Michelle
Rockstar October 2022

Question about under 18 guests

Michelle, on November 26, 2021 at 1:44 PM Posted in Planning 0 8
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It’s always interesting to read about different social circles and customs. One thing I have noticed in various forums is kids are either accepted or shunned with no middle ground. And there’s the idea that it’s offensive to many parents to pick and choose because the message is sent that “these kids are important to us, those are not” which may work for some groups who may not care what guests think but others don’t tolerate it. Most people will never say a word to the couple if they are upset so it’s not right for the couple to assume everyone is ok with the decision. While some groups see kids as automatic invites because it’s a family event for them, others see kids as a nuisance. One thing I keep reading though is that the consensus is that all kids everywhere are disruptive and the older teens who socialize by themselves or with adults are more of a problem than unsupervised toddlers or babies who can’t help crying. The only time I personally have seen disruptive children is when the parents don’t care about their children, teaching them how to behave in public or disciplining appropriately. I’ve never come across misbehaved children at a wedding that do any of the typical things you hear about but I’m sure they exist, though that varies by family and social circle.


Those who are inviting kids, what is your demographic? Are they babies/toddlers only and older teens asked to stay home or is everyone allowed a spot to celebrate?

8 Comments

Latest activity by Jessi, on November 29, 2021 at 9:55 AM
  • Jacks
    Master November 2054
    Jacks ·
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    I think the word "shunned" might be a tad inflammatory. I have been to weddings with kids, some of which were behaved, some weren't. I've been to child-free weddings except for infants that are nursing, which went fine. It is really up to the couple. For demographic I've been to and seen a lot of weddings.

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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece Online ·
    • Flag
    This post comes off very judge mental and condescending. I don’t think anyone is able to make a broad sweeping statement about the behaviors of children or teens at weddings- they all behave so differently. And I also don’t think that the way they behave on one day or at one event reflects how well the parents have raised them or taught them to behave in public. Everyone has off days, and I have seen even the most well-behaved children act out. You say it is not OK for couples to assume that everyone is ok with their decision to invite children or not. I don’t think anyone is assuming people are OK with it; they are simply making decisions on who they wish to (or are able to) invite to their event. Some events are simply not appropriate for children, whether the parents are OK with it or not. And some couples simply do not wish to take on the added expense of inviting children, or the potential negative consequences of doing so (tantrums, injuries, kids hogging the dance floor, parents not able to relax and drink, killing the party vibe, etc.). In the end, a wedding is a party. When people have parties at their homes and don’t invite children, no one raises an eyebrow or questions it, so I don’t understand why anyone would question it for a wedding 🤷🏼‍♀️
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  • S
    Expert November 2021
    Sara ·
    • Flag

    I completely agree with the PPs. "Shunned" is not the right word and this post comes across as somewhat judgemental and condescending.

    We didn't invite kids to our wedding because black tie affairs are not appropriate for children to begin with, regardless of how well behaved they are.

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  • KYLIE
    Super May 2019
    KYLIE ·
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    This completely. And as I’ve stated on many of your posts when you bring this up (OP, not Cece), of course there is middle ground. It is 100% okay to invite nieces and nephews and not coworkers children. That is a reasonable line to draw. That is literally exactly the same as inviting adult first cousins but not adult second cousins.
    AND it is more than okay to want an adults only affair for reasons that are not “I hate kids”. There are many, many environments in life where kids are wanted and enjoy themselves and many, many where they are not and do not. And many weddings fall under the latter category.And in terms of people not saying anything to the couple about being offended—it’s not my job to manage the feelings of unreasonable adults who aren’t forthcoming with their feelings. What an asinine concept.
    Our ring bearer was 6. He was included in all of the groomsmen getting ready festivities and part of the cocktail hour, where he got to enjoy sliders and get loads of compliments on his performance. He got picked up by his grandparents shortly before the reception—they were thrilled to get to spend time with him, he was thrilled to swim in their pool and his parents were thrilled to have an adult dinner. How do I know that? Because I keep company with emotionally stable people that are capable of having open and honest conversations.
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  • Stacey
    Super May 2021
    Stacey ·
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    The criteria for “Rockstars” has sure changed a lot since I started reading this forum.

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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece Online ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Was thinking the same thing
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  • mrswinteriscoming
    Rockstar December 2021
    mrswinteriscoming ·
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    In our circle, weddings are generally very large and involve lots of dancing and copious amounts of alcohol, and at these weddings, it is generally accepted that they are child-free events because the atmosphere is not appropriate for young children. That isn’t to say that these kind of weddings exclude anyone under the age of 18 but rather young children (as in, not old enough to be seated at a table with people of their own age and able to adequately look after themselves). At our own wedding (before we downsized and cancelled our big reception) we were going to have teenagers but no young children (save for the page boy and flower girls) and made that decision because we knew that the teenagers would behave themselves and otherwise stick to their group, whereas young children would likely cause disruption and most parents in our circle would have left them at home anyway because they would have preferred to enjoy the evening child free.

    I am a big believer that parents deserve to enjoy certain events without their children present and I think people need to respect the decision of the marrying couple when it comes to including children at a wedding, and if so, whatever caveats are attached to it. Obviously if someone’s child/children have been selectively singled out from what is otherwise a child friendly event then I can totally understand their grievance but otherwise I don’t see any issue with ‘picking and choosing’ when it comes to allowing children of certain ages, or the children of family only to attend.

    I will say this though, I strongly disagree with the premise that children are only disruptive where “parents don’t care about their children, teaching them how to behave in public or discipling appropriately” and think this is very unfair judgment to make. I am not a parent myself but I have had enough experience with children to know that even the most well behaved child can throw a hell of a tantrum and at the worst time. The reality of the matter is that no matter how much you teach your children to do something or how much you discipline them, there is no way to guarantee that they will behave at a wedding, especially one that involves lots of people, loud music, and staying up much later than their bedtime. Even if a parent is absolutely glued to their child at a wedding, that doesn’t guarantee in the slightest that the child will behave and it is horrible to suggest that a parent doesn’t care about their child by reason of the fact that the child may behave inappropriately at a wedding of all things.

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  • Jessi
    Super October 2022
    Jessi ·
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    We're not inviting kids because that would add nearly 30 more people and most are under 12. I don't mind having teens invited, but there's really no good way to split up either of our families because of the age ranges of people's kids. In order to have a "cleaner" break we have to make the cutoff at cousins, and then say 16+ only. We're technically inviting some kids on my side that are younger than his second cousins, but we would be splitting up a ton of families if we had the same rule applied for anyone which I feel is worse.

    Our ring bearer, flower girl, and junior bridesmaid will all be taken home after the ceremony. They're all good kids, but a wedding is a long day for anyone, and I don't blame kids for getting cranky during them. How often do parents have to keep their kids in public and doing stuff they probably find boring for 6+ hours?

    The main reason we don't want kids there is because we don't currently have any and we'd like our wedding to be a place where people don't have to watch and worry about their kids or other kids. Our venue has a firepit and a few other things that aren't kid friendly so it's not like parents could just let their young kids go run around. My mom is the type of person to turn into a babysitter as soon as she sees a kid without a parent and I don't want her to have to do that on my wedding day. Sure, we could invite older kids, like 10+, but again we'd be splitting way more families and honestly older kids get to the point where weddings are just as boring as what younger kids think. If people are offended by the fact that they can't bring their kids then they're welcome not to come and we will miss them, but that doesn't mean we need to change our minds and I don't think it's rude or insensitive.

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