Should I enforce the 'no kids' policy?

posted 3 months ago in Guests
  • poll: What should I do?
    Invite the future FILs young cousins (and hope they don't come) : (8 votes)
    42 %
    Open the guest lists to all kids under 21 : (3 votes)
    16 %
    Pay for a babysitter and a 'kids party' for younger guests : (8 votes)
    42 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    5196 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2016

    I kind of had a similar issue except in reverse. My husband’s family is HUGE and they’re all local. My family, on the other hand, is very tiny and they are spread all over the country. We also had a “no kids” policy mainly because if we included kids then we’d have to invite all of my husband’s cousins’ kids, which would be an extra 40+ people. However, I only have 4 cousins total and 4 second cousins (is that what they’re called when they’re your cousins’ kids?). I knew the only way my cousins would be able to make it is if we invited their kids as well. And even though we’re spread out all over, I love my cousins a lot and we’re pretty close. So I definitely wanted them to make it. My husband understood and totally supported the decision. 2 of the little second cousins came and they were the only kids there. No one caused a fuss or anything over it. My husband’s family understood and they were also of the mind that they’d have more fun if their kids weren’t there. So it worked out. 

    I know everyone always says you have to make clear lines and distinctions but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way. 

    Post # 3
    Member
    1200 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    Let him invite those two kids. It won’t change the dynamic of the wedding, but you might offend some people. We had a no kids wedding, but we did have a few kids. One was a toddler that my parents were insistent on (which was fine, they paid for a good portion of our wedding) the other four were DH’s first cousins. Two were 11 and 13 that traveled several states away with DH’s aunt and uncle. The other two were HS age and local. It didn’t change the dynamic of the wedding, and it was nice that they were all there.

    You’ll probably get a lot of people saying you can’t invite them. But I saw screw that opinion. Do what’s best for you and your FI. Sounds like this gesture will go along way with his dad.

    Post # 4
    Member
    760 posts
    Busy bee

    blac12 :  I would just invite them and explain the situation to your mom and family. I’m sure they will understand or at the very least feel bad that your FI has no one to invite to his own wedding and wont make a big deal out of pity. lol 

     

    Post # 5
    Member
    691 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2015

    I used to be all about the consistent cut-off requirement, until my sister started planning her wedding. There was such a discrepancy in family sizes that they decided each family would get 40 people. The cut-offs are still consistent within the two halves of the family (i.e., no one is excluding just one cousin), but one side is including parents’ cousins while the other isn’t. One side is including a few friends of the parents while the other isn’t. Basically, no two families are identical; different families maintain close relationships with different people; and it turned out they could keep both families happy by prioritizing the relationships that mattered most to them.

    In your situation, I would just invite the two kids. Tell your relatives that you made an exception in this case because there were literally only four people in FI’s extended family, and they were travelling from out of town. I really don’t think your relatives could complain about unfairness at a wedding with 90 people from your family and only 10 from his, or whatever the actual numbers are.

    Post # 7
    Member
    5777 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2016 - Lola's Trailer Park

    Just let him invite those two kids as a special circumstance. They may not even come if your FI really hasn’t met them ever.

    Post # 8
    Member
    691 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2015

    I just want to add, it’s also normal for a child-free wedding to make exceptions for children in the bridal party. So it doesn’t have to prevent you from having a ring bearer.

    Post # 9
    Member
    502 posts
    Busy bee

    I would just add those two kids to the guestlist. You don’t owe anyone an explanation of who you choose to invite.

    Post # 10
    Member
    949 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2017

    My husband and I had this discussion. My giant Irish catholic family has a million kids, whereas his small wasp family does not. My side is used to adult only weddings to keep from having 60-70 kids. His invites everyone. His family I’m told were horrified by the notion that we wouldn’t be inviting children. After a few people asked, each on suggesting that one Or two kids wouldn’t make a difference, my now husband began to advocate for extending the invite to kids on his side. Just his side. After a long discussion and input from a few friends with kids, we agreed not to extend it to anyone. There’s just shouldn’t be exceptions. Its no fair. It’s awkward and frustrating for other parents to arrive and see that their children didn’t make the cut. That’s what it is and there’s no other way around it. You’re saying that these children are more important than others. Babysitters and travel are just as expensive for one side as it is for the other and no one should get extra invites just for being born into a smaller family. In the end, most of his family with smaller kids didn’t attend and we understood. No hard feelings. 

    Post # 11
    Member
    987 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2016

    i think its normal to want to invite family regardless of some no kids policy. Granted 30+ cousins are a lot so i can see why you dont want that hassle. I say let him, he has 2 not 30. 

    Post # 12
    Member
    1496 posts
    Bumble bee

    Does your FI want them there? It sounds like FIs Dad wants them there, but I didnt see anything specifically about FI.

    I personally wouldn’t invite them. After telling people non-stop its “no kids” and then they show up and there are kids there, it doesnt sit right with me – UNLESS your FI was adamant about having them there, which it doesnt sound like he is.

    You could also look at alternatives, like letting the family bring the kids to the RD (as its FIs fam paying), and then getting a babysitter for the actual wedding.

    Post # 13
    Member
    3684 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

    All of these options are a no for me. I don’t think its necessary to make an exception for kids you’ve never even met, open the guest list to every kid when you don’t want to invite any and have made this clear or spend even more money for a babysitter/kids party (separate kids party, really?). As a guest I would totally understand your children being the only ones there, I would understand any children involved in the wedding being there but some miscellaneous second-cousins you’ve never even met? Nah. Seems even worse to do this while excluding godchildren and your MOHs child. I imagine MOH will not be pleased about this at all. Good luck

    Post # 14
    Member
    987 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2016

    heavenlyflower :  i see more and more posts on no kids threads about people suggesting a babysitter for kids so that people can have a kid free wedding. Like do people really do this?? 

    i mean i want to imagine if your having a babysitter to babysit family kids, your hiring someone you trust and know. Id imagine that to be an awkward convo, “hey, we didnt extended an invite to you for our wedding, but can you babysit a bunch of kids for us while we get married” 

    but either make it a no kid wedding, or make it strictly family kids only and i guess learn to deal with the repercussions of that choice. 

    i do feel for certain situations though. i think since he only has two cousins its not a lot to ask for them to be allowed to attend. 

    Post # 15
    Member
    3684 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

    Kslim13 :  Honestly the babysitting offer thing is unnecessary and odd to me. No one I know would ever expect or want something like this. As a parent if your child isn’t invited you either a.) Find a trusted sitter for the night if you want to go or b.) If you prefer not to leave your kids accept that as a parent there are some events you won’t get to attend and graciously decline. Some things I missed out on bc I either didn’t feel comfortable leaving my son at the time or couldn’t find an acceptable sitter. I understood this was life without complaint as a teenager, as did my mother, so why there has to be special exceptions or accommodations made for parents I’ll never understand.  

    Leave a comment


    Get our weekly roundup of the best of Weddingbee.
    I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.

    Find Amazing Vendors