(Closed) Is this a good rule for kids at a wedding? What to say to parents!

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 16
4798 posts
Honey bee

I see you’re planning to say her kids are welcome, but just generally I think your rule isn’t well thought out.  You’re going to say yes, but denying the request could have been really awkward when she shows up and sees 25 other kids there – depending on what you tell her as a reason. 

In theory, you’re allowed to invite who you want, but a rule like this works better with whole families or adults.  e.g. “No coworkers are invited unless we’ve actually socialized with them in the last year.  No cousins (and their families) are invited unless we’ve actually made specific plans with them in the last two years or we regularly communicate outside the context of Facebook. 

But children aren’t autonomous.  You as the adult have the responsibility of making the effort to meet them, not the other way around.  Whether they show up at an event is not their choice.  Maybe at past events when the children were much younger, mom and dad just didn’t feel like traveling with kids still in diapers or maybe the kids had school events that she didn’t want them to miss – but this wedding happens to coincide with the whole family being convenient to travel. 

Honestly, if having a no kids wedding wasn’t a reasonable consideration or limiting it to only ring bearer/flower girl and/or children of your siblings (i.e. your nieces and nephews), then I think I would have made the cut-off around the family as a whole – if we aren’t close enough that I have actually met your children, then the whole family is off the list.  Or just found a different parameter altogether.  Yours requires a lot of judgment calls that are difficult to explain tactfully if asked.

Post # 17
682 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

View original reply
lunafreya :  yep. We have 73 between our families. It’s ridiculous. Our rule is people who live out of town can bring kids (and THAT number is 73). It would have been over half our guest list if we allowed everyone. We did a hard rule and stuck to it. People will also just show up WITH their kids even if the kids aren’t on the invite, so be prepared for that one as well. 

Post # 18
29 posts
  • Wedding: August 2017

Our general rule for kids is if they’re family, then they are invited. That being said, we based total guest list off of those that attended our engagement party. Everyone who attended our engagement party is receiving an invitation to the wedding (with kids, if they are family).

But in my case, I did end up breaking my rule with certain family members who had rsvp’d to my engagement party and did not attend for the simple reason that they found something better to do at the last minute (they didn’t have emergencies, and also never reached out to tell me they would not attend or even apologize for not attending). I’m sure people will find me petty and there will be hurt feelings but ultimately it comes down to priorities. With a current guest list of 250, i’m ok with some hurt feelings but thats just me lol. 

Post # 19
145 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

View original reply
lunafreya :  I have a question section on our website – and I have a question are kids invited? .. My response: We are sorry we cannot invite your child(ren).  Due to capacity issues we could only invite our immediate families children.  We thank you for your understanding, and hope arrangements can be made that still allow you to attend our big day! 

Post # 20
1656 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I agree. I think you need to make a clear rule that is kinda ‘visible’, like only wedding party or only immediate family. Otherwise, it will be a very very uncomfortable situation. Imagine you have two cousins (who are sisters). You know cousin #1’s kids, but not #2. So, you invite #1. Isn’t #2 gonna be pissed when they arrive to find other kids were invited?

Also, I advise against relying only on the envelope to tell folks who are invited. On numerous occasions, my DH has opened an invite and tossed the envelope — before I saw it.  



Post # 21
98 posts
Worker bee

Totally agree with all other PP that rule isn’t cut & dry. Like “no kids under 12” is easy rule to explain (not that you SHOULD explain) but if they see other kids that are the same age as their children, they’ll definitely be offended. Honestly, not sure at this point, if invites have already gone out, whether you can do anything about it now. 

Post # 22
13816 posts
Honey Beekeeper

The etiquette advice in order to avoid hurt feelings is to invite by category. So either all children of first cousins or none. I’d think of it in this case as being consistent among your cousins, all of whom you DO know. 

But contrary to what some PPs always say, children as a group absolutely do not have to be all or nothing proposition. It is perfectly acceptable to limit to children of siblings only, for example, or by age, though I personally think it can become problematic when kids who have the same relationship to you are both older and younger than the cutoff.

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