Should kids in wedding party stay the whole reception?

posted 1 month ago in Family
Post # 2
3592 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

If you want a kid free wedding, don’t include kids in the wedding party. 

Yes, it is extremely rude to use them at props for your ceremony and photos and then send them home because you don’t want them hanging on you. 

Post # 4
451 posts
Helper bee

The reception is to thank people for attending the ceremony. Everyone who is invited to the ceremony – and especially those who are taking part in the ceremony – must be invited to the full reception. It doesn’t matter if they are adults or children. It’s rude to only want them around for the cute photo op parts but then to kick them out for the fun part of the night.

Post # 5
505 posts
Busy bee

Logistical nightmare and I would also be prepared that their parents might also leave early. Also the girls might feel left out. I don’t think an American wedding reception is an appropriate place for children either but if you invite them to the ceremony then keep them for reception

Post # 7
567 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!

Offer to hire an on-site babysitter for them and mention you want the parents a chance to relax? Otherwise it would be rude. 

Post # 8
451 posts
Helper bee

kaitlyn8298 :  it doesn’t SEEM rude, it IS rude to do what you are proposing. It’s rude to the children and to your SIL and Brother-In-Law. If you don’t care about being rude to your in laws then I guess it’s your choice. What does your fiancé want? Will he be ok with his family being offended by this rude treatment?

Post # 9
1482 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I reeeeally don’t think you’re going to notice if they are there or not. You’re going to be incredibly busy, surrounded by all your friends and family. Whether or not your nieces are dancing with their parents on the dance floor really isn’t going to affect your night.

Post # 10
420 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Maybe the parents already plan to leave early? I went to a friends wedding where they had 3 kids in their bridal party, they stayed for dinner and about an hour of the reception then the parents (also part of the wedding party) left with the kids … so maybe it’ll happen like that? If not, I agree if they are in the wedding they should be at the reception… maybe just have a talk with them that it’s your special day and they can’t hang on you while you’re all dressed up because it’s a special dress, I’m sure they can handle that. Also have a table set up for them with coloring and whatever else may keep them entertained. 
good luck!

Post # 11
80 posts
Worker bee

moissamight :  Two problems with the “I want you to be able to relax” approach:

1. Some parents actually want to be around their kids and will be more relaxed with them there than with a babysitter.

2. It’s a lie and you can’t very well follow up the parents possibly declining the offer by telling them they don’t actually have a choice.

Post # 12
262 posts
Helper bee

The short answer to your title question is yes.

You’re putting their parents in a bad position by enforcing rules on their kids. They know their children: if they know their girls will be unhappy with the length of the wedding reception, they’ll get someone to retreieve them on their own. They’re part of the wedding party and you shouldn’t make them choose between going home with their children and celebrating their nearest and dearest’s wedding. 

As a six-year-old flower girl, I was excited about playing hide and seek outside the reception with my cousin all night long. I know I would have been incredibly disappointed (and my mother–a bridesmaid–and father–a groomsmen, would have been quite inconveienced) if I had not been allowed to attend my aunt and uncles’ wedding reception. That’s something I remember to this day.

Post # 13
12327 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

You don’t have to invite children to your wedding or have children in the wedding party, but if you are including them  it is because they are child guests with an honor, not props. What you are suggesting is both rude and inappropriate.

It’s up to their parents to decide if they are too young to stay up that late. In that case only you could arrange for a nearby sitter. FWIW I attended many close family weddings as a child and so have my children. No one was ever bored. 

Post # 14
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2020 - Concord, Ontario

In my opinion if you want a child free wedding then you can’t have children in your wedding party

Post # 15
1906 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Just have the babysitter attend to keep an eye on them (and off of you) but let them stay until/ unless they want to leave. 

I had a ton of kids at my reception, including my own 11 and 9 year olds. I barely saw any of them. They went off playing or stayed with family members. And people still drank and had fun. 

The only kid interaction I had was when the 2 year old flower girl came up and sat in my lap during speeches for 2 min. She wanted to thank me for the bracelet I gave her. It was one of my favorite memories of the night. I didn’t see her after that. All the kids were well behaved and watched and I honestly never really saw or noticed them after dinner.

All this to say, 5 and 10 are old enough to behave and entertain themselves… especially with a sitter. But they are also old enough to resent being sent home early. I would let them stay unless they get tired and want to go or are throwing a fit.

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