Post # 1
My fiancé and I have decided to not invite children to the wedding. I think this is perfectly acceptable. But, my fiancé insists that our friends/families will not come unless it is with their kids.
Another thing we are worried about: Our invites will imply that no children under 14 are invited (we haven’t figured out the wording yet). But, is it appropriate to allow a parent to bring their 14-year-old and not their 11 and 7-year-olds? We don’t want the older children to resent us, either.
We anticipate that some people will RSVP with their children or simply insist that their kids come to the wedding. Our worst fear is people just bringing their kids without telling us. Most of our guests are very respectful. But, there are some that worry us, mainly the younger parents that have never attended a wedding.
In addition, approximately four of our guests will have babies under four months old at the time of our wedding. Are they unlikely to attend if their children aren’t invited? These are people that are near and dear to our hearts. But once again, we want to make no exceptions because it may cause other guests with children to feel slighted.
How would you handle this?
Post # 3
If people RSVP with their kids or call you to let you knot they will be bringing them just tell them that while you love their children you were hoping to keep this a more formal affair and that you feel the younger children would be bored with the activities. I was always told that if you don’t want children at an event then you host a babysitter for the parents. I know this can be expensive, but you might want to look into childcare services for the night of the wedding. I think you are just going to have to accept that some of the parents will not come without their children and you are going to have to celebrate your wedding without them.
Post # 4
We are having an adults only wedding/reception (no kids 18+). FI and I felt very strongly about this. We love kids, but don’t think our seated dinner reception is appropriate for kids. Originally we wanted to invite older kids, but there wasn’t a good cut off (to avoid splitting up families), so we make the cut off at 18.
We’ve had some people decline because of our decision, which we understand.
You just have to make a decision on age cut off and apply it across the board. I would also strongly suggest speaking with each individual family and letting them know your decision.
Post # 5
If you read my old threads, you will see that I started out with the same problem and stressed out over it for almost 1.5 years until we finally gave in and let the kids come. It was the BEST decision we made, besides the venue of course. The kids were well behaved adn the life of the party. And some parents opted not to bring kids if they could find a babysitter. It all worked out and everyone was happy.
But trust me, I totally understand your hesitation to allow kids. We were so worried about the kids stealing the show or worse disrupting the show! And yes, DH’s niece did skwak all through our vows, but it didn’t matter because we were miked so none of that is on the video.
If you can get your head around it, (which I know is hard!), you might want to consider just being silent about the kids policy on your invitations. Just let people make up their own minds if they want to bring them. Don’t offer to provide any babysitting, but if they ask if the kids can come say yes you will provide a kids meal but the babysitting is on them. That way no one can get mad at you adn I guarantee people will choose THEMSELVES to leave kids at home.
Post # 6
Here was my situation. I did not have kids at my wedding. I am perfectly happy with that. But that is pretty common practice in my circle.
I’ve expereinced weddings a few differnt way. Some had only immediate family children attend. That seemed to go over well.
I’ve also been entangled in the situation you suggested where one child in the family is invited and not others. Personally I don’t like that. Although I will disclose that the cut off was 16. (I was just under 16, and the only cousin in the family who didn’t “make the cut off”. Come on for one kid???) It might be bit different with lots of kids in the same boat. Maybe all the parents can pool together and have a fun night at someone’s house with a babysitter??? But some of the kids, particularly girls (IMO) will feel hurt being left out. When you think about it, these kids are younger siblings, who are used to being too young, and left out, etc. (I was one.) I would vote against it.
As for the babies under four months, I would be more laid back about that. Alllow them to come. Mom might be breastfeeding. And four month olds are not disruptive like toddlers. They will generally be soothed much more easily (Diaper or feeding.) And the parents will likely leave if the environment is too much. They’re new parents. They’re exhausted anyway.
Post # 7
Thanks for the input ladies! I truly am starting to see that our “policy” probably may rub certain people the wrong way. But, we will stick to our guns and maybe try to soften the blow by delivering the news via phone directly to families which we are close to before they receive the invites.
@ModernDaisy: I gave it a bit of thought, and having children at our wedding really isn’t the right decision for us. I don’t mean to sound cruel, but many of the children I am thinking of aren’t well behaved and the parents are the types to let them run around until the child gets hurt or until they become annoyed personally. I think it’s great that you were able to put your initial wishes aside in order to accomodate children! I’m so glad that everything worked out for you!
@Tanya123: Currently, I can only think of one family that would apply to the age limit rule. My god sister has three children. One is old enought to attend the wedding (according to our age limit) and two others are unable to come. If we do make exceptions, this will be the case because I don’t want the two children to feel left out. But, we just may end up raising the limit to 16 in order to avoid this altogether.
Post # 8
We are not having children at our wedding an dit is a big issue mainly b/c our wedding is on a Friday evening on a holiday with a decent of OOT guests. What we are doing is hiring a sitter (we are paying for the children of the bridal party) and informing guests via the website, of the babysitting option available, the cost and that they must contact the sitter prior to the week of the wedding to reserve a spot. The sitter will be onsite for 5 hours-which means we wll have children at our ceremony. We’ve decided to have a little parade for the children during the ceremony.We are also including an insert in the invitations of families with children, just a friendly reminder.
It’s not that we don’t like children, it’s that OUR wedding is not child friendly (ends at 2am). Some guests whine and complain but they’ll either get over it or not come.
As for your situation, can you list the specifics on your wedding website?
Post # 9
We did 18 and older and included an extra insert in the invites of those who only one or two of the siblings were invited (and the rest were too young) that basically stated that it was the couples wish to have an intimate-adult only affair and that we appreciate their understanding.
The invites go out in a couple weeks, so I’ll let you know how it goes over!
Post # 10
The only “children” (kids under 13) we’re allowing are my 1st cousins. There are a couple of friends and 1st cousins that have kids but we’re simply telling them no because we have a limited guest list (plus some of the kids are absolutely wild).
I think if our friends don’t want to get a babysitter for the afternoon (our wedding is 2-6) then I don’t really mind if they skip it. Maybe that makes me a bad person.
I think our friends are capable of making their own decisions about what’s a priority. I’m sure all of them hire sitters to go out every once in a while so I don’t really feel bad about telling them they’re kids aren’t invited.
Post # 11
@Golidlocks: I’d love to hear how your invitations go over. Please send me a PM or post an update once you start receiving calls/RSVPs.
@Camrie: My thoughts exactly. I myself am not a parent, but if I were, I wouldn’t have an issue with hiring a babysitter in order to have a lovely night out at a wedding with my husband!
Post # 12
You might try talking to people, like your god sister, ahead of time and personally letting her know that you will not be inviting her younger children. We are having “no kids” (only exception is my niece and nephew, and a couple of brand new nursing infants that obviously cannot stay home without mommy). Those with really little kids, like under 5, already expected the kids wouldn’t be invited, but those with older children (ages 10-14) got a phone call letting them know we were not having anyone under 18 at the wedding. Also, those who were coming from OOT got a phone call so that they had plenty of time to make arrangements.
We also put “___ of ____ seats are reserved in your honor” on the RSVP card so that it was VERY CLEAR that it was adults only.
We found that people were very appreciative of the fact that we let them know so far in advance. As in, right after the STDs went out.
Post # 13
We chose 12 as a cut-off age, and that split up two families who both have one kid over 12 and two kids under 12. I tried not to dwell on it. FI and I talked about it and that was the age we chose. I think it’s appropriate to do that. The alternative is not inviting any of their kids at all, which isn’t nice, or inviting all of them to keep from splitting them up – and that’s incredibly rude to the other families whose younger children aren’t invited.
We chose not to invite kids even though our wedding is a destination wedding for everyone but us. We will have babysitters available in our venue’s playroom for any kids who are traveling with their parents. This ended up just being two kids – a six year old and a thirteen month old. My mother wanted us to give in and let these two kids attend the wedding, but we stood our ground. I would NOT let these kids attend so that my other guests can get offended that their children couldn’t attend. I would say you just need to make sure your reasons for not inviting children are well-developed and you’re comfortable explaining them to people in a firm but polite way. People do get really pissed about this for some reason.
Post # 14
As far as the babies go, I would suggest allowing “lap-babies” to attend. Parents will know who this applies to: the non-wild babies- those not yet running, walking, crawling. Most of them will sleep anyway. As a new parent with a breastfeeding child, I would feel very hurt if my friend would not allow me to bring my new baby. Babies that little should just be considered still an extension of their mama. You are forcing your friends to make a very tough/ stressful decision by having to choose between their child and your wedding.
Post # 15
This has been a source of concern for us as well. We will be allowing the children of immdiate family and flower girls only. We have a cut off age of 16 but are inviting a few very close family friends children who are 14. Breast feeding babies or those still in infant seats will be welcome.
At my brothers wedding his wife’s family brought lots of small children to the reception and they were running all over, climbing under the tables and sticking their hands in the food. If someone really wants to attend the wedding they should be able to hire a babysitter, unless they are from out of town.