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Inviting the Children


I have read etiquette articles on inviting children and most of them say either to invite them or don't invite them, no halfway.  My fiancé and I want our nieces and nephews at the wedding, but not our guests' children.  Is this OK?  We are paying for the wedding ourselves, and are on a tight budget.  What would you suggest??


Dear Gill:

Absolutely!!!  It is certainly OK.  After all, it is your wedding and you can invite whomever you choose.  The children attending your wedding most definitely should be invited guests, not just tag alongs with their parents.  The best way to accomplish this is when sending the invitation, be sure and write the names of those invited on the inside envelope.  For instance, when you want the children invited, the inside envelope will include the parents names, as well as the children's names.  Most people know, when receiving an invitation, that children are not invited, unless their names are listed, or unless "and family" is written on the inside invitation.

You could also pass the word through your families, during showers or other wedding parties and events, and casually with friends.  Your friends will understand and not feel bad knowing you must limit your guest list.



I went to a good friend's wedding last summer and a guest brought her two young children.  During the ceremony, one of them started crying, and continued to cry from the candle lighting through the vows, getting louder as time went on.  I couldn't believe she didn't take them out of the sanctuary.  She was almost as loud as they were, when trying to "hush them up". How can I be sure that won't happen at my wedding, without hurting anyone's feelings?

Gina E.


Dear Gina:

There is only one way to be certain this will not happen at your wedding and that is to specifically state in your invitation that children are not invited.  Of course, that kind of statement is never in good taste.  Be sure your invitation clearly states "Mr. and Mrs." on both the outside and inside envelopes.  In most instances, your guests will understand the "unspoken" request.

You could also pass the word through your families, during showers or other wedding parties and events, and casually with friends, but that will not protect you from a thoughtless guest.  Your best defense is a good offense.  My suggestion is to provide a nursery and enough workers to adequately provide care for your young guests.  It is also suggested that a "nursery representative" be present at the guest book, or at the door,  reminding guests a nursery is provided. 

It is also appropriate to have an usher seated at the back of the church for just such a dilemma .  When the child begins to fuss, the usher may quietly attend to the needs of the child by removing him/her to the nursery, or ask the mother to retire to the foyer. 

One final idea: Include a note in your wedding program, requesting crying or noisy children be taken to the nursery.  Be sure to check out "Wedding Etiquette."


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