Should kids in wedding party stay the whole reception?

posted 2 weeks ago in Family
Post # 16
3737 posts
Sugar bee

My cousin wanted a kid free wedding, but had several children in the wedding party. They put them in a separate room with a babysitter during the reception. It was a nightmare as the kids were scared and wanted their parents, but were told to stay in the room. The parents were furious their kids were used for what they wanted and then disgarded. I think it’s terrible to use a child then kick them out of the party. Either include them all night or don’t have them in the wedding party.

Post # 17
4578 posts
Honey bee

Others have covered that ALL who are invited to the ceremony must be invited to the reception.

Quite frankly, your opinion that it will be a long night for them doesn’t matter one bit at this stage since it has already been decided that they will be in your wedding.  You are not their parent.  That is something their parent decides for them, not you.  If their parent(s) feel the reception is too long or too inappropriate of a venue for their child, they will make the appropriate arrangements for the care of their child and you need to trust that parents know how to parent their own children.  Your job as host of the party is to make sure ALL of your guests feel invited and welcome at all times.

Post # 18
913 posts
Busy bee

Just singing along with the overwhelming chorus: You can’t treat kids like props, so please include them in the whole reception. The 10 year old is definitely old enough to feel offended to be forced out of the celebration, and I’m sure the 5 year old would be pretty upset, too. These aren’t toddlers who have no idea what’s happening and couldn’t care less, these kids know exactly what’s going on and will fully understand that they’re unwanted if you forcibly send them home.  It would really be a shame to hurt them like that, not to mention the likely offense and inconvenience imposed on their parents. This isn’t an occasion they’re likely to forget. 

And I can pretty much guarantee you those kids aren’t going to be floating around you, unless they somehow have 0 social limitations. Most kids clam up in public and around crowds, but regardless, will likely understand that your wedding isn’t the same as a casual visit at someone’s house. So I think you’re overthinking this. My nieces and nephews would hoard both me and dh when we’d visit them, but they hardly even came near us on our wedding day. There will be enough action and distraction, and their parents are likely going to keep them reigned in anyway. 

Post # 19
437 posts
Helper bee

I think people really overestimate how much kids will be a disruption at weddings. There’s music and drinking and dancing, everyone is going to be loud and obnoxious. Two kids will barely make a dent 

Post # 20
3533 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

kaitlyn8298 :  i just feel it will be a very long day for the girls and that they could do without being at the reception all night

You know full well that this is not the reason you want them to leave the reception. You’re just grasping to justify it now. 

How late the kids stay up is a decision for their parents to make, not you. 

If you don’t want them at the reception, don’t have them as part of the wedding. You do have a choice, so stop pretending otherwise. It is entirely possible to be *close* with children but not have them as flower girls. I am extremely close with my nieces and nephew and none of them have an official role in our wedding because it just isn’t necessary. 

If you’ve already asked them/their parents then tough shit – you’re having at least two kids at your wedding, reception included. If you haven’t, the you’ve got time to reconsider, which I recommend you do. 

Post # 21
6771 posts
Busy Beekeeper

kaitlyn8298 :   it does seem rude in a sense

Not in a sense, just straight up rude. You included them in your wedding party. It’s up to the parents to decide if they want them to be with a babysitter, when it’s time for the children to leave and with whom.

Post # 22
2291 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

kaitlyn8298 :  my soon to be SIL & Brother-In-Law (their parents) are both in the wedding party and i know they are going to be drinking and the responsibility will fall on my Mother-In-Law which i don’t think is right.  


Perhaps not, but that is between your Mother-In-Law and her son/daughter in law (or whichever is actually hers).


There is no way to politely suggest to your inlaws that you would like your flower girls to scram after dinner.

If they get tired/whiny/disruptive, you will have to just trust that their parents or grandma will handle it.


Trying to manage this ahead of time will not put you in good favor with your new inlaws.

Post # 23
194 posts
Blushing bee

i would talk to the parents and ask what they plan to do.  for example, my nephew was in a wedding and stayed for part of the cocktail hour, but then his parents sent him home with a babysitter.  he goes to bed at around 8 and was just starting to get cranky and tired by the time the reception was really kicking off, so your Brother-In-Law and SIL may be planning to do the same thing. 

but i agree with others– if they are planning to have their daughters stay the whole time, it is super rude to tell them to leave at a certain time.

Post # 26
12224 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

  “i understand that it seems really rude to say “okay after dinner, you’re out!” and i’m hoping with my SIL & Brother-In-Law knowing that it is an adults only reception, they will make arrangements.”

Not only will it not be obvious, since immediate family children can always be invited to the exclusion of other children, it’s rude to state “adults only.” Invitations are supposed to be inclusive. If the children’s names are not on them, they are not invited. Anyone who RSVPs for uninvited children can be advised otherwise. 

Post # 28
3533 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

kaitlyn8298 :  Wait … So…. You’re completely aware that the ONLY sitter your SIL ever uses will be at your wedding. So by deciding you want the kids gone by x time, you’re knowingly saying at least one of the two parents has to also be gone by x time…? That makes it even worse! My goodness… 

Post # 29
6504 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

There is absolutely no way not to invite the two children. You don’t get to have someone in your wedding and exclude them from the reception. It will probably irreparably harm your relationship with your SIL if you even hint at it. There is no such thing as an “adults only” reception if there are children in the wedding party. 

They likely won’t bother you at all. This isn’t a hill to die on.

Post # 30
8106 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

kaitlyn8298 :  leave it up to their parents. The wedding party should be invited to the whole reception. There is a good chance they’re planning for a sitter to pick the kids up anyways. 

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