Post # 1
We are ironing out our guest list, I have a very small family and FI has an enormous family. For extended family invites we were thinking of inviting our aunt and uncles and their children, being our first cousins. We mostly don’t want to invite children to the wedding. The issue isn’t that we don’t want any children there, we just don’t want first cousins to bring their children (it will add about 30 guests…huge family). The problem is that some of my first cousins are children, I think the youngest would be about 10 years old when we get married, the rest would be 15+. All of FI’s first cousins are our age or older, and they have children that are the same age as my younger cousins. So I don’t want them to be angry if they see similarly aged children there and think we were just singling them out.
I am a lot closer with my cousins because my family is so small, whereas FI doesn’t see or talk to some of his cousins for years on end. I know if we word “Adult Only” on the intivations it will create issues as there would be some children there, so I’m looking for a different solution. I guess the main questions I have are:
- What age do people typically make the cut off for Adult Only receptions, are 15+ kids okay or 18+, 21+?
- How can we not anger FI’s first cousins with children who are the same age as my younger first cousins? Should we just depend on FMIL to spread the word, or do I need to fight the battle with my tighter knit family and tell my younger cousins they can’t come (they are so excited to come and I want them there over the children of cousins who we rarely see, and i should note some of my first cousins have children who would also not be invited).
Post # 2
You have to set a line and stick to it across the board. If it’s “adults only,” it’s typically 18+. I think if you allowed some children and not others, the ones who were not allowed to bring their children will feel slighted and that their kids weren’t important enough. It’s a really tough line to make, but you need to apply it uniformly and not look like you’re picking favorites or one side over the other.
Post # 3
- Wedding: December 2014 - lindsay lakes, cypress TX
That’s tough. I’m not sure how you would explain that some people can bring kids and others cannot. Unless, the only kids coming are actually in the wedding party. I think it’s perfectly fine to have an adult only reception, and lots of ways to politley word that, just not sure about only certain kids – tough call. Perhaps just word the RSVP card so that they can only rsvp attending, for those you want invited?
Post # 4
JiminyCricket: Okay, but does the Relation Tier line count? If it is first cousin for a hard line, will it matter if some of my first cousins are the same age as FI’s first cousin’s children?
Post # 5
Only you can decide what will count. I can say that if I was a parent that was told my kids couldn’t come, and I saw similar aged kids there, I’d be hurt and a little upset.
Post # 6
You really can’t invite some children and not others, when all the children in question are family. We didn’t want any children at our wedding, either (inviting the children of co-workers would have added greatly to the list) so we said children of family only.
As for the age limit, I suppose you can set it at whatever you’d comfortable with. It’s probably a little conventional to put teens at the minimum age (13+) or whatever the drinking age is in your local (18, 19, or 21+).
I suppose if this were my wedding, I’ve leave out the age limit all together and just send invites addressed specifically to whomever your inviting. For example, if your first cousins are John and Sarah and their three babies, address the card only to John and Sarah and state that you are reserving two seats in their honour. The message is pretty clear.
Post # 7
racheltea: JiminyCricket: anonybee0810: You all bring up good points, I think we can definitely avoid the adult only wording by just inviting specific persons on the invitations. I still have to think on the children thing, I was under the impression that drawing a hard line on relation tier was acceptable, but I think the children’s ages overlapping does still create a potential issue.
Post # 8
Orchid71: It may create a “Visual” problem for some of your guests, but it is certainly acceptable to draw the line at first cousins, no matter what the age, if you want to include your first cousins. Otherwise you can draw the line at age, meaning some of the first cousins would be able to attend and others wouldn’t, but that”s ok too.
If you decide to include all first cousins, you can ask the FIL’s to spread the word that the younger children are indeed first cousins.
Post # 9
I think most people do understand tiering — agree with Julie, just make certain people understand what is going on.
Post # 10
Orchid71: I also have a HUGE family so we had to cut it off at first cousins. I specifically wrote the names of who was invited on the invitations and only had a few that RSVPed adding their children. I specifically contacted them to know “We just received your RSVP in the mail and I think there’s been a misunderstanding. I’m so sorry, but we’re not able to accommodate the kids, as much as we’d love to see them!!” They are the ones being rude adding uninvited guests, so don’t feel bad about it. Just be clear in your response if any try to add additional people. You can only do so much. 🙂 The RSVPs have been the worst part but the best advice I was given was to STAND YOUR GROUND! The second that you make exceptions for some guest but not others that’s where you will get a headache. If anyone asks, you say “We are only able to invite our first cousins, we are so sorry!” That’s all you have to say. It’s not their party, they don’t get to create the guest list.
Post # 11
We both have a lot of first cousins with kids. A lot of our friends are starting to have kids. Aside from my nephews (who will be 13, 7 and 3 when we get married) we don’t want any kids there. Everyone who knows me/us knows they’re my nephews and how close I am to them. Therefore, we are putting “Adult Reception to follow” on the invitations.
It MIGHT bother some of our cousins… but we’ve mentioned it to friends and so far they’ve already planned for a babysitter so they can have a good time.
If anyone is upset about it or adds kids to the RSVP, we plan on letting our mom’s handle it.
Post # 12
The only issue I really see is that there is not a huge tier difference between first cousins who are children and first cousins children. I would only be worried that because the first cousins who are children are part of your family, and the first cousins who have children are part of your fiancées they may feel that their children were slighted because they are fiancées family and not yours, if that makes sense! I am not awesome with etiquette though and so it may be fine to divide it that way.
Post # 13
We have a strict 100 person limit. 65% will be FIs family. He has 12 first cousins. I have 5 and they have 6 kids between them. I will be inviting all of them because we are very close to them, spend all holidays together and we even vacation together–there were 27 of us this year!!
One of the cousins kids is the same age as my niece and nephews But the rest are in their 20s. We will not be inviting FIs cousins children. if anyone complains, we will gladly explain. I know I’m an optimist, but I can’t see anyone complaining…
Post # 14
We invited DH’s and mine first cousins only to our wedding – no second cousins or cousins children. DH’s first cousins are older – and some of them have kids (age 12 and younger – 6 kids total). My youngest first cousin was 13, and she and her brother, who was 15, where the only ‘children’ at our wedding.
DH’s family was a little annoyed, but they got over it. I’m glad we drew the line where we did. First cousins children is a lot different than first cousins.
Post # 15
alwalters625: That’s what I keep thinking because it is a difference between family sides. Although FI has a younger brother who will be 13 at the time who will be there…but thats a different family tier altogether. On one hand I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain because its all first cousins from both sides and honestly if his cousins want to get mad about anything its kind of crazy because it’s not as if we all spend a lot of time together anyway…but I’m still worried.