Post # 1
We purposefully planned a wedding about 2-4 hours away from where most guests live so that we could have the experience of a destination wedding without having to travel too far. A very important element is to have more than just the wedding night to spend with loved ones. Our intention was to have a location far enough to encourage people to stay for the whole Friday- Sunday weekend, but wouldn’t require people to travel too far. (Of course, we’ll have some family and friends flying in from other parts of the country too.) We are planning not to invite kids to keep the numbers down and to add to the intimate weekend feeling, but since many of my friends and cousins each have 2-3 young kids each (6 months – 5 yrs old) I’m worried that finding childcare and being away from their kids for a whole weekend might discourage people from attending. I would be ok with having kids at the rehearsal dinner and Sunday Brunch, but that seems awkward and logistically difficult to have kids only invited to select parts of the wedding weekend. I haven’t asked my friends directly yet, but wanted to get some opinions. Any thoughts? Thanks!
(To throw one more wrench into the works- I’d like to have my 4 yr old niece in the wedding. So we might end up having no kids invited, except for my 4 yr old niece and 2 yr old nephew. awkward!)
Post # 3
We’re getting married about an hour and a half from where the majority of my extended family lives and we are planning on them not coming because we are NOT having their kids come. Seriously, worst kids ever. I’m talking playing with dinosaurs on my great grandfathers CASKET at the funeral/ visitation. Course, thats mostly bad PARENTING but it goes without saying.
Post # 4
I think it’s fine to have your cousin in your wedding party but to have an “adults only” wedding. That’s not a problem.
However, I think expecting people to come 2-4 hours away to a wedding for a whole weekend, especially when they have young kids, may deter them. Or what you may find is people will come to your wedding but not stay the whole weekend. Can you have the kids at the reception? Or could you arrange to keep the kids occupied with someone for a whole day? Like an activity day where they can make some crafts, have some lunch, go to the pool for a couple hours with a couple child minders? It is another thing to arrange but that’s the only way that I think you would get what you’d like, which is to have your nearest and dearest with you but only the children around at selected times.
Post # 5
we are inviting kids, but the majority of our family are chosing to leave the kids at home anyway. they are using it as a reason to have time for just the two of them and they’re leaving the kids with their inlaws.
Post # 6
I just recently got married and it sounds like you are doing exactly what we did! My husband is from OH and I’m from MD so we picked a place in the middle. We made the decision early on that the only children we would invite would be 3 nephews and a niece. We explicitly stated this information on the save-the-dates. Where I come from, this is pretty standard; where he comes from, thats another story. There was a lot of whining about the no kid policy from his side but we did not let that deter us. People will come if they really want to come. Some guests that came left kids at home while others brought a sitter with them to the hotel. Not everyone came for the whole weekend, but a lot of people did so we were able to spend lots of time with friends and family. For us, our decision was simple. If we were to include kids it would have added at least 60 people to our guest list. Moreover, we really wanted a small-ish wedding and knew if we invited kids then some people were more likely to come. At the end of the day, those people that really love you and your fiance will be there–no matter what it takes and most people will be excited about a romantic weekend away. Two pieces of advice: give people plenty of advance notice about the kid situation and depending on where the wedding is in relation to lodging, look into providing transportation for guests. Whatever you can do to accomodate (and spoil) the guests that do come–especially those that come for the whole weekend–do it!! Good luck!
Post # 7
I have no idea… my FI and I are kinda in the same boat. We’re inviting a bunch of his close buddies & their wives to our 1st wedding/reception, but since it’s 3000 miles away we’ve debated as to if we should extend the invitation to their children.
In your situation, I think it’s a nice idea to keep the option open for OOT guests to bring their children along. Don’t invite the kids right off the bat, but if the parents ask, I’d let them tag along. Also kids menu’s usually cost peanuts…
Post # 8
We are kinda in the same situation. FH and I are actually hoping people don’t come because of having kids in school and not wanting to travel 7 hours with them to our semi-destination wedding. We want a small wedding and he has a lot of cousins with children of their own. Our venue does not have room for everyone.
However, 3 of our nephews are in the wedding and so they will be coming. But I feel like neices and nephews are different. We were doing to make a cut off at 1st cousins and their children would be our 2nd cousins so you get the idea.
I’m sure some of your friends and family could have other relatives (those not coming to the wedding) watch their children. I also like the idea of not directly inviting kids but if people ask and it is their only option to allow them to come. Not everyone is going to want to attend every event of the weekend so maybe people could take turns babysitting as well?!
Post # 9
I am a single mom (well only in the legal sense now) and wouldn’t go to an out of town wedding if I couldn’t bring my son.
Just bein’ honest. It’s hard to pay for a babysitter for an entire weekend and it makes some parents nervous to do that (if grandma and grandpa are busy) besides it being expensive.
It’s also nice to have a happy family weekend away.
Post # 10
I think the option makes people more open to coming, if you tell people specifically that they can’t bring their kids it kind of deters them. If they have the option to bring them they may opt out to enjoy the weekend away. We have a similar situation with our wedding, I wanted no kids for our Friday night mostly destination wedding (about 2 hours for most to travel), but FMIL insisted we at least invite the children so as not to offend the parents.
Post # 11
Is it wrong that this makes me soooo happy that we are not having kids at our wedding???
Post # 12
A 2-4 hr drive for alot of people is nothing. From what I have personally seen, if kids are invited, there is a much higher chance of adults attending. If kids aren’t invited, then the adult guest count goes down drastically.
Post # 13
I’m pretty sure that no kids = less parents coming. This is a worry for us as well.