Children at the wedding?! HELP.

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
588 posts
Busy bee

Child-free weddings for out of town guests are pretty much a no-go in my books. They obviously can’t leave the children at home (unless they’re teenaged children), and most parents aren’t going to be comfortable with child care provided by total strangers in a province they don’t even live in. Exceptions are usually made for nursing babies – do you know if this 1 year old is still nursing?

If you and your FI are committed to a child-free wedding, you’ll just have to expect that the majority of out-of-town families won’t attend. You can put your foot down, but make sure your FI is okay with the prospect that his friend will be upset and unable to attend.

Post # 3
12009 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think it’s pretty rude to tell out of town guests that they can’t bring their children.  You are within  your rights to say they can’t bring the kid, but I think them declining coming to your wedding would be acceptable as well.

Post # 4
43300 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

bride_to_be_060714:  You have a right to a child free wedding. They have a right to decline if they cannot be separated for one evening.

I don’t think a 1.5 hr drive for a family member is too far to drive to provide child care, but they might- either the parents or the family.

They may  be uncomfortable leaving their child with  famiy member that the child may not know.

They may also be uncomfortable using a professional childcare service provided by the hotel.

Their discomfort does not mean however, that they get to bring the child to the wedding.    

I think it is hysterical that some people think that being from out of town automatically means that children should be allowed at a wedding. What if, instead of a wedding, the event they had been invited to was something totally unsuitable for children- like an orgy, AND they wanted to attend? I think they would make childcare arrangements or decline the invitation. They would not drag an uninvited child with them against the wishes of the hosts.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by  julies1949.
Post # 5
7298 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I wouldn’t worry about it until your get the RSVP back. They may simply decline.

Post # 7
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Smithfield Center

I think it’s rude to tell out-of-town guests that they can’t bring children – do you expect them to leave their baby at home alone?

It’s perfectly within your right to have a child-free wedding, but it’s absolutely perfectly right for the parents of a child to decline your wedding invitaiton because of it. Unfortunately, that’s the price you pay when you have friends/family with kids and tell them that they can’t bring them.

Post # 8
2661 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I think you have to make an exception for out of town guests or assume they won’t come.



Post # 9
588 posts
Busy bee

julies1949:  I don’t think being from out of town means the children should be allowed to attend, I just think it means that you have to expect that the parents won’t come. If you’re having a wedding with mostly out of town guests, a child-free wedding is likely going to hurt some feelings.

Um, also… weddings and orgies are generally pretty different. You can have a really, really adult wedding, but most people probably picture weddings as PG affairs. There is no harm with double checking with the hosts if exceptions are made for babies, because, you know, it’s a wedding… not an orgy.

Post # 10
43300 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

MOHlookingForIdeas:  As I said

You have a right to a child free wedding. They have a right to decline if they cannot be separated for one evening.

so I agree with you that they may not attend- and that’s ok.

I think the hurt feelings part is not something the hosts have to own. People have social events  all the time and they simply cannot invite everyone they know.We have an extensive group of friends, and having my hurt feelings because I am not invited to a particular dinner party is not the fault of the hostess.

The orgy example was just to show that there are “adult” events to which people are invited and they manage to attend without their children, or simply decline. They don’t ask if they can bring their children.

I disagree with you that it is ok to ask if anyone else can attend. If their name is not on the invitation, they are not invited- period.  There are times in your life when you simply have to turn down invitations due to other factors in your life. Just because you have a one year old, or are from out of town, doesn’t mean you get to bring them to a wedding.

Nursing infants may be an exception, but a one year old can go long enough between feeds that they are not an automatic exception. And yes, for those who may ask, I have breastfed two children.

Post # 11
689 posts
Busy bee

until u have an RSVP card back from them, I wouldn’t worry about it. 

Post # 12
3799 posts
Honey bee

I would never think about taking a 1-year old toddler, on a 2-story boat, especially if my husband and I might be served alcoholic beverages. But then, I’m used to adult-only weddings, and I would never bring someone who isn’t named on the invitation, either. Either one or both of the parents can politely decline, if they can’t accept the invitation, as issued.

Post # 13
6220 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You can take the lead in arranging child care by either hiring a nanny to look after everyone’s kids in the hotel where everyone is staying, or getting names of some trusted babysitters. You don’t have to do these things, but doing them makes you a very good hostess. You should assume that people won’t leave small kids at home overnight and that they won’t have the right local contacts to get a sitter in your city.

Post # 14
7273 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

bride_to_be_060714:  Put your foot down. Cite safety reasons as well as the fact that you have the same rule for everyone (no children). If they can’t get a babysitter then unfortunately they can’t attend.

I’m all for making exceptions for newborns (who usually need to be breast fed, so can’t easily be babysat; and don’t crawl so there’s no danger). But a 1 year old can easily be babysat, and will probably be walking (and certainly at least crawling), so will be mobile and causing trouble.

Post # 15
497 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

bride_to_be_060714:  We are having a child free wedding too. You are completely within your rights to say, I am so sorry, perhaps we were not clear, but children are not invited!

That being said, wait until you receive the RSVP card. There is a small chance they are trying to work out childcare before confirming they can come, sans child. That way, if they do rsvp with child, you can politely but firmly tell them that it is a child free wedding!

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