Cousin upset with no children under 13 rule

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

She has a newborn? Leaving a newborn is not really possible for most people, even if it’s with the grandma. It really doesn’t matter how much time they have to plan, a newborn is still very dependent on their mom. 

It is your right to say no babies, but I think that rule sucks. Personally, I think you should allow babies in arms. Either way, you need to chose what is more important. Having your cousin there or having no babies. If you decide no babies, just keep reiterating “I’m sorry, we cannot accommodate any children under 13. Please let me know if you will still be able to make it or not.” 

Post # 3
6167 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

Babes in arms are often not included in the rules about children. Nursing infants and whatnot. But if she’s left her baby with someone else before when she was in a wedding, then that argument is moot.

It’s your wedding, so your rules. We said it was only “children of the immediate family” and someone still brought their daughter in place of an adult who didn’t attend. In the moment, it didn’t actually matter, I was feeling so good about my wedding and she behaved.

In terms of making the situation less awkward- you could change your rule and let people do what they want to do (which means not having your wedding as you envision it), or you can let people know, as graciously as you can, what the guidelines are and trust that they can determine for themselves whether or not they can attend within those agreements (and if they’re willing to do what is necessary to get themselves there). It might be uncomfortable to know that there are people who have an issue with your rule but unless they’re offering up a bunch of money to make it convenient for you to have a separate children’s area and paid and fingerprinted adults to supervise them, I’d say there’s nothing more to do.

Post # 4
47187 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

When is your wedding? If her child was a newborn a few months ago, how old will the child be on your wedding date?

She is responsible for her own feelings, not you. She has already demonstrated that she is able to leave the baby if she so chooses.

As a mom of two, I think parents just have to get over the idea that they will be able to take their children everywhere. There are consequences to all choices in life. Choosing to be a parent means I have had to miss some events that were not child friendly. And that’s ok.

Post # 6
1128 posts
Bumble bee

The rule doesn’t suck.  Plenty of our friends have small babies and are still coming to our wedding.  If they can’t find a babysitter, they don’t have to come.  The wedding is not for your cousin, it’s for you.  The event is at a private location that you are paying for- it’s not a public park.  

Post # 7
275 posts
Helper bee

megrays :  All of this, right here. 


You have the right to dictate who is at your wedding, that you are paying for. She has the right to say no to coming. Either decision is not wrong. 

Post # 8
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

We also had a no kids rule, exception were my two nieces who were flower girl/ringer bearer. However they left immediately after family photos. My 1 gf did bring her 10mo. Son because she was breastfeeding and they live out of town and were staying in a hotel overnight to attend. Her husband just showed up after the ceremony with theirnson so there were no outbursts during the ceremony. We have a few friends who voiced disappointment at not bringing their small children but we explained we felt it would be unsafe as we were having an outdoor wedding and there was a pond and creek on the property and didnt want to worry about small children running around.

Post # 9
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2021

My cousin had a no kids rule, and for me it sucked. My child was only 12 months and because my family all had to travel to to the wedding and pay for accommodation I couldn’t afford to pay for a sitter. My ex (we were together at the time) had to decline the wedding and look after our son. So I went solo. It did suck. Because everyone else had someone to share the wedding with. But I am also a grown up and know that it’s not always appropriate to have kids at weddings. and they had a lovely child free wedding. 

Post # 10
5916 posts
Bee Keeper

SoCalBride09 :  I agree that Save-The-Date Cards should give her ample time to find a babysitter & she’s done this before for a wedding she was Maid/Matron of Honor @- but I’d like you a whole lot better if you didn’t repeatedly refer to her baby as ‘it’.

Post # 11
7002 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Bee, stick to your rule. You are entitled to have a kid-free (or within whatever paramaters you want) wedding, just like your cousin is entitled to have a baby. Having a baby means that sometimes there are things you’ll miss out on.

I get so sick of hearing people say that babies and other nursing infants should be an exception to the rule. I’m sorry? Do you get to take your baby to work with you? Nope didn’t think so. Do you get to tell your boss “sorry I should be allowed to bring my baby because she’s nursing”. Nope. There are plenty of places where kids aren’t allowed. I understand that some people don’t let anyone watch their kids, and that’s completely ok if that’s how they want to do it. But if you’re going to be rigid with your childcare options, you’re going to have to understand that sometimes you’ll be missing out on things.

We had a kid-free wedding with over 200 people. Did some people decline because their kids weren’t invited? I’m sure. But you know what? Those who were there were the most important people to us.

Post # 12
9172 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

chocochai :  10 months is not a newborn. 

SoCalBride09 :  stand your ground.  we had a no kids wedding.  we had 2 moms (1 local, 1 OOT) , that had few month old babies.  both left their babies at home with sitter.  the local mom and Out of Town mom used the Out of Town mom’s hotel room to pump.  they were happy to have a night out. a 3rd Out of Town new mom did not come, but her husband did.

we are going to a wedding a 5 hour drive away in the fall months.  my son will 1.5y and i have no intention of brining him the wedding, even if he is invited.  i plan to bring him with us for the weekend and i have a friend in the area who i trust who is lending me her babysitter. 

if you do not want babies, you don’t have to.  if she can’t come, that’s fine.  let her threaten not coming and just continue saying, sorry, we will miss you.

Post # 13
1825 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

My husband had his heart set on attending his close friend’s wedding 3 weeks after our baby was born.  (It was especially important to him since we had missed 2 of his family members’ weddings while I was 9 months pregnant and was not able to travel.)  The wedding was a 1.5 hour drive away, and the venue was not appropriate for a newborn.  Plus, we had no idea whether the baby would be welcome or not, since the couple did not know I was pregnant when they invited us.  We got my Mother-In-Law a hotel room for the day less than a mile from the venue.  We checked in that afternoon and checked out late that evening.  She stayed with the baby while we attended the ceremony, then I went back and pumped milk for the baby, then we attended the reception for a couple hours.  People can make things work if they really want to…

Post # 14
4036 posts
Honey bee

My daughter was invited to and attended 5 weddings, from the time her now toddler was 2 months old through 10 months. The baby wasn’t invited to or attended any of them, including her uncle’s. At one, the band was so loud, the adults were leaving the reception room, and hanging out in the cocktail hour room. One wedding was even out of town. They managed. And … she breastfed.

Our family has been hosting adult weddings, since I was a kid – the late 1960s. My daughters’ weddings were basically 21 and up, as are almost every wedding we’re invited to. When I say “basically” there are brothers/sisters/bridal party members/the couples’ children under 21, and that’s about it. Only 2 children attended a very casual/barn wedding, we were invited to.

My daughter invited 250 guests, 21 and up and 225 attended. One couple said they couldn’t get a babysitter, despite being given 10 months notice with the save the date. Another couple boycotted and didn’t have the courtesy to RSVP, despite having a nanny. We had enjoyed a fabulous evening without them.

Post # 15
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

ajillity81 :  she said newborn in the op. I responded before she clarified. But regardless, my opinion is still the same for a 10 month old since they are still possibly breastfeeding and would be a “baby in arms”. 

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