Post # 1
I am still waffling on this, but I’m pretty sure in the end, we’re going to allow children at our wedding. My niece and nephew will be in my wedding as a flower girl and ring bearer, and I’d also like my officiant’s (my cousin) children to be there. My mom tells me that I must allow children of all family members if my niece and nephew will be there, and especially if my cousin’s children will be invited. However, she has also told me I simply must invite all of my cousins because I am inviting some of them, even though I’m not really all that close with or really ever see some of them, and frankly I think that kind of thinking is a little bit of a guilt trip.
Question 1: Is it rude to invite only children that you have a special relationship to, and leave out others? I get the feeling this question is going to get a resounding YES.
Question 2: Do I also need to invite children of couples that are not related to me or my Fiance, such as friends and coworkers, or can I limit it to only the children of family members without being rude?
Question 3: Will inviting children mean that those children’s parents will leave really, really early? *This is the real issue I have with inviting children, rather than the extra expense and potential for chaos/tantrums.* Our wedding is an evening wedding at 5:30pm, followed by a cocktail hour then dinner and dancing. We’ve booked everything until 11pm, and while I do expect many people will be leaving well before then, I’m concerned that any friends who bring children will need to leave much earlier than they ordinarily would, like 8:30 or so, so that they can get the kids off to bed. This would make me a little sad, especially since one set of parents who might have to leave early would be my maid of honor and my FI’s best man. I would be really sad to see either of them have to leave early because they have to get the little one off to bed.
Questions 4 & 5: For those of you who invited children, did you invite all children of all guests, or did you limit it to just family or just children you have a special relationship with? Did having their children there cause anyone to have to leave your reception earlier than they probably would have left otherwise?
Post # 3
I’m struggling with the same thing! I’m super interested to hear the responses.
Post # 4
I think you should have all children come if their parents want to bring them. Seeing as how you have several coming, if you say no on the invite, you will offend a lot, and it’s not worth it. Also, with inviting your cousins you rarely see because youre inviting the rest, i would do that too. No literally, I am doing that for my mother! A wedding friend once told me that it’s only one day, and causes troubles and making family enemies by not inviting to a wedding is not worth it. Because of one day (and yes, its your big day) you may cut ppl out for the remainder days of your life or your parents lives. You just need to really think it over.
And for the kids who come to weddings, just pray that their parents actually watch them and make sure they dont brake things, ruin things, scream and cause tantrums. Thats all you can do.. or perhaps set up a kid area somewhere in the venue with a babysitter and some activities?
Post # 5
@NorthernLights: Yeah, I can totally see that. But I’m really worried that having their kids there will cause my friends to have to leave early. I’m actually not worried about the expense or the chaos of it. It’s only during the ceremony that I really care what the kids do, and I think their parents will control them. And expense-wise, my very generous mom is helping with the cost of the reception, so that should be okay. At this point, it’s mainly my fear that a huge chunk of my guests and favorite people will have to leave early because they will need to tend to their kids that is making me hesitate.
Post # 6
@Bubu82: Well, if you said no kids, theyd prolly still leave early to pick them up from a sitter. I know of a service where these ladies are booked for weddings. They take a small room or section of the hall or even at their house, and set up activities for kids and offer them wholesome meals. You can look into that perhaps? On the invite if you say no kids, you can also offer the parents directions to a place where you have set up a childrens service. They will watch them until all kids are picked up by your guests after the wedding. I hope that helps!
Post # 7
We’re probably going to only invite children from immediate family members, so it’s almost none. I’m a nanny, and the two kids I watch are going to be the ring bearer and flower girl, but two of our friends have four kids each, and they’ve already said they don’t mind leaving them at home so we aren’t inviting the kids (also because 99% of our guests are travelling, and it’d just be cheaper on them to leave them at home with the mother in laws, etc)
Post # 8
@NorthernLights: Good point about them maybe having to leave early anyway to relieve a babysitter.
@rampagingcoconut: I’ve been considering asking my friends with kids what they would prefer – whether they’d be more comfortable having the kids there, or if they’d prefer to treat it more like a night out and leave the kids with a sitter. I don’t want anyone to feel as if they must bring their kids if the kids are invited, because most of them are really little, and I don’t imagine that the reception will be tons of fun for the kids. Maybe I should just ask?
Post # 9
We invited only some children, and I believe it is fine to do that. Sometimes the realities of guest count limitations mean that you cannot invite everyone who you would truly like to invite.
We invited children of our own close friends and cousins. Children of our parents’ friends and cousins that we didn’t know well were not invited due to space constraints.
This resulted in having just a couple of children, and in those cases the parents did not leave early, but that probably various by family…
Post # 10
1. yes, unless you’re only inviting the flower girl/ring bearer.
2. i think it’s okay to limit it to family only, as long as you don’t make any exceptions.
3. probably, but they would probably leave early anyway to get home for the babysitter (unless they can have the kids sleep over at the grandparents’ house or something)
4. we invited all children, just because we don’t know that many people with children, and those that have kids will have to travel.
Post # 11
You certainly don’t need to invite ALL children of your guests. That would be a little overwhelming. It would be nice to invite all children of close family members.
But honestly – I don’t think you need to. I say, invite those children you have a special relationship with. And don’t invite other children. Don’t say “Adults Only” or anything like that, just leave them off the invite. If people come to you and ask take it on a case by case basis. If no one says anything to you then they probably don’t have an issue with it. If, they come to you and say “Hey, Little Sally’s name wasn’t on the invite – would you mind if she came?” Then make your decision.
Post # 12
Some parents are really strict about bed time and others let their kids stay up when there is a special occasion. I don’t think you can figure out what your friends will do unless you talk to them. Especially the Maid of Honor/ Best Man. You can ask them what they plan to do- maybe they’ll have grandma sit and it won’t be an issue.
Post # 13
If you are meaning within your family then I would agree it is a yes. Because then it’s no different than inviting some first cousins and not others. I firmly believe with family you have to draw the line somewhere and keep it that way. If you’re inviting only up to first cousins then ALL first cousins get an invite. If you’re inviting up to first cousins and their kids then ALL kids of first cousins should be invited. If you are just inviting kids that are in the bridal party then that’s it. The child of an officiant is a shaky line especially since it’s your cousin as well.
You absolutely do not need to invite children of friends and absolutely definitely do not need to invite children of coworkers, if you do not want to. We did not invite children of friends(but then again no friends have kids yet but if they did I imagine we would have) or co-workers. But had a couple ask if it was OK because they had to travel out of town for our wedding and it would be difficult finding a sitter for the 2 year old but if they had to they completely understand. The kid was young enough where we did not have to pay for him anyway so we let them bring the kid. And even if we had to pay for the kid we still would have said yes because really for what they were spending to travel to our wedding the child’s plate $ was minimal.
I think this depends highly on your family and the individual child and where your wedding is in relation to where everyone lives.
In my family all the kids are (and were!) party animals! Being up till 11pm partying it up and going crazy is the norm for them! Our wedding went till 11pm and you betcha all the kids were still on the dance floor dancing.
Questions 4 & 5:
Again, we only specifically invited children of family. Only one couple non family asked to bring their kid and we kinda expected more to ask and figured we’ll deal with it on a case by case basis. And again no one left particularly earlier because their kids were there.
Post # 15
We didn’t invite children but had the mindset that anyone who was traveling and wanted to bring their children would be able to. Ultimately, one couple brought their child (under 6mo). One couple left early to relieve a babysitter (our event ran until 11 as well). At least two other couples were super happy to have a child free evening and spent the whole night on the dance floor. Another guest let her child have a sleep over with grandma and grandpa and spent the night at the hotel to join us for brunch the next morning. Overall, I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as some people (my Future Mother-In-Law for example) make it to not invite children as many parents enjoy a night out. So, I would say invite the children you are close to, and invite children of family members but don’t invite children of friends or co-workers if you don’t want to. Of course, if the children are tired or miserable I’m sure their parents will leave. Better yet, talk to your Maid/Matron of Honor and ask what she prefers, maybe she would be happy to have a child free evening with her man.
Post # 16
We only invited children of immediate family memebers, our nieces and nephews. Because there were 11 of them, we felt like that was enough children considering we were trying to have a smaller wedding and originally wanted it to be adults only.
The couples who came and didn’t bring children actually left early since they had babysitters who had to be released. Our siblings all arranged for grandparents (their in-laws) to take the kids so they could party all night. I wish they would have been swept away earlier, but that’s a hard conversation to have so I just went with it.