Post # 1
So, today, I find out that inspite of addressing the Save the Dates to only the adult couples, and including a disclaimer on our website (of which the address was listed on the Save the Date,) that FI’s cousin has made flight and hotel plans to bring his 2 year old and NEWBORN to our adult only wedding and cocktails and dancing reception. The evening isn’t even starting until 7:30 (at which point both of those should be in bed!)
Our disclaimer said:” Unfortunately, due to space limitations and the nature of a cocktail reception occurring in a steakhouse, we have had to limit our guest list to adults only. We apologize to those who have yet to make plans concerning their children. We hope to provide you with a list of approved and bonded childcare professionals for those traveling with youngsters. Please check back later for contact information regarding this.”
This is apparently not good enough, as the cousin’s children only stay with grandparents.
My FI and I had agreed even prior to getting engaged that we would have an adults only reception. He thinks that we should make “this one exception.” I think that it would offend more people that followed our wishes and didn’t bring their kids than it would be to offend just his cousin. I also think that to start to allow exemptions brings in a slippery slope.
If he had just said that he wanted a children’s reception, I wouldn’t have rented the elegant steakhouse and would have rented a park and had a cheaper midday ceremony or even agreed to FI’s idea of a beach elopement, but he wanted the big white formal affair, which, in our area, dictates a late evening ceremony.
This fight has grown out of control, and my head hurts from crying. help.
Post # 3
I’m sorry you’re going through this 🙁 This is just my personal opinion – it’s really hard to exclude young children when the parents are have to travel a long distance to get there. Also, if you exclude a newborn, you’re basically telling the parents that they can’t come – especially if they have to travel. Newborns really rely on their parents for everything….
If this the only family with really little kids that will be traveling via plane? If so, it may be reasonable to make this one exception.
Post # 4
I would not change my mind if I were you. It is extremely rude for these people to ignore your very specific information and try to bring their children to the reception.
It is also likely to create hard feelings from others who did not bring their children.
I would phone or email them and reiterate that this is an adult only reception. The baby will be 3 months older than he/she is now by the time the wedding happens. I would offer to develop a list of hotels that are the closest to the reception venue and a list of prefessional child care agencies so mom can go back and forth if need be.
Post # 5
Just email them with your list of childcare resources, like you assume that’s what they’ll be doing. They’ll get the hint.
Post # 6
Are you sure they aren’t just bringing them and having a sitter for that night? Maybe they are just going to make a vacation out of the wedding and have some family time after your event.. (just trying to look on the brighter side )
I agree with PP and maybe look into lining up childcare just incase more instances like this happen..
Post # 7
It is difficult to make arrangements for childcare when the wedding requires the parents to travel. With that said, I do not think that weddings are appropriate for newborns and small children (atleast not evening, formal affairs like I’m having). On one hand, you could make an exception only because they are OOT but on the other hand, if your other guests have to make childcare arrangements and see these children at your wedding, it could upset them.
We’re actually in a similar situation. We decided a long time ago that the only kids who will be invited to our wedding are my cousins who are in our BP (14, 13 & 6) and FI’s cousins who are OOT (5 of them ranging from 10-16). My FSIL is now pregnant and due 6 weeks before our wedding. FBIL has made comments about how their kid will be at our wedding. Um no, he/she will not. I do not want a screaming baby at my wedding and I personally think it’s kind of rude for them to assume it would be okay with us. They are not OOT and they can make arrangements with her parents for them to come out for the weekend to watch the kid. FI and I are not budging.
ETA: Would it be possible for your cousins to bring along someone to watch the kids (maybe a grandmother or cousin on the other side)?
Post # 8
I don’t see why it would be tough to line up a sitter – both kids will be in bed/near bedtime as it is.
Post # 9
We are also having an adults only reception and are kind of in the same boat. You want to make the exceptions but it’s just not fair, you would be expected to let the rest come. It’s just not right. I could see maybe letting an older child come that’s maybe 12 (we set the cut off for 13 and up) or so but not a 2 year old and a newborn! And I agree about your wanting to have it be adults only; it’s just not an appropriate scene for small children and babies and not only that, the parents can’t enjoy themselves and drink because they have children to look after.
Think of it this way: you would think it was tacky to see a baby in a bar or at any other formal event. Your wedding will have dancing, loud music, late hours, and alcohol. I understand about newborns, I wouldn’t want to leave my baby and they do need the extra attention BUT I would find someone to watch it for a few hours if it had to come. I personally wouldn’t even want my newborn around so many people and drinking, loud music.
Also, think of it financially. Whether they eat 2 bites or nothing at all, that small child accounts for an extra guest at the reception and you have to pay for an adult meal. When my FI and I were discussing this, it’s what decided it for us. You can either invite none or all and if you invite all then it’s more money.
I guess it boils down to you talking to the parents and explaining the situation. It’s nothing personal and when you have children, you have to be expect this. It sounds so harsh and you want to make the exception, believe me we’ve been there, and you feel guilty and bad but you have to stand behind your policy. I think it’s great that you will have childcare as an option for instances such as these and the parents should really take advantage of it. They can have the freedom to enjoy themselves and still be able to check on their children.
Hang in there and stay firm. Do it for one, do it for all.
Post # 10
Like PP said talk to the parents. I would stand my ground and not make an exception. Imgaine how that will make the other parents feel who actually respected your wishes. They need to either find a sitter or get a refund on their tickets. It was very rude of them to just assume their children were welcome despite you making it clear that it was an adults only wedding. It honestly isnt that hard to find someone to watch your kids for a few hours. If they cant be away from their kids then they should not come. Its as simple as that.
I love children, but i think there are certain events that are just not the correct environment for them. Plus i feel like its you event and if you decide not to have children there for any reason, your guests should respect that.
Post # 11
Wow, it is rude of your guest to even think about bringing his children. He is not paying for anything. YOU ARE!!
Also, it is rude of your FI to not stand up with you on this issue. I would contact the cousin and give him a list of babysitters and remind him gently of the rules.
All else fails, have a hostess at the door to bar him from coming in? That’s what I’m doing
Post # 12
I’m a parent who will not leave her child with just anyone. There’s a very short list of approved caretakers (and I put all personnel at my child’s school through my own special brand of background check; I’m quite paranoid due to past experiences). If one of my caretakers was not available the night of your wedding, I simply would miss the wedding. As a parent with limited caretaker options I would be LIVID – and I do mean LIVID to the point of turning around and leaving- if I showed up an “adults only” affair to find that there were children there (other than those in the bridal party). But, as the host of an “adults only” affair, you do have to anticipate the some people won’t be able to find childcare with which they are comfortable and not be angry with them if they don’t make it to the event. Just my two cents.
Post # 13
I too am sorry you are dealing with this. 🙁 Buuuut I agree with EvaBostonTerrier about the NEWBORN….but not the 2 year old. If you have people who are able to do childminding i think you need to stick to your guns on that one. You could even let them meet this person with their child before hand. as for the newborn…they rely on mum for food and comfort, telling them they cant bring baby might mean they cant be there. Depending on the age baby is fed very often and will need mama close at hand.
Post # 14
@staying_ms_shaw: I don’t know why people want to bring their newborns out in those kind of environments. Hello!? Loud people, loud music, people constantly touching, ect. Talk about sensory overload. His toddler will probably end up cranky by 8pm and they will leave. I would never take my 4 year old to a party that is starting at 7:30! Her bedtime is 8:30!
Tell them that the venue allows smoking and you are having a cuban cigar bar and the baby shouldn’t be around that. I just can’t believe people and their special snowflake syndrome. If I couldn’t find a sitter then I wouldn’t go.
Post # 15
@staying_ms_shaw: Call them and say that you heard they were traveling with the children and so, out of courtesy, you wanted to be sure they had a list of professional childcare contacts so the kids would be looked after during the wedding. Don’t leave this to an email that can be ignored or blamed as lost in cyberspace, and if you get their voicemail just ask them to please call you back. When you talk, if they are happy to receive the childcare options, you’re golden. But, if they say they’re planning to bring the children to the wedding, calmly reiterate the clear instructions on the invitation and website set forth by you and your fiancé that request otherwise. When they say, “well if I can’t bring my kids I can’t go either” they are being rude in ignoring your request, expecting you to bend for only them, ignorant of any possible repercussions you may have to handle with the venue or other guests as a result. No, no, no. At this point you say, “Aww, that’s a shame. We’re sorry to hear that. My fiancé and I will miss you. Thanks and have a nice day.” The end. You’ve given them *plenty* of time to make alternative arrangements. It *is* possible to find childcare especially with that much advance notice which you were kind enough to do. They are adults and can choose to either not go or find childcare.
Post # 16
I’m with Cornflakegirl on this one. A phone call is the best option. Most sincere and forward way of communicating this type of thing. Go ahead and have the list of people on hand to offer them so the call can be a one and done thing, no call backs with lists closer to the wedding, etc. It may also be a good idea to check with the hotels you have blocks at to see if they offer sitting services or recommendations.
That being said…I do think that people with nursing infants, should be allowed to bring infants with them (if they are nursing, bottles don’t count in my opinion since they are not mother dependant), otherwise, the no child rule applies across the board if you set it. Regardless of what people think about bringing an infant to a loud place late a night, a baby needs to eat. They also sleep like the dead when they are that age and stay in a carrier when they are not eating or having their diaper changed. Where a parent chooses to bring a nursing infant is their choice, but it’s very rude to tell someone that you’d rather them have to stay home to feed their baby than to come to your wedding.