(Closed) How to let guests know that kids are allowed, ONLY if absolutely necessary?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
4486 posts
Honey bee

Either they are invited or they aren’t. Also, if they are invited, it’s all or none. You risk seriously offending people if you pick and choose, and that includes having kids in the wedding party but no one else is allowed to bring theirs.

Post # 4
Member
5773 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

I”d address the invitations to the parents only and see who rsvps with kids. It would be nice if you provided a babysitter or two at the hotel so their children wouldn’t be far away, maybe you could put a note on your wedding website? I would not tell people its an “adults only” reception because the people who don’t think to complain to you about bringing their kids are going to be annoyed when they show up and there are 10 kids at the reception.

Post # 5
Member
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think you could try to tell them that space is limited and its not really a kid friendly atmosphere so if they can get a babysitter that would be great.

I kinda think that nursing babies should be allowed.  Even if they can find a trusted sitter or family member they won’t be able to stay long before having to return to feed the baby.  Plus newborns usually don’t make much noise. 

I also think that families traveling that far and for that length of time really should be invited to bring their children.  That is really hard to find a sitter for.

I think your best bet is just doing word of mouth asking people to not bring kids if not necessary. 

Post # 6
Member
287 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

i agree, you need to pick a rule and stick to it.

we are 75% out of towners. we expect people will bring their kids to the hotel and we (my planner) has a long list of local babysitters, as does the hotel. most hotels do. anyone who i know has kids, i plan to email or call after we get a “yes” RSVP and ask if they need assistance, so there is no confusion.

i don’t mind them coming to the welcome cocktails or morning after brunch, but no one under 18 is allowed on saturday night. i have seen way too many lovely ceremonies ruined by unruly or crying kids and i am adament about it (even my 3 nephews will not be there).

Post # 7
Member
3126 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I’d leave the emergency bringing the kids for a last minute decision. Say no children on the invite, but don’t harp on it. If something comes up close to the day and you decide to make an exception, so be it. But if you even HINT that they’re welcome, you will have a reception full of kids.

Post # 8
Member
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

Your FI is right that you shouldn’t ask nursing mothers to leave their babies at home.  Babies young enough to exclusively nurse are still at a stage where they pretty much sleep and eat all day so don’t worry about them being disruptive.  And, they don’t need a seat or a meal so they have no effect on your capacity issue.

For the rest of the kids.   If people have to travel 7 hours and stay at least 1 or 2 nights in a hotel that’s a lot of time to be away from your kids (and to have to pay for a babysitter!).  I think your best option is to expect the kids will travel with their parents, but YOU should provide babysitting services at the hotel for the wedding and reception.  Just put an insert in with the invitation to all people from far away who have kids.  I think that’s a more than fair compromise.

Post # 9
Member
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

You get into a tricky situation with setting up the “kids only if absolutely necessary” thing.  We tried to have this kind of setup, with word of mouth.  But then we had people just flat out asking us…do you want the kids there or not?  And our answer was…not.  So then we had to tell our friends we didn’t want their kids there.

In your situation, I would try and set up a babysitter/kids room.  We had very few guests with young children, and all of them had family they preferred to leave them with. 

The nursing baby thing throws another wrench into it.  I think you have to let them come, although if you could set up a babysitter at the same venue so they could easily go feed when needed, it might be ok to exclude them as well.  But maybe people who are actually BFing could chime in if this is feasible.

Post # 10
Member
2496 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

I have seen some bees post their RSVP’s that were worded something like, “Due to venue size, we are limited to an adults-only reception with the exception of nursing infants.  We thank you in advance for your understanding.  Should you need childcare, we can assist in that.”

Something like that?  I agree with your FI that it’s unrealistic to expect nursing mothers to be apart from their babies.  One of the BM’s in my best friend’s wedding last weekend was nursing and she could only be away for a few hours because the baby needed to be fed.  And, apparently there can be some, um… leakage… if mommies can’t breastfeed in time. Not a comfy situation for your guests. 🙂

Post # 11
Member
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Agreed about inviting the newborns, and as for the rest of the kids, think of it this way: if you were a parent given the choice to either pay for 3 days worth of childcare or not (on top of travel, hotel and gift expenses for you and your spouse to attend a wedding) which would you choose?  I think if you’re open to kids being there, most parents will take you up on it.  If you’re firm about not having kids there, then a few parents will stay home and some will come anyway.  I think the babysitter room at the hotel is probably the best plan.

Post # 13
Member
4486 posts
Honey bee

Have seen infants at weddings quite often and they are not a strange sight at all. Usually the parents or grandparents will hold them and when they are not held, they are in a portable car seat. A stroller is out of place.

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