Post # 1
I guess this is an etiquette question… My cousin has two young boys (ages about 10ish and 5ish, I think?) but they are pretty much holy terrors and allowed to do whatever they wish by their parents, grandparents, etc. They seem to have no manners at all. I don’t know these boys very well, I’ve only actually met them a handful of times, and briefly. Right now I only live about a half hour from them (until two years ago I was an hour and a half away) and I still don’t go out of my way to visit them.
My parents won’t be offended if we neglect to invite the boys… in fact they said “don’t invite her boys”. That’s fine by me, except we’re inviting some other children in this age range, including the boys’ first cousin who will be 11, I think. I considered not inviting her so it looked less like I’m shunning the boys, but I’d like her to be there, and I’ve visited her on occasion.
These children live 10 minutes away from the wedding and reception. I would feel more comfortable in a lot of ways with the boys NOT there, however I feel that not inviting them would look like a very obvious slight to my cousin, would would be confrontational if she actually felt slighted, I feel. I’m not looking to offend, I just think that having the boys there would negatively affect the wedding/reception. I could just invite them, but at this point, I think my parents would be upset with me if I did.
Ugh! Can anyone shed some light on this? We’re getting ready to send out invitations and I’ve been trying to decide what to do with this for months.
Post # 3
Do you have anything planned to entertain the kids? You could provide daycare or fun activities to keep them busy.I wouldn’t invite some kids from the family and not others.Either allow all or none,imho. I have been to several weddings and have never heard of any issues with the kids. Good luck.
Post # 4
You know, I’m actually kind of in the same situation. And I am thinking about the last wedding I went to and I don’t actually remember any of the kids being horrible – in fact, they were on the dance floor most of the time having a blast…even the crazy ones!
Post # 5
Between all of my cousins and FI’s cousins, there are lots of kids. I am very close with my one cousin and would love to invite just his kids, but I won’t do it because I am not inviting any of the others and as much as I feel like it’s my wedding and I can invite who I want, I don’t really think it’d be right to invite just his kids. So, we are not having ANY kids except out nieces and nephews.
Post # 6
You do not have to invite people with a blanket rule. There is nothing in etiquette about that.
Degree of closeness is as valid of an argument as blood relation.
Post # 7
Thanks for all the opinions, bees. Yeah… it’s just tough to make this decision. We’re hoping to finish invites this weekend and mail them out Monday. We’re been back and forth on this issue for months. I’m a teacher – I definitely love children. But I really feel that there will be issues with these two children that I barely know. Their mother will let them run, scream, touch things, etc. no matter how much disturbance it causes during the ceremony, supper and dance. A couple of family members have already complained about their outrageous behaviour at different functions and how their mother (my cousin) lets them do whatever.
At this point, we’re probably going to leave their names off the invitation. I think I need to figure out what to say if she asks us why there are a few other kids there. What could I tell her about her children without sounding obnoxious? Can we say to her that we really don’t know them – I’ve only met them briefly twice, I believe, and they’re a little young to appreciate the celebration anyway? Also, some folks with children are traveling and taking their children (whose children we mostly know). She’s close by, so she doesn’t have to leave her children with a sitter overnight, as some others would.
Sorry to say so much more – I’m just worried about what to do, and we basically only have a few days to make the final decision.
Post # 8
SHORT VERSION: The two children in question have been invited.
LONGER VERSION: I got wind of some grumblings and stuff regarding the situation, and the ‘not inviting’ the boys wasn’t sitting well with me. I feel awful, because even though my family said ‘no!’ it goes way against etiquette given the rest of the guest list. Turns out, my father doesn’t want them there but was supporting my mother’s decision to say ‘absolutely not’. They softened a little on the issue, after hearing that there was some unrest about the issue, and I convinced them that if there are problems, they can be asked to leave, and it looks bad on them, not us.
At this point, we were still a little over on our guest list (whoops!) and couldn’t invite them anyway, until we got some more declines, which was stressful to begin with. I prepared what I was going to say. My cousin beat me to it. She called and said that her mother (my aunt / their grandmother) said that she take one of the children as ‘her guest’, and mother asked if she could just take the other little guy, since all the potential babysitters are family and will be at the wedding. Grr! You don’t just get an automatic guest. I felt like saying “are you kidding me?!” but I mangaged to stay mostly diplomatic.
I explained that since they didn’t live far, so I had originally planned on hand-delivering their invitations (true) but hadn’t really gotten the chance to do it as early on as we would have liked (true). We started passing out invitations before we had absolutely finalized our guest list to the exact number (true) although I made it sound like we were still developing the original list when we start passing out invitations. When we realized that we were over and had to cut, we had to start cutting from the invitations that hadn’t already been delivered (true, though the number of cuts wasn’t really drastic). We wanted her children to be invited (ha!) and felt guitly that they couldn’t be (true)… yet (gulp!). I told her that I’d call her back in a few days when I got a few more accepts and declines and let her know if we could add them in, but IN THE MEANTIME only people coming by themselves from far away got a ‘guest’ and that wouldn’t include her mother. So, we chatted a bit about other things, and when we hung up the children’s status was ‘uninvited with a possible verbal invitation pending. A week later, I could squeeze them in, and called back to tell her the ‘good news’.
It’s bittersweet to me. I’m nervous about them being there and I know it raises my family’s stress levels, but it should prevent actual confrontational issues. I’m sticky to my story if questioned on the wedding day. I’m crossing my fingers that nothing that we’re worrying about happens. I’m also planning to get this post deleted in the relatively near future… because you never know!!!
Thanks for all the advice that you’ve given, Bees!