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Invitation Rules

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MustangFan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
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935
I was just wondering what everyone else was doing with invitation rules.

I'm from a second marriage, so my parents had me in their late 30's and 40's
all of my cousins are mostly in their 40's and they have children that are from age 1-18!
I'm not quiet sure if we are going to have an all adult reception, but if we do, do we invited the second cousins over 18?
I barely know them really... I'm really torn on what to do about it. I don't want to hurt people's feelings, but I don't have a problem not inviting them.

Other question is, I would really like to have at least one flower girl and one ring barrier. I don't really know many little girl's, our neighbor, whom we are close with, granddaughter is just so cute and I'd love for her to do it. My nephew I really wish would be the ring barrier, but he's so shy, I think that he'd run away during the ceremony, or refuse because he's just too shy. That brings us back to second cousins again, the only other little boy I know is my cousin's son who will be 5 next year. (Keep in mind that my cousin is also in California and has a two year old daughter as well)

Another question, if you are going to invite children, what should be the minimum age?

M says he was never invited to weddings when he was little, why should we? He also reuses to provide baby sitting service.
I told him that a wedding wasn't really a wedding without a flower girl and ring barrier to me, and he understands this, but what do you do? Invite only ring barrier and flower girl and hope they can entertain each other and not anyone else becoming offended??? Or do I just invite about two handfulls of kids and just get it over with! M was trying to be funny and says well can you just rent-a-kid, so we avoid all of this...? ha
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
Mustang, that is SUCH a pain! I completely understand, my BF has a huge family and we are just sorting out what to do with everyone.

As to what we''re doing, my MIL is making a list of the "close" cousins (my BF is from not only a remarried mom, but his dad has 7 siblings!) and we are just inviting close cousins. Ones he barely knows are not being invited. We are going to invite the kids of the people we are inviting, but it isn''t too many and we are also having a really casual barn reception. If we were having a fancier affair I probably wouldn''t invite the kids if I could help it.

I don''t know what etiquette says, but just a warning about excluding some kids and not others:

My friend recently got married and decided that even though she wanted an adult only wedding, she wanted a ring bearer and didn''t have anyone close in mind. So she asked a cousin''s child to do it. The OTHER cousins whose children weren''t invited on the invite, didn''t get the picture, and many called and asked if they could bring theirs and/or simply wrote the children in on the invite. It was a pain to unravel and to have to make calls to tell everyone else that their children weren''t invited. Realistically, I would assume most people would just get it on the invite if it is only addressed to "Mr. and Mrs.", and my friend''s family was a bit nuts, but I just wanted to give you a heads up.


Not to say that is what your family will do, but be cautious if others have young children and will hear that you invited ONE child, some will take the liberty to assume that theirs are invited too. Some people have NO idea how much you''d be paying for their child to eat plain noodles.

The flower girl and ring bearer weren''t bored at the ceremony/reception, but my friend also kindly bought them quiet toys as thank you gifts and gave them to them to play with during the whole thing. It was a very smart move!



Hope that helps!
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
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2,202
This is so hard - you have to come up with a solution that works for you and try to be as consistent as you can in its application.

For me, and I'm in the middle of the pack of cousins so many older ones have kids of their own, it was to invite all my first cousins but not my second cousins. Of course this means some of my first cousins woln't come cause it is very far (and expensive) to fly with little ones and hard to find babysitters out of town. But that's where we drew the line.

Some people will be offended no matter what you do, but just try to set a consistent rule that isn't too harsh and thats the best you can do.

If you are inviting children, why not just invite them all? What kind of event are you trying to achieve? There are a couple natural break points age wise. There is teenage break point where you expect kids to behave like mini adults as best they can. You can push this down to 10 or so if you are being generous but keep in mind that all tweens are not alike. Some are teenagers some are twoyearolds. Or you can have the break at somewhere around 6 with "little kids" left home and older ones invited. Its useful to think about particular families though and who would be left out and if they would feel slighted. In anycase, I would try to let parents of newborns slide a bit as it is difficult to find a suitable sitter for such long events, especially if the mom is still nursing.

As for the sitter, do you have lots of out of town guests or kids under 5? In my mind, having a staffed kids room is a great way to have an inclusive event where the parents can enjoy themselves and the main adult reception still feels adult, but everyone's kids can be part of it a bit. Your FI is right somewhat, if most of your guests are local with older kids, they can be safely left home, though your guests might not see it that way if they are not "babysitter" people. See neatfreak's example above. If they are traveling though, with smaller kids, it would be a great courtesy to hire someone.
 

anchor31

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
7,074
Big families are a pain. Here''s my situation, maybe it''ll help you to know what we''re doing. Of course, it depends on your budget and how many people you''d like to have there...

My mother has one brother and two nephews (26-28), so no problems there. My father has 10 living brothers and sisters, all of them over 7 years older than him, and they have a gazillion kids and grandkids. I know some of my aunts and uncles well, and one or two cousins... But that''s it. FI''s mother has 11 brothers and sisters, all more or less close in age, and all of which FI knows well, along with their 2-4 children each (ages 1-30). FI''s father has 5 brothers and sisters, who also have 2-4 children each (ages 12ish-30ish). If we were to invite our aunts, uncles and cousins, we would have around 300 people at our wedding. BUT we don''t want and can''t afford having so many people there... So we had to cut somewhere.

So we decided to not invite our cousins. Well, we are inviting 3 of them, but they are 26 and older and we are inviting them as friends. Our immediate families, grandparents and aunts/uncles alone are 74 people... With the close cousins and friends with guests we''re up to 90. I don''t want it to go any higher than that! Of course we have to pay the meals for ourselves and our 4 day-of vendors... We''re expecting 70 people out of 90 to show up (most are OOT and quite a few elderly), so about 76 meals to pay total.

HTH... Good luck.
 

MustangFan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
935
As for the sitter, do you have lots of out of town guests or kids under 5?


No actually just my cousin in california who would have a 5 year old and a two year old at the time we get married.
If I want her to go, then I''d definitely have to invite the children, but! we are planning a river boat wedding, so no extra rooms for baby sitting!


What do you do in this case, she''s the only out of towner with children, should I explain to the other guest if they complain?
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
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14,167
If no other family members are bringing kids you could just say "only close family will be bringing children due to space constraints".

If other family members kids are excluded it might be a little trickier. But saying that it is the only way she could come might work.
 
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