Post # 1
So my FI’s aunt informed me that she received the save the date for our wedding and has already purchased plane tickets for her and the kids (who happen to be very poorly behaved 12 year olds).
The problem is that our wedding is adults only. I thought this was made clear by the fact that I addressed the save the date to her only. I also told my my FMIL that it was adults only months ago. Clearly the advice to be classy by not splashing it all over the website, save the dates, etc was total crap. My FMIL did not have the nerve to tell her family so that it could travel by word if mouth, so here we are.
My FI was never a fan of the kid free policy, but gave in several months ago when we booked a very expensive restaurant for a semiformal seated dinner with open bar for around 80 people. He thinks the only option is to let it go and have them, but the sophisticated atmosphere I dreamed of would be destroyed when we have 15 kids who would be attending if we extended the invites to kids. I think it is simply too late to make it a kid friendly affair. Help!
Post # 3
@rambsn: Only thing you can do is call your Aunt and explain to her the wedding is adult only.
At this point, she should be able to refund the tickets.
Explain to her that is the rule and you’re sorry she did not hear it, but the invite was adderssed to her alone and not her and ‘family’. Tell her if she comes, she will make the other guests who found babysitters for their kids hurt.
I would tell her you told your MIL and you’re sorry it did not get back to her. Expect her to be upset but tell her you’ve already paid the money for the adults only and the venue does not hold them.
ANd yes, being classy about this DOES.NOT.WORK. I put it on our website in this way:
“Due to the reverence of the ceremony and considering the reception will extend late into the evening, childen under the age of 16 will not be accomidated at the wedding ceremony or reception”.
I also called everyone on the list with children and explained to them early the rule. That gave them 8 months to make arraignements.
Maybe you could do the same??
Post # 4
How about finding a local babysitter for her kids? That way they could still come and use the plane tickets but they wouldn’t actually be at the wedding.
Post # 5
If she can’t get a refund for the tickets, maybe you or your MIL (I’d ask her to pay for it for not spreading the news) could hire a babysitter for the kids while the mom attends the wedding? That way they could still come on the trip and you could also have your child-free wedding. If they are as bratty as you say they are, the mom would hopefully welcome a little time without them.
Post # 7
Did she tell you that she already purchase tickets after she found out it was an Adult only reception? If so, she could be lying so that she can bring them. I would find a sitter for her. I was not going to change my plans for her. If there are other family members with kids, I suggest saying something to them. Some people just don’t get it.
Post # 8
I don’t know why people assume children are invited. May of the weddings I have been to are AO and involve a lot of excess drinking (not a great atmosphere for kids). I am trying to do an AO weddng too and most of my friends are totally understanding about it, but it’s always the aunts and cousins that aren’t…..
Post # 9
@LuvMySailor: +1. You can be blunt and polite! ^_^
Post # 10
Ask the aunt if she will be needing help to find childcare for her children during the wedding. Either she’ll ‘get it’ or she’ll ask why she would need it. That’s when you say “well, it IS an adult only wedding. the children aren’t invited and i can’t make an exception for you and nobody else.”
Post # 11
I agree with hiring a babysitter. I want a child free ceremony, so I’m already planning to do that for those who can’t find care or travel with children.
Post # 13
- Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo
I would not change your plans. You addressed the STD only to her, so it’s pretty clear the kids were not invited. She should have at least checked with you. That said, if the kids are 12 and she lives a plane ride away maybe she is comfortable leaving them in a hotel for a couple of hours but not leaving them home alone for an overnight? You don’t mention a husband so maybe she just doesn’t have someone back home who they can stay with for two days. Maybe respond by email and say something like you’re glad to hear she can make it, you’re looking forward to seeing everyone, and does she think the kids will need a babysitter during the wedding or is she comfortable leaving them in the room for a couple hours? You can provide some names/numbers if she would like them. Also here’s some fun stuff they can do while they’re in town.
Or wait until you actually send invitations and see what she does then. Maybe stick a note in her invitation re babysitters if needed.
Post # 14
@rambsn: I think she knew all along, but didn’t really care and assumed you wouldn’t say anything. Call her, apologise for the midunderstanding. Be polite but firm.
Post # 15
oh boy! This is my fear too! I have heard all this etiquette stuff about not plastering “no kids” on STDs and Invitations, so I just put it in my website’s FAQ Section:
Q: Why didn’t you invite our kid(s)? Don’t you love him/her/them?
A: We adore your kids and think the world of them! However, to allow all guests to relax and enjoy themselves, we have chosen for our wedding day to be adults only. We thank you for your understanding and hope arrangements can be made for your little ones that still allow you to attend our big day!
But I literally have dreams where people show up to my wedding with children!
I agree with the rest of the bees here that you ask your FMIL (or FI -it’s their side and I think you should let them deal with it) to politely explain the situation, and then leave it up to her to see if she wants to get refund on tickets. If she cannot get a refund, or if she rather bring her kids along, then you can offer the option of looking into a babysitter for her. But either way, we gotta be tough about sticking to our wedding plans. If you make an exception for her, it’s not fair for other people with kids either.
Post # 16
We put 18 and over on our website because we didn’t feel it was an appropriate environment for children (late evening party with an open bar). I think this is one of those things that you just have to be firm on. My FMIL had advised us to invite children, saying that family members would be hurt/insulted; however, when I explained my reasoning all of the parents were very understanding.