It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Wants Kid-Free Wedding” who had decided not to invite kids to her upcoming wedding and wasn’t sure how to respond to a guest who said she may be bring her two kids “if that’s okay.” After the jump, find out how the situation was resolved.
I spoke with my friend who was more than understanding! We both kept going on about how bad we each felt. She even said that they didn’t want to bring the kids. I explained to her that the only kids that were going to be there were immediate family and one other newborn. She and her husband are going to chat about it with their potential sitters (their parents), will get back to me before a date we decided on, and let me know whether they’re bringing the newborn and if they can definitely come. I mentioned we could look into a sitter for her, but I think they’re going to try their own first. It’s a relief to have it discussed, and that they were beyond understanding. I also completely understand if the couple (and any couple for that matter) can’t come. My family, my fiance’s and my own went into this knowing that not everyone can afford or has the time to attend our wedding…I never assumed it comes before other things in their life!
Backtracking a bit…I actually did look into writing “adults only wedding” on the invite, but from most wedding sites said it was “tacky” to do. The advice I got was to specifically mention names on the inner envelope. For example, if the invite was addressed to James and Sarah and family, that meant kids too. James and Sarah meant just the couple. Unfortunately, sounds like this was the wrong idea!
I thought I cut the line pretty clear on things in terms of kids who can come…I didn’t invite “kids I like” – I invited immediate family only (two first cousins & my only nephew) and any newborns who I assumed, need to be with their parents. I didn’t write newborns names on the invites, however (they aren’t even born yet!).
As you can tell, I really didn’t put much thought into it because I didn’t even foresee this being a problem! I thought inviting immediate kid relatives (nieces, nephews, first cousins, brothers/sisters), which I don’t have much of, would be a good line to draw it at. Also, we don’t have a ring bearer/flower girl, not that that makes any difference.
Funnily enough, after I wrote this in, I got another request from a friend asking if she could bring a date. She was invited with a group of my high school friends, a few who are single and some who are engaged/married/in long-term relationships (whose significant others were invited). I didn’t give plus ones to everyone, unfortunately (budget did not allow for it). I guess these things tend to happen as weddings get closer – we should have eloped! 😉 By the way, I’m also looking into adding a sitter suggestion on our wedding website, in case other couples have similar questions!
I’m glad your friend was understanding and hope she and her husband are able to make it to your wedding. About wording wedding invitations: you’re right that it’s improper etiquette to write “adults only” or “no children” or something to that effect on invitations. Traditionally, whomever the invitation is addressed to is supposed to be enough indication as to who is invited to the wedding (if the kids’ names aren’t on it, or if it doesn’t say “Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Family,” then the kids aren’t invited), but as times change, maybe etiquette needs to change with it. If this is an issue many people are having, maybe it’s time for the Gods of Etiquette to allow some sort of “adults only” wording in invitations to help eliminate these kinds of misunderstanding. What do you guys think? We could start an etiquette revolution here!
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.