Flipside: How would you feel if your child wasn't invited to the wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

I don’t have kids, but I find it really hard to imagine that I’d be offended. It’s the other couple’s wedding. There are loads of reasons why they might not want kids there.

And frankly, I KNOW I’d be psyched to have a night out without them. Woot! Date night!

Post # 4
8385 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I’ve never wanted kids and I’m never having kids, so if I did have a kid, I would completely understand if a couple didn’t want to include them.

Post # 5
7280 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@Aquaria:  We are cbc so thankfully never have to make this choice but I can see both sides of it.

I respect a couples right to have a childfree wedding but it irks me when they start bad mouthing or complaining about guests commenting (not demanding their child be invited) on their choice or when they take a comment about childfree weddings in general as a personal attack. You made the choice, own it and realise that it may not be a popular one. I also hate when they make exceptions such as my MOH can bring her child but no one else. I tend to think the all or none rule shoudl be in place.


I can also see the parents side of things. It must be hard to hear that because of your choice you will once again be excluded from an event. Or to be made to feel like your child isn’t worthy of an invite or is somehow a terrible child. I also think in the case of DW it is pretty rude to say leave your kids at home because it would feel like the couple really don’t want you there because they know you can’t leave your kids (espcially babies) for that length of time. But yeah I don’t think parents have the right to complain about the couples choice. They just need to accept or decline the invite.  


Post # 6
1589 posts
Bumble bee

@Aquaria:  how insulted would you feel if a friend/ family member essentially told you that they expect your child to misbehave?

I’d figure they know children’s behavior pretty well.  Kids get bored and sitting quietly is difficult.  Some can do it, many can’t.  It is not a personal affront.  Certainly some just hate kids in general, but I don’t think that’s where most of the “adults only” requests come from.  I think the couple just wants a celebration with a certain tone.

I had a family member have an adults only 80th birthday.  She has great-grandkids and babysits them regularly (and therefore knows how they normally act – not bad, just like kids).  She loves those kids .  BUT for her party, she wanted it kids free.

Depending on the circumstances – how old is the kid, how hard is it to find childcare, would I have to travel to get there and then not know reliable/safe childcare, etc., I may decline the invite.  If so, the couple should understand and not feel like I don’t ‘love’ them enough.   They made a decision that was best for them, and I need to be allowed to do the same.     No whining about “my wedding is more important than one night away from their child.”

ETA = get rid of free space and correct sloppy apostrophe use.

Post # 7
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

speaking as a parent, i have been invited to numerous weddings over the years where my son was not invited; some of these weddings were child free and some were child-friendly, some were family, some were friends.  regardless, it didn’t both me at all.  i was not once offended.

Post # 8
250 posts
Helper bee

I have discussed this with family and friends and all agree that an evening wedding is not a place for children. There is alcohol, it goes past their bedtime and ultimately the parents have to watch their kids rather than have fun.  they equate it with bringing a child to a bar after 10pm. No one I know has been offended most expect their children to not be invited.

Post # 9
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

@Aquaria:  I do not think I would be offended at all. My parents had zero issue leaving me with a sitter for the night, and there was always a clear line between they are the parent, I am the child, and certain privledges come with adulthood– like  going to fancy events and sitting at the “adults table” at Thanksgiving! Children need to know that not every event in life needs to be centered around their involvement, and parents need to know that a wedding invitation is just that– an invitation, not a summons. If they can’t part with their child for a few hours then they can respectfully decline.

Post # 10
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

It depends. I’ve seen threads where brides didn’t want to invite their own neices/nephews to the wedding. If my brother had not invited my son/his nephew to the wedding, you’re damn straight I would be offended. (Note: DS was invited, he was only 2, and he was flippin adorable in his tuxedo!) But we attended 3 weddings of our friends in the same year that we got married, and DS was not invited to any of them. For 2 of the 3 weddings, the couple actually knew DS very well and they like him a lot, but they were having adult only weddings for budget reasons. No big deal.

Post # 11
7280 posts
Busy Beekeeper


If so, the couple should understand and not feel like I don’t ‘love’ them enough.   They made a decision that was best for them, and I need to be allowed to do the same.     

This exactly. It bugs me so much when I read comments on here about guests obviously not loving you enough when they decline.

Post # 12
2694 posts
Sugar bee

I don’t have kids yet but after reading these threads, I won’t be offended! Weddings cost money and I hope I would understand if a couple decides to cut out my child in favor of an adult. If it really is too expensive to hire a babysitter then I would just have to stay home. I hope the couple would understand in that case though.

I’ve actually never been to a specific “Adults Only” wedding before. I’ve been to weddings with adults only but that’s because the couple did not have friends or family members with kids.

Post # 13
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I have been EXTREMELY offended when my kids were not invited to my only cousins wedding.  The evil bride actually expected me to travel 1,000 miles and leave my kids home, small kids at that.  Yeah she wouldn’t know what a family event was if it smacked her in the face.  I did not go, and I talked almost everyone in my family out of attending as well, after they RSVP’ed yes to make them realize she cannot do that to family.  I think the selfish ass bride was actually more mad that there were no gifts given.  I hope with all my being my cousin divorces her ass real soon.

As for local weddings, even when my children are invited, I usually leave them home.  The thing that pisses me off about the couples with the “adult free weddings”, the couple automatically assumes “Oh everyone will LOVE a night out without the kids”.  Sorry, you cannot make decisions for people. 

Post # 14
1589 posts
Bumble bee

@hemoncdr:  I guess we each respond in our own ways.

I would have just declined the invitation, and thought “yay, no travel expenses, no travel to a destination that isn’t our first choice, no time off work, no packing the kids  with all the associated hassle of toting them through airports or “are we there yet questions?” – we’re off the hook.”


Post # 15
1259 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

There was another thread similar to this and I think it depends on the age of the child.

Post # 16
25 posts
  • Wedding: August 2016

@hemoncdr:  “The thing that pisses me off about the couples with the “adult free weddings”, the couple automatically assumes “Oh everyone will LOVE a night out without the kids”.  Sorry, you cannot make decisions for people. “

couldn’t agree more!

I don’t have any kids yet, but honestly there would be very few situations where I think I wouldn’t feel insulted if my (future) kids weren’t invited. If a work colleague that has never met my kids were getting married, then I wouldn’t be insulted if the kids weren’t invited. However if a friend or family member were getting married, then yes I would feel insulted, and probably wouldn’t go.

As PP said I feel like if the parents don’t want the stress, then they can leave their kids at home if they like, but it should be THEIR choice. (In regards to alcohol, staying up late, etc.)

The argument I don’t understand at all is the “they might steal the spot light from the bride” argument. Honestly it baffles me.

I should add that I’m “European” and I feel that the concept of a child free wedding is more common in the US, so perhaps I would feel differently if I were more used to the concept. But as it stands I am 100% against child free weddings, as both a future bride and (hopefully) future parent. 🙂

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