Author Topic: S/o Not inviting kids to the wedding -- Excluding some, including others  (Read 3757 times)

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SoCalVal

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Fortunately, I don't have any kids so this doesn't apply to me.  Further, DF and I decided long ago we would include kids at our wedding (because we know one of his BFs goes nowhere without his kids so it wasn't worth the headache of trying to exclude them -- never mind that DF feels weddings are family gatherings so they all should be included!).

A wedding I will be soon attending has on its guest list all the kids of the bride's side and only two kids from the groom's side.  On the groom's side, there are only five kids -- all from the groom's cousins (two cousins on mom's side of the family; one on the father's side of the family).  The standalone cousin's kids are not invited, and she (and her mother) are pretty upset about it (they don't even know yet that family kids are invited, just not her kids).  Would it be considered rude to not invite all the family kids?  Would it matter that none of the bride's side are newborns but the standalone cousin's kids are a toddler and a newborn?  Would it matter that the HC knows the two kids from his side who were invited but don't really know the standalone cousin's kids?  The 2nd cousin on the mom's side also just had a baby, but we don't know yet if the baby were included (since the invite would've gone out a few weeks BEFORE the baby was born, it's possible that the baby was left off also).  Both parents of the groom are deceased (but we know would be aghast at the exclusion if they were around).

DF thinks it was a horrible decision.  I understand why the HC did it (to keep the numbers down) but wonder if they realize the rift they are going to cause within the family by including other family kids but not the one cousins.



QueenofAllThings

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There are so many parameters - age of the child(ren), relationship to Bride & Groom (a nephew versus a first cousin once removed), space limitations. It's easiest if you can draw the line on one of those parameters (No children under five! No children that aren't related! No children whatsoever!)

When we married, the only children invited were my nieces and nephews (the King is an only child, so he has none on his side). It was an easy line to draw - immediate family only! - and no one gave us a hard time.

Frankly, I wouldn't invite toddlers and newborns, and the B & G have the right to include, and exclude, anyone they want to.

RiverSong

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While I agree the B & G have the right to decided who gets invited and who doesn't, I do believe that there is going to be an uproar when the parents and grandparents of the excluded children find out that they are the only ones not invited. It smacks of exclusion. While it's not rude, it's also not wise in my opinion.

CuriousParty

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We invited some kids and not others, and some people were upset by it, but we did the best we could to be both reasonable and fair - those two things do not always coincide, you know!  Nieces and nephews were invited, but that's where we cut off.  As a result, most of the kids were from my side, with only one or two from DH's.  The thing was, though, if we invited kids on DH's side we would have had to invite cousins' children. On his side that's a couple of kids we didn't know well.  On my side - I have 31 cousins. Yes, that's first cousins.  Representing a range of something like 60 to 11, not including spouses. Or kids.  Or, in some cases, those kids' spouses.  Ya gotta cut somewhere. 

I think weddings in general would be a lot easier if everyone remembered that this is a complicated party merging two entirely separate groups with their own expectations, structures, and demands in a relatively high-cost, high-profile, high-stress manner, all of which is being run by amateurs. Most of the time, the HC is doing their best and a lack of an invite to whatever (ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner, etc) is not a commentary on individual value so much as a reflection of the varying influences that guide the guest list.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 06:32:25 PM by CuriousParty »

Hmmmmm

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I think if there is a defined guideline it is fine.  Examples: no kids under 7, nieces and nephews from both sides of the family, 1st cousins only.  then it's not deciding based on individuals but around certain criteria.

But if the brides's 8 yr old first cousin is invited but the grooms 8 yr old cousin isn't then it becomes personal and can create hurt feelings.

Irishkitty

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We did this, the only children invited were our immediate family (ie our nieces and newphews).

Like Curious Party I have an inordinate amount of cousins, many of who are married with children of their own. So we had to limit numbers.

Noone complained (not to us at least :)). One person did ask if they could bring their youngest baby to the church as they couldn't find a daytime sitter who could look after all their kids, that was fine and the baby slept through the ceremony. We ended up saying to her that she could bring the baby to the reception also, as we knew she was still breastfeeding (in the process of weening but still).
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Shopaholic

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I think if there is a defined guideline it is fine.  Examples: no kids under 7, nieces and nephews from both sides of the family, 1st cousins only.  then it's not deciding based on individuals but around certain criteria.

But if the brides's 8 yr old first cousin is invited but the grooms 8 yr old cousin isn't then it becomes personal and can create hurt feelings.

I agree with this.
We invited all children, but the parents chose whether to bring them or not.

cicero

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I think if there is a defined guideline it is fine.  Examples: no kids under 7, nieces and nephews from both sides of the family, 1st cousins only.  then it's not deciding based on individuals but around certain criteria.

But if the brides's 8 yr old first cousin is invited but the grooms 8 yr old cousin isn't then it becomes personal and can create hurt feelings.

I agree with this.
We invited all children, but the parents chose whether to bring them or not.
I agree and this is how we've always done things in my family.

you draw the *levels* and invite members of both sides = e.g., "no kids under the age of 5" means no kids under the age of five on all sides. "only first cousins of bride and groom" - then that's the line, and if the groom has 25 first cousins, and the bride has 2, then that's who is invited.

there are exceptions, such as if my third cousin thrice removed happens to be my BFF, then she will be invited *as my BFF*

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Sharnita

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I think that it is tough when you say noone complained.  You are not supposed to complain - regardless of how you feel.  You don't have the "right" to anything invite-wise so whatever they decide you don't complain.  That being said, it might complicate things for some people.  No infants might mean that it is hard to nurse a baby.  While pumping is an option some babies do not really take to bottles at all. For other families finding somebody to watch the kids just might not be possible - especially if their normal babysitters are also guests at the weeding.  One would hope they wouldn't complain but they migh not be able to attend, either. 

That doesn't mean that everybody is obligated to invite kids.  I just wouldn't assume that because nobody complained the "no kids" policy was easy on them.

POF

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At my neices wedding this got really ugly... They cut off the line at 18.  Now Our side of the family is pretty small compared to the grooms. There are 9 grandchildren.  3 of them are neice and her siblings, 3 are over 18, the remaining three are a 16 year old, a 10 year old and an 8 year old.

The 16 year old was the sister of one of the invited cousins. So her parents and older brother were attending and she wasn't. That got ugly and her parents declined the invitation.  Huge family brouhaha.  I agreed with them and as I pointed out to neices mother ( LAKEHOUSE SALLY ! ) she could invite whomever she wanted, they had the option of declining.  They grudgingly decided to invite neice. 

DH and I helped neice out financially a tremendous amount. We gave her a car, she lived with us for a while and we supported her.  We were surprised that our 2 boys were excluded ( at this point only family members not invited ), but since we already had booked and paid for a vacation on that date and we opted not to change it.  It would have been hugely expensive to change and my work restricts when I can take vacation time. ( Neice changed date several times - and we had booked vacation first )

I look at it as priorities, everyone has to measure them out.

Oh and the reason for the cutoff ? Groom has HUGE family, lots of very badly behaved nephews and neices - which I understand.....

WillyNilly

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Re: S/o Not inviting kids to the wedding -- Excluding some, including others
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2012, 02:51:12 PM »
The thing is some kids are just really, really bad.  Some perhaps by nature - they simply aren't wired to sit quietly and whatnot and plenty more just because of lax parents.

My DF and I are inviting all kids - our friends, our families, etc - and we are doing so to try to harness the power of shame.  All my friends have super well behaved kids.  All of his friends have super well behaved kids.  My cousin's son?  He had his restaurant manners down pat by age two (he's 1 month shy of 4 now).  But my brother's youngest?  A holey terror - terror I tell you!  But I'm pretty much on the hook for inviting him (the kid) because its the only way my brother can attend the wedding - they live 2,000 miles away and have no one willing to keep the kid in their area and don't know anyone in my area except family who are also invited.  So I'm inviting other kids to try to shame my bro & SIL, and my awful nephew (7 years - old enough for shame to kick in), into some discipline.  (the kid can behave, he does in school apparently and he will for me because I'm not afraid to be "the mean adult", he just knows his parents are lazy and will let him get away with murder)

We would have been happier not inviting kids, and many of our friends have indicated they won't be bringing theirs anyway, but we didn't know what else to do, so we're stuck with inviting about 40 youngsters...

TootsNYC

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Re: S/o Not inviting kids to the wedding -- Excluding some, including others
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 02:54:12 PM »
I really, really want people to stop defining it as "all children or none."

I think the couple should invite the PEOPLE they know and care about. No matter what their age.

So first cousins once removed? (which is what the cousin's children are--maybe hearing that term would simmer them down?)  They don't rank up there with nieces and nephews, or even "my friends who happen to be young" (which is what I consider the children of my good friends to be, or the kids I babysat).

My kids were NOT invited to the wedding of my husband's first cousins once removed. (I think partly because my son couldn't remember the names of the groom's brothers, which made the groom's mom realize that my kids hadn't really developed a relationship with them, though DH and I had, very much.)

But the bride *did* invite a young man that she used to babysit for many years. And she invited his parents, but really only because she was inviting HIM. HE was the main guest; they were just add-ons because he was 12. I thought it was cool.

SoCalVal

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Re: S/o Not inviting kids to the wedding -- Excluding some, including others
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2012, 03:53:44 PM »
I really, really want people to stop defining it as "all children or none."

I think the couple should invite the PEOPLE they know and care about. No matter what their age.

So first cousins once removed? (which is what the cousin's children are--maybe hearing that term would simmer them down?)  They don't rank up there with nieces and nephews, or even "my friends who happen to be young" (which is what I consider the children of my good friends to be, or the kids I babysat).

Frankly, in a perfect world, I have one branch of my extended family I would love to not invite part of to my wedding (my entitled aunt and my SS cousin, the guy who was on trial for murder not too long ago).  However, it's not a perfect world so if I don't want to cause a rift, I will be inviting them (and praying that they decline the invitation since it will involve travel for them).

I agree that everyone should be able to invite the guests they want to invite and exclude those they don't want at their weddings.  However, as we've read repeatedly, there are often ramifications for doing that which you want, even though by etiquette standards, it would be acceptable to have an adults-only wedding.

The groom invited the offspring of one cousin and is not inviting the offspring of another cousin.  I don't know if age plays into it since the excluded kids are a newborn and a toddler while the invited kids are about 9 and 11 years old.  We're waiting to see if the third cousin's newborn is included on the invite (also, all of these cousins are part of DF's family so they'll be staying at our new house after the wedding that night -- significant only because if third cousin's newborn will be present, then that changes what size bedroom they'll need and also might mean that there was a cut-off age for the extended family kids; we'll never know because we certainly aren't going to ask).

I understand both sides so it's not a choice I would've wanted to make.  Additionally, the cousin with the excluded kids barely knows the bride while the included kids we see about 2-3 times a year plus we all go on an annual family vacation together (which I thought might be the major factor in why they were included vs. the other kids).

I'm not arguing that what they did was right or wrong.  I'm just wondering what others thought of this sort of cut off because it isn't across the board excluding offspring of cousins -- some are included, others are not.



edgypeanuts

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Re: S/o Not inviting kids to the wedding -- Excluding some, including others
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2012, 08:50:44 PM »
I really, really want people to stop defining it as "all children or none."

I very much agree!! 
I hear of people being insulted if their kids are not invited and then there are other kids there, how is this different from arguing that my mom was invited (because she is a friend of the bride as well), but moms of other guests who the couple did not know were not invited?

We invited aunts/uncles/cousins in the "upward" direction.  My Mom's family was 9, my Dad's 11, my in-laws 10, so lots of big families.  Then in the downward direction we invited siblings/the nieces/nephews/the n/n's children.  As far as our friends, if they had to travel we invited their kids.
We got a little flack from 1 cousin who's kids play with the nephew's kids, but we had to draw the line somewhere.  With this alone we were at ~250 people.

Someone is always going to be unhappy with the choices, but I am not sure there is a way around that. 
I suspect in the case of the OP they didn't invited those under 5 as they can be hard to keep quiet during the ceremony, speeches, etc.  But even if they did pick individual kids to invite- isn't that somewhat how you pick the adults you invite?  I have to admit, I left off some cousins who I have never met.  I figure if I haven't MET them in 38 years of being cousins, why invite them now?

snowdragon

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Re: S/o Not inviting kids to the wedding -- Excluding some, including others
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2012, 09:07:36 PM »
I really, really want people to stop defining it as "all children or none."

I very much agree!! 
I hear of people being insulted if their kids are not invited and then there are other kids there, how is this different from arguing that my mom was invited (because she is a friend of the bride as well), but moms of other guests who the couple did not know were not invited?

We invited aunts/uncles/cousins in the "upward" direction.  My Mom's family was 9, my Dad's 11, my in-laws 10, so lots of big families.  Then in the downward direction we invited siblings/the nieces/nephews/the n/n's children.  As far as our friends, if they had to travel we invited their kids.
We got a little flack from 1 cousin who's kids play with the nephew's kids, but we had to draw the line somewhere.  With this alone we were at ~250 people.

Someone is always going to be unhappy with the choices, but I am not sure there is a way around that. 
I suspect in the case of the OP they didn't invited those under 5 as they can be hard to keep quiet during the ceremony, speeches, etc.  But even if they did pick individual kids to invite- isn't that somewhat how you pick the adults you invite?
  I have to admit, I left off some cousins who I have never met.  I figure if I haven't MET them in 38 years of being cousins, why invite them now?


To an extent it is but you still  would not Invite Aunt Edna if you did not invite Uncle Rocco, her husband or for another type of social event if you invited two children from one family to say a concert could you then refuse to take the third? My impression is that both of these would be considered rude and hurtful, so there are limits to inviting just who you want.
 To me the issue is not kids or no kids but inviting some kids of a give household and excluding another as happened upthread, it might be etiquettely correct, but it's still going to hurt that kid left out