We're here to help you keep moving forward, no matter what your plans are.

Jessica
Beginner November 2021

Kids invitation etiquette

Jessica, on July 6, 2020 at 10:59 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 2 42
Saved Save
Reply
Hi everyone! So I’m getting married Nov 2021 and I’m having an issue with guest list /how to word invitations for children. I know many people say kids are an “all or none” kind of thing but I’m looking more at only inviting my families kids since I actually know/am close with them. (Fiancé doesn’t have kids in his fam). Especially since most of my family w/ kids won’t be able to find sitters because we all tend to help each other out & everyone who usually babysits will be at the wedding.


I know this may seem rude to friends who have kids but I’m trying to keep a low guest count & if I invited everyone’s kids they would outnumber the adults lol
Anyway I was trying to figure out how will I word my invitations to accomplish this. My mom suggested just putting out normal invites but writing on the rsvp’s “we have reserved ___ seats for you” and just me fill in the # for who can come (including the kids). That way no one feels offended by a “no kids or only certain kids” wording on the invite. What do you guys think? I really would love to have everyone if I could afford it or no kids at all but then I know for a fact majority of my family wouldn’t be able to attend. Thanks for any help in advanced!!

42 Comments

  • Kelsi
    Expert June 2020
    Kelsi ·
    • Flag

    I think your moms idea is the best with the number of seats reserved on the RSVP card. Also to address the invitations to the people invited. "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" vs "Smith Family".

    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Rockstar July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    If it's family kids only, that also makes sense. The issue becomes when you start giving age cut offs like no kids under 8 or something like that. Situations like this are why inner envelopes are so useful. On the inner envelope is where you list every single person from that household who is invited. So you would list "John Smith, Jane Smith, and John Smith Jr." each on a separate line on the inner envelope. If the kids aren't invited, they are not listed on the inner envelope. You could also have the "we have reserved _____ seats in your honor" but the issue with that is...what if they decide that just mom and the kid are going for whatever reason and dad stays home. It doesn't specify who those seats are for.
    • Reply
  • Laura
    Savvy June 2021
    Laura ·
    • Flag

    I am doing the exact same thing with my wedding - only family kids aka our nieces and nephews, who are flower girls and ring bearers. Hannah is definitely right with the inner envelope rule and that is what we are doing. I am not sure if you have a wedding website, but if you do, there is usually an FAQ page and one of the FAQs we put was "Are our kids invited?" We answered by saying that only our flower girls and ring bearers would be in attendance and that we want our wedding to be everyone's "night off." I think when you phrase it that way, people will take the hint.

    • Reply
  • Super August 2020
    ·
    • Flag
    It's okay to invite only your relatives' children. The best thing to do is just address each invitation to the people you want to invite.
    Mr. And Mrs. Jones, for example instead of The Jones Family. Most people will understand that the only people who are invited are the people who the invitation was addressed to, but if you get any RSVPs with kids (or unexpected plus ones of any age), you'll just have to reach out to that person and explain that while you'd love to be able to include everyone, due to space/budget/covid concerns, you're only able to include the people you actually invited and you hope they'll be able to attend anyway.
    What Hannah said about the number of seats is correct, that just allows some people to substitute kids for adults, which is okay if you don't mind that, but I wouldn't want people to swap out their guests.
    • Reply
  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag

    I agree with what your mom said, but I would expect your friends to be upset when they get to your wedding and see that others have brought their children. I can tell you my brother-in-law and his wife drove 10+ hours for my sister-in-law's wedding. His wife and their four children didn't attend because my sister-in-law said no children. My brother-in-law got to the wedding and my sister-in-law allowed her sister to bring her children. My brother-in-law was so upset and still talks about it to this day.

    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Dedicated January 2021
    Amanda ·
    • Flag
    Hi! We are not inviting children either besides my four nieces and nephews. I let my family know in advance but we also put on the invites and rsvp cards ‘although we love your little ones, we respectfully ask that this be an adult only affair.’
    • Reply
  • Erin
    Expert August 2020
    Erin ·
    • Flag
    I just put on the RSVP to let me know if you had “plus 1 adult” and at the very bottom I had “adult reception to follow” to let them know kids were not invited.
    • Reply
  • Dayna
    Expert March 2021
    Dayna ·
    • Flag

    I'm doing exactly what your mom suggested. All the RSVPs will say "we have reserved _ seats in your honor." This also helps clarify whether a plus one or travel companion (for older relatives) is invited.

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    VIP September 2020
    Jessica Online ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I agree, and your BIL was justifiably upset because that’s completely just picking and choosing.
    To avoid anyone feeling like their kids specifically weren’t included I would put something on the wedding website that says something like “we are limiting children to immediate family only.”
    • Reply
  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    My sister-in-law's reasoning was that her sister's fiance had died about two weeks prior to my sister-in-law's wedding and her sister was also supposed to be getting married soon and she didn't want to make things more difficult on her sister by not allowing her children at the wedding. I will say that I still think allowing some children, but not others could still anger your guests. I think children are either all or none kind of thing with the exception of children in the wedding party and babies.

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    VIP September 2020
    Jessica Online ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Wow, that is a tough situation!
    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Beginner November 2021
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Thank you that’s also a Good idea!
    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Beginner November 2021
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Thank you for the suggestion! I had no idea about the inner envelope idea
    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Beginner November 2021
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I definitely understand your brother in laws feelings since they would be considered immediate family, (my fiancé & his siblings have no children so it’s just my family I’m struggling with) especially since they drove all that way.
    • Reply
  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Don't know if you saw, but my sister-in-law didn't want to upset her sister. Her sister was supposed to get married like a week before my sister-in-law, but her fiance passed away about a month before the wedding. He was a recovering drug addict and something happened that made him use and he overdosed and passed away. She knew it would be difficult on her sister already to attend a wedding so she didn't want to make it even more difficult. While I totally understand that it is a difficult decision to make, I don't think guests will necessarily be very understanding if you say x's children can come, but y's can't.

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Beginner November 2021
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    Thank you so much for everyone’s help and suggestions! I’m going to talk to my mom some more and see what we can figure out.
    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Beginner November 2021
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I just saw and totally understand! But I also feel like there is a difference between immediate family’s children( nieces nephews etc,) and a friends child. So here’s an example of part of the dilemma lol like I have a few who are coming for the week from CA & FL and don’t want to leave their little ones states away. That’s just one of the scenarios on why I’m trying to find a nice way to do invites to include only family children. Thank you for the insight though, it definitely helps to see other perspectives!!
    • Reply
  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I definitely understand your dilemma. My husband's uncle has shared custody of his two sons with his ex-wife. Per their custody agreement, his uncle sees the boys every other weekend. His ex-wife has taken him to court before for asking to switch weekends so he wasn't able to attend our wedding because he had the boys that weekend. I felt terrible that he couldn't attend, but we also couldn't have included children without going over budget. We tried to see if someone could watch the boys for the evening, but his uncle wasn't comfortable with that because he only sees them twice a month. Our wedding was at a hotel so a lot of my husband's family stayed the night before the wedding at the hotel so his uncle stopped by the night before for drinks with everyone so it was nice that he was still included in some way. He only lives like an hour from the venue so I was glad he could stop by. My husband and I will also potentially have a similar issue next year. His best friend just announced that he postponed his wedding until Oct. 2021. His best friend lives across the country from us. My husband and I are currently trying to conceive and hope to have a baby by Oct. 2021. If that's the case, I wouldn't be able to attend because his best friend has made it an adults only wedding which is totally understand. I would definitely be bummed not to be able to attend, but I also wouldn't be comfortable leaving my baby at home while I'm across the country especially because I plan on breast feeding and the baby would need me. My mom said she would fly with us to California so I could attend the wedding if we have a baby, but I'm not sure how my husband would feel about that. Is there someone that could watch the children that your family trusts?

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Beginner November 2021
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Yeah that is definitely a tough situation. Any unfortunately no not That I know of. When I’ve spoken to them recently they mentioned the kids because the one family is road tripping anyway, while the other has 3 little ones. So I’d imagine a sitter for 3 would be harder to come by instead of just 1, especially for a week long stay. That is a whole other situation is the family here they would trust will also be at the wedding lol Im sure I will find a way to figure things out! I know I can’t make everyone happy but maybe I can for the majority haha. As for your situation I hope it works out in your favor!!!
    • Reply
  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Thanks! I definitely think it would be hard for them to find a sitter for a week, but couldn't they just have someone watch the children while they attend the wedding rather than the entire time?

    • Reply

You voted for . Add a comment 👇

×

Related articles