Is it wrong to ask a friend to not bring her kids to the wedding?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
6660 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Its perfectly find not to invite her kids. Just address the invitation to her and her husband. Are they traveling a long distance or some other factor that would make you think they would want to bring their kids?

Post # 3
1499 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t think you can ask her not to bring her kids, and allow other children under the age of 13 there. Over that age, most people will understand that they are teenagers and can handle themselves. I am not one to care about etiquette and technicalities, I just think this would be downright rude. Either have a no kids rule no exceptions or deal with her kids there.

Post # 4
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

u can just invite her and her husband and saying only children of close family are coming! We did this! Just had my nephew and god daughter as flower girl and page boy and no other kids! x

Post # 5
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Just let her know the event is Adults only other than immediate family…

Post # 6
744 posts
Busy bee

jennayhoang:  It’s fine to not invite them.  If it comes up as an issue, just tell her you are not inviting non-family children due to space constraints.  That is a perfectly legitimate line to draw.

Post # 7
3643 posts
Sugar bee

I’m all for adult-only weddings; however, it sounds like you just want to exclude her kids only, which might not go over very well. How far down the line are you going with “family kids?” I’ve read that a lot of weddings include family kids, but it seems silly to me, for example, for some people to exclude their best friend’s kids, that they see all the time, but invite their 2nd cousin’s kids, whom they’ve never met, just because they’re family. I think if you only invite (if there are any?) – your younger siblings, your children, godchildren, and nieces/nephews, you’ll be fine. 

My 1st daughter to marry had a strict cut-off of 21+, except for her honorary little sister (16.5), who was a bridesmaid. Therefore, 8 of 14 of the bride and groom’s first cousins weren’t invited. There was plenty of grumbling, but no one offered to pay for their plates (the full adult-rate, btw), so they weren’t invited. Of course we got the biggest stink out of the family where she’s met the younger 1st cousin only twice…argh!

Post # 8
450 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

jennayhoang:  How closely related are the family members bringing children? We have a small venue with limited seating and we are having children of immeadiate family and bridal party only. We have spoken personally to our friends with children and explained the situation in advance of sending out invitations, it has not been a problem.

Post # 10
2313 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

jennayhoang:  Is she local and the family isn’t?  That would be a good excuse if she ever asked why her children weren’t invited and others were.

I think it’s kind of a shame to lie because the honest answer to the question is that her children are ill-behaved and these other children aren’t.  It’s too bad we aren’t able to say things like that these days, I think 50 years ago if a kid was running amuk the parents took care of it, and if they didn’t they were kind of shamed by other people.  Now little Jimmy is just expressing himself…by running in circles screaming his head off.  *This coming from someone who isn’t a parent so I’ll concede I don’t understand the difficulty.  But I do know if my children happen to be hell-raisers despite all my best efforts I won’t be taking them to weddings, restaurants, or movie theaters until they learn to behave appropriately.

ETA: It sounds like from your update you have a perfectly fine excuse, only children of close family are bringing children, I think you’re golden 🙂

Post # 11
5761 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

It’s fine not to invite the kids, but you need to accept her potentially declining your invite graciously. especially if the couple are traveling.

Post # 12
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

jennayhoang:  I think it’s dicey to try to pick and choose which kids are and are not invited,  so we made a blanket “adults only” statement to avoid making anyone feel singled out. On our invitation, we had “adult reception to follow” printed at the bottom and on the reception card, stated “adult guests are invited to join us for dinner, drinks, and dancing at X location…..” maybe in your case you could state ” guests over the age of X are invited….”

we also addressed the envelopes by names of the adults and stated the number of seats on the response cars (“2″ seats have been reserved on your honor”) with the corresponding number of blanks to fill in the name and meal selection. This allows you to invite certain children and not others, but be prepared for potentially hurt feelings when parents show up to see other kids there when their own weren’t invited.

For us it wasn’t even a money thing, our event was not kid friendly in the slightest and frankly after observing so many parents do absolutely nothing when their kids scream, run around, or otherwise completely disrupt the experience of everyone else around them, we just didn’t want any kids there. No one complained or even asked about it for that matter, and no one brought their kids. Everyone had a blast.

Post # 13
1525 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think you are fine with “family kids” and wedding party only.  One reason to me of invites to kids in the family is that they will have more “watchers” — like grandmas, aunts, etcs so if mom and dad dance, they are other there for junior.  It is also easier to arrange seating.  If I get dressed up, give a nice gift, and ended up sitting at a table with a kid (or more than one), especially if not the best behaived, I would be disappointed.   Of course, if my neice or nephew, I would be fine. 

Post # 14
5075 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2050

jennayhoang:  I know this is what you would most like to happen:

     Friend leaves kids home and has a great time at your wedding

But it might come down to one of the following. Which are you most willing to live with:

     Friend brings kids and has a great time at your wedding

     Friend leaves kids home and has a miserable time at your wedding

     Friend and kids stay home

(edited for stupid formatting)

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  Daisy_Mae.
Post # 15
709 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Daisy_Mae:  If a friend can’t have a good time without their kid, then yeah, I think they should stay home/decline the invitation.

We’re having an adult only reception with the exception of my 3 nephews. The only other children allowed are breast-feeding newborns (my MOH is pregnant and due 3 or so months before the wedding). She also has a toddler who will not be at the wedding. We have a lot of friends with kids, and we’re happy for them, but we just want more of a party-type reception and don’t feel like we need to change what we want out of our wedding because they’re parents. 

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