Post # 1
My brother is getting married in 5 months. He has recently told everyone that the wedding is "child-free". Only thing is there are only 3 children within both sides of the family.
We have a very close and loving family… so it came as a shock to us all when they told us their decision to have no kids. All 3 children are in our immediate family, and very well behaved. 2 of them, and their parents, live far away and will not attend the wedding if their children cannot… the same goes for my own sister. She is breastfeeding still and does not like the idea of leaving her child for 4 days during the wedding events.
As much as I respect my brothers wishes and understand it is his wedding and should be his choice as to how he wants it to be. This decision has caused my sister, and a few other important family members to not attend.
My brother isn’t willing to compromise…. and even though it should be his choice to begin with, I don’t think he has looked at all the possible options. Babysitting options are not one of them either.
This is tearing our family apart… could anyone give me some advice???
Post # 3
what about getting an on-site babysitter to watch the kids in a separate room? that way your sister (and others with children) could bring their kids, be close to them, but still not have them attend the wedding. also- that way your sister could just leave to go check on her child/breastfeed when she needed to but still not miss the wedding. Is there a separate room nearby where they could get a babysitter?
Post # 4
what rationale are they giving for no kids? is it not a kid-friendly reception site? is it a later event that they want to be a more adults-only party? even if kids are well-behaved, some people don’t like having them in the mix – insulting for parents, i understand, but true nevertheless…sorry this is causing such a family rift. maybe one of the family members should step up to watch everybody’s kids if it’s going to be such a huge issue.
Post # 5
I totally understand him not wanting children. An adult party is an adult party. Children add a totally different dynamic to a wedding (not bad, just different).
sorry- i didn’t see where you said babysitting options were not one of them either. what if your sister brought a friend along that could stay at the hotel where she was staying with the kids- so no on-site babysitting.
Post # 6
I have 4 kids in my wedding and they are not attending the reception. After announcements they are going with the babysitters I have hired. We are getting married at an estate and have rooms upstairs so it makes it very convienent. I have serveral reasons for this. 1. the childrens parents want to have a good time and that’s not going to happen if you have children to attend to and 2. my reception starts at 7pm and ends at 11pm which is a little late for children to be up. I mean if you were invited to a party say for New Years or Xmas party, ault b’day party children are not invited so why should that be any different for a wedding. Nobody should be mad or offended by your brothers decision it’s his wedding and his perogative.
Post # 7
I have over 20 kids under the age of 12 in my family – and we did decide not to have kids at the wedding because A: we coulnd’t afford to buy the chicken fingers, and our venue will not let us bring in outside food and B: I want to have an adult party and not spend the night doing the chicken dance and Hokey pokey. Also I’m not hosting at a child friendly venue.
My situation is different, because there are so many kids, but with only 3 in the family I don’t see why it’s a big deal. Maybe he has a lot of friends with kids as well and thus the reasoning.
My best advice is to honor his wishes as tough as it might be. I just went through this with my sister for her baby shower, she didn’t want any kids there. But as soon as one friend coulnd’t come unless her kid did, she wanted to call each person with kids, not allowed to bring theirs and explain why this one friend could. I told her I woulnd’t host her party if she did that because it’s rude. I explained it needed to be all kids or none, and with weddings it’s the same way.
It’s his wedding and unfortuantly complaing about it will only make your family kill each other. Hang in there, it’s tough but if you love him you’ll do what he asks for his day.
Good luck and I’m so sorry that you are going thorugh this rough time.
Post # 8
I’m not sure that people without kids really think these things through. Of course your sister who is breastfeeding can only be away from the baby for limited amounts of time. And if people have to travel, they either have to bring their children or leave them for several days – if all the family comes to the event, that may suck up the pool of people with whom they would normally leave their kids. Or if the kids are young enough, they may not want to leave them.
I don’t want our wedding to become a children’s party either, but like you we have a limited number of children. Our compromise was to specifically include all the children whose parents will have to travel to attend the wedding. We are assuming that local folks can get a sitter for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon/evening, and so are not including their children. Then we are providing a supervised kids’ room for the little ones who get bored and want a movie or a nap, and a separate room with a couple of couches and chairs for breastfeeding.
While its true that it is your brother’s decision (and his FI), the decision of whether to attend or not, or whether to attend only part of the event (wedding only, reception only) is with each guest. Probably the only thing that will change your brother’s mind is when people start indicating that they regret being unable to attend. I would emphasize to the family members with kids that they should just be honest with him – not like "I won’t come if my kids can’t," as that is really just manipulative – but more along the lines of "I would really love to be there but I just can’t leave the baby for that long." And if your sister’s presence and peace of mind doesn’t mean enough to your brother to rething his position, then she shouldn’t feel bad about not attending.
Post # 9
You may think there are only 3 kids but what about his friends kids? He may feel it’s not fair to have one person bring kids and no one else be allowed. Yes, you are family, but maybe he doesn’t see a difference. He may be very close to some people who have kids but he has to be fair to everyone.
Everyone sees it differently depending on their own situation it seems. We are dealing with this now. I have many cousins on both my side and FI’s side that have kids. Most of making arrangements for their children to be watched by friends in the area they know. We have also hired a babysitter that we trust and are giving people the oppurtunity to meet her at pre-wedding events to feel comfortable!
Come to find out the people complaining the most about our "no kid" policy are people that also had no kids at their own weddings but now have kids…therefore see the situation differently!
You will never make everyone happy….I’ve learned this! It’s your brothers choice…if that is how he wants it, point things out and then let things be! You also don’t want to created added stress to him either during his big day!
Post # 10
to be perfectly honest, it is his wedding. and that decision is up to them. no matter how many there are. We are not having children at ours, and we have made it clear. Why can’t the people with kids get sitters? regardless of how this is affecting the guests, it is the bride and grooms decision….and guests must accept that. And I know what karieck05 means – when I was little my aunt and uncle got married and we were not allowed there. Now they have asked us 20+ times if they can bring theirs, and will not accept no for an ansswer. my last reply to her was fairly harsh, but to the point. no one has heard from them since. oh well! its my wedding, and I can do what I want, basically!
Post # 11
Sorry, but I’m on your brother’s side…they don’t want children at the wedding. It’s THEIR wedding. Regardless if it’s 3 children or 25 children, they don’t want them there. I’m confused as to why your sister needs to leave her child for FOUR days… why can’t she just leave the child for the day off. And as for breast feeding – why can’t she just use a breast pump?
It’s your brother and his fiance’s day. No one elses. Respect their wishes as you would wish to have yours respected on your wedding day.
Post # 12
I do think its funny that so many people think its fine to exclude kids, but that so many people had a fit over the idea of not automatically allowing single guests to bring a date!!
Your brother does get to decide who to invite and how. The invited guests get to decide whether to come, and how long to stay. If those with kids end up showing for the ceremony and skipping the reception, if your sister opts out of all events except the actualy wedding day stuff, if people with kids decide not to come at all, that is a decision they get to make. I know how these things get blown out of all proportion in a family, and hopefully nobody holds this against anybody else for years and years.
Post # 13
- Wedding: July 2007 - Rosary Chapel & Monterey Marriott, Monterey, CA
The "no child" rule is very easy to enforce when all of your guests are local and are simply showing up for the day. However, when extended weekends come into play, the factors change. You may want to mention to your brother the fact that travel w/o the kids is not a possibility for your siblings, and that their presence at his wedding might take precedence over an arbitrary rule. And while it completely is HIS wedding, feelings can get hurt and you have to live with those much longer than just one day.
We had to make the choice to allow children or not have Mr Lemon’s cousins attend our CA wedding from NY and MA. We chose the kids, even though there were some cries and screams at crazy times. 7 months after the wedding… I’m really happy that our wedding didn’t cause any sort of family tides. That’s what lives on past the day.
Post # 14
Actually I am battling this issue with my future inlaws at the moment, well not personally me but my FI’s brother and his FI decided not to have kids at their wedding (2 months after ours) and its caused so much drama. FI’s sister is in an uproar and throwing a fit about her kids not being about to attend, we all ended up having to sit down with a pyschologist and talk about it with a neutral party.
He stated that regardless its their wedding, they can do whatever they want. They wedding isnt about their kids (and a little self involved that they want to make it that way) its about them starting their life together. I understand its really hard with family but at the end of the day people need to realize its not about them its about the Bride and Groom on this ONE DAY.
I am sorry you are going throw this CAPSULE and I hate being right their with you just thought i should let you know what we were told about this issue from an outside prof.
Post # 15
I haven’t read anyone else’s response, but I HAD to respond because this is SO close to what happened with my brother’s wedding.
My brother got married in September and things are still not right with our family because of the choices he made for his wedding.
None of our cousins were invited.Â This hurt my mom a lot.Â Out of 100+ guests, only 20 of them were from our family.Â My mom even offered to pay for the additional cousins but his wife wouldn’t listen because "they didn’t have enough centerpieces."
But what really was terrible was that two weeks before the wedding my sister was told that her three sons (one of whom was the ring bearer) were not allowed to attend the rehearsal dinner.Â The wedding was two hours away from home, so my sister was already making a big trip while one of her sons was only a month old.Â The rehearsal dinner was a half hour away from the hotel they were staying at.Â I refused to even go to the rehearsal dinner because I was so appalled that he would do that.Â My brother and my sister were always really close (they are only a year apart) and she was incredibly offended.Â He’s made plenty of backhanded comments about how she became a mother so early and how he won’t have kids until all his student loans are paid off and he can buy his children EVERYTHING they would ever want.
My brother in law stayed behind at the hotel and watched two of my nephews as well as the flowergirl and her sister (they weren’t invited to the rehearsal dinner despite the hundreds of dollars they had spent on hotel rooms, dresses, etc.Â They had a three hour drive).Â My sister brought along the one month old because my brother made such a big deal about her being there.Â However, after a half hour drive on dark, gravel back roads with my nephew crying the whole time, my brother didn’t even say a single word to her the entire time.
Christmas was so extremely awkward because everyone resents my brother so much now.Â Even my dad who is one of the most level headed people I know.Â My brother just hurt everyone way too much.
Post # 16
I think (as the bride) that you do have to remember that, in fact, if the day was ONLY about the two of you, you would do better perhaps to just go to the courthouse with a couple of random witnesses picked off the street. OF COURSE the day isn’t just about you – its about your friends and family celebrating with you. That’s why you invited them, right? To share your joy? Why bother, if its ALL ABOUT THE BRIDE AND GROOM.
I think your professional was a little off, jhearta. FI and I actually didn’t really want a "wedding." We were going to run off to the courthouse, and happy about it. But after talking with our families, we had the realization that refusing to have a celebration with them was really selfish, and would hurt them a lot. So we see our wedding as mostly about everyone else – we are having the party for them. Its the marriage that is all about us, and that’s got very little to do with the party.