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what should i do?

August 23rd, 2009 at 06:56 pm

DF and I have been talking about an engagement party. Typically I think you're meant to have them just after you announce the engagement, and it's a good idea for us to do that because we're not actually getting married for a few years.
So, my dad and stepmum and little sister are staying with us Sept 25-Oct 2nd. They live 3 hours away by plane so it's a big deal, I only see them once a year.

I was thinking it would be a good idea to have the engagement party while they're here, people expect everyone's parents to be there of course.

So I called my dad yesterday to ask him if that would be ok, as it is their *holiday* after all. He said 'if that's what you guys would like to do we would be happy to.' I guess that is the best reaction I could get. I really did stress that if they felt the teeniest bit uncomfortable we could have a quieter dinner while they are here with just a few people, and have the engagement party another time with a whole heap of people.

It is just, I know my dad and them want nothing to do with my mum and her partner. Things weren't exactly amicable, and I understand that.
And I will have to ask my mum to NOT drink a single drop. So there's a possibility that she will get all stubborn and refuse to come anyway. And you know the horrible thing? There's a part of me that actually wants her to not come. *ALL* of our friends avoid her, she has given my DF's auntie a hard time over nothing once (and now thinks she's the devil - when the Auntie did nothing at all) and I just feel tense imagining my dad there. Also my mum's partner is one of those 'take sides before you even know the other side of the story' types - hates my dad because of the things my mum told him which mostly are in her head anyway (I suppose that is normal in a divorce anyway, but it just gets to me).

Anyway. Then there's the whole thing of planning it, I want to have it on a Sunday mid-morning, so it sends the message that it's a casual event, not an actual 'party'. DF suggested a morning tea type of thing, and I had the idea of hiring one of those mobile coffee carts. Anyone ever had one of those? How much do they cost?
I would make most of the stuff at work Big Grin and then we would not have to ask people to bring anything. We would have cupcakes, quiches, sandwhiches, maybe some mini custard tarts or something, scones, slices of cake etc. Sort of like a high tea?
None of our friends have ever had an engagement party like that, so it would be rather different. We'd have it at a park.

So anyway, I just really don't know what to do. My dad's reaction was neutral, which is the best I could hope for I guess. Frown I have the difficult task of asking my mum nicely not to drink. I got angry and upset last night and cried to DF because I thought to myself 'Why the **** should I even have to ASK this kind of thing? And why should I walk on eggshells around it? It's not MY ******* problem!'

Anyway. What would you do? I am sure my dad would be happy to have a nice dinner with maybe my DF's mum, grandparents, DF's sister and a couple of our friends. But then again I just don't think it's right to have an engagement party without your dad there.
We would invite around 50 people. There would be others that they could talk to, I just don't know what will happen.

5 Responses to “what should i do?”

  1. boomeyers Says:

    Go for the engagement party for the high tea and just don't serve alcohol. No one says you have to have an event with drinking. If it is a Sunday afternoon, who would expect to drink then anyway? If you have to, just have a champagne toast. Your DF's family already knows what to expect from your mom, but you know what, she is your mom and will be at your wedding, when you have children, Christmas, etc. They may as well get to used to the fact that she is what she is. Don't stress - have fun!

  2. swanson719 Says:

    My mom and step-dad didn't come to my wedding because they can't behave around the rest of the family. I told them when I got engaged that we weren't going to be embarrassed on our wedding day by family fighting, and that if they could behave themselves, they could come. So mom got pissed and didn't come. Part of me wish she had, but part of me is glad she didn't. It sounds like a similair situation to yours. What really bothered us was that our maid of honors ex boyfriend was uninvited after he cheated on her, but he got drunk and crashed the reception and made a big scene. Can't plan for everything.

  3. lizajane Says:

    I agree with the alcohol-free party theme. That may not stop your momr from drinking beforehand, but you can't control everything. Have both your mom & dad been at an event approximately the same size before & behaved properly? Surely they could just ignore each other & not cause a scene for a few hours! Maybe mention to each that the other will be there, and you'd appreciate it if they kept things civil so you could enjoy the party. Tnen, enjoy it!!

  4. gamecock43 Says:

    Can you have your parents come at different times? Invite dad to be at the event from start to 1.5 hrs after start. Invite mom to come from 20 min after dad is supposed to leave. That way dad has a choice to stay if he wants to brave your mom- or he can leave before she gets there but at least he saw everyone and made an appearance. And if mom gets rowdy and other guests want to leave...they saw you, chatted and enjoyed themselves as well. Leaving a party after an hour or so is common and totally ok. Your mom never has to know the party started without her. When people ask where she is- just say "She will be here at X time, she had another morning appointment."

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I think gamecock43 is on to something there....Love the idea of a Sunday morning party. It sounds special because it is not done all the time. Cozy, too.

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