Post # 1
I’m a 31 year old bride w no kids in my immediate family except one 14 year old cousin. My mother has been blunt about the no- kids policy (except for the cousin). So much so that she’s unwilling to contribute monetarily if I allow kids. Her reasoning: the focus turns to the kids, babies can be disruptive, and the setting is generally not kid friendly. While both Mom and I love children, I agree with her. To add to it, our very rustic location is borderline unsafe for kids.
Heres the issue: I’m the last of my friends (mostly) to get married. There are at least 6 babies under 3 that have been born since I attended, and was in, all of their weddings. I spent thousands on gifts, flights, dresses, etc and I can’t help but fear that me not allowing the kids will change some minds about flying out to attend my wedding.
should I address it upfront and help w childcare? Or should I just address the invites for mr and mrs only and leave it to them to deal with. Etc? All advice welcome and then I’m going to stop harboring this “last-to-wed gets the raw end of the deal” mentality.
Post # 3
It will change the minds of some. We had a handful of couples who declined our invitation because of the no kids policy. We paid for babysitting near the venue for any babies up to 4 or so. (Both Darling Husband and I started staying with grandparents at that age and felt it was an appropriate age for kids to be left for a day or two.) And a few took advantage of the babysitting. But some with older kids – 4 to 12, which was our cutoff – simply refused, saying their kids could not do without them for a whole day. While we were sad that some friends and family felt that way, we were undeterred. Can you image what they, and their children, would have been like at our cocktail party wedding??
Post # 4
I totally support brides who want a no-kids policy, just as I support those who choose to invite them.
If you think not allowing the kids at the wedding will deter your friends from attending, I would deal with it upfront by adding an insert that explains the arrangements that you are willing to make for the children.
If any of the babies are still nursing, the moms will appreciate a room close to the ceremony and reception so they can nurse the babes as necessary. Some churches have a nursery where the parents can still watch the ceremony.
Providing enough comptetent sitters is key. Keep in mind that some parents are so attached to their kids that they will neither leave them with a sitter , especially one they don’t know, no matter how competent. Those people may choose not to attend.
Post # 5
this was a hard one for me. i wanted no kids but it just wasnt a option in the end. thankfully we dont have too many kids, just fi cousins the youngest at about 8 and all my cousins are older then me ( 25) . my nephew will be the youngest one there ( my ring boy) and he will be 21months on the wedding. other guests will not have their kids invited.
Post # 6
Use the phrase “we have reserved (Number of seats) in your honor. ” That should give the guest an idea that there child in not included , but these other phrases could help as well
We ask that because of the late hour, no kids be brought to the reception.
No childcare will be provided , we ask that all parents make specific arrangments.
I have meet a couple of brides who invited children and hired a babysitter, these children were placed in another room of the venue.
Post # 7
I guess the issue here is distance. Most of these are east coast families who may want to make a family thing of vacationing in CA. I agree with julies though – the parent who is so attached will probably struggle regardless of the location/distance and what I provide. I think ill wait and see who shows interest in attending, regardless (or wait for those w kids to inquire) and then be fully supportive and helpful to those who do. Amazing how weddings can be a true test of friendship (how much people are willing to do for a friend). I guess that’s why I get a tad bitter when I start adding up how much effort I put out for others. Maybe I should be more positive and assume people will indeed do the same for me. Nothing (so far) says they won’t.
Post # 8
My mother also said absolutely no children should be attending my wedding due to the venue and time. Since my fiancé’s mother still told her family that they could bring the kids, she is now going to provide a sitting service in the hotel where we blocked off rooms for all out of town guests. We put this information on the wedding website. The out of town guess have to look at this website in order to get the hotel information, so we made sure they saw it ahead of time.
Post # 9
i too am having no kids.
i have been to 12 weddings in the last 14 years or so and my daughter was only invited to one (and that was because my friend who was getting married has a daughter the same age and they are friends so it was more to keep her company). all of the weddings i attended had no kids and i love kids however agree that it is not the place for them, especially when there is heavy drinking etc (depending on your family however i know mine). I would never assume that my daughter was invited to a wedding unless it specifically had her name on the invite, however i do know many people who would assume they could just bring their kids or that they were invited. Be very specific with the invites, have the names of the guests and option yes/no etc. dont have an options for them just to state who is attending as then they can add on extras etc. i am offering babysitting and help sourcing babysitting. the accomodation is almost next door to the reception as to make it convienient for those with children. Most people understand “no kids” you should be ok, your 31 i imagine all of your friends have a similiar maturity. good luck xo
Post # 10
You guys all have great insight. RTR3 I think I’m going to do exactly what you’re doing.
Thank you! 🙂
Post # 11
I have a 16 month old and wouldn’t be offended in the slightest if I wasn’t able to bring my baby to a wedding.. actually I wouldn’t anyway. (except to my friends wedding where she’ll be the flower girl) It’s your wedding and your day, your mom is right it does take focus off you plus you won’t have to worry about kids running around while you’re trying to cut the cake etc.
I plan on having no kids either but because we have a lot of out of town guests we may offer childcare. I think no matter what you do it’s fine.
Post # 12
@queencharlotte04: if u dont mind im gonna take the stand point as a guest with a kid. if u set up a decent childcare that is secure i would definitely go and use the system u set up but if u dont help with childcare i wouldnt go. not because im not a true friend but having chidren you have to prioritize and sometimes its difficult (especially when they are tiny babies) so dont take it as they aren’t good friends but their children are a priority in such a sticky situation. JMO
Post # 13
I would address the invites as Mr. and Mrs. and leave it at that. Personally, I’ve never been to a wedding where there are young children there who are just kids of friends. The only weddings I’ve ever been to with kids have been nieces, nephews, family, and sometimes they have a lot of nieces and nephews, but the kid invites never extend out to friends with kids.
Post # 14
I think you should make an exception for nursing, non-crawling infants (younger than 6-7 months), because getting a sitter is very hard if they are breastfeeding (or even not breastfeeding but very young). They just lie in their pram or baby capsule and sleep. There are no issues with them running or crawling around, so there are no safety issues. Of course you don’t have to, but then there is the chance some of your friends might decline to attend.
Above that age, they should be able to arrange a sitter. I find best is to have the parents’ names on the invites only. Also, since they’re your friends, perhaps let them know verbally that it’s no children.
Post # 15
Lsharley ..,. I hear what your saying. However I’m reminded of the Sex and the City episide where Carrie ends up registering for shoes after they went missing at her baby shower. Why should I be expected to go out of my way bc you chose to have kids? When I was in these friends’ weddings I spent thousands on attire, gifts, events, plane tickets. I had a career to worry about (time off) and was going through heavy heartbreak but I stepped up physically, emotionally and financially. Why are kids the only exception? I prioritized too – and put them on top. Isn’t it reasonable to state that doing the same for me is a show of true friendship? I get breast feeding moms etc. ( these kids are all 1 yr to 3 years) again, totally willing to assists finding childcare, ( frankly id love them to make this a family trip and hang w the kids ither days/nights just not at the wedding) etc but, IMO showing up and participating in the way I plan is the equivalent of what I did for them. Just have to hope that my friends agree.
Star dust. You make a good point.
Post # 16
I feel like this is a sore spot that’s making me negative and bitter. Clearly it’s revealing my insecurities about being a better friend than my friends are to me (or perhaps just defining things differently). I’m going to be positive. Handle it via invites, website info and childcare assistance, Assume they want to come and will do all they can. And then decide what I’ll do for them moving forward.