Author Topic: Guest List / Children  (Read 2149 times)

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Kaymar

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Guest List / Children
« on: August 01, 2013, 06:07:16 PM »
I know there is a separate wedding forum, but it doesn't seem to get a ton of traffic so I hope it is OK to post here. 

So, I just got engaged a couple of weeks ago ... could not be happier :)  We haven't started any real planning yet, but we thought what made the most sense would be to start with figuring out the guest list - then once we know the approximate number of people, it will be easier to narrow down location, food options, budget, etc.

We'd like to keep it as small as possible - family and close friends - and for size and other reasons, we'd prefer to keep it mostly an adult event.  We do have one adorable nephew who would be invited and, presuming he's up for it, we'd like him to be the ring bearer.  I'm pretty sure if we kept it to "family kids only," i.e. this one child, no one would be offended.  We also have a little girl whom we adore who is the daughter of our close friends, and ideally we'd love to have her as the flower girl.  And that would be it as far as kids go.

I'm a bit older (over 40, although this is my first wedding) so I have a fair number of friends who have children.  Most of them had child-free or family-kid-only weddings, and they all live in our state, so I wouldn't be asking them to travel without their children.  I don't think any of them would be offended, but I wanted to get a reality check on the etiquette front as to whether having "bridal party only" as our rubric for children is acceptable.  Thanks in advance for your input!

Harriet Jones

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 06:46:37 PM »
I think it's fine.  "No children except for the bridal party" is a perfectly acceptable way to draw the line.

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 06:46:59 PM »
Just my opinion, for what it's worth: If you have children in your wedding party, it will upset some of your guests when you tell them that you don't want their children.  My recommendation is either don't have any children or invite your guests and their children.

And my advice is worth every penny you didn't spend on it.  >:D
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hobish

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 07:16:18 PM »
I think it's fine.  "No children except for the bridal party" is a perfectly acceptable way to draw the line.

I agree, although i think having them whisked away to something far more enjoyable than an adults cocktail party once reception time comes is an even better way to do it. People will understand flower girl and ring bearer as part of the ceremony more than as the only two child guests at a reception, i think. Then those who wanted to bring their kids aren't there without them while others have theirs, and those who thought they were getting adult time aren't hanging out with a couple little kids being about. That's just my take - i believe Harriet Jones is correct, technically, about the etiquette.

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Idlewildstudios

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2013, 07:51:37 PM »
My wedding ceremony was very small.  We requested no children at the ceremony but did have sitters and entertainment available at the reception site for parents who wanted.  No one took advantage of the sitters but I felt it was at least an option.  My husband did have 2 much younger half siblings at the ceremony since they were immediate family bug no one complained, at least not that I knew of.  Probably not very etiquette correct, but we knew the crowd and felt everyone would be understanding.

Bluenomi

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 08:18:17 PM »
We had some kids but not others and it didn't cause any issues. Bascially we didn't want small kids there.

My youngest sister was only 11 so she was always going to be invited and I had a mix of teenaged cousins who were and weren't invited based on how often I see them and the chance of them actually wanting to come. The friends with young kids prefered to not bring them so that was fine and the couple with the newborn were told they were more than welcome to bring him if they needed. They did and he slept in a carried on his Daddy all night and we barely noticed him!

The only slight hitch was my cousin, the MOH's ILs who promised to baby sit on the night of the wedding booked a last minute overseas trip and left her without a baby sitter. All her other baby sitters were at the wedding (being family) so her 2.5 year old ended up having to come. It wasn't a big issue on the night, she had Dad, grandma, granddad, 2 uncles etc to keep her busy and in the end she was better behaved than some of the adult guests. It did mean she and her parents left the wedding a bit early but considering my MOH was also 8 months pregnant that probably would have happend anyway

*inviteseller

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2013, 10:12:41 PM »
You can invite whoever you want and if people get upset because their kids were not invited, they can stay home.  You owe nobody an explanation as to why those kids are there ,altho, as members of the wedding party, it would seem obvious.  And most people would be happy for an excuse to get out without their kids. 

Mikayla

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2013, 11:30:31 PM »

I agree, although i think having them whisked away to something far more enjoyable than an adults cocktail party once reception time comes is an even better way to do it. People will understand flower girl and ring bearer as part of the ceremony more than as the only two child guests at a reception, i think.

This is where I land.  As far as I know, etiquette says you can have an adult wedding, and still include wedding party members and your own children.  But from a practical standpoint, I can't imagine a 2 young kids enjoying a wedding reception and it does kind of look odd if it's a large reception to have only two of them there.

But you're free to do it if you want!
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 11:32:39 PM by Mikayla »

hannahmollysmom

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2013, 12:56:22 AM »
To be honest, when mine were little, I was happy to be invited to a wedding without the kids. It was almost like a date for ex-DH and I! Sometimes even when they were invited, I didn't bring them along! Especially if it was an evening wedding.

Kaymar

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2013, 07:49:25 AM »

I agree, although i think having them whisked away to something far more enjoyable than an adults cocktail party once reception time comes is an even better way to do it. People will understand flower girl and ring bearer as part of the ceremony more than as the only two child guests at a reception, i think.

This is where I land.  As far as I know, etiquette says you can have an adult wedding, and still include wedding party members and your own children.  But from a practical standpoint, I can't imagine a 2 young kids enjoying a wedding reception and it does kind of look odd if it's a large reception to have only two of them there.

But you're free to do it if you want!

Yes, the practical aspect is something we'd discuss with the parents of the children.  They both have grandparents in the area, so it might be possible to have them picked up after a point if they are getting antsy.  To be clear, though, if we were going to have a large reception, we'd be inviting more kids - ideally, we want to keep the guest list around 50 people.

Thanks for all of the advice.  It's definitely something we are still giving thought to.  Originally we'd thought just to keep it to my nephew (actually, to give his parents the choice as to whether they'd want to bring him or if they'd rather a child-free evening themselves), but one child looks even odder than 2 and at least if there were two children, they could hang with each other.

Idlewildstudios

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2013, 10:36:13 AM »
It can also depend on the child.  My DD wouldn't have been bothered by being the only child at an adult event and have happily interacted with relatives or gone and colored at a quiet spot. Some kids are good by themselves, some need peer interaction, just depends.

camlan

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2013, 10:36:13 AM »
My suggestion is to make the guest list you want. Go into the process of planning your wedding with the knowledge that someone is going to dislike just about every single choice you make. And you are going to be making lots of choices.

You have to make the choices that are right for you--budget, location, number of guests, etc. And you have to take into consideration the comfort and feeding of your guests.

But ever since I attended the wedding of a cousin, where a guest got upset, to the point of yelling and needing to be taken out of the banquet room by her husband and another guest, because her child wasn't invited, but the 12 year old brother of the bride was, I've come to realize that weddings just bring out the crazy in people.

I mean, did she really think that "no children" would include a brother or sister of the bride or groom? Most normal-thinking people could work out why that child would be present, and not see it as a slight on their own offspring.
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cattlekid

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2013, 10:46:48 AM »
We invited all of the children of our guests just because it was the thing to do in our families.  I went to a ton of weddings when I was a kid as did DH.  He had a large extended family and my mom was second oldest of 10 kids. 

Some of the best pictures are of the ring bearer twirling the flower girl (they are cousins) around on the dance floor.

I also remember one of DH's family friends (a single mom) profusely thanking us for inviting her kids.  It was hard for her to get child care (three elementary school boys) and the kids were thrilled to death to be able to attend a wedding.  The oldest one even gave us his own card.   ;D

Not to say that this would work for you, because I definitely believe it is a "know your audience" type of thing.  And I POD a previous poster who said that weddings bring out the crazy and every decision you make will upset someone so best to polish up that titanium spine now.   ::)

Kaymar

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Re: Guest List / Children
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2013, 10:57:57 AM »
We don't really have family precedent to deal with, thankfully, due to having a tiny family. Within my friend group, all can and have gotten babysitters for weddings, although at least some would have been happy to bring their kids if that were an option.

Camlan, that is super crazy! I cannot imagine having people flip out if just my nephew were there (although I can imagine some family members flipping out if he weren't....luckily, that doesn't include my bro or my sister in law).

Titanium spine indeed.