Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Cousin's Kids

Hi!
My fiance and I are planning our wedding for 10/2013. We're a ways out, but sending Save the Dates in February of 2013. For the sake of planning and remaining on budget we've had our invite list compiled for a few weeks. I have a good size family with numerous cousins on both sides.  We weren't really planning on having young children at the wedding but we are inviting a few kids who are my first cousins. That is basically where we "drew the line" for decision making purposes. It's also budget related as our list is as big as we can comfortably manage right now.

My worry/question is this... I have 13 cousins, four of which have children. Each cousin who has kids lives of state. Two live significantly farther away. I didn't really think these cousins would make the trip to our wedding but when I was visiting family on vacation recently they all said they were looking forward to it which was nice. Although we are still finalizing our reception site and they are not yet aware of the wedding date. However, I haven't mentioned I am not inviting their children. They didn't say they assumed the kids were invited, or that they were definitely bringing them, but now I've begun to worry. I'm not sure if they could manage to travel to our wedding and arrange child care back at home. I'm feeling like they need to know in advance who their invitation includes (spouse only) so they can plan appropriately and I'm not sure the Save the Date will convey that.

Is there anything I can do between sending the Save the Date and sending the formal invite 8 weeks before the wedding that will politely clue them in? For those who say just invite the kids, I couldn't invite this set of cousins with their kids, and not invite my other cousins with their kids - and if we did include them then all of a sudden I have an extra 10 kids I wasn't planning on. I just don't want to hurt anyone's feelings!

Help!! 

Thanks in advance for your advice :)

Re: Cousin's Kids

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    I would onl put the kids name on the envelope Then have the family big mouth (in my family it' my mom and aunt) get the word out that the only kids invited are first cousins (and nieces/nephews, WP etc whatever i your case).






    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. 
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    I dont know what the best way to do this is. I know alot of people say word of mouth.

    We did a wedding website that we included the address on our save the dates. On the Ceremony & Reception Page of Our website. We made note that "For the comfort of all our guests and in order for everyone to be able to relax and enjoy themselves, we have opted for a children free event. We hope that everyone is able to make arrangements that will allow them to still attend our wedding. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us." 

    I know not everyone will go to the website, but we did that in addition to word of mouth.

    Once the invitations go out, we will make sure to write only the names of those invited on the envelope.

    ~~Sept 2013 Brides - January Siggy - Floral Inspiration~~ Image and video hosting by TinyPic
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    When we were addressing Save the Date envelopes we put "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Smiths" for when we only invited the couple, and "The Smiths Family" for when we invited the kids as well. Maybe that's something you could do?
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousins-kids?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:07a41bc3-22f1-4f8e-8c46-cea741840dffPost:0cd0246f-133c-48f4-8ea7-611700c4f9ce">Re: Cousin's Kids</a>:
    [QUOTE]I dont know what the best way to do this is. I know alot of people say word of mouth. We did a wedding website that we included the address on our save the dates. On the Ceremony & Reception Page of Our website. We made note that <strong>"For the comfort of all our guests and in order for everyone to be able to relax and enjoy themselves, we have opted for a children free event.</strong> We hope that everyone is able to make arrangements that will allow them to still attend our wedding. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us."  I know not everyone will go to the website, but we did that in addition to word of mouth. Once the invitations go out, we will make sure to write only the names of those invited on the envelope.
    Posted by ftrmrsw[/QUOTE]

    I get your  point.  I had a most kid free wedding myself (only had my nieces/nephews).  Mine was to control the guest list.  Adding cousins kids would have added 50+ kids.  I'm not kidding, 50+.

    However, I'm not a fan of the wording.  It sounds like you are speaking for your guests on their desire not to have children when that may or may not be the case. Fact is it's your choice not to have them and that is prefectly fine.   

    I enjoy kid free events, but I don't find kids at a wedding any less enjoyable either.






    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. 
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    Thanks for all your feedback! I think it will be a combination of addressing the save the date's as formally as we would the invitation, to be as clear as possible, and letting each of my parents (they are divorced) know so they could pass the word along more naturally in conversation. The more I think about it, if I went beyond first cousins and invited the children of my first cousins then there are very close family friends with children that my family and my fiance's family would think we should include "as long as we're inviting children.." so it'd go beyond just that extra ten and become a snowball affect. 
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    <div>
    </div>In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousins-kids?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:07a41bc3-22f1-4f8e-8c46-cea741840dffPost:d4bcc39b-4ab1-436b-b419-97adf2013e36">Re: Cousin's Kids</a>:
    [QUOTE]An invitation is only for the person(s) to whom it is addressed. If they call up and ask about the kids, explain that you have a limited guest list, and can't invite their kids. If they say they won't attend without them, say, "I'm sorry to hear that. We'll miss you." "For the comfort of all our guests and in order for everyone to be able to relax and enjoy themselves, we have opted for a children free event. We hope that everyone is able to make arrangements that will allow them to still attend our wedding. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us." That's a dreadful faux pas, and certain to offend people.  Please don't.  It implies that their children are an offense to others.
    Posted by RetreadBride[/QUOTE]

    <div>Totally agree. There are ways to let people know that it is an adults only (instead of children free) event without being entirely off-putting.</div><div>If people with children cannot find childcare or cannot attend your wedding because it is adults only, please don't hold that against them. It was your decision, after all. </div>
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    I addressed our envelopes only to my cousins only to have my uncle call my mom and pretty much embarass her for not inviting his FIVE grandchildren.  After an arguement with my mom, I felt bad, but told her we couldn't afford to have everyone with children!  These are people that you would think have enough class and knowledge to know that an envelope only addressed to them would be for adults only! 

    Part of me is hoping that they don't come, because my mom of course agreed that they could come, and insisted on paying for them.  I was not thrilled to say the least!  If I invited everyone with children I would be in the same boat as one of the previous posts with fifty plus kids!!

    I am leaving it to my mom to explain to other people why their kids can't come but my uncles grandkids can.

    I guess what I'm saying is that not all people are smart enough to understand when children are not invited, nor are people classy enough to not ask. I am now wishing I had sent the invites with something like "respectfully no children under 16" Hind sight is always 20/20.

    Not that I don't like their kids, I just don't want my wedding to be a circus!

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousins-kids?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:07a41bc3-22f1-4f8e-8c46-cea741840dffPost:a150496b-78c7-4e99-8d2d-985d9d6815f9">Re: Cousin's Kids</a>:
    [QUOTE]I addressed our envelopes only to my cousins only to have my uncle call my mom and pretty much embarass her for not inviting his FIVE grandchildren.  After an arguement with my mom, I felt bad, but told her we couldn't afford to have everyone with children!  These are people that you would think have enough class and knowledge to know that an envelope only addressed to them would be for adults only!  Part of me is hoping that they don't come, because my mom of course agreed that they could come, and insisted on paying for them.  I was not thrilled to say the least!  If I invited everyone with children I would be in the same boat as one of the previous posts with fifty plus kids!! I am leaving it to my mom to explain to other people why their kids can't come but my uncles grandkids can. I guess what I'm saying is that not all people are smart enough to understand when children are not invited, nor are people classy enough to not ask. I am now wishing I had sent the invites with something like "respectfully no children under 16" Hind sight is always 20/20. Not that I don't like their kids, I just don't want my wedding to be a circus!
    Posted by lnf616[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Ack, I'm SO afraid this is going to happen to me, too! The guest list is the hardest part, non? Some people feel entitled to invitations and it's frustrating when it's about celebrating marriage and bringing together people that love the bride and groom.</div><div>
    </div><div>I have several cousins who are divored and re-married and their stepchildren are NUMEROUS. I have a cousin who inherited 5 step-children in addition to her own three children! And a cousin who's a grandmother at age 45. I have cousins I've never met. It's never easy when a family gets older because it gets complicated and you can only hope other people will recognize it without developing their own agenda.</div><div>
    </div><div>How I'm tackling it: I'm only inviting cousins' children if they're infants and if the parents would be unable to attend the wedding without them. Luckily, that limits us to only 3 babies, since most everyone else will be in the same city as the wedding. Not that I'm expecting no one to protest - but I'll put on a happy face and deal with it if--WHEN it happens!</div>
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousins-kids?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:07a41bc3-22f1-4f8e-8c46-cea741840dffPost:134b0fff-cdb6-4019-993a-db394ca8f6fd">Re: Cousin's Kids</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cousin's Kids : Totally agree. There are ways to let people know that it is an adults only (instead of children free) event without being entirely off-putting. If people with children cannot find childcare or cannot attend your wedding because it is adults only, please don't hold that against them. It was your decision, after all. 
    Posted by pumpkin42[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>I certainly wouldn't hold it against them, and I don't think the question I posed implies I'd hold it against them. My concern was for them in their planning process. II'm not the kind of person who has a hard time understanding other people have lives, and my "special day" may not be the most important thing going on for them. </div>
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    I agree with those who advised addressing the save the date only to those invited and then using word of mouth to reinforce or spread the word, depending.

    My DH and I decided to cut off our family guest list at our first cousins, all of whom are adults.  It never occurred to us to tell anyone else -- specifically, DH's adult children, that this was our plan.

    A week before our wedding, I got a call from one of DH's adult daughters who was upset because HER first cousin's [so, the children of DH's first cousins] didn't know any of the wedding details, thus forcing her into the position of having to call all of them to tell them when and where.  We're talking easily 40+ more people.

    So, DH had to call his cousins and their children [those who didn't still live at home] to apologize for his daughter and to tell them who was and who wasn't invited.  It was a real mess.
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    it is hard to invite some kids and not others though... some famililes could get offended that their kids were not invited when they see other people's kids at the wedding. We are having a similar dilemma... the kids in my family are 2nd cousins (my first cousins kids) but on my FI's side the kids are his FIRST cousins... so b/c they are his first cousins, and he wants them there, now I feel like I have to invite my second cousins or risk offending my cousin. Ultimately is it my wedding, but it's also my fiance's wedding and my parents are paying so we have to go with what they say ultimately. Although my parents don't want to pay for children, they CAN, and they do agree with the feeling that you have to invite all kids or none. Obviously I think you can draw the line with like co-workers kids and things like that, but i do feel like all familay kids should probably be invited- or none at all.
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