(Closed) Family angry about no children at reception

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 212
Member
3182 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

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@Loribeth: Totally agree with this.  I think that everytime someone says the phrase “bringing two families together”! It was actually in Miss Manners today.  I don’t feel like our families will be blended after the wedding.  I do not feel like I’m a part of the brother in laws family.  And I feel just fine with that!  

Post # 213
Member
7367 posts
Busy Beekeeper

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@Elvis: I am curious about some of the emphasis on categorically calling weddings “adult events” though, and the excuse that adults should not consume alchohol or dance when there are children present

Well that we can definitely agree on! I just assume that the a couple knows their circle best and trust they are making the best decision based on numerous factors. I do think that if one chooses to limit children, there are definitely instances where concessions should be made. But ultimately what they decide, I say roll with it or politely decline.

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@Elvis: Of course, I’d also have no qualms about stopping in the middle of the ceremony and saying “Hey, you with the crying baby, take it outside.

I think your my latest cyber crush. 🙂

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@Loribeth: ITA!

Post # 214
Member
2312 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

We had to invite children to our wedding, because my husband’s family just… does not operate any other way. They would have been EXTREMELY put off to have had any family members not invited. So, we kind of just had to deal with it. Let me tell you: there were two people nearly every guest at my wedding commented to me on. One was our best man who is, scientifically speaking, as good looking as you can possibly be. He is Angelina Jolie in man form, and it’s just not everyday you see someone THAT good looking walking around in your real life. So everyone commented to me on him.

The other one was one of my husband’s cousin’s daughters. She is two and she screamed THE WHOLE TIME. She yelled during the ceremony ( I didn’t notice, I was too wrapped up in the ceremony itself, but everyone else did) and she hollered all around the reception. Everyone who came up to me asked: “Who is your best man? AND WHO WAS THAT CHILD WHO KEPT SCREAMING?”

So, to that I say, if you don’t want kids at your reception YOU GO ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF AND DO WHATEVER YOU WANT. Your guests will likely appreciate it too, that is, the ones who don’t have sticks up their asses and realize it’s silly to get offended on the behalf of a toddler who doesn’t know for themselves to be offended they were not invited. The kids will have more fun with a babysitter. You will have more fun without them. Your guests will appreciate an adult night with no kids. 

Post # 215
Member
288 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I think people taking the Adults Only reception idea too seriously.  It is not anti-children.  I was invited to an adult only reception by a friend from work-my fiance and myself attended.  We have a 4 year old daughter and we were not offended at all.  There is a tiime and place for everything.  Chidren are expensive, especially at receptions and this is a time for the bride and groom to shine.  Children add a different element to situations-it becomes about them.  I enjoyed having the ability to dress up and have a date night with my fiancee.  When my fiancee and I tie the knot, it will be an adult only reception. Those who choose not to attend because of that are not as close to us as we thought and can stay at home anyway.  Just my opinion.

Post # 216
Member
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

I actually wish I could invite people’s kids… but we counted up the number of kids and it would be 40+ children under 3 years old, (increasing our guest list by about 25%) which just seems too insane.  

Post # 217
Member
1289 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Ok, I’ve stalked this thread for a while and I feel like now I need to throw in my two cents.  First of all, I come from a VERY close knit familly.  I chalk that up to a cultural thing (we are Middle Eastern) and the fact that we are a group of very strong, opinionated women and men who actually get along! I personally called all my aunts and cousins to see when the best time of year was for them to get off work for the wedding.  They were very considerate and said it was my wedding and they will make sure they’re there! Super sweet-love them! My fiance wanted immediate family only, to which I replied, no way! I’m an only child and super close with my extended family.  That being said, guess what? I’m not inviting children.  And guess what? My family is respectful of that.  We are inviting several cousins under 21, but not YOUNG CHILDREN.  Nope, nope, nope. 

Here’s my question.  If the argument is its a “family occasion,” which I totally agree with, then why are you (MrsNeutrino) having your wedding in a place that many of your family members will not be able to attend? How is that not offensive? I’m not judging it, I’m honestly asking.  Because truthfully I’m hoping many of my fiance’s family doesn’t come because they don’t live in Cali, so I get it!! But it seems a little hypocritical (for lack of a better word, that comes off stronger than I would like) to be offended about not inviting your children, but not offensive to have the wedding far away so the family can’t come. 

Here’s what I think.  Yes, you can absolutely be offended by your children not being invited.  But isn’t that a waste of time? We’ve established that in terms of etiquette, its perfectly acceptable to have a child-free wedding.  So why are you resentful of something that you have no control over when you should feel happy about the joyous occasion? Now, I completely understand being “bummed” or “disappointed” that your kids can’t come, but “offended?” The implication of being offended is that you were “wronged” in some way.  But since we’ve established that its acceptable for your children not to be invited to a wedding, then you were not, in fact, wronged.  My point is that if you use the term “offended” it looks like entitlement.  And if you honestly wouldn’t come to somebody’s wedding because they “offended” you with what is their perfectly acceptable choice, then it seems like you are being a little selfish and entitled. 

Anyone can feel whatever way they want about this subject.  They can react negatively and be offended, angered, and hurt or they can react positively and be understanding, accepting, and resilient.  I feel like the latter would benefit everyone greatly.  It boils down to two things:  emotional intelligence and resilience.  If you can have those two things you have a much better chance of having a successful, happy life.  Or you can choose to be offended, but what is gained from that?  Whew!!! I’m done!!

Post # 218
Member
4410 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2010 - Savannah, GA

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@Elvis: There’s a difference there…  When your mom remains in contact with your dad’s brother, she’s remaining in contact with her former Brother-In-Law. When she remains in contact with her second husband’s sister, she’s remaining in contact with her former SIL. Those were people who were a part of her extended family…  However, I doubt that if you mom has a brother that he is incontact with those two people (her former Brother-In-Law and SIL) because they were not part of her brother’s extended family. 

Your paternal and maternal grandmothers were chums because they liked each other when they met and enjoyed each other’s company, but they weren’t actually family to each other.

My brother is not family to my husband’s brother and sister. Do they know each other? Yes, they met at our reception. They shared a table, but that did not make them one combined family. I’m not family to my bother’s wife’s sisters. I know both her sisters, and I think they’re both very nice, but They are not part of my family. They are part of my brother’s extended family. 

 

Post # 219
Member
6065 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

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@eimajleigh: I think you articulate something I’ve been feeling really well!- Somone being offended means they feel entitled to have their kids.

If a bride and groom want an adults-only event, I personally think it should be respected. As you said- dissapointed? Sure. But offended?

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@ohheavenlyday: Exactly. Honestly, the thought of screaming children during the ceremony and reception gives me hives! I’ve mentioned this on another “no kids at weddings” thread…I attended a wedding where two children ran up to the cake table before the bride and groom did, and smashed the cake and threw the flowers down. And the parents did NOTHING. Absolutely nothing.

Post # 220
Member
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

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@eimajleigh: Well said. I agree with Evie19 that you hit upon the issue that to be offended that your children are not invited implied that those of us who are having an adults only reception have wronged parents. We haven’t. We made a choice, no even a RUDE choice, just a practical choice. 

Luckily for me, only one person in the entire guest list has children and I doubt they will end up coming because the wedding is far away.

Post # 221
Member
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

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@Loribeth:

You are, of course, absolutely correct! Thank you for explaining how my family works to me. I didn’t know before. 🙂

Post # 222
Member
4410 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2010 - Savannah, GA

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@Elvis:  🙂  You’ll have to forgive me. I just reread what I explained, and thought, “That sounds like DH!” He is into genealogy BIG time, and now I’m afraid what my BFF said is true… I’m becoming just like him! Somehow or other he has passed that stupid “who’s related to whom and who belongs on to this family tree and that family tree” gene onto me!!!!!!!!  ARGH!!!!!  LOL!

By The Way, I think it’s wonderful that your families are so close. I’ve never been in a family where the different extended families interacted like that. I think I would enjoy it. 

Post # 223
Member
10283 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

Did anyone else see this Fridays episode of Four Weddings? It should seriously be the poster child for this thread. 2 of the 4 weddings were ruined affected by children.

One of the brides had her ceremony distrupted by MULTIPLE babies whose caregivers did not have the common sense to remove right away. The cries carried on through a good chunk of their vows until the parents finally got up and left. The other bride had her dance floor taken over by what seemed like classrooms of children (seriously, there were a lot). They danced jumped around to terrible dance mix music the entire time so the adults didn’t really have a chance (or the room) to dance themselves. Those are two major issues for me.

Post # 224
Member
95 posts
Worker bee

I think people forget that the bride and groom can decide it is an adult only event and that this is totally permissable and understandable.  They may have any reason for this, whether they don’t feel like coughing up $100 for your child (and maybe thousands for all guests’ children) to attend or because they simply wish to have a grown-up party.  If you can’t bear to be parted from your child for 4 hours, then decline the invitation.  But your children certainly don’t have a right to attend someone’s wedding.

Post # 225
Member
5517 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2019 - Paris, France

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@eimajleigh: According to Merriam-Webster (which hopefully you can agree is pretty much the authority of english definitions) defines “offended” as follows: 1. Cause to feel upset, annoyed, or resentful. I see that you have borrowed from a PP saying it would be more appropriate to be “bummed”, I was unable to find the colloquial meaning of this word but I am pretty sure it also means “to feel upset, annoyed or resentful.” Unless there is some unknown meaning that I am not aware of, they seem to carry both the same denotation. The implication of being offended is that you were “wronged” in some way. This is 100% incorrect, I don’t even know where this came from and if you are basing your argument on this then, well, you are wrong. I don’t feel that I was wronged in any way, I simply feel offended. I am not sure who the authority on ettiquette is but I believe we are debating IF it is ok or not to not invite children to weddings, I was unaware that the authority on weddings had already established that it it was ok for children to not be invited. AND yes, it is a waste of time to be offended, but people are offended all the time.. it is an emotion and one can argue that all emotions are a waste of time..but they also make us human don’t they? As for my situation, I have already stated that getting married in CO was not purely because there would be less guests. It is where my Fiance and I met, it is where we fell in love, it is an honor to be able to get married at the air force academy because few people are actually allowed to do so and we would like to share our past, present and lifestyle with our family members that are able to come. We are also inviting EVERYONE AND THEIR CHILDREN. If we were to get married in FL where my family lives, FI’s family would be far away… and vice versa. We picked neutral ground. My point continues to be…KNOW YOUR GUESTS. You say you are a part of a close knit family which is often the case with middle eastern families and they are ok with the young family members being excluded then that is good for you! There will be no hurt feelings! AND there needs to be a MUTUAL understanding between guests and brides/grooms. With parents you run the risk of OFFENDING (aka bumming out) them because you exclude their children for reasons already stated. It is quite important not to throw out red herrings and get caught up with semantics so you can stick to the issue. Brides are surprised that guests are upset about the children issue when they should have known their guests would be if they are important enough to be a part of the rest of their lives. That being said, I in no way condone or encourage rude remarks on rsvp cards,,, again… already stated! A simple ‘no’ would be more than enough!

Post # 226
Member
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Possibly a compromise to this is to say “Please no young children.” OR “No children under 9 please.”

The only children at my wedding will be two 12 yr olds, a 14 yr old, a 15 yr old, and a 17 yr old.  They are all old enough to entertain themselves, be quiet during a ceremony, and talk to adults, and most importantly EAT AT THE BUFFET SO I DON’T HAVE TO SPEND EXTRA ON CHILDRENS MEALS. 

The few friends I have with toddlers, I suggested that they get a babysitter for the afternoon.

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