Post # 1
Hey Bees, I’m curious your thoughts…
I have sort of a conflict between my desires. I would like an evening wedding, and I actually like my cousin’s kids etc and if they can handle it, I’d like to have them there. I was talking with my best friend and mother of a three year old (who will be four by my wedding) and she made an offhand comment that if my guest list includes children I wouldn’t have an 8pm dinner, and if I did I would provide kid’s snack packs at the ceremony.
While, I pretty much feel that a snack pack would be the parent’s responsibility not a hostess expectation given that we’ll let people know dinner is served at 8pm, it’s sort of got me wondering if I need a different kid plan. Like, maybe we should invite children to the ceremony and then host a children’s party at a hotel a quarter mile away, since it’s an open bar, loud music until midnight party reception…
Agh… I just don’t know… I would love your input and experience. I have a mix of parents that are local and not local, typically use babysitters and those that don’t, 10-25 children aged 4-11, etc (and there will be 3 nursing infants, but of course they are more than welcome.)
My mother says that as a child I totally could have handled this type of event, and my parents wouldn’t have let me run wild, so we’re having a hard time figuring out how to have a family friendly event that is also a fun night time party… (FYI it’s outdoors, and there is a lot of run of your energy room, but no sit here in the quiet on the lobby couch sort of room.)
Yeah… that was long, I’m so sorry. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. 🙂
Post # 3
I know there are a lot of very strong opinions out there on the ‘Bee about children at weddings …
Personally, I am generally pro-kids-at-weddings, because in my circles, weddings are all about family and kids are part and parcel of that. I think parents also appreciate it when a) their little ones are welcome and wanted, and b) it’s left to the parents’ discretion whether they think their children can handle it and for how long.
I’d say that if you are willing and able, it’s extremely considerate of you to make the option of a babysitter/children’s party available for those parents who don’t think their child can handle it or who would like a date night. Maybe there’s a way you can communicate the style of event and say something along the lines of “children are welcome; parental discretion is appreciated” …?
Post # 4
I agree, hosting a children’s party at the hotel is pretty awesome!
If you are telling guests in advance that dinner is at 8pm, dancing until midnight, parents should be able to make their own decision as to whether or not that will work for their kids. Very little ones will be ready for bedtime by then! If you have a wedding website, you can have an FAQ page where you talk about things like dinner time, options for children, etc.
Post # 5
Hosting a children’s party apart from the reception sounds like a win for me! And I’m not even a parent! I think the kids would like it, and the parents who have nursing infants could try to lull their babies to sleep since dinner is so late. Good luck with the planning!
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
The idea of the kid’s party is great. You’re leaving the choice up to the parents: to bring or not bring their children, to take advantage of the party or not.
Post # 7
i am also pro kids because weddings are family celebrations but your best friend’s comment about the 8:00 dinner and kids snacks is out of line. i really hate the off hand comments from people who are supposed to be your frind. if i were in your shoes, i would stick with the 8:00 dinner and your best friend would just have to deal. all my friends are always prepared with snacks for their kids. i had a 3 year old at my wedding. she ate the fruit, sliders, and everything else we served for cocktail hour and then she had chicken strips and fries for dinner. if your friend’s kid is a picky eater, then she should always be prepared and bring her own container of gold fish crackers. i also had two infants under 4 months at my wedding. i asked if they needed anything but their parents said no.
Post # 8
I had the same drama – to invite my cousins kids or not… (they are super cute and I think they are adorable – but can get quite ratty when all together and excited) I decided on putting an insert in to the invitations for guests with children saying something along the lines of…
Children are welcomed to attend the ceremony and spend some special time with the family. But only had the adults names on the RSVP and their dietry requirements. I left it pretty open for interpretation and i’ll contact them in person closer to the date to see if they want me to organise a children party / babysitter at the nearby hotel with some pizza and movies or something.
Keep in mind they might have preferred babysitter / friend they want to use – so i think it might be worthwhile orgnaising it with them in person and see what they want to do. You don’t want to get a complete stranger looking after your family members kids…
Post # 9
Thanks so much! I really appreciate everyone’s input and support!