(Closed) Is it bad to invite some but not all children?

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
Member
8674 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

Arbitrarily choosing yes to some kids and no to others is indeed rude. 

If on the other hand you can make a rule like “no children under 13, except for babies” that’d be generally fine.. some may still get upset but at least you weren’t just saying “yeah I didn’t invite YOUr kid because they seem like a brat and I don’t trust you to watch them”

Post # 3
Member
1033 posts
Bumble bee

I agree, with PP. You can’t invite one 7 year old and not invite another 7 year old. If you say “only infants and children over 12” that should cover your bases. Also, if someone has 6 kids and you only invite some of them or none of them the parents probably won’t show up 

Post # 4
Member
999 posts
Busy bee

I think certain parents will view it as rude, but in my opinion it is not rude.

It’s rude to assume your children are welcome to every event you are invited to.

Post # 5
Member
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

IMO, there are really only 2 ways to do a reception. Either with kids or without. If you choose without you can say “adult reception to follow” or just invite the adults. I find the adult reception wording slightly irritating but I understand where it may be useful. For my wedding, we invited only the adults by name on the invite – eg, Bob and Mary Johnson, not Johnson family. This worked for us and we had 1 uninvited child out of our 200 guests. It was a 4 year old girl and well, whatever. It was fine. A couple people brought their babies and I didn’t mind that. My 2 nieces and my nephew were there, ages 9, 11, and 13, but if anyone was bothered by that we never got word of it (and with how gossip goes in DH’s family I think we would have heard). Generally speaking, I think people enjoy a night without their children and most people are conscious enough to understand that an invitation that doesn’t say “family” doesn’t include children. If they don’t want to come sans children, then they won’t. Their choice. 

Now, I do think it sounds rather rude to invite some children and not all. I mentioned we had 3 at my wedding (my nieces and nephew) but it sounds like you’re talking about more than that. I think you really need to make a decision and stick with it, as hard as it may be. 

If I got an invite to a wedding that didn’t say “family” and I showed up and saw quite a few children there, I’d be offended. Personally I don’t think I’d WANT to bring my kids unless it was an immediate family member’s wedding, but I’d still be offended to know that some kids were obviously welcomed but mine were not. 

Post # 6
Member
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I also agree with PPs that including an age (like 12 or 13 and up) on the invites would be fine. I would completely understand that as a guest. 

Post # 7
Member
30400 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You can invite some kids but not others but you have to have  a clear line that you apply to all. If you are ok with your niece who lives out of state attending, then you have to be ok with any out of state children attending. Do your FI’s cousins live out of state? Then you have to include their kids.

In the end, it’s often easier to have a child free wedding, by addressing invitations only to the adults, than it is to have hurt feelings all around because someone’s children were not deemed worthy.

Post # 8
Member
2164 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: NJ

Kids, no kids, what kids, it is a dilemma for the ages. One of those questions that will never be solved. 

You have to know your crowd at least. With my DH’s family when the kids were little, everything revolved around them and there was no such thing as a kid-free day, let alone event. 

 

Post # 9
Member
13922 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Duplicate post 

Post # 10
Member
13922 posts
Honey Beekeeper

While some people always get upset when their children are not invited, it is not always justified. It is and always has been perfectly acceptable and etiquette approved to make consistent cut offs among children by relationship or age. So for example, all nieces or nephews or none. Or only those 12 and over. Personally, I would not do the latter if nuclear families end up divided, but that is me. 

Does it make any logical sense that you’d have to exclude nieces and nephews, who are among your closest family members, unless you include every child? Just as cutoffs by category can be done for adults, the same concept applies to children. 

It is, on the other hand, considered impolite to use the X seats reserved language, which implies that ALL your guests might be rude enough to add uninvited people. You invite guests by the name or names on the envelope. If someone RSVPs for an uninvited child, then you can call to say there must have been a misunderstanding. 

Post # 11
Member
3273 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

View original reply
breebee324 :  we are saying “family children we’ve met” for both sides to avoid spats. I couldn’t invite all the children as the list would get out of hand.

Post # 13
Member
1510 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I don’t really see why it’s rude to invite some kids and not other kids. Kids are guests, and you get to choose who to invite as a guest. If you have a close relationship with a child and want him/her to be invited to your wedding, then put his/her name on the invitation. If you don’t know the child or don’t have a close relationship with him/her, I can’t see why their parents would expect them to be invited.

I’m inviting some of my friends’ parents because I have a close relationship with them too. I’m not inviting all of my friends’ parents because I don’t have close relationships with all of them. I don’t see why you can’t extend this logic to children.

Post # 14
Member
41 posts
Newbee

I’m actually planning on doing this, I haven’t figured out the details yet. There are some ppl who just can’t make it unless their kids are there i.e. my niece and nephew, and best friend’s child. And others due to the expense I just can’t accommodate. I plan on a small wedding so if it’s a huge issue I will talk to my family about it once we finalize the guest list but I simply can not afford to have all children there. 

Post # 15
Member
8375 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Your niece is the child of your sibling. Your FI’s cousins’ children in no way rate as high as children of immediate family members. It’s perfectly fine for you to invite nieces and nephews and to exclude first cousins once removed.

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