Kids as part of Wedding Party but not at reception :s

posted 2 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
120 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

You cant have your cake and eat it too. Either no kids at all, or have them in your ceremony and at the reception. There is no way I would have my child in a wedding and then–what, leave to take them to a sitter? Absolutely not acceptable!

Get a kids table with games or bubbles or coloring books or hire a “sitter” to keep an eye on them at the event and keep them busy. Or even just let them attend! Children arent burdens, and if you feel that they will be unruly or troublesome, make the ENTIRE event adult only. 

Post # 3
8677 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Realistically, how would this work? Their parents take them home? To a sitter? Someone has to sit in the car and watch them? There’s no real logical way of saying, “You’ll be in the wedding, and then you have to go home, and then your parents/guardians/whomever come back to the reception.”<br /><br />I agree with above. Either kids at your wedding and reception, or no kids at all, because logically the alternative makes no sense.

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Post # 4
5767 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

If they’re important enough for you to have them in the wedding party, then they’re too important to kick out when you’re finished with the photo ops. Offering to pay for their outfits then sending them off to wherever you’d send them pretty much reduces them to being your props. Not cool.

Post # 5
760 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Gold Hill Gardens

It seems to me like you could provide a sitter for the reception. 

Post # 6
42089 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

My daughter was a flower girl when she was younger. I arranged with her normal day care provider to pick her up after the ceremony and photographs were done. The bride and groom had pizza delivered to the house for her and the provider’s family. She loved it.

I did not feel she was slighted in the least. Sitting through a formal dinner with numerous speeches and toast is just not a two year old’s idea of fun.

Post # 7
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Where are you having the reception? That will kind of dictate the best way to handle the situation…

I did exactly what you’re wanting to do – my DH’s two brother’s both have kids ranging from 1 to 11 years old. One of the nieces and one of the nephews were flower girl and ring bearer respectively. The oldest nephew escoted DH’s mom down the aisle. After the ceremony and family pictures, all the children went up to their parent’s hotel rooms and there was a sitter with them while we went to the reception. One of my SIL and MIL kinda make a fuss about this at the beginning, but after explaining that the reception started at 8:30 pm, and there would be no other kids there at all, they kind of backed off. Then the morning after our wedding, the SIL who was upset about the no kids rule told me it was the best decision ever and that her and BIL hadn’t had a night out just the two of them since the oldest (the 11 yo) was born and truly had more fun than they expected. She actually thanked me for staying firm and having the kids go to the hotel room rather than allowing them at the reception. 

Will this happen every time and with everyone? Probably not. But it worked out really well for me. You’ve got to do some serious planning to have it work, but it definitely can be done. Good luck!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  tigergrrl2008.
Post # 8
1349 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter's Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

My sister had five flowergirls and two pageboys who she didn’t really want at the reception so she arranged a sitter who looked after them at the venue.  They got takeout food and played games and everyone was happy.

Post # 10
7025 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

nicolechappell:  My daughter (3 years old at the time) was a flower girl once. After the ceremony and photos, my mother took her home while we went to the adults only reception. I wasn’t offended in the least. For the kids, the ceremony is the fun part while the reception is the boring adults’ party.

I admit it’s trickier though if some of the kids’ parents don’t have easy babysitting options. (e.g. if they have to travel for the wedding). You also might need to allow an uninvited adult guest to the ceremony (like my mother was).

Post # 11
1981 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

nicolechappell:  We are planning on something similar- the kids will be in the ceremony and pictures, then for the reception they will be in the groom’s getting ready room literally upstairs from the ballroom with a babysitter we are hiring. Does your venue have a similar room you can transform into a kids room? I haven’t talked to all the parents yet (there are 3 sets), but my sister thinks it is perfect and my FSIL isn’t bringing her infant at all (her choice). Receptions in ballrooms and 2 year olds don’t mix well.

Post # 12
367 posts
Helper bee

We are planning on having the kids be part of our wedding party and for the photos but then their grandparents (who are invited to the ceremony) can take them home afterwards. I don’t really think children belong at wedding receptions personally, I feel it’s more an adults only affair.

Post # 13
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

i had my 8 month old nephew and nearly 2 year old god daughter as flower girl and paige boy. they stayed for the meal but their grandparents took my god daughter home after the meal as they said a two year old sitting through speeches was a BAD idea and my nephew was taken home before the evening party and dancing! WOrked well for everyone and everyone was happy! Plus they are in lots of pics too yay! 

Post # 14
3644 posts
Sugar bee

nicolechappell:  It’s not the height of rudeness, if you don’t make children stay up until midnight, for the reception. Is there another, smaller room available, at your venue, where you can have a babysitter and kid-friendly food? My nephew had a separate room, with babysitter for 5 or 6 kids. While some of the parents left with them early, the kids actually stayed in the room all night; not staying can sometimes cause a problem.

My daughter had a flower girl and ringbearer who left early. Actually, due to the venue charging full adult prices for age 13 and up (no discount for a 5-hour open bar), my husband said we wouldn’t be hosting anyone under 21. Their mother was close to the bride and asked if her daughter could be the flowergirl, as it was her “only/last chance to do it” for someobody. I said as long as they don’t stay for the reception, which would open up a big can of worms with the other guests, who couldn’t bring their kids (75 more guests, possibly?). I think it would have been around $75 for the under 12s, with chicken fingers and fries served at 9:00 PM, when they probably would have been asleep. It worked out well, as their father had to report for an 11:00 PM shift, and the three of them left after the cocktail hour.

P.S. I have a super controlling SIL, too. Tell her what your plans are, and if she can’t possibly comply with them, she can leave her children with a babysitter, for the entire night. If she threatens not to come, so be it!

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