(Closed) Lets discuss reasons FOR and AGAINST inviting children (I’m confused)

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 106
711 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think it is a really personal decision, and I’m glad that at least on this third page (it’s the only page I read), the comments have been mostly polite and respectful (bc I know some folks are worried that us bees are degenerating into snarky brides!).

OK, that being said…I love kids! Love them! I work with them six days a week (kids with autism) and volunteer with other kids as well. That being said, we are NOT inviting kids to our wedding? Why, you ask?

1. None of our immediate family or close friends have kids. There are only two kids in our extended families, and maybe six other kids from all our guests (and again, those are not close friends and family – neither of us know any of the kids).

2. I want to have an adult party…dancing, drinking, etc. If I was having a nice dinner party at my house, I wouldn’t invite kids to that either. Yes, kids are cute and get out on the dance floor and some are into that…but that’s not the kind of dancing I’m talking about! 😉

3. There are no children in my personal life that I am close with. Professional life? Yes. Personal life? No.

Oh also – I have a friend/coworker who just had a baby a few months ago. I asked her what she thought about inciting kids to a wedding – she said she did not invite kids to her wedding, and would not be offended if I did not invite her duaghter. In fact, she said she wouldn’t bring her anyway, she’d just get a baby sitter so she could come and have fun!



Post # 107
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

My wedding was pretty small (25 guests).  Nine of those were children.  One of those was an uninvited teenager.  We chose to invite all aunts and uncles and only those children whom DH or I had met.  So only two of my nine cousins were invited.  All of the other cousins were college age or older anyway, whereas those two cousins were 9 & 10 years old.  So they couldn’t be left at home and their parents were travelling 1000 miles to see us!  On DH’s side, we invited only those people he bothered to tell me about (whole other story…).  Most of his family couldn’t come, so it was a non-issue.  The other seven kids were our nieces and nephews, ALL in the wedding party as flower girls, escorts, or ring bearers.

My nephew was supposed to be the ring bearer, but refused to hold the pillow, so we had him escort a flower girl instead.  My other nephew (who is normally a terror) politely held the rings and walked very well down the aisle.  All of the kids were seated for the ceremony and sat with whomever they wanted (grandmas, dads, moms).  There wasn’t a peep from any of them.  It was only a 30 minute ceremony and it was held outside, so maybe the scenery helped distract them a little.  At the reception we had a separate kids table with crayons, coloring books, stickers, and silly straws in their drinks.  They were well behaved at the reception, the minor exception being that they wanted to “helpfully” blow out all the candles in the centerpieces.

The ONLY incident we had with all those kids (ages 4-10) playing together was that my 4 year old nephew pushed my 10 year old niece in the pond after he saw my cousin pretending to try to do it.  Leave it to my family to set a record, that was only the second time at that venue that anyone had been in the pond.  And my SIL sent my niece BACK IN to get her sandal…*sigh*

Since I had such a small, intimate wedding, children were just a natural fit.  Parents couldn’t just “ignore” their kids, because it was noticable.  But I know every wedding is different, and honestly I don’t know that I’d WANT to bring my child to a 200 person event anyway.

Post # 108
620 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We’re having 4 kids (ages 3 to 13) in the wedding party and that’s it.  Our venue counts kids the same as adults.  So for us, it was a matter of space and money. 

Post # 109
522 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We are not inviting children. Our reason for this is that Fiance and I don’t enjoy being around children. We’ve never really been around kids. The only kids in our family are extended family members that we rarely see and don’t really know. Because we’re not used to being around them, we REALLY notice their presence and we’re just not kid people. So, we definitely don’t want any around on our wedding day. And it works out just fine for us because our married friends don’t have children, and the distant relatives with children aren’t coming (they don’t really know us anyway). There will be a child who is technically present – my boss’s 13 month old daughter, but she will be in my venue’s playroom with a babysitter.

Post # 110
722 posts
Busy bee

Melissabegins I could have written that!

My fiance and I do not spend much time with children.  i think they are perfectly appropriate at some weddings, but my reception begins at 8pm, will be drinking/dancing focused, and is not a child friendly venue. My friends and family are excited to have a reason to get a babysitter and go out as grown-ups. In fact one of my best friends is thrilled! MY reception will be her first non child trip in 3 years!

Post # 111
83 posts
Worker bee

We are having children. We never even discussed it together, we both independently assumed we would have kids and made up the guest list. To me, weddings are about family, and children are a part of that family.

I don’t really think kids are a disruption at all. Sure, they may be a little noisy at times, and if that bothers you, I understand why you wouldn’t invite children. But we understand this, and aren’t bothered by it one bit. At most weddings I’ve been to it’s the kids that get the dancing started! Also, while kids are ultimately the parents responsibility, and most do keep an eye on their children, I do think that because (at least in our family) weddings tend to be family events, everyone sort of keeps an eye on all the kids, so they can run around and dance and have fun. I understand, though, if that isn’t the case in your social circle.

We knew that since we would be inviting all our family member’s children, we selected a venue that would be able to fit everyone and offered children’s meal prices. It is a fairly formal event (sit down dinner, open bar with beer and wine, cocktail hour), but I’m sure the kids will be fine.

Post # 112
39 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

we’re having kids.  my wedding is about family, so my kid cousins (i’ve got cousins from age 7 to 37!), my cousin’s kids, children i nannyed for… they’ll be there! 

i think it depends on what you’re going for though.  my wedding is going to be a big ol’ family affair-decently casual, over not too late…and my caterer told us to just count one plate for every 5th kid or so, since they don’t eat much… and it’s next to a park, so if kids get too squirrly i am guessing they’ll be taken by their parents to go out and play

the only things i don’t like when people do adults only is to act shocked that people might not be able to come bc of it (you’ve seen all these threads, you shouldn’t be shocked if someone is less than happy), or to be amazed people don’t want to let a stranger babysit  (provided babysitter isn’t going to be for everyone)

Post # 113
2083 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

FOR: Dancing to Party in the U.S.A was so much fun! The kids got so excited which pulled in their parents – it was a big hit lol

Post # 114
1774 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Two main reasons:

1. I hate going to weddings where it feels like Chuck E. cheese

2. (the big one)- behavior.   One child who we otherwise would have had to invite (son of a close friend) is an absolute TERROR (worst behave child I have ever seen).

Post # 115
3315 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I had children at my first wedding.  The worst that happened was that one of them said loudly, before the ceremony started, “What kind of church is this, Mommy?”  Mommy was embarrassed, since it was actually a synagogue.  I, on the other hand, found it a moment of humor that took away some of the wedding stress.

At my second wedding, we had no children.  However, we didn’t explicitly ban them.  None of the guests at our ceremony had kids.  And for our at-home reception, all our guests were local, and the few with children pretty much decided that they didn’t want to try to bring kids to a late-evening reception with alcohol, dancing, etc.  Given that we did allow a dog to attend, I don’t think there would have been a problem with children.

Honestly, I think one of the purposes of rituals (including weddings) is to pass the family traditions on to the kids.  I therefore have a really hard time imagining needing to exclude kids.

Plus, I’ve been on the other side of this.  I had small (and breastfeeding) babies at both my brother’s and sister’s weddings.  And my sister’s was in southern Mexico.  There is literally no way I could have attended if I could not bring my kids.

And as for the theory that omitting kids avoids bad behavior, my experience is otherwise.  At my second wedding, it was my 51-year-old sister who started a whipped cream fight with my 27-year-old son.  And no, neither of them had been drinking.

Post # 116
1523 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@futureKMM- I agree with you that the cost of food at weddings is high, but I am OK with the $90 a head that I am paying for my guests. The $90 is NOT just for dinner. This cost includes a full open bar, passed appetizers, a station of fruit and cheese during cocktail hour and also a full dinner. I am also thankful that I am not paying extra money for linens, chivari chairs, silverware, glasses and the reception space which is a full manor house. I know in some place you have to rent all of that and with my venue it’s all included in their price.

I really don’t see the financial benefit of inviting kids to my wedding.

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