Wedding Etiquette Forum

Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)

Hi,

My cousin from out-of-state is adament about bring her (then) 10-month old baby to my wedding ceremony and reception despite the fact that he wasn't listed on the invite and our website has a message about it being an "adults only" formal affair.  She is claiming she's an exception and a snarky comment I made to her on Facebook was my seal of approval.  I had seen a picture of the baby and commented that he looked cute, nothing about the wedding at all, when she wrote "he's so excited to come to your wedding, we got him a suit."  I replied "That's cute, but we have a ring bearer and it's my dog!"  She hasn't actually talked to me in person in a few years, and all this is going through her mother.  Her mother called up my parents complaining why the baby isn't invited when I apparently told my cousin he was.  

To make matters worse, my parents have been pressuring me to invite the baby since before he was even born.  My father unfortunately cares more about this cousin and her family than his family, so I suspect he has been hinting to my cousin and her mother that it's Ok to bring the baby.  The last I heard was that my cousin was going to call me since my finance and I are paying for the wedding ourselves.  I'm afraid she will just show up with baby in hand, phone call or not.  Should I just let it go and let the baby come to avoid a family feud? At this point, I am exhausted and depressed over this issue; I don't even care about the baby being there anymore, it's the rudeness of this family that continues to hurt. 

Sorry, this is so long.  Thanks for listening and any advice. 

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Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)

  • Generally infants are exceptions to the "adults only" rule, especially if the child is still breastfeeding.  Is there a particular reason you don't want the baby to attend?
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousin-bringing-uninvited-baby-to-ceremony-reception-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f2b82433-956c-491f-aaa0-d8dedf1e8302Post:14313df8-82b4-4e26-a7f3-ad44447a6270">Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Generally infants are exceptions to the "adults only" rule, especially if the child is still breastfeeding.  Is there a particular reason you don't want the baby to attend?
    Posted by Avion22[/QUOTE]

    They don't have to be.  They can be an exception if the bride/groom/hosts choose for them to be, but you don't have to let people bring their baby.

    OP, this sucks, but is it worth starting a family feud over?
  • LesPaulLesPaul member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited August 2012

    She's coming from out-of-state - if you don't want the baby there I think you need to help her find childcare during the wedding.  That way you can say to her 'So glad you're going to be at the wedding.  I've arranged for so-and-so to watch little Joey for the day'.

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  • Where is she supposed to keep her baby during the ceremony/reception if she is travelling from out of state and all of her family will be at the wedding? I'm not saying you HAVE to invite her, but I can understand why she would think her baby was invited. He's a baby, it's not like he can just stay home alone.
  • If this person is old enough and mature enough to be a parent SHE should be the one calling you, not sending her mother. If you are old enough and mature enough to get married you should be the one calling her and asking her mother not to get involved. If you haven't seen or talked to her in a few years why is she even invited in the first place? Since she's coming in from OOT I do think her infant should be invited but it's your call. If you still choose to refuse this baby entry into your wedding you know you're going to cause a big family feud.
  • We are not having kids at the wedding either but I know my cousin's kid is still an infant.  We have gotten her a room at the hotel where the ceremony/reception is being held and have teenagers from a family friend that will be in the room watching the kid.  This way if there are any problems, they can come get my cousin or my cousin can go check in without worry.  I'm not sure if this would be an option for you but it has worked for me.
  • She's from out of state and her entire family is likely coming.  I wouldn't blame her for not wanting to leave her kid with some random stranger at your wedding (even if you do arrange it).  You either stand your ground and be prepared for her to not come or you let it go because the kid is 10 months old and will probably sleep the entire time.

    Does she have a partner whose family could potentially care for the child while they traveled to the wedding?  
  • I know my cousin has babysitter options and is not breastfeeding, so she's just using the Facebook thing as an excuse because she thinks she's entitled to bring the baby as a "family" member.  She also knows that children have always made me uncomfortable and I'm not sure if I want any of my own.   

    I don't have her number because we don't talk on a regular basis (besides on FB) so that would involve me talking to her mother, which I don't think is a good idea.  The rest of her family is incredibly rude as well and have made demands since the second I got engaged.  For example, her mother campaigned for my other cousin -the sister of the one with the baby- to bring her 50 year old divorcee' boyfriend (cousin is 28) of the month to the wedding when the rest of the family hates him. Most of their demands were met because they weren't deal breakers for fiance and I, this one is much more emmotional for me...

    I know she will never decline, she will just show up with the baby, so I'm probably going to have to let this one go.  :(

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousin-bringing-uninvited-baby-to-ceremony-reception-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f2b82433-956c-491f-aaa0-d8dedf1e8302Post:9536f428-542a-42c1-9e34-bfe824e8acf9">Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long) : Do you mean a significant other, who should be invited to the wedding as well?  Or someone other form of partner?
    Posted by crfb87[/QUOTE]

    I feel like she meant if the cousin has a significant other whose family could take care of the family, because the possible aunt- and uncle-in-laws probably wouldn't be invited to the wedding.
  • edited August 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousin-bringing-uninvited-baby-to-ceremony-reception-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f2b82433-956c-491f-aaa0-d8dedf1e8302Post:9536f428-542a-42c1-9e34-bfe824e8acf9">Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long) : <strong>Do you mean a significant other, who should be invited to the wedding as well?  Or someone other form of partner</strong>?
    Posted by crfb87[/QUOTE]

    I think she meant her cousin's significant other's parents (the child's grandparents on the other side of their family) or even an Aunt/Uncle/Cousin of her cousin's H who would not be invited to their wedding.

    EDIT: man you guys are fast! sorry for the repeat comment
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  • I don't think you should let the cousin and her family railroad you, and you certainly are under no obligation to help them find child care. I'm with Eagles - stick to your guns and prepare for her to decline.
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited August 2012
    Could you send her a private FB message that says:

    "Hi, Cousin. I'd really like to give you a call, but I don't have your number. Could you please send it to me or call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx?"

    If that doesn't work, ask your mother or another relative.

    Stick to your guns. You don't have to have the baby there. She can either try to arrange for child care in your area or she can stay home with him.
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousin-bringing-uninvited-baby-to-ceremony-reception-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f2b82433-956c-491f-aaa0-d8dedf1e8302Post:a47699e2-087a-407a-85f9-efeaa40826a8">Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]She's from out of state and her entire family is likely coming.  I wouldn't blame her for not wanting to leave her kid with some random stranger at your wedding (even if you do arrange it).  You either stand your ground and be prepared for her to not come or you let it go because <strong>the kid is 10 months old and will probably sleep the entire time</strong>. Does she have a partner whose family could potentially care for the child while they traveled to the wedding?  
    Posted by ericaandtom2012[/QUOTE]
    A newborn, yes. A 10-month old? No. My nieces and nephews were babbling, shrieking (ear-piercingly), crawling, pulling on things, and all sorts of stuff when they were 10-months old.
  • If this was a VIP then I'd say you'd probably have to suck it up and let her bring the kid. Because anyone that is told they can not bring their kid probably won't go because most people don't want to leave their little ones for as long as travelling to an OOT wedding would take. 

    It doesn't sound like you care too much if this cousin comes. So, don't make an exception. You don't have to invite the children. If anyone (like your aunt) is offended that you wouldn't let the kid come then they might decline as well. From the sound of it, that would be a bonus. 

    You've gotten some good advice. Contact someone (or the cousin herself) to get her number and talk to her. Stick to your guns. 
  • If you don't want her to bring the baby, then you need to find a way to contact her directly and be very clear about it.  But you keep giving excuses on why you can't contact her, so I'm not sure what you want us to say.....there's no secret telepathy that will make her suddenly know her baby isn't invited, so you'll have to do it the good old fashioned way and call her, and call anyone you need to to get her number.
    Anniversary
  • I don't think it's my responsibility to call her because I don't want to condone her stupidity any longer.  I told her and her family twenty times that the baby isn't invited, addressed the invite correctly and put a message up for her to read- a simple phone call isn't going to solve the problem.  like I said, she can say whatever she wants at this point, she's rude enough to just bring the kid anyway.

    As for the babysitter options, she has in-laws in her state (not invited to the wedding) that are willing to babysit.  She has a nanny as well.  She will not leave the baby in a hotel with anyone as far as I know; her husband plans on attending the wedding as well. 

    What also complicates things is that because of the no kid rule my fiance's cousin, also from out of state is not bringing his 3 month old twins who I believe are breastfed.  I didn't even have to ask them, they didn't want to bring them, but it's still unfair to his cosuin and a the few others who have children (all under 5 years old) and were responsible parents.  I believe if you have children, it's your responsibility to either find a babysitter if it's an adults only wedding or not come, no exceptions. That's the sacrifice you make when you become a parent.  That;s what I would do if I were in my cousin's shoes, so it's hurtful that she can't accept this.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousin-bringing-uninvited-baby-to-ceremony-reception-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f2b82433-956c-491f-aaa0-d8dedf1e8302Post:a659936a-e95c-489b-9188-ae3305f6790b">Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long) : I don't know, at ten months old he should be looking for a job and an apartment, IMO. 
    Posted by EaglesBride2012[/QUOTE]

    FTW!!! 'Love it!!
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    If your mind is made up, then I'm not sure why you asked for advice in the first place...
  • What other demands has your family made?  I agree with PP about the other cousins SO - he must be invited. But, if your family is pressuring you about things that are really none of their business you need to stand up for yourself. Are you and your FI paying for everything yourselves or are you getting help from family? Sometimes when family members (including parents) help fund a wedding they assume they will have a say in planning.
  • In Response to Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long):
    [QUOTE]I don't think it's my responsibility to call her because I don't want to condone her stupidity any longer.  I told her and her family twenty times that the baby isn't invited, addressed the invite correctly and put a message up for her to read- a simple phone call isn't going to solve the problem.  like I said, she can say whatever she wants at this point, she's rude enough to just bring the kid anyway. As for the babysitter options, she has in-laws in her state (not invited to the wedding) that are willing to babysit.  She has a nanny as well.  She will not leave the baby in a hotel with anyone as far as I know; her husband plans on attending the wedding as well.  What also complicates things is that because of the no kid rule my fiance's cousin, also from out of state is not bringing his 3 month old twins who I believe are breastfed.  I didn't even have to ask them, they didn't want to bring them, but it's still unfair to his cosuin and a the few others who have children (all under 5 years old) and were responsible parents.  I believe if you have children, it's your responsibility to either find a babysitter if it's an adults only wedding or not come, no exceptions. That's the sacrifice you make when you become a parent.  That;s what I would do if I were in my cousin's shoes, so it's hurtful that she can't accept this.
    Posted by ChrissyC84[/QUOTE]

    As you are an adult and this is your wedding we're talking about, yes it definitely is your responsibility to call her. You do not need to communicate with the rest of the family about this matter. YOU only need to communicate with her. By calling her you are not condoning her stupidity, you are being mature.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousin-bringing-uninvited-baby-to-ceremony-reception-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f2b82433-956c-491f-aaa0-d8dedf1e8302Post:aef3315b-3b1a-4c7b-af30-afb85c929370">Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>I don't think it's my responsibility to call her because I don't want to condone her stupidity any longer.</strong>  I told her and her family twenty times that the baby isn't invited, addressed the invite correctly and put a message up for her to read- a simple phone call isn't going to solve the problem.  like I said, she can say whatever she wants at this point, she's rude enough to just bring the kid anyway. As for the babysitter options, she has in-laws in her state (not invited to the wedding) that are willing to babysit.  She has a nanny as well.  She will not leave the baby in a hotel with anyone as far as I know; her husband plans on attending the wedding as well.  What also complicates things is that because of the no kid rule my fiance's cousin, also from out of state is not bringing his 3 month old twins who I believe are breastfed.  I didn't even have to ask them, they didn't want to bring them, but it's still unfair to his cosuin and a the few others who have children (all under 5 years old) and were responsible parents.  I believe if you have children, it's your responsibility to either find a babysitter if it's an adults only wedding or not come, no exceptions. That's the sacrifice you make when you become a parent.  That;s what I would do if I were in my cousin's shoes, so it's hurtful that she can't accept this.
    Posted by ChrissyC84[/QUOTE]

    <div>Then who's responsibility is it?  This is YOUR wedding, right?  If you really don't want her to bring the baby and you think she might, then you need to find a way to get a hold of her and be very clear that the baby is not welcome as it would be unfair to other parents who made arrangements.  If you don't care that much, then don't say anything since clearly she's under the impression that her baby is an exception.  Other than those two options though, I don't see how you'll be able to get what you want without saying anything....</div>
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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It's completely your responsibility to call your cousin and inform her that her child is not welcome.  You said earlier that you and FI are paying for your wedding, so that makes you the responsible one in these types of matters. 

    We had one of H's friends RSVP for himself, his wife, and his younger daughter.  We also addressed the invitation correctly.  My H called his friend to explain that the invite was only for him and his wife.  My H hated having to make that call, but he did because we were responsible for our own wedding!
  • What are you going to do if she shows up with the baby? Deny her entry? Even though she's clearly in the wrong, you need to address this so she doesn't get turned away (which would be a huge diick move on your part) or piss off the parents who were considerate enough to make appropriate arrangements for their children.
  • edited August 2012

     To clarify, I DO plan on calling her; however, I still feel it shouldn't have come down to that ( I guess I am the only one that thinks "NO CHILDREN, NO EXCEPTIONS" means EXACTLY that.")  I'm not hopeful it will accomplish anything.  She KNOWS her baby isn't invited and isn't willing to compromise.  That's the problem.  She's not confused- she's just stubborn. 

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousin-bringing-uninvited-baby-to-ceremony-reception-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f2b82433-956c-491f-aaa0-d8dedf1e8302Post:a5ffe1b0-d36b-4e41-97f7-13c783e15857">Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)</a>:
    [QUOTE] To clarify, I DO plan on calling her; however, I still feel it shouldn't have come down to that ( I guess I am the only one that thinks "NO CHILDREN, NO EXCEPTIONS" means EXACTLY that.")  I'm not hopeful it will accomplish anything.  She KNOWS her baby isn't invited and isn't willing to compromise.  That's the problem.  She's not confused- she's just stubborn. 
    Posted by ChrissyC84[/QUOTE]

    There are plenty of inconveniences in life. There are plenty of things I'd rather be doing than sitting at work right now but I need money to get the things I want so I put my big girl panties on and deal with it.  Obviously no one wants to call someone up to tell them their kid isn't invited. But it's your wedding and you gotta do what you gotta do. If you don't communicate with her directly you're going to have a lot of other parents who are pissed at your for denying their children invitations. Especially if this cousin thinks you gave her a free pass to bring her baby.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousin-bringing-uninvited-baby-to-ceremony-reception-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f2b82433-956c-491f-aaa0-d8dedf1e8302Post:e8a4a859-e784-4d1d-84ac-18ef601deab4">Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long) : There are plenty of inconveniences in life. There are plenty of things I'd rather be doing than sitting at work right now but I need money to get the things I want so I put my big girl panties on and deal with it.  Obviously no one wants to call someone up to tell them their kid isn't invited. But it's your wedding and you gotta do what you gotta do. If you don't communicate with her directly you're going to have a lot of other parents who are pissed at your for denying their children invitations. Especially if this cousin thinks you gave her a free pass to bring her baby.
    Posted by ElleB87[/QUOTE]

    I agree completely. When you make the "no children" choice, you agree to deal with the consequences of that decision, good or bad. Do you really not want the kid there, or do you want to avoid the topic because of her "stupidity,"  have her bring the kid, and then act like a martyr when your wedding is "ruined" with him there? I would think with the effort you've put into planning, you would want to make sure the message is crystal clear to your cousin. No, you probably shouldn't have to come out and say it, but if this iissue s really that important to you, it needs to be done.
  • Did everybody miss the part about the OP having her dog as the ring bearer?
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousin-bringing-uninvited-baby-to-ceremony-reception-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f2b82433-956c-491f-aaa0-d8dedf1e8302Post:a5ffe1b0-d36b-4e41-97f7-13c783e15857">Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)</a>:
    [QUOTE] To clarify, I DO plan on calling her; however, I still feel it shouldn't have come down to that ( I guess I am the only one that thinks "NO CHILDREN, NO EXCEPTIONS" means EXACTLY that.")  I'm not hopeful it will accomplish anything.  She KNOWS her baby isn't invited and isn't willing to compromise.  That's the problem.  She's not confused- she's just stubborn. 
    Posted by ChrissyC84[/QUOTE]

    <div>As the one making guest list decisions and issuing the invitations, it is your responsibility to call and clarify for <em>any</em> guest that has an issue.  You'll soon be calling everyone that forgets to RSVP also.  I can't understand why calling your cousin is such a problem for you.  Expecting to communicate through parents and facebook is really immature.  </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cousin-bringing-uninvited-baby-to-ceremony-reception-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f2b82433-956c-491f-aaa0-d8dedf1e8302Post:ece479ad-a518-4326-856d-d6656b17f339">Re: Cousin Bringing Uninvited Baby to Ceremony & Reception (long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Where is she supposed to keep her baby during the ceremony/reception if she is travelling from out of state and all of her family will be at the wedding? I'm not saying you HAVE to invite her, but I can understand why she would think her baby was invited. He's a baby, it's not like he can just stay home alone.
    Posted by ahhhitsshannyn[/QUOTE]


    Someone from her husband's family. Her daycare provider. I don't know, that's her problem.

    I did invite children to my wedding, but absolutely you don't have to invite them, infants or not, and you do not have to provide childcare or make special considerations.

    OP, if she brings the baby anyway and you can't talk her out of it, at some point, it can't be your problem anymore. I wouldn't go out of my way to provide a high chair or make room for the baby at her table, though.
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  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    All you can do is call her, talk to her and let her know you DO NOT want the child there and then hope she does the right thing and either declines to come or leaves the kid at home.  Sorry for your icky family situation.

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