We were invited to a wedding over a year ago, it falls on our granddaughter's 1st Birthday. Which one should we attend?

We were invited to a wedding over a year ago, it falls on our granddaughter's 1st Birthday. Which one should we attend?

by Jane
(Canada)

We have known about the wedding for over a year. We accepted the invitation. I told my daughter-in-law about the same date for both occasions. She has sent invitations to our granddaughter 1st birthday for the exact time as the wedding. Everyone on our side of the family is going to the wedding and therefore cannot attend the 1st birthday party. Should we have changed our plans and gone to the 1st birthday of our granddaughter? I feel like we have been put in a difficult position of course we want to go to her 1st birthday, but we have accepted the wedding invitation. My daughter-in-law feels like everyone is choosing between her daughter and the wedding. Help!



Jun 12, 2011
A Difficult Choice...
by: Kevin (Modern Manners and Etiquette)

Obviously, you are in a difficult situation and there really isn't anything that I can say that will magically make it better.

Some etiquette people would argue that you committed to the wedding a long time ago and you should keep your commitment. They would be correct in saying so.

There are also other people that would say you need to support your family by attending the birthday party...and they would also be correct.

So, which one is right?

Unfortunately, they both are right. And that is what makes this such a hard choice.

You do not mention in your question who is getting married, so it is hard for me to compare the two events side-by-side to see where your greatest priority lies. Even if I knew, I don't think it makes the situation any better.

As I see it, there are really a couple of choices:

1. Divide and conquer - If you are married or have a significant other, one option would be to split up and have each of you attend one of the two functions. That way, someone from your family would be present at both of the events. Or...

2. Go to one of them early to show you care and are thinking of them. As an example, you could go to either your grand-daughter's home a day or two before and throw a party for her to show that you care and that she is important. Or, you set a time to meet with the couple that is getting married before their big day and drop off your wedding gift. That way, they would understand the situation and see that they were important enough to take the time to bring them a gift.

Neither solution works perfectly (I don't think there is a perfect solution here), but they do show thoughtfulness and love. The whole point here is that the more special you can make either of them feel, the less it will be an issue with either group of people.

Hope that helps.

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