- 3 years ago
- Wedding: June 2015
Hi there… so this post is a little about venting and a little about needing advice. The issue is about my destination wedding and inviting kids/families. I’m reeally trying to phrase my post *very* carefully… mainly because as I become more and more embroiled in the drama surrounding this issue, the more I realize that many folks have strong opinions on it and feelings can be easily hurt. In turn, I’m stressed about walking a fine line between planning MY wedding (and setting my own limits), while still being gracious/accommodating to my guests.
So, FI and I have decided on a DW to Hawaii next summer. We are so excited about it! We’ve signed contracts and paid deposits on the venue (resort on the beach,) DJ, and catering menus. My parents are paying for the vast majority, while FI’s parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner. Our ideal number is 70 guests, and we finalized guest lists from both sides of the family and sent out STD’s to 125 guests – which we expect will land us pretty close to our ideal number.
Our intent is an adults-only event (that goes from 5pm-10pm) with a very “grown-up” atmosphere, i.e. lots of dangling crystals and tiki torches, two carving stations including a whole Hawaiian pig on a spit, and a sushi bar. I addressed the STD’s directly to the guests invited (no “and guest” or “Smith family.”) My first (mistaken) assumption is that addressing the STD’s this way, along with the fact that it is an upscale resort with an adult-oriented catering menu, would send the message that we weren’t inviting children. Now, I am getting all kinds of questions about kids, as well as people who are expressing shock and disgruntlement that we AREN’T inviting kids. It has been repeatedly pointed out, “It is so rude to have a destination wedding and leave out the kids, since most parents will want to turn it into their annual family vacation.” Or, “You can’t ask parents to shell out all this money to go to your wedding and leave out their kids.” I feel awful to hear this, and more than a little stupid that I ignorantly thought I could have an adults-only destination wedding…
Now here’s the thing: both FI and I are in our early 30’s and are one of the last couples in our social/family networks to marry. Pretty much EVERYONE has at least 1 child, ranging in age from less than a year to 10 years old. If we were to invite EVERY kid, it would easily double or even triple the number of bodies in the room… and it would change the atmosphere dramatically. We would need to change pretty much everything, from the ballroom where the reception is held to the decor to adding a kids’ menu (which the resort has priced at $40 per child, DEFINITELY NOT A SMALL COST!) To further complicate, my FI’s side of the family has the most children and seem to be the most adamant about inviting kids… which I think is a little unfair, since my parents are the ones paying for all the space/rentals/meals.
I looked into another option, which is to have childcare at the resort during the time of the wedding. I thought, THIS IS THE PERFECT SOLUTION! Nope. Some people have off-handedly remarked that “many people won’t want to leave their kids with random strangers at the hotel,” and that feelings may still be hurt that I don’t want the kids there (since they are the precious offspring of my loved ones, after all… uggh, I’m already sounding bitter.)
Maybe I’m being selfish- actually, I’ll admit I’m being a lil selfish- but this is my wedding and I’m more than a little disappointed at the thought of having so many children there. I love kids, but that’s just not how I wanted it to be… and yes, I know I “don’t fully get it” because I’m not a parent, but I didn’t see why it was so awful of me to ask for 5 hours of adult time for my wedding.
I’m getting very close to just saying “screw it,” sticking to adults-only and figuring people will either figure out what to do with their children or not come at all. But that still sounds really harsh to me and I worry we would have SO FEW people show up! So it’s like… invite everyone and their kids and totally blow the budget and my vision… or stick to “adults only” and run the risk of offending folks and/or not having ENOUGH guests! Which is a big issue for me, in itself… my FI were enthusiastic participants in most of others’ life milestones (I was a bridesmaid 3 times in the past 3 years, and my FI a groomsman twice!), we had to travel long distances for countless other weddings, and though I know weddings are an honor and a joy by themselves and not a “one-off” (truly, I KNOW that,) I’m more than a little floored and bewildered that it’s turning into a stress-fest when it’s OUR time to celebrate.
Advice, commiseration, and/or a swift kick back to planet Earth would be much appreciated. Thanks for listening… and sorry for the novel.