Kids only wedding reception dilema

stronglilyNovember 19, 2007

My niece has decided she doesn't want children at her wedding reception, although she is making exceptions for some children who are in the wedding and their siblings as well. My eight year old is her ring bearer and my 15 and 16 year old boys are ushers. However, my boys are not invited to the reception after. There will be six or seven other children from the above mentioned group attending and they range in age from 10 to 15.

We are expected to pay for my eight-year-old's tux, I hosted a wedding shower for her and am helping her by sewing some items for the wedding.

My fifteen year-old got tears in his eyes when he realized he and his brothers were the only cousins not invited to the reception. I also have an 18 year old daughter, not in the wedding, who is invited to the reception, merely because of her age.

I am hurt and frustrated. My husband says he will attend the wedding but not the reception and will most surely tell them why.

I can understand an "adult-only" reception...but seriously...I'm amazed at their rudeness. Any suggestions? Should I join my husband in his boycott, remain silent and get over it, if so how do I explain it to my boys when they are shipped home after performing their duties at the wedding?

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I think you should understand,this is not YOUR wedding,and you are not paying for it.
I'm not trying to be mean,but this happens ALL THE TIME. When someone has a wedding,all of a sudden everyone thinks they can tell the bride and the groom who to invite.

My cousin just had a wedding last year.The invitation said NO CHILDREN. I respected that and found my daughter a sitter.At the wedding,there were a few kids there~some whose parents were actually IN the wedding party.
Since they were paying 50 dollars a head,it certainly was not my place to nag and cry about it.Just as,no offense,it really isnt yours either.
If it's honestly that big a deal,then DONT GO AT ALL. Dont you dare let your husband boycott the reception and tell them why on their special day! That would be very selfish (and dramatic!) of you.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 4:42AM
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This is not the right time to boycott anything. This is your neice's day. You may not agree with her decisions, but please respect them.

Please encourage your husband not to make a big deal out of this. Life is too short. Celebrate the day with your neice. The boys will be fine - they are old enough to entertain themselves for a few hours while the reception is going on.

Just curious - who are the children who ARE invited?

You do the things to contribute to the wedding out of a spirit of family and happiness and good nature, please don't ruin your positive contributions. Just go with the flow.

Just my $.02

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 5:47AM
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Inviting 4 members of your family and leaving 2 out is of extremely poor taste on the bride's part. You have every right to be hurt (so do the teenage ushers) If the situation calls for you to not go to the reception then don't go. If its not worth the hassle of a confrontation then just go and grin and bear it. Only you can judge the extended family dymanic. I don't think stating your opinion will change anything so keep this within your family and not mention it to any other extended family members. Chin up, remain classy and buy a hideous wedding gift(just joking on the gift).

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 8:03AM
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I agree with tegwyn. It is very poor taste to leave your kids out of the reception. Sadly the bride does not feel that ushers are "in the wedding" too. Has anyone tried to speak to the bride? With all the planning that goes into her big day she may have just forgotten that usher are part of the ceremony. Not just invited guest and that leaving them out really hurts their feelings. In the end it is the brides decision and you must respect that. However too many brides tend to forget that this is a celebration of 2 familys coming together. Not just a ME, ME, ME day!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 9:50AM
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I'm sorry but what part of "Adult Only" don't you understand?

I take it she set an age 17 or 18 and is going with that. Please respect her decision. What age limit do you think she sould have set? 7? 9? 12? 14?. And, if she went with a younger age limit, where would she draw the line so no one would get hurt? And, if she was suppose to draw a line regarding which kids could attend, where would this line be drawn at? Kids only invited if they are blood related? Only those kids invited if mothers threw showers? Only neighbor kids they've known more than 5 years? Only kids the groom fathered? The cuts and inclusions can be arbitrary and go on forever; but the lines have to be drawn somewhere and she drew them at a very appropriate age IMHO, making it a true adult reception.

There's a group of people that tend to take these things personally and are always upset that their kid didn't make the cut. But, this day is not about you and where you would draw the line. It's their day and they get to make the decisions. You shouldn't take her adult only reception preference personally. It was never meant to specifically exclude you or anyone's children; it's just that she wants an adult only reception. Sounds to me like she has done absolutely nothing wrong. Check the etiquette books if you don't believe me.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 10:07AM
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I think a "no children" reception is perfectly fine, however, I feel those children in the wedding party should be exceptions to the rule. Ushers and ring bearers ARE part of the wedding party. Are you saying that all 3 boys have not been invited to the reception?

If so, then I would speak to the bride's mother and ask if a mistake has possibly been made regarding the reception list. If she says there is no mistake, then my husband and I would go for about 30 minutes, congratulate the happy couple and then depart to take my family out to dinner somewhere.
If your boys were not part of the wedding party, then I wouldn't have a problem with them not being included in the reception. But it sounds like you're saying some of the other kids in the wedding party are in the same age group as your "usher" sons and they are invited. Please! How rude is that!!!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 10:51AM
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I have no problem with "adults-only" weddings or parties, but I think it is odd that your niece considers your teenagers mature enough to be ushers, but not mature enough to attend the reception. Seems like it would have been better to make the wedding adults-only as well, to avoid the (IMO) awkwardness of excluding members of the wedding party from the reception.

But, at this point, since you have accepted the responsibility of having your children in the wedding party, I think it would be kind of you to follow through with that responsibility without making an issue of the adults-only reception. Perhaps your niece, not having any children of her own yet, is just is not as considerate of your children's feelings as she should be. If you choose not to attend the reception, I wouldn't let it be known that it was an actual "boycott" - I think that sort of thing just makes people seem immature.

I don't really agree with your niece's policy, either, but you have to choose your issues carefully when it comes to your family, and if this is a case of thoughtlessness, rather than meanspiritedness, I wouldn't draw attention to it.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 10:58AM
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I have to admit, I'm not sure about the specifics of your post and/or clear if other younger kids where invited to the reception while yours, who were in the wedding party, where not. If they were, do they have a closer relationship or special circumstance (from out of town, etc)? I took it your older daughter got invited due to her older age. It is hard to tell what is going on if some kids are invited to the recpetion and some aren't, but I have a feeling there probably are some special circumstances you may not be aware of and again, I wouldn't take it personally. Either that or your kids are just holly terrors LOL - which I doubt.

I would never ask for an invite for your uninvited kids or even mention it though. If you really do feel slighted then of course, it is well within your rights to do what you feel appropriate... just be sure you understand everything that is going on. This is not about making this day the way you would like it; it is their day. And, I'm sure they have their reasons for inviting who they did. If she asked to have your kids in the wedding, obviously she thinks highly of them. Maybe she thinks it's too late for your younger one and that the older boys would prefer to go to football games or hang out at the mall over come to her boring wedding recpetion. Maybe Dorothy's little Timmy was invited because he's not handling his mom's and dad's divorce well and has bad separation aniexty. Who knows? But, I highly doubt the lack of invitation to your boys should be taken so negatively and personally.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 11:23AM
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Thank you for your responses to my dilelma. And yes, the other children who have been invited are in the same age range, and are also first cousins. So the part of "an adult only reception" I don't understand is that my chilren who are "in" the wedding are the "only" first cousins being excluded from the wedding. So if this actually was a case of the bride using an age limit to draw the line, I would have no problem with it. Four of the cousins who are invited are also cousins to my children...they could easily have been asked to come hang out with my children at our home if they truly wanted to draw an age limit.

I have spoken to the brides mother, and she says she has pointed this out to the bride, but has left the decision up to her daughter. Perhaps this is the part I don't understand, because her parents are paying for the wedding.
If my children were rude or ill behaved....(well I may not want to admit it if they were! haha)but they are polite and respectful enough to be in the wedding.

While I feel the situation is rude, I don't wish to do anything that will cause hard feelings or put a damper on their wedding. Therefore I will definately keep the commitment of having my children be in the wedding. Well, I guess that actually answers my question...because I don't have control over anything else.

As far as controlling what my husband does, I can and have encouraged him to let it go, but after 20+ years of marriage, he still usually does and says whatever he wants.
Certainly I will try to keep him from saying anything blunt or rude...but that is no small task.

So...if I keep him from saying anything rude but he still refuses to attend the reception...I just attend without him? And tell people what when they ask?...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 11:44AM
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PS..correction...the brides mother spoke to me about it, I did not bring it up.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 11:50AM
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Just to be clear I don't think the bride is making the best decision not to include the entire wedding party in the reception. In some instances the wedding ceremony takes place in church and the reception at another location which may not be appropriate for children.

I opted for an all adult wedding reception and I wanted just that - all adults. However, the flower girl and ring bearer were invited to attend the reception. I have to say, I think they were entirely bored and tired from the long day since the hair and getting dressed started early in the day with the wedding at 5, pictures followed by reception cocktail hour starting at 7. The reception ended at midnight and it was much too late for children to be attending. I chose to invite the two because they were part of the wedding party. I do not think the bride made the best decision as IMHO the wedding party should be exempt from the age limitation.

I think the bride is wrong to have invited your children to be attendants and not invite them to celebrate in the reception, but that was her choice. Regardless of her bad manners, you have committed your children to participate. I am assuming you did not know the reception arrangement prior to allowing them to participate.

I don't think she thought this out very well, but to make a big deal now is just useless and will only serve to cause hard feelings.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 11:55AM
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It sounds like maybe the other kids (cousins) are from out of town??? Even though you say they could hang out at your house, that is a little too much for a couple to ask or assume. And their parents may not even approve of it. Maybe the couple is using the etiquette rule about out of towners being invited to the rehersal dinners, and extending it to the out of town kids so they can go to the adult reception. If that's the case, at least there's a reason you know of to not take it so personally.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 12:17PM
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I agree with most of the other posters. labmomma and the others said it very well. I probably would not have made the same choice that this bride (AND GROOM -- why only blame her?) made, but it was their choice to make. Wrong or right, I think it would be an enormous mistake to say or do anything about it. If your husband doesn't attend the reception, IMO, you should go anyway. (If he decides not to attend the reception, make sure you tell the hosts of his plans; saying he will come and then not showing up is really rude and inconsiderate).

It does seem odd that your boys weren't invited when other first cousins their ages were, but as one poster pointed out, there may be some reason of which you are not and may never be aware. Or maybe she thought somehow that your youngest son would feel worse being the ONLY one left out or something. We all break the rules sometimes, and it isn't always for selfish or bad reasons. Please give your niece the benefit of the doubt. At least she included the boys in the ceremony; that is quite an honor. Given their inclusion in the wedding party, I can't believe they intended to snub them by not including them in the reception.

In any case, people don't owe us explanations for their decisions. If they made a mistake, it was their mistake to make, and as others have said, it isn't about your family.

I know you can't control your husband. But, boy, what a mistake he would be making giving the bridal couple and their parents a piece of his mind at their wedding -- a MUCH worse offense than theirs. What on earth good would it accomplish? He will only appear childish, vindictive, rude, and narcissistic. Any guilt they felt over their decision would evaporate -- if anything, they'd go from thinking, "Gosh, why didn't we invite the boys?" to "HE'S the one we shouldn't have invited!" If you think he would really do that, you have my sympathies! Keep him away from alcohol, I guess ... Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 1:45PM
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While there is a good chance that my husband will say something inspite of my efforts to persuade him otherwise, he would definitely tell his brother well before the wedding day that he won't be attending the reception. He would most likely be very matter-of-fact about it when he let them know why. I still think he should let it go, but he certainly wouldn't make a scene on their wedding day.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 2:27PM
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I can totally understand an 'adults only' reception and would support the bride's right to have that kind of affair if it's what she wanted.

But I cannot understand an 'adults only plus a few invited children reception'. Generally, 15 year olds aren't even considered children when it comes to this sort of thing--they're old enough to behave as adults, so I totally cannot see how this girl could have done something so totally cruel to him.

Sorry, I'd be offended as well. Yes, it's the bride's day. Yes, she has the right to invite who she wants to. But you know what? I have the right to disagree, and to skip the event if it's causing my child hurt. Bet anything this one's going to be one of those where there is a lot of hurt and resentment on both sides--probably best to skip it anyway.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 3:07PM
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Ick, pretty thoughtless! Be polite and obliging is all you can really do.

In a few years she will have children of her own...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 3:16PM
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I think it depends on how "close" the bride is to the children in question. If they are close family members then of course they should be at the reception.

Perhaps you could just have a quiet word to the bride's mum and say something really diplomatic. It may have been overlooked in the planning.

It's really tricky.

I don't think I would feel like attending the reception if my children where not invited.

But then again, you can't please everyone, can you !

I think people loose the plot at weddings, sometimes. Why can't everyone come, and join in the celebrations. You would not find anyone being excluded in some other cultures. Weddings are for everyone to celebrate and enjoy.

In some cultures the guests give the bride and groom money, so this pays for it all in the end.

Let us know what you end up doing, Stronglily, I would be interested to know how you handle the situation.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 5:15PM
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The people who say its the niece's wedding and you're not paying, so you need to get over it, here is my thought.
It sounds like the OP had committed a great deal already, including a significant outlay of cash.

My DD was flower girl and my expenses for her ended up being about $400 just for her outfit, alterations and hair. Had I found out after the fact, I would have every right to be hurt, and it would sure hurt DD's feelings. Kids really look forward to these events in a big heartfelt way.

So if it were me, I'd have a talk with the bride myself (if it were my family) or ask my husband to if it was his side, and just let them know how I felt.

It still may be that the kids are not invited. But at least take into account that the feelings of hurt are valid especially when it's after you've committed money, time, etc to the event.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 6:21PM
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I would call her and tell her that your sons feel that if they are oldenough to serve at the ceremony they should be invited to the reception....and you are sorry but feel thay have a legit gtipe....and they will be unable to serve as ushers.
I really can't help but believe she just forgot to invite members of the wedding party to the seems so obvious that they would be there....maybe? She forgot?? Maybe??
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 11:46PM
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I certainly didn't mean to suggest that I couldn't understand why the OP's feelings, and those of her family, are hurt. I would feel bad, too.

But I still feel that it can only make things MUCH worse to boycott the wedding or to confront the hosts or the bridal couple about it. It's hard to imagine a good outcome.

It sounds like this is the OP's husband's brother's child's wedding, right? So at most I would say that if the two brothers are close enough, and if he can pull it off, he (the OP's husband) might somehow diplomatically discuss the matter with his brother; maybe let him know that the boys are disappointed, and ASKING if there were any chance that they could be included (as opposed to demanding or trying to demonstrate why they were WRONG to exclude them). Perhaps they somehow felt the boys would not want to attend, and they will be glad to include them. But maybe they had some other reason unrelated to them personally (for example, maybe there was a need to be consistent with something they are doing on the groom's side). It could be a stupid reason or a smart one, but either way, I think you simply have to accept their decision.

The point is to give his brother some space to be the gracious one and invite the boys, if he can. But the OP's husband has to be prepared to be gracious about it if he does not: no "Well, in that case, if my boys aren't welcome, I'm not coming, either." Otherwise the whole thing was an ultimatum from the start.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 11:51PM
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Maybe it's because she doesnt feel comfortable with the fact that alcohol will be served around children,but for teenagers it is ok.Some receptions can get pretty wild.The garter being taken off and (depending on how young the bride and groom are) their friends could dance crazy or something. Maybe she would like more of her friends to be able to attend the reception instead of kids.

Personally,my mom made me invite people from her work I didnt even know,and my grandmother had to have some great aunt I didnt even know there too.

All I'm saying is,I'm sure other people may be pressuring the bride to invite so-and-so too,not just you,so maybe they had to cut back some on how many kids could be at the reception.
If that is the case,it should not be taken so personally.
Honestly,I dont know why anyone makes a big deal out of weddings.They come and over with before you know it.Something always happens where someone's nose is bent out of joint too.I've just started avoiding weddings because of this.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 1:57AM
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I appreciate all of you for taking the time to express your thoughts on this situation. There have been a wide variety of opinions given, but most of you do seem to agree that we should attend and let it go.

I discussed the situation again with DH (look, I'm learning the jargon!) and he is still adamant about (us) not attending the reception. I made it clear to him that it would be "him" not attending. At this point, I have asked him to think and pray about it for a few days before he makes a final decision. I have tried to convince him that graciousness in the face of rudeness will be a much better example to our boys than "defending" their feelings or whatever he feels he's doing.

Oh, and luckily this stubborn man doesn't drink. (Or maybe he should! Just a little! lol)

Thanks again for your comments, I actually read some of them to him...I'll keep you posted on how the situation turns out.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 1:58AM
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Maybe wishful thinking on my part but I can't help but wonder if "Bride and Groom feel it is understood that your sons are included as they are a part of the wedding party".

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 7:51AM
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Unfortunately there is no room for this lovely scenario. First of all, the invitation came addressed to DH, Myself, and DD. And then there was the conversation with...DSIL?...Is that how that one's done?...where she attempted to explain why the boys were not being included, and letting me know that the other cousins were.

Oh, and to asked exactly "who" the children are that are here's the breakdown.

10 YO - Brother of the bride & Groomsman(completely understandable, although the bride attempted to nix him from the reception as well)

12 YO - 1st Cousin & Flower Girl (to my ch. as well)
15 Y0 - Sister to 12 yo, not in the wedding
13 YO - 1st Cousin (again, with ours too) & J. Bridesmaid
14 YO - 1st Cousin to the groom & Usher (fr. in town)
15 YO - Brother of the groom

And yes, all of these cousins are from out of town. It is being held at a small elegant restaurant w/ room for 80 people, @ $50 pp, they have limited the guest list to 50+_people, due to cost. There will be no dancing, no alcohol, no entertainment other than an ipod. My kids are not the only "guests" being excluded. They have an A list and B list. B's are only invited to the wedding. So...many people are being left ch. are just the only cousins, and the only in the wp not invited.

The one thing that still puzzles me, even if I get DH to attend, and especially if he doesn't, how do I respond to relatives when they ask me where the DS'/DH are at the reception? I have not spoken to anyone in the family about it. So they will be confused by it, unless someone else has filled them in.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 9:30AM
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Call her and tell her that you will not be attending the reception without your children since they would feel especially excluded since theyw ere in the wedding party. Tell you are going to have a family dinner out and wish them well. Tell her you're sorry but you just can't do that to your kids.
But in her defense....perhaps she knows she is limited on people at the reception and this is her way of giving your kids an important part in the wedding.
Anyhow that reception sounds deadly! You and your kids will have a lot more fun at a good Italian restraunt! Think what fun that will be with them all dressed up!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 1:28PM
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"Call her and tell her that you will not be attending the reception without your children since they would feel especially excluded since theyw ere in the wedding party. Tell you are going to have a family dinner out and wish them well. Tell her you're sorry but you just can't do that to your kids. "

Good idea. Go to the wedding only. I would have NO members of your family attend the reception if they all cannot go. That would be really hurtful to the kids left behind. Don't "go off" on the wedding couple for making you do this. Just state it as a fact.

The bride and groom will just have to understand. And if they don't - too bad!!

An "all adult" reception is fine, but to split up a family is not. I also don't agree with having just "some kids" come - that is lame.

The wedding couple shouldn't have kids in the wedding party then, many people scale it back, and don't have ringbearers and flower girls. They should have thought of that initially.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 2:01PM
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At this point my boys say they are okay if they don't attend. When we discussed with them why the bride and groom didn't invite them, and even more influential in their decision, when we described what the evening would involve, they said they were really fine with staying home. My sixteen year old would definately prefer to be home, my fifteen year-old said he doesn't mind not going, but it just seemed unjust to him not to be invited. My youngest was not told that other children were going. We made a point to tell him that he is going to have special lunch with his relatives after the rehearsal dinner the day before.

It seems to me that attending isn't so much about not offending the bride and groom as about maintaining family relationships with people who had no say in who was invited.
Because if the brides parents or other relatives are hurt or offended by our choice, even if it seems justified to some, it will only weaken family ties.

And yet, taking my family out to a yummy Italian restaurant and a movie certainly does sound more apealing than the night in store.

No response from DH yet about his decision, btw.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 2:01AM
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I have to agree with LindaC.No dancing,entertainment or alcohol?
Really the bride must be doing you a favor then.You would definitely have more fun at nice resturant with your family.
The way you explained it says to me it's a money and
space issue.Since the other kids are from out of town and yours arent,guess they figured it be easiest for you to leave yours at home.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 4:24AM
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Not only do I find this issue with your children rude, I am shocked that there is an A list and a B list for the reception. It sounds like the B listers are being included solely for the sake of a gift.

I don't see anything wrong with not having dancing, entertainment or alcohol. I'm sure there will be some type of music so the couple can have a first dance and surely the music will play throughout the evening as background music.

This bride should have limited the menu choices, even if it were punch and cookies, to an affordable cost her parents could afford and then done the right thing and invited the entire wedding party and all of the A's & B's to the reception.

I'm curious, only 50 guests will be at the reception, but how many total have been invited to the church ceremony?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 7:08AM
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Yes, I absolutely agree that doing an A list and a B list is rude. The last I heard there are only 10 or 12 people on the B list who have RSVP'd in the affirmative. I believe they sent aprox. 50 invitations, most of those going to I would guess that they actually invited 75 to 80
people. They are doing a final count by this some college friends have failed to R.S.V.P. The groom apparantly sent an email telling his friends that if they did not respond by Friday, there would be no room for them at the reception, as they need to give an official headcount to the restaurant on Sat. They have now said that if they end up with the extra room, my two older boys can take their places. But, they would want me to find a baby sitter for my eight-year-old ring bearer. What a mess. I think my 16 year-old may wish to decline this offer if extended and babysit his brother, or perhaps DH will still refuse to go and then he would stay home with him.

It would be nice to miss this thing entirely, but I know it would cause hard feelings with the bride's parents.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 4:40AM
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Listen, the only one that seems to be worrying about hard feelings here is you. If the bride's family cared about how you felt they would have done something to include all of your children. And I'm not going to put the entire blame on the bride. She made a bad decision and her mother has only made it worse by not fixing it.

I stand by my earlier suggestion that you and daughter and your husband go for 30 minutes and then leave to enjoy
dinner elsewhere with your entire family.

Honestly, this "lovely" couple deserves to exchange their vows in a near empty church and to celebrate later with no one to share the happy occasion with. What social clods they all are!!

If you haven't yet bought a wedding gift, may I suggest a book on Etiquette and Manners?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 2:01PM
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So when is the wedding (I haven't read all the postings !) ?

You must tell us how it went.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 4:48PM
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Under those circumstances I wouldn't go to the wedding or the reception, but would never mention why unless someone asks. Then I would tell them just what you told us about the kids being upset. To me it's like we need you for this part, but we don't want you for the dinner.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 9:37PM
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The Date of the Wedding is Dec. 15.

DH told me tonight that he is "Over it" and will attend and not say anything.

I have felt all along that the parents should have guided the couple to make better decisions. I know the bride's mother really didn't want to do anything that would cause her any work. While she attempted to persuade her daughter to have an Hor'derve reception in the beginning and invite everyone, in the end she gave in to her DD's desire for whatever ready-made "atmosphere" they could afford.

Even though I am still planning on going, I have decided to cut back on my plans for a wedding gift. Instead of including money I am only going to purchase a unique, but more reasonably priced gift for their home. It is not with any feelings of spite that I am cutting back, but more just a realization that the time and money I have already spent is quite sufficient. Besides, Christmas is around the corner, and I do have four children! :)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 4:40AM
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It sounds like you have it all worked out. Just my 2 cents - I have been to a few adults only receptions but when that happened, it was also adult only weddings and this included the wedding party. I have NEVER heard of having kids in a wedding and not inviting the kids in the wedding party to everything. That is what is so tacky! Since it is too late to back out, I would only go to the wedding and not the reception. I would take my kids out somewhere since they will be all dressed up. It seems a shame not to.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 8:33PM
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Well, I agree that the whole arrangement is tacky, but I also agree with other posters who have made comments such as, "Someday they will have children", "It is their mistake to make..", and "you have to pick your battles with family...".

As of tonight, they have invited my two older boys to attend the reception as well. While I still think it is rude to exclude one member of the wedding party, no matter his age, the bottom line is, he will have more fun playing at a friend's house that evening anyway.

Perhaps we will decide to attend for a short time and take all our family out to dinner after all. I'll let you know what we do. If we decide to stay for the whole evening it will most likely be so that we can visit with some truly lovable relatives who are coming from out of state.

I want to thank everyone for responding. Everyone who has taken the time to comment has been helpful. Many of you have validated my feelings about the whole thing, and others have helped me move through those feelings and realize...its just a wedding that will be over in the blink of an eye in the long run.

So again, Thank You! Stronglily

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 2:16AM
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I Just read this. I do understand adult only receptions but I think it it extremely RUDE to exclude a member of the wedding party!! What a mess is right. You have taken the high road and I applaud you for it. They are insulting and cheap. And if anyone asks you where your little one is at the reception, I would not hesitate to tell them that he was not invited. Come on! Your older boys were invited because there were 2 openings! The nerve of some people. Maybe if someone else cancels your youngest will be invited. Or maybe not. I guess it will depend on if they want to spend $50 a plate for a 5 year old. At this point the only reason I would go is to see all of the relatives from out of town and chat with them. Why waste that opportunity.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 9:31PM
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brava stronglily!

Your taking the high road has worked out beautifully. It sounds like the current arrangements are fine with everyone. And it was all because of how you handled it. You gave them space and time to correct their mistake, and they did. If your husband (or anyone else) had confronted them aggressively, probably they would not have done so.

I also want to compliment you on your stance before they invited the boys. I think you and your husband planned to attend anyway, right? I think that was the right decision, even though I certainly think that they should have included the boys to begin with. This is close family, and you were going to attend based on relationship, not based on their manners and despite any bad decisions. Not every slight, and certainly not every mistake, must be retalitated for or punished.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 10:15AM
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Well, December 15th (the ides) has come and gone! How was that wedding scenario anyway???

I liked the idea about an etiquette book as a gift, BTW

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 8:24AM
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I may be in the same boat soon. My niece (who is not quite engaged yet) already said hers will be an adult only wedding. However she will have her cousin, age 6 (from my SIL's side) as a flower girl so she can attend. My girls (6 and 8) will not be invited. My girls will be crushed -- they really look up to my niece and love a party and love being with their family.

I have not told my DH because I think he will hit the roof. We invited this niece (and her siblings) to our wedding 10 years ago and she was 14 years old. I wanted my whole family there including nieces and nephews so we could have family pictures taken.

I do understand many brides don't like kids to "steal the show" especially by running around the dance floor.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 4:31PM
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First of all, thanks again for your guidance and encouragement. The event is over and yes, there were a few moments of tension. Although they did not involve us directly.

I have to confess now to something that I didn't admit to earlier in an effort to avoid looking like a complete doormat. Early on I had offered to help with a dessert buffet to serve at the church, so they would have something for those guests they weren't inviting. As it turned out, I purchased, and made everything that was served (with the help of two friends and our children). All of the items were chosen by the bride ahead of time. We decorated the tables with greenery and candles, and made a beautiful and tasty presentation including choc. dipped strawberries, etc. We had fun working together on it which made it worth it. Since I hadn't originally intended on doing it all, I decided to forgo a "traditional" wedding gift.
While we were in the middle of baking and dipping etc., I received a phone call asking how they should word something on the program inviting those who were not invited to the "reception" to enjoy the treats at the church. I told them that there was going to be plenty of food for everyone. Then I was told that they wanted to limit it to those who were not going to the reception so they could talk to others faster and keep to their time schedule. I replied that there was no way to word it that would not draw more attention to the fact that some people were not invited to the reception, and told them again that we had already worked very hard to make enough food for everyone. They finally agreed and dropped it.

My 8 year old went up to the bride during the "church reception" and told her that he should be invited to the dinner because he was "part of it", she told him to talk to his mother. I questioned him and confirmed that she never said anything like yes, but just wanted me to handle it. So I told him that technically he should be included, but explained that it was going to be very boring and that he was going to have more fun at his friend's house. He seemed to accept that.

One guest, a high-school friend of both the bride and groom, asked the bride how to get to the restaurant. She apparently told him that the seating at the restaurant was limited and that they had not been able to invite him to that part. I guess he decided to make a point of how rude he thought they were, because he showed up at the reception anyway. They had the owner of the restaurant ask him to leave. He replied that he was only planning on staying until the bride and groom got there so he could wish them well. So then the bride's mother came up and insisted that he leave, telling him that he already offered his congratulations at the church. (Incidentally, the bride never wanted him invited to the wedding for some reason, but gave in when he called asking if his invitation was lost.) He remained in the parking lot until the couple arrived, and said something like, "Well, apparently I'm not invited to celebrate with you, but I just wanted to wish you well before I leave."

The bride's mother said something to me about not wanting to be rude, but that they shouldn't have to deal with something like this on their wedding day. Personally, I feel they created the mess, and she should have let them suffer the fallout.

One niece,(the flower-girl) who at fourteen towers over several bridemaids, including another niece who is only thirteen, was somehow the only member of the wedding party (attending the recep.) not included in the limo ride to the reception. She was understandably crushed. They said something about the ring-bearer not going so.... Incredible!

Anyway, it took forever to serve everyone. We literally sat at the table for 2 1/2 hours before they brought our table's entre'. The portions were so small that my husband ended up taking our boys to Burger King after to get something else to eat.

Our only relatives from out-of-town had assigned seating in the corner opposite from us. And I mean...they were locked in...the only way for them to get out was to ask four other people to get up first. So I only got to visit with them for a few minutes after dinner was served, and while the cake was cut. They were seated next to the parents of the bride and friends of the brides parents that they didn't know.

The best thing I can say is It's Over!; the couple is very good-looking; my ds was extremely cute as the ring-bearer and even added some comic relief the bride was hoping for; it was fun working with friends the day before; and It's Over!!!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 3:00PM
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In the end they included 60 people at the reception and they had about 30 B-list people rsvp in the affirmative to the wedding. I'm not certain how many actually came.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 3:18PM
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My jaw is still on the floor. Let me pick it back up!!

Hopefully you can use this as a learning experience for your children. It is a what not to do on your wedding day. Also included is a how not to treat your guests.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 12:02PM
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Faux pas flying right and left there!

If they were on that strict of a budget, they just should have had their wedding / reception and invited immediate family members only. (bros. sisters, mom, dad, grandma/grandpas, no cousins, no aunts, no nieces/nephews) Period.

Good learning experience for you too - and all of us - thanks for posting!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 3:02PM
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Even trash like me knows better. Shaking head.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 5:13PM
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How can two young adults who obviously have so little concern and capacity to empathize with the feelings of others (their guests) even pretend to be mature enough to marry? And how could their parents (who I understand paid for the wedding) have permitted this behavior?

I agree with Stronglily that they should have been permitted to suffer their own fallout --
Of course, I have no doubt that they will.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2007 at 12:30PM
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well i guess ill be the odd one out here. i hated having kids at my reception. we didnt do ADULT ONLY becuase we didnt want to be percieved as being rude, but 12 years later and 4 kids later i still wish we would have, we were tripping over little kids who were tired and overwhelmed, and frankly kids dont need to see what some adults get like at receptions when the bar gets going. my husband and me never bring our kids to weddings even the out of town ones, we have not attended if we cant find a sitter. neither of us would have much fun chasing our kids around and frankly come 8pm my kids would rather be in bed, not to mention i dont think its fair to pay for their meal that they are probably not going to want. i dont think its rude, i think its a great excuse to have a child free night out. and for out of towners why not use some of the teens that are not invited to babysit for these family members? and really like someone else said here, the flower girl and ring bearer will probably be bagged by the time dinner rolls around so they dont need to be there either. sorry guys but im in agreement with the bride on this one. (did i mention that i had to kick my sister in laws 2 kids off the dance floor so i could have my dance with my dad? again, only supports the decision i wish we had had the nuts to make)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 12:52PM
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Sounds like you skipped a bunch of posts Dally --

No one was objecting to an adults-only wedding. Just to an "almost adults only" wedding reception that included some kids and excluded others, even within the same family, and to an "A-List" and "B-List" reception arrangement that was clearly offensive to many guests.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 12:37AM
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I think a lot of people do A and B lists, but you have to do it very very carefully and never never have people in the same family on different lists. Ideally you dont even have people who know each other on different lists. I also think if you cant have everyone in the wedding party (and their spouses) invited to the reception, you should cut down on the size of the wedding party. Just becuase a bride has been a bridesmaid 10 times doesnt mean all 10 can be in her wedding party. And unfortunately sometimes it means making a wedding party smaller, so no one gets offended. When I got married, it was a small wedding, and the only attendants were my sister and my BIL. But if we had to start figuring out which friends and which cousins, we realized it woudl get huge. IMHO.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 10:26AM
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It's terrible the way weddings are done sometimes. Having two lists (A & B) is about the tackiest thing I have ever heard. I was married a little over a year and paid for everything ourselves (so, we had a tight budget) Maybe it's because I'm older (37 at the time) but it was still my first wedding and of course I wanted it to be elegant yet simple & relaxed. We opted to forego a floral arrangements & used candles w/mirrors. We catered a wonderful buffet because we didn't want to hire a caterer that charged $50 a person and have to exclude anyone. We wanted to share our day with everyone we loved. I cringe when I hear a bride cutting down her guest list or splitting them into church only and church & reception. (or reception only). That is soooooo tacky. If you want a small wedding, keep it simple and invite only family, or just friends, or just local family & friends, but if you are inviting some family, the rest of the family will likely hear about it and feel slighted. I don't think the bride (or brides mother) thinks ahead enough. The reality is, the day goes by fast. A few hours later, it's over and when the couple's heads stop spinning from all the excitement, they are either going to be seen as a rude, selfish couple or a sweet wonderful couple. When they get so wrapped up in the details and want their wedding to be seen as "the event of the year", but your niece's wedding is a perfect example of how that can backfire. If you have the budget to afford "the event of the year" without being rude or tacky, then it might work. People may talk about it in a good way for a long time to come. But, when you exclude people and treat people rudely (ie. have people tossed out), then people will still be talking about it but not in the same way.

There's nothing wrong with choosing an "adults only" reception, but there shouldn't be 'exceptions', especially with family. We didn't specify one way or the other but most families didn't bring their children. It says a lot of your niece & her new husband that they put your kids on a waiting list until old high school or college buddies RSVP'd. That says that they really wanted to show off to people that didn't even care to come.

I've said it before in other threads, people today are not taking their marriages as seriously as they should. In my opinion, it has become about the party. When my cousin got married, she was openly a princess/bridezilla. She was also married in a nearly empty church. She invited over 200.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 2:37PM
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