Post # 1
We’re on a strict, shoestring budget. Therefore we can’t afford to invite all my friends’ and cousins’ children. Many of my cousins have four or more children! The children alone would add at least 100 more to our guest list and at least $5,000 more to our budget…money we don’t have. We stated on the invite and web site “Adult Reception.” Some folks have a problem with it. Will people be upset if my 4 nieces (ages 2-7) and cousin (age 10) will be there? My nieces are the flower girls and my cousin will be the ring bearer.
I think it’s unreasonable and self-righteous to assume all kids are invited and get upset when children closer to me who each have jobs in the wedding are at the reception. These kids are the only exception and given their roles at the wedding, their relation to me and what they’ve been so happily doing to help me, I think it’s fair. My fiance doesn’t have any young children on his side of the family, but he has some friends with children. Am I being unreasonable to exclude all other children except those in the wedding party when we state, “Adult Reception”?
Also, am I obligated to pay for childcare and babysitting for parents with kids? We told them months in advance even before our Save the Dates went out! People are upset that we’re not offering this. Why is it my obligation to look after their children? If both parents decided to go to any other cocktail party where kids weren’t invited, they’d know it’s their responsibility to find a babysitter at their expense. What makes our wedding different? What is appropriate etiquette for this?
Post # 3
I have good news and bad news.
The good news is: No, it is not improper of you to make a “No kids” rule across the board. Many people have adult only receptions nowadays! The kids who will be at the reception are all in the wedding party. Also perfectly acceptable. You drew a line, and that line is whoever is in the ceremony can be at the reception. That is a reasonable rule. People don’t have the right to complain about those kids being at the reception.
The bad news: Etiquette would indicate that for Out of Town guests with children, you should host a babysitter for their children during the reception. By not offering that to them, you aren’t really giving them a choice to attend the reception at all. But all the local guests should not expect you to pay for babysitters. They should provide their own.
Post # 4
We have offered to supply childcare for the Out of Town guests children and have yet to have anyone take us up on it. Most have RSVP’d one parent in attendance (eg: my cousin will be coming, her husband and daughter will not.) While it would be lovely to have them both in attendance, I know this is not always possible, and this is what they are comfortable with, be it financially or just the comfort level of leaving their child with someone they don’t personally know.
You may be surprised how few people take you up on the babysitting offer, so don’t fret yet.
Post # 5
FYI: We asked our Out of Town guests about childcare, and they stated that they would rather have a family member look after them and that they would make their own arrangements. Parents who live in the local area are the ones having a fit. They say if we don’t provide baby-sitting we just have to let them bring their kids!
Post # 6
I don’t know if we were in the wrong etiquette wise or not but we didn’t have a babysitter for out of town guests with children. They just left their kids at home with family.
Post # 7
You’re not being unreasonable for excluding all children except for those in the bridal party. And I don’t believe you are under any obligation to provide child care for your in-town guests. I think it’s a personal choice for you and your Fiance to weigh the cost of providing child care vs the chance that these people will decline. If you’re okay with them not attending the wedding, I wouldn’t worry about it.
I know it’s not following ettiquete to talk about gifts, but if you really want the people who are complaining to come, you could maybe suggest that they get a babysitter for their child and attend your wedding as their wedding gift to you. IMO it’s not any worse than harassing the bride and groom about their guest list 😉 Something along the lines of ‘I’m sorry, it’s just not in our budget to provide child care. I hope you know that we care about you very much and truly want you to celebrate with us. Our choice not to invite children was not meant to be an attack on you. Your presence at our wedding would be the most wonderful gift.’ Subtle but to the point?