Post # 1
So, my FI and I had decided to invite our nieces and nephews (six kids altogether) and no other children to the wedding. I was a little worried that this decision might upset other guests with kids. I was wondering if we should also invite FI’s child aged cousins since we are inviting his Aunt and Uncle from out of town and I thought it might leave their kids behind. When I tried to speak privately about my concerns with Fi’s mother (since it would be her brothers/sisters kids) her response was “Of course there will be no children at the wedding” I was like, well, I wanted our nieces and nephews there. She says sure, they can be at the ceremony, but they need to leave before the reception. I was a little taken back by this. In my family, actually at every wedding I’d ever been to, children had been allowed to eat at the reception, danced with each other and their parents, and then had left fairly early, but never had been barred from the reception all together. I have fond memories of family weddings as a kid myself. But while talking to his mother, FI’s grandmother stepped in (I felt so cornered!) and they are both telling me how they are “highly against” the idea of children being at the reception whatsoever and how it is completely inappropriate for me to invite them. It made me really uncomfortable! I mean I really don’t want to offend them. I am going to be part of this family and I really want them to like me, but it’s my wedding and this is what I want!
I would have never thought this would be an issue. It never even occured to me that people didn’t have any kids at the reception if they were invited to or in the ceremony. I’m worried now about his family freaking out that I want my nieces and nephews there (I know my sisters would flip if I said their kids were coming to the ceremony, but weren’t invited to the reception) and is his sister going to be weird about me inviting her kids to the reception?
Has this been an issue with anyone? Is it really “normal” not to have kids eat dinner with everyone else at a wedding? Then why would the venue give me “child” prices? Besides, we didn’t elope because I wanted to have everyone I love in one place at one time including my nieces and nephews!
Post # 3
@BriansBride: I have been to weddings with and without children. DH and I had a child free wedding. I think you should do whatever you want; HOWEVER…you either need to invite all children or none. It’s in bad taste to just invite your nieces and nephews but not anyone else’s kids (especially the out of towners you mentioned).
Consistency is key. All kids or no kids are the appropriate option.
Post # 4
We had children at our wedding and they weren’t a problem at all.
Having a child-free wedding is okay, but I think it’s an all or nothing deal. You can’t nitpick who to invite and who not to.
Post # 5
I think it should be the bride and groom’s decision whether or not there’s kids at the wedding. It’s YOUR wedding, for Pete’s sake! Your FMIL is the one being offensive.
But I have to disagree with the PP… as long as there’s a clear cutoff (only neices and nephews, only first cousins or closer, over the age of 12, etc) then you don’t have to do all-or-nothing.
Post # 6
Honestly, I’ve never been to a wedding without children. We are doing a small destination wedding and sadly, we have no kids in our immediate family! Fiance and I keep complaining how we have no kids to invite! We are very family oriented people and feel that kids bring lots of happiness and joy to the people surrounding them. My cousins and friends need to have babies! haha
Post # 7
Kids or no kids should be the couple’s decision IMO. I do think it’s a little off-putting when only some children are invited though, even if they are close family.
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@BriansBride: We had a bunch of kids at our wedding. To me, weddings are joyous family affairs and it wouldn’t feel right without the little ones there. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a “child-free” wedding.
It’s your wedding, just politely tell them that this is important to you.
Post # 9
We invited only our nieces and nephews and it was wonderful. it does not have to be an all or nothing approach. It is very common to invite children in the family. they came to the reception. those are some of the best photos!
Post # 10
I have been to both types of weddings as well but what is different for me as opposed to the PPs is that only certain children were invited. As long as your rule is consistent then there is no problem. In other words, ALL nieces and nephews, or ALL family children, or ALL children over 10…whatever rule you pick you have to stick with it.
As for not getting along with your inlaws about this, what about YOUR family? Would they be upset if none of the children were invited? But most if all it’s what YOU, as a couple want!
Post # 11
There is no ONE answer. Weddings are different so naturally the decisions made about them are different.
Each couple has to do what’s right for them. As long as decisons are consistently applied ( only immediate family, up to and including nieces and nephews, children of those travelling from out of town , no children under age 10 except the wedding pary,etc etc), it doesn’t matter what your cutoff point is.
Post # 12
Etiquette Snob here…. lol
In my lifetime, I have been to oodles of Weddings… from the first time as a Toddler until now in my 50s
And every Wedding has been different in regards to the Guest List
There is NO RIGHT or WRONG answer on this
Like I said I was a Toddler Flower Girl at 2 or 3, and have rocked the night away in my teens
But I have also been the child on more than one occasion who went to a Ceremony and not to the Reception (or just to the Dinner portion, and then off back to the Hotel with a Babysitter)
None of those were incorrect
The couple did what they wanted to do… or as per the custom in their family
(Sounds like your Fiance’s Family have different traditions in this regard that you are used to)
I agree with @Lana_Rose: (Reply # 2) the most important thing no matter what you decide is to be consistent with your Guest List.
So No Kids – No Kids under age ___ – Only Nieces & Nephews – Only Nieces, Nephews & First Cousins etc.
Make a workable rule and STAY WITH IT
Then if anyone should ask… you have the perfect answer.
ie… No Kids, other than those in the Bridal Party
Kids only for the Ceremony & Dinner Hour
Hope this helps,
PS… I VOTED OTHER, as it most closely expressed my opinion.
Post # 13
I think kids make a wedding. My flower girl (cousin’s kid, 4) was the star of the showandmyfriend’s kid (2) was adorable all dressed up. in total about 8% of our guests were under 18 and it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without them.
Post # 14
we’ve only got a handful of kids on the guest list, since those are the only kids we know. but if we’d had less, and people weren’t traveling (it’s a destination wedding for most of our guests- people either have to travel by plane, or drive up to an hour and a half), we probably would have gone kid-free.
i love kids. don’t get me wrong. but i’ve been to weddings where kids have caused nightmares. on the other end of the spectrum, i’ve been to weddings where kids have been amazingly well behaved. it depends on the kids, and the parents. if the parents aren’t watching their children, it causes a problem.
Post # 15
@mepayne: Thank you! FI and I wanted to invite only immediate family, which to me meant FI and I’s nieces and nephews. (I’d also like them to be in the bridal party) We are keeping this wedding really small (only about 50 guests) which is why we were talking about not having all of his cousins kids who live out of state that we’ve only met a few times, or my old friend’s new wife’s five kids from a previous marriage, or basically anyone we aren’t really close to. I actually had to really pull with my FI just to invite his Aunts and Uncles because he is trying to keep this to only people we see at least once a year. I thought as long as it is only “immediate family” it would be okay. But, I was worried the Aunts and Uncles would be upset about not inviting their kids. That was why I brought it up with my FMIL to see if her sisters or brothers would be upset if their kids weren’t there (and if so get her to help me pressure FI to invite them) but apparently they already have someone set up to watch them since having kids at a wedding is so inappropriate and all. bah, I don’t know I’m totally lost now. Should we invite every kid we know and hope most of them don’t show? Is it okay to invite my and Fi’s nieces and nephews?
Post # 16
I agree with the PP who basically said all or nothing. That being said the decision is up to you. It is your wedding. It is your decision if you want kids or not.