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Children at weddings, Yes or No?

(108 Posts)
NanSue Thu 07-Apr-16 13:45:52

My nephew is getting married later in the year and has told his mum that children will not be invited. The exception is the bride to be's nephew and the groom's 2 nephews. Of course, this is their choice and fair enough. However my sister (grooms mum) is very disappointed as she was looking forward to a rare chance of getting all the children and grandchildren together for what she calls a "real family wedding"". There will be a few people that are unable to attend due to lack of babysitters. Said sister will not be upsetting the bride to be, whom she has a very good relationship with, by voicing how she feels, although she did mention to her son that she was a little surprised. One of the reasons he gave was that it is an expensive venue and there would be very little concession for children's rates on the wedding breakfast, so she offered to pay for them if this was the only issue but he refused, saying that was what they wanted, so she hasn't and won't mention it again. It just got me thinking how others feel about children being, or not being invited to weddings?

rosesarered Thu 07-Apr-16 13:48:52

Yes, a problem ( one that reared it's head in my own family a few years ago) I think that children should be invited, they are part of the family, and for guests, part of their family. I think it's a very miserable point of view to exclude them.

NanSue Thu 07-Apr-16 13:54:05

Yes, I have to say that I'm a little disappointed myself roses, my son lives abroad and his 6 year old daughter would love to be involved in a wedding such as this.

Greenfinch Thu 07-Apr-16 13:54:35

I feel exactly the same rosesarered. The difference between DD's wedding and DS's was marked. She had children and DH gave them a special welcome in his speech. They were beautifully behaved and loved the day. DS did not have them and it did not feel nearly so much of a family occasion which of course it is supposed to be.

Jayh Thu 07-Apr-16 13:56:12

Yes, I would invite them. We have been to several family weddings now with the grandchildren, from babes in arms to Teenagers. It is lovely for all the little cousins to meet up and to be included in a family event. It lays down good memories for them.
However, it is the happy couples day and if they don't want to invite children then so be it.

NanSue Thu 07-Apr-16 13:57:40

I wonder how they will word the invitations?!

Penstemmon Thu 07-Apr-16 13:58:01

Always tricky. I would instinctively say have children there as I see weddings as family occasions.

My DD paid a couple of nursery nurses to supervise a gazebo with toys for the younger kids at her wedding ( she specified what times they were available as the reception went on into the evening ) and the children had a buffet before the adults meal so parents could relax during their meal and kids could play (this was summer and there was plenty of outdoor space!)

It can be dull for children if there is a lot of waiting arond and formal stuff going on and you cannot always guarantee the behaviour of everyone elses kids!

whitewave Thu 07-Apr-16 14:03:31

Oh yes it is the way children learn what part of being in an extended family means. Besides how lovely to see them enjoying themselves as part of the family. I am sure this is a question that would never be asked in any other country, we are so weird about these things.

Judthepud2 Thu 07-Apr-16 14:07:58

Agree totally Roses. My twin DDs aged 10 were the only bridesmaids at my cousin's wedding but DS aged 7 and DD3 aged 3 were excluded. As all of my extended family were at the wedding we had babysitting problems. FIL and MIL kindly stepped in to help but they were both elderly and MIL had early stage Parkinson's so couldn't do overnight. So we had to leave early despite having helped my cousin to get dressed and ready for her wedding.

Imagine my annoyance when we got to the reception to find several small children of friends there because no babysitters.

When DS and DIL got married, all the grandchildren as well as several other children of friends were there. It was a lovely friendly wedding and the little ones had a ball. They made it a happy family occasion.

However, it is your nephew's and his fiancée's wedding so they obviously call the shots. Pity!

Grannyknot Thu 07-Apr-16 14:14:46

Children love weddings and being at "grown up" parties. And I love it when they are invited. So it's a yes from me.

obieone Thu 07-Apr-16 14:21:20

Yes definitely.

cornergran Thu 07-Apr-16 14:21:30

It's really difficult, can cause tension in families. Our experiences was of being told no children at the ceremony (but OK at the reception). Our DS and his young family waited outside the Church to see several small children exit with their parents, to say they were furious is an understatement. It spoiled the day for us all. I think consistency is the key here. Of course it's the choice of the bride and groom, but please be consistent to avoid hurt feelings.

MiniMouse Thu 07-Apr-16 14:38:25

Could it be because they would feel obliged to invite the children of guests who are not family and who are badly behaved?

NanSue Thu 07-Apr-16 14:56:57

Possibly, although I don't think many of their friends have children. Maybe they could have invited children of family only.

NotTooOld Thu 07-Apr-16 15:06:17

Yes, I love to see children at weddings.

thatbags Thu 07-Apr-16 16:08:48

I think it depends entirely on the wedding and what the couple getting married want. One doesn't have to invite anyone to one's wedding, after all, so long as one has a couple of witnesses.

It's the marrying couple's day, not anyone else's. Whether they want a full blown family affair is up to them.

ninathenana Thu 07-Apr-16 16:18:00

This caused a rift in our family that has lasted to this day.
My brother always spoilt his niece n nephew (our sister's children) when my brother married the bride decreed no children. My sister's husband flipped, refused to attend the wedding and consequently sister and BiL and children have since been estranged from the family.
We didn't have a problem at D wedding as we had no young children in the family. D did not invite friends children.
I feel it's the bride n grooms choice.

f77ms Thu 07-Apr-16 16:22:56

Yes of course children of the family should be invited to the wedding . One thing I would add is that crying or noisy children should be taken out during the service , I went to a wedding recently where the 3 year old daughter of the bride and groom screamed her head off during the service , the person looking after her seemed oblivious and just let her carry on .

GrannyPiggy Thu 07-Apr-16 16:34:33

I definately think children should be included and my lovely dad who sadly is no longer with us was very vocal about this
I realise wedding meals are extremely expensive but surely some private arrangement could be made
I have already been asked to look after my DGS at the end of the year while his only ️Auntie on SiL side gets married. The brides daughter will be at ceremony ( she & DGS will both be 1 year) the only GC on that side, they are hiring a nanny for her for the day
I don't understand it at all but heyho each to their own
When my children were small we just wouldn't have gone

Jane10 Thu 07-Apr-16 16:40:21

I always think that children are the whole point of a wedding. I particularly like to see them there and made a point of including them at my own then at DDs wedding many years later.

SueDonim Thu 07-Apr-16 16:41:27

It's a difficult situation, one we encountered when my dd married last year. Her groom has SIXTEEN shock aunts & uncles, so you can imagine how many children are involved there. The maximum sized venue in this area was 120, so it simply wasn't possible to invite them all, otherwise our dd would have only had a few guests from our side.

In the end, we divided the guest list into thirds, we chose our 40 guests, the groom's parents selected their 40 and the happy couple invited 40 of their friends. There were still plenty of children racketing around until the small hours, even with those limitations. grin

Marmight Thu 07-Apr-16 17:13:28

At DD1's wedding we had the groom's 2 boys plus, his brother's 2 boys, all under 10 and DD2's 2 babies. The older boys were on a table with some young folk and had great time and the wee ones were passed around during the day among the doting relatives. The only thing which got up my nose was that the groom's DM insisted on bringing her dog to the hotel which we had taken over for the weekend and invited them and 20 others to stay, when I most definitely left ours in kennels angry. Taking said dog out for its evening walk through the thronging crowd did upset me somewhat.... At DD2's wedding in Oz there were no young children and the same with DD3 as the wedding 'party' was at night in an ancient cellar (yes, really!) so we imported a nanny to look after the gc's . Everyone was happy. I think it just depends on the wishes of the bride and groom. I have been at weddings where the screams of a baby at the vital moment have ruined the occasion and at others where they have brought laughter at their antics. Each to his own.

Granny23 Thu 07-Apr-16 17:22:50

When my DD and SonIL married (after being 'a couple' for 18 years) they already had a 6, nearly 7 yr old DD, so the wedding was designed to be child friendly, with a special quiet playroom, staffed by two childminders set aside, a children's menu and as many of the guests were staying in the hotel, plenty of beds available if someone needed a nap or early bedtime. Parents were free to choose whether to bring their children or not.

Picture attached shows the 7 child attendants, who behaved impeccably throughout the ceremony, the meal and the dancing which followed.

suzied Thu 07-Apr-16 17:30:19

We are another family in which this situation caused a rift. My nephew's bride decreed no children - not even his sister's two little ones, who would have loved to have been bridesmaids. She didn't attend and they haven't spoken since (15 years ago)

Greyduster Thu 07-Apr-16 17:45:26

When my son got married, DD and her partner were invited with our grandson, who was then eighteen months old. He was very good during the ceremony, I'm glad to say, but very fidgety during the meal, as there were balloons everywhere and all he wanted to do was get down and play with them! There were older children there too so that was a distraction for him, but DD and s-i-l didn't stay for the evening do. He had been very good but they didn't want to push their luck. It was nice to have children there though; it's a nice experience for them. I haven't been to a wedding yet where children have been so badly behaved it has spoiled everyone's experience. But as others have said, it is entirely the decision of the bride and groom.