Post # 1
After agonizing over my budget and guestlist for months my fiance and I decided that we could not ave children attend our wedding. This was a difficult decsion for us as there have been some other family weddings recently that have invited children so we are breaking with the tradition. But we needed to draw the line somewhere and this was the decision we made.
We have just sent out our invitations and had parents names (not their chidrens) printed on the invite thinking that this would make clear that they were the only two people who were being invited. Well less than a week after the invites had been sent out I recieved a message from one of these guests asking if their children were invited “as their names weren’t on the invite” I am not sure how much clearer I could have made it to them? No I am placed in the awkward position of needing to reply.
Am I overreacting? Was this just a harmless/obvious question to ask as I hadn’t specifically stipulated it on the invite? Has anyone else been in a similar situation? How did you react?
Post # 3
I would Never consider not having children at my wedding.
Maybe you should’ve included a note with the invites for those with kids explaining your situation and apologising.
Post # 4
@lovinglace: I think the question was harmless because some parents may not realise that generally, the people stated on the invitation are the only ones invited. If you had included children you would have written ‘the Smith family’ or ‘Mr and Mrs Joe Smith, Jimmy and Julie’ etc. I don’t think too many other people will ask this question, hopefully they’ll understand.
In this case, just politely explain that due to budget constraints/space constraints/venue licensing you are unable to invite children and you hope they will have a great night. We didn’t have too many guests with kids, but we told most of them beforehand that ours is a no-kids wedding and they were actually happy about having a night out without kids!
Post # 5
@lovinglace: When I sent out my invitations, the RSVP card had printed names on it, along with “We have reserved 2 (or the appropriate number) seats in your honor.” I still had a member of FI’s family ask if her children were invited through FSIL. FI is away on military training, so I was stuck having this conversation through FSIL. My response was as follows: “Unfortunately there are no children invited to the wedding. We had a difficult time cutting back the guest list, and we hope you are still able to attend.”
Fortunately, the guest was understanding and she is coming to the wedding. I think maybe people ask if they are unsure. Better they ask than just write in their children on the RSVP. 🙂
Post # 6
I don’t think it’s out of line for them to ask – it’s not as if they crossed out stuff on the RSVP card and said “The whole family is coming. Deal with it.” There are so many different ways to address invites, that there’s nothing wrong with them being unsure if the kids were invited and asking you what’s going on.
I wouldn’t bring up the budget when explaining what’s going on, though. Just say something like “It’s at a relatively small venue so we can only have X number of people for safety regulations,” or “Because the wedding is a pretty formal affair, we don’t feel that it is appropriate for younger children. We’re sorry if this means you can’t come, etc.”
If possible, it may smooth things over a little if you help make arrangements for a babysitter for out of town guests, just to make it easier on them.
Post # 7
We’re not having kids either, but thankfully that’s pretty normal in my family and there is a pretty easy line to draw (FI’s 20 YO brother is the youngest in his family, and all of my cousins are 22 or older. A lot of my cousins have kids, but we’re just not inviting anyone that far down the family tree).
I personally think your invitation is clear, and that you SHOULDN’T have to put “adult evening” or whatever on your invites. However, since in your family it’s the status quo for the kiddos to be invited, I think the parents are just double checking. That’s the price of being a revolutionary 🙂
Post # 8
@lovinglace: Do you have a wedding website? We put a FAQ page on our wedding website that explained that due to venue constraints, we asked that only children who are part of the wedding party attend the wedding. That might help you avoid future awkward questions.
I’d call them back, apologize for the confusion and just say that it’s due to venue constraints and you hope that they’ll still be able to attend.
Post # 9
@Chizzy: Since the invitations have already gone out, saying that the OP “should have done” isn’t helpful.
Post # 10
@CelticBeachBride: Im very well aware of that. It might help someone in the future.
Post # 11
I think it is an ok question and perhaps they just want to clarify with you. Not all guests will understand the etiquette of invites. Don’t worry just respond and I am sure they will respect your decisions.
Post # 12
Just tell her, “No, they aren’t invited.” You know you can’t say yes to her and no to others. If you want to explain further, “We just don’t have the budget to include all of the children. We hope you’ll have enough time to plan a sitter because we’d love you to come.”
You’re just feeling fear (i.e. afraid she’ll be mad). If she is, oh well. She chose to have children, good for her, that doesn’t mean every event she’s invited to will include her children.
Post # 13
@Chizzy: I’ve never heard of people sending a note expaining that children aren’t invited. People should be able to figure this out by looking at who the invite is addressed too. And there is no reason at all to apologize for not inviting children.
@lovinglace: I think it’s just a harmless question. It’s better that she called up and asked instead of just writing their names on the RSVP card.
Post # 14
@lovinglace: I have had 3 weddings this summer that I KNEW my son was invited to (bride and groom had expressed either excitement over seeing little guy or I knew for some other reason) and two of the three were only addressed to me and DH (and so I called/texted/e-mailed to double-check). So sometimes the one doing the addressing doesn’t know the correct etiquette and may be sending the wrong message with it. I think a request to clarify should not be seen as a rude comment, but at face value (until proven otherwise).
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
Honestly, people are stupid about ettiquette and you must treat them as such. Weddings are for adults, not screaming children. Tell them to leave the kids at home. We had my FMIL tell guests who “couldn’t wait to show off their new baby!” Seriously?!
Post # 16
@lovinglace: When I was younger my parents were sometimes confused by invites that only had their names and weren’t sure if we were invited too. It’s hard to remember when we are in the craze of our own wedding that most people are not up to date on wedding ettiquette. So I would assume the best, that it’s a harmless question.
I would just answer honestly with what you said here in your first paragraph. Say that you realize your family tends to invite children but because of budget and guest list constraints, after much deliberation, you and FI realized that was the best option for your wedding, although you will miss the kids. I have a strong feeling, hopefully, that the parents will understand, considering that they have planned a wedding themselves before. It is up to them if they still want to attend. Some people may not attend since their children aren’t invited, and they have that option just as much as you have the option of not inviting children. So no need to feel guilty or worry! Everyone makes their own choices. It sounds like you thought this through and you are good to go.