Post # 1
I need to know if I am overreacting.
My brother and sister in law have a 5 year old daughter who we asked to be our flower girl. Her parents are both in the bridal party and we are getting married near their hometown so they have many friends in the area. We just assumed that the 5 year old would leave after the ceremony, or at least the cocktail hour, since her parents know so many people that could care for her that night and communicated that via e-mail a few months ago and received no response.
Now that the wedding is getting closer my brother called me up and demanded that his daughter be allowed to stay through the reception because she really wanted to be there. I don’t understand why he can’t tow the line and just say no to her but that seems to be a larger issue. Anyway. I held my position, that an evening wedding where she would be the only child under 12 with and open bar, loud band and formal attire would not be the place for her, plus I want him to be my brother and not daddy for the night. We have 6 cousins that are between the ages of 12 and 16 that we never thought twice about inviting. He got very angry that they were invited and his daughter wasn’t. I think there is a huge difference than a 5 year old and 12 year old. Am I wrong to feel that way?
I said she could stay through the cocktail hour and the first dance or two – but that she needed to leave before dinner was served. I don’t want to pay $100 for a plate of food for her that she won’t eat and while our family is enamoured with her they don’t need to spend the entire evening with her, and my FI’s family has no small children, nor do any of our friends and a few people have mentioned they wouldn’t want a child around.
She is just one child and I don’t want to make a mountain our of a mole hill but I am angered that a guest at my wedding would try to bend the rules to suit themselves. She isn’t supposed to be invited to the rehearsal dinner either but I am not going to pick that battle if they want her there. Should I not pick the wedding battle either?
Post # 3
@sister101: She’s 5. She’s going to get cranky and start acting up LONG before dinner. Weddings tend to turn into long days. This could get ugly. (I write this as a mom of a 5 year old!)
I don’t think you’re wrong for thinking there is a difference between a 5 year old and a 12-15 year old, because there is! I really wish I had some advice for you. *hugs*
Post # 4
You asked this girl to be in your wedding but she can’t stay for the reception? She’s your niece.
I’d be upset too. I’m sorry.
Post # 5
Let me put it this way….
I didn’t want kids at my wedding (by which i mean anyone under 18). I gave in to family pressure and two were there.
I refused to cater to them (i.e. i didn’t change any of my plans based on the fact that there would be minors there).
Post wedding I heard that some of my family was shocked/concerned with some of our music choices (language) and the way in which my friends were behaving (drinking/dancing) towards the end of the night… you know… “considering there were kids there.”
My mom’s response when my aunt complained? Yea. That’s why she didn’t want kids there. Nighttime weddings are pretty inappropriate for them.
Mom WIN. Stick to your guns!
Post # 6
I think it is reasonable that she stay for the ceremony, cocktail hour and a couple dances but that after that it would be time for her to have her dinner elsewhere and be warm and cozy for bedtime in a quiet environment…faaaaaaar away from the adult festivities. This is a fair compromise for her to be included without exhausting her…or anyone else. 😉 It will be a long day for her dressing up, having attention on her, and she is likely to get cranky quickly. Most people would! So, I hope this works out nicely for you. Hang in there.
Post # 7
I think it’s a bit a of a battle that is just going to stress you out. The reception hall should have childrens menus (and pricing) so she can have chicken fingers instead of what the adults are eating. If you have teens and pre-teens, they probably will watch her through the night (and you can ask one or two to do so), so your brother can still be a brother. I think if you talk to him and tell him what you’re really worried about- that he wont stay as late or he wont be able to just be your brother, and then work with him to have it so when she wants to go home, someone else can come take her- you’ll be fine. Just think about the bigger picture. In the grand scheme of things is her staying going to ruin your night? If the answer is yes- then by all means put your foot down. If it’s honestly no, just express your concerns and take a deep breath. I was really nervous about having my neices and nephews there too (I have one that will be 16 months at the wedding) but I also saw my 3 year old nephew at a wedding not too long ago- and he had a blast. He was up and dancing all night. My parents took him home with them when THEY were tired. So, it really will turn out okay if she comes. You may have some really hurt feelings for some time after if you dont give them the option though.
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ
I’m not sure on etiquette on the issue, but here are my personal thoughts.
1. Technically she’s in your wedding party (FG). So, if others can’t bring kids, I think she’s the one exception and you can explain it to people that way.
2. If her parents are there, they can watch her. They may not want to party it up anyway, even though they’re in the wedding party.
3. 5 y/o has a small tummy. If you are having a buffet, I would probably not count her. If you are doing plated meals, I think she could eat off her parent’s plates? I would just talk with your brother about it.
Ultimately, I think it’s your and your FI’s decision, but if if you aren’t providing child care, I don’t think you can expect them to find an alternative when both parents are in the wedding party, as is the child. I’d probably just let it go since it seems to be a big deal with your brother, unless you don’t care about the drama it may cause. I find it strange to make the flower girl leave since she’s in the wedding party. Is this typical for adult-only weddings (just curious, not trying to be snarky)?
I like @OneLove04210‘s advice.
Post # 9
I think that she should stay, but ask them to plan a back up plan if she gets tired.
We didnt want kids at the reception, so no kids were in the wedding either. I dont feel you can “use” them in your wedding, but not invite them to the fun dancing part.
Post # 10
She would be the “exception” to the other children being allowed but only because she’s in the party.
I do however agree with you not wanting her to be apart of the reception given it’s not child friendly and there wouldn’t be any other kids in that age range.
We’re having childcare for my son and Fiance niece and nephew through the reception & ONE sibling who has to bring her kids (they’ll be in there the WHOLE time)
I think you should stand your ground… if nothing else your brother and his wife drinking and then driving their daughter home wouldn’t be safe or wise so she should be somewhere else
Post # 11
How is she going to leave? That means that in addition to finding someone to babysist the person also has to be able to pick her up as well or find someone who is willing to drive. I can’t imagine the parents leaving to drop her off. I would probably just leave the wedding early if I were your brother or his wife if you really felt that strongly about the her being there. If tere were just guest it might be different but both parents in the bridal party complicates things.
Post # 12
We had our niece and nephew plus my cousin in the wedding, 7, 5, 3 and 5 months!! At first, I didn’t want them to stay, but if they left, then at least one adult would have to leave the wedding, and that wasn’t fair. So, they stayed. And you know what? They had an awesome time!!! We have great pics of them dancing and living it up with all of us, and the baby slept for most of the night in his car seat on the stage (having an older brother and sister really helped with the noise level!). GP’s agreed that if they all got cranky, then they would cut out early and take them home, but they stayed almost the whole night, and my Brother-In-Law and SIL were tired at that point anyway, so they cut out about a half hour early.
As adamant as I was that they didn’t stay, I’m so glad that they did. Since you will have some pre teens there, I really think that she will be ok, but also don’t cater to her! We didn’t, and our caterer was nice and since we were doing a buffet, he did a discount price for the kids minus the baby of course. We still got drunk and partied, and again, we got some really great pics of them there. So, I would express to your brother that you really want him and SIL to be a part of the day, and try not to be “parents”. Maybe you can get one of the older kids to keep an eye on her at the reception?
Post # 13
Post # 14
sorry they are so big, I don’t know how to resize! But the girls in matching dresses are our flower girls, the one in the braids is my cousin, the blonde is our niece. The older boy is our other cousin (the pink dress girl’s brother), and he was 11 at the time. And I forgot also, my other cousin was about 6 but I don’t think I added a pic of him in there.
Just to show you that the kids can have just as much fun as the grown ups!! And all the props are from our failed photobooth, so we improvised and brought them to the reception for people to use and they were a hit!
Post # 15
I’m all for no kids at the reception but since she is the flower girl, I probably would have given her a pass. My younger cousin, who will be 6 at the time of our wedding, is our ring bearer and he’ll be at our reception the whole time. On the other hand, my FBIL/FSIL are having a baby 2 months before our wedding but the baby is not invited.
I totally understand why you wouldn’t want a 5 year old there since I completely agree that evening weddings are not really appropriate for chidren but I think if they are in the wedding party, it’s a different story.
If you’re dead set on not having her there then stand your ground.
Post # 16
@SoontobeMrsA:You asked this girl to be in your wedding but she can’t stay for the reception? She’s your niece.I’d be upset too. I’m sorry.
Completely, totally agree. And if the kid ends up cranky, her parents can deal with it. Just walk away.