Post # 1
So the story starts with my fw and her dad getting new invites for the wedding. When getting them they forgot to include the part about it being an adult only wedding – their request. I fully welcomed kids at the wedding but seeing as her parents were paying for the majority of he wedding I went along. Anyway, we received a response card from my brother and it indicated that it would be him, his girlfriend (soon to be fiancé) and her 2 kids. Needless to say the fw’s parents are pissed and felt that it was rude of her to include ber kids. I tried to step in and be as diplomatic as possible but know that my brother would be devastated if I told him the kids couldn’t come, plus my parents even offered to pay for these two kids. I feel that since it wasn’t on the invite that they were within their rights to invite the kids. My fiancé felt that I am not living up to my “husband” duties by not telling them they can’t come. When I ask why they want no kids I just get “because”… I honestly don’t know what to do – this really sucks because I am in the middle of all this. Help!
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
Well, technically if the kids weren’t included on the invite (or “and family”), they weren’t invited.
That said, these are your brother’s kids… I hope her parents will let this slide.
Or, you just have to tell your brother that this is how your fiance’s parents want to do it, and you’re really, really sorry. You wish they could come.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
If your fiancee and her family are set on having no kids, you should support them in their decision. Even if your parents are willing to pay for them, it’s not fair to all the other guests who have kids but are not bringing them because they know it is a child-free wedding. Maybe you can offer to pay for a babysitter for your brother’s kids?
Post # 5
My reply to this post depends on an answer first….
Who was the invitation addressed to?
a) Was it addressed to your brother his gf, and family?
b) Or just to brother and gf?
If a) then, the children were legitimately invited, and unfortunately this cannot be changed or taken back now, so as much as fw and her dad don’t like it, it was their mistake.
If b) really, your brother should have known that his gf’s kids are not invited. It is considered “tacky” to add “adults only” to an invitation, as it is indicated whether or not children are invited on the envelope (by who it is addressed to). In this case, it is your responsibility to clear up the error, by calling him and letting him know that you two are very excited to see him and his gf, but unfortunately due to budget and space, you are not inviting children.
In addition, I understand that your parents offered to pay for the children, but I don’t think that’s the point (at least for me and my family it wasnt). The problem with this scenario (as kind as it is for your parents to offer to pay), is that there was a “no kids rule” set out from the beginning. Unfortunately, to make an allowance for some kids and not others is going to be an issue. I believe that when inviting or not inviting kids, it is important to go with a rule that applies to everyone (ie: NO kids under 18.. at all…. or No kids under 10 or 12 or whatever).
I’m sure your brother wont be mad, (Most people in my experience understand, and aren’t upset, just a little embaressed of their mistake).
Good luck with the situation!
Post # 6
The invites were addressed to just him and his gf
Post # 7
@Chumley: Unfortunately in this case, someone (likely you) is going to have to let your brother know about the misunderstanding, but I agree witht he previous poster who suggested that maybe you can pay for a babysitter for the children (if you would like to). Unless, your fw and her father are willing to change the children rule for everyone, which is difficult and costly.
Post # 8
I honestly cannot hold any guest to the “if their kids’ names weren’t on the invite, then they should have known it was not for their kids” thing. The etiquette surrounding how wedding invites are addressed is pretty archaic and lots of people never learn the so-called rules. It’s 100% very possible that the recipient truly did not know that, by leaving the kids’ names off of the envelope, you were leaving them off the guest list. So let’s give the guest the benefit of the doubt.
That said, the bride, groom, and parents need to come to a decision rather quickly. Do you want to continue with the “no kids” thing, knowing that you did not put it on the invitiation and that similar confusion is likely to happen? That means you might have to piss off another friend or family member who also would like to bring their kids. Without the invitation to spell it out for you, the chances of someone else wanting to bring their kids is high. Or do you want to just let it go and welcome the kids, knowing that someone who is all up to speed on the secret language of wedding invites might leave the kids at home then be annoyed when other kids are present?
I can’t tell you what the right choice is but I do know that you have to decide— together— what you want to do, then stick to it. If you choose not to allow the kids then you (OP) may want to have someone else deliver that mesage to your brother to make it easier for him to accept without turning you into the bad guy.
Post # 9
You said they didn’t want kids at the wedding. You also said you went along with that.
That decision then carries responsibilities, one of which is that you get to deal with any problems that arise on your side of the family.
Post # 10
That’s the problem with all of this. I know what is right by my fiancé but when I spoke with my mom this morning – she went off crying and saying that if I do this I would be splitting apart the family and that my brother, who is in the wedding, wouldn’t go. Major guilt trip! I contacted her for ideas and support but got shot down really quick.
Also, a week earlier I found out a 2 year old from out of state would be attending as well. I was going to contact them as well but they had already bought their tickets
Post # 11
Oy if one thing truly bothered me about wedding planning, it was when my husband and I agreed on something and then he didn’t have the backbone to communicate our feelings to others.
No kids means no kids. These aren’t your brother’s kids, right? They’re his girlfriends. I feel like if you all wanted them there, they would be ringbearers/ flower girls.
Post # 12
Are you’re parents (groom’s parents) paying for the wedding. If they are, they do have some say. If not, they really don’t have a say in who’s invited.
Post # 13
If this was a cousin or a friend, I would stand by the “no kids” thing. But this is your brother. Your fiance is not living up to her “wife” duties as well by not accomdating her future (immediate) family.
Post # 14
You can arrange a sitter for the 2 year old.Being ignorant of weding etiquette does not grant them an exception.
I foresee a family disaster if you let these out of state people bring their child.
This isn’t about your FW not welcoming your family. This is about a decision that you agreed with- no kids at the wedding- and are now not wanting to abide by.
Post # 15
I’m also really curious how much you thought about your “no kids rule” when you and your fiancee were planning? Didn’t you realize it mean that your brother’s gf’s kids weren’t invited?
It’s also “bad ettiquette” to write on invites that it’s an “adults only wedding.” Your fiancee was right in not writing that.
Post # 16
@Chumley: This is exactly why you need to have another chat, with all concerned parties, about what you are going to do.
Regardless of the names on the envelopes, your invitations said nothing at all about kids not being welcome. You have at least one guest who has already bought a plane ticket for their kids. You will have others.
It’s absolutely not fair on your guests to have left out such a relevant, important detail, Whoever did the invites or approved the copy screwed up. You have to decide together how you are going to handle that screw-up and who is going to deliver that message (and perhaps it’s worth proactively letting the folks with kids that Junior is not welcome so no one else spends money on airfare for their kids).
I have no problem with someone not wanting kids at their wedding and no problem with someone sticking by those rules if guests want to bend them. But only if the guests have been properly notified. And we can quote etiquette rules and the hidden truth behind your envelope till the cows come home; the simple fact is, lots of people don’t know these rules, and since you’ve not spelled it out on the invitation, you can’t expect the guests to magically know that you dont want them bringing their kids.
@julies1949: “Being ignorant of weding etiquette does not grant them an exception.”
I will agree with this but only on some things, and the envelope addressing isn’t one of them. Some things like if it’s okay to turn up without a gift are such common knowledge that people either already know the answer, or know they need to find an answer. The meaning of whose name is on the envelope is a lot less commonly known. Otherwise there would not be so many threads on this site about how to word it (“2 seats have been reserved in your honor blah blah”). If the brides themselves need to spend hours of online research to understand it, how on earth are the guests expected to even know that they don’t know?