Cousin upset with no children under 13 rule

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 16
3450 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

chocochai :  In that case if the baby is in arms then those arms don’t get to attend. Simple. No kids under 13 is not a hard rule to understand. If people have to decline bc they are unable to attend then thats life. Welcome to parenthood! You will miss out on certain things and events bc of your child.

SoCalBride09 :  Your rule is fine and nothing about it sucks. Stand your ground and let whoever has an issue know they will be missed but you understand.

Post # 17
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

heavenlyflower :  I don’t understand your aggression. It’s not a hard rule to understand you are right. I said in my response that it is up to the op to make the decision either way and even gave her an example response for her cousin. I am still allowed to have the opinion that babies in arms should be an exception. She doesn’t have to agree, but she’s on an Internet forum asking for people’s opinions. 

Post # 18
2429 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: NJ

People who bring near-toddlers and babies to weddings always leave early, so why do they care so much? If they don’t want to leave the baby with anyone, then don’t. Stay home, miss the wedding. What fun is bringing the baby to a wedding where you are going to be wrangling the baby the whole time?

Ten months old might be at the ‘cruising’ stage, holding on to furniture and people and trying to walk. I can just picture some drunk or dancer knocking over the baby, or scooping it up and heading for the dance floor. 

Tell the cousin that your wedding will be baby-free. If she can’t make it, she will be missed (not). Have the conversation once, and if she tries to bring up the subject again, shut her down nicely. 

Post # 19
2857 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

SoCalBride09 :  Stand your ground, bee! If your cousin decides not to attend, that will be her decision but the decision to have a child free wedding is yours.

We will be having some sort of age restriction as well for multiple reasons. Inviting all of the kids under 12 would double our guest list. On top of that, some of our nieces and nephews are brats to put it plainly. Constant fit throwing and tantrums galore. The last wedding that we attended, my FIs four year old nephew literally screamed throughout the entire ceremony and all his sister did was bounce him on her knee because he needed to “cry it out.” No thanks. Not at my ceremony. 

Post # 20
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I guess it depends how much you want her there, you could make an exception for the baby. We have just got a save the date for a family wedding next feb (husband’s cousin). It would mean two nights away and we can’t afford a babysitter for the whole weekend. I asked my parents and sister if they can’t babysit and neither are sure yet. If they can’t do it then I won’t go but will be absolutely gutted – the groom is my daughter’s godfather and I love them. I do understand (and don’t mind) the no children rule but sometimes exceptions can be made! 

Post # 21
393 posts
Helper bee

There’s nothing wrong with your rule. Your wedding, your call. Period. Either she comes without the child, or she doesn’t come at all, which is what she told you she may end up doing. You were very understanding of that, and yet she STILL had an issue with it. Some people like to use the “I might not be there” excuse as a “threat”, but then when the couple is understanding about it, they get all huffy because “how DARE you not include my child?!”

IMO, you did nothing wrong. It’s probably better off that she doesn’t come to the wedding anyway if she gets this upset over something so minor. 

Post # 22
3450 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

chocochai :  How was that aggressive? 🤔 Blunt maybe but thats just my personality in general. Aggressive is stretching it a bit. Your opinion is just as valid as anyone elses and I understand why you feel that way I was simply responding with my own opinion, aggression wasn’t my intent. Enjoy your day

Post # 23
6860 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I’m having a child free Destination Wedding. I know some people will have to decline because of it. TBH, I WOULD make an exception for a newborn. 10 months old isnt a newborn. They are active and noisy at that stage. 10 months old is old enough to be left with a sitter as well. So I can see both sides, but this baby would be a no-go for me.

I have a couple who had their first kid last year, and he will be just over a year old by the time our wedding comes around. Their mom asked me “Oh 19+ – does that include little Johnny? He will only be a year, so he probably doesnt count right?” and I was like “Uh no. No minors, not even little Johnny.” Some people just think they are so special they should get a pass lol.

Post # 24
12237 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

If you aren’t willing to make an exception for babies, and a ten month old is not nursing around the clock in any case, so I don’t blame you, I would just change your justification. Wedding party children are not a reasonable exception if it means excluding others similar in age or relationship. Children are guests, not props. 

What is reasonable and acceptable is to make cut offs by relationship. So if you are only inviting children of siblings, just say that. 

A compromise and a nice gesture, especially if her attendance ultimately matters to you, is to hire a sitter or nanny or recommend one to be nearby. 

But if she’s offended, that’s her problem. You haven’t done anything wrong. 

Post # 25
3532 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

SoCalBride09 :  well, I personally think it’s rude and problematic to pick and choose children. Either invite kids, or have an adult-only wedding. But saying that you don’t want kids because to avoid an outburst in church, but then still having some (under 13yo) kids there doesn’t hold up the nephews could just as easily have an outburst in church as any other kid. And just because you dress a child up in a tux and give him a pillow to carry down the aisle doesn’t mean he’s immune from acting like a child. Sorry, bee, but I totally get where your cousin is coming from in this regard.

there is nothing wrong with an adult-only wedding (we’re having one, and no FI’s 2.5yo and 6yo nephews are NOT invited). But picking and choosing children is just a bit off-putting if you ask me. 

Post # 26
2798 posts
Sugar bee

I’m having about 20 kids under 8 at my wedding and I still totally respect your decision to have a child free wedding. It very much changes the tone of the event when there are kids scampering around. My wedding is going to be loud and raucus and outdoors anyway, so it’s not a concern for me. But I definitely understand why you would prefer adults only if it’s a more serious and elegant affair.

I love kids and I think they’re hilarious to watch, but they do command a lot of attention and create a fair amount of fuss. Sometimes that fuss and attention is great, other times you want to focus on adult time. It’s totally up to you what tone you want to set for your wedding. 

Post # 27
610 posts
Busy bee

I don’t believe children should attend weddings, funerals, hen parties, spa days etc etc etc I’m harsh, I know. Sorry not sorry.

These are traditionally adult only events. 

It rubs me up the wrong way when parents kick off about their kids not being able to attend. I think it’s  so important that kids know they’re not welcomed everywhere as they can become entitled. Some events should be adults only. 

It’s awkward with your brothers kids though. This blurs the line so I can see why she’s annoyed.  However, who willingly takes a baby to a wedding? All the mums I know would give their right arm to leave dear Johnny at home and have a raving party without any responsibility.


Post # 28
997 posts
Busy bee

I disagree with people saying all newborns should be an exception. It’s only for a few hours, not even a whole day. If you can’t come, then end of story.

You said you made exceptions for your nehpews and those in the bridal party, so I think that’s what made your cousin think she could change your mind (or your mom’s mind!). You didn’t make it a hard-and-fast rule with everyone, so obviously you have some leniency in you. It’s also technically “not fair” – which is completetly fine because it’s your day and you can do whatever you want. You just have to make it clear to her that there will be no more exceptions. 

Post # 29
12237 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

People who are saying it’s rude to have your own nephews but not open the door to everyone else’s kids are misguided. It is perfectly acceptable etiquette. It is not now and has never been any other way. 

Ditto to the non-existent babies in arms “rule.” What is true is that some people may decide not to attend or be unable.

It’s similar to how some people incorrectly believe every adult gets a +1. They are not entitled to one, but of course attending solo or not is their own prerogative. 

Post # 30
3870 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

SoCalBride09 :  Stand your ground. Your cousin has left the baby behind before which negates her upset about this 100%. The baby will be ten months old at the time and can live two-four hours without the mother nearby. If she cannot attend because she can’t find a babysitter, it’s a shame, but that is no reason for her to start leveraging her child around as weight. 

As for the “baby in arms” argument, I have quite a few thoughts on it. I see both sides, but I lean towards, “Babies have no place at a wedding.” DH’s brother and SIL brought their (uninvited) four month old to a cousin’s wedding two years ago and she screamed her HEAD OFF for two straight hours before they left. It was completely disruptive and I offered to remove the baby from the room several times, but they declined and said everyone could “get over it” she’s a baby. I’m all about NOT putting babies in situations that are going to be loud and scary (as in with a DJ booth and music blaring for hours at a time), but that’s just me.

Also, at my wedding, I absolutely invited my nephews (they were unable to attend due to Brother-In-Law moving across the country the weekend of our wedding), but I did not invite the children of co-workers, friends, cousins, etc. Immediate family is understandable. Inviting the children of every guest is ridiculous and could potentially jack up your guest list by the dozens. Saying if you invite one child you need to invite them all is ridiculous! It’s not “rude and problematic.” If people can’t be adult enough to understand that there are always exceptions, then they need to grow up.

The way I see it, it’s the same way when selecting wedding guests. I invited everyone on the same “level.” Immediate family is on the same level as the bride and groom’s parents, siblings, and grandparents. Aunts, uncles, and cousins are on a different “level.” Children of cousins are on another “level.” 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors