(Closed) Help!! Young children at weddings?

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I know what you mean.  Originally I was thinking an adult only reception but then parents would be very upset plus I want my nephew to come.

 Ultimately its up to you. Its your wedding and if your happy not having children there then you should do that.  But don’t invite your niece only and not the others.  This would be totally unfair. 

Post # 4
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

We did an adult only reception.  It started at 8, which meant dinner near 9.  To me, this is not an appropriate function for children.  AND a one set of nieces/nephews are very wild and not really controlled by their parents – in one wedding, in fact, the dad was swinging the daughter around on the dance floor!

We found and paid for babysitters for our nieces and nephews so there was NO hassle for our brothers and sisters.  Can you arrange appropriate babysitting? perhaps on site if that will make everyone more comfortable?  We had some of our siblings thrilled to have an adult night and some rather upset.  Stick to your guns, be nice, and as helpful as possible!

Post # 5
1896 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House

I forget where I read this, but I have heard that it’s okay for the only small children invited to the wedding to be the flower girl and ring bearer — and that in some cases, it’s understandable if they’re just asked to attend the wedding (and not the reception). 

By all means, someone call me out if I’m off base, but I think if you made your niece an honorary Flower Girl, you could get away with what you’re describing.

But please, don’t include "Adult only…" wording on your invitation — it sounds XXX to me; listing the invited names on the envelope should be a strong enough indicator to the guests as to who is invited. 

Post # 6
38 posts
  • Wedding: October 2009

Look, you’re right people are too touchy about the kid situation, but it’s YOUR wedding, it’s YOUR special day.  Kids are always the center of attention and this time they are not, it’s you and your fiancee, so do not feel bad about not inviting children.  If people are so offended by this, they can choose not to come.  A lot of people prefer not to invite children and a lot of wedding attendees would rather have fun and party and get a sitter.  Of course you will always have a few that are whinny and want to know why little Johnny couldn’t come if little Jill was invited, but if you cut a solid line after the wedding party kids and your nieces/nephews, I don’t think you should have to feel bad about it.

I think nieces and nephews can be treated separately because they are immediate family.  I’m not sure if this is your niece or your fiances, but if you feel comfortable talking to the parents you could always just ask what they would prefer.  I am having an adult only wedding, but I am allowing my two nephews to come because I know my future sister in law with throw a fit if I don’t let them come.  I don’t feel like this means I have to then invite all of the other children.  It’s different, the other children are kids of my cousins, kids of co-workers, etc.

The problem I am having is that both parents are in our wedding and I was freaking out about who is going to watch her 1 and 3 year old kids during the ceremony.  Luckily for me, our venue will allow a babysitter to watch them during the ceremony in the dressing room area.

The truth is, kids can be cute at weddings, but ultimately 90% of them will get whinny and tired before the night is over.

Post # 7
174 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I agree with MagPie. I would add her as a second Flower Girl — you could have the girls walk up the aisle together, which would be totally cute! The 7-year-old would love being "in charge of" helping the little one make it to the altar.

Post # 8
100 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I agree with MagPie.  I also think that even if your niece wasn’t an honorary Flower Girl, you could invite her if she is your only niece.  Guests should understand that one child is there because she is immediate family.

However, if you really don’t want children at your reception, you should make it clear to your mom and sister that it is YOUR wedding.  Some advice my mother gave me when I told her we probably didn’t want children at our wedding: Just remember that someday you may want to take your children to a family wedding, especially if you don’t see your extended family very often. 

We will not be inviting children (despite my mother’s disappointment) but my 3 y.o. niece will be the flower girl and she will be at the reception.  Even if she wasn’t the flower girl, she is my only niece so I would want her there anyway.

Good luck with your decision!

Post # 9
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I think nieces and nephews are totally legit at a no kids reception.  A member of your family is completely different from your friends’ children.  I also think it’s appropriate to invite them as most likely your family members will be much more involved anyway.  I suspect that the 1 year old won’t be up for most of the reception.  I’ll have a 2 yr old F.Niece and a 3 yr old niece…but both sister and Future Sister-In-Law are already thinking about logistics of getting them to sleep and still being able to attend the festivities.  And to let you know that this is not weird, one member of my Bridal Party will have 2 kids by the time of the wedding.  She knows my nieces will be there and on her own she started talking about arrangements for their Grandparents to babysit.  She wouldn’t even expect (or want) to bring her kids.  I’m guessing many of your guests will feel this way too.

Post # 10
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I think I read the same thing as MagPie.  We are also trying to avoid having kids at our wedding, so we chose a venue that is adult oriented (a resort and casino) and they offer on-site child care until 12am.  That way, if parents want to bring them out for the weekend, they can still enjoy a night with the grownups.  We are going to be specific with the names on our invites, and we have info about the kid care on our website.  We’ve told our close friends and family that we want to keep it kidless, so hopefully they can help spread the word for us too. 

 Good luck!

Post # 11
194 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

i think you should be consistent to be fair to other guests, who might feel hurt/angry/discriminated against if you allow certain young children and not others, even though it’s your niece. my opinion…

Post # 13
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

To be honest with you there is no reason your sister needs to bring her 1 year old. I would tell her nicely that you are having an adult reception and unfortunately you cannot bend the rules for one person. I would also explain that she should look at this as a getaway for her and her husband and they should enjoy their night kid free. Just my personal opinion!

Post # 14
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

Wow, there are a lot of opinions on this and no consensus.

I think the smart thing to do if you don’t want children at the reception has already been touched on: hire a babysitter.  That way when their babysitter "cancels" or if they simply ignore your request, you can have a Bridesmaid or Best Man excort the kids to the "Kids Room" where the babysitter(s) is/are.

I wouldn’t really care if I insulted my guests if they ignored my request.  They can either attend without kids, or not attend.  And a 1 year old is not going to miss out on the wedding.  I don’t think it’s rude to write "Adult only" because it spells out your boundaries.  I don’t think it’s rude to expect people to stay within those boundaries.

Why are wedding guests so self-righteous??  You’re hosting a party.  It’s within etiquette that they follow the rules!

Post # 15
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

You don’t say how far along you are in your planning, but we are having a really late reception (it will start at 8 and go until 12). We are inviting children but most parents are opting not to bring them since it will be so late.

It would also be nice to hire a baby sitter. You are right in that it will be very difficult to have your niece there, but tell everyone else the little ones can’t come. We didn’t even have to hire one – my future sister in law has a friend who will be watching the few children who will be in town for the wedding.

Post # 16
756 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I think it’s perfectly fine to tell people they cannot bring young children. It’s probably better for the adults (not having to worry about/entertain/keep under control) their kids, as well as the kids (they will be bored. Really, they will.). 

As for your 1-year old niece, it’s probably better that she not attend, for the reasons listed above, as well as for the fact that she is not old enough to know what is going on at a wedding. I don’t mean to sound like a scrooge about it, but she is one year old.  She will not remember it. She will not feel that she’s not being included.  And I don’t think most children that young can even walk well enough to participate in a wedding.

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