Post # 1
Ok, here it is. We’re still in the planning stages but we’re looking to have our wedding in Yosemite. That being said, it’s a National Forest…good for families. We’re having an evening reception that will be a sit down dinner that requires coat and tie.
Some of our guests are long time family friends that have children who are over the age of 12 but under the age of 18. We would like to invite these people to bring their families. BUT, we also have some family friends that have children under 10 and babies…we would like NOT to invite their children.
How do I go about this without having some people show up and go "WTF, why are kids here when I couldn’t bring mine?".
Post # 3
I think it’s fair to say that you are only inviting children ages 12 and up as required by the venue or given the nature of the event, etc. The fact that you have a fair rule that establishes a cutoff with no exceptions makes it fair and easier to explain.
Post # 4
Well, just chose an age limit. Anyone under 12 isn’t invited. Plain and simple. A 12 year old will know how to behave. If you get asked questions, just say that was the age limit.
Do you think you’ll run into any issues where someone has a 10 year old and a 12 year old? That might be difficult.
When you address the invitation, make sure you write "Mr. and Mrs. So and so and Johnny" and leave off anyone under that age limit. Your guests should figure out that their kids aren’t invited.
Post # 5
By any chance is the breakdown among the families such that the parents either have all little ones (under 10), or all older ones (over 12)? If there is an easy breakdown, I don’t see a big deal in having an age cut off. I don’t think it has to be 18. 12 year old are perfectly capable of handling themselves at a wedding. (Just read some threads around here. 12 yr olds are often better behaved than some of the adults.)
The cautions I would have are if you have families in which they have 1-2 children who would be invited (12 and over), but then a child or two who would be below the cut off. That can be awkward. It might be a bit awkward if you have a lot of kids that hover right around that cut off. If there is an age that makes for a cleaner cut off, I’d go for that. (Whether it’s 8yrs or 14 yrs.)
Post # 6
Thank you for all your answers!
We are acutally lucky in this aspect. Every family either falls into "over 12" or "under 12". Luckily there’s no one with a split in the age ranges.
I like the idea of letting them know due to location and event style that only 12 and up are invited. Also, on the RSVP cards saying "we’ve reserved x number for you".
Post # 7
I get very touchy over this subject as I am still pouting over having lost this battle with my family and FI. I did not want to invite children for a couple of reasons: First, children can be loud when people are supposed to be quite (i.e. during our ceremony when I am paying someone buckets of money to do our videography!) and second, if you only have room for a set amount of people and you open the children floodgate, you could easily have to tell close friends that they won’t be there on your wedding say so that your three year old friend’s daughter can come and yell during the ceremony.
I even had a rude someone tell me this, "Well if it’s only a party and not a celebration, by all means don’t invite children." Um…it’s a celebration regardless, b*tch.
Okay…whew…felt good to get that out. I’m done. Pardonez ma Francais, s’il vous plait.
Post # 8
Thank you Miss Saphire for this post!! I have been struggling with this issue for a few weeks now ever since I found out friends of my FI are planning to bring their child, even though he is not invited. And to be honest, I’m still wondering what to do. When the invites go out I will address them to "John and Jane Doe" but have a feeling they will reply and add their son. I feel that this is just rude. I would feel horrible doing to this someone KNOWING the high cost of weddings these days and what a plate will cost to feed the extra little person not to mention taking away the seat from an adult that we actually want to be there. Don’t get me wrong, I love children but made the decision from the beginning that the only children at the wedding would be my two flower girls (who are my neices) and the ONE under 18 cousin that I have, my FI’s cousins are all adults.
So what should I do when the inevitable "addition" to the invite comes back in the mail? I am not a confrontational person and don’t like to upset people but at the same time, I’ve got to keep a firm grasp on things so our budget doesn’t get out of hand with every person bringing their kids!
Post # 9
I think the #1 way to work with this situation is to contact each family personally to express your decision. It helps smooth over any rough edges and in general is a nice way handle what can be a tricky situation.