Age limit for adults only reception – where to draw the line?

posted 8 months ago in Etiquette
  • poll: What would you do in my situation?
    Invite the oldest nephew, and make the age limit 16+ : (23 votes)
    59 %
    Invite the oldest and second oldest nephews, make the age limit 12+ : (7 votes)
    18 %
    Don’t invite any nephews : (8 votes)
    21 %
    Other (comment below) : (1 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 2
    1027 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2015

    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
    226 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2021

    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
    51 posts
    Worker bee

    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
    584 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2018

    View original reply
    nordiclight :  I think 16+ makes the most sense with what you’ve outlined here. 

    Post # 6
    883 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2020

    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
    7171 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    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
    797 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2019

    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?

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