Etiquette

Kids in Wedding Party and their Siblings

My fiance has a close family friend with 2 kids (daughter - 5 years and son - 6 months), who are very much like family to us. Since my fiance asked me to marry him it was always assumed their daughter would be our flower girl. 

However, we're now getting into actual wedding planning (wedding's not until next summer), and I've started to consider the logistics and etiquette of this. We are having a kid-free wedding, but it would be an exception for the 5-year old to be there, but I'm not really sure what to do about her brother.

Do we just invite the whole fam and have the baby there as well (he'd be 1.5 years)? But then will other people be insulted their kids weren't invited?

Do we consider having him in our wedding party too? 

Is it okay to ask them to only bring one kid (this seems ridiculous and wrong to me, so it's not really under consideration, but thought I'd throw it in here)?

Should we change plans and just not have a flower girl, and stick with no kids, no exceptions?

Need some politically correct advice in this situation, help!

Re: Kids in Wedding Party and their Siblings

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    You cannot split up families.  So yes, the brother would have to be invited as well.  You do not have to include him in the ceremony, but he should be invited along with his sister and parents.

    adk19lc07MairePoppy
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    My fiance has a close family friend with 2 kids (daughter - 5 years and son - 6 months), who are very much like family to us. Since my fiance asked me to marry him it was always assumed their daughter would be our flower girl. 

    However, we're now getting into actual wedding planning (wedding's not until next summer), and I've started to consider the logistics and etiquette of this. We are having a kid-free wedding, but it would be an exception for the 5-year old to be there, but I'm not really sure what to do about her brother.

    Do we just invite the whole fam and have the baby there as well (he'd be 1.5 years)? But then will other people be insulted their kids weren't invited?

    Do we consider having him in our wedding party too? 

    Is it okay to ask them to only bring one kid (this seems ridiculous and wrong to me, so it's not really under consideration, but thought I'd throw it in here)?

    Should we change plans and just not have a flower girl, and stick with no kids, no exceptions?

    Need some politically correct advice in this situation, help!
    As Maggie said, it would be wrong to break up a family unit. There are plenty of ways to invite some children and not others without offending guests. The easiest exception is members of the wedding party. Any wedding party member must be invited to the rehearsal dinner and reception. You are absolutely within etiquette to include these two children and no others. You are under no obligation to include the 18 month old in the wedding party, but do need to include him in any invitation extended to the rest of his family.
    adk19Vivandiere8
  • The other part of this is that fact that we do plan on having a kid-free wedding, this decision comes from the fact that we do not have many family members with kids, and we would rather our friends with kids be able to let loose and enjoy themselves without responsibilities for the night. 

    Not being a parent, I don't know the answer to this question. Any parents out there have an opinion on this: would you prefer going to a friend's wedding without your kids? By asking the kids to be in our wedding are we taking away some of the fun of going to a wedding, and being able to completely let loose?
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
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    Don't split up families. Don't invite kids if you don't want them there, but don't NOT invite them because you think those with kids will enjoy themselves more if they don't bring them. It's such a weird assumption to make. After all, just because you invite them, doesn't mean parents have to bring them. If they think they can't enjoy themselves with them there, they will leave them at home. They don't need your help with that.
    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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    adk19SP29
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    edited August 2015

    The other part of this is that fact that we do plan on having a kid-free wedding, this decision comes from the fact that we do not have many family members with kids, and we would rather our friends with kids be able to let loose and enjoy themselves without responsibilities for the night. 


    Not being a parent, I don't know the answer to this question. Any parents out there have an opinion on this: would you prefer going to a friend's wedding without your kids? By asking the kids to be in our wedding are we taking away some of the fun of going to a wedding, and being able to completely let loose?
    I wouldn't worry about this. There are parents who for whatever reason can't have fun at anything their kids are not invited to, as well as adults who will have fun whether or not kids are there. The wedding may even be more fun because the kids are there. I'd invite the whole family and go with the flow.
    Knottie1459539786adk19Vivandiere8ScottishSarah
  • I suppose "letting loose" might have been a poor word-choice, but I'm definitely not assuming anything here. I asked a question on whether or not you would rather attend a wedding with your kids or get a baby-sitter for the night?
  • auriannaaurianna
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    edited August 2015
    The other part of this is that fact that we do plan on having a kid-free wedding, this decision comes from the fact that we do not have many family members with kids, and we would rather our friends with kids be able to let loose and enjoy themselves without responsibilities for the night. 

    Not being a parent, I don't know the answer to this question. Any parents out there have an opinion on this: would you prefer going to a friend's wedding without your kids? By asking the kids to be in our wedding are we taking away some of the fun of going to a wedding, and being able to completely let loose?

    This is a bad reason.
    1. Some people like being with their kids. Your deciding for them that they'll be happier without their kids comes off as really presumptuous.
    2. ...Parents can still choose not to bring their kids even if you do invite them.

    So this reason makes no sense.
    If wanting parents to enjoy themselves was the true motivation behind this decision on whom to invite, then then the correct thing to do would be to invite the kids.
    Inviting the kid means that the parents can choose whichever makes them happiest, either being with their kids, or leaving their kids home.


    But that all said.... you don't have to invite kids.

    We didn't invite kids. Because I didn't want kids there. I didn't want to pay for the kids. I didn't want the kids taking up space my friends could sit in. I didn't want kids annoying other guests. But I never thought "I don't want to invite kids because I want the parents to be able to enjoy themselves" because I know that wasn't sincere.

    Just saying if wanting parents to enjoy themselves is your only reason for not inviting kids, save yourself the worry and just invite them.
    And if there are other reasons you don't want kids there, just own it. You don't have to invite kids.


    As far as your particular situation, yes, you must invite the son if you invite his sister. But that's all you have to invite. Assuming you follow all the correct procedures for having an adult's only wedding (aka don't put "adults only" on the invite, just address envelopes to those invited, etc), if anyone approaches you at the wedding and is rude enough to ask why the flower girl's brother is there and their kids aren't... they are in the wrong. You'll have every right to bean dip them. They will be the rude ones, not you.
    adk19SP29
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary
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    I suppose "letting loose" might have been a poor word-choice, but I'm definitely not assuming anything here. I asked a question on whether or not you would rather attend a wedding with your kids or get a baby-sitter for the night?
    This isn't going to be a universal answer. Our opinions on this might be different than your friends and family. Like PPs said, it's perfectly fine to have a no kids wedding, but not because you think you know what your guests want. 
    image
    adk19
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    I suppose "letting loose" might have been a poor word-choice, but I'm definitely not assuming anything here. I asked a question on whether or not you would rather attend a wedding with your kids or get a baby-sitter for the night?

    The other part of this is that fact that we do plan on having a kid-free wedding, this decision comes from the fact that we do not have many family members with kids, and we would rather our friends with kids be able to let loose and enjoy themselves without responsibilities for the night. 

    Not being a parent, I don't know the answer to this question. Any parents out there have an opinion on this: would you prefer going to a friend's wedding without your kids? By asking the kids to be in our wedding are we taking away some of the fun of going to a wedding, and being able to completely let loose?
    The bolded is what made me think that you assume parents would enjoy themselves more without their kids in attendance.  By saying that you would rather them be able to let loose and enjoy themselves kind of makes me think that you assume your friends and family wouldn't have any fun if their kids were there.

  • I didn't really want to write a book about why I want a kids-free wedding, but what I wrote earlier apparently was not enough.

    I also have venue capacities. I'd rather have more friends/family rather than my friend's kids. I don't really want to pay for a full meal for kids (I understand that they may have kids pricing). I don't want a bunch of kids on the dance floor, it's cute for a little while, but when I want to dance with my college friends/cousins/etc, I don't really want a bunch of kids there. I'm not a baby-person, and most of my friends have kids under 3 y/o, I don't think a wedding is a place for kids of that age, unless it's an afternoon/early evening event. In addition I have known my friends, in the past, that do have kids, and enjoy a night away from their kids once in awhile. 

    I'm sorry if I offended anyone by "assuming" people don't want their kids there. But that was not my intention, nor should that have been the focus of my question. I just wanted opinions about whether or not people like bringing their kids to weddings.
  • auriannaaurianna
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    edited August 2015
    I didn't really want to write a book about why I want a kids-free wedding, but what I wrote earlier apparently was not enough.

    I also have venue capacities. I'd rather have more friends/family rather than my friend's kids. I don't really want to pay for a full meal for kids (I understand that they may have kids pricing). I don't want a bunch of kids on the dance floor, it's cute for a little while, but when I want to dance with my college friends/cousins/etc, I don't really want a bunch of kids there. I'm not a baby-person, and most of my friends have kids under 3 y/o, I don't think a wedding is a place for kids of that age, unless it's an afternoon/early evening event. In addition I have known my friends, in the past, that do have kids, and enjoy a night away from their kids once in awhile. 

    I'm sorry if I offended anyone by "assuming" people don't want their kids there. But that was not my intention, nor should that have been the focus of my question. I just wanted opinions about whether or not people like bringing their kids to weddings.

    This is all FINE. You can't have a kid's free wedding for any reason you want. I know I did as did many posters here.

    We just wanted to make sure you weren't basing the decision solely on what you thought was the parents' preference, since, if that was your intention, would be misguided.
    Also just want to make sure you don't go around telling people "we're having a kids free wedding so parents can enjoy themselves" because that could make some people mad.
    The key is you can't can have a kids free wedding for any reason and you do not need to explain it to anyone.

    Invite who you want there, by name. That's all you gotta do. :)
    adk19SP29
  • We're having a kids-free wedding, but we will have 3 kids (ages 5-7) because they are our flower girls.  One of the girls has a younger brother is only 2 years old, but of course we invited the whole family because we didn't want to say "leave your baby, but give me your daughter for the wedding".  If they want to find a sitter for him that's fine, but if not he's their responsibility not ours. We have NO idea what the little ones will do during the 5 hour reception, but we figure that's up to their parents and we aren't worrying about it.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    adk19SP29HeffalumpVivandiere8
  • edited August 2015
    Ok, no one cares that you want to have a kid free wedding. I had one and it was glorious. It was a personal choice. We did it first and foremost for space. Including kids would have meant a massive wedding. But a very close second is because that I don't enjoy having children at weddings. I think they can be distracting and annoying. And I don't like sharing the dance floor with them. Sorrynotsorry. Personal preference.

    The issue people are having is that you're making it about others, not yourself. So you're basically saying "we're doing this so guests can have a night off" (or whatever). Instead of owning it as your own choice/preference. That's why people are taking issue. Just own it. You decided to do it for whatever personal reason. 

    Anyway, as a parent, who knows if I'd want to bring my kid. Some parents will want to. Some parents will not. You want a kid free wedding? Fine. But don't pretend like the reason is that you're serving the people.
    *********************************************************************************

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    adk19STARMOON44SP29
  • The other part of this is that fact that we do plan on having a kid-free wedding, this decision comes from the fact that we do not have many family members with kids, and we would rather our friends with kids be able to let loose and enjoy themselves without responsibilities for the night. 

    Not being a parent, I don't know the answer to this question. Any parents out there have an opinion on this: would you prefer going to a friend's wedding without your kids? By asking the kids to be in our wedding are we taking away some of the fun of going to a wedding, and being able to completely let loose?
    Ask the parents first if you can ask the kid to be your flower girl.  They're going to be the ones to bring her to the wedding, the rehearsal, buy the dress, maybe "practice" with her at home, etc.  You need to ask them first if it's okay, if they want to bring their kids to the wedding, etc.
    Knottie1459539786
  • I suppose "letting loose" might have been a poor word-choice, but I'm definitely not assuming anything here. I asked a question on whether or not you would rather attend a wedding with your kids or get a baby-sitter for the night?
    I think people are just trying to explain that parents can make that decision to hire a babysitter on their own. An invitation is not a summons, that includes for kids invited. 
    image
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    If you have the FG, you need to invite their sibling.

    That said, I feel like the flower girl is nothing but a prop to you.  You do not want to have kids at the wedding.  Which is fine,  I myself only had my nieces and nephews (all in the wedding).   In my own opinion I would just not have a flower girl at all.  Then the whole these 2-3 random kids are there with no one else's kids are not.   

       I get it doesn't make much sense, but I prefer clean breaks when it comes to the kid rule.    WP members are okay.  When there are no other kids invited, yet you have to start adding siblings in order not to not break families up, IDK it seems the easier answer is just not to have a flower girl prop.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    If you have the FG, then yes, her younger sibling should be invite (don't split up families).

    However, you are not required to invite any other children. It is A-OK to have a kid free wedding- own your choice as your own, and you do not need to explain it to anyone. The rules: don't split up families, don't write anywhere "adults only", address the invitation only to who is invited (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, not The Smith Family).

    If anyone asks why these 2 particular children are there and their kids weren't invited, they are the rude ones for asking. If anyone tries to include their children on the RSVP, you call and say, "I am sorry but the invitation is only for you and John, we cannot accommodate little Susy and Mark".

    As for whether you should have a FG at all- that is entirely your own person decision. The only reason you should have a FG (or ring bearer, or any WP member for that fact) is because she is special to you and your FI and you want to honour her by including her in your WP. If you feel like you are including her because you think you *should*, then maybe consider not having a FG at all.

    As for whether guests want to bring their children- that depends on many things. The parents themselves, who the B&G are, where the wedding is located. A set of parents may want to bring their children to one wedding but not to another, and all for various reasons. For example, if the parents have to travel, they will probably want to bring their children as otherwise they would need a weekend sitter, which is difficult. If it's a family wedding, the parents may be more likely to bring their children versus a wedding where the parents know it will mostly be a group of their friends. But maybe not.... my BIL and SIL have kids, and their group of friends all have kids, and they have parties all the time, with all the kids in attendance. The parents "let loose" and do want they want, the kids run around the basement.

    Point being- no one can answer whether a parent would want to bring their child, except for the parent. If you want to give your guests the option, then invite them with their children- let the parents decided. However, if YOU want a kid-free wedding, which is fine, don't invite them.
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