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Children at Weddings

Posted by christy2828 (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 1, 07 at 21:16

I have been invited to two weddings within a year that children are not welcome. Is this considered inconsiderate or rude? Both times we are out of town guests, and in one my husband is part of the wedding party. We have made other arrangements, but I am curious as to how others feel about this. My parents lean towards it being rude. Any thoughts? Thanks, Christy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Children at Weddings

Not rude at all....Children don't belong at an adult, grown up party.
And a wedding reception is an expensive party, children often cost as much as an adult. And children are often disruptive at a formal party.
There were no children at my wedding, nor my daughter's and one 10 year old at my son's wedding.
Unless there is a party geared for kids, they don't belong.
But the bottom line is, it's up to the bride. If your children were not specifically invited, it is rude of you to ask and to expect that they should be included. The person paying for the party makes the rules.
Linda C


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RE: Children at Weddings

I guess it is up to the person having the wedding to decide who attends.

I think its rude to say "children are not welcome", I think it would be better to word it "the event is unsuitable for children" or words to that affect.

But then again, I do think a wedding is for everyone, and children should be included in the event, its a bit like the old English idea of "children should be seen and not heard".

How are children going to learn how to behave at these events if we dont take them to them.

I guess the age of the child should be taken into consideration. I took a 3 year old to a wedding, many years ago, she was perfect, the service in the church went for 3 hours !! Very long, but she sat through it, and loved the bride. Came to the reception too.

But you would probably enjoy a night out without the children anyway !

Enjoy the wedding.


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NOPE,not rude at all.Wedding receptions serve alcohol and can get pretty wild,children do not need to be there if the bride and groom dont feel comfortable.
No offense,but it is not your mom's call and she is not paying for the wedding (s.
Personally I think weddings without children are much more enjoyable (and I have a child of my own)
Perhaps the Bride and Groom would like to get through their vows without someone's child running a muck or crying throughout the entire ceremony.


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RE: Children at Weddings

for me, I feel like a wedding is a family affair. The notion of having an adult's only wedding is failry new, and not what I'm accustomed to.

Sis in law is having her daughter's wedding this month, and she assumed that if she addressed it to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, that the Smith's would know not to bring their children.

So she's now upset that the Smiths RSVP'd with numbers including the children. I tried to explain that people would never assume anything just from the way the envelope is addressed.

If the family wishes it to be adults only, it should be specified in the invitation as such. That way, those with kids can make an educated decision on whether or not to attend.

I think it's also going to be strange for my DD (flower girl) and nephew (ring bearer) to be the only kids at the reception.


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I don't think it's rude, I think it's the norm. Usually the only children invited are the ring bearer and flower girl. My daughter (she was 2 at the time) was actually invited to a wedding we went to in Cape Cod, and we decided to leave her with my mother for the weekend! I agree that weddings are adult parties, and unless your children's names were on the invite, they are not invited.


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RE: Children at Weddings

I don't think it has been the norm, but is becoming the norm. Just curious as to how others felt about it. Thanks for your comments! Like I said, we have made other arrangements, and yes we will enjoy a night out without child! As for my parents, they're both in their 50's, and have been invited to MANY weddings in their time. They're never heard of children not being invited, and were taken aback. They're opinion is that weddings are a family affair, and if we don't allow them at formal parties how will they learn, as popi stated. I've been to several weddings where children were invited, and NEVER saw them crying or running a muck, I hope that is not the norm!! Thanks again! Christy :)


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RE: Children at Weddings

My brother's wedding was adults only (late evening, expensive country club, open bar....), and that was in 1979... so definitely NOT anything new!

I think that it is up to the bride and that no one has any say in how she wants her day to transpire.


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Children learn to behave in church by attending Sunday Services, they learn to behave at a dinner by being taken to dinner at a restraunt.
I am well older than "in my 50's" and have been to my share and more of weddings during my life. I have been to weddings where the sloomn vows of the bride and groom were interrupted by a child yelling "I don't WANT to sit still! and been practically bowled over at the reception by kids racing around, I have seen 6 yearolds rinse their hands in the champagne fountain and stick their tongue in a chocolate fountain. I have seen kids who were very drunk because theyw ere sipping punch out of un attended cups. I have seen a child stick his hands into the wedding cake before the bride and groom even cut it.
But I have also seen very well behaved kids and kids whoi were enjoying themselves on the dance floor until they literally dropped in a corner. I have seen 8 year olds who helped serve.
It all depends...but to be safe, I would exclude children from a wedding.
Linda C


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RE: Children at Weddings

Linda, that sounds awful!! My kid is only one, so I haven't been through much of that yet. As for the bride, I called her directly and asked her about having kids at the wedding (before I knew it was a nighttime wedding). She hadn't even thought about it. She was suprised that I had asked, but then said, that of course they are invited. Now, a month and a half before the wedding, invitations already out and returned, and plane tickets purchased, they changed their minds. So, I'm glad I asked because if not, everyone would have brought their kids. Six out of seven groomsmen have kids, a few are getting a bit upset. Some are now leaving their wives and kids at home. I'm trying to keep the peace, and we have found a way to arrange for babysitters. Hopefully it will all work out! Thanks again :) Christy


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RE: Children at Weddings

I still would not know just by how a note is addressed, that it's meant to be adults only.

I would never know not to bring my daughter unless I'm told. I've never in my whole life been to a child-free wedding. Guess that's why it seems so odd to me.

For those who do wish child-free, please be sure to specify the wishes on the invite, and don't assume. Then the bride's family is in the position my sis in law is now, where they are calling people saying their children are not welcome.


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Yes,my nephew did the same thing at my sister's wedding.Ran around and yelled so loud no one could even hear the vows being said. He took flowers and was smashing them on the ground...it was awful.
I think alot of the younger couples today would rather have a wedding without the hassles of children,although more older couples seem more accepting.
I didnt have children at my wedding 10 years ago...but in hindsight,I dont really think I'd have cared that much either way.


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My view is that weddings should be family affairs (if you are close to your family, there are people who rarely see their own families and this will be different of course) and at my wedding, I would never have thought of excluding children. Especially since several of my relatives were coming from out of state. It would have been very difficult for them to find all day child care in another state. Can't ask relatives, they are ALL AT THE WEDDING!
My husband's family is a very ethnic close knit type of family and if you ever said children were not invited to the family's weddings you would be totally hated.

I personally think that many people put too much emphasis on the elegance and sophistication of the party and don't pay enough attention to the fact that family sharing your joy is very important. I know the expense is to be thought of too, but little known fact, many banquet halls have child plates at much lower rates! They don't readily share that info. And what about the nursing moms... who can't leave their child for more than 3 hours or they have to pump.

BUT that said, their wedding is not MY party and I am not paying for it. So it is up to the individual bride and groom to choose what they like to do and if the guests don't like it, then don't come. But they should say NO KIDS up front, not leave it for the guest to guess. If it does not say so, I am assuming kids are welcome.

Although I am a good judge of my kids, I know there were certain stages in my child's life where they could not handle a wedding all day. (terrible threes!) Although my nine year old, very well behaved son would love to go to a wedding now.

But then the bride and groom should not be insulted when certain individuals don't feel like shelling out the bucks for child care all day long, as that is what weddings generally last, a good part of the day and night. Maybe then the people will only come to the wedding ceremony.

My husband missed my brother's wedding reception because our child care got sick at the last minute and we could not get a replacement and they said no kids. I went alone. Although I was a little miffed when I saw the brides sisters children (who were in the wedding) there at the reception. No kids, should mean NO KIDS, not CERTAIN kids. NO exceptions.

my 2 cents...


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RE: Children at Weddings

"I still would not know just by how a note is addressed, that it's meant to be adults only."


If the invite says:
"Mr and Mrs John Smith"
the kids are not invited.

If the invite says:
"Mr and Mrs John Smith
Billy and Susie"
the kids are invited.

Same with guests...
If the invite just says:
"Miss Jane Doe"
she should not bring a guest.

The only people who should attend are those who are invited (as indicated on the invitation).


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RE: Children at Weddings

You took the words right out of my fingers Luann!!
When my son was married, my daughter ( his sister) was breastfeeding my grandson. The wedding was out of town and she and her DH and the baby stayed with an aunt nearby. We stayed at the hotel and hired a sitter to stay in out room at the hotel where the reception was held. She made a "feeding call" or 2 and toward the end of the evening, the baby made an appearance in Grandma's arms!!
At other weddings I have been involved with, the bride's family asked people with children if they could arrange a sitter for them.
Little children don't belong at a serious ceremony nor a cocktail party, nor a dance.
Linda C


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RE: Children at Weddings

I was breastfeeding DS when I was matron of honor for my sister.
Our son stayed with a friend nearby, and DH brought him to the reception twice so I could nurse him. To have him there would have been selfish.... It was my sister's day to shine, not my day to show off my new baby.


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RE: Children at Weddings

I don't think it's inconsiderate or rude to specify no children at a wedding. But I don't like it. And the couple should realize, and not be offended, that doing so may result in some guests choosing not to attend.

I do think it's rude to have children IN the wedding, but not want any others there. It's OK to use them, but otherwise they are a nuisance? So if a bride plans an adults only wedding, the ceremony should reflect that. IMO.

We were invited to a no children wedding a year or so ago. It was out of town, 6 hour drive. They offered to arrange childcare. But I'm sure one day when they have children they'll understand you don't leave your children with someone you've never met. It was not that important to me to attend. I don't feel like an invitation to a wedding is an expectation to attend. So I hope they didn't think it rude of us to not attend. They made the best choice for them, so did we.

I think that wedding trends are generally reflecting more selfishness and less family. But then, so is our society in general.


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RE: Children at Weddings

Here, in Australia, the actual wedding ceremony, if its in a Church, is a public event, so anyone can sit in and watch.

The reception is a private event.


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RE: Children at Weddings

luann, depending on the addressing will end up meaning that the wedding arranger will be in the same boat my SIL is now in.

She's having to decide whether to call up a list of people and uninvite the children they RSVP'd with.

Obviously, it's not clear to a lot of people. If you really wish children only, why not put it on the invite itself?


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I have been to weddings with kids, and weddings without. I think it should be the bride's choice. At a friend of mine's wedding, she ended up holding her two year old through out the ceremony because he was crying and carrying on so much. It was too much for the little guy to handle, all the people, the excitement, and the expectations of him. I think it depends on the age of the kids. My daughter was 2 when I got married. Before the ceremony we all went and had pictures done, my DD included (we were going to see how she did, then decide if she was going to come to the wedding/reception). She was crying, upset, and didn't want to have her picture taken. So she went home with the sitter, and I was able to enjoy my wedding. Some people thought she should've been there, but I was nervous enough without having to worry about what she was going to do during the ceremony! I bet I would've had to hold her the whole time, like my friend did. If she had been 4 or 5, she would've been involved and would've come to the wedding, and has since been a perfectly behaved flower girl for a friend of mine. Now, if I had to attend an out of town wedding while breast feeding, that might be a different story.... this is an interesting topic!


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"If you really wish children only, why not put it on the invite itself?"

It IS!
Only the people named on the invitation are invited!
If the kids names are not there, they are not invited.

You just don't bring uninvited people (of ANY age) to any formal event, do you? That includes kids.


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I asked before invitations went out if children were invited and was told 'of course!' When I received the invitation it was addressed to my DH and I only. About a month later they made the decision to not have children attend. So, I don't think it is clear to everyone. The people addressing the invitations didn't address it properly to begin with. I think that is the point that trekaren is trying to make. Her SIL is now in a situation because it is not clear to everyone. I think there are formal rules to invitations, but not everyone knows these rules. I got married 6 years ago, I don't remember how I did the invitations, but I did go and get a book on wedding ettiquette. Because I didn't know the rules.

As for bringing uninvited people to a formal event, I'm a SAHM of a military spouse. We move every 4 years. We don't get to go places where we have family and friends, the closest military wife is an hour away. We have LOTS of kids at formal Christmas parties, etc. We don't have a choice :)

I do think it is a little odd when children are not invited to a wedding, but they have a 2 or 3 year old flower child or ring bearer. I didn't care if I had children at my wedding (I had a morning ceremony - into afternoon reception), but I definitely didn't want a flower girl or ring bearer. I saw a flower girl break down in tears when she ran out of flowers half way up the aisle. Guests jumped up and were scrambling to pick up all of the flower petals, and return them to her basket so she could finish! It was a fiasco :) Christy


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Children don't belong at wedding receptions. It is not a new thing. I was married 25 yrs ago and there were no children at my reception except for the flower girl and ring bearer.

I don't understand parents who need to bring their kids everywhere with them. I have attended plenty of out of town affairs and have traveled without my daughter. Sometimes it is nice for a couple to get away alone. There's nothing to feel guilty about.

The church is another matter. As one poster put it, it is a public affair. Yes, children can come to the church, but if the invitation says Mr. and Mrs. John Smith it definitely means Mr. and Mrs. John Smith not Mrs. and Mrs. John Smith and their three children.

Maybe its a regional thing, but I know no one in this area that has receptions including childen, even immediate family children.


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RE: Children at Weddings

I'm going to weigh in again and say that I do really think it depends on age. Certainly the toddler years or babies could be a problem with the crying and acting up.
I kinda like the older children though.They dance and are cute.But I still say it is entirely up to the bride and groom.
My cousin just married in September,and they said no kids.Although I knew my daughter would have had a blast,I didnt take it personally.They were paying alot for each head and I think it was more a money issue.
But then at the wedding,there were a few small children there,(who were not in the wedding) and it kinda irratated me that they were being selective.
I agree that it should be either all children allowed or none.


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I don't think it's rude at all not to invite children.

But, I do think it is up to the bride and groom to decide what type of reception they want to have. If they want to have a casual BBQ type with tons of children, that's fine too.

I usually find higher-end receptions exclude children...Well, at $50-$100 a plate you may be a fool not to! I know I excluded children from my wedding because I wanted an adult nighttime more formal affair, not a bunch of kids running everywhere doing the hoky poky and crying because it was way after their bedtime. Was I suppose to make it a daytime reception so kids could come? Plus, it was hard enough fitting in all the cousins and work friends that were adults. If we opened the door to kids, it would have been just too much to do the type of reception we wanted. There are over 100 kids from cousins just on my husband's side alone.

Regarding kids as ring bearers, flower girls, etc... that is another thing that I think is really as the discretion of the couple. The kids I've seen at mainly adult receptions are usually very closely related to the couple (a younger sibling, niece, even the couple's own child) so I wouldn't think you would have to open the door to all children just because you choose to allow one or two. But, generally, I would never think to tell someone who they should or shouldn't invite, or how/when they should run their party. If they want a couple kids there that they are very close to, but not every kid of everyone else they are inviting, then that's their decision too. What's to be upset about?

You get an invitation...you read who it is addressed to and you decide if you want to go. Thinking an invite is rude simply because children are left off is odd to me. Is it ok if the kids weren't invited to the showers or the bachelor parties?


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I think you misunderstood my posts. I am not upset about kids not being invited. I'm actually looking forward to a night off! However, several of the groomsmen are upset, and I've been trying to keep the peace. I was just curious as to how others felt about it. Thought it would be a good topic to discuss.

I liked labmomma's suggestion that it might be a regional thing. I am from the south, and the kids were invited to most everything. I'm not suggesting that everyone from the south practices this, just a theory!!

The first wedding that said no kids, was clear up front. The second was not. I think regional differences might suggest kids are invited no matter what the invitation says. This is a black tie, late evening wedding (I didn't know this until I got the invitation, but was informed children were invited prior to). A month and a half before the wedding they changed their minds. I made arrangements for a babysitter upon reading the invitation, but others did not, and are now scrambling to make arrangements. Clearly their fault.

Again, I am not offended of a no children wedding. I just was interested in others opinions. As for showers, kids have gone to the few that I have gone to, and I don't care. I've never been to a bachelor party, but drunk men and kids aren't a good mix! :) Christy


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I enjoy having older children at weddings and receptions, but have regularly seen kids under the age of 6 act like complete monsters at some receptions. I think in general they should be excluded (at the discretion of the bride & groom, of course).

What's really nice is when the bride & groom pay for a baby sitter at the hotel/hall during the reception so that younger children can be watched, and their parents can still enjoy the party.


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I have always understood that those invited are listed on the envelope. If a name is not there, they are not invited. With wedding receptions costing $100., $200., and even $500. per person, I think the bride or the person paying for the wedding has the right to invite how many they want...

If an extra 8 people show up, that means a whole new table will have to be set at the last minute, which makes for a stressful party.

With that being said, the most beautiful, formal wedding reception that I have gone to was on a beautiful lawn overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Very formal, more flowers than I've ever seen. All children related were invited. There were sofas on the lawns, so the children had a place to wander. I must say, I've never seen such well behaved children. Thirteen of them were my grandchildren... The next day the bride and groom had invited everyone to Disneyland for a barbecue and day of rides. It was a fun wedding and day after...

I guess the bottom line is that it is up to the bride and groom and it specifically says who is invited when you receive your invitation. I don't think we should criticize them for not inviting someone. The guest list is stressful enough.


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I don't think wedding reception always means no children, there are so many types of wedding receptions it can be hard to ssume one way or the other without more description in the invite wording. I think there is some vagueness with addressing envelopes. In some circles "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" equals "The Smith Family." And since a wedding isn't something a bride plans once a year, I suspect many don't think about the presence of children until someone else asks. Since we don't take a class in wedding ettiquete, it depends on a person's experience how to take that. (Besides, some "rules" are broken in almost every wedding.) Since most of the weddings I've attended were for family members, and many of them as a child, I would see a wedding as a family event unless told otherwise.

Unless... the invitation described the event as black tie, or at a very late hour, or at a place that wouldn't normally allow children. If I wasn't sure, I would just call up and ask. Better safe than sorry, either way.

I know it's normal and acceptable for no children at a wedding. But from personal, life experiences, weddings were always family events. My own wedding was held outside, including the reception, in the very large backyard of my parents' home. There was no open bar, only the champagne for a toast. We played croquet, badminton and socialized. There were less than 60 invitations sent out and the invite said "Lawn party reception," which sounds to me like an event children can come to (if I were a guest reading it). I really only wanted people there who loved us and were loved by us, and some of them were children.

To each their own, I absolutely respect that my idea of a nice wedding is not every other woman's idea. And this next part is shooting my mouth off. But it is only my opinion that couples who invite 300 of their "closest friends" to their wedding reception at $200/head and resent the plate a neice or nephew might take up, should maybe consider scratching a few obnoxious coworkers from the guest list while they take stock of the important people in their lives.


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RE: Children at Weddings

sharb and others, if that was true, why even have a blank in the RSVP card to fill in a number? :-)

Stephanie, well said! (even if it is my sis in law) LOL


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Because if Mr and Mrs John Doe are invited, you need to know if both, none or one are coming!
So you need a space to write 0, 1 or 2.


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RE: Children at Weddings

I'll say it one more time though. I'm not the only one who didn't understand to look at the addressees. SIL is trying to figure out whether to call up a lot of people to dis-invite the extras.


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RE: Children at Weddings

When the invitation is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Smith it means no children. To be sure that is clear, I have seen the reply card read "adult reception" and then ask for the number of guests.
Region and culture play a big part in all of this. When I was a child, I remember my relatives were very insulted when their children were not invited to a wedding. But, as the years passed, it has become quite acceptable.
When I was married 20 years ago, it was a formal sit down dinner and the only children that attended were in my immediate family. I did get a call from a friend who was nursing and asked if she could bring her daughter. Well, I welcomed the idea with open arms. (I didn't even think about that at the time and was very glad she called.) My stepchildren were also in the wedding party. So, I can see how some children will be included. But, I do agree with most posters....at 100-200 dollars a plate and a black tie affair, it's really not appropriate to have everyones children there. (And much more fun!!) Enjoy the wedding!

Oh, yes, I have been to weddings in other countries too. The ones in Mexico go on until the wee hours of the morning with everyones children and grandchildren there!!!


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I'm of the mind that whatever names are on the inside envelope are the people invited. The mailing envelope will probably be the same, but it's the inside envelope that is specific to whom is invited.

I don't understand how anyone could imagine that people (including kids) whose names aren't on the invitation are invited. Look at it this way, too. If a single person gets an invitation and the inside envelope says "Ms. Jane Doe", then only Jane Doe is invited. If it says "Ms. Jane Doe and Guest", then she is invited to bring a guest. My goodness ... would she ever bring a guest if she wasn't invited to? I hope not.

I believe that the same goes for kids. "Mr. & Mrs. John Doe" means that John and his wife are invited - the kids aren't. "Mr. & Mrs. John Doe and family" or something similar means the kids are invited.

Suzieque


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I suspect.....(and I know I'll probably get clobbered by some of you for saying this...lol) that the people who replied that they would attend with their children where trying to make a point. They really knew that the children where not invited. Or they are simply ignorant.

I'm not sure how I would respond. I would call them and explain the situation. I would order more place settings for the children if they feel insulted. Some weddings are just not appropriate for a bunch of children. However, you really don't want to highly insult your guests. This, of course, is what I would do. If the bride and groom want an adult reception, then they should kindly but firmly stand by that and tell them it is an adult reception and not appropriate for children.


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Suzieque, that exact situation came up as a question to dear abby recently. And dear abby said that if singletons wish to bring a date, they should. Something to the effect that so many people at weddings are couples, that it would perhaps be uncomfortable for someone and if they would rather have an escort, that this should be ok.

dirtdiva, if I'm ignorant I'm in good company. Why can't the wedding organizer simply state adults only to keep it clear?

And by the way, I never said I would be insulted. I just need to know in advance, that's all. All this 'assuming' that people know ----well, remember what our english teachers used to say when you 'assume'? :-) It's very appropot in this situation.


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Dear Abby said it was okay to bring someone when the invitation only invited one? That's interesting, will have to look that one up.

I'm not talking about "adults only" here. Most weddings have some children, but they are children that have been invited. We invited a young man, about age 21, to a wedding. The invite went only to him. Friends of his were also invited, they got their own invitation. He responded with a 4 in the "will attend" line. I called him. He said he didn't know who he was bringing, just thought he would bring some friends! He was very nice about it when I explained that we couldn't accommodate everyone bringing friends and he would be seated at a table with friends.

Also, someone made reference to "300 closest friends". Well, it's very easy to add up to 300 for a wedding. You give 150 to each to the bride and groom. Then you start making a list of brothers, sisters, grandparents, in laws, cousins, aunts, uncles, oh my, does it add up quickly. We have a big family though.. Very few, if any, work people were invited.

This came from Emily Post's Wedding Planner:
"Q. What do I do about inviting children?
A. If you are not inviting unlimited children, you may decide to include family members only, children of a certain age, or no children at all. It is inappropriate to write "No Children" on the invitations. Instead, communicate your wishes by writing only the parents names on the inner and outer envelopesand through word of mouth.

And,,
Q. What do I do about guests who ask to bring guests?
A. It is impolite of a guest to ask if he or she can bring a datebut it is not impolite of you to refuse. Say, "Im sorry, Stan, but we have very limited seating at the reception and we just cant accommodate any additional guests." However, if you discover that they are engaged or living together, invite your friends partner, either verbally or by invitation.

As I said before, I think the guest list is the hardest part of planning a wedding.


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I base all of my etiquette decisions on Dear Abby's opinion - not!

Seriously, if that's in fact what Abby said, Abby needs to go back to etiquette school.

Take someone to a wedding or any other type of celebration, party, or gathering, that wasn't invited? Not in my book.


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My thinking on this has changed after going to a formal wedding, where two parents let their two year old have a full blown crying temper tantrum that lasted through the ENTIRE ceremony and never took the child out of the church!!! They actually let this child scream at the top of his lungs and just stood there in the church pews, and ruined someones very expensive and long planned wedding. They were in like the fifth row, and could not be ignored. Who in the world is that unconscious???? I imagine that the bride, groom and both families still boil with anger every time they think of these people!

For that reason, I would ask for no children, since who knows ahead of time who these clueless people are.


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I am imagining the video of that wedding ( and doesnt' everyone video the ceremony these days)...non stop screaming.
Perhaps that should be posted to utube and everyone who thinks it's rude not to include kids should be directed to view it.
Linda C


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Trekaren I wasn't directing comments to you, just typing my thoughts....but now I am very curious. How many people responded that they would attend with children? So the invitation and reply card are addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Smith and they assum that their children are invited? What a mess. As I mentioned before, just put "Adult reception following the ceremony......." on the reply card. I have seen cards printed like that.

I am not against children at weddings, but in the case where the toddler was crying throughout the ceremony, it is the parents who should know to take the child outside. People need to use common sense. If I were there, I would have suggested to them to take the child outside for some fresh air. And, if they didn't, I would have pressed the issue.
Then again....would have, could have, should have....it's all hindsight.


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I know of about 4 so far in this wedding. Note that these are not screaming 2 year olds. In one case, they are 14 and 17.

I also do not always agree with Dear Abby :-) on a lot of things! I just see a lot of questions and confusion, and would personally be less offended by 'no children' on an invitation than by the loved one calling me later to tell me my kids aren't invited. It puts us both in an awkward position.

Also the families that are coming a long distance to the wedding are bringing their teen children (who were actually invited). So to me it's rude to not make it a global thing for all attendees.

Here's a question: 'Adults only' is pretty clear to me. But if an invite said 'No children', would you read that as no teens also? Just curious what folks would think.

In any event, I have never been invited to a no children wedding so far. I just know my SIL is in a pickle with hers right now.


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Hi,

This is my first time posting on this forum. I normally lurk but this subject really gets me...brings back bad wedding memories. Here's my take on it.

If someone plans a party, it's rude to bring people who aren't invited. That's crashing a party. Who has the right to call the bride and groom rude for choosing who they wish to invite to their event? It's *their* event - they planned it, they are paying for it, and it's theirs. They can invite, or not invite, whoever they choose. If they don't want children there, it's their choice, and it does not in any way suggest that they don't love, respect, or treasure their family. They aren't saying that they never want to see your children again or that they feel that kids should be seen and not heard. I just can't wrap my head around why it's wrong for someone to plan, organize, and pay for an event and have their own say about who they want to attend.

I HATED my wedding. When DH and I were planning it, we wanted a very small ceremony and reception - 60 people absolutely max...immediate family and a few friends. I come from a very large family and when my relatives caught wind of our small wedding, they went nuts. They started calling and writing to my father complaining that they weren't invited. It got really ugly, so to make peace we invited everyone. Or so we thought. Turns out that we didn't extend our invitations enough - people were mad that their grown kids and their families weren't invited too. More names added to the invite list. Suddenly our guest list was in the hundreds.

We had an evening cocktail reception. It started at 9:00 pm. It was meant to be cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and dancing, and this was clearly stated in the invitation. Boy, were people MAD. They expected a sit-down meal. I never heard the end of it. Wouldn't you think that if you got an invitation to an evening cocktail reception that started at 9:00 pm (wedding was at 7:00 pm), that said "cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and dancing starting at 9:00", that a meal was not included? I thought it was clear. Apparently not. Everyone was complaining that they were hungry and it was too late to be serving a meal, and then when they saw no meal they were livid. Not only that, but shock-oh-horror, there wasn't enough seating for the extra children that people brought along, because they assumed that they were invited.

My wedding was supposed to be *my* wedding, but it was not in any way shape or form what I wanted for a wedding. Who has the right to tell me that what I want for a wedding is wrong, inappropriate or inconsiderate? It's *my* wedding. I'll do it my way, you do yours your way. Had I known that my wedding would forever bring back bad memories, I would not have invited any of that side of my family. Is it worth it to push the issue and make the bride and groom feel guilty? Trying to send them some kind of message by bombarding them with phone calls about the children issue is rude. They have enough stress as it is in trying to get this wedding together. One person can ask, and pass the message along to those who need to know. If it's inconsiderate not to invite children, then it's equally as inconsiderate to make the bride and groom feel guilty about it, cause them more stress, and to bring children when they are not invited.

I have a four year old child and we're going to my brother's wedding in February. Our son is invited, but I don't want to bring him. He's not going to enjoy a wedding. He hasn't a clue what it's all about. He has lots of opportunities in life to learn about manners and parties and eating in public, etc. It's not like we're cave people and this is the only time we're going to get out in public. We would *all* have more fun if he wasn't going to be at the wedding. Unfortunately the wedding is an 11 hour drive away, so childcare is not something that we can arrange, so we have to take our son. I know what's going to happen. DS is going to get bored and fidgety and DH will end up having to take him somewhere, therefore missing the ceremony. At the reception, DH will have to entertain DS, who will be bored out of his mind, and they'll end up leaving early. I love my son, and I know that my brother and my soon-to-be sister-in-law adore him too, but a wedding isn't the place to show that love.

And that's my opinion...thank you for the opportunity to get that out, LOL!

Val


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Val, just a thought- if you don't have someone at home you could leave your son with for a few days, do you have someone you could take with you, who is not connected with the wedding? He/she might enjoy the chance at visiting another city, to babysit during the wedding (I'm assuming you'd want him with you the rest of the time). It would cost you an extra hotel room, but be worth it in the saving of aggravation :-)


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If you know there are going to be people with potentially unruly children at your wedding or reception, perhaps you can appoint an "enforcer" (a friend or something?) if they are getting out of hand. Ask them to take their babies out if they are wailing, etc.

This goes for too drunk adults at the reception, as well. Sometimes the kids act better than the adults.

I agree about the guest lists, we had major league arguments in both families about our guest lists.

And yes we had kids, my aunt actually flew (she did not have to do this since she does not have much money) in from California for chrissakes, do you think I would ever tell her she would have to find a babysitter here in IL?

I think a good alternative, if you don't want to invite your entire extended family, is to do a destination wedding. A sure fire way to only get immediate family to come!


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well said valzone.


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As to the question, "Is it rude to exclude children", my response is that it's not rude if it's done tactfully. Previous posters have offered tactful ways to indicate "Adults only".
To those who think this is a recent phenomena, it's not. When my son was 18 months old (he's over 40 now), my brother in law got married. They had 200 guests and wanted no children (they told us that my son was welcome because he was close family, but they also indicated some concern about his behavior). I sat near an aisle close to an exit just in case. He behaved fine. At the reception, when he got restless, I took him for a walk outside. There was no way I was going to let his presence ruin their special day.

It's their day, their party and anyone who lacks common sense and courtesy deserves to be asked to leave.


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Children and babies have no business at a formal evening wedding. If the parents can't find a sitter, they should stay home. Our daughter's lovely wedding vows were ruined by a cousin's crying baby. We all still get livid when we think about their selfishness and rudeness. I think we should have asked the nervy cousin to pay for the video since it was all about his screaming child.


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Yep: assign an enforcer if you are going to have possible problem kids. OR let the people know clearly and ahead of time - on the invite - that you cannot accommodate children or can't have children under 12 or whatever you wish. Do not assume they will know this if you do not want children to attend. You have to tell them specifically. You practically have to hit some people over the head before they get something.

And if you are having a wedding where there are out of town guests coming and you invite them to be in your wedding, expect them to NOT come and DON'T be all insulted if they don't. Kids come first. It can be very difficult to arrange for child care for an entire day and almost impossible for an entire weekend.

And people who are invited to and esp. invited to be in out of town weddings don't feel bad about having to turn the bride and groom down. They should understand your difficulties. And if they don't - they will when THEY HAVE KIDS.

End of story in my eyes.


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Im getting married this year and I am a second time bride my to be hubby and I have decided not to have children at our wedding I would like some ideas how to word this without offending anyone. My own 3 children are part of the bridal party but dont wish to include anyone elses at the wedding.


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kazz67, I think people will disagree, and say that you can 'imply' it with your addressing on the invitations. I really think that to allow your family and friends (especially out of town ones) to make an informed decision, it's fine to put 'Adults Only' somewhere on the RSVP card. If you think kids are ok at the ceremony but not at the reception, then just put Reception Adults Only on the RSVP card.

After I attended my niece's wedding a couple of weeks ago, I found out that a family member had received the invite, not realized it was adults since SIL did not specify (except for the envelope addressing), and had bought plane tickets for her DD to go with her.

In all the years since her DD had been around, it was the first and only family function that DD was not invited to, so she didn't realize.

If the invite had said it on the RSVP card, it would have been easy to make informed plans ahead of time (she would have flown down by herself and let DD stay with family in her home town if she had known ahead of time). These people don't have a lot of money so the plane ticket purchase was a huge deal to her and added to the hurt feelings.


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At the end of the day, it's the bride and groom's decision. It is THEIR day, and if they want an adults-only event, their wishes should be accepted.

When my brother got married in 1994, my kids were 2, 4, and 6. We left them with my mother-in-law. Another brother brought his 2-yr old to the church (not the reception), ansd she started to scream. He had to take her outside, and he missed the ceremony. Even the most well-behaved toddler can be unpredictible, and I wouldn't take a chance at creating a distraction.

Four years later, another brother got married. By that time, the kids were 6, 8, and 10. They had a GREAT time, and everyone enjoyed themselves. My brother and sister-in-law wanted them there, but if they had wanted an adult-only evening, I would not have been offended.

You have to be perfectly clear about your wishes on the invitation to avoid any nasty surprises. If that offends some guests, so be it. There is nothing wrong with an adults-only event.


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Yes - you must be clear and don't be afraid of hurting others feelings. They will appreciate your clarity so they can make informed plans.

Personally, if I was invited to a family wedding where I had to travel and it didn't say no children on the invite (I have two older children that could sit through a wedding and reception).

And I found out later after I had bought plane tickets for my children, I would give the bride and groom choices, 1. reimburse me the ticket money or 2. I bring my kids or, 3. They can set up and/or recommend (approved by me) child care arrangments for during the events in their region of the country.

Everyone will appreciate it if the wedding planners are upfront. Sometimes children are just not invited in order to keep head count and $ down.

The bride and groom should not expect people to call them to "check and see" whether kids are invited or not. This is RUDE.

Or to send out invites and not have decided whether kids are invited or not yet... (I have run into this).

I dealt with all this nonsense when I had my big wedding. (Yes kids were invited!) I would have started off my married life on the wrong foot with my husbands big extended polish family if I did not. In a lot of ethnic families, the entire family goes to the wedding. And if the kid is screaming, an aunt or a big cousin or somebody takes the kids and occupies them.

And I got so tired of it, if I had to do it all over again. I would go to vegas. Every little thing that you plan, you have so many people telling how you should do it, how you should have done it. Who is offended by what you did. Who might be offended. Who can't sit at the table with this person, etc. etc. It was enought to make you goofy. I was so glad when it was over.


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Years ago, a church member hired my DD to babysit and entertain the little ones. They paid her generously, and picked her up then dropped her back home afterward. She loved it.


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Great idea! Esp. since often times, churches have nursery day care rooms. You could check to see if those can be used.


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I don't think it's rude but I also think they can't complain if people say they can't attend because they have kids especially in your situation where you are coming from out of town.


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I didn't have time to read all the responses in this thread...so forgive me if this was already suggested:
My daughter just got married and the reception was expensive indeed. Children were included at the very start of the party but we hired a sitter to take the kiddies off to a separate room where they could play and have their own little party. It worked out great and our friends and family members who came in from out of town were very grateful that we had provided for their children...after all, the kids are family and friends too.
Anyway, that solution worked for us. Good luck!


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I am disturbed by the number of posts that insist either that "weddings are adult affairs and children don't belong there!" or that "weddings are family events and it is rude to exclude children!"

There is no rule one way or the other. Weddings are no different from any other event or party. Sometimes children are included, sometimes they aren't. It is the hosts' decision, and neither way is rude. I agree that guests need to accept hosts' choices graciously, and hosts need to accept regrets gracefully if people choose not to come if it means they can't bring their kids. Sometimes people feel like if they can cite some kind of "rule," then no one can feel offended or mad at them. But think about it: is it really going to make anyone feel better that you cared about some kind of "rule" than about their kids/their right to have whatever kind of wedding they want?

I also disagree that you must either include all children or none. I don't see anything wrong with the bride and groom including, say, their own children, young siblings, nieces and nephews, and godchildren, even though they aren't inviting their friends' children or those of distant cousins. I don't think it's nice to include some but not all of similarly situated people -- say, your brother's 10-year-old but not your sister's 10-year-old -- but that goes for adults, too.

I would not put "no children" or "adults only" on the invitation. Only those to whom the invitation is addressed are invited, period, and I bet you that all those people who "don't understand that" and try to bring others really do -- they are just sort of refusing to understand it! I do understand the many posters that have advised to do it anyway, in order to head such people off, though. But as someone else pointed out, even doing that doesn't solve the problem: it's still not clear as to teenagers. And it would certainly make it impossible to include ANY children without offending people who went to the trouble to get sitters and then see that some children are more equal than others. Besides, I think that the boors who would have pretended they thought they were supposed to bring their kids will try to do so anyway.

Don't put a "number attending" line on the response card. That's just asking for it! Like the guy someone wrote about above who said he was planning on finding a few friends to bring. We have always used response cards that just said something like, "We look forward to celebrating with you. Please respond by [date]," at the top, and then the rest of the card was blank, and tucked under the flap of the stamped return envelope. Not ONE person has failed to figure out that they were to use the blank space to give us all the information we needed about who was coming to what.


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I would put "We regret we cannot accommodate children at our wedding festivities." on the invites of people who will potentially bring children.

end of story - if you don't want kids there.

Make it clear and up front. Don't make attendees ask. And don't be mad if people decline to come because they can't get an all-day or an all-weekend sitter.

Wedding etiquette rules... such FUN! And then we have the "do you put the boyfriends name on the invite?" question.... it goes on and on.


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gell:

1) I dont think it's rude to exclude. I just would like to know ahead of time.
2) I'm not refusing to get it. I am 42 years old and only learned this etiquette rule here on this thread, that this is what is meant by the addressees. Heck, I usually rip envelopes open and throw them away and only keep the contents. To be honest, I have good friends that I may not remember all the kid's names or spellings. And I have one friend who has 5 kids. Would you put all the names on the envelope? I rely heavliy on what is written on that little RSVP card. And I do call to ask nowadays, ever since this whole wedding thing came up with my SIL.

To make it clear up front only reduces stress on the wedding party as well as the invitees. Why not be clear? Most importantly with out of town invitees, the clearer the better.

Just because the etiquette book says something is 'correct etiquette', one should not assume that everyone has read that particular book to know the rule.

My DD's school motto is "Make Good Choices and Learn Something New Every Day."

Ok I have learned something new wth this topic.
I can, as a wedding organizer Make a Choice to be clear on the RSVP card. It may not be correct etiquette, but it is good common sense. Do the two have to exlude each other?


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Do your invitations not have some inclusion of the names of invitees? If not, perhaps they should and that will clear up the issue of who is invited.

"Mr and Mrs Parents of the Bride (or whoever is hosting this shindig)
request the pleasure of the company of
____________________________________
(names of invitees are usually hand written in here)
at the marriage of
Bride to Groom
at, on, yada yada"

So if it says "John and Jane" or "John and Jane Doe", then John and Jane are the invitees, and no one else. If it says, "John and Jane, Buzz, Alice and Jethro", where Buzz, Alice and Jethro are John and Jane's minor children, then they are also invited. If John and Jane have adult children, the adult children should receive separate invitations.
So, basically, if YOUR NAME isn't on the actual invitation, YOU aren't invited. What is on the envelope is irrelevant.


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Daisy, in the US invitations are almost always engraved or at least printed.
There is really no way to accomodate clods without being one your self.
Address the outside envelope with Mr and Mrs Soandso and Emily and Thomas....and do the same inside on the inside envelope. Then trust them to do the right thing. If someone responde indication they are bringing their kids, then call them and politely tell them that you hadn't included their children on the guest list. Terribly sorry, but with all the friends and family on both sides we would be outgrowing the facility if we did.
Don't stoop to the clods' level by adding anything like "Adults Only" or "no children" or anything else.
And for your dear brother with the 2 lovely children whom you want to include, put their names on the outside and the inside envelope.
and technically the RSVP card is also not the best manners. It presumes that guests would not know enough to reply without it.....but we all know that is so!
Bringing your children or a date uninvited to a wedding is as rude as bringing them to your house to a party uninvited.
Do people really show up with kids in tow to a sit down meal....with place cards and all???
Linda C


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Hey Linda, I'm Colleen, not Daisy :-)........
Invitations here are engraved or printed also, but they are worded in such as way that you need to write in the name/s of the invitees, rather than being general, ie, "the pleasure of _your_ company". So, (the bold bits are printed, the italic bits are written in the space left for this purpose by the printers)
"Mr and Mrs Parents of the Bride (or whoever is hosting this shindig)
request the pleasure of the company of
names of invitee/s
at the marriage of
Bride to Groom
at, on, yada yada
"
If you were doing you own invitations on a computer you could do a mail merge type thing and have each invitation printed with the invitee/s' name/s so they were personalised, and again only the person whose name is on the invitation is invited.


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LOL!! I knew it was one or the other of you Aussie Angels!
What a sensible thing! Makes for a lot of work for the bride and her mother...but so personal....and then there is no ( we hope) confusion over just who is invited.
No here we do the Mr and Mrs whatever request the honor of your presence ( if for a wedding and not just the reception) at the amrriage of...etc etc.
And then there are 2 envelopes...and the inner is addressed to Mr and Mrs Firstname Whoever and their children Anne and William
And on the outside envelope it's addressed to the same plus their address.
Also very plain...but it seems some don't read the envelope.
Linda C


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DH & I got married a year ago, and I'm still not certain how members of DH's extended family didn't understand that the words "Adult Reception" and "Mr. & Mrs. Doe" didn't mean that their son wasn't invited. After numerous hysterical phone calls from DH's aunts and cousins to my then BF and his mother, my mother finally had to step in and send a letter to the inconsiderate relatives explaining that NO children were going to be at the wedding REGARDLESS of who they were! We were extremely limted on seating and it was my DH who insisted in the first place that we not invite kids.

I didn't do this for my RSVP cards but learned of it afterwards (I would've done it if I had seen it before having invites engraved). Some brides will write out the RSVP cards themselves so that when the guest replies s/he just checks a yes or no response. For example:

M/M John Doe

____ 2 will attend
____ 2 will not attend

Or something close to that effect so that there *shouldn't* be any misunderstandings.


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I am with Lindac on this one. I think everyone over the age of 21 should be familiar with proper etiquette. It is the responsibility of the parents to see that they teach their children, but that means they must know proper etiquette as well.

Inserting a person's name on an engraved wedding invitation?? That is just beyond tacky. I don't care if you are doing your invitations on your computer and can mail merge, don't do your invitations that way, it's just in plain old bad taste.

I have never heard such ridiculous stories in all my life. I have also never heard of anyone trying to bring a child to an evening reception or any reception for that matter when the invitation is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. John Doe. If you want the family, it reads Mr. and Mrs. John Doe and Family if there are 6 kids, of course you don't write everyone's name!

Ugh, this thread has shed a new light on how clueless people can be.

If you want to teach your children etiquette (and in my book it is like teaching them to wash their hands before eating), there is a good book "The Golden Rules of Etiquette at the Plaza".

There are also many books in your local library dying to be read by those of you who can't figure out the ins and outs of socializing.


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Dear Labmomma,
I am so glad to find you are an expert on Australian etiquette. Now I know of whom to enquire should I have any questions regarding my next soiree.
Of course, there is that school of thought which considers calling the etiquette of another country or culture "tacky" is in itself, tacky, but I see that is a school of thought to which you do not belong.


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Geez, I guess I'm clueless. thanks labmomma!

laurels, I love your idea!!!


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I don't profess to know anything about Australian etiquette, but if these questions are a representation, then I stand by my thoughts. My comments were constrained to those here in the States who are posting about this relative being upset that their child isn't invited, the invitations aren't clear, etc. It's nonsense. Don't you have rules of etiquette in Australia?

I have traveled to many countries, and have seen that most of them do have etiquette rules. Their etiquette may be somewhat different but the point is, there is a correct way to do things. Here in the United States, we have proper etiquette and things should be done properly. If you are clueless you can inform and educate yourself, it only takes a little initiative and reading. As I said before, learning proper etiquette is as basic as learning to wash your hands before dinner.

trekaren - just because something makes sense, doesn't mean it is either proper etiquette, or in good taste.


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hahahahahah!
Another etiquette challenged poster here! LOL
Etiquette rules are superficial. Many are arbitrary. They mean nothing compared decent manners. However, etiquette and manners are not the same thing. A person can have impeccable etiquette, read every book in the library on the subject, pass them down for generation in a family, take a class on it, and still be rude. In fact, some can even use etiquette rules to be rude.

When a wedding becomes about perfect etiquette it turns what should be a celebration turns into a family war. Each bride and groom know their own friends and family well enough to decide what is best for their situation. If they are polite, they can stand by what they do with no regrets.

Etiquette schmetiquette.


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Labmomma....I believe you misunderstood Coleen. In Australia, wedding invitations are printed with a blank space for the bride or her parents to fill in, in their own hand writing the names of the specific individuals who are included in the invitation...
So ultimatly the invitation would read:
Mr and Mrs. Parents Request the honour of the presence of Ms Labmomma and her son Daron to the wedding of....etc...
The blank space is not to be filled in by the recipients, but by the host and hostess. I think it's a lovely custom.
In very high society for a very small wedding where the wedding only includes close family and friends and the reception included the masses, it is considered very correct for the bride to send hand written invitations to those who she would like to have at the wedding.
Which hand to you use for your knife when eating in Germany?
It might be well for you to remember that what is correct in one country may not be correct in another.
Linda C


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Talking of etiquette...my DD recently was in the US (I am in Australia), and she thought it was hilarious how EVERYONE in the immediate vacinity would say "bless you" when she sneezed.

She had many a chuckle about that !

Here we say that, but not on mass !

I think we do have etiquette in Australia, but basically we are very easygoing mate !

Popi


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I thought I would give an update on the out-of-town wedding that we went to. For reasons that would take a month of Sundays to explain, we couldn't get a sitter for our 4 yo son, so we had to take him to the wedding (he was invited in case you missed my first post). Two children were invited to the wedding - the 5 yo nephew of the bride, and the 4 yo nephew of the groom. Children of other guests were not invited. (and thankfully no knuckleheads brought their kids).

The wedding was small - 60 people (max capacity of the room) in a small stone building - very intimate, and no where to escape if the child got restless. I brought a couple of books for my son to read if he got bored (which he did very quickly. After going through the books, I started showing him pictures on my digital camera...anything to amuse him as we got through the ceremony. Just as my brother and his wife were exchanging vows, my son started making pig snorting sounds. In such a small room, it was very loud. I wanted to die. Thankfully I was able to distract him quickly with something, so he stopped after a couple of snorts. I don't know if it upset them - they are still on their honeymoon so I haven't talked to them yet. I really hope that they are not upset about it.

The meal was super long....3 courses for 60 people... it was 9:00 before dinner was over. My son did *super* well sitting the entire time. But it wasn't any place for him. If there would have been any way to have him with a sitter, we would have done it. I can't understand how anyone could think that an evening reception is any place for a child.


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So, we've returned from the wedding! There was a ring bearer and flower girl, both under the age of four. The ring bearer made it down the aisle, the flower girl burst into tears and ran out of the room. Not suprised! We had a sitter at the hotel, unfortunately nobody else took advantage. My husband was the best man, so I sat at a table with 8 groomsmen, none of them brought their wives. All of the ladies stayed home with the children. That was a bit disappointing. But, we did have a good time, and the ceremony was beautiful.

I did go to a wedding last year, that invited children. The bride set the tables up so that all of the children were seated at the same table. There were activities for them, and the parents sat at other tables. It was a really cute idea! One parent checked on their kid, and got a "I'm fine, Dad!! Leave me alone!!" Very funny :) Christy


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Hi popi -

Can you help me understand why it's hilarious that many people say bless you to someone who sneezes? It's people wishing the "sneezer" well, right, by asking for blessings on them (and not illness)?

I'm really asking - not being snide. Why is it funny for many people to be generous and make a polite gesture?

If it was your daughter who sneezed, and people said that to her, did she say thank you? That is the etiquette, although if the whole thing isn't the culture in Australia perhaps she didn't know. In that case, the Americans probably thought her rude. It really can be tough to know another culture when you're traveling, isn't it.

Suzieque


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RE: Children at Weddings

I can't answer for Popi's daughter, but I can say that in Australia it is very rare to say "bless you" when someone sneezes, even to someone you know, let alone a stranger. I can't think the last time anyone said it to me. I imagine that having a chorus of bystanders saying it every time one sneezes would be amusing to someone who had no experience of it.
Another aspect of this is that while Australia professes to be a Christian country, celebrating the major Christian religious festivals such as Christmas and Easter, and a large percentage prefer to be married in a church, Australians are not, in general, overtly religious. Most Australians would tick "Christian" on the Census form, but church attendance is very low. We find the issue of whether or not Presidential candidates are regular church goers (as an indicator of their worthiness) somewhat incomprehensible because it is such a non-issue here. I have no idea if our Prime Minister attends a church or even what denomination he is, if any, and frankly I don't think that's any measure of his effectiveness as a PM. That's not to say we're a nation of atheists, but rather that we feel religion is something one keeps to oneself. So few go around wishing blessings to random strangers.


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Children at Weddings

Colleen - thanks for the lesson. We in the US (dare I speak for us all? Sorry to do so if I'm wrong according to someone's specific US region. I'm in the Northeast) consider that polite, friendly, and pretty much normal response, even to a passerby (although usually done with a friendly smile, as is the thank-you)- how interesting to learn that Australians would consider it strange.

What a contrary bunch, aren't we humans!

I hope to visit your wonderfully enticing country sometime! I know several people who have and have all great things to say.

Suzieque


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Well...I just googled! I was curious about gezundheit, which is also a very common expression when someone sneezes. People of German heritage or Ashkenasic Jews say it. It means God Bless, and according to google was widely used in Australia until WW II when use of the German language was discouraged. The custom is said to have originated because it was thought the soul left the body during s sneeze. Another source says it originated during the black plague in Europe when sneezing may have been a sign of impending death.
I wonder what Arabs and Asians say when someone sneezes?
Now I have to research what other cultures say...
Linda C


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Interesting about the sneeze traditions in different countries!

I wonder though, what etiquette says about calling people names like Clueless and Knuckleheads, who are only just now at a late age learning nuances of etiquette such as envelope addressees.

:-)


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Suzieque

The reason that my DD found it amusing that her sneeze was followed by a chorus of "bless you's" was the fact that it was the "whole" room of people saying it ! It even happened in a shopping centre, someone would sneeze and from way across the centre she heard a faint "bless you". It was like people where programmed to make that response when a sneeze was heard.

I agree with what Colleen said about Australian's, I think we prefer to keep our faiths rather subdued, we dont advertise it. Which I think is the way it should be, by the way ! I think John Howard does go to Church.

Popi


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I think American's saying 'bless-you' is more polite than religious. It falls under the same rule as 'please' and 'thank-you' or the gesture of holding open a door. To say she found a chuckle at it, sounds to me that she was making fun of us. And if she was somewhere where she received a chorus of 'bless you's' than she was in a very polite and friendly room! I haven't been to many other countries, but I don't think I would be so quick to make fun of the local traditions when I returned.


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Christy - precisely! Thank you for putting into words what I was feeling but couldn't. As I said way above, it's etiquette, and I wondered if the popi's daughter had said thank you. If not, that would have been perceived as rude. Yes, I agree that our use of "bless you" is more polite than religious. And it does feel as though she was ridiculing us for being polite.

Certainly popi's daughter simply didn't know the nature of the gesture. I guess it could be considered funny, just as some of her country's customs might seem hilarious (as she said) to us. Too bad that she didn't ask someone she was with about it. She might've learned and also saved herself from looking discourteous. Hopefully she'll return and enjoy America again. "When in Rome ...", as they say.


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In some Spanish locales, including Puerto Rico where DH is from, they say Salud, Dinero y Amor with each sneeze.
First sneeze: Salud! (health!)
Second sneeze: Dinero! (money!)
Third sneeze: Amor! (Love!)

And as much as I sneeze, I usually get a chorus of all three from DH and his relatives.


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What an interesting thread! I just read through the whole thing. It's probably been beaten to death already so I'll only chime in to say that as a parent of a 16 yo and 19 yo, I heartily agree that children simply do not belong in some situations. And yes, I've passed on some invitations when my kids were younger because I couldn't make arrangements for them - that's a fact of having kids. And I've had adults only parties, even when my kids were young. That's the privelege of the host/ess.

On the subject of etiquette, I think it's way overrated. It's great to use Emily Post's book as a guideline, and certainly planning a wedding is unknown territory for many so it's nice to have those guidelines, but each wedding is different. Each couple, their family traditions and how their friends are likely to understand things -- all different. What is the norm in one group might be considered rude by another and vice versa. Any host of any party, wedding for 300 guests or dinner party for 8, would do well to consider the traditions and expectations of those they are inviting, and word the invitations accordingly. And if adults only is what you want, and the only way to communicate that is to put it on the invitation, then I say do it. And if someone who receives the invitation is offended by that or thinks it's against etiquette, well I hope they'll follow etiquette enough to keep that opinion to themselves.

Oh, and LindaC, gesundheit means "good health" not "bless you".
From google:
When a person sneezes, German and Yiddish speakers typically say Gesundheit! to wish them good health


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Nicely said, lowspark. I think you nailed it :) Christy


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For my wedding, I didn't specify "no children." When my children were younger, I preferred not to take them with me to weddings. I cannot relax and enjoy myself, but was glad that the option was there to take them. Some family members really want to be at a wedding but can't get child care, so they would feel excluded at a "no child" wedding. These people usually leave the reception a little earlier (understandably), but they at least got to be part of a family event. If I can help it, I prefer to go sans kids, but someday, when I remarry (divorced), I will not tell anyone not to bring their kids, as I have 3 of my own and my fiance has 3 from a previous marriage. I want our children there, so I will not exclude anyone else's. I can understand why some people specify "no kids," but I think people (brides especially) put too much stock in making the day perfect. You cannot control a day. It could rain. It could hail. A wind-storm might kick up. Someone might get too drunk at the reception. Stuff happens. That does not mean your whole wedding is ruined. Even back when I was a young bride, I realized this (thank goodness), so a kid throwing a tantrum would not have ruined my day. It's a long day. A few isolated incidents don't mar the purpose of the day and the good memories of family and friends coming together and celebrating.


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As a person who had a wedding geared towards adults, I can say that it's not about having a perfect day. It's not about your wedding being ruined by what kids might do. I had reasons that I wanted an evening wedding and cocktail party reception that had nothing to do with being afraid that a child would ruin it. Like I said in my previous post - everyone should do it the way they want. If I want an evening cocktail party without kids, that's what I should be able to do, and without criticism for trying to have a perfect wedding or for not caring about anyone's children. If I were to get remarried, I would still have an evening wedding. Actually, I would get married on a cruise ship! Children probably wouldn't be invited, and I have a child. It's not about wether or not I like kids, or have any illusions or unrealistic fantasies about what the day is going to be like. Please don't try to guess why I am having the party that I want to have.


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If a toddler is having a temper tantrum at the wedding reception, while music is playing, and people are dancing and milling about, you are right, it probably isn't a big deal.

But if a child is having a screaming temper tantrum throughout the exchanging of wedding vows, spoiling the actual wedding, yes, it would be a big deal! I wrote above about a wedding I attended where this actually happened. The parents were in the 5th row, and let their child spoil someones ENTIRE wedding ceremony with his screaming temper tantrum. Most people know enough to take their child outside in this situation. But there is always one clueless set of parents who do not have the common sense to get their kid out of there and just stand there allowing their child to ruin someone elses wedding...that someone planned for months and months, and spent a fortune on making this day special. Most people would care in this situation. There is too much planning and money spent on too many weddings, to let it be spoiled by those who do not know any better.

And I like kids. Perhaps they should be invited to the reception, so they can take part in the day.


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Or perhaps one could invite children over the age of 6 or 7, when temper tantrums should be well behind them, and they (especially little girls) love seeing the bride walk down the isle.


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Ok, I didn't see this touched upon, so I'll throw it out there. Is it inappropriate to not invite the toddlers while inviting 13 and over? We have five close family memembers that are teenagers. We also have several families with kids under the age of 5 (16 toddlers total). I want to include the teenagers, but not the toddlers. I obviously won't be able to put "adults only" on the invite, but the envelopes of the families with babies will be addressed "Sue and Bob" -- sans the kids' names. Any thoughts/advice on this? I know it seems rude but our reception hall space is limited.

Thank you,
Molly


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We didn't allow children at the weddings in my family b/c we didn't want them making noises or interrupting in any way. Have you ever been in church when some kid cried or talked out? That's what you don't want. No, no children is not being rude, it's self preservation.


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flynnmoa,maybe you could put something on the invite like,OLDER CHILDREN are welcomed. I would not think it was rude,teenagers are certainly not going to throw a temper tantrum as a toddler would.


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I did not include children at my wedding. I explained to my family that we were trying to keep things in budget. When someone outside of the family asked if she could bring her daughter. When I said there would be no children at the wedding, my friend was kind of insistent that I should make an exception. I explained that since I didn't include my family's children, that they would be hurt if I invited her daughter. She found that an acceptable (at least, I hope so)explanation.

Personally, I hate being a guest at a wedding where there are children seated at my table. My husband and I endured a toddler swinging her sippy cup around and the parents having a "YOU MUST EAT ALL YOUR VEGETABLES" marathon argument with the kids. I say that if you are going to have kids at your wedding, be merciful on all of us who left the kids home and seat the kid people all at one table so they can at least commiserate with each other.


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This situation is happening with my nephew's wedding for June 28th.

My DD is 16, and on the invite envelope it said my name, my husband's name and our daughter's name. However, they do not want ANY toddlers or young kids at the wedding.

The problem? My niece, who lives out of town, is bringing her twins who are 7 months old and teething. Her mom (my sister) says that my niece won't come to the wedding if she can't bring her twins. We haven't seen them yet either! My nephew, who has always been close to my niece (they're the same age 31) hasn't been able to call her to tell her cuz he doesn't want to hurt her.

My sister can't seem to understand this. Coming up with things like.. they're coming from out of town, they have to pay for hotel room, etc. Doesn't understand that others are coming from out of town. Forgets that this newphew did A LOT when my niece got married 2 years ago!

Not sure what will happen but I just hope all goes well without too much drama!

Seems to me that if my niece refuses to come because of this, then she isn't really coming for his wedding. It's more for her and her twins.

But then again, my niece may totally understand and it might just be my sister who is negative with all this.


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Like all social engagements- those invited are welcome to attend. We did include children at our wedding but it was small and casual but we did not include the latest boyfriend/girlfriend of the young people in our family and that was a huge issue for my 19 year old niece who wanted her boyfriend to come so she "wouldn't be bored". She asked, her father asked her stepmother asked and the answer was no,no,no. I had close friends who were not invited due to the size so I was pretty determined that every person in our small group was going to be someone I loved and who wanted to be there.


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Good for you for standing your ground.


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The absolute nicest wedding invitation I ever received stated "While they are welcome at the reception, a sitter will be provided for all children under the age of 10 during the service". Actually, they'd hired two; a teenager for the older youngsters, and a grandmotherly type for infants and toddlers who stayed in the church nursery. At the event, there was an usher siphoing off children to the nursery as they came in the door. Parents who insisted on holding their baby, were told that there was an audio system in the nursery, and they could enjoy the service from there, but NO children were allowed. There was no question as to whether adorable little Jason or dear little Jessica would be allowed in; if they were under 10, they went to the nursery. (period) The play room had a table set up with cupcakes and punch, a tv with a vcr and several toys and games, and it had ballons and some minimal decorations (I remember seeing streamers and a string of lights) so the older kids had their own party. I saw only a few of the older kids at the reception, (and NO infants) as apparently it was much more interesting at "their" party. There was also a quiet room with comfortable chairs that opened off the infant's nursery for breastfeeding mothers. (It was a very well designed church)

The wedding and reception were not all that fancy, but it was memorable in that everyone who attended had such a good time. No one felt pressured to "make arrangements" for their child(ren) in order to attend, no screaming, fussing babies ruining the ceremony, no squirming, fidigity kids distracting from the vows. For about $100.00, (cost of the sitters, snacks and a few party favors for the kids), the couple had the wedding of their dreams, and everyone left happy. What better start on a new life could you want that that?


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That is a fantastic idea, bloobird. Sounds lovely, and fun for all :) Christy


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Let me state my dislike of "BIG" Weddings right off, since I realize this makes me biased...$30K for a party? Bah. A desire to show off money the couple/family doesn't even have and an excuse to get blitzed is more like it. Oh, will the marriage last longer than it takes to pay off the celebration? How about a less formal and family-friendly event that still is beautiful? Several weddings I have attended all seemed the same to me.They all had the same drama, too. Okay, not the point of this post...

I see nothing wrong with stating "adult reception" if it is formal and includes alcohol and dancing until late evening. My cousin's bride wants NO KIDS,not even my perfect angels... :-P.
The ceremony itself? Well, I suppose that depends on the guests' ability to control their kids, and the kids' ages.
DH and I had a fairly casual reception, NO alcohol, and perhaps 20 kids, including 6 of our own. We invited people we cared about, who are a part of our lives, not just anyone we knew. MIL worried about forgetting someone, and yes the list grew, but neither of us looked at our Wedding as either "an adult party," nor as a means to rake in thousands of dollars in gifts. We wanted to share our happiness with people we love, and celebrate without fearing some drunken brawl or hurt feelings because we didn't want little Bobby to ruin our event. Had we been inviting a lot of people with very young children,perhaps I would have planned a "kids room." I think I'd rather have to tolerate one or two unruly children than several drunks any day. I have seen that nightmare first hand.
BTW-DS15 couldn't care less about not being invited to my cousin's wedding, but DD11 feels left out. C'est la vie...


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"A desire to show off money the couple/family doesn't even have..."

You shouldn't assume they don't have the money, many do.

The problem is that every parent thinks it is the "other" kids that are the issue, not their perfect angels. You have to exclude all kids or include all, otherwise you are basically saying, "cousin Missy's kids can come because they are well behaved and Missy is a good mother, but cousin April's kids have to stay home because her kids are brats and she doesn't disclipline them". You can't let the parents exercise discretion, because most won't. And even normally perfect angels sometimes have a bad day, especially if the day means they miss a nap, eat food they normally wouldn't, have to sit still for a ceremony in a hot church, sit ignored at a table while grown-ups catch up, etc.

This isn't new. I am 40 and my sister and I never went to a wedding until we were teenagers (I was 16, she was 14), and my parents went to plenty. That was a casual, second wedding for my uncle.


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We got an invite the other day -- Mr. and Mrs. Soandso and family -- I assume that means our two children (ages 6 and 8)?

The wedding is out of state (3 and a half hour drive) so we were planning a hotel anyway. Trying to decide if we bring the kiddos. There are attractions in the area I wouldn't mind taking the kids too. Also we won't know many people so the kids might be a nice diversion. Not planning on attending the ceremony.

It does make me wonder though if other guests mind if they are there The kids are girls and are well-behaved and past the tantrum stage. They may get bored though (I know I do!).


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RE: Children at Weddings Sue

I was tempted to post a sacastic reply, "Yes, some like to show off the money they DO have." Then I realized this applies to many things, not just weddings. I was mainly referring to those in the middle class, as I personally don't know anyone who can afford $30K or more for a one day party, without someone getting into debt. What a silly way to start a marriage.
I agree about the OPK (other people's kids) aspect of this topic. I also have noticed a growing trend of children running amok ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE. I personally would rather attend a formal event or even a movie without a young child in tow, but perhaps where the conflict begins is in different opinions of whether or not is supposed to be a "Family" event or a "Formal" occasion.
For me it is a family occasion, the same as graduations, big anniversaries, or other very special events.It isn't just about the Bride and Groom, but two families joining each other, including some little kids! Teenagers might be a bigger issue at a large reception where alcohol is served. No one tends to keep an eye on them.
For some folks, it is a once-in-a-lifetime event, a chance to have everything perfect and beautiful. However, even without kids, it seldom ends up that way. I guess I'd rather disappoint a few folks by not serving alcohol, dressing less formally, and having a reasonable budget, than offend a bunch by excluding their kids.


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I think parents need to occasionally leave their children with a sitter. We raised our kids doing family things and we could take them everywhere we went. I realized later it would have been better for us as parents to have time without them and for them as children to know that there are places they can't go. I think it's better for all concerned. In case of out of town weddings and no children, I would take a teenager along to baby sit at the hotel. Then take them somewhere that is fun for children.


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We got an invite the other day -- Mr. and Mrs. Soandso and family -- I assume that means our two children (ages 6 and 8)?

IMO, the invite is addressed to include your kids because it says "Mr and Mrs AND FAMILY".

If it were meant for just you and your spouse, it would have read "Mr and Mrs" only.


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Something occurred to me. Many reception halls will charge you full price for dinner for a child. So.... if you do bring your kids, up your gift since the couple is likely paying $30 for their dinner (which they will likely eat $2.00 worth).


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Remember also that it isn't just a question of children disrupting things. The presence of children, even very well-behaved one, simply changes the tone of an event. I am not thinking of drunken brawling, either; people simply dress, drink, and converse differently when children are present than when they aren't.

So it's not an insult to children's behavior if they are not invited to something like a cocktail party or dinner dance, whether it's for a wedding or anything else. If the hosts want a multi-generational family focus, that's one choice, but if they want a sophisticated grown-up soiree, that's a legitimate choice, too.

As to the previous post about the out-of-town niece planning to bring her little twins: perhaps she didn't even mean to bring them to the ceremony and/or reception at all, just to other events of the weekend that may be planned -- or, upon reflection, will decide that as the time gets close. I don't see anything at all wrong with her figuring that a family event is a perfect time for the other relatives to meet the new members of the clan, particularly if they are spread out and are rarely all together, and if you will take family snapshots. What do you want her to do, wait for a funeral? Weddings in far-flung families function as reunions. Of course the bride and groom are the guests of honor and the wedding is the main event, but the couple are not the only ones for whom it is an important moment.


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Children and weddings is always a hot topic...

A few years back my oldest (and very dearest) niece was married. Most everyone was from both families lived out of town from the niece and therefore were travelling to where she was living for the wedding "weekend" (breaker party on Friday for those arriving early, wedding on Saturday, and picnic on Sunday)... months prior to the wedding we were told it would be an "adults only" reception on Saturday, but not to worry, they were arranging for babysitting for all the children.

At the time I my children were 12, 10, and 6... the invitations arrive and sure enough they said Family party Friday night, adults only reception Saturday night, and family picnic on Sunday afternoon... but there is no mention of the babysitting for Saturday night...

During many conversations with family members, no one is saying anything about the children AT ALL, even when I raise the issue of Saturday night. So, I called the hotel and looked into their "hire a stranger" service... which to say the least I was less than impressed with. Then about 2 weeks before the event it finally "slips" out that oh... didn't we know, all the other cousins ARE invited to the ADULT reception (ages 13, 14,15, 17) they are counting them adults.

Well... blow me down! I guess I was an a@@ for assuming that adults were 18+ or maybe even 21+ given the alcohol serving issues.... but no, we were told they drew an imaginary "adult" line... and gee... mine children were the only children in the family (both sides) not invited.... which, btw, means I do NOT have potential sitters witht he nieces and nephews (which explains the drop of conversation whenever I raised that topic!) And yeah, the niece decided not to arrange child care like she was going to. Didn't I realize this on my own?

Long and short of it was we ended up opting NOT to attend. We do not live near any relatives from either side of the family and we would have had to to travel on Friday afternoon and return on Sunday afternooon (at the bare minimum) to get to/from the ceremony and reception only. We didn't have any one locally to leave 3 children with for over 48 hours at a minimum....

Boy did we hear about the decision not to go from EVERY family member under the sun... how could we disappoint our niece this way???

Let's see... I was willing to let my children stay with a sitter... wasn't happy about the hotel service... but probably would have sucked in (although to be brutally honest here, I had expected when my niece did not arrange for sitters, that I would hire the other "older non-adult" nieces/nephews to watch them during the adult reception time.)

Several years later this is STILL a topic of family problems... and my oldest in particular, has little interest in her oldest cousin as a result of being "left out".... All three knew we were planning to attend the wedding and other festivities, and then we told all three there was a change of plans and we were no longer going.

I know my niece did not intend for us to be upset by an adults only invitation, and truthfully when we were under the impression that it was truely 'adults' and therefore NONE of the minor cousins we were fine with it.... by the same token I did not intend to upset a bride with our decision not to attend... but look at the position I was put in... we've all travelled here for a multi-day family event and on Saturday night I have to say to my children (while no one else is) that you can't come with us as it's adults only, but yes indeed your cousins who are not adults can come with us.... as a parent I could not do that to them... so we opted out...

To be fair to my niece, she later said if they knew how many people would decline to attend (most due to child care issues) they never would have done adults only.... remember... basically everyone had to travel, a fair distance (6+ hours in most cases), leaving on a Friday and returning on a Sunday, for the shortest of the travellers... so anyone with children had to arrange for weekend care for them... if they didn't live near other family not invited to the function, they either had to ask friends to take their children for a weekend, or bring them along and deal with the hire a stranger service.... when you don't have children yourself, you can't begin to understand how hard it is to find people to drop your children on for a weekend.... or how disagreeable of an idea it is to leave them with a stranger....

The whole topic just makes me sad... it's not that our family (entire extended family I mean) had "problems" with this... everyone understood why we opted out... or that they didn't agree with both sides of the topic... or that we don't feel it IS entirely up to the bride and groom to decide whatever they want (we do)... it's just a very touchy thing still years later... we've never been shown wedding photos yet we all know they exist... the wedding was never spoken about with us after it happened or in the years since... it's almost as though everyone in the family wants to forget the day happened when we're around... and it all could have been avoided with clear communication upfront...

I KNOW my niece wasn't prepared for us NOT to attend, she called me in tears talking about how their decision had caused so many people not to attend and how she wished she haad known ahead of time that would happen. My sister called, my mother called. All three understood our position and agreed with us. That did not change the situation, nor did we expect it to...

Those planning weddings with many out of area invitees with children really need to be prepared for them to decide it is best for them not to attend if they are not willing to have something arranged for the children of those invited IF they are not being invited to the festivities... Not everyone has childcare available for a couple of days and nights to be able to leave their children behind.

Now, several years later, my niece as a 1 year old herself, and was quite put out recently when they were invited to an out of town wedding without their child... Luckily for her it was a cople hours away and she could use a frined to watch her daughter for the day and still return home that night. But I admit to having a moment of 'ah... see the position you are in... this is what you did to others yourself'... but I still felt bad for her... because she was once again apologizing to me while complaining about this dilema she had....


If your invitation says & Family.... bring the children along...


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I went to a wedding Friday and our children were not invited which was clear because their names were not on the invitation nor was "family". I can tell you I was relieved- it's hard for kids to get all dressed up and go be little adults for a few hours plus it made a wonderful night out for us to connect with friends from all over the country. There were some small cousins who were invited and they were great for a while but then they were bored and cranky and the parents had to leave early.

The other reason I was glad was due to the fact that the wedding was a friend's 23 year old son and I knew that his friends would be partying and drinking which they did and with kids age 9-13, I'm not sure that I would want them to see Cousin21 drinking and being stupid (which he was). I was glad they were home safe doing what they wanted to do with a relative.

We just received an invitation to a birthday party and it read "Chronological grown ups only please!"

I just like knowing upfront so I can plan accordingly.Its when it's unclear that it is annoying to me.


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Plumby,

Same thing happened to me. My niece --- who was in my wedding btw -- invited just my husband and me and not our kids (9&7). It was a 4 hour drive and a weekend stay. Not to mention that there were flower girls from the grooms side in the wedding. I cannot tell you the hurt feelings this caused. My children are adopted, so they felt even more isolated.

The Rule of Thumb should be: Kids in the family get an invite, kids who are friends do not. That limits it some. But kids need to feel they are in the family and this makes a very clear, happy memory for them.

Growing up, there never was a family wedding when an entire family was not invited. We drove for 5 hours to attend cousins weddings. We still talk about the parties today and as a result feel closer. It is an event that ties a family together or can break it apart. Why take the chance --- just to make a picture perfect reception? Please.

IrishGirl


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