Teens and Kids at Weddings....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DaisyFace, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    OK - I may be waaaaaayyyyy out of line, here...

    I am really upset this morning after being invited to a family wedding that is out-of-town. We planned to attend. We made hotel reservations. Invitations said nothing about "Adults Only"...and I just received an email from the bride that our children are not invited. So we will need to make other arrangements for them.

    What??? And this is the SECOND time this has happened (same family). We traveled, stayed in hotels and then had to have a babysitter for our children once we got there.

    My feeling is that weddings are not a place for little kids, but older kids and teens should be fine.

    Am I out of line, here?

    And for the record, my own wedding was a tiny affair at a historical bed and breakfast which strictly forbid children under 12. I remember being harshly scolded that I was excluding the toddlers of relatives! (who were brought along anyway...)
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    To me, this is the key.

    My assumption is... kids are included unless specifically excluded.
    Not everyone does that, so I'm learning to always ask.

    There are various reasons for including or not including different age groups. Cost. The temperment of various kids involved. Etc. I might not agree with the kids being included OR excluded.

    BUT. Every arrangement involves costs to those who are invited, too.
    Therefore - the inviter must be very clear to the invitees exactly who has been invited.
    In this case - not clear. That = confusion, trouble, hurt feelings, etc.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    in my opinion, it really depends.

    Now, XH and I asked for no kids. Why? Open bar. Simple.

    One of his aunts or uncles or cousins brought a 5-y/o. Did we tell them NO, she could NOT attend? NO. They came from Wisconsin. So there was no way. I did pull the parent aside and explain about the open bar, and to please keep an eye on the little girl. And there was no problem - they went back to the hotel before the real drinking started.

    With husband and I, excluding kids would have been horrible. O was my flower girl/bridesmaid/maid of honor; J was husband's ring bearer/best man. Niece brought her infant. Very small wedding - besides the four of us and preacher - 4 parents, 1 grandparent, 1 sister, 1 niece, 1 nephew, 1 great nephew and my BFF and her hubby.

    I think the bride and groom are within their rights, but they also need to be flexible. And once the kids hit 12 or so, they're capable of behaving.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    How was the invitation addressed? 'Mr&Mrs' or 'DaisyFace Family' or 'Mr&Mrs and Family'?

    My wedding was adults only by default. Since it was thrown together in two weeks, I didn't even invite cousins who had kids. I had one set of friends at the time who had kids, but didn't want HIS son there (a brat) so I told them right off the bat, no kids. Besides, it was late at night on a boat - not a kid friendly environment.
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    DF, I'm seeing the situation from two sides.

    I was taught that a wedding invitation includes only those people who are specifically named on it. So an invitation to Trinity and Trinity'sHubby does not include sundry and various Monster Tots. If it says Trinity, Hubby, difficult child, LittlePC, etc.... I assume they are included.

    That said, I think the wedding couple should have given much more notice that children were not included so that you would have time to make proper arrangements for them.

    As for the people who dished out the grief that their children were not included in your wedding, some people will be unhappy whatever you choose to do. I suspect that if you had included children in your wedding, those same people would have been upset that they weren't going to have a child-free evening.

    I hope you're able to sort out the arrangements for your children without too much trouble.

  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I always assume that children of the invited are NOT included unless otherwise stated, even teens. I always ask to be sure, but growing up, unless the child(ren) were specifically invited or a part of the wedding, it was almost always assumed they were NOT invited. Especially considering the cost's of weddings these days! I recall receiving an invite from my cousin when I was just 12 and it was addressed to Mistress H&R (no guest was allowed) and my sister's were over 18 and received their own invites and were allowed to bring a guest. And my nephew, who was then 6 received an invite that was addressed to Master Nephew (no guest obviously). I think that's what the etiquette was back then. I don't know why these things change the way they go - makes it so confusing.

    However, that said, the bride showed very bad form by not saying so sooner. If the invites are sent out 8 weeks in advance, it is presumed that those attending will begin making arrangements as necessary. An email should follow VERY shortly thereafter clarifying whether or not children are allowed. I've seen invites where it is stated at the bottom very clearly. And very often the bride/groom will provide babysitting, along with food and beverages for those who cannot leave their children at home.

    Personally, I think family is family and everyone should be present, but I come from a long line of casual weddings thrown in the great outdoors. In a catered hall? Well, that's a different story when you're paying per plate for a sit down dinner these days.

    So what are you going to do??
  7. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I agree with InsaneCdn - your situation has a lot of confusion that could easily be avoided.

    I was always told that the wedding was for the bride and groom. They can invite whoever they want and leave out whoever they want and their wishes should be respected. They have their reasons, whatever they are, and that is all we need to know. HOWEVER, it should be up to them to make their wishes known FROM THE OUTSET. By not making it clear from the beginning, they have left you in a difficult position. I wouldn't be upset that my kids were not included, but I would be upset that they didn't tell me that until later, after all the arrangements had been made. I think you do have to respect their wishes but that may mean you don't attend either. That's the part you get to decide.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thank you...

    Yes, it sounds as though I am the one who is "out of line" by assuming that my whole family would be invited to a family wedding. (What's that saying about assuming? Oh yeah...)

    This particular invite came as a magnet, inviting prospective guests to "Save the Date".

    This was followed by a more traditional-looking invitation and another magnet inviting us to visit a website for all the information.

    The website includes the names of the stores at which the couple registered, as well as an EXTREMELY pricey resort hotel in which a block of rooms had been reserved and an ad for the location of the ceremony. Since nothing indicated no children, and this was family, and this was out-of-town, I made my assumption.

    I then heard in a roundabout way that some of the relatives were counting on difficult child to babysit their toddlers who would be left behind in hotel rooms for the evening.

    Meanwhile, difficult child has every intention of attending the wedding - NOT sitting in a room with fussy toddlers. (To say NOTHING of the fact that I wouldn't trust difficult child to babysit a goldfish!)

    So I got upset when the bride emailed this morning - letting me know that children (other than those in the bridal party) are NOT invited - but that some other relatives who would be in town for the event are having trouble finding a sitter - (Hint!) (Hint!)

    (And yes, Trinity - you are right about those relatives complaining regardless. LOL! Now that you mention it, I believe they were also unhappy with the choice of entree...)
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I actually was faced with this exact situation about 15 years ago. We were invited to my husband's nephew's wedding several states away at a country club. His family is very close and we all get together several times a year with kids included. So when we were all invited to this out of town wedding we assumed the kids were invited. I can't remember how the invitation was worded but I always go with that, if it says Mr. & Mrs. it means no kids. So it must have been unclear. Actually all the siblings of my husband thought kids were invited too so it wasn't just us. A couple weeks before the wedding we got a call from our nephew telling us kids were not invoted, that it was a country club rule. Well we know that is not true but so be it. Of course we were stunned and didn't know what we were going to do with the kids.

    Nephew and his soon-to-be wife said they were renting a suite where all the kids could hang oput and they would have babysitters and pizza and ice cream and their own party. OK we could live with that. But when we got there after a very long day of driving we discovered there was no suite, just a regular room. The babysitter was a girl and her boyfriend and neither one of them were friendly or looked liKE they ever babysat for kids in their lives. their pizza turned out to be mcdonalds burgers and there was no party. We all said nope not gonna happen. So my sister in law and I agreed to stay back babysit until another couple attending the wedding saw our dilemma with about eight kids in a small room and she offered her teen daughter who came along on the trip to babysit. She was wonderful with the kids and we attended the wedding.

    We all thought the way this was handled was not the best but we loved the girl he was marrying and she is a wonderful addition to our family so we let it go. I wish they had stated from the beginning that kids were not invited and I wish they had made better plans for our kids since we all had to travel with them, but it is what it is and none of us wanted hard feelings. We truly thought the kids would be included because they were cousins of the groom, but we should not have assumed.

    I have never brought my kids to anyone's wedding that was not a very close relative. I remember when I got married and my parents friends' brought three and four kids with them. Weddings are very expensive.

  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I guess a big exception to the rule would be if you get an invite to attend a "Big Fat Traveler's Wedding".
    OMG! I can't believe how many kids attend those. Personally, I'll pass, lol. DDD
  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We went through something similar with my brother's wedding a few years ago.

    I'm all for the new couple to have the say in who's invited to their big day. That said, I do feel that if the bride & groom's extended family has children, they should be included in the invitation to the ceremony -- though perhaps young children should be excluded from the reception party, especially if it's an evening affair with alcohol. But in my opinion older children (like 10+) relatives especially should be allowed to watch the ceremony. It's an important life event/social event in a family.

    I was truly annoyed when my brother and his bride said their wedding was a no-kids-allowed event. At the time, my kids were aged 11, 13 and 15 and it would have been completely appropriate for them to be there to see their uncle get married.

    On the other hand, I would not expect to have my children included in an invitation for a non-relative's wedding.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Maybe I am in the minority, but I would ALWAYS assume that my kids were invited to a wedding unless it specifically said otherwise. My wedding? Not only did I invite many of my professors - who worked with my mother - but would have been upset greatly if they had NOT brought their kids. These were NOT people from out of town, and they never questioned if their kids could come, though the invites went to the parents. I know ONE mom, a professor that I didn't have but who's prof husband I had in quite a few classes, also a family I babysat for extensively, said she was bummed because the reception was so informal (I wore shorts that matched the top of the wedding outfit - and it was pink and mint green with tulips on the fabric - NOT as awful as it sounds, actually very pretty or so I was told by my daughter a year ago, lol) that seh didn't have even one chance that summer to make her girls dress up. Her girls, on the other hand, thought it was super awesome to not have to dress up and wear tights or hose or whatever in Aug in OK.

    I can only think of TWO weddings where my kids were not invited. Both times it was coworkers of husband and a ceremony later in the evening and relatives of either the bride or groom had a child or three who could not come close to behaving and both times the fear was that these kids would not be supervised by parents and would set the place on fire or hurt someone. I am talking difficult children of 8-12yo. We were specifically told that our kids could attend but figured they wouldn't have much fun being the only kids there. Also Wiz didn't do so well with big changes in his schedule at the time.

    There have been VERY few weddings, even adult only ones, where we were not told that it was okay to bring our kids. Even Wiz somehow managed to be charming enough that others wanted him there when they didn't want any kids. I found it bizarre, but was glad that all the hassle and PITA of insisting that he KNOW decent manners was good for something. (If you KNOW decent manners then you have a choice - if no one teaches them to you then you don't have much choice, esp with the social issues that difficult children have!). I do remember refusing to take Wiz to a wedding. He was 7 mos old, I was matron of honor, the ceremony was a huge dog and pony show with three hours of photos before the wedding and two hours after, then a reception forty minutes away from the church. My aunt was babysitting Wiz, but he hadn't really been away from me for long. My aunt had a child six mos older than Wiz and was preg with her second and about halfway through the ceremony Wiz refused to take a bottle. I actually didn't go to the reception. Bride actually EXPECTED me to allow her 80+yo Gma to babysit Wiz during the ceremony and reception. this was a women who used to sit and play wedding dress up with us ALL the time when we were kids. I can remember being eight or so and hearing her tell us that our weddings would be something she would cherish seeing. NO WAY would I even tentatively ask, much less expect, her to babysit during the ceremony.

    I guess our family just doesn't exclude kids from stuff, so it wouldn't occur to me. I do have a second cousin who's bride decided just before the wedding to not let kids come, so instead of the big audience there to fill the church and then go to the reception, she had about half the people because it was too short for many to get sitters. She was REALLY bridezilla about this, and apparently had a fit about it.

    I think if you are travelling a long way to get the ceremony, and the couple does not want kids, they should recognize that many families cannot find/afford an overnight sitter and they should set up something really nice for the kids.

    Sorry about the drama. I hope that no one decides you are being "mean" or whatever by not letting difficult child babysit - sadly it may come as another source of conflama.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...we havent done many weddings...lol. My step-sister got married in 89 and only I was invited. I will never forget that wedding. It still brings a tear to my eye because I had to watch my dad walk another girl down the isle and he never got to walk me. Oh well, I saved him 20K. What I did find irritating in a way though was that I was specifically told that no kids were invited to the wedding but then when I got there I saw several of my step-moms great nieces and nephews. That kind of ticked me off. I probably wouldnt have taken my kids anyway because of their ages but it would have been nice if they had just asked.

    The other wedding I went to was completely different. It was my cousins daughter's wedding and it was a huge Catholic affair and they packed every relative and friend they could think of into that affair. I even got invited...lol. It was the first time I had been back up in a long time. Little kids were dancing around on the dance floor having a grand old time and my Uncle and my cousin's husband couldnt have been happier. I still dont know who the groom was...lmao.
  14. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I could see not inviting the children if it's something like a co-workers wedding or the bosses daughter, etc., where they don't even know your children. But if it's a family wedding, I can't even imagine not having the children there! I would hope that the parents had enough sense to handle infants or very small kids and would not allow them to disrupt the ceremony, and for them it might be better to get a sitter. But for most kids who are a little older, getting all dressed up and going to a family wedding is an exciting adventure and I certainly would not want to exclude teenaged relatives either. I still remember going to my uncles wedding when I was about 4 or 5 and the whole family was there and we had so much fun!

    My daughter and sister in law had a small formal church wedding, mostly family and close friends and they were very anxious to include her two younger cousins. The 12 year old was in charge of cutting and serving the cake - she was so honored and she did a lovely job. And the 10-year "special needs" cousin was the ring bearer. They knew he might mess up but they didn't care because they both love him so much and wanted him to be a part of it. He practiced for weeks, and was so proud of himself! Maybe a little too informal for some but it was all very lovely and very meaningful.
  15. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Their wedding their choice, but they certainly should have been up front about it on the invitations themselves.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The thought that keeps occurring to me is how are kids supposed to learn how to behave at weddings, including and maybe especially their own, if they are never allowed to go to them. I also wonder what kids think happens at weddings? Are they like Wiz who believed for years that New Years Eve parties were for parents to all get together and figure out new ways to torture their kids in the upcoming year? Okay, maybe most kids wouldn't think that, but what do kids think happens at weddings and how do they think people are supposed to act at them?

    I have to say taht I DO understand why my aunt's husband's did not invite my cousins after the first of them married. the first one that married after my aunt married into the family had my aunt in the wedding party. She was nursing my 5 or 6 mo old cousin - and during the ceremony my aunt went and first tried to stand up at the front of the church and nurse the child!! She had a blanket over her, but it HAD to be terribly obvious. After a few minutes the bride growled at her brother and he made his wife (my aunt) go sit in the pews - but she only went to the front row and made people move over.

    NO WAY would the other family members have kids at a service for ANYTHING she was involved with for about five years after that. My aunt was hugely insulted that her kids were not invited and to this day thinks it was perfectly reasonable to stand there with the wedding party while nursing a child.

    Sorry, but that is just beyond the boundaries of even rude behavior. There were many generations at the wedding and the men were ALL incredibly embarrassed by it - and the talk of the reception was NOT about the happy couple, the ceremony, or the reception or even the cake - it was about that woman who was so badly behaved. My dad NEVER comments on things his sibs do that are strange but when he heard about htat he called his little sis and had a few words with her. He really was as much father as brother and he was really upset that she did that.

    In that family, I totally understand the no kids rule. Added to that, my aunt felt that when God wanted her kids to behave a certain way in church then he would make them behave that way. So if they screamed (she refused to go to the cry room with them) or ran up and down the aisle during the processional or any other time, or asked someone why they were fat or ugly or had an ugly dress, she just let them. mostly her first - he can still do no wrong (had a girlfriend break up with him last month because aunt kept telling her how lucky she was to be dating him). Her daughter, who is younger, didn't act that way past about age two because my aunt came down on her like a ton of bricks for bad manners even if her bro was doing the same thing.

    otherwise, how are kids to learn how to act if they are never in a situation? Until the situation with my aunt I had never even heard of an adults only wedding. My foks sometimes went to wedding with-o us, but mostly so they could get a date night!
  17. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree, Susie and felt the same way about fancy restaurants when the girls were little. Not that I could ever afford it, but once in a great while the IL's would take us out and I was happy to bring the girls along to practice their manners in those situations. I hate restaurants that tout being " family friendly", as if that gives all the children license to be unruly, rude, throw food, scream and yell, and walk around while everyone is eating! I've seen this behavior countless times and it baffles me why parents don't use that opportunity to teach their children appropriate manners (or leave). Same thing with weddings, you're correct. Ugh.
  18. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Only those specifically listed on the invitation are invited. Our last family wedding I tossed the envelope and then couldn't remember if the kids were listed! Thankfully my sister still had her envelope so I was able to figure it out.

    I think a lot has to do with the different way weddings are done throughout the country. In our area, an open bar is 100% expected as well as dinner and, of course, cake :). Often there are hor'devours as well. Cost is around $75-100 per person (some places have a child's price but it is still $50-75/child).

    In my cousin's area, a wedding reception consists basically of punch and cake. She grew up near me and really wanted a "full" reception and had a great deal of difficulty pulling it together. Obviously, it is much easier to have tons of kids at a cake-and-punch reception.
  19. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I agree with that. But if it was me, and if the budget was that tight, I would rather have the reception be slightly less grand and be able to include more people, especially teenaged relatives. I can't imagine excluding them from something that is basically a big family gathering. With most families so spread out now, sometimes the only time they ever all get together is for weddings and funerals.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hearts, my mother scrimped and saved and tried to take us to brunch after church at least once a month so that she could make sure we knew how to act in restaurants. She tipped super well and it really helped us when we were older. I know gfgbro got more second and third dates from girls because he knew what manners to use and his friends just didn't. Girls like a well mannered guy, at least back then. Every single guy I dated a couple of times wanted to introduce me to his mother and every single mother just LOVED me because I was so polite and treated them like people instead of obnoxious aliens like other girls I know did. I had a hard time shaking a couple of them because their moms kept after them to date me.

    I agree with- Donna about a less expensive wedding and inviting the other family.