(Closed) The Children Issue

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

We are not inviting children to our wedding either. It’s been almost a non-issue. If the chidlren’s names are not on the invite, they’re not invited.

Post # 4
335 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Unfortunately mine will be having children, there are just too many who would not attend if they were not allowed to bring their children. I was a little irritated by this so I say, if you can do it, DO IT!!! If you are willing to put the blame on yourself and your family then just be honest with them and say your parents are paying for the wedding and we agreed it is best to not have children, and leave it at that. I couldn’t do that because my mother was okay with children and my brothers and sisters have kids…story of my life. But be honest and just know you will have to deal with those who will complain and will not come.

Post # 5
46653 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

RavenAVlahos:  I suggest you refrain from telling people who is not invited. The invitations are addressed to those who are invited.

You will likely get some calls questioning your choice or just wanting to confirm that you didn’t mean to exclude their little precious. You will also likely get some rsvp’s adding chidren. In that case, you need to be prepared. ” There seems to have been a misunderstanding. We are unable to include the children in the invitation. If that means you will be unable to attend the wedding, we will miss you.”

I suggest you avoid giving any reason for your choice as there will always be those guests who want to solve your problem for you.

parents won’t pay – we will pay

venue too small- she can sit on my lap

You can add information on your website and state “Adult reception to follow” on the invitation.

Post # 6
180 posts
Blushing bee

I guess I don’t understand why people get so worked up about this. Its YOUR wedding. YOUR party and YOUR decision. I have a son, if he’s not invited to a wedding I either arrange childcare or send regrets and a gift. Not a big deal. If we get married we will have children at our wedding. It won’t be a formal affair and I have a child, my Boyfriend or Best Friend has a nephew who he adores and all of our friends also have children that we love and want to be a part of our day. I wouldn’t address the invites to & family and I would put a note on your website that says, We look forward to celebrating with you, however due to the nature of the event and for your childrens safety and well being, this is an adults only celebration.

Post # 7
992 posts
Busy bee


RavenAVlahos:  As a fellow very Catholic individual , I totally understand the concern about the number of children in the family. We’re still in the beginning stages of guest-list planning, but we fully expect quite a few kids (both our families are spread out across the country, so everyone will be travelling and we wouldn’t dream of asking them to leave their kids behinid). Our reception venue has a large brides room & an even bigger grooms room which we will not be using, so we’re actually going to turn one into a kid’s room instead. We’ll likely bring a TV/DVD player and ask one of the families to bring a selection of movies and we’ll stock the room with coloring books, toys, etc. We’re fine with the kids staying out and dancing if that’s what they want, but I’m sure it would be just as easy to hire a babysitter (or two) to make sure that the children stay put if you’d prefer they not join the adults. If it’s at all possible, I bet your guests would appreciate being able to leave their kids in the care of a sitter, but still at the same location

Post # 8
2945 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


RavenAVlahos:  The first question is does your Fiance agree with you?  If yes, great.  If no, get on the same page.   What ever decision is made has to have 100% backing of both of you.  When you aren’t in the room, your Fiance can’t say “Maybe” to anyone.  He has to be as firm as no as you.

I would make sure you talk to both your and your FI’s parents before invites are sent out and let them know your decision.  Let them argue it out if they feel like it, but let them know that is the final decision.  Get them in agreement so they can help with the relatives.

As far as people threatening not to attend, it doesn’t mater how your bring it up.  People will threaten not to attend or just not attend if they can’t bring their kids. Some people are just going to be offended that their snowflake isn’t invited, but more often they just can’t decide to leave their children for a nigth due to your wedding.  For every person who exclaims how nice it is that they can leave the kids and have an adult evening, there are two who are listing all the things they need to do in order to be able to leave their kids for an evening.   Not every situation is pratical not to bring their kids with them.  If they are travling more than one night, finding overnight childcare is tough at best.  Even if they aren’t, babysitters cost money and it isn’t always an option.  If someone says they can’t come because you aren’t inviting children, meet it with a smile and say “That is too bad that you can’t come.”  Leave it at that. 

Post # 9
4040 posts
Honey bee

This is one of the most frequent topics, that comes up on the Bee, and all over wedding internet boards. It’s unfathomable to me that some people have never heard of an adult-only wedding, before reading it on a board. Around here, people may make the excuse of not having a babysitter, for their invitation decline, but no one really expects kids to be invited, across the board.

From my viewpoint (suburban area of large, east-coast city), I stopped being invited to weddings, along with my parents, in the late 1960s – at maybe 12 years old? That’s when they stopped offering cold buffets in church halls, for the reception. Weddings are always about what the bride/groom wants, what the host is willing to pay for, and they aren’t a democracy – asking for votes from each of the guests. They only thing you get to vote for is your entree selection.

If it’s primarily on his side, he’ll have to be the one to discuss the issue, with his parents, and then siblings. Whenever the topic is brought up, you have to be firm in your decision, and present an united front. And it’s crucial that they know ASAP, to arrange childcare. If they decline because of it, just say “I’m sorry, we’ll miss you,” and let it drop. It’s their loss.

My wedding in 1977 included my 2 flowergirls (7 & &) and 1st cousins, 15 & 18. Since I was 21, 2 of my bridesmaids, my Brother-In-Law, and a few friends, were under 21, and that was it (about 10 of 225). It’s not a new concept.  My daughter had a 21+ wedding last year, on a Sunday night of a holiday weekend, with the exception of her honorary little sister (16.5, who was a bridesmaid). 225 of 250 invited guests attended, and had the time of their lives.

Of course, there’s always the guests that have to be the exception; my Brother-In-Law didn’t even bother to RSVP, to his niece’s wedding, since his kids weren’t invited. (That was 2 non RSVPs, out of 250). They’re the ones with the inflated sense of entitlement – my daughter has only met the cousins three times, anyway. I said good riddance, and when it came time to invite 125 people to my 2nd daughter’s wedding, we didn’t waste an invitation on them.


Post # 10
2473 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

What does being Catholic have to do with it?  My family is Catholic, and there have been adult-only weddings.

You don’t have to invite kids if you don’t want to, just be prepared to stick to your decision.

Post # 11
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I agree with julies1949:  ‘s approach if you and your Fiance don’t want children at your wedding.

For my wedding, children will be allowed as there are a lot of people who won’t be able to attend if their kids aren’t present. 

I’m going to have a room or small suite set up with a babysitter for the parents to drop their kids off after dinner. I plan to stock the room up with lots of snacks, board games, coloring books, and Pixar/Disney movies.

The reception is located at a hotel, so the parents can easily check up on their kids if they want to. The drive to the ceremony/reception is 1.5 hrs for local guests, so I’m sure having a babysitter on site would be helpful.

Post # 12
2837 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

RavenAVlahos:  FYI, children don’t necessarily get bored/make noise/potentially destory things all the time.  They do- if you create that environment, but there’s always a way to have an upscale wedding and make it for fun kids.

But since, you’ve decided to go kid-free– address the invites with first and last names.  Don’t include the children’s names.  

If you have a wedding website, you might find an appropriate place on there to note that children are not invited to the wedding.

Don’t be offended or rant if people don’t come to your wedding because thier chidlren aren’t invited.  While I have never been to wedding that is child-free– and they’ve all been formal events— I don’t have a problem with people who want a kid-free wedding.  It just sucks when they make that choice and then complain “How hard is it to get a sitter?” (It’s not- many people don’t like to leave thier kids- especially babies- with just anyone.  If family will be attending the wedding, and family is the only babysitter most evenings….then they are are likely going to decline.)

Post # 13
2837 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Can.I.Be.Mrs.C.:  I don’t know that people get so worked about no-kids.  But what I see a lot of on here is brides ranting that so and so isn’t coming because thier kid isn’t invited.  

Kid free weddings are A-OK as long as bride or groom isn’t offended that people may decide not to come.  

When my son was 4 months old- he really hadn’t been watched by family much at that point– but family was the only person I would have considered leaving him with.  There was a wedding on each side of the family on the same day.  Wasn’t a big deal since he was invited– but had he not been, I would not have gone.

Post # 14
488 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I have a big Southern family with plenty of children. SO and I aren’t at the planning phase yet, but we’ve already agreed that we don’t want children. There’s over a dozen children on my side alone, and that adds a lot of dough to a potential catering budget. Not to mention they’re not that well behaved.

I am bound and determined to stick to my guns, but I will first try to be tactful about not including children by making it sound like I’m looking out for my guests rather than trying to discriminate against kids. I would say, 1) There will be alcohol and drinking, so it may not be appropriate for young children (My family is conservative and would respect that.), and 2) We want to give the adults a fun date night! And if some people don’t get the hint, then I’ll have to be more assertive and just say no. I’m also not especially close to the family members with children, so if they choose not to come, that’s fine with me.

I hope it works out for you, OP! If you’re worried about your family pitching a fit, you can try the tactful approach first and then dig in your heels more if some people don’t get the hint.

Post # 15
2945 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


SilvanArrow:  I really, really, suggest skipping to just saying no instead of the two excuses you list.  Most parents that I have spoken too hate the “Fun date night” suggestion thrown to them by someone without a child.  It’s hard to understand what goes into finding acceptable childcare for a parent when you aren’t responsible for it yet.  Saying that you are giving them a “Fun date night” sounds like you are giving them a gift, and not an obligation to either find child care or not attend.  Most parents who want a date night will find a time for it on their own and don’t need your wedding as an “excuse.”  Remember, it’s not a gift to the parents to have a chidl free wedding.  It’s a decision you made.  Own it. 

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