Post # 1
I am struggling with where to draw the line for the age limit of my reception. I want an adults only wedding, as there are a lot of children in my immediate family and with my small guest list (60) they would overwhelm the event. I have seven nieces and nephews under the age of 8, but I also have older nephews and older cousins. I am in Ontario, Canada, where the drinking age is 19.
One of my cousins will be 19 at the time of my wedding, and her siblings will be 17 and 16.
One of my nephews will be 17, and his siblings will be 12 and 5.
I know it is bad etiquette to break up families, but I can’t invite the 5 year-old without inviting the other six nieces and nephews under the age of 8, and that is not an option.
On the other hand, I feel I can’t exclude my oldest nephew if I am inviting cousins who are his age. I do plan to invite all three cousins.
I can’t not invite the cousins, as they already know they will be invited and I see the oldest regularly. For added context, I am not close to my step brother’s family as we live in different cities. I typically only see them at Christmas for a few hours.
Also, no other guests have children older than 8, so the 12+ or 16+ would not create confusion with any other guests’ children.
Thank you for your input!
Post # 2
I don’t think anyone else can really decide for you whether to invite this one 12-year-old. I’d say 16+ is probably the clearer line, but I don’t think it’s really a big deal either way.
Post # 3
I think a 12-year-old would probably not enjoy the event because there will be no one close to his age to hang out with. But the older teenagers you could seat together. So in this case, definitely 16+.
Post # 4
We had an adults-only reception, and the age cutoff was 14 as I had some family members in high school. A friend of mine with young children was very understanding, as she mentioned that her kids are learning that some events in life can’t/won’t include them. I think inviting only the oldest nephew is fine.
Post # 5
I think 16+ makes the most sense with what you’ve outlined here.
Post # 6
I’m drawing the line generationally at the level of first cousins, which will leave one 16 year old cousin as the only guest under 21.
I don’t have any nephews, but if I did I suppose I would stick to the generational angle and still keep it to siblings and first cousins and not the next generation down.
Post # 7
I had adults only, and we didn’t have any guests under 23. The exception was my own sister, who was 12 at the time. I did give her the option to invite one of her best friends but she opted not to…because I think she just wanted to hang with the adults and act older…haha.
I’d probably cut it off at 19 since that’s the legal drinking age. If you feel compelled to let the one 16 year old you can.
Post # 8
I think it largely depends on the 12-year-old. For example, my 13-year-old niece LOVES hanging out with adults. She has zero qualms about there being no kiddos her age around (the difference here is I’m incredibly close to her and she often hangs out with me, my husband, my brother (her dad) and our friends. She’s 13 and the closest person in age in that friend group is 29, but she’s mature for her age and very fun, so we love hanging out with her and she loves hanging out with us too)
I know that was a bit of a tangent, but I guess my point is that, if the 12-year-old is the type who loves hanging out with people older, then I don’t see the harm in inviting him. However, I also know kids around that age who don’t enjoy hanging out with adults as much, as would be bored being the youngest one there. I think you should use your best judgement, maybe talk to the parents and see what they think?