I totally get why you're not impressed.
I have been in the same position, and I took my kids to the zoo on the big day with the money I would've spent on gifts, outfits, etc.. If my kids can't go, I can't go. We had a blast.
I dont understand the "we've decided to get married, so that means for one day we can do whatever the hell we want no matter who we bother or what we lose because its OUR day"
News flash, getting married doesnt give you a licence to be an insensitive cnut!
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...hmmm, I think there needs to be a big family sit down "chat" - to sort out some sh!t before it festers away and makes the rest of everyone's lives toxic.
OR - you could find a sitter, go to the wedding - get absolutely trashed, and vomit all over the bridal table just as she gets served her dinner? - would make awesome memories for future family get togethers
hahahaha... to the 'honour of being invited''... well maybe if I was invited to a famous person's wedding... maybe.. lol. More like the Bride & Groom should be the ones ''honoured'' that people are coming....
OP can I ask why it is you assume its all the girlfriend and not your brother? just seems to be a bit of a theme of it all being the womans fault when your brother is part of that relationship as well. What would be his side of the whole situation surrounding your family? maybe he has another story to tell. I just find it would be insulting to him to have everyone hes some brainless sheep who has no input to anything and does what he is told. You dont know what they discuss behind closed doors, no matter how well you think you know him. One 8 year old being there is marginally different to younger children and if thats what they want then so be it.
I've been married twice - the first time I was 21 years old and there were only a couple of children in my extended family. We had a child free wedding and it would never have occurred to me to invite any children.
Second time around I was 34 and we wanted children there. (My DH was not invited to his cousins wedding when he was a teenager because they weren't having 'kids' and is still dirty over it - no matter how many times I've told him he's being ridiculous, it's just a wedding and get over it! So he was definitely inviting kids!) We invited the children of our cousins (we don't have any nieces or nephews) only, but not friends. We had 10 children there. I told a few of our friends with children that unfortunately we couldn't invite everyone's kids, it was just family kids, otherwise there'd be more kids than adults! Every one of them said "oh, I never would have expected the kids to be invited anyway!" The people who's children we did invite asked if we wanted them to pay for their meal! (which of course we declined!) so I think child free weddings are fairly common.
It's a tough situation, I completely agree that the bride and groom get to choose what they want for their wedding, it is their day. However, I also believe this: The ceremony is all about the bride and groom. That's their special moment. The reception is a party you are throwing for your GUESTS. I did lots of things to make sure the guests were happy, including the kids (activity books etc).
At the end of the day guests also get to choose whether they want to go or not. It's an invitation. You can decline if you want to. The fact that it is in another state makes it difficult, like a PP said, I would have arranged some child entertainment where all the kids could hang out in a separate room at the reception center if it was me.
The fact that she told you they would be invited and then changed her mind without telling you (or even at all) is not ok.
It's not worth throwing a relationship away over though. Life is too short. Sorry OP, it sounds to me like ALL parties have handled the situation badly and it's gotten a little more heated than it needed to. If your brother doesn't turn up to family events, doesn't stand up to his wife controlling him and doesn't have a say in his relationship, then that's something he needs to sort out for himself. It's better to take the higher ground and just say you wont be able to make it because it's not possible for you to get a sitter for your kids and travel interstate. Telling him it's going to ruin your relationship from now on is a little over the top and sounds like a heat of the moment comment.
As a side note: I was also one who had two of the little girls we invited line up to "meet the princess" and then tell me they "never knew I was a real princess". Totally worth having kids there just for that moment
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