Invites and Paper

Inviting guests who have children

Hello,

I know that there are many discussions about inviting children, but I hope someone can help with more specific questions.  

My son and his fiancé do not want children under 13 at the ceremony or reception.  My husband and I have cousins, some with children under 13 and some over.  My son (and even my husband and I) have rarely, if ever, been with the cousins' children and so we feel we are fine to only invite the parents.  This is not the case for the bride's family and so there will be cousins' children over 13, who she has a close relationship with, at the wedding. Do we need to be concerned that the bride's guests will include young guests (over 13) and ours will not?  Will we hurt anyone's feelings on our side?  {It will be a large wedding, so it is hard to use "our numbers were limited" as an excuse}

Also, for some of these guests, the location is a trip to a tourist city.  We realize not bringing the young children may present a problem for them.  If they call to ask if they can bring their children, is it appropriate to say the bride and groom do not want young children at the ceremony or reception?  From what I have read, it is not appropriate to put that on their wedding website.  I have inquired with the hotel and the guests can arrange babysitting services.  {F.Y.I., Depending on when these guests arrive, there will be gatherings (other than the ceremony and reception) which children are welcome to attend.}

I would just like to check on proper etiquette in these situations.  I have asked friends and the consensus is I should just invite the parents (our cousins) and not their children.  Also, they say I should not worry about the bride's side of the family.

Sorry for the long post.  Your advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!




Re: Inviting guests who have children

  • You may invite, or not invite whomever you wish.  The only exception is that you cannot invite half of a couple in a relationship.  You do not have to make "rules" about children's ages.  This is your choice.

    Now, you do have to accept that if you invite people and not their young children they may very well decline your invitation.  That  is their choice.  Traveling without your young children is simply not doable for many parents.  No fair complaining.  There will likely be some family fallout over this.  It usually blows over.  Be prepared.

    Personally, I love to see young children at weddings.  They are so cute at the reception.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    charlotte989875SP29short+sassy
  • Totally fine to invite some children and not others. Yes, people may not like it, but these are people you aren't close to anyway. If anyone calls and asks don't say though that the couple prefers no children because it isn't true, just stick with "no sorry your kids aren't invited."

    and I disagree with @CMGragain on this one- I'm really not a fan of young children at weddings and I don't think they're cute at the reception!
    SP29southernbelle0915
  • Hello,

    I know that there are many discussions about inviting children, but I hope someone can help with more specific questions.  

    My son and his fiancé do not want children under 13 at the ceremony or reception.  My husband and I have cousins, some with children under 13 and some over.  My son (and even my husband and I) have rarely, if ever, been with the cousins' children and so we feel we are fine to only invite the parents.  This is not the case for the bride's family and so there will be cousins' children over 13, who she has a close relationship with, at the wedding. Do we need to be concerned that the bride's guests will include young guests (over 13) and ours will not?  Will we hurt anyone's feelings on our side?  {It will be a large wedding, so it is hard to use "our numbers were limited" as an excuse}

    Also, for some of these guests, the location is a trip to a tourist city.  We realize not bringing the young children may present a problem for them.  If they call to ask if they can bring their children, is it appropriate to say the bride and groom do not want young children at the ceremony or reception?  From what I have read, it is not appropriate to put that on their wedding website.  I have inquired with the hotel and the guests can arrange babysitting services.  {F.Y.I., Depending on when these guests arrive, there will be gatherings (other than the ceremony and reception) which children are welcome to attend.}

    I would just like to check on proper etiquette in these situations.  I have asked friends and the consensus is I should just invite the parents (our cousins) and not their children.  Also, they say I should not worry about the bride's side of the family.

    Sorry for the long post.  Your advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!




    Who is hosting the wedding and issuing the invitations? If they do not want to invite children that's fine. I do think you might ruffle some feathers for inviting children on one side but not on the other, but if you're not close with them it will probably work out. We had an adults only wedding (except for FG & RB) and no fallout from parents whose children weren't invited. 
    short+sassy
  • I think, kids from both the families ought to be welcomed or none of the family should welcome kids.

  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    It is fine to invite some guests (or children) and not others. The only true rule to this is as nicgetsknotted said- you cannot split up a family. So if you are inviting children on the bride's side, you cannot invite the 16 year old but not the 10 year old from the same family.

    I think it is fine to invite children on the bride's side but not the groom's side. Generally it is wise to invite in circles, but to me, these are separate circles as I can easily see how the groom might not be close with his younger cousins (or those once removed), but the bride is- different family dynamics. As long as one is not breaking etiquette rules, I am very supportive of the couple inviting only those they are actually close with, not everyone they think they *have* to invite (there are always exceptions of course).

    13 years old is pretty arbitrary. I would not tell anyone your "rule". If someone calls up the B or G and asks if their kids can come, or why they aren't invited, they should simply respond with, "Sorry Sally, but the invitation is only for you and Greg. Hope you can make it!".
    Jen4948charlotte989875InLoveInQueensshort+sassy
  • Typically it's alright to invite cousins on one side & not the other, especially if one person is closer to their extended family. Do you think anyone in your family would be upset if they saw teenagers there when their own children the same age weren't invited? That would be my only hangup.

    I wouldn't tell anyone the 13+ rule, because that is kind of a silly cutoff. Make sure you're not splitting up families though! If one sibling is 14 and the other is 12, they either have to both be invited, or both be not invited. Be prepared for more declines than you may expect, especially if you're asking people to travel without their children. Some people have provided a sitter onsite or at the hotel when children aren't invited to an OOT wedding, but it's not required, and not all parents would utilize it anyway. 
    InLoveInQueensMairePoppyshort+sassy
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    Your friends are correct. You don't have to invite your cousins' kids just because the bride is inviting kids on her side. Different families have different criteria for wedding invitations, and that's okay. I think there is more potential for hurt feelings by choosing an arbitrary cutoff age. I hope the bride isn't splitting up households because that would be rude, but you don't have to worry about her guest list.

    If anyone calls to ask if they may bring their children to the wedding, tell them you aren't able to add to the wedding guest list. Don't offer up excuses, change the subject. If asked, you can let them know that the hotel can provide childcare and give them the contact number. Don't get roped into making the arrangements. I'm  not sure that I would extend an invitation to the children for other family events that weekend, unless it's just your side. It could get sticky when your cousins find out that the other kids at the event will be attending the wedding. KWIM? 

                
  • You don't need to invite these kids and you don't need to offer excuses to these families. If they call and ask if their kids can come (which is really rude on their part, btw) you can simply say no, but there is babysitting available through the hotel and give them the phone number. Ball is back in their court for whether they will attend or not. 

    This does make me think there may be a potential for splitting of families on the bride's side (as no children at all are invited from the groom's side). Splitting families is when some children from a family are invited but not the others. Usually it happens due to an arbitrary age limit or with blended families. Either way it's against etiquette. 
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    InLoveInQueens
  • I definitely feel that both the bride and groom should be on the same page about whether or not children will be included. They should really be on the same page about everything - I would be upset if my future MIL assumed we were inviting children without talking to me about it first...it just leads to miscommunication and, in turn, possible arguments. But, I definitely don't blame you at all for not wanting children under the age of 13 there. Our wedding is going to be kid free because I feel that it gets really chaotic with a bunch of kids and that's not what I want my wedding day to be like. Also, you don't have to justify anything to anyone if they give you a hard time - simply say that you are keeping it to adults and older children only. It's not their wedding :)
  • Thank you all for the advice.  I appreciate it.
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