What is a nice way to say only certain children will be invited to the wedding?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
394 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

You will probably offend some people going that route, just be prepared for that.

Post # 3
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I wouldn’t say anything, just put the names of whoever is invited and say “ __ number of seats have been reserved in your honor” on the RSVP card. If they call to follow up on why their precious toddler isn’t invited, which is rude, then you can tell them that the venue is not child safe. 

Post # 4
733 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

You don’t have to mention that in the invite. It’s not necessary. Guests will know if their children are invited or not by the names you choose to list on the envelope of the invite. 

Post # 5
498 posts
Helper bee

breebee324 :  near the bit where you talk about +1s in the invite write

“Children under 12: By invitation only”

Post # 6
2894 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I think you are going to have to go all or nothing. You will offend some people what ever you do so try not to worry about that. As a parent, I love kid free weddings (night off wooooo).

I would suggest you either say ‘ due to the type of venue we have chosen, we can only safely accomodate children over 12 years of age or babes in arms’


‘Due to venue restrictions we can only accomodate children in the bridal party, babes in arms and children over 12’

You might need to get immediate family children in your bridal party to make it easier. If you don’t include very young babies (under 6 months) then you are likely to get declines from one or both parents so just be OK with that.

Post # 7
1225 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

You don’t need to have any fancy wording or bend over backwards trying to explain yourselves. Simply address the invite to those who are invited. Most people understand that “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” does not include the Smith children, whereas “The Smith Family” would.  

Children of bridal party/immediate family is fine because it’s ok to invite children in circles, just like any other wedding guest. The only place you might run into issues with the 12 and over restriction is if you’re splitting up families. What if there’s a family with a 13 and 11 year old- the 11 year old will probably feel hurt and left out. 

Post # 8
254 posts
Helper bee

This is hard to do as people will be offended and you will get backlash especially when they show up to your wedding and see other kids there but they couldn’t being there’s. . Just something to think about also. You need to be careful with the age limits. I know for my wedding I also wanted to do only children over 12 but some families had multiple children which usually meant 1 or 2 of the children would be invited but not the third. If that’s an issue for you I would just limit it to children of immediate family. 

Post # 9
12288 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

You don’t. You invite the children who are included, by name, on the invitation. 

There is nothing wrong with cutoffs by relationship, i.e. immediate family children only or by age, though I personally would never opt to divide a nuclear family that way. But the idea that etiquette requires an all or nothing policy on children is totally incorrect and misinformed. 

Wedding party children are an interesting topic. They are simply child guests with a special honor, not acceptably an exception or a category unto themselves. If you have similarly related children, it’s really not polite to discriminate on that basis. 

Post # 10
8805 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

breebee324 :  I might get flamed for this but I have just been speaking to my friends, I mean I know them well enough to want them at my small wedding so I feel like I can just say to them, look, I love your kid(s), you know I do, but I know 18 kids and it’s only a 50 person wedding and we just can’t afford it. My friends have been totally cool. Most are grateful for an excuse to have a day off (people have actually said thank you for not inviting them!). One friend who has 4 kids who I thought would be tricky totally understood and one friend with a 6 month old said what has my kid ever done to you and I said nothing, but I didn’t hear any of FRIENDS (pointing at friend sat next to us) wedding becase of a screaming kid so don’t want that my wedding. Harsh but fair. 


Like I said, I will probably get told off because it isn’t proper but I wanted to give people a heads up without putting it on the STD or invite. 

Post # 11
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

breebee324 :  we just had the children of family members, and we just told those friends that had kids “sorry, due to space restrictions we’re only able to invite the children of family members”. We made them aware of the fact when we sent out save the dates, a year ahead of the wedding, and then the invites were only addressed to, e.g “Bob and Sandra Smith”. Worked well for us and no one was offended! And actually many of our friends said they were happy to have an evening off! We didn’t feel guilty about it. It’s your party, invite who you want.

Post # 12
239 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I personally think its unecessary to have children at weddings. Its a huge party with tons of alcoholic beverages…kids do not need to be mixed with that. Not to mention all of the weddings I have been to where there are kids, they end of running around all over the place unsupervised. I would imagine this could pose a hazard for the child and adults if they are running around all over the place and might trip or trip others. Plus, they won’t even remember it years later when they are older. I would just write the name of the ones you are ok with being there on the invite and leave it at that.

Post # 13
932 posts
Busy bee

We addressed the invite to the people we wanted to invite. That included kids. If the kids aren’t on the invite, they aren’t invited. Nothing was written on the invitation itself. 

Our venue is space limited and we can’t invite everyone we want to. We chose only to invite those kids who are close to us (my neighbors kids who are in and out of my house all the time and my kids and my niece) or whose parents are traveling for the event.


Post # 14
1480 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

As other bees have said, the best way to indicate who is invited is to put their names on the invitation. The best way to indicate who is not invited is to leave their names off the invitation. This applies to all guests, and children really don’t need to be a special case.

I am a firm believer that just because there are children invited to your wedding does not mean all guests’ children have to be invited. I’m inviting some of my closest friends’ parents to my wedding because I know them well and we are close. I’m not inviting every guest’s parents. I don’t really see why it has to be different with children. You can invite children with whom you are close and who you have a good relationship with. If you do not know well the children of some of your friends or distant relatives, I do not see why they would expect to be invited as a guest to your wedding.

Post # 15
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Don’t acknowledge it- just write whoever is invited on the invitation and they should be able to figure it out from there. 

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