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Etiquette inviting (or not inviting) children?

Im trying to put together the guest list for our wedding and after attending a wedding recently where the young children screamed through the ceremony we decided that we didn't want to invite any children (we have none of our own).

However we are really close to our neighbours and their three kids (4, 9 and 13), we take the kids out for the day and they come round to play to give their parents a break. Our neighbours are from Spain and dont have friends/family locally that could look after them and the youngest is disabled so a babysitter that they don't know isn't really an option. Would it be rude to have their kids there and no others? We are considering having the middle child as a page boy - does this make a difference? 

I know that our close friends that have children will understand and be happy to let their hair down for the day and all have family to look after them. I'm most worried about offending my partner's cousins with kids - he's not concerned about it, nor is my MIL2B. It's their side of the family so should I just not worry about it? Or do you have to have an all or nothing approach when it comes to inviting kids? 

Any thoughts or experiences would be much appreciated! 


  • We're having a no children wedding except my little brother (will be 3 and a half at the time). Rather than calling out no children, we're just putting specific names on the invites so it's clear (and leaving our mums to handle any awkward conversations).  I think it's absolutely fine to only invite children that you're close to. It's also nice for parents to have a break too. 

  • It is fine to invite who you want to and no one else, including children - but generally a good rule of thumb is to have clear objective parameters for children eg family children only or only children in the wedding party. you don't want people who have made a big effort to get a sitter to turn up and be upset to see other people have been told they don't have to.

    Given one of the children is a page boy, you should be OK as it would be tough to not invite siblings. To be extra bullet proof you could give all 3 children a role, even if honorary. For example, I am having a flower girl who is only going to be 1 so she won't walk down the aisle or do anything as such.

    In terms of inviting some children but not family children, as it's not your side of the family I wouldn't worry about it. However I think it would depend on if he was especially close to this cousin. I think not inviting nieces or nephews would be far more problematic than not inviting a cousin's children. 

  • K1984K1984 Posts: 88

    I agree wth the above. Absolutely fine not to have children at your wedding. We're doing the same as we've experienced children screaming through the ceremony and it's nice for their parents to have a day off. Only babies are coming as we don't want to exclude breastfeeding mums. I think it will be easier to have the neighboura' children there if they have a notional role just so you can say something like "unfortnately children outside of the wedding party cannot be accommodated due to space constraints". Do what makes you happy. The parents will most probably be grateful for a day off!

  • Just be firm in your decision. We are having no children except one and will specify on the invites that it is child free (I also do not want any screaming in my ceremony!). If they don't like it, then....well tough. It's not their wedding! 

    You shouldn't have to justify your choice of guests :) 

  • Thanks all of you :-) glad I'm not the only one that doesn't want children screaming!

    Some good ideas on how to approach the invitations too!

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