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The Bride's Guide Blog

Etiquette: Tell Parents Directly That Kids Aren't Invited

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When a couple decide not to invite children to their wedding (or decide to invite only some of them), they can head off drama (and kids) by getting the word out, informally, before the invitations are sent.

I used to suggest that they call the family matriarchs and ask them to spread the word -- partly to borrow their authority, and partly because sometimes Grandma is the one who cares.

But I have to change that advice. Lately, I've run into several people who were offended at not being given that news directly, from the bride herself. They felt "fobbed off" and maybe even a bit manipulated. It felt dismissive and impersonal.

I still think you should include the matriarchs in the phone calls, but now I'd say, go first to the parents of the children you won't be inviting. Tell them you're having to make some difficult decisions about your guest list, and that you won't be inviting any children to the event (or will be inviting only those kids most closely connected to you, if that's your decision).

Say you're sorry not to be able to include their children (compliment the kids, if you can -- that always makes parents feel better), and that you're calling early to give them as much notice as they can to find a sitter. And then also say, "We'll certainly understand if you aren't able to attend, but we're hoping that you'll recognize our situation and share the day with us."

Will you have to make phone calls like this -- or have you done so already? How are you alerting people to the restrictions on your guest list?

Comments (50)

  • When we got married we put in as a side note in the invitation for the reception. We asked that no children be brought to the reception but they were more than welcome at the actual ceremony itself. We only had one mother who took offense to the situation. It ended up that neither she nor her child attended either event... but for the rest ...the mothers were happy to "get time away" from their kids and have a little fun!

  • [...] families’ children at both our wedding ceremony and reception, so we won’t have to worry about how to deliver the news to invitees that are parents.  I’ve never really understood not inviting kids to weddings, but I guess everyone has their [...]

  • We had a very small wedding and were bullied when we explained to the all of the parents that only one child was attending. The bullies were actual members of our family, and our friends had no problem keeping the kids at home. Once it came time to the wedding we had one family member bring their 4 kids and were promptly told by the wedding planner that we did not have room. The mom left and took her present with her.

  • If your wedding is in a hotel, and you can afford to hire a sitter and buy some pizza, you can have a separate kids' event in a hotel bedroom. Get one of the moms to help you plan. Send the kids their own invitations to their event. Make a token appearance.

  • Yes Martha, I like the idea of letting folks know up front. This way I know right off the bat to RSVP in the negative. If my kids aren't invited to an event celebrating the birth of a FAMILY, then the best thing that I can do for this couple is bring up significance of this irony in my RSVP. I have never been invited to a wedding that didn't invite children.

  • Wow! Way to make a couple's special day all about you and your kids! I like the idea about having the kids' event separate; that way you can have a ceremony without screaming babies, and avoid histrionics from "overly" mothers who are SO offended that you don't want their child potentially disrupting your wedding.

  • In our family, the tradition is that a wedding is a family event and that children are valued and important members of our family.

    However, no one would want an infant screaming during the ceremony and 2 year olds don't really enjoy a long dinner at the reception. Children also sometimes aren't up to the long hours involved. And parents enjoy some adult time, too.

    We've had several weddings lately where we have had a kids room, where there is a hired babysitter or two, food, toys, and some playpens. We've arranged these rooms at the wedding/reception site, so parents can let the kids be babysat during the portions of the day/evening that best suit them, bring their beautiful 3-year old out for a little dancing and fun, and then take them back to the kids room when they are getting a bit overwhelmed from the noise and activity, before the kids turn into monsters. Grandma and Great-Aunt Louise can stop by the room and enjoy the kids for 10 minutes and return to the festivities. If the mother of the bride is especially nervous about children's noise during the ceremony, the word gets passed around that it would be best to put the kids into the kid's room at that point. Everyone really has enjoyed this approach.

  • Our dilemma was a family of 4 who replied for 5 people and didn't explain who the extra person was! At the reception we were told the father had to work and the teenage daughter had ended her relationship with her boyfriend (mystery guest) and he would not be attending. We paid for 5 dinners and only 3 people appeared. No apology was offered. Another family member asked if their teenage sons could bring their dates. I agreed, to keep the peace, and said I wouldn't want the sons to be bored. Reply was they would not have attended without their dates. These are close family members who should have some idea of the expense involved - this was a wedding not the HS prom.

  • It is your wedding, do as you must. But yes, you absolutely have to let the parents know that the children aren't invited. It should be on the invite.

    That being said, good luck. I find it very distasteful to exclude children. Like they are second class citizens or something. Every single mother knows that when her infant starts screaming during a ceremony, they need to take the child outside. You really think she is just going to let her child scream in a church in the middle of your vows...come on. And if this is about cost, than the guest list should be cut. If your sister has 4 kids and you can't afford it, that means aunt edna gets cut. Closest family members (yes, that includes children!) come first.

    And I'm sure there are plenty of parents that wouldn't mind a night out without their children. However, this is a personal decision and none of your business. Etiquette speaking, you have two choices. Include the kids or set up another room for them where they can be seen, not heard. You can argue all you want about how this is your big day and yadda yadda...and you can do what you want. But don't expect people to think it's ok or not rude. It's absolutely rude.

  • I think it's fine for the bride and groom to ask people not to bring their kids. I was a bridesmaid at one wedding where the bride's niece wouldn't stop crying. The bride's sister ended up missing the whole entire ceremony because she took her kid outside. I could see the sister watching the ceremony on mute through the window. Kind of sad. And quite honestly, most kids will be bored sitting through a formal dinner. They start fussing. I personally hate not being able to hold a conversation with someone because they have to attend to a fussy child. What's the point of sitting together to socialize if you're interrupted every 5 to 10 minutes?

  • I recently had a wedding reception. No kids were invited. Period and end of story. I hate to tell some of you this but not everyone thinks your kids are adorable little angels. In fact, most of the time, you are the only one that does. This was MY day and I beleive any bride should have the reception she wants. There are many reasons not to invite kids. You can either honor the decision made or stay home.
    @jess...you would not beleive how many mothers WILL sit there and disrupt a service.

  • I think it is also important to remeber that some facilites charge full price or near full price for children also. My fiance has a large family and inviting everyone's three or four children would make the price even more astronomical. People need to remember that it's not always that we don't want children there, it's that we may not be able to afford it!

  • Wow, what ever happened to, "it's the brides day"? The bride and groom should at the very least let everyone know in the invitation, which is usually sent out months in advance, which should give everyone time to find a baby sitter. If the bride and groom should give everyone an informal heads up, great if not, sorry, still don't bring the kids. It's not about the "family" and the kids, it's about the Bride and Groom. We didn't have any kids and everyone was good with it and we had a blast! No screaming kids.....yeah! And yes, I am a dad now and would respect the wishes of the next couple.

  • Wow, can't believe how many of you think that the cousins' kids deserve some special treatment over the bride and groom! I'm a mom of two whose invites said "Adult Reception". We called every one with kids and told them that we were sorry we couldn't afford to invite the kids (we paid for everything), and we hoped that they could find a way to be there. I see no reason to be offended because the adults want to have an adult party for the start of their adult life together. TBH, I also don't mind if kids are selectively invited, either. Some kids can appreciate a wedding, some can't. I admit, I do like the idea of a kids' room with a hired sitter. Seems like a decent compromise if it doesn't get too expensive.

  • Not everyone likes children or thinks children are as cute as the parents think! Children have short attention spans and most don't want to sit through a ceremony. And yes, parents DO allow their children to sit there and fuss during a ceremony! Then during the reception they keep interrupting the parent with, "Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom...When are we going to go?" Running around touching candles, flowers... no thanks.

  • To Laura,

    I don't think it comes as a shocker that not everyone likes children. Which it also shouldn't come as a shocker that some people may not like you. But should you not be invited? And I still see the issue of cost coming up. I don't see how this is an issue. You invite the closest members of your family first. Then you begin to expand. When it gets to the point that you can't afford it, you stop. No one is going to say that Uncle Joe's wife is not invited because of the cost are they?? Kids are still people...even if you are like Laura and don't like them. That's not even the point.

    And one last note about this being only for the bride and groom. Ahem, you invited all these people to share in your new life together. You are saying "Please, family and friends, celebrate our committment to each other" But don't think we meant CHILDREN in that family and friends part? If this was only about the bride and groom you would just send out a post card saying you got married and an address to send the gift to. Though it does seem to be getting to that point...

  • To all the people who are "children are part of the family, should be invited, weddings are about the new family they're forming", do you consider that the kids would probably rather stay in their comfortable, familiar home, having fun with a babysitter? Somehow I doubt that they'll be traumatized and have to see a therapist about not being at their aunt and uncle's wedding when they were 5.

  • Seems to me that the person who pays should decide who gets invited.

  • Wow, I love all the people who say the kids are people too and deserve to be invited. I was married 5 months ago and didn't invite children. End of story. My husband and I don't like them and shouldn't be forced to ask my parents to pay $89 for a kid to complain about how they don't like lobster or filet mignon (a kids menu and reduced price meals were not an option).
    We made it clear to all those invited with children they were not welcome for many reasons, finances included, and I had 5 out of 6 couples whose children were not invited thank me during or after the wedding for giving them a reason to have a long, romantic weekend away from the kids.
    If you don't like that the bride and groom don't want your 'darling cherubs' at their event, don't go and don't send a gift. Believe me, the happy couple won't miss your company.

  • The problem with "adults only" weddings and other events is that the bride, groom, or someone in the family then gets irritated when so-and-so cannot attend because they choose not to leave their children or are unable to make other arrangements, along with the fact that if the children are your family members, they should be invited. I have run into this problem a couple of times as I choose to only use family members for childcare and of course, they were at the event, so my husband and I stayed home and are still hearing about it to this day. Weddings are a celebration of family and should be treated as such. And selective inviting of children? I cannot even imagine suggesting this to anyone. Thankfully the events that have been "adults only" were extended family and my immediate family all believe in family celebrations. I love the children's room ideas though and we have used them. I had older teenage members of the family or close friends as the "babysitters" and they had movies, video games, and plenty of breaks, allowing for everyone to have fun and the parents to put their kids down for bed or to relax as they saw fit. It also gave a space for those who were breast feeding to do so a little less publicly (we were in a hotel ballroom), including myself. If you don't like children that is a personal issue, but remember that those same children will be involved in other family events and you will have to engage with them eventually. Kids should not know that "Aunt Jane" doesn't like them. Other wise, marry into a child-free environment and live in a child-free bubble, but stop trying to put your stuff off on those of us who choose to have children and expect them to be treated as part of a family.

  • As a mother of 6 kids, 21 to 9 y/o I have to agree that not everyone believes that children are the be all end all of the world. I would not have any problem with a couple who excluded children. They are my children and mean the world to me but not to everyone else. It is the couples' day to celebrate as they wish, not everyone elses to dictate.

  • It is YOUR wedding. You get to deceide who to invite. You are getting married and starting your family, it is time to look at you needs as a couple and start getting practice at making them a priority.Parents who expect you to change all your plans to accomidate them are being too demanding. The idea of a seperate childrens party is awful. Just what the bride and groom need, another set of details to plan and pay for. Are guests going to rotate out of the reception to provide supervision?

  • Wow!!! I can't believe how selfish some of these comments are. It is the BRIDE and GROOM's day, no one elses. If they don't want kids, that is their choice. I doesn't matter the reason, although I can think of plenty reasons why I wouldn't want your brat at my wedding.
    And if the people with kids don't want to come because their child is not invited, then it's their loss.

  • I'll invite anyone who will be the "core" of our new family. Sometimes, little kids will be in that core, and if that's the case I'll invite them to a no-kids wedding.

    If someone asks me why a kid is invited to a no kids wedding? I'll say "I don't see any children, where? Why, are you talking about this young man, or young lady?"

    I'm pretty sure that by standing up for them that will make them act even stronger and strive for greatness. If a wedding is going to build on something, let's start that that very day.

  • It is very interesting reading all of these posts. I think the main difference in opinions stems from the fact that in different parts of the country there are different norms when it comes to inviting children to weddings. I am a recent bride and living in New York City this issue was not even a topic of discussion between my husband and me. Everyone was welcome to our ceremony (Catholic Nuptial Mass), but the only children present were my two first-cousins, ages 9 and 11, and they are not even small children. They did not even stay for the whole reception, as it was too long for them and they went home with a sitter. Seeing that my aunt and uncle live in Florida, and were coming up for my wedding, I gave them the choice of whether they wanted to bring my cousins or leave them with their grandparents in Florida. Of course I wanted them there with us, but financially, I left the decision to their parents.

    This being said, it is not even a question among our families and circle of friends about whether or not children should be present. We had over 300 guests at our wedding, and not one couple asked about whether or not their children should/could/would be attending. I happen to love children, but in my opinion (and the opinions of those close to us) children, unless close family members, are not invited. And if the guests do not understand or respect the wishes of the bride and groom, then they should seriously consider staying home as well. Each bride and groom needs to decide what is best for them when it comes to their wedding and guest list, and no one has the right to question, debate, or comment on it. Be happy for the couple getting married, regardless of whether or not your child is invited.

  • A possible compromise, in our area it is common to have a cake and punch reception at the church immediately after the wedding for members of the congregation who wish to attend, older folks, children, etc., then to have an invitation only reception later in the evening.

    This allows for cost savings and accomodation of everyone.

  • I think people are really taking the "your" day to extreme. I thought the post about being selfish was very funny. Parents are selfish because they expect the word "family" to include their children. But it's not selfish that a bride wants to exclude important members of the family (potentially her nieces and nephews!) because it's HER day.

    When the "your" day argument started getting popular, it was in reference to mother in laws that wanted to choose the brides colors, flowers, cakes etc. It didn't mean that this is "your" day so you can be a little brat and do whatever you want regardless of simple courtesy, respect and etiquette.

    This also isn't your day to announce how much you hate children and think they are brats...like someone above said. No one cares what you think about children. It has absolutely nothing to do with the argument. I'm not particularly fond of my sister in law, but I'm not going to exclude her from a wedding. Unless there was some seriously deep rooted problems...which I don't think you can have that issue with children.

    Bottom line, you are paying for it so you can do what you want. But as I said before, you can't claim that the behavior isn't rude. It's rude, selfish and inappropriate. Let's not mistake your ability to do something as mainstream acceptance.

  • My fiance and I will be getting married in April and we have decided against inviting children. We are both 40 and have had the big weddings in the past where everyone in the family "must" be invited. The wedding is on the beach on one family member (the grooms sister)has six children three of of which are toddlers. I don't see them standing patiently on the beach while we exchange vows. We have attended family events where people would move from room to room to avoid the children who run wild and the mother who does nothing but scream at them. Not on my wedding day! It is about the bride and groom, and about who is paying for the wedding. We both have friends who are closer to us than family and that is who we invited. If you are the type of mother who doesn't attend a wedding because your little ones aren't invited I doubt you or your gift were missed.

  • There were few children at our wedding. Guests who had to travel to attend were able to bring theirs (and some even chose to leave them with grandparents). The only guest who (I think) took issue with our not inviting her one year-old son changed her RSVP to a regret the week of the wedding. Assuming your guests will or won't want to bring their children is foolish. Be an adult, and ask if you think there's going to be an issue. It might save a friendship.

  • Jess, though doth protest too much me thinks. There are all sorts of age appropriate places and events in life, get over it. I would not take my young grand children to loud rock concerts, expensive restaurants where couples go for romantic dinners, adult movies, evening parties, etc etc. It is always the parents who overindulge and spoil their kids who want to drag their annoying, loud brats everywhere and have everyone treat them as though they were little adults (which they never act like, of course). I have had more romantic dinners, great movies and parties ruined by these pseudo parents and their spawn. You can't do over a wedding or a reception that has been ruined by bratty kids who don't want to be there either.

  • I really do think this is regional. In NY, kids are just not expected to come to formal receptions. I love kids (I have a toddler and one on the way!) but it just wasn't even a thought that we'd have young children at my reception when I got married. It went from 8 pm to 1 in the morning (we had an after party) with seating at 180 bucks a head. I addressed the invites to Mr. and Mrs. So and So and no one was confused about bringing their child or upset they weren't invited. Young adults received their own invites. The only kids that were there were in my wedding party and they went home around 9 pm with a sitter. Personally, I think it's odd when parents keep their kids up late to go to the movies, out to eat, and especially a wedding where there is going to be alcohol and music (bands and djs are always a bit too loud for little ones). I don't think black tie parties or formal night time events are for young children. It's not fair to them or the other guests. Low key weddings during the day are fine for kids but even then it should be the left to the discretion of the bride if she wants kids at the reception.

  • As a mother of a very active 2-year-old, I would completely understand a bride's decision to not invite children. Personally, I wouldn't even dream of taking my son to a wedding (with the exception of my sister's wedding or the wedding of one of my husband's siblings).

  • I have never been married, am not a parent and don't expect to be but BOY have I been a guest at a lot of weddings! There are often lots of babies at the weddings I've gone to which are generally non-traditional and not wildly expensive. I was seriously annoyed with some parents at the last wedding. Another single gal friend and I shelled out for a hotel room away from the wedding site so we'd be able to go to sleep at a decent hour and get up early the next morning to catch planes. Friends of ours with a 14-month-old had not reserved a hotel room and planned to "camp" at the wedding site for the night. They stayed at the reception dancing and drinking (with the baby) much later than we did and then showed up at my hotel room begging to crash with their screaming child because - surprise! - staying up till 2am and camping don't work with a 14-month-old. I grit my teeth and let them stay in our room but I sure didn't get much sleep or feel like getting up in the morning. This was not only extremely rude, it must have been very hard on the baby. News flash - if you have a baby you either need to get a sitter, or go home early. That's the sacrifice you make when you have a kid.

  • What's the problem with not inviting certain people (including children) because you either don't like them, don't know them well enough to justify buying them dinner, or don't trust them to behave in a way that wouldn't be disruptive? DF and I have plenty of adult relatives who won't be invited on those grounds.

    I also don't see why you can't invite some kids and not others. DF has something like 100 first cousins, and is only close to a few of them. Should we not invite the handful he's close to, just because we're not willing to invite all 300 or so cousins, spouses, and children?

    What's wrong with inviting only those people (children or adult) who are a part of your life? If someone wants to invite her best friends' kids who she's known since birth, but not her cousins' kids who she's never met, I don't see why that's wrong. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't invite an adult relative I'd never met before, either.

  • It is important to do 2 things...

    1. Respect the wishes of the bride and groom

    2. For the bride and groom to 1) respect the decision of some guests who decline, and 2) understand that in many cases suitable childcare arrangements can't be made and this has nothing to do with how much the couple value and treasure their relationship with the bride and groom.

  • Wedding receptions are the only type of party I can think of for which guests think they can tell the hosts whom to invite. That's all a wedding reception is, folks: a big, fancy, expensive party that celebrates a marriage. The only people who have the right to decide who is on the guest list are the hosts. Of course, the hosts shouldn't get bent out of shape if the invitees send their regrets...perhaps because they don't wish to attend a party to which their children aren't invited. Why should anyone be offended by this situation?

  • It's your wedding. Not theirs. You and your spouse are the star of the show. It's your show, your expense, your day. What you want, goes. How is this a difficult concept? If you don't want to invite children, don't. If you don't want to invite anyone for any reason, don't. It's not rude. You're not obligated to invite anyone you don't want to, and going to a wedding isn't a right for anyone in a family. It's a privilege. Screaming babies, sullen teenagers, drunk aunts - if the couple doesn't want you there, you won't be there. Don't let anyone dictate your day to you. Too many couples get steamrolled by everyone else's expectations. This isn't fair to them.
    My point? You don't want kids there, don't feel obligated to have them. If someone doesn't want to come because their kids can't, that's not your problem.

  • When did it become impossible for parents to find babysitters? I didn't feel abandoned by my mom because she left the house without me. Thinking back, those nights with the sitter were a blast! Certainly much more fun than I would have had at a wedding which is mostly adults. A wedding is about two people - the bride and groom - and if they don't want kids at their party then that's their choice. It's ok to have child-free places. They need to learn at an early age that they're not going to be included in everything and that adults get to do things that kids don't. The sense of entitlement that so many teenagers seem to have came from somewhere and I'm going to go out on a limb and say it started with parents who believed that their perfect children had the right to participate in everything whether they belonged there or not. Remember when kids tried out for sports and got cut if they weren't good enough? That was a good thing - it built character. So your kids cry for 10 minutes when you walk out the door for the night? That's a good thing. Next time it will be 5 minutes and soon they won't notice you're leaving. And remember, the kids who can't stand to be away from their parents for an evening are the ones who move home after college and live in your basement! If you think it's rude that your little ones aren't invited to a wedding then you're probably more in need of an adults only evening than anyone else!

  • We had 250 guests at our wedding, and 75 were children - it was a glorious event. The kids had their own area at the reception (tablecloth picnics with food carts so they could choose their own meal) while the adults sat nearby at tables with a catered meal. The occasionally needy toddler came over to visit their parent, but mostly, the kids had a great time and didn't interrupt any adult conversation. We had a "parade" where everyone walked from the ceremony to the reception and we passed out paper parasols and ribbon streamers to the kids as they left the church. It was the most adorable thing ever. I've been to lots of adults-only weddings, and I think the ones with lots of kids are much warmer and more memorable!

  • I have no problem with "no-kids" weddings. I'm a mother of 2 but I completely understand that due to finances or whatever reason, some people choose not to have children at their wedding. It's their day and they are free to invite whomever they choose.

    What I do have a problem with are people who then bring their children ANYWAY, and expect special arrangements to be made after specifically being told "no kids." My cousin recently married, and he and his bride requested "no kids." My cousin's brother and his girlfriend brought their one year old son anyway (and really, you can't tell me a that a year old baby enjoys a wedding or even knows what is going on), then expected everyone to scramble around finding high chairs, extra place settings, etc. That, to me, was the height of rudeness.

  • I think that any parent who can't bear to be without their children for a few hours to attend a wedding, should probably skip the wedding and spend the few hours on a psychiatrist's couch. What is the thinking here? Children can be very disruptive, and especially in these times, where so few parents can control their children, what bride/groom in their right minds would want to take a chance of their wedding being disrupted? If the bride and groom are having an adult reception, clearly the venue is not appropriate for children. These people need to cut the cord!

  • I have a very good friend who is a professional wedding planner and her advice (my FH and I are not too fond of small children) was to say on the invitation, no children please. She said it was perfectly acceptable. One of the groomsmen has a mildly boistrous toddler. I highly doubt he wants to bring his little boy to our wedding, because he knows how it will end up. I have many friends who would be happy to leave their little ones at home just for a night away.

    I, like many others posting here, see no problem with POLITELY excluding children. FH teenage sister is invited. My teenage cousins are invited. My teenage and tween half nieces and nephews are not. Mainly for the fact that I know my siblings can't afford to bring them and they know that we can't afford to feed them. (Bottomless pits, ya'll know how growing boys are. Eat enough for 3 people.)

    I guess it's just all a matter of perspective. You do what you want. I just don't see why everyone is making a HUGE fuss over it.

    You may think I'm some selfish, horrible person for leaving out my half siblings kids. But that's your opinion. It's not that I don't see kids as un-equal, I see them as just plain not wanting to be there. "aunt so-n-so is getting married...whoopie. MOM! Can I stay home? That's fine! It's an adult party anyways."

    A few years ago, a long time family friend was getting remarried after her previous husband passed away. I grew up with her son and daughters. NONE of the neighborhood "kids" were invited and we're all now in our late 20s. My mom was kind of confused that my name was not on the invite, but when she got there, young or old, no kids were there. Oh well.

    Done ranting.

  • Our wedding planner Robbin Montero told us if we were to decide to allow kids, request that a separate area at the ceremony be available for families with kids to observe services without disturbing others. At the reception, prepare a kids’ table with crayons, books, favors (no noisemakers) and pizza, chicken nuggets, or spaghetti. Or consider hiring a nanny in a separate room with a clown, magician, puppeteer, games, or videos.

  • We hired 2 babysitters (teachers) for the reception and the kids (and parents) got a ride in the limo to our home. They played board games and had pizza and BBQ the kids had a blast" the babysitters knew all the childrens ages and brought appropriate games etc. The kids spent the night at our home with one of the babsitters AWESOME plan right? it was great ....except my boss showed up with her 8 yr old grand daughter NOT her daughter as planned.
    parents asked me why their kids couldn't come? I just said this little girl was NOT invited...nobody
    blamed us but I felt terrible

  • Not all moms know to leave when the child starts screaming. Most people think their child is less annoying than everyone else's. I don't see how having a separate room for the kids is including them in the festivities? I feel the bride and groom should have the wedding they want and not be pressured to please everyone but themselves.

  • I don't understand what is so hard to understand about the fact that the names of people who are invited should appear on the envelope. That means if a bride and groom choose to invite children, the names of the children should appear somewhere on the outer or inner envelope. No children's names=no invitation for children to attend. It's not rocket science, and sometimes I feel like people know this, they just want to see if the bride and groom will say anything.

  • That some women on here are actually offended brides might not want to include their little ones is a sick reality. In a world where women have fought hard for the right to choose our own destinies -- including the right to not have children -- I think it only fair to not only lose the "that offends me attitude" towards brides who don't want to bother with screams, poop, sticky fingers or even "misdirected" attention, but also to support and wish well the bride, whatever side of the children line she comes down on.

  • Wow, I can't believe how offended people get about having a no-kids wedding reception! Seriously, calm down. Those are the kinds of people that think a wedding is all about them --- trust me, it's not!

    I'm getting married in May and the only kiddos that will be there are my fiancé's nieces and nephews. Just because other kids aren't invited doesn't mean I don't value them or don't want them a part of my life as one commenter said. It means the reception space doesn't have enough room for a bunch of kids who likely will eat hardly anything of the expensive meal, get bored during the ceremony and force their parents (some of whom I only get to see at family occasions like this) to leave early.

    What's wrong with attending an event without your kids? Do you have to bring them everywhere with you?

  • It's the happy couple's day. If they do not want to invite children, it's their business, no matter whether it's due to cost, not wanting their special day ruined by misbehaving children, hating children, wanting to drink themselves under the table--the reason doesn't matter, it's their big event. Parents should not bring uninvited children, beg for invites for uninvited children, whine, complain, or otherwise inflict their children upon the wedding or inflict the wedding upon their children.

    However, brides and grooms who do not invite children should accept with understanding and good graces that not everyone with children will find a babysitter, or even want to leave their children with a babysitter. The happy couple should also be upfront and truthful with all family members about not inviting children.

    A sibling held their wedding thousands of miles away, and sent us an invite only for the two adults, not the children. We RSVP'd timely and properly for 1 attending and 1 declining, sent a $500 gift, and spent $3,000 for one spouse to attend the wedding. We did not once beg nor ask for our children to be included. We did not complain or whine, either, as we knew that the sibling's future spouse does not like children and that was the couple's wishes for their big day. Our regular babysitters don't do overnight sitting at all, and we were not going to leave the children with strangers for a three day trip thousands of miles away. Then we received angry phone calls and letters from our mother/mother-in-law because sibling whined and complained to her that only one of us was coming to the wedding. Mother/mother-in-law didn't know our children were not invited. She expected to see her grandchildren and was "very disappointed" with us, and the sibling blamed it on the spouse staying home with the children. We explained that our children were not included in the invitation, but she insisted that it was just a mistake and went to the sibling over it. It wasn't a mistake, and sibling finally told mother/mother-in-law the truth. We didn't appreciate all of the grief we received over this mess the sibling created by not being upfront and truthful about the invitations with mother/mother-in-law.

  • I'm planning a wedding myself and was considering if we should allow kids at our reception and ceremony. After intense thinking we decided not to have kids invited. Even though I love kids and would love to have 3 or more myself, it just comes to the point of how unreasonable it would be. For one, I understand they are a part of my family, and I have a nephew that I love to death and would do anything for except inviting him to a wedding. There's nothing for a kid to do at a wedding. There's just alcohol and grown people trying to party. Kids don't even understand the concept or completely understand whats going on except their cousin has a pretty dress on. Another factor is if your like me who have a few family of cousins who have 3 or more children, when you add up all the kids it becomes to be over 30 people FROM JUST THE KIDS! Ultimately we decided to just have aunts,uncles,first cousins, and close friends to be invited to our wedding but still NO CHILDREN (A more romantic,intimate adult theme). The babysitting idea is nice, but it all comes down to, why am i paying for you to come to my wedding? Plus babysitting becomes expensive depending on how long your reception is. Having kids can boost the cost of your food, venue,decorations, EVERYTHING. Not to mention if certain items becomes broken.
    I also dont think its rude to not invite a child. There's wrong with it at all. For me, If I have a guest who says that, I don't think it's because they feel it's a wedding and children are family too and blah blah, I see it as it's cheaper for the guest to bring their kid (free food and activities) then finding someone to babysit their child themselves. Once again, I love children and want many of my own as well as understanding they are part of the family. However, for me there are two places I don't think a child need to be invited to: Wedding and Funerals.Children are for FAMILY reunions, birthday parties, etc. Not their cousins wedding
    Trust me, my nephew would be just fine and dandy staying at his father's grandma house watching tv and playing video games.

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