Wedding Etiquette Forum

Another thread about selective invites for children...

classyduckclassyduck member
First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper
edited September 2014 in Wedding Etiquette Forum
So. I've read a lot of threads on this, and even touched on my situation in another thread of my own. But.

FI and I decided to invite all family, regardless of age, so this will include children of family members. We did not include invitations to children of guests that were not family.

A former coworker and friend of mine has two twin girls, and she takes them EVERYWHERE. She has always been a proud person -- fine, no criticism there, in fact bravo! -- but her children are like an extension of her public persona.

So anyway, I sent an invite addressed to her and her husband, and not her children, and she asks if they are invited. I say no, and explain our rationale (children of family only). I also add that we didn't want to show favoritism by allowing children of some but not others. And she jumps in with "But you HAVE shown favoritism." I suspect from her body language that she is offended, at least a little.

So, ok. I see one of my mistakes was to even try and justify, or explain, why some children were invited but others not. I know I don't need to, and probably shouldn't have bothered. I should have just said, "No, I'm sorry, your children are not invited." But. My fear was that she, and some other guests with children, would arrive at the ceremony and see other children present, and feel angry about being discriminated against.

I see the rules of etiquette, and then I see common expectation. They can be a bitch to reconcile. Advice?

Re: Another thread about selective invites for children...

  • So. I've read a lot of threads on this, and even touched on my situation in another thread of my own. But.

    FI and I decided to invite all family, regardless of age, so this will include children of family members. We did not include invitations to children of guests that were not family.

    A former coworker and friend of mine has two twin girls, and she takes them EVERYWHERE. She has always been a proud person -- fine, no criticism there, in fact bravo! -- but her children are like an extension of her public persona.

    So anyway, I sent an invite addressed to her and her husband, and not her children, and she asks if they are invited. I say no, and explain our rationale (children of family only). I also add that we didn't want to show favoritism by allowing children of some but not others. And she jumps in with "But you HAVE shown favoritism." I suspect from her body language that she is offended, at least a little.

    So, ok. I see one of my mistakes was to even try and justify, or explain, why some children were invited but others not. I know I don't need to, and probably shouldn't have bothered. I should have just said, "No, I'm sorry, your children are not invited." But. My fear was that she, and some other guests with children, would arrive at the ceremony and see other children present, and feel angry about being discriminated against.

    I see the rules of etiquette, and then I see common expectation. They can be a bitch to reconcile. Advice?
    Well, you already know your biggest mistake, so I don't need to remind you that you should not have offered any details at all.  In the future, if you get a question like this, you can say, "The invitation is for you and H only.  How's the bean dip?"

    That said, I think it's totally normal to invite in circles.  In fact, I am doing the exact thing as you with kids!  It was rude of the guest to ask you that and even ruder of her to push you about it.  Will it rub some people the wrong way?  Possibly.  But you aren't doing anything wrong at all, and IMO anyone who is bothered by it is the one in the wrong.




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    southernbelle0915PrettyGirlLostSP29
  • How old are thé twins?
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Well, you already know your biggest mistake, so I don't need to remind you that you should not have offered any details at all.  In the future, if you get a question like this, you can say, "The invitation is for you and H only.  How's the bean dip?"

    That said, I think it's totally normal to invite in circles.  In fact, I am doing the exact thing as you with kids!  It was rude of the guest to ask you that and even ruder of her to push you about it.  Will it rub some people the wrong way?  Possibly.  But you aren't doing anything wrong at all, and IMO anyone who is bothered by it is the one in the wrong.
    Exactly the bolded. OP, you don't owe her an explanation as to why her kids aren't invited to your wedding. They're just not. 

    Sure, yea, you're showing favoritism by inviting children who are cousins, nieces/nephews/etc. and not children of co-workers.... Yup. OH WELL. It's normal to invite in circles. And the line between "Family children" and "children of professional acquaintances" is pretty clear. She and her husband are invited - not their kids. She can pout and push all she wants, but the bottom line is that she can accept or decline. Her call. 
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    PrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]lurkergirlSTARMOON44
  • Your friend needs to get the hell over it. Much as women can catch the Crazies when they get engaged, the same thing seems to happen to certain women once they become mothers. Your precious babies are never going to be as precious to anyone else as they are to you, momma. Well adjusted people know this, and don't pitch shit fits when their kids aren't invited places.
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    PrettyGirlLostMairePoppy
  • You definitely didn't owe her any explanation, but you already see it was wrong to offer that up to her. Explain to her that you were only able to include children of family members and leave it at that. If she gets her panties in a wad, oh well! 

    We also only invited children of family members. We did not invite children of our friends. 
  • I think you dodged a bullet by explaining your rationale. She was going to be offended that her kids weren't invited and others were, better she find out now and can decline then get to the reception and be angry about it. If she can't understand why you would favor kids you are related to than those you are not, she is an idiot. It is rude of her to question your guest list and complain that you didn't invite some of the people she wanted invited.
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    PrettyGirlLostcowgirl8238huskypuppy14AddieCake
  • I think the age of the twins makes a difference, at least to me. I'd answer differently for infants vs older children
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited September 2014
    I think the age of the twins makes a difference, at least to me. I'd answer differently for infants vs older children
    But it really doesn't.  No matter the age, the OP does not have to invite them.  The person or persons being invited can simply decline the invite if for some reason they cannot or do not want to leave their children behind with a sitter or family member.

    ETA:  And if you make an exception for these kids (say they are under 1 year of age) then you would need to do the same for any other children that non-family members have.  Which can just open a huge flood gate of issues.

    southernbelle0915PrettyGirlLosthuskypuppy14SP29
  • How old are thé twins?
    Well, they are both about 15 months old. So still pretty young... That DID cross my mind... But, at that age, I don't consider them infants anymore. They are both walking, saying a few words, and feeding themselves cheerios or whatever. A sitter could handle them.

    banana468 said:
    Instead of saying it was to snow favoritism, I would have said something like "We are only inviting the children of family. " No explanation needs to be given. If she asks again, don't entertain a debate. Just lather rinse ams repeat.
    Ok, it sounds so obvious, but that is perfect. I didn't have to launch into some kind of apologetic explanation complete with rationale, I just needed to be simple and direct. I think giving a reason like this, straightforward, and not leaving any room for discussion, is exactly what I will do in the future.


    I think you dodged a bullet by explaining your rationale. She was going to be offended that her kids weren't invited and others were, better she find out now and can decline then get to the reception and be angry about it. If she can't understand why you would favor kids you are related to than those you are not, she is an idiot. It is rude of her to question your guest list and complain that you didn't invite some of the people she wanted invited.
    Well that's what I was trying to do, yes. But I think if I had done it more concisely, directly, and unapologetically, I would not have so easily invited her criticism.
  • Of course your family (who some happen to be children) are more important to you than her children who you barely know. I like the rationale someone else on another thread said: her niece and nephew would still be invited if something happened to their parents, not so much for this co workers children.

    Children are not an all or nothing, they are invited just like any other guest by name.
    Her children were not invited, just like you probably didn't invite every former co worker, but you invited this friend, right?

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    steph861SP29classyduckprincessleia22
  • I has a question (and a threadjack apology).

    In one breath, we say that children never have to be invited, it's up to the host who they do and do not wish to invite, and if they do not wish to invite children, the invite is addressed to the intended adults only.
    (Totally get and agree with this, 100%).

    When discussing children (anyone under 18) who is invited, we tell people that said children are still part of a social unit with their parents, and we are not therefore required to extend the offer of a date/plus one to that child.

    We then tell people that splitting up social units is rude...


    I do agree that children should never be expected to be automatically invited to every event the parents are invited to... Just, the above thought just came to mind.

    Again, apologies for thread-derailment.
  • Children and parents are not "social units" in the same way couples are. There's a very obvious difference.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    southernbelle0915slothiegalPrettyGirlLost
  • I has a question (and a threadjack apology). In one breath, we say that children never have to be invited, it's up to the host who they do and do not wish to invite, and if they do not wish to invite children, the invite is addressed to the intended adults only. (Totally get and agree with this, 100%). 

    When discussing children (anyone under 18) who is invited, we tell people that said children are still part of a social unit with their parents, and we are not therefore required to extend the offer of a date/plus one to that child. 

    We then tell people that splitting up social units is rude... I do agree that children should never be expected to be automatically invited to every event the parents are invited to... Just, the above thought just came to mind. Again, apologies for thread-derailment.
    Per etiquette it is accepted to put children under 18 on their parents invites because they are minors. Now, you are more than welcome to invite a 16 year old to your wedding with her boyfriend, but it's not required by etiquette. That doesn't mean you have to invite every child just because you are inviting their parents. 

    There has to be a cut off somewhere, and 18 is when you become a legal adult so that is an accepted cut off. Otherwise you end up with an 8 year old who wants to bring their boyfriend.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • I has a question (and a threadjack apology). In one breath, we say that children never have to be invited, it's up to the host who they do and do not wish to invite, and if they do not wish to invite children, the invite is addressed to the intended adults only. (Totally get and agree with this, 100%). 

    When discussing children (anyone under 18) who is invited, we tell people that said children are still part of a social unit with their parents, and we are not therefore required to extend the offer of a date/plus one to that child. 

    We then tell people that splitting up social units is rude... I do agree that children should never be expected to be automatically invited to every event the parents are invited to... Just, the above thought just came to mind. Again, apologies for thread-derailment.
    Per etiquette it is accepted to put children under 18 on their parents invites because they are minors. Now, you are more than welcome to invite a 16 year old to your wedding with her boyfriend, but it's not required by etiquette. That doesn't mean you have to invite every child just because you are inviting their parents. 

    There has to be a cut off somewhere, and 18 is when you become a legal adult so that is an accepted cut off. Otherwise you end up with an 8 year old who wants to bring their boyfriend.
    I can't bold but pertaining to your last paragraph, it's happened before. Anyone remember the indigo child?
    I know, that's what I was referring to.
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    misshart00southernbelle0915
  • You're not discriminating against anyone. You're hosting a costly event and made a perfectly fine choice to invite family children only. Your guests can accept or decline the invitation you have extended to them. It was your friend that was incredibly rude - not you. Frankly, I'm wondering why you're even friends with this tiresome, one note cow. Is there anyone less interesting that a person whose entire identity and area of interest comes from their children? I'm sure you can find someone far more gracious and interesting to invite.
    PrettyGirlLostRebeccaB88pabride56
  • Did she also complain about your discrimination in inviting your parents and siblings but not hers?  Of course not.  You're fine.  Family is family, doesn't matter their ages.  She hasn't got a leg to stand on.  You're inviting family and friends.  Not family, friends, and friends' families.
    SP29Liatris2010
  • See when I come back and read, it all makes a lot more sense... Had a duh moment there.

    Thank you ladies.

    Who/what was the indigo child?
  • Zhabeego said:

    You're not discriminating against anyone. You're hosting a costly event and made a perfectly fine choice to invite family children only. Your guests can accept or decline the invitation you have extended to them. It was your friend that was incredibly rude - not you.

    Frankly, I'm wondering why you're even friends with this tiresome, one note cow. Is there anyone less interesting that a person whose entire identity and area of interest comes from their children?

    I'm sure you can find someone far more gracious and interesting to invite.

    Wow... why the hell would you think it was right or okay to ask the op why she was friends with the woman? Some woman do become very focused on their children after becoming a parent. Doesn't make them less than a friend. This woman could have been a very important part of op's life. Stow the judgy pants about that.
    Formerly known as bubbles053009





    JBee85
  • See when I come back and read, it all makes a lot more sense... Had a duh moment there. Thank you ladies. Who/what was the indigo child?
    There was a thread about a year ago about a guest who insisted that his 8 year old daughter bring her boyfriend. It was ridiculous. I think the bride said no, and the child was rude to the bride and the other children. I'll try to find it.
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  • You are not in the wrong.

    Children, just like any other guest, are not required to be invited. You can invite one set of aunt/uncle but not all the others. I like the explanation that one would invite their niece and nephew, even if their parents weren't coming, but one would not invite their coworkers' kids if the parents weren't coming. Good way to explain the invitation/ relationships. You are inviting the children of family, because those children are also your family and important to you.

    Age does not matter. If the parents are not comfortable leaving their children home alone, they can decline the invite. Sure, if you WANT your bff there, you would consider inviting her children if you know this is her scenario. But the B&G are not obligated to invite a guests' children, just like those same guests are not obligated to attend. 

    I am in the camp of the least amount of explanation as possible. IME, giving explanations gives other people the opportunity to provide a "solution" for a "problem" (that doesn't exist!). "Oh, I can pay for their plate! Just let them come!". And so on...

    I think the best response is, "Sorry, the invitation is only for you and H". If she asks about children, or makes a point about the children of others you can say, "Only children in the family were invited, because they are my family". 




  • Well.

    Uhm...

    Yeah. Just wow.

    Thank you for sharing that.

    I burst out laughing at the recycled souls comment, that was priceless!

    The crazies are everywhere.
  • classyduckclassyduck member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper
    edited September 2014
    Of course your family (who some happen to be children) are more important to you than her children who you barely know. I like the rationale someone else on another thread said: her niece and nephew would still be invited if something happened to their parents, not so much for this co workers children.

    Bingo!

    I don't mean to paint a 1 dimensional picture. This woman has advised me impeccably during my career, and I consider her a mentor. I'm not 100% pleased with how she has handled this invite, but this indiscretion does not invalidate the immeasurable professional guidance and consideration I have received from her in the past. She is a dear friend, and frankly, I'm sure that this response from her comes from ignorance of etiquette. She is usually mindful. If someone has special occasion, be it good or bad, (funeral, wedding, baby, anything) you can bet on getting a card from her, I'm serious. It's like clockwork. She's very considerate. I just think she isn't quite so informed in this area.

    Anyway, this explains to some extent my perplexity, because she IS usually quite mindful of etiquette. But you are all of course right, the invitation was to her husband and herself, and not her children, and I have been suggested many great ways of informing her, and others like her, of this truth, politely and sensitively. Thank you all!
  • edited September 2014
    To be honest, I wouldn't even want to bring my (future) kids to a friend's/ex-coworker's wedding. My brother's wedding, yes. My best friend's wedding, sure (if they were invited). But a friend's wedding? No way. For both the adults' and kids' sake. And I definitely wouldn't mind if they weren't invited, especially if the bride and groom are doing a "family kids only" type of thing as you are. It's great that she will be attending your wedding, though, and perhaps her response was just an automatic one before she'd had any time to give it proper thought.
  • Ah. Well, she likes to parade her children on a semi-regular occasion through the workplace. And staff usually take about 15 minutes each to visit with her and fuss over the babies. She was very popular when she was still employed here, and it's obvious she adores the attention to her babies.

    I'm *certain* she wanted to bring  her babies for prideful reasons. Not that I particularly fault her; when I have babies I will probably succumb to the same baby-pride-bug all other parents do and think, at least a little, that everyone must love my baby. But. I have no doubt this was part of her motivation for wanting to bring them.

    You are right, though, it's not really a great place for babies. My fiance's best friend has insisted on leaving her baby with grandparents because she wants to fully enjoy our wedding, and dance, etc.

    However, since posting this, I did get a response from her that she would attend. So I'm glad, but, the lateness of her response, knowing her reliably prompt "postal" habits, warns me that she probably had to chew on this one a bit. Oh well, I am sincerely glad she will be there.
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