Kids at the wedding? Some but not others? Help!

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
6631 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Should be either all kids or no kids. The only way to get out of this is if you have/had kids in your bridal party. Other than that it isnt fair to everyone. 

Post # 4
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MSbride2Bee:  I slightly disagree with the PP. I think it’s absolutely fair to say that family children are allowed, but friend’s children are not. I think that family is family, but if you don’t really want other’s children there, that’s a totally legitimate thing.

Personally, I don’t want any kids there, but my parent’s are paying a decent amount toward the wedding, and they more or less said that family needs to be there. So that’s what we’re doing. But as far as friends who have children, I don’t feel the need to pay for their food when really, I want just my friends to attend. I fully realize that some friends may not be able to attend as a result, but just as you had said, there will be alcohol, there will be partying, and we will probably be going out downtown afterwards. I don’t need all those kids there while that is happening. Not to mention that we are on a pretty tight budget. Every child we invite means that there is another adult that we would rather have there that we can’t invite.

Do whatever you want to do, and don’t worry about anyone else. This is your day. If you would allow children for the ceremony, but not the reception, you can always use “Adult reception to follow” but include the child’s name on the invite. If you think that might be too confusing, you can always call and just let those families know that hey, your child is welcome to the ceremony, but we want to have more of an adult reception. You could even opt to do this with your family’s children as well. Again, up to you.

Essentially, if anyone outside of family gets angry that their kid wasn’t invited but my family’s children were there, I’m using the fact that it is my blood relatives as an excuse, which is the truth. If they want to get pissed about it, oh well.

Hope that helps and happy planning!

Post # 5
11593 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think it’s unfair to pick and choose some kids.  You need an all-or-nothing rule, or otherwise you’re going to look like you played favorites.

Post # 6
10877 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009


It is perfectly acceptable for you to invite the children of your family members while *not* inviting the children of your friends. There is nothing at all wrong with doing this. However, please do not then tell people you are having a “child-free” or “adult” wedding or reception, because that would be untrue. Write only the names of those being invited (the adults) on your envelopes (inner and outer if you are using both), and you should be fine. If someone calls to ask if he or she may bring his or her children, politely make clear that the invitation was for that person or couple only.

Post # 7
4513 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We included kids in our family, but thats it. 100% of our guests are traveling out-of-state for our wedding. Its a small wedding (38 guests) and most people told me that they would be leaving their kids at home anyway. I think its understandable that you would invite children in your family.

Post # 8
2244 posts
Buzzing bee

@MSbride2Bee:  I had only our nieces and nephews, and did not invite friends’ children or young cousins. It honestly wasn’t that awkward to deal with, because I addressed everything to the specific couple only, and when asked, I would explain that only our nieces and nephews would be there as some are in the wedding party. I may have made my aunt annoyed, but if I did, she didn’t say anything. I also asked out of town guests with children if they would need help lining up a babysitter for the night. It helped reinforce that their kids were not supposed to go to the wedding, and also let them know that I understood it might be problematic and was willing to help them coordinate what to do with the kids. 

Post # 9
5935 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

All or nothing, in my opinion.

Post # 10
620 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I also feel like it’s unfair to only invite some kids and not other (family or not). This was a big problem in our planning as well. We decided to make things simple and not invite any kids – it sucks, but we had to make it very clear.

Post # 11
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MSbride2Bee:  We are having ‘kids’, but are choosing whom those are vs. not inviting others at all.  I have cousins, on my mom’s side, whom are ages 10-17, and I am VERY close to them.  They are old enough to ‘behave’, eat our meal, etc, etc.  That is where our list begins and ends.  My FI has a step-sister we JUST MET, and have zero relationship with, whom has 4 daughters (ages 3-8), whom we barely know.   When his mom added them to the guest list, I politely told her that outside of my very close cousins, it is a no kids wedding.  Was she thrilled? Not really, but I have faux nephews I am not inviting either, whom I know and adore way more than those gals.

Any and ALL friends whom have asked wedding details have stated ‘I am not sure if you are inviting (insert kid’s name) or not, but we are NOT bringing them along regardless!’, to which I have replied ‘great, bc it is a no kids zone for the most part!’  It helps me to feel slightly better that the adult reception, ie huge party, I am trying to throw is also something that wants to be enjoyed by the parents, without their children for one night!

There are rules and etiquette to everything, but when it comes to this issue, I say do what is best for you guys! I just do not foresee a time, ever in my life, where I would be offended if my children were NOT included.

Post # 12
259 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@MSbride2Bee:  I was in the same boat as you! Here’s what I did. I told the truth in a letter on my wedding site and also when I send out invites I will write a small letter reitareting attached to my invite about the topic. I even give examples of who can come. Here’s what I typed in site:


 Kid-ish FREE wedding…

Due to our budget we’re asking for no kids that aren’t immediate family to attend. Some music content may not be appropriate for little ears. Plus, we don’t want babies crying and screaming during the ceremony. We don’t want little kids running around the aisles, knocking stuff off the tables. Just because we don’t want kids at our wedding doesn’t mean we’re baby-haters. It only means we want more of an adult setting. If you’re the aunt/uncle [i.e. Aunt — or Uncle —-], actual brother or sister [i.e. A–, M—–& M——], niece/nephew [i.e K—- or K—-] to the bride or groom and would like to bring your kiddos, or are the kids and want to go then that’s cool with us. We’re informing you a head of time so you can find a sitter for your little ones and enjoy our day with us. If you want to bring your kids and aren’t immediate family, please get a hold of us ASAP, so we can talk about it and decide from there. Do not make the assumption you can bring your kids if you haven’t spoken to us. We really are on a tight budget and would like for you to take that into consideration. Thank you for understanding!!



That’s what I have. I don’t think it’s rude. I’m just telling the truth.


Post # 13
2889 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

i think it’s ok to invite kids who are just family. i didn’t want any little kids at my wedding (our cut off age was 11/12), but my husband’s nieces and nephews (ranging in age from 2 to 18) are so close to him that we really couldn’t leave any of them out. my mother in law wanted us to invite every single child in his family, to which i said “hell no.” we invited the nieces and nephews and that was it. if i could do it over again tho, i wouldn’t have invited any little kids at all. they were too out of control.

i would just say no kids for both ceremony & reception. if you give people an inch, they take a mile, so you’ll probably have people bring their kids to the reception.

whatever you decide, stick to it. no matter how clear you are about it, some people aren’t going to get itand will ask/assume they can bring their kids (and/or other uninvited guests), but don’t cave. i wanted so badly to tell certain people to go ahead and bring their (well behaved) kids, but i knew if i made any exceptions (beyond what we had already decided) it would snowball and i’d end up with a million kids at my wedding.

good luck!

Post # 14
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

all or nothing. i even have one step sister who is only 9 and she was heartbroken that i didn’t invite her but it just isn’t fair to have one but not all.  I said any and all kids could attend the ceremony but the reception was open bar and kids weren’t appropriate.

Post # 15
789 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We invited only our nieces and nephews (7 of them) and my first cousins who are 9 and 13 and no one said a word. We were consistent in the fact that we only invited family who were first cousins or closer, and that included those kids. 

Post # 16
1787 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Absolutely fine to invite family children but not friends’ kids.  That is very, very common with almost every wedding I go to. 

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