Post # 1
My FI & I discussed not inviting children to our wedding – besides the bridal party children. I have been tossing this around lately because my family has a lot of children and his family has a few. My family does not all live in our city or state and his family all live within 20 mintues of us.
My dilemma is that my out of state family may not come because they don’t have any sitter to watch their children for the weekend. Our wedding is on a friday afternoon so they would come up on Thursday and leave either Saturday or Sunday.
Is it rude to make an exception for the out of state children to come and not the local children? I just don’t want 50 children running around. We are inviting 100 adults.
How would you handle this situation?
ETA: We are close to our budget for the reception and are trying to not go over since we are paying ourselves. The children would cost $20 per plate.
Post # 3
You can accept the fact that out-of-town guests with kids will not come. That is probably the easiest.
If your venue has a suitable room or if there is a hotel block, you can choose to line up a babysitter or three, depending on how many kids; if you pre-arrange child care for the ceremony and reception, some parents will take you up on the offer, attending your wedding and leaving the kids in the care of your babysitter. You should be the one to pay for this because it’s the gracious thing to do. Don’t tell parents “babysitting will be available for $25 a child” or something.
You can also get some babysitter names to hand out and mention that you can provide babysitting references.
Just be prepared that not all parents will want to leave their kids with strangers in a strange town so unless you choose to invite all the kids, you should be prepared for some flack.
Post # 4
Personally, I would either stick to inviting no kids, or all of them. Inviting some and not others is definitely going to rub people the wrong way.
…and I personally would NEVER fly with the whole, “we’ve hired a babysitter to look after your kids” thing. Never in a million years would I let a stranger look after my kid whilei was at a wedding.
If people want to come to your wedding, and have enough notice, they will be able to find some kind of childcare solution.
Post # 5
“so unless you choose to invite all the kids, you should be prepared for some flack.”
Either have a child free wedding or not. You can’t invite the bridal party’s kids, and not invite the guest’s kids. I don’t think that is fair.
ETA: I have children, I wouldn’t go to an out of town wedding, or even a close wedding and have strangers watch my kids while I attended a wedding. I’d rather stay at home with them than have them suffer through sitting with people they didn’t know.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@ecrowe1218: Hire a sitter and rent a room for them to use to watch the kids. It will probably be cheaper than paying per plate for the kids to attend the wedding.
Post # 7
@ecrowe1218: As far as providing a sitter is concerned, like most things in life there is no black and white answer.
Depending on the sitter you choose- someone regularly used by a close family member, a licensed, bonded care provider, or someone hired from Craigslist, your guests will have different degrees of comfort in leaving their children with your sitter.
Their decision will also depend on the ages of their children. While I would leave a 5 yr old with a licensed, bonded care provider, I probably would not leave my 4 month old.
My decision would also be affected by the number of care providers and the number of children in their care.
Many of the parents are also likely to leave your wedding earlier than they would otherwise, as they will have to pick up their kids and get them back to their hotels.
My recommendation would be not to provide sitters, but add a note to the invitations of those guests who are parents, letting them know that you can help contact licensed, bonded, child care providers if they choose to bring their children with them.
I fully support any couple’s choice not to invite children to the wedding.
Post # 8
I have been to quite a few weddings where the only children that attended the reception were the kids in the bridal party. There are 4 kids in my bridal party, 2 are mine, 1 is my neice and the other is my nephew. The bridal party kids will be 2, 5, 9, & 11. I know I would never leave my kids with strangers.
I have been to out of town weddings but my FI’s parents have watched my children. I just know other people aren’t fortunate enough to have a person to rely on to leave the kids with for a weekend.
My mom says to just ask them if they would be able to have a sitter for that weekend or if they would have to bring the kids.