Post # 1
I am very upset about this…I didn’t really think it would bother me initially but the more I read horror stories of kids at weddings the more I start to freak out. I am fortunate enough to have my parents pay for our wedding but this basically means that if something is important to them it must be done (okay, understand it)…BUT my uncle (dad’s brother) has four kids (my first cousins), who I rarely see. I don’t have anything against them it’s just that we live different lifestyles- they are much more religious than we are. I would love them at my wedding. BUT they combined have a total of 11 children, 9 of which are ages 7 and under. I also have a 3 year old nephew (which of course I have to invite since he is my nephew), and some other kids who will be there (mostly ages 12+)…I spoke with my dad about it and he was nothing short of FURIOUS with the idea that they wouldn’t be there. Keep in mind these kids are my SECOND COUSINS when I see my FIRST cousins maybe once every 3-4 years IF THAT. I don’t know what to do…does anybody have any suggestions with how to “manage” children? I want my wedding to be an elegant affair. It sure as hell is costing my parents just as much. It’s basically I have them there or I pay for my own wedding- which is not happening.
Post # 3
I will have about 20-25 kids at the wedding and I cant wait. We are a big bunch of kids and to not have them there would not feel right. I made little kids activity books for them to keep them entertain with crayolas. Maybe u could do something like that for them. Good luck.
Post # 4
Can you perhaps hire a babysitter to look after the kids in a special kid’s room, set up with toys, games, and movies? Kids will be bored at a more elegant and formal wedding and will probably start to misbehave or get into things if there isn’t anything for them to do. Perhaps send a special invitation to the children inviting them to a special children’s party (make sure they get some cupcakes at least!) and have someone to greet the children and take them to the playroom, which might help avoid parents trying to keep their kids with them during the reception. If you can do this, both kids and parents will have more fun and you won’t have to worry about them getting into things.
Post # 5
Hire a couple of nannies for the day. If there’s budget and space, get a bouncy house or some other physically active game. Give the kids a supervised play area and let them be kids. Allow them in the adults area— don’t ban them. Just give them somewhere that they can get their energy out and they’ll be a lot more mellow.
Post # 6
@serenitea: My situation was exactly the same as yours. I didn’t want children at our wedding and we did not have a flower girl/ring bearer, but my parents and FI’s parents were paying for the wedding. This meant having second cousins bring their roudy 3 little boys, other couisins on both sides of the family bring toddlers/babies, and let my bridesmaid bring her newborn. I was really worried about the children attending our wedding, but to be honest…they were completely fine at the wedding. Even the dreaded baby that yelled during our vows was barely noticed. I say relax and accept it. You don’t want to offend and from one “no children allowed” bride to another the babies and kids were barely noticed, especially during the reception. You are far too busy mixed up in your emotions while exchanging vows with your FI at the ceremony and mingling/dancing the night away at the reception to even notice them. I even requested that very few pics be taken of the kids at our wedding to our photographer and guess what… the few that were developed of the kids are super cute! You’ll be fine and you’ll enjoy your wedding kids and all! I would rather have loved ones attend with kids rather than not have them attend at all!
Post # 7
Even though I have read some horror stories on the bee, I have been to plenty of weddings where there were lots of children and they have been fine. As long as the parents are there to keep them under control i think it could be fun. I also like the PP’s suggestion of making a coloring/activity book to keep the entertained.
Post # 8
Omg, you hear about having “3 under 3” and these people have 9 under 7!? Who are your parents friends with, the Duggars!? Geez.
I second the babysitter/nanny idea, but I don’t see how it would work logistically. I’d think most parents would want to keep an eye on their young children themselves and have them experience the wedding rather than leave their kids in a separate room with a stranger they’ve never met.
ETA: @Bostongrl25: Oh, I must have misread the OP, haha! Whew. 🙂
Post # 9
@Juliepants: I think its that the OP’s 4 cousins have a combined 11 kids…I think?
If not, that is crazy town and they are definetly the Duggars!
Post # 10
We had several young children at our wedding, and they were SO well-behaved. I was so proud of them!!! We did have a babysitter in a room with some coloring books, movies, etc., but it turns out that not a single kid ever went in to sit with her. HOWEVER, I still think she was an excellent expense, because IF any of the kids had gotten tired or cranky, they would have had a place to go.
That being said, the kids at ours were awesome. They ran around a lot, yes, but they were extremely well-behaved. They just had a lot of energy. They also cut it up on the dance floor, and I’m pretty sure they’re the reason half the people started dancing. I was very glad we were able to have those kids at the wedding.
I know it doesn’t work for everyone, and I know that it really depends on the individual kids and/or the responsibility of their parents, but I think that if you have activities planned for them elsewhere just in case, children at a wedding can work really well.
Some of the kids dancing the night away:
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
We had 10 kids at our wedding, and honestly, they were my favorite guests. They were all well behaved, but I would add that I was close to all but 2 of them (who were on DH’s side). I made little activity packs for each of the young ones (3-7) with little things, mostly from the $1 section at Target– little coloring books with crayons, stickers, a little playdoh… They did really use them, though, because they were dancing the night away before the DJ opened the floor. hahaha It was a great sight! Can you imagine a group of little kids rocking out to Lisa Loeb and 90s soft rock (dinner music)?
Maybe you could consider having a table in a corner or something set up with activities for the kids after dinner (oh, and of course have a yummy kids option. Be forewarned, though, if you have ketchup for the kids, you may end up with a ketchup foot print on your dress. At least I did… but it’s a damn cute foot print.). Most parents will want to watch their own children. And also realize that kids won’t stay until the end. Most of our kids, if not all, left by 10:30. We just planned accordingly and cut the cake and stuff before then.
It’s a little different for you since you’re not close with them, but i would give them the benefit of the doubt. They could be awesome!
Post # 12
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
If there are going to be more than ten kids and you’re concerned about the parents’ making sure they are being attended to and kept under control (i.e. dancing, having fun but not going crazy and tearing up stuff) then you should seriously consider hiring a sitter (or two) and setting up a playroom for the younger ones. Bonus points if you have mats so the kids can lay down and go to sleep when it gets late. Other than that you have to try to not worry about it.
Kids can be fun at weddings and responsible/respectful parents will take their kids home or back to the hotel when they get cranky. Make sure you assign someone at the reception to be the “parent liason” which is the person who goes to the parents of unruly, tired, cranky children and politely asks them to get their children under control or take them home.
Post # 13
My niece cried a bit during the ceremony it didn’t bother me she also picked up all the dropped flower petals which I thought was cute. At the reception the kids all danced they even started there own conga line it was cute and they had fun. They didn’t cause any trouble.
Post # 14
No real advice for you, just wanted to say I’m sorry you got put in this situation! It really sucks that your dad is overruling you on this. I get that you need to kind of do what your parents want since they are paying– but it is still unfortunate that they feel so strongly about this. I was with you– I did NOT want children at my wedding. I’m not a kid person and I wanted a grown up party without kids running around. I don’t think there is anything wrong with you wanting that! But if you’re parents won’t allow it I guess you’ll just have to make the best of it… sorry 🙁
Post # 15
Almost every wedding I’ve been to had plenty of kids and never once did I think that the kids were being annoying or were detracting from the event. Weddings are festive and kids are festive. They naturally have the un-self-conscious “let’s party” attitude that it takes most adults several drinks to acquire. They feel no shame about stepping onto an empty dance floor and boogying down…which makes the self-conscious adults more likely to get out there. They’re cute! They smile a lot! They make their older relatives smile! Smiling is contagious!
I think the majority of brides here don’t want kids at their weddings and that’s fine…but the side that is happy to see kids at weddings seems under-represented and I feel like the claims about how awful kids behave at weddings are wildly exaggerated. Anecdotally, the worst reception I’ve ever been to was a “no kids” wedding. The DJ played nothing but club music the entire night which meant that only the bridal party ever danced. No attempt was made to get other generations involved and most people sat in their chairs the whole time. Some kids running around would have been a dramatic improvement.
Anyway, even being pro-kids-at-weddings, I think having a designated kid wrangler or a kid zone is a great idea and well help ease your anxieties about the issue.
Post # 16
OOoo i I did just have one idea! Is the timeline for your wedding set yet? Could you make it a later night wedding? Like if your ceremony is at 6 and dinner at 8, most likely the parents would all take the kids and leave right after dinner anyways to get the kids to bed and then you could have your grown-up party reception!
@Eglantine: It isn’t JUST kids behaving badly. A lot of people just find groups of kids (even well-behaved ones) to be annoying.