Post # 1
My fiancé and I are working on our guest list for our April wedding. Oh, how it’s been more of a challenge than we anticipated! Our venue holds 240. Of the 240 on our guest list, 70 of them are children. We don’t mind having some children there. In fact, there are children in our family and children of close friends who we’d really like to have there. So we don’t want to have an “adults only” wedding. But… 70?! That sounds like a nightmare, if I’m honest!
I’d love advice on how to handle this! Is it appropriate to put a note in wedding invitations that lets parents know the situation and asks them to consider finding childcare for the wedding? I don’t feel like we can require childcare for some kids and not others. But maybe, if we let people know our reasoning behind asking, they’d understand and would be willing?
I would welcome any and all thoughts!
Post # 2
Maybe you can put an age limit on the kids? Like please no children under 10. I don’t mind the kids, just more toddlers and babies can be a handful. I don’t know if there’s a nice way of saying get a babysitter lol.
Post # 3
ebj92 : Omg, 70 sounds crazy, I wanted a child free wedding and my venue made that decision easy by requiring us to hire a professional babysitter if we had more than 5 children under the age of ten. I am having a child free wedding except for 4 children I am making an exception for because they are close family. This is a tiny scale for sure but how many children do you actually want there? I would suggest making it “child-free” and reaching out to the parents of the children you want there….this is my advice if the number is small though
Post # 4
Cut to just family kids? Or set an age limit.
Dont ask the guests to fix your guest list problem for you though.
Post # 5
Hire a babysitter? THen they may not even take up “seats”.
Post # 6
hikingbride : Yes, I should clarify, we wouldn’t ask people to consider childcare because there are other adults we’d like to invite. But we’d ask them to consider it simply because 70 is such a high number! Thanks for your comment.
Post # 7
I would limit it to just family kids. It is perfectly acceptable to invite based on relationship/circles.
Post # 8
minnewanka : Unfortunately, our venue doesn’t really have space for childcare. Plus, we’d have to hire like 10 babysitters! Haha.
Post # 9
zl27 : Hard part of limiting it to just family kids is that is there are some “like family” friends with children we just can’t imagine not having there. Thanks for your comment!
Post # 10
Well you can’t have everything. You either limit it by circle (family, immediate family) ask some to be in the wedding party, or put a lower age limit on it.
if none of those appeal you’ll just have to invite them all or go completely kid feee.
Post # 11
What time of day is your wedding and what kind of vibe do you want your reception to have? If you’re spending a lot of money on an evening wedding and invite anywhere near 70 kids, your wedding will be a ghost town by 8-9PM. Families with younger kids will definitely not stay out until 11 or midnight and will be less likely to dance, enjoy the bar, etc because they’re watching their kids.
We have a toddler and it is meltdown city if he is not home and in bed by 8:30 at the latest. So 1) I wouldn’t even take him to an evening wedding and 2) even if he were “like family” and you couldn’t imagine him not being there…you really wouldn’t want him there, I promise!!
Daytime weddings are different vibe and more kid friendly.
Also, there is no way to not be rude in asking your guests to solve your 70 kid problem themselves by considering a babysitter. You’re either inviting their kids or you’re not. I would either say “family kids only” or “kids over 10 or 12 only” and then hold firm to those rules. Picking and choosing is rude. And most parents do enjoy a kid-free evening out!
Post # 12
“Hard part of limiting it to just family kids is that is there are some “like family” friends with children we just can’t imagine not having there. Thanks for your comment!”
I don’t see that situation as difficult. Almost every wedding I attend limits children by circles to immediate family. That might include the couples own children only, nieces and nephews only or young first cousins only. People understand you can’t invite the whole world. The equally correct alternative is to do cut offs by age. However, I’ve never liked the idea of splitting up one family that way and would never do it, personally.
Post # 13
I would go with the “seats reserved” route on your invitations. Example:
_2_ seats have been reserved in your honor
Please indicate number attending: ____
For the families whose children you want to invite, just enter the correct number of seats.
This eliminates any mention of “no kids” but makes it clear that they aren’t invited. It also asks them to fill in the number attending*. If they fill in more than invited, you can call them to let them know they only have 2 seats. Don’t make up any excuses like seating limits, because you will have no-shows/empty seats.
* I advise against using
___ accepts with pleasure
___ declines with regret
A lot of people just put a checkmark instead of a number!
Post # 14
family kids only
None is this “like family” thing. If you use that as an excuse, then you have to be fully embracing of the decision without complaint. There is a clear cut line between family and not family. I don’t recommend a child age limit because that will break up families and if I were allowed to bring my 10 year old, but not my 7 year old I would likely be annoyed (I don’t have children yet just an example lol).
Post # 15
It was for this very reason that we only allowed very close family that couldn’t afford babysitters to bring their children. Children can easily double the guest count. Let your guests know that you can only extend the invite to the adults in their family. It is ok to make exceptions for close family members.