Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

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  • Posted: 1 Aug 2018 9:59

    Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    We are getting married in November 2020 so a long time to go yet.. however my mum and I are disagreeing on this one subject. I also need to know numbers for booking my caterer and to plan where my ceremony will be held at the venue.

    We live in Scotland, where my fiance is from. The majority of our guests are also from here. Our venue is about an hour away from where he grew up/his family and friends live. I am from the south of England where my family and a few childhood friends will be coming from. 

    We have sat down and worked out our guest list. He only has 12 members of family in total - including only one cousin who is 16. I have a larger family and will be inviting (from my mums side) three great aunts and two great uncles, my four uncles/aunties and my eight cousins and their partners (this, in addition to my smaller dads side totals my family guests to 35). 

    We have hostel-type accommodation at our venue and many of the rooms include bunk beds. Our friends are all happy to bunk in together. Our families will probably rent hotels/cottages nearby I think. 

    However, my problem is. We have decided that we only want children in our immediate family (2x nephews who will be 3 and 4) and any infants that are under 12 months (we think a few of our friends will have babies by then and it's not fair to ask them to leave them at home all day when they're so young). 

    Some of our friends have kids now, and by the time of our wedding they will range from 2-9 in age. Although we'd love to have them, we're not inviting these as it will add about 10 extra guests to our list. We also feel the parents would have the option to stay in the on-site accommodation if the kids were not there with them. There isn't enough space for each family to have a room. 

    Two of my cousins have children who will be 11 at the time of the wedding. I have only met them a handful of times. It might annoy my cousins/uncles/aunties if I don't invite these two kids. There are other cousins who have children but they're separated/step children so I'm not inviting them and they won't see that as a problem. But my argument is, I never see these two, and where do I draw the line? 

    So my question is do I just not invite my cousins children and deal with any backlash/them possibly not coming? (My wedding is a Monday so they will probably have school anyway)

    Do I invite my single cousin's daughter as her +1 as she might not have childcare - but this may annoy my other cousin and her husband? 

    Or do I just invite both and say to my friends we're having family children/infants only?

    Thank you!

  • Posted: 6 Aug 2018 11:16

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    I think you need to pick a route and stick to it i.e. no kids at all, family kids only, or anyone's kids. When you start trying to pick and choose, that's when you make things awkward. 

    Hopefully people will understand - weddings are expensive anyway, and having to pay for a bunch of kids you don't really know IS frustrating.

    We've decided to allow kids, but are speaking to people with them and asking them to confirm in plenty of time, and also saying that we would rather spend time with them. A couple of our friends who have young children have said they will get a sitter so they can have a night off! 

    Also, just to add- I went to a wedding this weekend, which was no kids allowed, and one of the bridesmaid left her 2 month old with her parents. It was fine. If people really want to be there, they will find a way. 

    There's no doubt that kids add a certain charm to a wedding, but at the same time, it's nice to have grown up conversations with people who normally can't stop being watchful of their kids!

    Whatever you decide, you won't please everyone, so have a think and decide what you (and your pocket) really want! Good luck! X

  • Posted: 6 Aug 2018 11:29

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    Your response was really great to read thank you. Sometimes we all need to get out of our own head and take a step back. You're totally right in sticking with a route. We don't have a massive budget, and I'm doing a lot of things myself. I don't really want to make more sacrifices because of this. So I'm going to stick with the immediate family kids only rule and deal with the fact I won't please everyone. I know it will be worth it in the end. Thank you for taking the time to respond! :) x

  • Posted: 6 Aug 2018 12:08

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    No worries! It's so hard - we're still pinning down our guestlist. I'm seriously considering picking fights with certain family members so I don't have to invite them!! 

    Honestly though - although we've said kids are allowed - several of our friends have said they are looking forward to an excuse for a night off! 

    I think family only kids is a good route, you get a nice balance of kids and adults then.

    Glad I could help! Enjoy the rest of your planning - this forum has been a lifesaver for me so far! X

  • Posted: 6 Aug 2018 13:57

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    As the wedding is a Monday you're being a responsible bride!  You know that schools will not grant absence for weddings unless the wedding is of a very close family member.

    I think you will find some couples choose not to attend if they can't bring their kids though.

  • Posted: 7 Aug 2018 21:06

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    We have had a similar issue regarding our cousin's children. Between our cousins there are 11 children under 7 and as we're already at the guest number included in our package every extra person is more money. Also we don't really have a relationship with any of these children, some we have never met and others only a couple of times. 

    We've decided not to invite any of the children, in fact the only under 10 invited will be my goddaughter as she is part of the wedding party. We're hoping as we're not getting married for another 18months it will be plenty of notice for people but at the same time appreciate this might lead to some cousins being unable to attend. 

    As someone else has said I think it's best to pick a path and stick with it so you don't end up with a one rule for some and another for others.

  • Posted: 14 Aug 2018 6:47

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    My wedding is coming next year. I'll only invite the children of my immediate family members. You know, if a child i doesn't meet for several times, i don't really wanna she/he come to the wedding. The space is limited, and their mother has to take care of them during the wedding day. It's very hard for the adults to enjoy the time. You don't need to please anyone, just make your decisions following your own heart. Good luck!

  • Posted: 25 Aug 2018 9:57

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    We are inviting friends and family children when partners are also invited. If partners not invited  then their children won’t be either (NCT friends and work friends, bar a couple). We will be putting on some childcare for children (we have two of our own) so kids can go out for and be entertained. If people don’t want to bring kids that’s fine but I know as a lot of our friends and family will be travelling far childcare wouldn’t be an option, especially for under 2’s, breastfeeding etc.

    do what you can and want, forget everyone else, but be aware people may have to decline invites. We just recently declined an invite for OH cousins wedding as no children allowed and we have no childcare and I’m breastfeeding my will be 9month old

  • Posted: 26 Aug 2018 10:21

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    I don't have children but but I've never really understood why parents would want to bring small children to a wedding. Surely it's s perfect excuse to get a babysitter and go and enjoy the day/night them two selves without having to worry about the children.

  • Posted: 26 Aug 2018 18:18

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    I don't have children but but I've never really understood why parents would want to bring small children to a wedding.


    Well for a start because a lot of people see weddings as a family event that children should be involved in and can enjoy just as much as adults, especially if there are a few children so they can all play and dance together. Also not everyone has the option of "just getting a babysitter", especially if they are travelling a long way, they have a child who's too young to be left all day and all evening, or if their usual babysitters are all invited to the wedding as well. Some people may be able to and may be very happy to get a babysitter and have a 'night off', but not everybody can or wants to. 

  • Posted: 26 Aug 2018 22:51

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    Yeah it's up to each couple what they want to do. My comment is probably a good reflection of why I don't have or want children! :-) 

  • Posted: 27 Aug 2018 20:48

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    We are getting married next year and have invited children, however only a few of our family members have them so its easier for us to invite. One of my cousins children is my flowergirl and my maid of honour's 2 (eldest 6 and the other will be 6 months old) are pageboys and also my OH has a little boy so will also be our pageboy. Like a lot of the people have said you just need to pick a route and stick to it. 

  • Posted: 28 Aug 2018 10:08

    Re: Cousins' & Friends' Children At Wedding

    This is also a conundrum for us. We've invited the few children of our friends and families who we actually see regularly, but there's a lot of friends whose children we've never really met. We also have the added issue of the town hall where the reception is not having baby facilities, high chairs, etc.

    So we basically invited adults only but have said that the children are welcome if our guests can't or don't want to get a babysitter. When we've been asked if children can come, we've explained the facilities issues so it's their choice - the other side of the coin of course being that we didn't want people to feel obliged to bring their children to a venue without facilities if they'd rather have a 'night off' instead. Some people have decided to bring them, others haven't.

    It's certainly a very prickly issue for some people! My opinion is that family members should not have 'ownership' of a wedding and expect it to be done how they want it. It's the couple who are getting married! So I would say only invite the children you want to come, but be ready to be flexible if other guests say they can't leave their children that long. I expect, after all, that you would rather have the guests there with their children than not able to come at all!

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