Wedding Etiquette Forum

Children Invited to Ceremony but not Reception

My brother is getting married next June (2012). I have always been on good terms with him and I thought I was on good terms with his fiancee until I heard the details of their wedding. I have twins that will be 4.5 at the time of the wedding. My brother and his fiancee both say they love my children, and they are the only children in the immediate family. However, they chose to have a kids-free wedding, with no exceptions. I was very hurt by this when I first heard it, and told them. To appease me, they said my children can attend the ceremony only.
 (I am not included as a bridesmaid).

I suppose allowing the children to attend the ceremony when they really don't want them at all  might have been a fair compromise,  except for the fact that the ceremony and reception are at the same site, reception immediately following ceremony. Basically, we will be missing some portion of the reception to bring our kids to the child care I can arrange for them. (half hour away)

My opinion is that if they agreed to let them come to the ceremony, they should at least feed them. We could arrange to bring them home after dinner. The ceremony is around 5 pm, the reception is from 6 - midnight. Please give me opinions.

 Please give me opinions on this matter.

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Re: Children Invited to Ceremony but not Reception

  • Their wedding = their choice, unfortunately.  

    Is the wedding OOT?  Or are you able to find a babysitter that you trust to watch your children during the reception?
  • par31par31 member
    10 Comments
    Agree its the choice of the couple getting married to have children or not at the wedding.
  • I agree that it is their choice.  The wedding is over a year away, so there is a chance they might change their minds about it before the invitations are sent out.  You're entitled to your feelings about the situation, but don't bring it up or talk about it in front of them (or anyone else for that matter because it will get back to them).  It's not fair to them.  Be upset about it for a day or two and then get over it (that's not intended to sound as mean as it may).
  • It's rude to invite people to the one event but not the other (like they're doing with your kids), but it's also not polite to push the hosts to expand their guestlist. 

    I don't have kids, but I think I would also be a little hurt if my brother/FSIL didn't invite my kids to their wedding, especially because if those kids were the only immediate family, it would have been easy to just make an exception for my kids.  In my family, I can't imagine how that would go over--second cousins make a fuss when their kids aren't invited, so immediate family would definitely not go over well. 

    At this point, I think your best option is not to bring your kids at all.  If you can only arrange for childcare half an hour away (I'm assuming an hour round trip, plus time to get them settled), I don't know that just having your kids at the ceremony is worth it. 
  • If I were you I would just get a baby-sitter for the whole night and not even bring the kids to the ceremony. Why not just have a night to relax?
    Slh1003
  • They're wrong but there's nothing you can do about it.
    The Bee Hive Est. June 30, 2007
    "So I sing a song of love, Julia"
    06.10.10

    BFAR:We Defined Our Own Success!
    image

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    It's their wedding and if they do not want  kids there that is their choice.

    I get you want them there, but they are only 4.5 years old. Do you really think it's fun for two 4.5 years olds to sit through a ceremony?  

     If you really think about it you are making this about you and your wants.  But I'm sure the kids will have a blast with a the babysitter and not sitting through a ceremony.








    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. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_children-invited-ceremony-but-not-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:82507884-18ae-496c-bace-0772319de203Post:3a266135-9783-4a08-85bf-27b99434bfa3">Children Invited to Ceremony but not Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]My brother is getting married next June (2012). I have always been on good terms with him and I thought I was on good terms with his fiancee until I heard the details of their wedding. I have twins that will be 4.5 at the time of the wedding. My brother and his fiancee both say they love my children, and they are the only children in the immediate family. However, they chose to have a kids-free wedding, with no exceptions. I was very hurt by this when I first heard it, and told them. To appease me, they said my children can attend the ceremony only.  (I am not included as a bridesmaid). I suppose allowing the children to attend the ceremony when they really don't want them at all  might have been a fair compromise,  except for the fact that the ceremony and reception are at the same site, reception immediately following ceremony. Basically, we will be missing some portion of the reception to bring our kids to the child care I can arrange for them. (half hour away) My opinion is that if they agreed to let them come to the ceremony, they should at least feed them. We could arrange to bring them home after dinner. The ceremony is around 5 pm, the reception is from 6 - midnight. Please give me opinions.  Please give me opinions on this matter.
    Posted by amysmith203[/QUOTE]

    And as far as your not wanting to miss out on some of the reception, I don't blame you.  You shouldn't have to leave and then come back.  I would just leave the kids at home, if it were me.
    The Bee Hive Est. June 30, 2007
    "So I sing a song of love, Julia"
    06.10.10

    BFAR:We Defined Our Own Success!
    image

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_children-invited-ceremony-but-not-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:82507884-18ae-496c-bace-0772319de203Post:365f8f86-a5a0-4810-bacc-d66fcd883926">Re: Children Invited to Ceremony but not Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]They're wrong but there's nothing you can do about it.
    Posted by Mrs.B6302007[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>But they are only wrong because they are trying to appease her.  If you ask the couple they will probably say they do not even want them at the ceremony.  The are only trying to find a 'compromise' on the issue.</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div>






    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. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_children-invited-ceremony-but-not-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:82507884-18ae-496c-bace-0772319de203Post:3a266135-9783-4a08-85bf-27b99434bfa3">Children Invited to Ceremony but not Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]My brother is getting married next June (2012). I have always been on good terms with him and I thought I was on good terms with his fiancee until I heard the details of their wedding. I have twins that will be 4.5 at the time of the wedding.<strong> My brother and his fiancee both say they love my children, and they are the only children in the immediate family.</strong> However, they chose to have a kids-free wedding, with no exceptions. I was very hurt by this when I first heard it, and told them. To appease me, they said my children can attend the ceremony only.  (I am not included as a bridesmaid). I suppose allowing the children to attend the ceremony when they really don't want them at all  might have been a fair compromise,  except for the fact that the ceremony and reception are at the same site, reception immediately following ceremony. Basically, we will be missing some portion of the reception to bring our kids to the child care I can arrange for them. (half hour away) My opinion is that if they agreed to let them come to the ceremony, they should at least feed them. We could arrange to bring them home after dinner. The ceremony is around 5 pm, the reception is from 6 - midnight. Please give me opinions.  Please give me opinions on this matter.
    Posted by amysmith203[/QUOTE]

    I think they still love your kids, they just don't want them at their wedding.  I love my younger cousins, but we chose not to have them at the wedding.  I agree with Mrs.B.  Leave them at home and enjoy their wedding.  Don't allow your relationship with your brother and your new SIL suffer because they aren't inviting your children.
    White Knot Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • It sounds like you pushed them into inviting your children so they tried to appease you with inviting them to the ceremony and now you want to go further and push them to invite your children to the entire thing.  Typically I'd say it's wrong to invite anyone, even children, to just one part of a wedding and not the other, but it sounds like that's not what they even wanted to do in the first place. 

    Yes, If I had kids I'd be a little hurt if my brother didn't want my kids at a wedding, but it's not unusual for a wedding to not include children and I'd have to respect that and either go or not go.  Just becuase I'd have children, doesn't mean I should expect everyone else at all events to accomodate them. 

    Is the wedding OOT?  It's well over a year away is there a sitter or someone that you can find to watch them?

    ou81also
  • OP - You are wrong here.  And you are being the rude one.  I can understand that you are hurt and think they don't love your kids, but I'm sure that is not the case at all. 

    It is their wedding.  It is their choice to include kids or not, immediate family included in that choice.  You need to respect their choice.  Don't even bother bringing them to the ceremony because it sounds like they only did that to appease you, which isn't fair to them, who's wedding it is.  They are old enough for a sitter for the night. 
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  • Just get childcare for the whole day and don't worry about trying to deal with it in the middle of everything. I seriously doubt 4 yr olds give a squat about attending a wedding ceremony or not anyway.

    Agree it is the couple's choice, and if they are inviting only adults, it is not up to you to make them feel guilty or bad about that, and keep trying to worm your kids into the day one step at a time. Just accept that your kids will not be going everywhere with you (this is not the only adults only invite you will receive) and enjoy your kid free date night.
  • MissKate2011MissKate2011 member
    100 Comments
    edited April 2011
    I completely agree with Habs2Hart. 

    You're the one who is in the wrong.  They are not inviting your children to the ceremony they are ALLOWING them to attend because you're bullying them.  Two very different things.

    http://www.emilypost.com/weddings/your-day/601-kids-or-no-kids
    BabyFetus Ticker
    ou81also
  • edited April 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_children-invited-ceremony-but-not-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:82507884-18ae-496c-bace-0772319de203Post:3a266135-9783-4a08-85bf-27b99434bfa3">Children Invited to Ceremony but not Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]My brother is getting married next June (2012). I have always been on good terms with him and I thought I was on good terms with his fiancee until I heard the details of their wedding. I have twins that will be 4.5 at the time of the wedding. My brother and his fiancee both say they love my children, and they are the only children in the immediate family. However, they chose to have a kids-free wedding, with no exceptions. I was very hurt by this when I first heard it, and told them. To appease me, they said my children can attend the ceremony only.  (I am not included as a bridesmaid). I suppose allowing the children to attend the ceremony when they really don't want them at all  might have been a fair compromise,  except for the fact that the ceremony and reception are at the same site, reception immediately following ceremony. Basically, we will be missing some portion of the reception to bring our kids to the child care I can arrange for them. (half hour away) My opinion is that if they agreed to let them come to the ceremony, they should at least feed them. We could arrange to bring them home after dinner. The ceremony is around 5 pm, the reception is from 6 - midnight. Please give me opinions.  Please give me opinions on this matter.
    Posted by amysmith203[/QUOTE]

    <div>They only agreed to let them come to the ceremony because you very rudely asked them after your children (and everyone else's) were specifically not invited, so no, I don't think they should at least be feeding your kids.</div><div>
    </div><div>Get a babysitter and leave the kids at home.  They will have more fun coloring than they will at a wedding.</div>
  • I have to agree with those who say you're in the wrong.

    Having an adult event in no way means they love your children any less.  It simply means that they're having an adult event.

    I'm a parent myself of a 4 mo.  I adore my daughter and relish my evenings and weekends so I can spend time with her.

    That said, I wouldn't begrudge anyone who held an adult-only wedding.  Even at this phase of her life, if DH and I had to find a sitter, we would do that or just opt not to attend.

    That you have children in no way means that they're part of a package deal with you and your husband.  As much as you may feel that they should be invited, you aren't in control of the guest list and the hosts are more than fine to say no children.

    Furthermore, I would bite my tongue on your 'this is how I feel about my FSIL' tirade you seem to be on.  One, this is going to start off a relationship quite poorly with your brother's future wife.  Beyond that, it's inappropriate for you to do so when she and your brother have every right to host the event as they see fit and their choice is perfectly within the bounds of proper etiquette.

    It really isn't worth making a fuss over this.  You need to understand that you were out of line, enjoy the time with your children before and after the event and then move on.
  • IMO it was nice of them to even allow your children to attend the wedding at all. I totally understand not wanting children at a wedding or reception and that is their choice. Yes you are imediate family and yes they are your kids, but if my future in-law and my brother/sister didnt want kids at their wedding I would have been kind enough to find a babysitter for the whole night. 4.5 is not too young to leave with a sitter for one evening. You step up and find a sitter for the whole night and dont bring them at all rather than insisting your brother/SIL fork up the money to "feed your kids" that they didnt even want to come to begin with.  

    Sorry if I sound short, but that is how I feel and I honestly think its rather bratty of you to insist on bringing kids when they didnt want kids there to begin with. 
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  • I appreciate the opinions.

    The ceremony is not that long or formal, just a J of P, outside.

    We have a really small family, this is my only brother, my husband is an only child. So this is the only family wedding my children will ever go to until one of them gets married. I guess that's why it hurts me so much. (My parents are upset too, they want my kids there). If there were other family weddings they might attend, maybe it wouldn't bother me so much. I think the other reason why it bothers me so much is my experience with weddings - every wedding I've attended that I can remember included children. 

     I'm trying to not let it bother me, but it is constantly on my mind. I know it is their day, their wedding, their choice - but aren't weddings also about family and showing goodwill towards the new family? I know I wanted all the important people in my life at my wedding, regardless of age.

      

     
  • opalsky007opalsky007 member
    5000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited April 2011
    Not everyone views a wedding as a family event. I do, and clearly you do, but they don't. 

    Have fun at the wedding. Don't let the children see your disappointment over this. They don't know what they're missing out on, and I'm sure they'll be invited to other weddings when they're older.
  • It's interesting that basically all the responses say I'm being rude etc. That is a good reality check.

    FYI, I'm not the type of mother who is glued to my children and brings them everywhere. In fact, I have no problem going out without them almost anywhere if I have childcare.

    But I look at this wedding as a once in a life time family event.  I think I still want to bring them to the ceremony, since they're "allowed". Its short anyway and outside. I guess we'll just leave and come back, miss cocktail hour or whatever if we must. (assuming I still feel the same way). At this point, having my children there for whatever portion of the wedding I can have them is the most important thing to me.

     Thanks.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_children-invited-ceremony-but-not-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:82507884-18ae-496c-bace-0772319de203Post:c1d9929d-2da1-442d-b84e-acd6bd44ac3f">Re: Children Invited to Ceremony but not Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]I appreciate the opinions. The ceremony is not that long or formal, <strong>just a J of P, outside.</strong> We have a really small family, this is my only brother, my husband is an only child. So this is the only family wedding my children will ever go to until one of them gets married. I guess that's why it hurts me so much. (My parents are upset too, they want my kids there). If there were other family weddings they might attend, maybe it wouldn't bother me so much. I think the other reason why it bothers me so much is my experience with weddings - every wedding I've attended that I can remember included children.   I'm trying to not let it bother me, but it is constantly on my mind. I know it is their day, their wedding, their choice - but aren't weddings also about family and showing goodwill towards the new family? I know I wanted all the important people in my life at my wedding, regardless of age.     
    Posted by amysmith203[/QUOTE]

    The bolded statement above is irrelevant. A JoP ceremony is no more or less important than a three hour formal religious ceremony.

    Also, it sounds like you're blaming your brother's fiancee, but your brother has just as much say as she does.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_children-invited-ceremony-but-not-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:82507884-18ae-496c-bace-0772319de203Post:c1d9929d-2da1-442d-b84e-acd6bd44ac3f">Re: Children Invited to Ceremony but not Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]I appreciate the opinions. The ceremony is not that long or formal, just a J of P, outside. We have a really small family, this is my only brother, my husband is an only child. <strong>So this is the only family wedding my children will ever go to until one of them gets married. I guess that's why it hurts me so much.</strong> (My parents are upset too, they want my kids there). If there were other family weddings they might attend, maybe it wouldn't bother me so much. I think the other reason why it bothers me so much is my experience with weddings - every wedding I've attended that I can remember included children.   I'm trying to not let it bother me, but it is constantly on my mind. I know it is their day, their wedding, their choice - but aren't weddings also about family and showing goodwill towards the new family? I know I wanted all the important people in my life at my wedding, regardless of age.     
    Posted by amysmith203[/QUOTE]

    This is a very selfish reason for you to be rude about your kids not being invited. I get that you want them to go to a wedding, probably see them all dressed up, but your brother and SIL have every right to not allow them to come and only after you asked them about it did they compromise on allowing them to come to the ceremony,

    Not everyone things weddings should be family affairs. I get that's not what you think, but you should at least respect their initiall wishes of having no children at all.
    image
  • Opal really said it best here.  Not everyone sees a wedding as a family-centered, kid-friendly event.  This has been a point of contention for FI and I: in his family, weddings are family events and kids are invited.  I have never been to a wedding in my family where kids are included.  So as puzzled as you are that your brother doesn't want his niece/nephew there, I get puzzled as to why I should want to invite kids to the biggest dinner party I will ever throw, in spite of the fact that I wouldn't invite them any other time I throw a dinner party.

    So, also as Opal said, try to hide your disappointment from your kids.  It's really the only thing you can do.
  • Honestly, I doubt your children are really that welcome at the ceremony, but they were nice enough to compromise.  They must have felt so awkward and pressured when you asked them if you could bring your children.  I would leave the kids at home for the whole evening.
    image
  • Questions like these make me question my parenting genes. I can't wait to find a sitter and have a night out with my husband. I've never been upset that my kid wasn't invited somewhere.


    image
    ou81also
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_children-invited-ceremony-but-not-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:82507884-18ae-496c-bace-0772319de203Post:15727483-327d-4907-8282-16fa52bbf1dd">Re: Children Invited to Ceremony but not Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]It's interesting that basically all the responses say I'm being rude etc. That is a good reality check. FYI, I'm not the type of mother who is glued to my children and brings them everywhere. In fact, I have no problem going out without them almost anywhere if I have childcare. But I look at this wedding as a once in a life time family event.  I think I still want to bring them to the ceremony, since they're "allowed". Its short anyway and outside. I guess we'll just leave and come back, miss cocktail hour or whatever if we must. (assuming I still feel the same way). At this point, having my children there for whatever portion of the wedding I can have them is the most important thing to me.  Thanks.
    Posted by amysmith203[/QUOTE]

    I personally think you should just leave the children for the whole event since it's clear they weren't really "allowed" and only gave in to you putting them in an awkward position and pushing them to let you bring your children. 
    Also, at that age, I really don't think the children will get the significance of ceremony and just be bored.  I'm 28, I still think the ceremony is just the boring part.  It clearly means something to you and you should just go and enjoy it, but respect that it's their wedding and they don't have to invite children.
  • I'd just leave the kids with a sitter for the whole thing too.

    And I doubt that this is 'the only wedding that they'll get to go to' before their own.  I went to several long before I was married.

    And even if it is, so what?  This can also be a great lesson to teach your kids - you can't always do what you want.
  • I'd leave the kids with the sitter too.  I would hate to do an extra hour of driving for a 15 minute ceremony.  I know that you think that it's meaningful to bring your kids to see their uncle get married.  However, I don't know that your kids will feel the same way.  


  • OP, I can't imagine that your kids will even care about this.

    They're four and a half.  Ask them a decade from now and they probably will barely remember going.
    image
  • wyneywyney member
    10 Comments
    You say your parents want the children there, too....but that doesn't mean it was any more wrong for them not to have been invited.

    Perhaps the bride and groom want a party atmosphere, not a family event.  Even if you care about kids, they can be a buzzkill.  Yeah, they can be cute....but there are plenty of reasons to dread children at weddings if you want to relax and let loose.

    If you want your kids to see a wedding, have a vow renewal or get married.  Wanting your kids to be invited to experience a wedding isn't too far off from the FMIL inviting way more people than the bride and groom want to alot.  If you want them to see a wedding, it's up to you to get married and buy a reception. 


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