Wedding Etiquette Forum

Do I have to invite them???

My fiance and I are having a wedding and the venue I am planning only holds 210 people. I want to use that space for family and close friends. My fiance wants to invite the high school-ers that he mentors at church. If he was talking 3-5 kids, I would be fine. However, this is upwards of 50 kids. And I know they won't think about how to act or dress (formal wedding). Am I being a pain? Is he going to have to get over it? Thoughts? HELP!

Re: Do I have to invite them???

  • sarahuflsarahufl New York member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Totally up to you, but 50 high schoolers seems like an awful lot. Depending on their ages, you may also need to invite their parents.

    IMO, a blanket invite to the kids is too much. Can he get away with inviting a few of them?
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    mysticlluckysnorkel
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited July 2014
    This is up to you and your fiance to decide, but I would certainly put friends and family before them.
    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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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    My fiance and I are having a wedding and the venue I am planning only holds 210 people. I want to use that space for family and close friends. My fiance wants to invite the high school-ers that he mentors at church. If he was talking 3-5 kids, I would be fine. However, this is upwards of 50 kids. And I know they won't think about how to act or dress (formal wedding). Am I being a pain? Is he going to have to get over it? Thoughts? HELP!
    I wouldn't be comfortable with that either. First, these are kids under the age of 18 so they really should be accompanied by an adult. Second that is a lot of kids that are in no way related to you and can cause you to have to eliminate family and friends that you really want to invite but can't because of space issues.

    I think you need to talk to you FI about why he wants to invite these kids.  I understand that he mentors them but you need to find out why he wants them there.

    luckysnorkel
  • I would make your family/friend guest list first and see if you even have room. If you have room, then look at your budget.

    If you have room and the budget, then decide if you really want 50 highschoolers without their parents at your wedding reception. Your FI will be playing the role of groom, not mentor, so if they're kids that need supervision, you should consider that when making this call. In the meantime, he should be sure to not verbally invite these kids.
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    luckysnorkel
  • @indianaalum - This is one thing that I hadn't even thought of and it is a great point! 

    I appreciate everyone's thoughts! 
  • That's almost a quarter of your guest allotment. I would also be worried that some of these kids would find a way to drink and then drive home. You wouldn't want to take on those supervisory responsibilities at your wedding.
    luckysnorkel
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2014
    I wouldn't go for it.  As the relationship he has with these kids is "mentoring," I have to agree with PPs that this is a professional line that I wouldn't cross.  I'm never a fan of inviting people, especially kids, with whom you do not have a personal and social relationship, whether they are students, mentorees, or otherwise.

    Also, it poses various kinds of logistical issues.  They have to be driven to (if they don't have cars) or take public transportation to and from the wedding and be treated as full-fledged guests, meaning that they can't just attend the ceremony but have to be fed and entertained just like the other guests, but their parents either have to be invited or an adult has to supervise them, depending on their age and maturity.  It also puts them and/or their parents in the position of having to obtain a gift for you.

    I'd stand firm and let him know that you're not okay with this.
  • sarahuflsarahufl New York member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I also think it is a boundary issue. If he "mentors" them, it is a professional capacity. What if he gets drunk which isn't uncommon at your own wedding? They will see that and have a different view of him in a "social" setting...

    I think boundaries should dictate this and that they should not be invited
    This is a great point and something I had not considered.
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  • Definitely boundaries. I'm a teacher and I would never dream of inviting students to a social event, wedding or otherwise. It sets a terrible precedent and could easily be misinterpreted.

    High school students also require chaperons. (And that should most definitely NOT be you or your husband on your wedding day.)

    And, frankly, if I were the parent, I'd be seriously creeped out that my minor child was invited to a wedding like that.
    luckysnorkel
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    mysticl said:
    I worked with kids for years. I understand being close to them and feeling like they are a part of your life. But there are lines, they aren't your friends, they aren't your family and revealing to much of your personal life to them can make working with them difficult.  

    Someone suggested inviting just a few of them.  I wouldn't do that because it singles them out as "special" and could cause issues.  It's an all or nothing kind of thing and I suggest nothing.  

    If he really wants to do something for them he should just throw them a pizza party at the church.  Not to celebrate your wedding but just to celebrate the progress they've made.  
    Just ask my senior year Social Studies teacher (just out of college) who would party with us on the weekend but then try to throw around his authority during the week.  We no longer respected him as a teacher because we now thought of him as our cool friend who bought us beer so we just laughed when he tried to tell us what to do.

    WildMageletlyndausvi
  • rooz103rooz103 member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited July 2014
    Actually, both FI and I are in leadership at (different) churches and ended up with semi-epic fights about whether or not to invite the kids, and if so, how many. 


     I agree with PP that it's very difficult to invite some kids and not others, unless he's planning on leaving work immediately following the wedding. However, the role of a youth group mentor at church doesn't have the same dynamic as a traditional teacher-student relationship so I don't think it's necessarily as immediately creepy as some people are insinuating. If he's been at the church for a really long time, it can be especially hurtful to both your FI and to his church members to outright ban any invitations without careful discussion. 


    Many times, church members think of one another as family, and they can be just as hurt as family are when they're not invited. Not to say that you should go ahead and cave, but it might explain why he wanted to invite them in the first place. My FI has been at his church for 15+ years, since he was in his teens. He is inviting many from his college group as friends, church members and even colleagues. As for myself, I've only been at my church for 4 years. I do have a list of "it'd be really nice" of only a few high school students that might make the list eventually, but I also plan on leaving immediately following the wedding. 


     I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not as black and white as one would like it to be. It'd probably behoove you to have a conversation about why he wants to invite them, and then discuss if that "why" is reasonable or not. I know Fi was hurt because he thought I was just being dismissive of friendships that are really important to him, and we could have probably saved ourselves some grief if we had just bothered to communicate.


    eta: paragraphs? 
  • So since he has kind of a teacher/student relationship with them, and 50 kids without parental supervision is kind of a handful, maybe don't invite them.

    My family knows a girl who was a HS sports coach.  Her athletes were soooo excited for her, but no way was she going to invite them to her reception.  She invited them to the ceremony (these girls were like 15/16) and had cupcakes in boxes for each and every one of them.  This was a good compromise given the nature of the relationship, in my opinion.  We say generally no ceremony-only invites, but what do you do with a gaggle of kids who you are close with, whose parents you don't know super well?  I think it was nice, and it went over well.
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    [Deleted User]
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    The PPs have made some excellent points and given you great advice but I do want to say that I think your reasoning in the OP is crap - "And I know they won't think about how to act or dress (formal wedding)" You need a better argument than that to tell your FI that people he wants to invite can't come.


  • KaurisKauris member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I coach swim team for a parochial school, and while my team is not very large (16 kids), there is no way I could invite them all and their parents. This would add 58 people to my 140 person guest list. I was not comfortable with this, nor was FI. We did make a compromise and invited the parents of the kids (we aren't inviting any kids at all anyway) that I have coached two or more of their children. So since I've been coaching for 8 years, that was four sets of parents, this also happens to encompass the most involved parents anyway.

    So maybe there is a compromise for you, maybe if he has worked with them for a certain number of years, or knows the parents very well too. GL!

    And as to how my kids WOULD act if they were to attend the wedding, they are the most well behaved group of kids I've ever experienced. They are thoughtful, sweet, gracious, generous and polite. I would never have thought of that as a reason to not have my kids there that day.
  • Who is going to be responsible for these kids if you don't also invite their families? 

    Everything I see here points to your having more reasons not to invite the kids than to invite them. While I get that they're important to your FI, I think you need to have a serious talk with him on this issue.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    312Emily said:
    So since he has kind of a teacher/student relationship with them, and 50 kids without parental supervision is kind of a handful, maybe don't invite them.

    My family knows a girl who was a HS sports coach.  Her athletes were soooo excited for her, but no way was she going to invite them to her reception.  She invited them to the ceremony (these girls were like 15/16) and had cupcakes in boxes for each and every one of them.  This was a good compromise given the nature of the relationship, in my opinion.  We say generally no ceremony-only invites, but what do you do with a gaggle of kids who you are close with, whose parents you don't know super well?  I think it was nice, and it went over well.
    If you wouldn't invite them to the reception, don't invite them at all!

    Regardless of how well it went over in this girl's case, this was not appropriate.

    Summary:  Don't invite children you work with but have no personal relationship with.
  • I would probably not invite them, but you should probably be talking to your FI about this and not a bunch of internet strangers...we have no idea how important this is to him. That having been said, if you don't invite them to the reception, but your ceremony is happening in a church (which is a public space) they could still go and see the ceremony if they choose to (invite-free). My DH is involved in Big Brothers, and his Little was invited to the wedding, but with his mother. He is in high school too but we knew someone would have to be there to supervise him (he is 15). That was only one child, not 50. Additionally, DH did not get drunk at our wedding...he had a few beers but that's it because he really wanted to remember everything - if he was planning to get plastered, there's no way we would have invited the kid, as DH is supposed to be a role model to him.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    delujm0 said:
    I would probably not invite them, but you should probably be talking to your FI about this and not a bunch of internet strangers...we have no idea how important this is to him. That having been said, if you don't invite them to the reception, but your ceremony is happening in a church (which is a public space) they could still go and see the ceremony if they choose to (invite-free). My DH is involved in Big Brothers, and his Little was invited to the wedding, but with his mother. He is in high school too but we knew someone would have to be there to supervise him (he is 15). That was only one child, not 50. Additionally, DH did not get drunk at our wedding...he had a few beers but that's it because he really wanted to remember everything - if he was planning to get plastered, there's no way we would have invited the kid, as DH is supposed to be a role model to him.
    Would you even have been allowed to invite the kid if your DH was planning to get drunk?
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