Post # 1
Fiance and I are debating whether or not to invite kids to the wedding. I have 1 niece and 4 nephews that are going to be in the wedding party. FI and I are also very close with one of his friends daughter, so she’s also going to be in the wedding party. I felt like we’d stop there, but fI feels that now we need to invite all kids. I’m not opposed, but this is going to add at least 20-30 people to our guest list (yikes!) and most of them are actually teenagers so will be priced like adults.
So my question is, if we decide to invite children, who does this need to include? FIs family has not started reproducing yet, but has many friends with kids under 5. They’d all need to be invited (10 kids total). In my family I’m the youngest, so quite a few have older kids. We’ve got 10 kids under 10, then at least another 4-10 who are teens, many of whom I have never met or only met when I was very young. If a couple has 3 kids, 2 college age and 1 in high school, do they need to be invited? If kids are spread out in ages and one is in 20s but the others are younger teens do we need to invite all of them? And for couples from my church do we need to invite their kids (also teens)? In some cases I’m only inviting these teens parents out of obligation, I really don’t want to have to cut others off my guest list in order to invite people in their teens and 20s who I don’t know just because we want to invite “kids”.
Post # 3
@sweet5k: I would say in your situation just invite the kids that are in the wedding party.
Post # 4
You do not need to invite all those kids. Just invite the ones in your wedding party.
Post # 5
The only people that must be invited together are social units (married, engaged, and co-habitating couples).
I would not add 20 + kids to my guest list.
Choosing guests based on level of closeness is more valid, IMO, then picking some arbitrary self-generated rule.
Post # 6
@sweet5k: I would only invite children in the wedding party. That’s what my little sister did. it is completely understandable. It did deter some people from coming but oh well.
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall
I think as long as the guests witness the wedding party children perform an act (flower girl, ring bearer) and/or are wearing their “uniform” no one will get pissy about not getting to bring their kids. NO ONE will be mad that you had a flower girl, right?
Post # 8
I would invite the kids in the wedding party, and their siblings if they have them. So, if A is your flower girl but her brother B isn’t in the wedding, I’d still invite him.
Post # 9
@sweet5k: Stick to the wedding party. 20 – 30 extra kids is WAY too many.
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
Hm, I am all about inviting kids to weddings, but in your situation, I think I agree with PPs. If they were all under 12, I’d say invite them– my venue had an option where you could have a special kids’ buffet (at kid prices). The teens, though– it seems as though you’re not close with them. I honestly think it would be unlikely for the parents to bring the teens, but I still think it’s perfecting fine just to invite the children you identified as in the wedding parts or just really close.
Post # 11
I’d just invite the kids in the wedding party.
Post # 12
@sweet5k: Children are persons, and should treated as individuals and as honoured guests, just as you would any other person whom you wish to invite as a guest:
- Give them the dignity of personhood: address them by name on the invitation and send their invitation to their own home. It is okay to include them on their parent’s invitation if they are still school-children.
- Give them the dignity of treating them as individuals, not as stereotypes. Invite the ones that you know and are close too; do not invite the ones who are strangers.
- Be thoughtful of them as you are thoughtful of your other guests: you wouldn’t make great-Grandma with her arthritis stand through a half-hour ceremony; you’ll make sure she has a seat. You shouldn’t make Suzie and Bobbie sit pretending to be interested in a half-hour long toast to the bride filled with reminiscence and inuendo; you’ll give them a colouring page or a small kit of lego to play with (please give me one too, I hate long toasts).
- Don’t split up “social units”. “The family” is not a social unit the way a couple is: you can invite parents without children and you can invite babies-in-arms or teenagers without inviting toddlers, preschoolers and school-children (or toddlers and children without teenagers). But if a family has three children very close in age, and you were to invite the oldest and youngest because you like them and leave out the middle child because you think she’s a brat, you would be being mean. Don’t be mean.
- Be politically astute. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out how many normal people are thoughtful and unentitled, who won’t bat an eye at you inviting only people you know and not inviting strange sophomores. But you are in a far better position than I am to point a finger at which acquaintances are most likely to create entitlement drama. You have to manage the boors, the bores and the drama-queens; it is part of the burden carried by every hostess.
But along with the burdens and responsibilities of a hostess, come the privileges of a hostess. It is your responsibility to draw up your guest list, so it’s your right to select the guests. There are very few black-and-white all-or-nothing decisions in life, and this is not one of them.
Post # 13
If you invite any kids beyond those that are in the bridal party, then you have to include ALL kids of invited guests. It’s a lot, so nothing wrong with keeping it just within the bridal party.
Post # 14
Thanks for the replies everyone. It seems most of you don’t think people would be so offended by treating kids the same as adults and inviting the ones we are close to, but keeping sets of siblings together regardless.
So we’ve decided to invite the wedding party children, the young and school-aged children of my cousins who I see on holidays and FIs friends children who he sees on a fairly regular basis. This means 18 kids total (at half price with my vendor) and 3 teens, but it takes out all the kids and teens that we barely know or have never met.
I am inviting 161 adults/teens and had to guarentee 125, so I’m sure we will be lucky if we get 125 to attend anyway, so the kids will be a good cushion such that I won’t feel like I’m paying for people that aren’t there.
Now that we’ve found a happy compromise on this we’ve got most of our “major” decisions (guest list, venue, food, officiant) made, the rest should be fairly simple.