Wedding Etiquette Forum

Invites: Cousin's children are of very different ages

Hi! My situation involves two of my first cousins, who are quite a bit older than me and I am not close with. I am definitely inviting my first cousins to the wedding.  I'm not sure how to handle their children, though.

My fiance and I decided to make the minimum age the age of our youngest first cousin, who is 16 years old. The issue is that both of the first cousins in question have children who are above and below the line (6 kids total, 3 above and 3 below). The oldest are each around 19 years old and the youngest is in elementary school. I have no relationship with my cousins or their children- I just see them at family gatherings every couple of years. The younger kids might not even know who I am.

Both cousins did not allow children at their weddings so this shouldn't blow their minds. I just want to be respectful.

How do I handle the invitations without insulting to the younger kids or their parents? Is it weird to list some of the kids on the envelope and not list others? Do I just address the invitation to my cousins and write a personal note saying the older children are welcome to attend? Do I write "and family" and then hope they see the age limit on the website?

Any advice would be much appreciated!!

Re: Invites: Cousin's children are of very different ages

  • If you're not inviting the children of any other first cousins, then I wouldn't invite these cousins' children.

    But if you are inviting the children of other first cousins, then splitting up the families based on age limits would be hurtful and I wouldn't do it.
  • There is a good 19 year gap from my oldest first cousin till the youngest (I have 25).  We just invite first cousins.    No need for a age minimum.  If you are a first cousin you get invited.  If you are not, you don't.  It's a firm line.   My first cousins who had young kids totally understand it's a generational cutoff not some random age. 

    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. 
  • Just don't invite any of your cousins kids, regardless of age. You aren't close to them anyways and it doesn't sound like your cousins will be shocked by this. This will free up budget/space for people you actually want to be there. 
  • I'm not a fan of an age cutoff for the exact reason you've stated.   Sure you can say that someone didn't meet your criteria but everyone knows that unless the venue has an age limit, you created an arbitrary cutoff.     And when people do things for an arbitrary reason, you have guests feeling hurt.

    I'd find a way to invite in circles.    
  • Ditto PP, invite in circles.  First cousins (and their SO's) - yes.  The children of first cousins, regardless of age - no.  An age like 16 is too arbitrary.
  • Invite first cousins.  Don't Invite first cousins once removed.  Problem solved.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
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