Wedding Party

Flower Girls at an Adults Only Wedding

Please help us settle this disagreement:

So, we are having two flower girls in my wedding.  FG #1 is my 5 year old cousin.  FG #2 is the daughter of my other cousin (who is also one of my Bridesmaids).  These are the only two young children on my side of the family.  We've been planning to have an adults only reception all along, but my FI thinks that it is 'unfair' to have two kids at the wedding, when none of the kids on his side of the family are invited.  I've been to weddings before where the only kids at the wedding are the flower girls/ring bearers (in fact his cousin did this!), so I am pretty sure that this is OK -- am I wrong?

FI doesn't feel slighted that his side is being left out -- in fact, he is way less inclined to inviting children to the wedding than I am.  He just wants to be fair (and not ruffle any feathers).  I, on the other hand, don't really have a problem with having children at the wedding, but don't really think that we have to make that concession just because we are having flower girls.

Also, if it makes any difference: his family is local, whereas my family is coming across the country for the wedding, so besides the added expense they will be incurring with airfare/hotel, they wouldn't have anyone local that they know and trust to watch their children. 

Sorry this is so long.  Thanks in advance for the advice!

Re: Flower Girls at an Adults Only Wedding

  • I personally don;'t like it when there are some kids there when others weren't invited. We had the same issue. We ended up inviting everyone's kids instead. I wanted a kids free event but we had kids in our BP. Yes, I was not helpful at all.
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  • IMHO, kids aren't an all-or-nothing group.  Mature adults will understand that if you have FGs and RBs they aren't necessarily entitled to bring their kids.  However, I don't think it's fair to call it a "child-free wedding" if you do that.

    Having said that, if the FGs are the only kids from your side and none of the kids from his side are invited, that can be interpreted as a big slap in the face to his family.  I would nix the FGs/RBs if you truly want a child-free wedding.  You're entitled to do what you want, but think about the implications.  FWIW, my DH would only say something like that to me if it was truly going to be a problem, so your FI might be trying to gently tell you that this will spell trouble if you insist on this plan.
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    "I think bablingbrooke is the 13 yr old marring her cousin at the town hall. Lets all give her a big hand. And hope her inbred children can live normal lives." -tabs.

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    well, how many kids on his side are we talkiing about?  What is there relationship to your FI?

    Example... The only kids I  had were my nieces and nephews.  DH does not have any, so that was not an issue.  If he did, they would have been invited also.

    Having a certain break is a good idea.. If the kids on his side are of the same relation as the FGs and there is not many of them, then I would be inclinded to invite them.  If he is just pulling kids out of his hat then I would not.






    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. 
  • Each family will be different, but I think a sensible way to limit children is to draw the line at relationships rather than bridal party members.  For instance, I could see if you only invited children that were your niece's and nephews. 

    I can see the feathers being ruffled if one cousin who you're closer to brings their child when another cannot. 
  • Wow - thanks for all the quick responses already.  To clarify a few things:

    bablingbrook:
    We aren't intending to label the wedding 'adults only', or put that on the invites -- it's just that we plan to only invite adults.... I don't think my FI is trying to subtly tell me something (In fact, he said the invitation should be extended to all friends children too "too be fair" --)  But, I think I should check in with FSIL and maybe a cousin or to to get their read on this.

    SanDD:
    No nieces or nephews.  I just have the one cousin who is a child (FG#1), and all the other children in question are the children of our cousins. It's funny because I was really only going to have the one flower girl (who is a 1st cousin), but then my other cousin asked if I wanted her daughter to be in the wedding (couldn't say no) -- so that kind of opened the door to having cousins kids in the wedding.  BUT, if she didn't ask to have her daughter IN the wedding she probably would have asked to have her daughter AT the wedding, so I would be dealing with a similar issue
  • Lyndausvi: 

    On his side: 

    7 kids -- and two probably wouldn't come because we aren't in touch with them much.  The other 5 are 4 and younger (down to 6 months). 

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited January 2010
    I say invite them.   7 (most likely 5 kids) some as young as 6mo will not make much of a difference.... and if you venue has childern discounts it will cost you little to no money to invite them.






    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. 
  • If we're only talking 7 kids, I'd say just invite them.  Especially if you think most of them won't come.  We had a few uninvited little kids (under the age of 4) who I was sure were going to cause trouble.  Not only were they really well-behaved, I hardly realized they were there.  It would be a nice gesture to your FI's family to invite them.
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    "I think bablingbrooke is the 13 yr old marring her cousin at the town hall. Lets all give her a big hand. And hope her inbred children can live normal lives." -tabs.

    A word of warning from your friends at Cracked.com: Remember that text is going to be how you make your first impression over the internet; if every third word you type is misspelled, people will automatically assume that you're a moron.
  • the only children we invited were the RB/FG's. we have tons of friends and family members w/ kids and could have easily ended up w/ 30+ children there, which I really didn't want. so i think the "Bridal party" is an acceptable line to draw when it comes to kids at a wedding. 
  • We are only inviting one child who is the RB. We are not inviting any other children and having this one child as a RB was a compromise between FH and myself because I wanted my cousin (RB's mom) to be able to make it. We are just addressing the invitations to the adults who are invited but not putting adult only.
  • Personally I think it's ok to have the FGs as the only children (unless as brooke said, the two of them make up all the kids on your side of the family - that could be interpreted as your family's kids being invited but not your FI's).

    What does worry me for you is this:
    "my other cousin asked if I wanted her daughter to be in the wedding (couldn't say no) -- so that kind of opened the door to having cousins kids in the wedding.  BUT, if she didn't ask to have her daughter IN the wedding she probably would have asked to have her daughter AT the wedding, so I would be dealing with a similar issue"

    You could have said no. It's no different from someone asking to be a BM or asking to bring a guest or asking the million other things people are going to ask during your planning. Start practicing politely saying no and changing the subject now to avoid all sorts of drama in the future.
  • We are inviting children that are in our family and 3 others that are not blood related (my sister and I are nannys).  In all it will be 7-9 kids and its not worth the stress of hurt feelings to not invite some. Plus kids are adorable! They love weddings and dancing :)
    Weddings are all about connecting families and starting one of your own!

  • Hi - I'm new to this board but we're having the same challenge and you guys all seemt to have awesome advice!  The day we announced our engagement my future sis-in-law (who has 2 girls age 3 & 6) pretty much made it known that they would be at the reception by saying: there will be 4 of us there and other comments like that, also hinting about having them as FGs.  Also, FH's aunt has 2 girls (age 6 & 10) and all four are constantly together - so no way to include 2 but not the others.  This is a touchy subject for us because both FH and I totally agree that we did not want young children at the reception (we're having a 5-hr open bar and it ends late at midnight) but his sister and aunt are a bit crazy about including their kids in EVERYTHING (i.e. FH sister got totally pissed at us when we couldn't come to his neice's kindergarten graduation party as we were out of town that weekend).  Our friends and my side of the family are all big partiers and I just don't know how appropriate it is for small children at a function like that, we really want it to be a big party with dancing all night long - also want FH's sister and her husband to be able to have a good time and stay late (she's a Bridesmaid and her husband is our Best Man).  On my side, my mom has made it clear to my family that no young children will be invited, only my 1st cousins who will be 16 & 18.

    We thought maybe comprimising and have the 3 youngest girls as FGs and the older cousin (age 10 and does NOT like dresses) to help by passing out programs so they could attend the ceremony.  I love his neices and do want to include them in the wedding but I just can't see them at the reception.  After the ceremony we're still trying to figure out what to do - maybe have them come for dinner and then leave with a babysitter (provided by us) or even have them go with the babysitter after the ceremony and set up a fun room for them during the reception with fun stuff (like a princess theme or something)... still trying to figure it out! 
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  • stahlopstahlop member
    100 Comments
    edited January 2010
    We had an adults only reception with one Flower Girl (my cousin).  No one thought it was weird that she was the only child there and she had a great time with the relatives that she knew.  I think the child rule doesn't apply to the wedding party.
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