Do You Really Have to Invite Your Friends' Kids to the Wedding?

Friends' Kids at Your Wedding

Photo: Anna Palma

Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates. For her column, Jen answers a bride's burning question: Do I have to invite my friend's kids to the wedding?

When you're putting together your master wedding guest list and deciding who makes the ultimate and final cut, you'll start of course with the people who have mesmerized you and your fiancé over the years. The close friends, the family members, and the people you share an adjoining cubicle with and spend more than nine hours a day with. After you have those names down, you'll want to get into the process of deciding who gets a plus one, which for some of your friends means that may even get a plus two and a plus three.

The question becomes, once the people in your life start having children, if you should go ahead and invite the whole family or just the parents. If you make it a free for all and invite the kids, you may find your guest list climbing up from a hundred or two hundred to almost double. You may even find yourself facing the added cost of hiring a babysitter for all the kids that will be running around and eventually snoozing the night away after the dessert comes.

See More: What to Do If Guests Bring Kids to an Adults-Only Wedding

There's no defined rule of whom you should or shouldn't invite to your wedding. In the end, you should pick a number and stick with it. If you say you want to invite no more than 125 people, keep that in mind when deciding if you should invite entire families or not. If you're looking for a starting point, invite the kids of family members first and then move to your friends and see if you have any additional room for invites. If they begin to say that they can't come unless their kids can, understand that that is not your ultimate responsibility. In the end, you're planning a party to celebrate the unimaginable love that you found. You're never going to be able to make all of your guests happy — understand and remember that. Now get back to that guest list of yours!

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from