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    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 30th Nov 17, 10:14 AM
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    JayJay100
    Alternative birthday arrangements
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:14 AM
    Alternative birthday arrangements 30th Nov 17 at 10:14 AM
    Here we go again.

    My mum is 80 in a few days time, and we have a celebration planned; by celebration, I mean that I've hired a function room in a restaurant/hotel, with a special menu and a drinks package paid-on. The cake is bought and paid for. There is also entertainment in the afternoon, and a light buffet in the evening. The family and two of mum's best friends plus partners have been invited to the meal, and additional friends to the afternoon 'do' and buffet. My mum's two sisters are away for her actual birthday, and my mum didn't want any celebrations without them, so this has been arranged for roughly two weeks after her actual birthday, to give them time to get home and to get over the jet-lag. My mum knows about the family meal, and that we're doing 'something' afterwards, but not the whole deal.

    Last week my cousin got in touch and asked what was happening for my mum's actual birthday. I said that we were having a quiet lunch together, but the main celebrations for everyone were two weeks later. My cousin said that she didn't understand the timings, so I explained that it was so the sisters could be there, one of which is her mum! My cousin said that she'd like to take mum out on the Sunday before her birthday, which I agreed would be lovely and that mum would enjoy it.

    I've now got people texting to say that it will be good to see me on Sunday. My cousin has booked a table at a local (and not very nice) pub and his invited all her side of the family on a 'pay your own way' basis; it appears that people are assuming that this is replacing the previous arrangement, and when I've said that it isn't, I'm either not getting a reply, or people are saying sorry, but thought it was, and because it's so close to Christmas, we made alternative plans now. At a rough count, we're looking at 26 people.

    How the hell do I salvage this?
Page 1
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 30th Nov 17, 10:50 AM
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:50 AM
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:50 AM
    Firstly, what does your mum actually want?

    Then just contact all the people your cousin invited explaining clearly but politely (with no comment on the cousin's choice of venue) that the original plan is still going ahead, and the date was chosen to allow her sisters to attend. They are welcome to attend both.

    The important thing is that the birthday girl has a good time and sees all the family.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 30th Nov 17, 10:57 AM
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    JayJay100
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:57 AM
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:57 AM
    Mum wants a family do, with everyone there, including her sisters. Realistically, I can't see a way of achieving that now.

    I've messaged everyone asking if they can still make the original date, as I need to finalise numbers. I've made no reference to pub do at all; I've not been invited to that. First three replies are all no shows.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 30th Nov 17, 12:18 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:18 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:18 PM
    Is there an issue with your cousin and her mum that means she doesn't want to be at the same celebration? Otherwise it seems odd to basically hijack your mum and sabotage your planned do.

    What does your mum want to do?
    • chesky
    • By chesky 30th Nov 17, 1:33 PM
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    chesky
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:33 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:33 PM
    Was your cousin not invited to the original event? If she was, I don't see how she could misunderstood the purpose.
    • oystercatcher
    • By oystercatcher 30th Nov 17, 1:34 PM
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    oystercatcher
    • #6
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:34 PM
    • #6
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:34 PM
    Sometimes you can't get everyone together . I had three birthday meals this year , three times the fun in my view. If your mum is happy to go to both events then let her enjoy them both, as long as her sisters and a few other people are at the party you are organising it should still go well.
    • Gilead
    • By Gilead 30th Nov 17, 2:15 PM
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    Gilead
    • #7
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:15 PM
    • #7
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:15 PM
    Tell your mum what happened and see how she wants to proceed. Personally, I would tell the cousin you thought it was a meal for the two of them and it has evolved into another party which is not wanted. Either they fix it or it isn't happening.
    • chesky
    • By chesky 30th Nov 17, 2:32 PM
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    chesky
    • #8
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:32 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:32 PM
    If your mum is happy to go to both events then let her enjoy them both, as long as her sisters and a few other people are at the party you are organising it should still go well.
    Originally posted by oystercatcher
    Not if the space and catering are all organised for a certain number.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 30th Nov 17, 2:41 PM
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    Malthusian
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:41 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:41 PM
    Personally, I would tell the cousin you thought it was a meal for the two of them and it has evolved into another party which is not wanted.
    Originally posted by Gilead
    Clearly it is wanted because around 26 people including the OP's mother have agreed to go. It makes perfect sense to have a more laid-back meal on the mother's actual birthday for those who are around. That's what most people would do.

    How the hell do I salvage this?
    by JayJay100
    If people seriously thought that you'd put all that thought and planning into this extravaganza and then cancelled it in favour of a pub lunch, it seems that it wasn't communicated very well as to how big an event this was going to be. Although it's a bit late now perhaps you should explain that this was to be the "big" birthday celebration with all the closest members of family present, and see if they change their minds.

    If it comes down to it, ring the hotel and explain there will be fewer people than you thought. They should be able to put you in a smaller room so you won't be rattling around. If the entertainment and buffet isn't going to work with a smaller number, cancel it and go to the theatre or something. Your mother won't know that you had a bigger event planned - she will just be enjoying a nice lunch with her sisters and the rest of her family.

    Don't tell me you committed to a certain number of people turning up before you'd taken their money?
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 30th Nov 17, 6:45 PM
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    JayJay100
    Is there an issue with your cousin and her mum that means she doesn't want to be at the same celebration? Otherwise it seems odd to basically hijack your mum and sabotage your planned do.

    What does your mum want to do?
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    No issues that I know of, but I suppose it's always possible. My cousin can be bossy and domineering; she's the type that will walk into an event and declare 'oh, that will never do! and start rearranging the layout of the buffet or the furniture. This is the first time she's had a direct impact on anything I've arranged, though.

    You've hit the nail on the head: I do feel as though she's hijacked the arrangements, and I used that very word, when I was telling my partner.

    Mum has said 'you know what she's like' and 'don't rock the boat'. Rock the boat? I feel like running her over with it.

    Was your cousin not invited to the original event? If she was, I don't see how she could misunderstood the purpose.
    Originally posted by chesky
    Yes, she was invited; the whole family were. I did a 'save the date' thing originally, and formal invites after that. In our messages, she made it clear that she thought it was a long time for mum to wait for her cards and presents, and I said that I knew that, but mum's overwhelming wish was to have all of the family together, including her sisters, and that meant a delay.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 30th Nov 17, 7:01 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    I'd be annoyed too, but if your mum is willing to do both, knowing that it means splitting the attendees between them rather than the full gathering she wanted, I don't really know what you can do.
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 30th Nov 17, 7:01 PM
    • 169 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    JayJay100
    Sometimes you can't get everyone together . I had three birthday meals this year , three times the fun in my view. If your mum is happy to go to both events then let her enjoy them both, as long as her sisters and a few other people are at the party you are organising it should still go well.
    Originally posted by oystercatcher
    That's just it, everyone had accepted and it was ready to go. The party that I've organised is now light by 29 people, and that's going to have quite an impact; it also includes most of the smaller children, who mum loves to have around, and were the main reason for having a do in the day.

    Tell your mum what happened and see how she wants to proceed. Personally, I would tell the cousin you thought it was a meal for the two of them and it has evolved into another party which is not wanted. Either they fix it or it isn't happening.
    Originally posted by Gilead
    Mum knows, and is happy to go to both; she doesn't want to upset anyone. I don't want to make too much fuss, as mum and I have had a difficult couple of weeks over my natural mother situation; she thinks I've got a problem with the way that it's been handled, which deep down I have, but not enough to upset her any more than she already is.
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 30th Nov 17, 7:06 PM
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    JayJay100
    Not if the space and catering are all organised for a certain number.
    Originally posted by chesky
    Not only organised, but I was given a good rate for both the food choices and the drinks package, based on the number of people going.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 30th Nov 17, 7:11 PM
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    Mojisola
    That's just it, everyone had accepted and it was ready to go. The party that I've organised is now light by 29 people, and that's going to have quite an impact

    Mum knows, and is happy to go to both; she doesn't want to upset anyone. I don't want to make too much fuss
    Originally posted by JayJay100
    Not only organised, but I was given a good rate for both the food choices and the drinks package, based on the number of people going.
    Originally posted by JayJay100
    I think you're brilliant for putting your Mum first - I'd be furious with the cousin for scuppering your well-thought-out event!
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 30th Nov 17, 7:16 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    I think you're brilliant for putting your Mum first - I'd be furious with the cousin for scuppering your well-thought-out event!
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    You know, I'd almost be inclined to ask her straight if she realises that she's doing this. Just wouldn't want to risk causing stress to the birthday girl.
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 30th Nov 17, 7:24 PM
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    JayJay100
    Clearly it is wanted because around 26 people including the OP's mother have agreed to go. It makes perfect sense to have a more laid-back meal on the mother's actual birthday for those who are around. That's what most people would do


    If people seriously thought that you'd put all that thought and planning into this extravaganza and then cancelled it in favour of a pub lunch, it seems that it wasn't communicated very well as to how big an event this was going to be. Although it's a bit late now perhaps you should explain that this was to be the "big" birthday celebration with all the closest members of family present, and see if they change their minds.

    If it comes down to it, ring the hotel and explain there will be fewer people than you thought. They should be able to put you in a smaller room so you won't be rattling around. If the entertainment and buffet isn't going to work with a smaller number, cancel it and go to the theatre or something. Your mother won't know that you had a bigger event planned - she will just be enjoying a nice lunch with her sisters and the rest of her family.

    Don't tell me you committed to a certain number of people turning up before you'd taken their money?
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    Not exactly. The message sent by cousin started with the words 'change of plan!' The new meal isn't on her actual birthday, it's on the Sunday before.

    The invitations for my 'do' were brief in content, but I spoke to the majority of people to explain what was happening, and that it was a surprise for mum: I'm not sure how much more communication I could be expected to give.

    The hotel aren't particularly interested, and it has been paid in full, by me: there was never an intention for anyone to pay for themselves, as it was more important to have people there, and I knew money would be tight, this close to Christmas, especially for the younger ones. To cancel it will mean that I lose the lot, and there's not a lot left in the pot to arrange something else.
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 30th Nov 17, 7:32 PM
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    JayJay100
    I'd be annoyed too, but if your mum is willing to do both, knowing that it means splitting the attendees between them rather than the full gathering she wanted, I don't really know what you can do.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Agreed. A couple have come back and said that they'll go to both, so at least that's something. One has said she'd rather come to my do, but she's afraid of upsetting my cousin, so she's going to that one instead.

    And it really helps seeing someone else say that they'd be annoyed too!
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 30th Nov 17, 7:34 PM
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    JayJay100
    I think you're brilliant for putting your Mum first - I'd be furious with the cousin for scuppering your well-thought-out event!
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Is there anything beyond furious? If so, I'm there! And thank you.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 30th Nov 17, 7:38 PM
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    iammumtoone
    I admire your calmness OP I would be livid!

    I would send a text out to everyone you invited along the lines

    There seems to be some confusion/misunderstanding about Mums birthday do. There is a meal organised by x on (date) and a meal on (date) organised by myself. The event organised by myself is still going ahead. You are welcome to come to one or the other or both. Mum and myself would love to see you at meal on (date) Meal and drinks are all paid for for so you only have the expensive of traveling. Please can you let me know if you will be attending this event as if not I will need to ask some one else to fill your place.

    Once you definite numbers then starting filling up spaces, ask neighbours old friends that weren't originally included etc.

    Good Luck
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 30th Nov 17, 7:41 PM
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    iammumtoone
    Agreed. A couple have come back and said that they'll go to both, so at least that's something. One has said she'd rather come to my do, but she's afraid of upsetting my cousin, so she's going to that one instead.
    Originally posted by JayJay100
    I think you need to get a bit ruthless and remind everyone your event is free.

    Does everyone have to travel far I can't see why they should refuse a free event in favour of paying? Or at the every least if they like the sound of the other one go to both.

    I am a bit confused are the sisters going to the event organised by your cousin?
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