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 64

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...
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.


  • Kenzie
    Dedicated March 2019
    Kenzie ·
    After talking to my husband more, I think we were both bothered because she wasn’t even going to tell us directly. I hope none of you non-parents take this personally when I say this, but non-parents just don’t get it sometimes. Her approach when her mom (my MIL and husband’s mom) said “you need to let jeff know” was “oh he will see it says no kids on the website”. We were just taken aback by the flippancy of it considering this is her niece and nephew, her brother’s kids, not a second cousin’s nephew, lol. We both agreed after talking more she totally should have the wedding she and her FH want, but do feel the message should have been delivered directly with a little more sensitivity. Not that it’s relevant, but cost and space isn’t an issue, as far as the wedding is concerned. It was just their personal choice to have it completely child free (also understandable). The message was just delivered to us in a very odd way which made us feel a little shocked and hurt. It’s a sensitive topic (especially because we both feel insecure our kids aren’t viewed as OUR kids but my kids and his step kids). However, that’s our problem and not hers. We are also the only ones traveling from the west cost and essentially the only ones really traveling from anywhere that requires a plane, so the fact she was just like “oh they’ll see it’s on the website” was hurtful. It’s all fine now though

  • Sherry
    VIP September 2019
    Sherry ·

    Is it possible to have maybe an older niece, nephew, cousin of yours to travel with you to act as the sitter while you attend the wedding? You could also ask if child care is being provided.

  • Kenzie
    Dedicated March 2019
    Kenzie ·
    View Quoted Comment
    They are the first and only, yes
  • Kenzie
    Dedicated March 2019
    Kenzie ·
    View Quoted Comment
    That’s a really good suggestion! Thank you.
  • LB
    Champion November 2016
    LB ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Was the invitation addressed to just you and your husband and not "and family"?
    If so, they let you know directly. You're taking this wayyyyy too personally.
  • Desiree
    Dedicated April 2020
    Desiree ·
    I wouldn’t even take finding out from the website as a bad thing. I mean what’s the easiest way to tell everyone there is no kids than to put it on the website? You guys are taking things too personally, who cares that she didn’t send a personalized text saying kids aren’t invited.
  • Kenzie
    Dedicated March 2019
    Kenzie ·
    View Quoted Comment
    FYI if you spend all this time on a website, most guests don’t even check it. If they do, they do a week before the wedding. So yeah, probably smart to inform people at the very least in the invitation. Let alone your own brother 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • J
    Savvy June 2020
    Jill ·
    I ran into a similar situation during my first wedding. We decided on a no kid wedding. One family still brought their children.
  • Sarah
    VIP September 2019
    Sarah ·
    View Quoted Comment
    I AM a mom. I have never been told by personal message that my child isn’t invited somewhere. Her name hasn’t been on the invitations when she wasn’t invited, regardless of who the bride and groom are. If your children weren’t listed on the envelope, that’s how they let you know your children weren’t invited.
  • Expert October 2020
    Since it’s all children not invited I wouldn’t taken it personally. If it were me I would see a few options here. You could ask about childcare just for while you’re at the wedding (someone is bound to have kids that get sitters frequently). You could FaceTime them during the reception on and off to make yourself feel more comfortable. If this is absolutely not an option maybe you and the kiddos could go to a local movie or have a movie night in while your husband attends the wedding and then you could make your stay longer and enjoy some time with your in-laws after the wedding. Make a little mini vacation of it. This is probably one of those snowballing things. If she lets her brother bring his kids then everyone who traveled or was close family (people will stretch that meaning once they hear some kids are coming) would want to bring theirs.
  • Selena
    Super September 2019
    Selena ·
    View Quoted Comment
    I disagree that having children of your own changes your opinion on this one. Honestly I am unsure about the appropriateness of my own children attending my wedding. It is an adult affair. My mother will be there and in charge of them. But they will likely sit there on an electronic device, wishing they weren't there.

    Take the opportunity to have a weekend away. If your mom or sister can take care of them. It is fun for the kids to stay with Grandma or Auntie.
  • ASMini914
    Super September 2019
    ASMini914 ·

    I wouldn't take it personally if no children were invited, not just yours. We are having a no kid wedding, and have plenty of guests traveling in from out of state, and will not be providing child care. As a non-parent, I "get it", and I am still making the choice not to have children running around on my wedding day. Its our day.

    It sounds like you were informed, just through your MIL, which is probably appropriate. It would have been extremely rude for your future SIL to call one of you just to let you know that your children weren't invited to her wedding.

  • Ana
    Devoted September 2019
    Ana ·
    So I just had this discussion today with the lady doing our invitations. Apparently some venues do not allow minors if alcohol is being served. This may be the reason. Don’t take offense. If you can’t find child care stay home. As a mom of 4 I know how stressful this can be. Good luck 👍
  • Brittanie
    Dedicated June 2020
    Brittanie ·
    I understand only to an extent. I will be providing childcare at my wedding (just during the ceremony) because I have many guests with children and it’s not that I don’t want them there by any means, it’s that I know they don’t particularly want to BE there if that makes sense. Children don’t really care about weddings and the younger ones don’t understand it and therefore lose interest very quickly and get restless. I would rather them have a designated area to move around and play games or whatever they would like to do during the ceremony, instead of trying to get them to sit still quietly throughout the duration of the ceremony. I prefer that they not be on theirs or their parents’ phones trying to hear their games or music, or have the little ones wanting to get up and roam around when they can’t necessarily do so, which can potentially lead to loud crying as well and I know nobody wants that either because it’s not something you can really help or control sometimes.
  • T
    Just Said Yes January 2020
    Taylor ·

    I am having a child free wedding. The only children that are invited are my finances family as his family lives in New York and we live in Wisconsin. No children from my side of the family are invited under the age of 18.

  • Mandi
    Rockstar March 2020
    Mandi ·
    I think since all kids are excluded you shouldn't be too upset about it.
    Realize that you just did this to other people.
    Consider taking your kids and using to find a sitter.
  • FutureStephD
    Super March 2019
    FutureStephD ·
    View Quoted Comment

    You're being very gracious.

    But I also have to say, as a former bride with a nephew who is technically a step nephew, we didn't invite a SINGLE kid. Not even my friend with a six month old, my BM from out of town with a three year old, nor my nephew. We had no intentions to invite my nephew. My mom threw a fit b/c they didn't have anyone to babysit him and they were traveling from across the US. We ended up inviting my nine year old nephew to attend, who then requested a filet mignon (eye roll.. while cost and capacity wasn't an issue, it was expensive). This caused a problem with H's sister and brother and their three kids, which then caused an issue with my cousins nine y/o kid. Which then caused an issue with MILs 12 second cousins (i.e. H's cousins kids). Which then caused an issue with our friends' 34 kids. I know that seems crazy, but that's how this stuff spirals. We literally had BIL have his kid ask us if she could attend, which of course made us feel bad and angry b/c super manipulative. We ultimately told everyone, if you have a child with special needs, and live out of state, feel free to bring them (I forgot to mention my nephew is autistic).

    I understand you are hurt that your BIL/SIL didn't approach you and explain everything. Perhaps they were worried about the above.

    If I were you, I would just make a decision about going or not - leave the kids with a relative, or taking them and finding a sitter. I see no harm in asking your BIL/SIL if they know of childcare in the area - perhaps they will make an exception for you.

    Good luck!

  • karen
    Master October 2017
    karen ·

    A lot of people think it is proper etiquette just to put the names of the invitees on the invite, and to indicate who is NOT invited is rude.

    On the issue of stepkids, many people will not regard them as family immediately but will over time. If you make an issue of this, that time may never come.

    Take the kids or not, ask the sister if she can recommend a good sitter if you do bring the kids. And fyi, I have a very small camera that leads into my smart phone. No monitoring fee, the camera came for a set of 4 about 120, I have them at home, and can take one with me if I travel.

  • Anna
    Rockstar June 2020
    Anna ·
    I totally understand why your feelings would be hurt. Mine would be too.

    Perhaps, she is just a person that views everything with logic.
    And because it wouldn't hurt her feelings, she can't fathom that it would hurt yours or anyone else's.

    I would ask her if she has any good recommendations for child care.

    I'm so sorry , it would seem personal to me too. I'm guessing she didn't mean it that way. Thinking that since you are family, and just had your own wedding with limited kids invited, that you would be the first to understand.

    She shouldn't have assumed. She should have discussed it with her brother at least in my opinion.

    Hang in there! I hope it works out ok for you.

  • Sexypoodle
    Super October 2020
    Sexypoodle ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Well if it’s not just your children then it shouldn’t be taken personally. As much as people without kids may not understand the strain... people with kids have to realize that there are certain events where kids just aren’t invited and therefore you’ll sometimes have to decline. 🤷🏽‍♀️

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