this.  But again, I'm not of the younger helicopter generation- so for people like me this posittion is absurd.  If I were the OP I would go alone and leave her dh with ALL kids.  Or find another adult table and since her dh is incapable of giving an ounce of independence to his kids (a truly typical real life situation that inspires growth and teaching moments for his kids) then have HIM sit at the kids table as chaperone.   Good grief. 

bananaseedo's picture

When I married my ex that's what we did, the only kids allowed at the reception were his nephews and niece...all other kids had a seperate party, not in the same building even with a few single ladies that were alternate so they could also spend time w/adults.  The parents were glad to let lose and dance w/out the children all over misbehaving.  The nephews and niece ended up choosing to go w/the other kids then stay w/the boring adults ha!

Floral_SM's picture

Yeah I think you are right he has a bad taste in his mouth about this wedding, BethAnne. DH thinks the way she treats her fiancé's kids isn't right. The fact we are spending lots of money to travel and stay up there for it, and then have the right taken away of sitting with his own young children has really offended him. Hence why I'm thinking he can just stay behind and I enjoy the evening myself.  

bananaseedo's picture

I think your dh is wrapping you into his distorted way of thinking, most parents would not get offended at this.  Have him stay with the kids and go enjoy your evening.  I mean-it's obvious he's a disney parent since he's making YOUR friends wedding about his kids so much (making it THEIR special vacation time)- with no thought to how tough theme parks with the 1yr old will be.  He's the perfect combo of helicopter and guilty disney dad.  

I don't see anything wrong with your friends approach- plenty of people marry their spouses and remain detached from the children and see them as his kids vs a blended happy family. There is no right or wrong in step-families...it's whatever works best for the individual.  

Floral_SM's picture

Sorry but I'm sticking up for my husband here. He is NOT a Disney dad. I would have left him a long time ago if I felt second to his children. He is also not a helicopter parent. It's a situation where our 1 year old is able to sit next to him but his 2 other children are told to sit on a table away from him. It doesn't make sense to me, and I don't want animosity from my skids seeing their sister being able to sit with thier dad and they have no CHOICE but have to sit on another table with 2 other children they have no idea who they are. Especially being in a brand new state where they have never been before. It's asking a lot and if my 7 year old daughter was forced to sit on another table at a wedding where she knows NO ONE, and I had no say, I'd be pissed off. Hence why I will be confronting my friend, being honest with her and explaining why my husband and his children won't be attending. 

Sandybeaches's picture

The fact that other kids are not invited and your DH's are AND placed at the table with the SK's tells me that your DH's kids are only invited as fillers at the "kids table" so just in case anyone is onto the bride thinking the SK's are ostracized, she can say oh no that are sitting at the kids table with my friend Suzie's kids.  

This wedding sounds like one problem after another!  What happens when all of the other parents see kids there that aren't family and theirs aren't invited also? How old are all of the kids?  Your DH is right and if the kids can't sit with you I would decline.  Your friend is really asking a lot of you,  your SK's and your marriage.   I might be re-thinking the friendship at this point too with someone that used me like she is trying to use you!!

bananaseedo's picture

HOW? How is she asking a lot by saying her kids should sit with the only other kids at the wedding?   I don't see how this level of helicopter is normal?!

Sandybeaches's picture

"How is she asking a lot by saying her kids should sit with the only other kids at the wedding? "

Now we both know that is not case.  Her friend is not  just asking her Sk's to sit at the table with the other kids.  Her friend is using her and her SK's for her own devious scheme.  If everything was all hunky dory in OP's friends wedding plan and everyone was all set with the seating chart on OP's friends side and her friend said hey why don't we have all the kids sit together?   Then maybe OP would feel different and maybe it would be different.  But that is not the case and OP's friend is asking her to make trouble in her own life and marriage when no one in OP's friends life thinks that her SK's should be segregated either.  This is hardly a helicopter situation!!  

Floral_SM's picture

I totally agree with you. I've been thinking how pissed off I am at my friend for being such a bridezilla lately. She just has no clue on how her actions are putting my marriage in a difficult spot. She's literally splitting 3 of my husbands children apart, by making the 'step kids' sit away on a step kid table. Seriously? I'm definitely questioning my friendship with her lately. I would never put my close friends in this pridicament. 

Sandybeaches's picture

"Floral_SM"

Please stop defending yourself or your husband to anyone ...  You are right in questioning your friendship.  Your friend is showing she is not much of  friend.  This is one day and one day that could cause a lifetime of problems if you take your husband and SK's to this wedding.  

Turn the tables ... Your DH is asking this of you how would you feel and would you go?