(Closed) Help! No children allowed at wedding site!

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Well, word it how you just worded it in your post. Email your aunt, with something like: I’m really sorry, but when we found the perfect reception site, it came with a strict restriction of not allowing children under 12. They are strict about this policy b/c of the furniture, antiques and art. I’d love to invite all the cousin’s kids, but we just can’t.

Are you inviting your adult cousins? If not, then using the age as an excuse won’t work. But if it’s just for the cousin’s kids, then it will work!

Post # 4
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

sundaybride, were you planning to invite your cousins but not their kids?  Or were you not planning to invite your cousins at all?  From your post, it sounds like you were not planning to invite the cousins.  If that’s the case, I’d say something like:

"Dear Auntie,

This is a bit awkward for me, but I wanted to let you know before anyone makes plans to travel.  Fiance and I are keeping the wedding very small and we were not planning to invite all of our cousins.  I wish we could include everyone on the guest list but it just isn’t possible.  We would love to see my cousins and their kids another time.


Unfortunately, no matter how gently you phrase it, your aunt may be upset that her children and grandchildren aren’t invited.  But it’s definitely better to let her and your cousins know now — otherwise you might find out that your cousins have already paid to fly the whole family to your wedding and it will be even more awkward to tell them they’re not on the guest list.

Post # 5
17 posts
  • Wedding: June 2009

We have personally made the decision to exclude all cousins’ children, mosty because they instantly expand the guest list by like 30 people.  We are inviting all first cousins.  There will be a few other children (a total of 8 or so), including nieces and nephews and a few close friends kids to whom we are particualry close or infants without whom the parents could not attend (the cousins kids are all well beyond the age where a parent would not feel comfortable leaving the child with a sitter for the day, plus they live within a few hours drive whereas the couple of friends with kids would be traveling cross-country.)

I anticipate there will still be a few dirty looks but the telling everyone early (we have over 9 months left) seems to be the best approach. 

Post # 6
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

We dealt with the same issue.  The posters above have given very good advice.  Our wedding was on 08.09.08 and it turned out very well, the one cousin who was upset that her 2 kids were not invited ended up getting a babysitter and having a great time without her kids.  Once everyone was there, it was obvious why we put so many limitations on the guest list and no one complained!

Post # 7
1 posts

I’m in a similar situation.  We’re having a small wedding in San Diego this November and most of my family is coming from out of state.  We sent a save the date via email and my parents have told my cousins that because we’re having a small wedding, their children are not invited.  My cousin’s invitation is addressed to her and her fiance and she’s emailed me asking if she can bring her 13 year old daughter in place of her fiance.  The only kids that will be at the wedding are my fiance’s first cousins who are 13 and 15 and his nephews who are 6 and 8.  I’m wondering how to handle my cousin’s request.  Shall I say that we’re only inviting first cousins?  Or because her invitation is for two people can she bring anyone she wants?? 

Post # 8
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

We also invited all first cousins but not their kids.  We ended up making one exception – long story – but my cousin’s husband died unexpectedly a few months before the wedding so when she asked to bring her adult daughter, who had moved home to help out, of course we said yes.

I expected some issues, but honestly our guest list was larger than we would have liked anyway, and the wedding was a little more upscale than is common in our family, so the setting was not quite as child-friendly as it could have been.  I think that (like caliocteach) once everybody got there it was obvious why the guest list was limited.  I know that we had a few cousins who didn’t attend in part because of the invitations not including the kids, but they were also the cousins I thought unlikely to attend because of other factors – mostly travel – so I don’t really think there are any hard feelings.

Post # 9
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

@ kahdp – it’s a tough situation.  If you’ve extended the invitation for two spaces, it would be hard to tell your cousin no to the guest swap (as annoying as it may be for you).  However, I would let her know that there will be few children at the wedding so she can factor that in to her decision.

We were in a similar spot with some friends of our who have two kids (4 and 10).  They called to inquire if the kids could come and since we did have room at that point (had received enough RSVPs declining), we said yes but explained there would only be two other kids at the wedding (both toddlers).  Our friends opted to leave the kids at home.  Perhaps your cousin will do the same?  If not, at least she’s asking to replace her finace’s spot and not add to it!

The one potential out you may be able to make would be an appeal to her sense of fairness.  If other cousin’s kids were not invited, you could say that due to space limitations, you made the tough call to not invite cousin’s children to the wedding and while you would love it if Susy came, it would be unfair to the other cousins (or you think it may be awkward for the other cousins).

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