Wedding Etiquette Forum

Cut off Age

I am preparing to get save the dates sent out. I have a large family with a lot of small children. I was going to do a cut off age. My issue with the cut off age is that several families have kids that one or two of their children will be invited but one or two will be left out. I am ok doing this because my family understands that it is difficult to invite everyone. Only problem is how do I address the invites and all? How do I put that only certian children are invited from one particular family? Has anybody run into this problem?? Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

Re: Cut off Age

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    You put the names of the people invited on the envelope. Be prepared that you may have people decline to come if you exclude their children.
    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
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  • What you're planning is really rude. How do you explain to Sally that just because Cindy is 12, she gets to go to the wedding. I'd suggest inviting all children, or none. Or only immediate family children, etc. You need a clear cut line and to stick to your guns. 

  • I firmly believe that weddings are not a place for small children.  They get bored, tired and they start to run around (they're kids).  Parent's get frustrated having to watch them (and some don't).  Adults don't have a good time and the kids don't have a good time.  No kids.  Unless you're doing a totally family friendly wedding (afternoon, fun activities, supervision, etc) then don't feel bad about excluding kids.  You can simply say that no one under 16, or 18, or 21 was invited.  You want everyone to enjoy themselves and have a good time without having to worry about watching the little ones.  If it's possible (say you're having your wedding at a hotel or there is one nearby where family is staying), it might be helpful for you to recruit some babysitters (possible older cousins/family members) and offer their services (you pay them) to family members who have little ones.  That would be a nice peace offering.
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    That's awkward. I would invite the children of close friends and family, whatever age, and none of the other children. Why would you rather have your coworker's 15 year old daughter than your 11 year old neice?



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  • Our limit is age 12 and the only people age 12-18 who are invited are my fiance's cousins (I don't have any that young).  As it's been mentioned, be prepared for resistance.


  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cut-off-age?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:951e049c-f993-4c37-a388-1179fb602cd5Post:36bff464-ddc2-43f8-805e-49f48197b239">Re: Cut off Age</a>:
    [QUOTE]What you're planning is really rude. How do you explain to Sally that just because Cindy is 12, she gets to go to the wedding. I'd suggest inviting all children, or none. Or only immediate family children, etc. You need a clear cut line and to stick to your guns. 
    Posted by misssunshine17[/QUOTE]

    No, it isn't rude.  Siblings are not social units that have to be invited together the way SOs, spouses, and fiance/es do. I agree that there should be a clear line, although I do think it would make sense in situations where one child will be left out to extend an invitation to that child as well.

    But some kids just can't handle the social requirements of weddings, so I think it's better not to put them in situations where they have meltdowns or otherwise can't control themselves, even if that means that they are not invited but their siblings are.

    And if one child in a family has a reputation for behaving really badly, s/he does not merit an invitation just because his/her siblings are invited, especially if his/her parents can't be counted upon to properly parent him/her at the wedding.  Nobody needs a child misbehaving at a wedding (or for that matter at any other time). 
  • Just address the envelopes to those who are invited. Of course some confused parents might call or even ignore or not realize only some of their kids are actually invited. They might call you and ask questions, so get ready to field so questions, JIC. And some parents might ignore you and bring their little ones, anyway. Just put a smile on your face and thank them for coming.
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  • In Response to Re:Cut off Age:[QUOTE]What you're planning is really rude. How do you explain to Sally that just because Cindy is 12, she gets to go to the wedding. I'd suggest inviting all children, or none. Or only immediate family children, etc. You need a clear cut line and to stick to your guns.nbsp; Posted by misssunshine17[/QUOTE] she asked for advice, not judgment....list the names of the invited and prepare for the whining, as if a wedding is the go to spot for children anyway....
    ****The Future Mrs. Ikeard**** wedding countdown
  • I agree to just put the names on the invitations and prepare for the backlash.

    In the cases where you are splitting families up, are you making these families possibly travel a great distance to attend your wedding?  I would expect them to likely decline if they have to travel and then find a sitter for the uninvited child.
  • I don't have kids and we're not inviting children to our wedding.

    With that said, if I did, I imagine if I received an invitation where only 2 of my 3 children were invited, I'd be peeved.

    I'd limit it to only kids of immediate family or something or do no kids at all.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cut-off-age?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:951e049c-f993-4c37-a388-1179fb602cd5Post:84024054-f4de-4b5b-a644-2d4962dc6439">Re: Cut off Age</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't have kids and we're not inviting children to our wedding. With that said, if I did, I imagine if <strong>I received an invitation where only 2 of my 3 children were invited, I'd be peeved. </strong>I'd limit it to only kids of immediate family or something or do no kids at all.
    Posted by jenferian[/QUOTE]

    <div>This is my point exactly. I'm not judging, darling, I'm simply stating that coming up with a clear cutoff (first cousins only, family children only) rather than an obscure cut off like no one under 6 will lead to less questions. I know 6 years that behave better than some 9 year olds. Or, go the easy route and skip having children there. If there are 1 or 2 super important, put them in the wedding- problem solved. </div>

  • edited December 2012
    We are only inviting 2 children - the ring bearer and the flower girl (who are brother and sister) - and, much as I wish that we could invite all SEVENTEEN of the other children who were on our original guest list, we simply cannot accommodate them in our venue. Of course, I now have to explain to my cousins why their kids are not invited, but I'm prepared for that conversation... I do plan to give them a heads-up before I send the invitations, though, so that they aren't surprise. 




  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cut-off-age?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:951e049c-f993-4c37-a388-1179fb602cd5Post:960e581f-dce2-4cea-8e66-ec34e96e5b80">Cut off Age</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am preparing to get save the dates sent out. I have a large family with a lot of small children. I was going to do a cut off age. My issue with the cut off age is that several families have kids that one or two of their children will be invited but one or two will be left out. I am ok doing this because my family understands that it is difficult to invite everyone. Only problem is how do I address the invites and all? How do I put that only certian children are invited from one particular family? Has anybody run into this problem?? Any advice is greatly appreciated!!
    Posted by BrennanRigle[/QUOTE]

    I think you're fine to have a cut off age but I would make an exception for those families that will be split up.  Or just have no kids at all. Do you mind if I ask what the cutoff age is? For instance - if it's 12 years old. Is there really that big of a difference between an 11 anda 12 year old?

    If you were splitting up adult familes because you are close with some family member and not others I think you would be fine, but its different with children. I have an aunt who has three daughters (22, 18 and 10.) The only children we planned having at the wedding were my two nephews and fiance's little sister. My 10 year old cousin is the exception to this because I'd imagine she'd be pretty hurt if her older sisters were invited and she wasn't.
  • Its not rude. I've been that kid in my large LDS family. I mean yeah it sucks being the kid that is singled out but we grow up and understand. I agree with other comments however. Set an age cut off that applys to all of the kids. Don't intive you eight year old niece because she is your favorite but everyone else under welve can't attained. I've been in that situation and it feel absolutely horrible.
  • It's not rude to exclude some siblings but not others. It's also not rude to make an exception to your cut off age if you think that it would go over better with your family to make the exception. We had an adults only wedding, but one family had three kids: two were 21+ and one was 12. We sent the adults their own invitation but also invited the 12 year old wirh her parents because they were close relatives and it just felt too weird to invite 4/5 of the family and it was literally the only exception we'd have to make. It's your call though. Etiquette doesn't require any kids or any categories of kids be invited.
  • There were plenty of times I was too young to attend things, like weddings or concerts. There were also times I was too old to participate it things. It sucked, but I got over it. Kids can't always do things their siblings/cousins/friends/whoever can do because of their age. That's just life and we all survived it so far.
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  • Thank you to all who have offered your advice. I gathered this post would stir up some not so nice remarks. I was prepared for it, just like I am prepared to explain to my aunts and uncles IF they even have questions. I am the 6th grandchild/ niece to get married. All couples before me have had cut off ages. They however have not run into the problems I am because the kids that I'm concerned about were much younger at the time of their weddings. Cut off age would most likely be 10. We have four families that have teenagers and then 6 year olds.  This is what is hemming me up. But I literally have four 6 year old cousins who are all boys! They run around like crazy lunatics at family events and I just have visions of them running around on the dance floor and tripping people up and all.

    I have made my decision to make the cut off age and I will talk to the parents of the children not invited- and I honestly am very close to them and they MOST likely won’t even bring the kids that re invited but I feel like that is their decision to make. My only question was proper way on addressing save the dates and invites, so again thanks to the girls that offered your best advice!

  •  All couples before me have had cut off ages.

    Out of curiosity, what were their cutoff ages?
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  • lacey0712lacey0712 member
    10 Comments
    edited January 2013
    I'm planning on not inviting any of my cousins or friends children regardless of age. Inviting my cousins kids alone would add around 20 people. All of my cousins will be coming from our of town. Since we are making it child free I doubt they will come. We are ok with that. My family is HUGE and our budget is small, so it's actually an easy way to reduce the guest list. Some people my be peeved, but just because they decided to have kids doesn't mean we have to make sacrifices on the kind of day we want. Our life doesn't revolve around their kid. One more thing we are putting on the invatations "we have 2 seats reserved in your name" in addition to only having parents names on envelope.
  • all the kids I am talking about are my own cousins so they are my aunt and uncles kids not cousins kids. I am extremly close to all of my family and would love to not have the cut off age but the four 6 year old boys are my biggest concern!! 

    Most likely cut off will be 10- I feel like a 10 year old will know how to act at a wedding if their parents decide to bring them.
  • I'd personally go with 12, 13, or 16 if I were you.....10 is awfully young for a cut off. There's also no etiquette rules against just not inviting those kids you are worried about.
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