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Author Topic: A slightly convoluted case of children at the wedding  (Read 2800 times)

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Victim Of Fate

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A slightly convoluted case of children at the wedding
« on: November 27, 2016, 02:39:10 PM »
Background: My fiancee and I are getting married next year. We both live in the UK, and are both from a particular ethnic group. In our community, it is not uncommon to have a very large wedding (we'll be having 450 people at ours) followed by a relatively simple meal, and to have a reception the next day or next week with much more limited numbers. Typically, the wedding is where your parents get to invite all and sundry, while the reception is limited to close friends and family. All four of our parents are from large families, and as a result, we have around 60 close family members each coming to both the wedding and reception, a large number of whom are coming from abroad. Our reception venue has room for around 200 guests, which means that we're limited in the number of friends we can invite. We each want to invite around 20 friends, but most of our friends have families too. In total, we've worked out that our close friends have between them around 40 children and 35 partners. Given that we only have 80 invites to play with for the reception, the best option we've come up with is to not invite our friends' children. Not the prettiest solution, but I can't see another way around it.

So, a couple of questions:

1) Since we have a lot of close family coming from overseas, we really have to have their children at the wedding and the reception. Is it rude to invite friends and partners only (i.e. not their children) to the reception when we will be inviting children from our families?

2) What's the best way of making it clear to friends that their kids will be invited to the wedding ceremony the day before, but that it will be just them and their partners for the reception?

camlan

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Re: A slightly convoluted case of children at the wedding
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 06:01:41 PM »
Granted, I'm from the US and different rules may apply here.

But I think you are okay with inviting the children of relatives and not the children of friends. The children you are related to and who are traveling--there really isn't anyone to take care of them, as all the rest of the family will be at the reception.

If your friends question this, just tell them the truth. You invited the children of close family members to the reception,  but did not have room for the children of friends. Most people will understand prioritizing family over friends*.

As for how to make this clear when inviting people, the simplest way would be to have separate invitations for the events. One for the wedding and the meal directly following it, on which you carefully list the exact names of the people you are inviting--parents and children. Then for the reception that follows on a different day, a separate invitation, with just the names of the parents.

Will you be doing RSPVs? If anyone responds that they will be bringing uninvited guests to the reception, you can gently inform them that while the parents are welcome, space simply does not allow for their children.

*Although I did once attend a cousin's wedding where her 10 year old brother was present, because, you know, it was his sister's wedding. A wedding guest, who apparently had asked if her children could attend and was told no, they could not, threw a temper tantrum in the middle of the reception, yelling that if one kid was allowed, then her kids should be allowed. It was pretty weird.
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gellchom

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Re: A slightly convoluted case of children at the wedding
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 09:39:09 PM »
It's not only perfectly fine to invite related children but not children of all other guests, it's the norm, at least in my community.  That's what we have always done ourselves and certainly exactly what I would do in your position.  The only time my children were invited to a non-relatives's wedding was when they themselves had a relationship to the bride, who had been their nanny or babysitter.

In your community, is it customary to invite all guests, not just family, to bring their children?



Victim Of Fate

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Re: A slightly convoluted case of children at the wedding
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2016, 03:58:52 AM »
It's not only perfectly fine to invite related children but not children of all other guests, it's the norm, at least in my community.  That's what we have always done ourselves and certainly exactly what I would do in your position.  The only time my children were invited to a non-relatives's wedding was when they themselves had a relationship to the bride, who had been their nanny or babysitter.

In your community, is it customary to invite all guests, not just family, to bring their children?

Typically, you'd invite families, not just parents. But it would be unusual to invite the number of friends we're inviting to the reception - it would normally be predominantly family, with maybe a handful of close friends.

To be honest, I think that most of our friends would understand, but I wasn't sure if it was just generally rude to invite some children and not others.

Now, as to the invitation... well, the problem here is that in order to save costs and fit in with the motif of the invitations we were planning to have just one invite go out - with a different invite going to those invited to one day compared with those invited to two days. Our current plan is to just put the names of those invited on the wedding invite (e.g. "Alice and Bob" rather than "Alice, Bob and family") to signify that it's only the parents who are invited. Sending out a second invite would not only be more expensive, but would also kind of mess up the theme of the invites.

Would it be rude for us to just call our friends individually and explain the situation to them, or should it really just be done through the wording on the invites?

gellchom

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Re: A slightly convoluted case of children at the wedding
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2016, 02:45:31 PM »
The wording on the invitation is supposed to do it.  Only those named on the invitation are invited, and it is very rude for them to bring anyone else.

However!

Are some or all of these friends members of your own community, in which you say the norm is for whole families, even of guests who aren't related to the couple, to be invited?  Or of some other community or ethnic group in which that is the norm?

If the former, then are you afraid that they will assume that their children are invited? 

I would try very hard to avoid calling or writing people to tell them that their children aren't invited.  They are supposed to know it from the invitation, and all those calls would be not only time-consuming but some at least very awkward.

If you think you are likely to have a bunch of little crashers if you don't say anything, then I guess you have no choice but to somehow gently remind people that the invitation is just for them, not for their kids, too.  It would be worse to turn them away at the door.  If it were my wedding, and I thought that at most a few people would bring their kids, and I'd have room for that many, I'd probably just hope that they had the good sense and good manners at least to check first and not just bring them and then squeeze them in (hiding my annoyance!) if they did. 

So it comes down to whether these guests are likely to assume that their children are included.  You need to think about that, guest by guest.

My only other suggestion is to think about whether you have a close friend or relative who knows these people that you can entrust to make sure that the word is spread.  Somehow it seems a little better to me coming from someone other than the hosts/HC themselves, and at least you won't have anyone arguing with you or being embarrassed.

Victim Of Fate

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Re: A slightly convoluted case of children at the wedding
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 04:50:58 PM »
The wording on the invitation is supposed to do it.  Only those named on the invitation are invited, and it is very rude for them to bring anyone else.

However!

Are some or all of these friends members of your own community, in which you say the norm is for whole families, even of guests who aren't related to the couple, to be invited?  Or of some other community or ethnic group in which that is the norm?

If the former, then are you afraid that they will assume that their children are invited? 

I would try very hard to avoid calling or writing people to tell them that their children aren't invited.  They are supposed to know it from the invitation, and all those calls would be not only time-consuming but some at least very awkward.

If you think you are likely to have a bunch of little crashers if you don't say anything, then I guess you have no choice but to somehow gently remind people that the invitation is just for them, not for their kids, too.  It would be worse to turn them away at the door.  If it were my wedding, and I thought that at most a few people would bring their kids, and I'd have room for that many, I'd probably just hope that they had the good sense and good manners at least to check first and not just bring them and then squeeze them in (hiding my annoyance!) if they did. 

So it comes down to whether these guests are likely to assume that their children are included.  You need to think about that, guest by guest.

My only other suggestion is to think about whether you have a close friend or relative who knows these people that you can entrust to make sure that the word is spread.  Somehow it seems a little better to me coming from someone other than the hosts/HC themselves, and at least you won't have anyone arguing with you or being embarrassed.

It's not so much that I'm worried about friends bringing their children - I think they'd assume not to from the wording on the invite. It's more about how to let people know that while their children aren't invited to day number two, they are invited to day number one, without going the whole hog and sending out two invites. I was thinking of a handwritten note saying something like:

"...we hope you can make it to both days. We've tried our hardest, but due to the strict limitations of the reception venue, we're asking our friends with children to find a babysitter for the Saturday. We'd love to see INSERT CHILD(S) NAMES for the wedding on the Friday though!" The wording probably needs some work, but is the idea a non-starter?

Winterlight

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Re: A slightly convoluted case of children at the wedding
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 05:11:58 PM »
I don't think it would have occurred to my parents to be offended if my brother and I were not invited when the host's family was allowed to bring their children. It certainly doesn't seem like an unreasonable cutoff to me.
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gellchom

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Re: A slightly convoluted case of children at the wedding
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2016, 06:37:46 PM »
The wording on the invitation is supposed to do it.  Only those named on the invitation are invited, and it is very rude for them to bring anyone else.

However!

Are some or all of these friends members of your own community, in which you say the norm is for whole families, even of guests who aren't related to the couple, to be invited?  Or of some other community or ethnic group in which that is the norm?

If the former, then are you afraid that they will assume that their children are invited? 

I would try very hard to avoid calling or writing people to tell them that their children aren't invited.  They are supposed to know it from the invitation, and all those calls would be not only time-consuming but some at least very awkward.

If you think you are likely to have a bunch of little crashers if you don't say anything, then I guess you have no choice but to somehow gently remind people that the invitation is just for them, not for their kids, too.  It would be worse to turn them away at the door.  If it were my wedding, and I thought that at most a few people would bring their kids, and I'd have room for that many, I'd probably just hope that they had the good sense and good manners at least to check first and not just bring them and then squeeze them in (hiding my annoyance!) if they did. 

So it comes down to whether these guests are likely to assume that their children are included.  You need to think about that, guest by guest.

My only other suggestion is to think about whether you have a close friend or relative who knows these people that you can entrust to make sure that the word is spread.  Somehow it seems a little better to me coming from someone other than the hosts/HC themselves, and at least you won't have anyone arguing with you or being embarrassed.

It's not so much that I'm worried about friends bringing their children - I think they'd assume not to from the wording on the invite. It's more about how to let people know that while their children aren't invited to day number two, they are invited to day number one, without going the whole hog and sending out two invites. I was thinking of a handwritten note saying something like:

"...we hope you can make it to both days. We've tried our hardest, but due to the strict limitations of the reception venue, we're asking our friends with children to find a babysitter for the Saturday. We'd love to see INSERT CHILD(S) NAMES for the wedding on the Friday though!" The wording probably needs some work, but is the idea a non-starter?

 Oh, IC. Yes, you do need to tweak the wording some, but I do not think the idea is a nonstarter.

Don't put in any reasons or apologies about why the kids are not invited for the reception, and definitely don't tell them to get babysitters or anything like "give yourself a night off!!" as some people do, as if they want it to sound like they are doing their guests a big favor. Just include a little handwritten note saying that the parents are welcome to bring the kids with them to the ceremony on Friday if they would like.

sammycat

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Re: A slightly convoluted case of children at the wedding
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 06:46:56 PM »
Don't put in any reasons or apologies about why the kids are not invited for the reception, and definitely don't tell them to get babysitters or anything like "give yourself a night off!!" as some people do, as if they want it to sound like they are doing their guests a big favor. Just include a little handwritten note saying that the parents are welcome to bring the kids with them to the ceremony on Friday if they would like.

Pod.

Maybe even leave the kids' names off the invitations altogether (so there's hopefully there's no doubt that they're not included in the second event), and then add a handwritten note saying that the children are more than welcome at the Friday part.