Kenzie
Dedicated March 2019

My kids not invited to sister in law’s wedding

Kenzie, on May 14, 2019 at 4:58 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice
Hello! I was married March 9th and had a gorgeous wedding. My sister in law got engaged last November. We just found out my kids (my husbands step children but very much like his own) aren’t invited to their wedding. The LAST thing I do is want to be THAT person and cause issues with what the bride wants because lawd knows they have enough going on. But we would be coming from California to Massachusetts, and would have to find childcare. Also this is her brother’s kids now... I just feel a little weird about it. If I can’t find child care I won’t even be able to go. My husband feels really weird about it too and when he found out was very hurt.
My husband and I also had a child-free wedding but we made an exception for close family (my niece and nephew and any of the bridesmaids that had children, along with infants in arms). I want to be respectful of their wishes of course but also can’t help but feel hurt. Maybe it’s my insecurity that my children will always just be the “step children” of my husband to them (they’ve never given me a reason to feel that way FYI), but idk. Should we bring it up? Try and find childcare the best we can and just suck it up? Originally we were going to stay longer just because visits with his family aren’t as frequent being so far apart but if we leave my little ones behind we will have to cut the trip much shorter, which is also fairly inconvenient for us as well (we’d have to basically just keep it to a weekend). Anyway. Would appreciate any feedback and thoughts before we communicate anything to the bride.
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64 Comments

  • Kenzie
    Dedicated March 2019
    Kenzie ·
    And if this is relevant at all my kids will be 4 and 7 at the time of the wedding.
  • Sarah
    Super September 2019
    Sarah ·
    Is it just your kids that are excluded or are all kids excluded? If it’s all kids excluded, I’d try and find a way for at least your husband to attend. If all other nieces and nephews are invited except your children, I wouldn’t make an effort to go.
  • Mandy
    VIP May 2019
    Mandy ·

    I'd ask her if she's providing childcare during the wedding because you'll be traveling such a distance you need to try to arrange childcare in advance. Some venues offer it, some brides look into it if they are having a child free wedding. It would be different if it was local and the kids could go to grandma's but going across the country is another story to me.

  • K
    Dedicated September 2019
    Kelsey ·

    They probably have their reasons for not inviting the kids to the wedding (venue restrictions, guest count, etc), so I would try not to be too hurt by it (easier said than done, I know!)

    My suggestion is to ask the bride if she has suggestions for child care while you are there. If it's local for her, she might know someone who can recommend a reliable babysitter for the day/evening.

  • Victoria
    Super May 2019
    Victoria Online ·
    View Quoted Comment
    This. I would definitely find out if it’s all children or just yours. I’m a mom and definitely wouldn’t feel comfortable being that far away from my child for that long.
  • Kenzie
    Dedicated March 2019
    Kenzie ·
    View Quoted Comment
    It’s all children (if it were just mine my husband would be LIVID, lol). I think sometimes non parents truly don’t understand the strain they’re causing parents (even just emotionally) for not including children when they know how far we are traveling. When they have kids of their own I think they’d understand more. I can probably handle a weekend away, but I would be anxious about it. I think I will ask about the childcare for sure (well make my husband do it since it’s his sister), but truthfully I’d almost rather just leave them with my mom or sister for a weekend if she can (she works still and has obligations) then have a stranger watch them while I’m at a wedding no matter how vetted they are (I have to know someone really well to leave them with someone else!).
  • Misty
    Expert October 2019
    Misty ·
    Is this an adult only wedding or is it that your kids are specifically being excluded?
  • Anne
    Dedicated October 2019
    Anne ·

    Well, you yourself admitted you had a somewhat child-free wedding. Yes you had some close relatives, but what was your reasoning for not letting everyone bring their kids? You just married recently, so you can probably remember your thoughts on this and relate them to how your FSIL is feeling and planning her day.


  • Misty
    Expert October 2019
    Misty ·
    View Quoted Comment
    I see. Well, there are a lot of people who would prefer a kid free wedding (I being one of them). But there are other factors besides preference that are worth noting. Budget. Some people simply cannot afford to open up a wedding to children. Think about it in terms of 2 kids with you, 2 with another set of parents, 3 with another.... every human is a cost. Perhaps this is a factor for them. But regardless of cost or preference... I would encourage you not to take it personally. Specifically with the body of evidence that all kids are being excluded. We are all different types of humans with different opinions and situations.... this is their wedding day, so they should be able to have it as they prefer. Ideally they have given you enough notice to work out childcare well in advance.
  • Desiree
    Dedicated April 2020
    Desiree ·
    I would absolutely not say anything to the bride or groom. I think you’re overthinking this especially since no kids are invited.
  • Hermione
    Devoted February 2020
    Hermione ·
    Is it all kids are excluded? Because if all kids are then I don't see any reason to take it personal.

    Ask for help finding childcare so you can attend or if she is willing to make an exception for your kids given the circumstances. Please take the answers gracefully.

    At the end of the day, it's her wedding and her bills no matter how much you hate any aspect.
  • Melissa
    Super September 2019
    Melissa ·
    I would just ask her if they can recommend anyone for childcare in the area, and if they can’t, try to work something out with your mother or sister or someone else local.
  • Meghan
    Devoted October 2019
    Meghan ·
    If they chose to have a kid free wedding, you need to respect that. Can someone from your family that is not attending the wedding watch your kids? If not, maybe ask your SIL if she has any child care suggestions local to the wedding. I would not, however, ask to bring the children to the wedding. If she’s already made it clear that this is a kid free wedding, so that may come off as rude.
  • LB
    Champion November 2016
    LB ·
    Please dont say anything to the bride. Either find childcare or have your H go without you.
  • L
    Beginner May 2019
    Leigh-Ann ·
    View Quoted Comment
    This right here!
  • Katherine
    Devoted July 2019
    Katherine ·

    I think it's fair to feel upset, since these aren't just any kids, they are her nieces and nephews. Are there any other nieces and nephews in the family or are they the first ones?

    That said, please know that it feels much more personal than it was intended to be! I know it doesn't change anything, but sometimes it can help to remember. If your husband does want to talk to her bc he feels like not saying anything would hurt their relationship, I think he should, but I wouldn't expect that they'd change the rule.

  • Lola
    Devoted June 2019
    Lola ·

    I am having a wedding like yours where we are inviting very close family kids to the wedding but not all kids. I think I would probably make an exception if I invited someone travelling that also has kids. But, if there will be no other kids there, I don't think it's fair to ask her to make an exception. I think your only options are to find a babysitter for the day/night or just have your husband go without the family. Not ideal, but if you don't want to leave your kids with someone you don't know well it is probably your only option.

  • Caytlyn
    Master November 2019
    Caytlyn ·

    There's nothing you can say when there are no children invited. Your kids aren't being singled out. As a bride, you know that if she makes exceptions for your children, that's going to have a domino effect and she'll have to accommodate other children as well. Find child care or have your FH attend without you.

  • J
    Master April 2019
    Judith ·
    The B and G should get names of people they have checked out, who are willing to babysit for 5-8 hours wedding day. We did not see how we could have 150+ children 18 months to 15, a few more than the number of adults, more than doubling our costs. We found a necessary 7 nurses aides and day care people for all the children in families with no teens able to babysit for younger ones. So we only had 13 infants and 2 high needs toddlers in a nursery , with staff , and parents dropping in, at the wedding venue. . . . As parents of 5, last year we travelled to 3 weddings and one 25th and 50th wedding anniversary, and this year 3 weddings and 2 graduations, where we were at least 5 days away from home, 250-3,000 miles. And every single time, either for the event, or one or two 6 pm to midnight evenings out, we paid babysitters who were checked out in advance by someone in the host's family. Never a problem, with 3 year old twins, &a 6, 8, and 11 year old. We have visitors from overseas and far off in USA and Canada, and always make sure to have people lined up so adults can have some time without kids. . . . Why should wedding hosts be responsible for $60-100 per child in costs for other people's children, to have them at a wedding they want to be adult only? Children need to learn to accept caretakers other than their parents for 5-8 hours at a time, before they ever go to childcare, preschool, other children's homes, camp, or an unexpected hospitalization. It is healthy patenting to start at least some limited use of non-family babysitters occasionally, when parents are only a few miles away. Days before and after the wedding, they will have lots of family visiting time in smaller, appropriate groups at relatives homes, or places you take them. But parents, not wedding hosts, are in the end responsible for their children, not party hosts. Since you are talking relatives, likely someone knows a neighbor, co-worker, student, or teacher, who babysits. Ask their help in getting you a sitter. . . I think it would be out of line to expect the couple to invite your kids . They are entitled to the wedding they want and can afford. They may have friends whose kids they know better than yours, due to distance, whom they are saying no to. Nothing you have said merits your kids being an exception. The two of you should take the kids, and have the one up to 8 hour day when they have a babysitter, or share a babysitter with another person's child.
  • Arkilia
    Super October 2020
    Arkilia ·
    Here is my 2 cents.... you should say anything to the bride, what I would try to do is find a family friend or use care.com out there so that you guys can stay and visit and your kiddos will be close to you. We brides all have our reasons for why; you just need to be understanding to that.... I hope I helped. Have a great day.

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