Wedding Etiquette Forum

Inviting Kids to Shower (Not Invited to Wedding)

Hi Knotties,

For our wedding, we have only invited the kids of our wedding party members. The wedding party members who have kids are our siblings / a few close cousins. We do have other cousins who we are not as close with (and who are not in the wedding party) who have kids/babies who are not invited. (Yes, this will probably cause a bit of drama, but the kids of our wedding party members happen to be the kids that we actually feel closest to and who we see the most often, so I feel comfortable standing behind this decision).

My question is with regards to bridal shower. First, just to make it clear, no I am not throwing my own shower. I am not involved in the planning in any way other than that my MOH asked me to provide a guest list. My question is - all of my female cousins are invited to the shower (they are mostly local). Is it appropriate for their kids/babies to be invited to the shower, even though these kids/babies are not invited to the wedding? 

I know the rule is "only people invited to the wedding can be invited to the shower," and I 100% agree with this, but wasn't sure if babies/kids are ever an exception? In our family,  kids/babies are always included in showers, and the venue in question would have no problem accommodating them. I don't particularly care one way or another if they come to the shower, I just didn't know if some moms might actually feel more accommodated if they were allowed to bring their baby/kid? Only inviting the kids that are invited to the wedding may be perceived by my family as a bit arbitrary here (and I can guarantee that it will cause some hurt feelings - even more so than with the wedding, since all the showers in our circle tend to include all kids, regardless of whether the kids are invited to the wedding, since they are pretty open/casual affairs).

I'm leaning towards having my MOH only invite the kids that are actually invited to the wedding, but if someone reaches out asking if they can bring their baby/kid, having that be OK (at the discretion of the MOH/hosts) - but not sure if that would open even more of a can of worms.

Thoughts?



Re: Inviting Kids to Shower (Not Invited to Wedding)

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I wouldn't invite them. 
    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
    image
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My initial reaction is to not invite the children.  But, what ages are we talking about here?  
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I would say to invite the children since you said that children (even those not invited to the wedding) are normally invited to your family showers. No sense causing more hard feelings than necessary.
    JediElizabeth
  • The children who are invited to the wedding are ages 1, 2, 5, 7, 7. Presumably they will be invited to the shower as well (particularly since it is being thrown by my MOH/bridal party, and we are talking about their kids).

    The other children who are not invited to the wedding (and potentially wouldn't be invited to the shower too) include one infant, a 3 yr old, a 5 yr old, and a 6 yr old (children of other cousins). We also have some kids of friends (these kids are also not invited to the wedding), ranging in age from 1-5.

    The tricky thing is that the cousins in the WP and the cousins not in the WP are on the same side of the family (and all of their kids are good friends), which is where inviting some but not all to the shower feels a little weird. But I guess if that's what needs to be done based on how the line was drawn with the wedding invites, then I can be OK with that.

    Also as a follow-up question, does gender play any role here? I'm assuming no, but just wanted to mention it since only women are attending the shower.

    It's interesting to me that showers are mentioned as being mostly kid-free events, since all of the showers I've been to are filled with kids. I kind of wish that wasn't the norm in my family, but figured I'd mention it (and yup, I know that this should have no bearing on how my WP should approach this - sometimes you gotta break the mold a little... ;) ).


  • I think it's weird to take a stand on excluding 4 children from the wedding when you are inviting other children the same age and they are all the same level of family and you know it will cause hurt feelings. If you are dead set on doing it, no, you don't get an out on the only people invited to the wedding may be invited to the shower rule. 
    MesmrEweInLoveInQueenspoodledoodleooo
  • Just to clarify, it would be around 20-30 additional children if we opened it up to all children at our wedding. It's just that most of those children "go with" friends or extended family members who are NOT invited to this shower, due to being out of town or more distant. 

    By "the other children who are not invited to the wedding", I meant the children who are not invited to the wedding but who ARE the children of people who are invited to this shower. Apologies if that wasn't clear. 

    I'm not trying to look for an "out" to any rules. I understand the etiquette rule perfectly fine, and I agree with it. I was looking for opinions as to whether this may be a case where something slightly different may actually be most flexible to people's situations (as per ILoveBeachMusic's comment). If that is not the case, then I have no problem having just the kids that we invited to the wedding at the shower.


  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited April 2016
    If children were invited to every single shower for your family members, then, yes, I would invite the kids in the family. My husband's family invites kids to showers because they tend to be casual, shorter, daytime events, but not weddings. I would only invite kids who are family members, though, because it's not consistent with good etiquette. 'Outsiders' will assume the kids will be invited to the wedding if you invite them to the shower. 
                       
    MesmrEweOurWildKingdomOliveOilsMom
  • For my sister's shower, I only invited adults but there were two ladies that brought infants (at the end of the day I really didn't care) and one lady who called asking about bringing her 5 year old but decided not to even though I said she could come but would likely be the only kid there. I really don't see wedding showers as fun places for kids to be. I would let your MOH make the call. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    If you don't care one way or the other, I would let whoever is hosting make the decision. If that person doesn't want to host the children, and their parents demand that they be allowed to bring their children "because that's what's done in your family," I'd tell them that it's the hostess's decision and not yours.
    SP29
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm feeling a bit soft on this one here, as I'm more OK with it if showers in your family are usually family friendly events, but I also wonder if perhaps the best option is not to invite anyone's children to remove that bit of drama. I understand why you made your guest list for the wedding the way you did (and it is perfectly fine to invite some kids but not others)- allowing WP to bring their children, as that is what will allow them to be in attendance (vs. a guest who may decline if they cannot find a sitter). The shower though- even the WP guests, if only one parent is in attendance, do their children need to be invited as well? Seems like you may get more drama because your family is used to having children at showers (I am not).

    Ultimately though, I would leave this up to the host, as 20-30 kids is quite the addition to the budget. Up to the host if (s)he is able to accommodate or not.
  • I would not invite any children, but if someone were to RSVP for their child, think that was okay or up to the host to determine.  So, obviously, if the host is allowing her own children to be there, she can decide if she wants to allow additional children or not.
    SP29
  • Personally, I'm not big on kids at showers.  And 20-30 is just too much.
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    SP29 said:
    I'm feeling a bit soft on this one here, as I'm more OK with it if showers in your family are usually family friendly events, but I also wonder if perhaps the best option is not to invite anyone's children to remove that bit of drama. I understand why you made your guest list for the wedding the way you did (and it is perfectly fine to invite some kids but not others)- allowing WP to bring their children, as that is what will allow them to be in attendance (vs. a guest who may decline if they cannot find a sitter). The shower though- even the WP guests, if only one parent is in attendance, do their children need to be invited as well? Seems like you may get more drama because your family is used to having children at showers (I am not).

    Ultimately though, I would leave this up to the host, as 20-30 kids is quite the addition to the budget. Up to the host if (s)he is able to accommodate or not.
    20-30 would be if they invited all the children (in town and out of town) to the wedding. I believe OP said 8-10 children for the shower including the WP's children. All these children are cousins, play together often and are in the same age range. OP, it is always correct to invite children in circles just as you would friends. So if it would make sense to invite all the cousin's kids, WP kids and not other guests' kids, that would be fine.
    poodledoodleooo
  • Greenjinjo Greenjinjo New Zealand member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited April 2016
    @wmam35 op mentioned if all kids were invited it would be about 20 - 30 which is quite a number compared to the 5 invited as children of the WP

    ETA - whoops, misread previous post. 20 - 30 would be all kids, 8 - 10 would be all family is from shower. 
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    wmam35 said:
    I'm not trying to be critical but I'm confused about why you aren't inviting the children of cousins who aren't in the wedding party even though they're the same level of family.  I know weddings are expensive and everything, but are those 4 kids (I think it was 4) going to really put you over budget?  I think people (like your friends or co-workers) understand when their kids aren't invited but family kids are invited.  But for example, my cousin is getting married this summer, and all of our (the cousins') kids are invited.  I am the one who is closest to this cousin of all of my other cousins (and we're a pretty close group to begin with) and I would feel terrible knowing that my children were invited but my other cousins' children weren't, and it would hurt my feelings if my children weren't invited but the others were (which is different than a no kids wedding which I'm totally ok with.  I'm going to a wedding in November and I know my kids aren't invited and that is fine (mom and dad's big night out!), but these are friends, not family, and none of the "friend kids" are invited). 

    I don't know, like I said, I'm not trying to get super critical at you because it's your wedding, but I am genuinely curious.  I saw that you said it's because they're the cousins you're closest to, but if it's going to start family drama (it would be a disaster in my family) I don't know if that's going to be enough of a reason. 
    I like I previously posted, it is perfectly etiquette approved to invite just family kids and not friends' kids. I would invite all the cousins, but that is just me not wanting to cause drama.
  • edited April 2016
    These are valid points. We haven't sent invites yet (just STDs), so technically we could invite the ~4-5 extra kids of cousins to the wedding too, to avoid the drama.

    This would put us at around 8-10 total kids (vs. 4-5 if we just invite children of WP). We wouldn't invite kids of friends, as this would put us into the 20-30 kids range that we definitely don't want to get into. 

    I think part of my hesitation is that we really don't want a bunch of kids running around, etc. Yes, I know it is the responsibility of parents to control their own kids, but at past family weddings, even just 10-12 kids really changed the atmosphere a lot, with kids running around like crazy during the reception, even during events, etc. It sort of became like a playhouse. The 4-5 extra kids that we'd be potentially talking about inviting would change that dynamic a bit (just knowing the kids, etc.).

    We are providing lodging for all of our bridal party & their SOs for Fri & Sat night (staying at the venue where we are holding our wedding), so it really didn't seem appropriate to be like, "nevermind, keep your kids at home!" to WP - and also, like mentioned above, these are kids that we legitimately are close with (due to the nature of being close friends with their parents), and would feel weird not having them at our wedding!

    If we should just suck it up and invite the extra 4-5 kids of the non-WP cousins, I'm open to it - so genuinely curious to hear these opinions.
  • Another thought is to keep it exactly how you're doing it.  The wedding party is a circle in itself.  Children of wedding party members are invited.  Children of siblings of wedding party members are not.  I don't think the "cousins" circle is the only circle involved here.  Getting a babysitter for Ceremony plus Reception is significantly easier than getting a babysitter for Getting Ready plus Photos plus Ceremony plus Reception.

    Also, kids are individuals.  You can invite people you want to invite, you don't have to invite people you don't want to invite.  I like some kids, I don't like others.  It has little to do with their age.  I will invite people I like regardless of their age.
    Greenjinjo SP29
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited April 2016
    SP29 said:

    You are following etiquette with what you are doing. As long as you aren't splitting up families, it's OK to invite some kids but not others. But it's up to you decide what is most important- not having these extra 4-5 kids and ruffling some feathers, or keeping the piece.

    Myself- I'd invited the 4-5 extra kids to keep the circle to children of family/WP. But it is your decision to make.
    Thanks, SP. I think this is a perfect summary. Will discuss with the FI. :)

    PS. So loving the fact that the people on these forums are friendly/helpful, but will also tell it like it is. I've found the cycles of bad advice and obliviousness on other wedding forums (not naming names, but you can guess ;) ) to be a bit alarming... 
    That's not the reaction we typically get for honest opinions. Usually, there's some name calling and newbie feels sorry for our husbands. Thank you.
    I hope you stick around and offer some of your own honest opinions.

    Typical reaction:


                       
    [Deleted User]OliveOilsMomSP29
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