Wedding Etiquette Forum

SO and kids? Help.

Hi,

I want to do the right thing here. One of my guests wasn't dating anyone at the time we sent out our invites. I asked if he wanted to bring anyone that I could address the invitation to. He said no, that he was fine coming by himself since he's family, and a lot of other family will be there as well that he will be visiting with. Okay, totally fine.

I just recently found out that he is dating someone, so I reached out to him, told him that she is absolutely invited to our wedding, and could he please let me know the spelling of her name for her escort card. He asked if her 3 kids can come as well. He didn't seem like he was demanding that her children come, just asking if they can attend.

Our wedding is family friendly, and I am inviting children. Am I required to invite her children as well? My hesitation is that we are having a small wedding - about 50 people. I definitely don't mind his SO coming at all. But with her kids coming, that will be about 10% of our total guests. Not that I mind at all, just want to do the right thing here.

I'm leaning towards saying yes as I don't want to start an argument, but we are already on the very top of our guest max at our venue. We are at 56 (including us). Our venue max is 60 people. So I do have just enough room for her and her three children, but not sure if our venue requires our vendors to be in the guest max as well.

For people lurking: I only invited 50 people. Not only did we get 100% yes's, but with marriages throughout the past year, and people having kids, etc., that added 8 people (16%!!) to my total guest count. I don't feel like I did bad planning by inviting 50, when our venue holds 60. But just as a caution to people reading this, that your guest count can grow a lot more than you expect.

Re: SO and kids? Help.

  • I would not invite her children.

  • STARMOON44STARMOON44 member
    First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited September 2015
    Just say no. It's not rude and it doesn't require any explanation or hand wringing on your part.

    And I think it was overkill to keep reaching out. If someone gets an SO between 10 weeks before your wedding when you sent invites out and the RSVP date it's nice to accommodate them if you can but you don't have to.
  • I would not invite her kids 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. 
  • At the very least, call your venue and check in with the about vendors being counted as guests. Even if you're saying no to these children, this is good information in case, say, the DJ needs extra people to help set up/break down or other vendors ask for additional staff to come.
  • Thanks everyone!! Agree I need to check with the venue about the total count here...I am sending them an email now.

    As for not having to invite her children - whew. Huge relief. Thank you. :)

  • Just say no. It's not rude and it doesn't require any explanation or hand wringing on your part. And I think it was overkill to keep reaching out. If someone gets an SO between 10 weeks before your wedding when you sent invites out and the RSVP date it's nice to accommodate them if you can but you don't have to.
    Thanks and agree. This is the last time I am doing this, as I have learned my lesson! 

  • Yeah, you don't have to invite their kids-especially if including your vendors in your head count will put you over capacity.
  • Pupatella said:
    Just say no. It's not rude and it doesn't require any explanation or hand wringing on your part. And I think it was overkill to keep reaching out. If someone gets an SO between 10 weeks before your wedding when you sent invites out and the RSVP date it's nice to accommodate them if you can but you don't have to.
    Thanks and agree. This is the last time I am doing this, as I have learned my lesson! 
    Just to let you know offering an invite to his new GF was a very nice thing to do even though it was not required.  So I am sure he is very appreciative.

  • Okay guys.

    So I just spoke to him. He confided in me that he is planning to propose to her and has started looking at rings. I'm excited for him!! They have only been dating a month, but he is an adult and can make his own decisions.

    1) does your answer change if he is engaged at the time of our wedding about inviting her kids? I'm not sure when he is planning to pop the question and he doesn't know either.

    2) he understood that her kids couldn't come, but asked if just her oldest daughter could come who is about 12. He wants to try and bond with the daughter. Her other children are 7, and 2 yrs. Is it an all or nothing thing when inviting kids, or should I let them bring the 12 yr old for some bonding time?

  • PupatellaPupatella member
    Combo Breaker First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited September 2015


    Pupatella said:



    Just say no. It's not rude and it doesn't require any explanation or hand wringing on your part.

    And I think it was overkill to keep reaching out. If someone gets an SO between 10 weeks before your wedding when you sent invites out and the RSVP date it's nice to accommodate them if you can but you don't have to.

    Thanks and agree. This is the last time I am doing this, as I have learned my lesson! 

    Just to let you know offering an invite to his new GF was a very nice thing to do even though it was not required.  So I am sure he is very appreciative.

    --------------------------------

    Thank you I appreciate that!! Yes he was excited and wants to bring her.

  • Pupatella said:
    Okay guys. So I just spoke to him. He confided in me that he is planning to propose to her and has started looking at rings. I'm excited for him!! They have only been dating a month, but he is an adult and can make his own decisions. 1) does your answer change if he is engaged at the time of our wedding about inviting her kids? I'm not sure when he is planning to pop the question and he doesn't know either. 2) he understood that her kids couldn't come, but asked if just her oldest daughter could come who is about 12. He wants to try and bond with the daughter. Her other children are 7, and 2 yrs. Is it an all or nothing thing when inviting kids, or should I let them bring the 12 yr old for some bonding time?
    Nope it does not change my answer because your venue still only holds 60 people.  Him possibly getting engaged prior to your wedding will not change that very solid fact.

    But if you do allow them to bring the kids, then all need to be invited because it is rude to split up a family by only inviting one out of the 3 underaged siblings.  And really, there are better ways to bond with his possible future step daughter then by bringing her to a wedding where she really will not know anyone besides her Mother.
    Thanks!! Yes I thought it was a weird request, but I wanted to run it by you guys. It's about a 4 hours car trip here, so I'm guessing that's where he thinks the bonding time is going to happen? Not really sure. I will just tell him that we're sorry but we can't accommodate her children.

  • The kids should be all or nothing.  If the parents were to decided to then only bring the oldest, that is their decision to make.  But for your situation, I wouldn't invite the kids.
  • CElizabeth419 Haha exactly!! I do find it sweet that he wants to bond with her daughter, but he should do something to bond with all of her kids. Oh well, at least I'm not out of line by saying that we can't accommodate them at the wedding. Honestly that is a huge relief!!

  • Shit. With you guys talking about inviting all of the kids or none at all, this made me think of something else, and I really hope I didn't do something wrong here.

    One of my wedding guests is divorced, and has a son. We invited him, his current girlfriend, and his son. We didn't know at the time that his girlfriend has children, but I now know that she has two daughters. Should I reach out to them and invite her kids? They have not reached out to ask if her daughters are invited. 

    I would prefer to not do this as we are pretty much at our venue capacity, but if I am doing something wrong or rude, I want to correct it before the wedding day.

  • Pupatella said:
    Shit. With you guys talking about inviting all of the kids or none at all, this made me think of something else, and I really hope I didn't do something wrong here.

    One of my wedding guests is divorced, and has a son. We invited him, his current girlfriend, and his son. We didn't know at the time that his girlfriend has children, but I now know that she has two daughters. Should I reach out to them and invite her kids? They have not reached out to ask if her daughters are invited. 

    I would prefer to not do this as we are pretty much at our venue capacity, but if I am doing something wrong or rude, I want to correct it before the wedding day.
    I think what you did is fine.  Unless this guest and his GF see themselves as a family with "step" children then you really aren't splitting up siblings or a family.  Seems like if this person didn't have a GF he and his son would have still been invited, right?  So really you are inviting him and his son and his SO to keep within etiquette that all individuals with a SO should be invited by name.

  • @Maggie0829 you have been so helpful. I greatly appreciate all of your advice!! 

    Yep, if this person didn't have a GF, he, and his son would definitely still be invited.

    Glad to know that I didn't do anything wrong. I don't think they think of themselves as a family unit, but I'm honestly not really sure. This is a guest on my FI's side that is a relative that he barely talks to. We invited the relative per my FMIL's request. When we sent the family member the save the date there was zero communication to my FI - no congratulations email, card, call, etc. I don't think they've spoken in over 10 years. Which is why when I found out that his GF had kids, I didn't do anything. This makes me feel better about it, and I'll just leave it as is. :)

  • If he wants to bond with her daughter maybe he should do that by actually f-ing getting to know her before proposing. Dumb plan. No kids and I wouldn't be congratulating him either.
  • SP29SP29 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited September 2015
    You are never required to invite anyone's children- whether the adult guests are family, friends, married or not. Children are their own guest, just like any adult. Thus, you could invite your cousin A's children, but not cousin B's children. Best to invite in circles, but you are not required to invite anyone's children in particular.

    The caveat comes to families- don't split up families. Thus, it would be rude to invite one child from a family but not the others.

    As for SO invites- you are required to invite any and all SOs by name at the time your invitations go out. If afterwards someone gets into a relationship, you are not required to invite the SO but it is a nice gesture if you can accommodate them.

    So- very nice of you to invite the GF. I would not invite her children, just stick with "Sorry we cannot accommodate any more guests" (which in truth, you probably physically can't).

    Just to add.... while it is considered rude on a guests part to ask the host to invite other people, it generally doesn't bother me if someone simply asks, "Hey, would so-and-so be able to come?". However, please don't feel guilty for not inviting this guests' GF's daughter- this is your wedding, not a family reunion or family day- your guest can bond with his GF's daughter on his own time. (Sweet yes, but don't let yourself feel guilty for not accommodating).

    I would check with your venue regarding vendors ASAP- is the max a budget/package max or room capacity max? Our vendors were included as part of our total count, as they count for max room capacity as well as for meals.
  • Pupatella said:
    Okay guys. So I just spoke to him. He confided in me that he is planning to propose to her and has started looking at rings. I'm excited for him!! They have only been dating a month, but he is an adult and can make his own decisions. 1) does your answer change if he is engaged at the time of our wedding about inviting her kids? I'm not sure when he is planning to pop the question and he doesn't know either. 2) he understood that her kids couldn't come, but asked if just her oldest daughter could come who is about 12. He wants to try and bond with the daughter. Her other children are 7, and 2 yrs. Is it an all or nothing thing when inviting kids, or should I let them bring the 12 yr old for some bonding time?
    Yikes.  I got engaged really quick, but not to someone with 3 kids.     I can't even imagine getting engaged so quick with kids in the picture.  Kids add an entirely new dynamic that can't be seen only a months into a relationship.        Okay, off my soap box.

    The only thing that would change my reply is if there is no dad in the picture (so she is the only caretaker) and/or it's her weekend with the kids.     You are not having a kid free wedding, so those points and the fact they are 4 hours away it would make me consider invited the kids.  

     Other wise no I wouldn't invite them.






    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. 
  • lyndausvi said:


    Pupatella said:

    Okay guys.

    So I just spoke to him. He confided in me that he is planning to propose to her and has started looking at rings. I'm excited for him!! They have only been dating a month, but he is an adult and can make his own decisions.

    1) does your answer change if he is engaged at the time of our wedding about inviting her kids? I'm not sure when he is planning to pop the question and he doesn't know either.

    2) he understood that her kids couldn't come, but asked if just her oldest daughter could come who is about 12. He wants to try and bond with the daughter. Her other children are 7, and 2 yrs. Is it an all or nothing thing when inviting kids, or should I let them bring the 12 yr old for some bonding time?

    Yikes.  I got engaged really quick, but not to someone with 3 kids.     I can't even imagine getting engaged so quick with kids in the picture.  Kids add an entirely new dynamic that can't be seen only a months into a relationship.        Okay, off my soap box.

    The only thing that would change my reply is if there is no dad in the picture (so she is the only caretaker) and/or it's her weekend with the kids.     You are not having a kid free wedding, so those points and the fact they are 4 hours away it would make me consider invited the kids.  

     Other wise no I wouldn't invite them.



    And even then, I'd be like oh well, meet her another time!
  • I am really curious to meet her. He is a pretty level headed guy (as far as I know). I hope he's making the right decision. But in any case, I'm glad I will at least get to meet her and see how they are together (assuming I actually have time for this).

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond!! You are correct that I do feel guilty about the situation, but I just can't accommodate him this time.

    I wasn't offended that he asked me if her kids could come. Me and him are pretty close, so he can definitely take the filter off with me. I explained the venue capacity, and how we were already at our max. (Something I wouldn't have gone into detail with if it was someone I don't have a close relationship with). I honestly wouldn't mind having her kids there if I had the space.

    The 60 max at our venue does need to include our vendors (but not the servers, bar tender, or their event manager). So that is good to know and now I am completely at capacity counting my vendors in the 60. I really hope it is not too crowded for the guests now....we are going to the reception space to walk through the set up, menu, etc. at the end of Sept so I will talk to them about how to set this up most efficiently for everyone. They do weddings pretty often, and I look at their website for new postings and have seen a few different set up options. I'm guessing this will not be the first time they have dealt with this room at max capacity.

    All this worrying for one day. Ha. But I wouldn't be worrying if it wasn't so important!!

    Anyways, thanks again for the awesome advice. You guys always come through and it is very greatly appreciated.

  • lyndausvi said:
    Pupatella said:
    Okay guys. So I just spoke to him. He confided in me that he is planning to propose to her and has started looking at rings. I'm excited for him!! They have only been dating a month, but he is an adult and can make his own decisions. 1) does your answer change if he is engaged at the time of our wedding about inviting her kids? I'm not sure when he is planning to pop the question and he doesn't know either. 2) he understood that her kids couldn't come, but asked if just her oldest daughter could come who is about 12. He wants to try and bond with the daughter. Her other children are 7, and 2 yrs. Is it an all or nothing thing when inviting kids, or should I let them bring the 12 yr old for some bonding time?
    Yikes.  I got engaged really quick, but not to someone with 3 kids.     I can't even imagine getting engaged so quick with kids in the picture.  Kids add an entirely new dynamic that can't be seen only a months into a relationship.        Okay, off my soap box.

    The only thing that would change my reply is if there is no dad in the picture (so she is the only caretaker) and/or it's her weekend with the kids.     You are not having a kid free wedding, so those points and the fact they are 4 hours away it would make me consider invited the kids.  

     Other wise no I wouldn't invite them.
    I don't think whether or not it is her time with the kids would change my answer. That would be too much to figure out with anyone with children who split custody. At some point you decide invited or not and let the person decide if they want to bring their kids regardless of if they have the kids or not that weekend. If it is her weekend with the kids and she doesn't want to go without them, she stays home, no biggie.  
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited September 2015
    Pupatella said:
    Hi,

    I want to do the right thing here. One of my guests wasn't dating anyone at the time we sent out our invites. I asked if he wanted to bring anyone that I could address the invitation to. He said no, that he was fine coming by himself since he's family, and a lot of other family will be there as well that he will be visiting with. Okay, totally fine.

    I just recently found out that he is dating someone, so I reached out to him, told him that she is absolutely invited to our wedding, and could he please let me know the spelling of her name for her escort card. He asked if her 3 kids can come as well. He didn't seem like he was demanding that her children come, just asking if they can attend.

    Our wedding is family friendly, and I am inviting children. Am I required to invite her children as well? My hesitation is that we are having a small wedding - about 50 people. I definitely don't mind his SO coming at all. But with her kids coming, that will be about 10% of our total guests. Not that I mind at all, just want to do the right thing here.

    I'm leaning towards saying yes as I don't want to start an argument, but we are already on the very top of our guest max at our venue. We are at 56 (including us). Our venue max is 60 people. So I do have just enough room for her and her three children, but not sure if our venue requires our vendors to be in the guest max as well.

    For people lurking: I only invited 50 people. Not only did we get 100% yes's, but with marriages throughout the past year, and people having kids, etc., that added 8 people (16%!!) to my total guest count. I don't feel like I did bad planning by inviting 50, when our venue holds 60. But just as a caution to people reading this, that your guest count can grow a lot more than you expect.
    To make sure this doesn't happen, you give everyone not in a relationship a plus one on paper, and that is your total count.  You don't have to actually give them a plus one, it's only for planning purposes. Also, just because someone had a baby doesn't mean you have to invite them. Obviously, this is too late for you, but it can help others in the future.

    And you never have to invite anyone's children. The only requirements are you invite everyone's SO, and you don't split up siblings if you do invite children. Just because you are inviting some children, doesn't mean you have to invite all children. We had 
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  • PupatellaPupatella member
    Combo Breaker First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited September 2015


    Pupatella said:

    Hi,

    I want to do the right thing here. One of my guests wasn't dating anyone at the time we sent out our invites. I asked if he wanted to bring anyone that I could address the invitation to. He said no, that he was fine coming by himself since he's family, and a lot of other family will be there as well that he will be visiting with. Okay, totally fine.

    I just recently found out that he is dating someone, so I reached out to him, told him that she is absolutely invited to our wedding, and could he please let me know the spelling of her name for her escort card. He asked if her 3 kids can come as well. He didn't seem like he was demanding that her children come, just asking if they can attend.

    Our wedding is family friendly, and I am inviting children. Am I required to invite her children as well? My hesitation is that we are having a small wedding - about 50 people. I definitely don't mind his SO coming at all. But with her kids coming, that will be about 10% of our total guests. Not that I mind at all, just want to do the right thing here.

    I'm leaning towards saying yes as I don't want to start an argument, but we are already on the very top of our guest max at our venue. We are at 56 (including us). Our venue max is 60 people. So I do have just enough room for her and her three children, but not sure if our venue requires our vendors to be in the guest max as well.

    For people lurking: I only invited 50 people. Not only did we get 100% yes's, but with marriages throughout the past year, and people having kids, etc., that added 8 people (16%!!) to my total guest count. I don't feel like I did bad planning by inviting 50, when our venue holds 60. But just as a caution to people reading this, that your guest count can grow a lot more than you expect.

    To make sure this doesn't happen, you give everyone not in a relationship a plus one on paper, and that is your total count.  You don't have to actually give them a plus one, it's only for planning purposes. Also, just because someone had a baby doesn't mean you have to invite them. Obviously, this is too late for you, but it can help others in the future.

    And you never have to invite anyone's children. The only requirements are you invite everyone's SO, and you don't split up siblings if you do invite children. Just because you are inviting some children, doesn't mean you have to invite all children. We had 


    ---------------------boxes-----------------------

    Just so others are aware what happened, we were told early on that some of my family from overseas were definitely not coming because of health issues (I've known about the health issues for about 2 years and knew that it was a long shot that they would come). Before I sent out the invitations they confirmed they couldn't come (I skype with them often), and they apologized but said they couldn't swing it. No big deal, and I promised to send them lots of pics afterwards.

    I talked to my FI and I originally wasn't going to invite one of my really good work friends from back home, but he said to go ahead and invite them since my uncle for sure wasn't coming. Please keep in mind I did not have a B list, and this decision was made before we sent out the invitations. Fast forward about 2 months, and my overseas family is now coming. Add 3 to the list. I can't say no to this especially since they are flying so far just for us, and I am honestly freaking ecstatic to see them!

    1 of my FIs friends recently had a kid, so we added his new son to the list (we knew about the pregnancy a month or so after the STDs went out and I don't mind them bringing their son. They are bringing their other child as well so I technically should invite all of their children). One person did not have a SO at the time we sent out invites, but does now and I am inviting her.

    And that's the story. Could I have changed things looking back? Absolutely. But honestly I'm really happy about everyone who is coming, and it makes us feel so loved that so many people want to come for our wedding.

    I spoke to my venue and having max capacity is no problem. It's 60 with the dance floor and 90 without the dance floor. They told me with 60 people in the room, it will be fine. They gave me 2 floor plan layouts to look over that work the best with the room at max capacity with the dance floor.

    I think it will work out okay. But just wanted to post what happened so hopefully it helps with others that are currently putting together their guest lists.

    Also, we are totally aware that we didn't have to invite everyone's kids, but as so many guests will need to travel from OOT for us, we made a decision early on that everyone could bring their family. We didn't want people to worry about finding a baby sitter in our area, or having to leave their kids for the entire weekend. If they choose to leave their kids at home and have a weekend to themselves, completely fine, but we left it up to them.

    As far as we know, everyone is bringing their children, but I know one of my buddies told me she put her daughter on the RSVP but her and her H may come just the two of them. I am planning on their daughter attending, but if they decide to come without her that is completely fine too. I talk to her almost everyday, so she said she'll give me the final decision before I have to submit a final payment to our venue. Either way, I am planning for max capacity.

    I truly hope this helps someone. At the end of the day, how can I complain that we have such a high RSVP rate? It makes us feel very special.

    ETA boxes

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