Post # 1
Ok bees – I know the discussion of inviting children to the wedding has been beaten to death on the boards, and I am not sure if this particular issue has been asked before, but here’s my situation:
FI and I are trying to work on narrowing down the guest list (I know that it’s going to take tons of edits to get it final, so I want to start way in advance). We are going to have quite a few family members coming from out of town with children. The majority of these coming from out of town are second cousins and kids we love dearly and aren’t able to see as much as we’d like.
1st ISSUE: We want to have a no-kids reception but allow the little cousins coming with aunts/uncles, etc. We know that these family members will not be thrilled with us suggesting that we hire a baby-sitter or someone to watch the kids outside of the reception hall (or even in another room for that matter), so that’s not really an option for us. We also know that these family members are not willing to leave their kids home for an extended period of time away (plus we WANT the kids to come!). We also have two god children and I have a 1 god brother and 1 god sister that we’d like to be there. I’m not sure on the total amount of kids this will be quite yet – but it’s probably around 15 (ranging in age from about 4 years to 13 years).
2nd issue: I have a cousin who has recently married and has several stepchildren now – about 8 total including a young child from a previous relationship. I can’t guarantee that all of these kids will be well mannered (they can be TERRORS at times), nor can we really afford to invite/want to invite this many children from one household. I’ve gotten suggestions to have the cousin invite her blood-related child(who ALSO is my god-sister that I mentioned above AND little cousin) and have the husband invite ONLY one of his kids (how awful does that sound?!?!).
3rd issue: One of our god-children’s parents is in the wedding and the other parent will be in attendance. These parents are close friends with me and FI but we have some other close friends (all in the same friend circle) who have kids that wouldn’t be invited. Project for disaster?????
I’m freaking out already trying to imagine how this is going to come back to bite us and the snarky comments that we’re going to get. FI and I know this is our day and we hope that folks will understand, but since we’re both kind of non-confrontational we still want to keep the peace.
HELP!!!!!! I need some suggestions on how to figure this out.
Post # 3
You’re right, you have a few tough scenarios here!
Sorry for being confused, but what’s the issue on #1? Is it the fact that you’d be breaking your own “no kids” rule to invite your cousins and god children?
In the situation of #2, I agree that it wouldn’t be cool to make your cousin’s husband choose one child. That would be counter-productive to a new family trying to become one unit. If at all possible, you should invite all the kids in this case, but if that’s not possible, then the lesser of two evils would be to just invite the blood-related child and that’s it.
In #3, some people might make a stink about it, but you know those couples better than we do. If they’re rational people, then they should be OK with your decision if you explain that you wanted to include your god child specifically.
Personally, I’m a fan of the “all or nothing approach” – invite everyone’s kids or invite no one’s kids – zero exceptions. Definitely the easiest solution would be to enforce the “no kids” rule across the board. You shouldn’t make any exceptions just for the people who wouldn’t be happy with getting a babysitter for their kids. Those parents will have to decide for themselves whether they’d rather leave their kids with a babysitter or decline your invitation. Those are really harsh words, sorry, but that’s what it boils down to! I went through a lot of similar issues with my own guest list.
Post # 4
We encountered a similar dillema. We chose to let the kids come.
Honestly this is an all or nothing situation. You can’t let one person bring kids, whether they’re blood or not, and let another. By asking a new blended family to pick which children to bring you will probably cause an issue. Being the mom of a blended family, 5 kids total, I would be completely offended if you asked me to only bring my blood children or seperate them in anyway. They are now a family and everyone of them are equal to the other.
Post # 5
I agree with the pps. I think you need ot invite all or none. (And I would think you’d get a healthy dose of local parents lopking to get a babysitter. I would prefer to have an evening without the kids, for a wedding.
I do think there are options to invite “certain” kids. If you were just inviting your own kids, or young siblings. If you were only inviting the FG and RB, or even the kids of just the bridal party. I don’t think anyone should complain about that. And if they do, you can tell them “These are my________. They are particularly close to me, and deserve special treament.”
But the scenario you have is pretty complicated. I don’t think you can make a clean cut off. So ppl are likely to think (hey….?)
Post # 6
I disagree that you have to have an all or nothing rule. We successfully implemented a “family children only” rule and got no resistance from anyone. Like the ever popular +1 discussion, if you want to split hairs over which children are invited then you have to have a clear to understand rule and apply it across the board. I had a little bit of a hard time understanding how all of the children are involved with your wedding but you could try something like “nieces and nephews only” or “only chilren involved in the wedding ceremony.” I would not split up a family or treat similar groups (i.e. first cousins once removed) differently between families.
Post # 7
I agree with the majority, it’s all or none. To do it otherwise will not make you look good in the eyes of friends and family.
If you choose all, have a kid’s table(s) where they can hang out while their parents are dancing. A good Wedding Host/DJ or your wedding planner should have some suggestions as how to include the kids while keeping them occupied, entertained and out of the way as much as possible.
Post # 8
Thanks to everyone, these are really good responses. I do love kids and I do believe that kids can make the day really special. It might be horrible to say, but I know some of these kids that would be at my wedding personally and I’ve seen them run and cause problems at other weddings while their parents sat and watched! It was nuts!
@jenbrandner – yes, I feel like it’s weird to say “hey, no kids” to all our local guests and then have all our family members from out of town bringing their kiddies along with them.
The only out of town kids that possibly are going to be in the wedding in this whole scenario is one of my little cousins. Our godchildren’s parents are in the wedding. So, I’m just stuck with the decision of telling my out of town uncles/aunts and FI’s uncles/aunts, etc. “hey, the kids can’t be there” or just letting it be a big merry crowd and hoping that I don’t have to snatch up a kid before they run into my cake table!
I’m thinking it’s all or nothing. How do you guys think the best way would be to tell these family members that the kids aren’t allowed?
Post # 9
Oh yes, and I hate the idea of splitting up blended families. I think it’s horrible and I would have never done it – I just couldn’t believe someone even suggested that to me!
Post # 10
Personally, I’m having kids at my wedding but I think that it’s perfectly okay to have just children of family members. I went to a wedding like that recently and I wasn’t even slightly offended that I couldn’t bring my daughter.
If everyone who is invited to our wedding actually comes, we have the potential of having about 45 kids… yikes!
Post # 11
@butterflies – I understand where you’re coming from. I don’t want any hurt feelings, but my blended family that’s coming – their kids alone will take up one entire table! It’s really taxing on the pockets. Again – I do love children, though! LOL.
Post # 12
Yeah, it certainly does add a lot to the cost… frustrating!
Post # 13
We chose to just include all the kids. When people asked me why their children are invited I just respond, “They are invited as long as you will be watching them. I am not spending my wedding chasing children away from the cake table.” Or, ” they are invited and are welcome to come, but if you want to hire a babysitter, you may.”
Post # 14
I am also going to have to go with all or none on this one. Some may have been able to pull it off, but not everyone is as understanding as that. It would just be way too complicated for people to separate the two…
Post # 15
I think you girls are right – all or nothing – but somehow I think I’m going to struggle back and forth until I have to make a final decision!
Post # 16
Ho about something like this inserted with the invirtation.
“Sorry but, while we love your children and hope to have many of our own, we will not be able to accomidate children at the reception or ceremony.”