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Etiquette

Inviting Step children to my daughter's wedding

My daughter is engaged to be married next year.  I, her mother, am also currently engaged to a man with younger children - 6 and 9.  He is insisting that they be invited to my daughter's wedding and reception.  My daughter is having an evening wedding with no children invited.  Any suggestions as to etiquette on this would be sincerely appreciated.

Re: Inviting Step children to my daughter's wedding

  • We often tell brides that they can invite their immediate family as an exception to the no kids rule; however, she does not have to make an exception for them if she does not want to. It will be up to her, and whether he wants to go without his children will be up to him.
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
    Knottie1456788120SP29InLoveInQueensOliveOilsMom
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Are you contributing to this wedding?
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited March 2016
    Your FI isn't entitled to insist that his children be invited, unless either he or you is paying. 

    If neither of you are, then it's up to your daughter and her FI whether or not they want to make an exception to their wedding being "adults-only" for him (and accept whatever consequences come with that). Just as a warning, threatening them with "consequences" if they don't is likely to antagonize them, so I don't advise it.

    If neither of you are paying, I would tell your FI that neither you nor he is authorized to invite his children and that he will have to accept whatever decision your daughter and her FI make about whether or not his children are invited.
    Knottie1456788120ernursejInLoveInQueensOliveOilsMom
  • my daughter's father and I are - no one else

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited March 2016
    my daughter's father and I are - no one else

    Then I would tell him that your daughter and her FI have decided that the wedding is adults-only.  If he's not willing to attend without his children, then all of you need to respect that, but on the other hand, he needs to respect that his children won't be invited.

    You might also point out to him that no other children are invited, and his children might not enjoy being the only ones there of their respective ages.
    ernursej
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think it totally depends on family dynamics. Your daughter can invite your future stepchildren because they are "family" while not inviting any other children to the wedding. I think it is perfectly fine for you to talk to your daughter about this without being demanding. Even if you weren't paying for part of the wedding I would think that. Again it depends on your relationship with your daughter and FSIL.
    OurWildKingdomJeeGooDowstershort+sassy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    monkeysip said:
    I think it totally depends on family dynamics. Your daughter can invite your future stepchildren because they are "family" while not inviting any other children to the wedding. I think it is perfectly fine for you to talk to your daughter about this without being demanding. Even if you weren't paying for part of the wedding I would think that. Again it depends on your relationship with your daughter and FSIL.
    Agreed with the above.  You can talk to her about it, but you can't demand it.  Depending on how she feels about the mom's FI, the daughter might be happy to accommodate them if she knew how important it was to FI.  OR she may value having the adults only wedding more, which is perfectly fine too.  Worth a conversation, but don't pressure her or make her feel like you're going to be upset.
    OP, have you already talked to your daughter and FI about this?
  • To add to my post - ditto the others.

    What's your FI's actual stance.   Is he actually making a real demand of this?   What is your daughter's relationship with these kids?   
    holyguacamole79
  • I think it would be fair to ask your daughter once if she would be willing to make an exception for your FI's children, but I wouldn't advise pushing the issue if her and her husband say no. We had a very similar situation during our wedding and when all was said and done there was a lot of resentment and drama that could have been avoided.
    Knottie1456788120
  • I think in the interest of joining two families, it would be kind, loving and gracious to invite your fiancé's children.  If your daughter is opposed to this, I find that very sad. In the long run, it might be the right thing to do.
    [Deleted User]short+sassy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think in the interest of joining two families, it would be kind, loving and gracious to invite your fiancé's children.  If your daughter is opposed to this, I find that very sad. In the long run, it might be the right thing to do.
    While I agree that it would be kind, loving, and gracious of the OP's daughter to invite her mother's FI's other children, I don't think it's "sad" to not want to invite children - not even one's mother's FI's other children - if the wedding is meant to be adults-only.  It could even be the wrong thing to do if the children are the only ones there with no activities or other kids of their age there.

    That's why sometimes "making exceptions" isn't a good idea.
    InLoveInQueenslizybeff
  • I think in the interest of joining two families, it would be kind, loving and gracious to invite your fiancé's children.  If your daughter is opposed to this, I find that very sad. In the long run, it might be the right thing to do.

    I tend to agree with this I know many wont... But they will be her step siblings and young so chances are they will look up to her...  She is well within her rights to say no to them. I'd look more into the aftermath and the hurt feelings. Do you believe it will cause issues between you and your FI? Also you said only you and her father are paying..  It's a little different yes since you aren't married but your FI might be reacting badly to you because you are now spending money that he is not being included on rather it's yours his or joint.. Finances always become tricky when joining two households.  Hopefully you have a clear cut line of who is paying for what within your own household otherwise he may be feeling like he is helping to pay for the wedding.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think in the interest of joining two families, it would be kind, loving and gracious to invite your fiancé's children.  If your daughter is opposed to this, I find that very sad. In the long run, it might be the right thing to do.

    I tend to agree with this I know many wont... But they will be her step siblings and young so chances are they will look up to her...  She is well within her rights to say no to them. I'd look more into the aftermath and the hurt feelings. Do you believe it will cause issues between you and your FI? Also you said only you and her father are paying..  It's a little different yes since you aren't married but your FI might be reacting badly to you because you are now spending money that he is not being included on rather it's yours his or joint.. Finances always become tricky when joining two households.  Hopefully you have a clear cut line of who is paying for what within your own household otherwise he may be feeling like he is helping to pay for the wedding.
    The OP's FI isn't paying for the wedding.
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think in the interest of joining two families, it would be kind, loving and gracious to invite your fiancé's children.  If your daughter is opposed to this, I find that very sad. In the long run, it might be the right thing to do.
    The thing is, the question is around the future stepsiblings of the OP's daughter.  The wedding is the joining of OP's daughter and her FI.  Depending on the family dynamics, the OPs daughter & the OP's FI's children may not become much of a family.  The OP's daughter is an adult about to marry and start her own family.  

    When my grandfather remarried, my dad & his siblings didn't really get to know my step-grandmother's children.  It wasn't anything rude or bad; they just didn't have much of a reason to become family.  
    [Deleted User]lnixon8monkeysip
  • Jen4948 said:
    I think in the interest of joining two families, it would be kind, loving and gracious to invite your fiancé's children.  If your daughter is opposed to this, I find that very sad. In the long run, it might be the right thing to do.

    I tend to agree with this I know many wont... But they will be her step siblings and young so chances are they will look up to her...  She is well within her rights to say no to them. I'd look more into the aftermath and the hurt feelings. Do you believe it will cause issues between you and your FI? Also you said only you and her father are paying..  It's a little different yes since you aren't married but your FI might be reacting badly to you because you are now spending money that he is not being included on rather it's yours his or joint.. Finances always become tricky when joining two households.  Hopefully you have a clear cut line of who is paying for what within your own household otherwise he may be feeling like he is helping to pay for the wedding.
    The OP's FI isn't paying for the wedding.
    I think the point she's making (though it's hard to follow exactly) is that the OP is marrying her FI, and that implicates some joint financial decisions. So if they will be married before OP's daughter's wedding or if they share finances now (as I do with my FI), it may be like they are spending their money on OP's daughter's wedding, and thus he should have a say, as well. Not saying whether any of that is true or right, just that I think that's what she was saying. And it's not an altogether bad point.

    I do agree about the whole inviting your step-siblings thing. I get that etiquette does not require OP's daughter to invite them, but it would be a nice gesture. I also don't think kids need specific activities at weddings. I've been to plenty of weddings with kids, and they do what the adults do - i.e., eat and dance. No coloring books required. Though if they do need entertainment, OP and her FI are welcome to bring whatever coloring books or activities they'd like.

    Again, I know it's not strictly required for OP's daughter, but I feel like there are often exceptions made for immediate family (like we're having a child-free wedding due to budget constraints, but my brother and his wife are welcome to bring their infant because they're immediate family), so it's not that crazy.
    [Deleted User]MyNameIsNot
  • These are young kids. Even though it will eventually be their step sister its not like they will be living together and right now they are not family. I went to a wedding when I was 9 and remember nothing but being bored. 6 year old won't remember. If the kids was actually close to the bride they would be invited.

    There were also family weddings where I wasn't invited even when I was in high school- I wasn't hurt. Unless OP's fiance puts the idea into the kids heads to be upset, they won't be either.


  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited March 2016
    nerdwife said:
    Jen4948 said:
    I think in the interest of joining two families, it would be kind, loving and gracious to invite your fiancé's children.  If your daughter is opposed to this, I find that very sad. In the long run, it might be the right thing to do.

    I tend to agree with this I know many wont... But they will be her step siblings and young so chances are they will look up to her...  She is well within her rights to say no to them. I'd look more into the aftermath and the hurt feelings. Do you believe it will cause issues between you and your FI? Also you said only you and her father are paying..  It's a little different yes since you aren't married but your FI might be reacting badly to you because you are now spending money that he is not being included on rather it's yours his or joint.. Finances always become tricky when joining two households.  Hopefully you have a clear cut line of who is paying for what within your own household otherwise he may be feeling like he is helping to pay for the wedding.
    The OP's FI isn't paying for the wedding.
    I think the point she's making (though it's hard to follow exactly) is that the OP is marrying her FI, and that implicates some joint financial decisions. So if they will be married before OP's daughter's wedding or if they share finances now (as I do with my FI), it may be like they are spending their money on OP's daughter's wedding, and thus he should have a say, as well. Not saying whether any of that is true or right, just that I think that's what she was saying. And it's not an altogether bad point.

    I do agree about the whole inviting your step-siblings thing. I get that etiquette does not require OP's daughter to invite them, but it would be a nice gesture. I also don't think kids need specific activities at weddings. I've been to plenty of weddings with kids, and they do what the adults do - i.e., eat and dance. No coloring books required. Though if they do need entertainment, OP and her FI are welcome to bring whatever coloring books or activities they'd like.

    Again, I know it's not strictly required for OP's daughter, but I feel like there are often exceptions made for immediate family (like we're having a child-free wedding due to budget constraints, but my brother and his wife are welcome to bring their infant because they're immediate family), so it's not that crazy.
    We don't know whether the OP is marrying before or after her daughter or what her financial situation vis-a-vis her own FI.

    If he's not contributing, even indirectly, and they're not sharing finances, then while I agree that it would be a kind gesture for the daughter to invite her step-siblings-to-be, her mother's FI does not get a say in her wedding.

    Ultimately, he has to accept her decision, whatever that might be, just as they have to accept it if he chooses not to attend because of it.

    But as a PP noted, for the OP to pull strings, and/or for her and her FI to exert any pressure on the daughter to invite his children, would be counterproductive. And it's not likely that his children vwould enjoy being the only children there. Also, since it's an evening wedding, it will probably run past their bedtime.
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