Post # 1
My guest list if finalized (so I thought), but I didn’t take into the consideration of kids.
A big chunk of the guest list of 175 have kids under 10 years old. I included kids for my immediate family and those traveling from out of town. (17 kids). I excluded kids for those local guests (it would be an additional 18 kids).
But – now I’m wondering – am I supposed to include the local guest’s kids??
For those of you who are parents – how do you feel about wedding invites that exclude your kids, but there are other kids at the wedding? Does the age of the kid matter?
My main goal is to be considerate to my guests. I suppose that would mean to invite the whole family and the leave it to the parents discretion if they want a night on the town by themselves?
I personally prefer events where there aren’t kids running around – or parents having to tend to kids. But, the reality is, kids are part of the lives of my friends and family.
What’s the best way to handle this??
Post # 3
I don’t think there is a good way to handle a partial invite.
I think your idea of going with the flow, including them and just seeing who will bring their kids is probably the best way, especially since your immediate family is bringing theirs.
I never mind not bringing my daughter to an event like that, BUT, I would find it strange that she couldn’t come and there were other kids there. (but would actually be totally understanding of the immediate family only kids) I’m just not sure everyone would.
Post # 4
It absolutely is a sticky matter. My FH made the decision to exclude all children except for our 4 nephews and niece. Had we invited children it would have been an extra 60 people and we could not have done that. We invited 174 as it was and could really only afford 130–max. So the reality was that if we included all children, we’d have to cut our list significantly which we did not want to do. We sent out save-the-dates far in advance but a lot of people still made the decision to not come because of the kids. At the end of the day, however, I don’t regret our decision.
Post # 5
I think you really have to look at your guest list and do what is best for you. I was going to exclude all children because it would allow me to invite more friends. However, when I started to look at what children were involved, I realized that I actually have a relationship with each one of those children. So, not only would it be nice for their parents if I included them, they will actually enjoy coming! Once I realized that, it was a no brainer!
Post # 6
If you are reconciled to having children at the wedding, and you can spare the room to invite all the children, invite all the children. Parents can decide whether they will bring them. I think that is by far the most fair way to do it is to just invite them all rather than devising elaborate rules for who brings their little ones and who doesn’t. Once you’ve got 17 kids at your wedding, will another 18 really matter? I say invite them all.
Post # 7
As a parent, I’ll say I never get upset if a couple doesn’t have children at a wedding. In fact, with few exceptions (immediate family), I would leave them at home with a sitter, even if they were invited. However, I think you bring up an interesting scenario. Basically, I agree with Lish. I could see if you only invite immediate family (nieces and nephews). But if I was at a wedding in which all kinds of little kids were there, I might wonder why so many kids were invited and not mine. (Some of your local guests might not realize these kids all belong to OOTers.)
I think the two options for you would be to invite all kids, or get a sitter(s) to stay with the kids of the OOT families. If by chance there is a local family that is having trouble finding a sitter, you could extended the sitting services by word of mouth, as you see fit.
Post # 8
If I was told no kids, but then saw 17 children running around at the reception, I’d be kind of peeved that mine weren’t invited as well. I would imagine not ALL of them would bring their children anyway (although I know you can’t COUNT on this being the case).
Post # 9
I agree, that elaborate rules may not be the best way to go. As others said, a local person may not realize that the kids attending belong to the OOTs and wonder why their kids weren’t invited.
As of now we made a rule of no kids under 10 except neices and nephews (which is only 2 and they are both in the wedding). I’m kind of running into a problem though. I would like to offer a sitter (or 2 or 3, lol) for OOT guests if they need one. But I have no idea who to hire, and where to put them. Do I pay for the sitters? Do the parents?
Post # 10
It honestly sounds as though you don’t want children and cutting them all out is an easy way to avoid making the decision. Parents who want to attend your wedding will. If they absolutely must bring and you are desperate to have the parent in attendance, arrange a sitter and let all parents know.
Post # 11
If you invite OOT kids, you have to invite local kids. Otherwise you risk offending people by playing favorites.
Post # 12
I think it’s kind of like some guests getting a ‘plus one’ and others not. You would be more inclined to invite the ‘plus one’s’ that you 1) already know and like, 2) are for out of town guests who don’t know a lot of other people 3) that fit into your budget.
I don’t think you should only listen to advice of people who have kids – they of course are going to tell you to invite them, just like i would tell you to give me a plus one even though I’m not married. At the end of the day it’s your decision – you can exclude kids for any reason you want. And I don’t agree with the poster who said if you are already inviting 17, another 18 won’t make a difference. If you are talking under 10 years old that’s like a birthday party on crack – be considerate of your adult guests who want to drink and party and feel awkward doing that with 35 kids running around.
Post # 13
I just realized – I’m not counting kids on FI’s list. Yikes – make that 7 more ‘family’ kids and & 10 misc. kids on his side – for a total of 24 ‘family’ kids…. or a grand total of 52 potential kids!!!!
My preference would be no kids at all – but for close family friends (where the entire extended family is invited) I know this creates a big imposition on the babysitter factor (since their potential babysitters will be at the wedding).
Keep the advice coming – I certainly have a lot to think about and discuss with FI!
Post # 14
Now. 52 kids makes a difference.
That’s 52 extra mouths to feed.
I’d probably, if you weren’t interested in having kids there, look into the babysitter option.
Break down the costs for your FI. That probably would work.
My point was simply that most locals wouldn’t recognize that the kids were from out of town and it would have looked strangely unless you put the word out beforehand.
Knowing that, I’d be fine with it. Not knowing that, I’d be slightly put off.
You see, I’m a mom – and I want to share my day with the family that I love, including the kids. I don’t want someone not to come because they couldn’t bring their child. All the little things that can happen at weddings might be annoying to some, but I’m used to the craziness of large families and noise.
That being said, thinking about the kids that we’re inviting – somewhere around… 90 all together – if I think about them as heads at the table, well, yeah, that does make my stomach jump a bit. That definitely nods the price up. I just am not ever going to have another experience or day like this one – these people will never gather in one place again and that fact alone is what made me decide to invite them all.
So, when you say you don’t want kids there at all, that makes a difference. A few kids around you could probably look over. 50 would be a huge chunk of your guest list if they all came (they wouldn’t, but IF) and therefore your reception food price.
I’m inclined to say, with that in mind, to go with the babysitter option most definitely…
Talk to your FI.
Post # 15
Just tell the parents that you will provide a few sitters at the venue (is it at a hotel? then you could rent a room or two for the sitters to watch the kids) and invite none of them. Getting 2 hotel rooms + 3 sitters (for example) will still be cheaper than having 40 kids running around. Parents get a night off, you get a kid-free wedding. everyone wins. 🙂
Post # 16
I have this issue. On my reply cards I have the traditional
Accept with pleasure _____
Decline with regret _____
Number attending ______
I had to have the number attending line because I am so paranoid people will bring guests … like their children and I will not know. So they must put number attending! =)