Wedding Etiquette Forum

Etiquette for Unvaccinated Children

My FSIL & FBIL (who we have very little to do with) will at the time of the wedding have two unvaccinated children (aged 2 and under). There has already been drama and tension since my other FSIL & FBIL (who I have become very close with) have kids the same age who are vaccinated and it's led to some really awkward and angry conversations about splitting holidays etc. I have two nieces who are older (5&3) who despite living out of state I am very close to and they are VERY excited about my wedding. They are old enough to fully understand  whats going on and I really want them to be a part of my special day. My sister has already asked if the unvaccinated children will be there that day and my FSIL who's little ones are vaccinated has already said she would have her parents take her kids so I don't have to worry about it.
I guess my question is how to I tell my one FSIL that her kids are not invited due to not being vaccinated without it blowing up into a whole issue? I can't say its a kid free event because my sisters kids will be there. I don't want to start anything and my fiance says theres no good answer and doesn't know what to do. I also don't want this to come across as my nieces are invited and his nieces/nephews are not.

HELP!

Re: Etiquette for Unvaccinated Children

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My FSIL & FBIL (who we have very little to do with) will at the time of the wedding have two unvaccinated children (aged 2 and under). There has already been drama and tension since my other FSIL & FBIL (who I have become very close with) have kids the same age who are vaccinated and it's led to some really awkward and angry conversations about splitting holidays etc. I have two nieces who are older (5&3) who despite living out of state I am very close to and they are VERY excited about my wedding. They are old enough to fully understand  whats going on and I really want them to be a part of my special day. My sister has already asked if the unvaccinated children will be there that day and my FSIL who's little ones are vaccinated has already said she would have her parents take her kids so I don't have to worry about it.
    I guess my question is how to I tell my one FSIL that her kids are not invited due to not being vaccinated without it blowing up into a whole issue? I can't say its a kid free event because my sisters kids will be there. I don't want to start anything and my fiance says theres no good answer and doesn't know what to do. I also don't want this to come across as my nieces are invited and his nieces/nephews are not.

    HELP!
    Etiquette doesn't have a rule here. There's no etiquette that says you have to invite one set of niblings if you invite another. It's really just a question of family dynamics.

    I would say that if you have a specific concern for a specific person and are making other accommodations to protect that person, then your FI should highlight all of that to his sibling and explain that the kids pose too much of a risk to that specific person and therefore won't be permitted. 

    It sounds like this is just vague concerns about unvaccinated kids, though. If that's the case, it's pretty extreme to exclude unvaccinated kids. After all, you're not checking the vaccine records of adults in attendance, not to mention you're planning a wedding during a pandemic. 
    charlotte989875ILoveBeachMusicshort+sassybanana468
  • I think unless you have guests that can’t be vaccinated for age or medical reasons I don’t think having two unvaccinated children there is going to pose a significant health risk. (And I’m super pro-vaccines. All the vaccines at all times.)

    You don’t have to invite those nieces and nephews if you don’t want to, however it sounds like this might be a big family thing if you don’t invite them. I think unless there is a real safety/ health risk here then you invite them and let people make their own decisions about whether or not to bring their children. 
    Jen4948ILoveBeachMusic
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I wouldn't bring it up unless their lack of vaccinations poses a real threat to the children's or other guests' safety. If it does, then I'd tell them gently, "We know how important it is to you to have the children there. It's important to us too, and we gave this a lot of thought. But in the end, we concluded that because they aren't vaccinated, the risk of illness is just too great. We would hate for our wedding to be the cause of anyone getting seriously sick. We'll miss the children and hope we can visit with them at another time."
  • My FSIL & FBIL (who we have very little to do with) will at the time of the wedding have two unvaccinated children (aged 2 and under). There has already been drama and tension since my other FSIL & FBIL (who I have become very close with) have kids the same age who are vaccinated and it's led to some really awkward and angry conversations about splitting holidays etc. I have two nieces who are older (5&3) who despite living out of state I am very close to and they are VERY excited about my wedding. They are old enough to fully understand  whats going on and I really want them to be a part of my special day. My sister has already asked if the unvaccinated children will be there that day and my FSIL who's little ones are vaccinated has already said she would have her parents take her kids so I don't have to worry about it.
    I guess my question is how to I tell my one FSIL that her kids are not invited due to not being vaccinated without it blowing up into a whole issue? I can't say its a kid free event because my sisters kids will be there. I don't want to start anything and my fiance says theres no good answer and doesn't know what to do. I also don't want this to come across as my nieces are invited and his nieces/nephews are not.

    HELP!
    Etiquette doesn't have a rule here. There's no etiquette that says you have to invite one set of niblings if you invite another. It's really just a question of family dynamics.

    I would say that if you have a specific concern for a specific person and are making other accommodations to protect that person, then your FI should highlight all of that to his sibling and explain that the kids pose too much of a risk to that specific person and therefore won't be permitted. 

    It sounds like this is just vague concerns about unvaccinated kids, though. If that's the case, it's pretty extreme to exclude unvaccinated kids. After all, you're not checking the vaccine records of adults in attendance, not to mention you're planning a wedding during a pandemic. 
    All of this.   Are you going to ask for adults to have titers drawn?   

    In this situation I would leave it alone. 
  • I am strongly pro-vax and get equally frustrated with those who refuse to vaccinate themselves or their children. However, your wedding is absolutely not the place to take your stand. Think about everything that goes into planning your day. Do you really want to add this battle to that? Your FSIL and kids won't pose a risk to your other guests, who are probably vaccinated. And if they aren't, they have chosen to take that risk themselves. It's not your job to manage people's health choices. Don't give yourself or your future family this stress.
    MesmrEwe
  • maine7mob said:
    I am strongly pro-vax and get equally frustrated with those who refuse to vaccinate themselves or their children. However, your wedding is absolutely not the place to take your stand. Think about everything that goes into planning your day. Do you really want to add this battle to that? Your FSIL and kids won't pose a risk to your other guests, who are probably vaccinated. And if they aren't, they have chosen to take that risk themselves. It's not your job to manage people's health choices. Don't give yourself or your future family this stress.
    I do take a bit of an issue with this due to its factual inaccuracy:
    -Depending on the age of a child, a vaccine would not be administered.   One can argue that this is a risk assumed when you take a child in public however some large vaccines like MMR are not administered as a routine until the child is 2 years old.    Yes as a parent when I had young children it was a risk I assumed but it was also under the presumption that the majority of the population adhered to recommended science and was not willfully neglecting CDC recommendations that would put others at risk.
    -Some vaccines cannot be administered due to immune suppression and allergies.   Egg allergies are one of the concerns and other immune disorders can also prevent a child from receiving vaccinations on schedule. 


    charlotte989875MesmrEwe
  • If the vaccines are doing there job, everyone vaccinated has nothing to worry about...  There are more people walking around as adults who have not kept up with "vaccination schedules" than there are kids walking around unvaccinated.  Most turned adult and never looked back or even know they need boosters, or are in denial about how long it has been.  This is not a gray area of a newborn and they're coming to visit you at the hospital.  Vax/anti-vax on TN is like beating a dead horse subject, no one is going to change their mind on either side of the topic, and it's largely irrelevant at a wedding!

    The etiquette is you expect both parties invited to behave more adult-like than the kids that are the same age who will likely play and have a great time dancing and you'll make their event by dancing with all of them with a big smile on your face while you have a great time too!
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