Post # 1
So the other week my Future Mother-In-Law threw a fit that we didn’t invite any kids. She said that’s not how they do weddings and shamed my mom for not budgeting for it. The fact is, we don’t have the money to invite all of the kids from both sides. We offered for her to invite the kids from her side (almost a dozen under 10 years old plus a few teens) if she paid for them. She didn’t respond to that. My fiancé and I have been going back and forth about it. He’s frustrated but seems to understand why we can’t have kids. My family never has kids at weddings so we didn’t even think to tell his family ahead of time and labeled the save the dates with just the adults – but they assumed their kids were invited as well.
While his mom still hasn’t agreed to pay for the kids she wants but is mad we then won’t invite them, we’ve reached a compromise that if I call the various families on their side and explain, they’ll drop the issue.
But, now my fiancé wants to make an exception for one toddler. My flower girl and ring bearer are also toddlers and will be leaving right after the ceremony with their babysitter. Am I wrong to say it’s unfair to make an exception for this one kid? He’s never met her. How do I explain to my Flower Girl and RG’s parents that even though they went through the effort to bring a sitter, this toddler won’t have one and gets to come? There are a few breastfeeding infants we’re allowing to come for obvious reasons.
I am lost on what the etiquette is here. Everyone has to travel at least 4 hours for our wedding and the toddler’a parents will be driving from several states away.
Post # 2
- Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club
I think making an exception for a toddler you don’t even know when you will not have your flower girl and ring bearer there would be kind of rude to your Flower Girl and RB.
Our rule with kids was first cousins and direct neices and nephews only. Our Flower Girl and RB were our neice and nephew. No second cousins or friends kids.
Post # 3
What is the reason he wants to invite this one kid that he doesn’t even know?
Post # 4
Probably not a good idea to make exceptions for this one toddler. When people make exceptions, it is usually in circle groups (eg all first cousins, all nieces/nephews, etc) or based on age (under 15 not invited, etc. Make sure this doesn’t split up families though). Those are a little more “fair” but even still may cause hurt feelings by some people left out.
Post # 5
It has always been acceptable to make cut offs by relationship. So if your siblings had children, it would be perfectly fine to invite all nieces and nephews, but not children of friends or cousins. But that’s not what you are asking here.
Your flower girl and ring bearer should properly first and foremost be guests to your wedding, like any other, not just props at a ceremony. You can’t politely include them and exclude other children who are related to you in the same way. You risking offending people if you were to make exceptions, including your child attendants. The latter are guests who are given a special honor, not a role that needs to be filled no matter what.
Since people are all having to travel out of town, I think a nice gesture on your part would be to either investigate child care or a nanny for the kids if you don’t want to or can’t invite them.
Post # 6
If the parents are coming from several states away they may not have a sitter in your state or feel comfortable leaving their toddler at home with someone for that long. Does he want to invite the toddler in fear that the parents may not come otherwise?
Post # 7
My family has been hosting adult weddings since I was a kid – almost 50 years ago. My 1st daughter’s weddding was 21 and up, which is what almost every wedding we’ve been invited to, in this century, has been.
I have two toddler grandchildren and even though they go to church every week, there is no way their mothers would take them to a wedding ceremony. Every reception around here is in the evening; they younger one goes into melt-down, at 8:00 PM, if she isn’t in her crib and asleep. If her parents had to leave the wedding at 8:00 PM, they’d probably miss the entree course and everything that follows, and 3 hours of open bar that the couple paid for.
We went to an adult wedding where my daughter’s free babysistter (family) cancelled 10 days before. She ended up paying over $100 for babysitting for the night. When we got to the wedding a 2-3 year old girl was there, who hadn’t been invited. She and the ringbearer mananged to monopolize the dance floor more than once, with their running around and screaming. My daughter was not happy about it.
Post # 8
He wants to invite her because he’s never met her and wants to – I don’t see why he can’t meet her the night before when we’ll be having a get together for all out of town guests.
My family has offered to provide sitter options but his family keeps saying well they’re traveling so far, it’s not fair to then not include the toddler. They’re using the weekend for vacation so I don’t see how 4 hours apart from their toddler is a huge deal.
My Flower Girl and RB are the kids of my closest cousin who I see frequently and is like a daughter to my mom. My cousin didn’t even ask if they would be invited to the reception; she automatically offered to bring their sitter so she and her husband could enjoy the night off.
Part of the issue is my Future Mother-In-Law is lovely, but from an extremely small town where weddings are more invite everyone you know and hold a cheaper event to fit everyone (rather than a nicer event with less people). Weddings are twice as expensive where I’m from than she is so I don’t think she understands what our wedding costs.
Post # 9
if his only reason is that he wants to meet her then I don’t think that’s a fair reason to invite her over all the other kids.
Post # 10
I would not make exceptions for anyone besides the two in the wedding. You can’t afford them and you’ve explained to your Future Mother-In-Law why. Either she coughs up the money or she gets over herself.
Post # 11
“Part of the issue is my Future Mother-In-Law is lovely, but from an extremely small town where weddings are more invite everyone you know and hold a cheaper event to fit everyone (rather than a nicer event with less people).”
You are within your rights to make cut offs that exclude children, but in general your FMIL’s philosophy is the proper one. You invite those who deserve to be invited, then figure out venue and budget based on numbers, not the other way around.
Post # 12
there is absolutley nothing at all wrong with have an adult-only wedding – that is NO exceptions, not even for the Flower Girl and RB. just because you dress kids in fancy clothes doesn’t change the fact that they are still kids. if you have a Flower Girl and RB then you’re not having an adult-only wedding and this gets you into very disputable territory where people start to become easily offended that some children were invited, but not THEIRS. some bees with tell you it’s fine to have some children and not others, but personally i think it’s sort of an all or nothing thing. either have a child-free wedding, or don’t, but don’t expect people to be understanding if you decide to pick and choose children.
Post # 13
Don’t make exceptions. I was a Bridesmaid or Best Man in a wedding and was told no kids allowed and I have an almost 9 month old. There was an exception and it was if you lived out of state your child could come. I was pissed and so was my husband so i vote no exceptions, same rules for all.
Post # 14
I figured since they were part of the bridal party and their parents readily wanted them to leave with their sitter after the ceremony, it would be a non-issue that the only “kids” would be breastfeeding infants.
And to be fair, I asked my Future Mother-In-Law BEFORE we picked the venue what the guest number would be from their side. However, she failed to include the almost 20 children and teens in total to that – I don’t know if she didn’t think they cost money too or what, but our venue was based on those numbers and not needing it to be kid friendly.
My fiancé didn’t have any kids he wanted as Flower Girl or RB, so I further assumed that meant it was fine as we planned it.
Post # 15
How old is the toddler and how old is the oldest breastfed child you’re allowing? I assume there is a clear difference in age of at least a few months?
I don’t think you should make this exception. It would be very rude to those who have got sitters.