Post # 1
So my FI and I are starting to work on our guest list planning… we’re still a year away from sending invites, etc, but I want to get all the questions out in the open so that we are in agreement on the list well befor invites go out.
Like most brides, I’m afraid of running into issues with children. We’ve decided to limit children to my fiance’s nieces and nephews, his two young first cousins, and the daughter of very close friends who is in our wedding party as our flower girl. This works out to a total of 8 children. We’ve drawn the line at this point because the next natural cut off point will take us over 20 children, and that’s more than the size of our guest list will allow for.
I think our friends with children will understand, and look forward to the night away from the kids. The issue I am worried about is two of my cousins have a total of six children between them… I have to cut them off, because some of my fiance’s cousins have children as well, and this is where we have decided to draw the line.
I know there are a lot of wording options for dealing with this situation. However, because its just two of my cousins, I’ve been wondering if I should call them in advance and explain that we’ve limited the number of children invited to the wedding, and that their invites will be for them and their spouses only. Will this help alieviate a potentially bad situation? Or will it just make more of an issue of it then just sending the invite.
Post # 3
I personally think you have a good cut off point in place. You have decided no kids of cousins and are carrying this through the guest list. I think that’s the important part. This delineation occurs consistently throughout the list.
I think you should just send the invite to Mr and Mrs John Smith instead of John Smith and Family and that will get the point across. Likely one cousin will ask the other if their kids are invited. And the answer will be no at which point at least you are being fair.
Or let your parents know and if any aunts or cousins ask they can casually mention yeah they decided to invite first cousins but no kids of first cousins because there’s no room at the venue or whatever.
Post # 4
I don’t know about this one… its a pretty fine line. We are having ‘no kids’, but that means no kids. Trust me, I’d love to pick and choose between all the kids we know. But its really not fair to those guests who you tell not to bring their kids and then they show up and there’s a bunch of other kids there. To me, if you’re having 8, you might as well have 20.
Post # 5
I disagree with JenniB. There’s a huge difference between 8 and 20, especially if you don’t get a discount on the kids meals.
Etiquettely, it’s just fine to have a cut off. Kids in the wedding party are different than regular kids, so people technically shouldn’t be getting upset to see the child of your friends. We ourselves are cutting it off at related kids, so none of the kids of our friends are invited. We’re prepared for fights, but so be it.
That said, I think you just need to address the invitations to the adults, and leave it at that unless someone asks. If your cousin does mention something about bringing their kids, you would gently let them know that you are unable to accomodate them.
I wouldn’t get worried about something before it actually happens.
Post # 6
I think it would be fair to bring it up to the two cousins ahead of time to let them know you are inviting them but not their children. Give them plenty of time to plan for a sitter etc. Technically their kids are like second cousins or something so there is kinda a clear line of children that are allowed.
Post # 7
I think you have the right idea. We waited until the invitations went out and then spoke to people. Some of our family members asked if we would make exceptions and we just explained that we couldn’t.
People seemed to generally accept this… until someone showed up with their 1 year old son. This seemed incredibly odd since we had spoke about it and they weren’t even traveling for the wedding so they could have had a babysitter for the afternoon. Good luck, and stick to your decisions!
Post # 8
Thanks all for the great advice. I have lots of time to decide how to handle this, but the information puts my mind at ease. I know its hard to invite some kids and not others, but between the kids being the same meal cost as adults, and our venue only being able to accomodate 200 guests, we had to draw the line somewhere.
Post # 9
Don’t say anything relating to “No-children” on the invitation. Address the invitation to Mr. & Mrs. X and don’t say “and family.” Also, on the rsvp card say “2 seats have been reserved for XXXX.” Then they know who’s invited. If they write in their kids names, call and say something like, “Due to the capacity of the venue when cannot accommodate kid 1, kid 2, kid3, etc.” Hope this helps!