Bratty children at wedding reception?


My fiance and I are getting married in August. We are having a private immediate family only wedding and then a small reception to follow.

I do not mind if children come to the reception with the exception of one. My fiance’s cousin is dating a woman who does not control her child AT ALL. The kid is loud and obnoxious and I don’t want her or the child at my wedding.

How do I make this clear without being rude? They are completely oblivious to the fact that people do not want them at events (birthday parties etc).

I thought about writing *no children please* on just their invitation but I thought that might be too rude considering nieces etc will be present at the wedding.

They are the type that will come even if not invited. I’m at a loss of what to do.

Have your fiance level with his cousin and tell him your feelings (I assume you and your fiance are on the same page?). You are just having kids who are in the family there, right? Don’t phrase it to the cousin as , “Your girlfriend’s kid is too bratty…” unless you have to. Instead, say, “We’ve drawn a line about kids at the wedding. We really only want kids who are part of our own families to be at the wedding. We understand that your girlfriend might not be able to find a sitter, but we also can’t have any more kids at the wedding than just our own nieces and nephews. We’d love to have you there, but your girlfriend can’t bring her child. Sorry.” Only bring up the behavior concerns if you are backed into a corner for some reason. If he’s reasonable, he probably knows what his girlfriend’s kid is like and will take the hint — or at least respect your wishes whether he understands your reasoning or not.

If you’ve stated the rule, you’ve stated it clearly, and there is no room for confusion then it would be in VERY poor taste to show up with the kid anyway. That’s not only just “misunderstanding the invite” and showing up uninvited it’s blatantly ignoring the conversation that you had with the cousin.

Where is the reception? If it is somewhere that you can have the children cared for in a different area then go for that. It would be worth the fee to a sitter for the hours of reception. If that is not an option, then your groom must be the one NOT YOU because you will only look bad no matter what you say. Have him speak to his cousin and let him know that this is an adult affair and if they have to bring the children that he needs to make sure he is well behaved. Yes, it is blunt, but do you want to look back at your wedding and say this was going well except for the little brat? Not all children are well behaved, unfortunatly. Also, you can have children at the wedding and put on the invitation….Adult reception to follow, childcare provided. That will also get the point across. Just a few suggestions. Good luck.

What a headache…speak to the cousin and make it abundantly clear that the child has to behave, or, if he can’t promise that, tell him you’d rather they didn’t come. It may be considered rude on your part, but it’s rude of them to bring an ill-behaved child to your wedding. Either way, it’s your wedding, and your wishes take precedence. If they can’t respect them, they are not worthy of an invite in the first place. When they show anyway, delegate a close friend or member of the bridal party to say something when the kid gets out of hand. Remember, it’s your wedding, your wishes are the most important, but at the end of the day, you can either look back and think “Man, that kid ruined everything” or think “I let it go, everybody now knows the mom’s an idiot and the kid’s a monster, but hey, what do I care, I’m now married!!” Don’t stress it too much. I have a similar issue planning our reception (uninvited children, but hopefully no ill-mannered ones). If they show, I’ll think to myself “Oh well.” The mission of the day is to enjoy yourself and get married. One will definitely happen; the other is up to you.

You can’t allow all other children but that one child. So if you have kids, and that one comes, hire babysitters and create a play area seperate from everything else.

But you also said it isn’t just the kid, you don’t want the mother there either. Then only invite the cousin and don’t include a guest, just put his name on both inner and outer envelopes and mark 1 on the rsvp card. If there is a question, the host, or your fiances family can gently let him know that you have to keep the guest list small and are not including plus ones. Of course, it will be an obvious insult, especially when he goes to the wedding and sees other +1’s, and like you said, they will just show up anyway. So get the babysitter and make a play area and ask a family member to keep an eye out and if the kid acts up, escort them out to “calm down” as if they were jumping to the over-worked mother’s aid.

Hate to say it, but this is your no-win situation

Just put your fiance’s cousin and his partner’s names only. Hopefully they will get the message. It is your right not to have little brats at your wedding, especially if you have seen how they behave in the past. If the mother rings up and asks about her kids not coming, you could just tell her the truth; ‘sorry your child has misbehaved before and I don’t think they will behave well at my wedding’. Or you could say ‘why don’t you leave the child with a babysitter then you can have a nice kid free night and relax?’. Or get your fiance to talk to his cousin and mention to him that the kid is not welcome. But I don’t know how you can do this without hurting the mothers feelings because she is bound to find out it is only her kid that is not invited and take offence. I say maybe set up a kids area and let the kid come and have all the kids stick in it throughout the wedding, that way they kids will get to come but not be around you. You can’t really exclude one child only. That won’t go down well. But do what you want, it is your wedding after all. Good luck!

We decided to not have any children at our reception. Actually we filled out how many adults were to be invited on each invitation. The guests just had to mark yes or no. We did not feel that it was rude since we were paying $40 a head. There were a few exceptions to immediate family. But with that also the kids were a certain age or older and not elementary school ages. It’s your special day, you do what you want especially since it’s just a cousin’s girlfriend.

We are in a similar situation. We would like to have my niece attend with her husband, however we would like to have them leave there children at home.

Simply said the children don’t behave well, and the parents do eventually discipline them only in the wrong way…first they ignore them, then when they realize that the problem isn’t going away, they scream and argue with the children thinking that this is a better solution. Once when the Grandmother tried to step in and resolve the situation, my niece, at the top of her lungs told her to mind her own f’ing business…. yeah nice I know. Makes you realize where the kids get it from.

However, we first told the niece that we were sorry but we had a limited # of seats available due to the restraints on the venue size (little white lie) and told her that we only had room for 2 more guests, that while we would love to have them attend we understood if they weren’t able to due to the children. THEY actually said that they would find a sitter so that at least they could attend. In our case…problem solved.

Good luck

That is a tough situation, you could try talking to her and saying “I know your son/daughter has trouble sitting through events – he/she seems to get bored easily. I would be happy to pay for a sitter for that day so you two can come and enjoy some alone time” This may work, it may not. The other thing you could try is putting an anonymous letter in their mailbox saying “everybody in the family is very tired of your child not being disciplined. Your child is very rude and loud and could benefit from more structure in their life. Nobody is mad at you we just hope that you can set better rules as it is becoming very hard to tolerate the childs disruptions at family events.” Keep it anonymous and dont tell anyone you wrote it – maybe she will get the point and set better rules.

It amazes me how some parents are so oblivious!

Know where you are coming from. We have a couple of cousins in the family that do not control their kids and this has led to some hard feelings when we have gotten together and things were/weren’t said.

Since I would not be able to get away without inviting all of them, I would consider a room separate from the area and have the kids monitored. Even rent a “playland” nearby and have transportation to and from (like a couple of the parents take all the kids to a inflatable party of their own). Hire someone to watch them there.

Unfortunately this problem has ceased all large family gatherings for my family. Last Christmas looks to the last time for us.

there isnt really anyway of saying dont bring your child without being rude. I guess the only thing is to not invite the cousin.
Maybe you could arrange some games, activities or something or have someone come that can babysit the children that cant behave.
I guess even if you didnt invite them they would show up so really all you can do is try to not let it ruin your day.
I would also have a parent or someone else go to the child’s mom and say something or even to your cousin or both.

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