Post # 1
We are having our wedding reception in NYC. My family and friends will be coming in from Canada and his will be coming in from New Zealand and the UK.
After a long debate (and I mean a long one) we decided to allow kids of our out of town guests to attend. I’m not really happy about it and I know I’m going to sound like a b@@ch but it was a concession we made for out of towners who don’t want to leave their kids at home. It’s hard to fly in and leave them at a hotel (even with an accredited babysitting service). But since most people are coming for a weekend, they could in theory get someone to look after their kids and have a cheeky weekend away.
I had a friend assume we didn’t want kids there because of the costs (she said “you don’t have to order him a plate.”) That’s not it at all, it’s $25/head for kids and at this stage an extra $300 or so for kids won’t be the end of the world.
It’s partially to do with the disruption that kids can cause, but to be honest it’s because I rarely get to see many of my friends from home (we may talk on the phone, email or FB but my parents don’t live in the same city where I lived and worked so when I visit Canada I usually go see them.)
This will likely be the only time that my friends/family and my DH’s family/friends will be together. Ever.
All I want is for us to party together for a few days in the city I live in now (I use the term party loosely – we aren’t going to be like rockstars, but I want some quality time.) And that’s not going to happen if they bring their kids to the reception and have to leave to put them to bed at 9:30 p.m. Also we’re planning drinks the night before and planning to hit a bar after the reception – not kid-friendly activities and we’re not making them so.
My friend’s comment about $ is really bothering me, since that’s not it at all. I don’t think she gets that I’ll be bummed out that she and others will be leaving the reception early and distracted by her kids the entire time.
Do I say something or just suck it up?
Post # 3
I would mention to out of town friends that you were looking forward to some kid free fun pre and post wedding while they were in town. We are asking for no children to attend our wedding and this includes out of town guests so in my book your being very accomadating to these people and their children.
Post # 4
And before anyone lashes out, I do have a small child who will attend the wedding and only the first hour of the recption(when her grandma will take her home) we are asking for no kids because we want everyone to enjoy the day and not be chasing their kids around.
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2013 - Garden
I don’t have kids and we’re having a kid friendly wedding.
I wouldn’t hold it against someone if they wanted to have a kid-free wedding unless I had to travel. If I was only going to be away for one night I might try to swing it, but if I were planning a mini break or a holiday I’d want my kids to come unless we were celebrating our anniversary or something similar.
Fair enough asking someone not to bring them to your ceremony and reception but if somebody is travelling I don’t think it’s fair to tell them that they can’t spend the rest of the trip with their kids. I also think that if I wanted to catch up with my friends without my (non existant) kids I’d make it happen myself, I would really resent being told I have to seperate my family unit for a while just to cater to someone else.
Post # 6
It’s your wedding. Point blank. If somebody can’t/won’t come because they can’t bring their children, then you have to be okay with that (since it will happen), but as long as you are okay with that (and probably being talked about behind your back for not being accomodating) then do what works for you.
I think it was sort of rude on the guest’s part to bring up money/plate cost, since it’s pretty gutsy to assume you know somebody elses motives. I would just tell the friend that you are sorry, but the wedding is childfree & it is not about about the per plate cost.
Post # 7
Think of it from their point of view. You are allowing some kids to come but not their kids. It is kind of like saying well your kids are the bad kids so they are not invited. It would be kind of hard to hear and a little insulting don’t you think?
I think you need to draw a line- either no kids or all kids.
Post # 8
It’s YOUR wedding. You should do what YOU want. It’s sweet that you want to accomodate people with kids, but you’re not obligated to. But I agree with PPs–some people may not come if they can’t bring their kids. If you make it a kid-free wedding, you’ll have to accept that.
However, I’d caution against allowing some kids but not others. The people whose kids you exclude will feel jilted…it’s just not a good idea. We’re making a rule–newborns and kids under 2, since they may not be able to be left with a sitter–and kids in the bridal party (ring bearer, flower girl, a teenage usher and a teenage guestbook attendant). That’s it.
You might be surprised, though. Most of my friends with kids (even those who are traveling from a distance) were actually EXCITED at the idea of having a kid-free night or weekend of socializing with their adult friends. I didn’t even mention that it was a kid-free wedding yet. My friends don’t get a lot of adult nights out these days. Apparently as soon as they found out I was getting married, they decided grandma and grandpa would be watching the kids for the weekend. My matron of honor even seemed a little bummed when I asked if her daughter would be my flower girl. She was happy that I wanted to include her daughter, but she admitted that she had wanted a night of adult fun, too!
So…it really depends on your guests. However, it’s YOUR wedding. Do what makes you and your fiance happy.
Post # 9
We are doing something similar…children of family members can come if the parents choose to do so. A large majority don’t even want to bring their kids, and that’s fine by me. For us it was a space issue. Our venue holds 195 and if everyone decided to bring their kids, we would have to cut a lot of our friends off the invite list. Plus I’m pretty sure my friends kids could care less about our wedding. Family is different though. They’ve been hearing about our wedding for a while now and are excited to go…and in my opinion it’s a family affair. My three kids will be there and they’re excited to have some cousins around
Post # 10
I didn’t explain this very well since I was trying to be brief. We’re allowing kids at everything, no one is being explicitly excluded (I say that because I’m not sure any parents would want to bring their kids to a bar the night before.) But for the day after we’re trying to organize a picnic in a park, I don’t know how much more kid-friendly it could get.
We were not sure if we were going to invite kids initially and were honest about that when people asked. We are doing it because we know it’s difficult for our guests who are traveling.
So people know that it hasn’t been something we were planning from the get-go and admittedly I haven’t been all gushy like “Oh I’m so happy to have your kids come.” I did send an email to out of town guest saying that kids were welcome if they wanted to bring them.
If I had my ideal scenario, I’d have the kids come to dinner, then have someone pick them up and baby sit them so my friends and I could have some grown up time and they wouldn’t have to leave at 9:30. (Keep in mind, I rarely see them face-to-face, many have not come to NYC to see me since they have kids). And then we (kids, dogs, cats, whatever) would all hang out the next day.
So my question still stands. I’m annoyed that the presumption is that we don’t want kids there because of money. Should I correct this perception or is it just stirring the pot?
Post # 11
I think you should tell them why, but also give them the choice.
I would say something like this, but you should make it your own.
I love both you and your beautiful offspring dearly. I understand the want to travel to an exciting destination with the family, I also would like you to consider a parental responsibility free weekend. You are an amazing parent and completely understand the need to have the kids experience this with you. It will be a completely different experience for you to take a break and get to do adult things with not the needs of early dinners and bed times. I haven’t seen you, my friend, for a long time and would love every opportunity to catch up with you as the weekend unfolds.
Your other option is to rent a room and hire your own nanny for the ‘kids slumber party’. If the wedding is at a hotel even better it can be there and the parents can check in on them.
Post # 12
That’s really nicely written, thank you. I will probably say something like that if I do bring it up.
Re. the other option – we actually did think about getting them hooked up with a nanny or accredited babysitting services but I had one person say “I wouldn’t want to leave my kids with strangers’ which is fair enough. DH thinks that if we find someone with great referrals it’ll be fine but I am not so sure.
Post # 13
I think I would correct their ideas, but I would say something like “We’re not having kids because we want to have one big party like we used to! Before kids, all of us together, and this is probably the last time we can imagine it happening!”
Post # 14
Honestly this whole thing would rub me the wrong way. I get not wanting kids at the wedding, but trying to get people to leave them somewhere for the weekend so that they can go out and drink with you like you’re back in college is nuts. A lot of your friends who are parents will probably want to leave to put their kids to bed and spend some quiet time with their spouses. Telling them that having their kids travel with them ruins your drinking fun will offend. They probably don’t see their kids as the burdens/buzzkills that you do.
And honestly, if I were traveling for a wedding I would want to bring the kids so that the non wedding time could be a small family vacation.
Not allowing them at the ceremony won’t mean that they won’t be the responsibility of their parents the rest of the time.