Post # 1
We have this written on our wedding website, “We are asking that our guests who are parents take this opportunity to enjoy a night out without their children.”
Recently, past the deadline, one of my 13 cousins on my dad’s side hadn’t RSVPd, so I messaged her asking if she was going to come, and she asked if ‘no children’ includes babies. She said the only way she and her husband could come is to bring her infant son because she’s breastfeeding and he won’t take a bottle, and she’d leave the other two children with a sitter. I kindly replied and told her that regrettably, the rule did apply to babies and that I would really miss her. (If it matters, we aren’t that close and I wasn’t even invited to her wedding.) So now that specific cousin must have said something to her siblings because her youngest sister, a cousin I was closer to growing up, has RSVPd “no” with a wishy-washy reason, and their middle sister who had previously RSVPd “yes” and who I was also closer with, is pulling out stating it was because they have a baby as well. That seems strange since she knew about the no children thing before she sent in her affirmative RSVP card.
I’m upset they seem to take such offense and ask: Is it wrong of me to stick to the general rule for everyone and say “no children across the board?” It’s a very small venue, we are overextended space wise and everyone will be 21 and up, excepting my two teenaged cousins who are part of the wedding. If you couldn’t tell, my family is huge and including all of my cousins’ children would bring the head count up by 30 people. How am I supposed to explain to my other cousins that they can’t bring their kids when I allow two to bring their babies?
Am I being rude and unreasonable about this?
Post # 3
My totally 100% honest answer is…. you shouldn’t ask a baby who is still breast-feeding to stay home. And this comes from someone who is planning to do kids-free and is sooooo not a baby person. But, if a kid is still doing the breast feeding thing and can’t take a bottle, what else is the mom supposed to do? I also think the space issue doesn’t really apply because the baby would probably be held the whole time or in a sling. It wouldn’t count in the per-head count. It obviously wouldn’t drink. So it really isn’t a money/space issue. Yes, there is the concern about it crying but you have to figure (hope) that the parent holding the child is considerate enough to bee-line it for the corridor if that happens.
Post # 4
Generally infants that young sleep a lot and shouldn’t disrupt the evening. Honestly, I would make an exception just for that one baby. Your cousin agreed to leave the other children with a sitter, but I can completely understand why they wouldn’t come if a child who can only breastfeed isn’t invited. Generally I do not want to make any exceptions to the rules, but I think everyone would understand if this were the only exception (IMO).
Edit: We are not having any guests under 13 years old, but I would make an exception if there was a baby.
Post # 5
I think it’s fine to say “no children”, but I really think infants are another category. I’m having ‘no children’, but expecting still nursing kids to be in attendance (if their parents choose to bring them).
I say all this from non-motherhood perspective. Do you have any friends that are new-ish mom’s that you could talk to about the challenges of having an infant? (I’m sure you’ll get great WB advice from moms, too!)
Post # 6
I am with you. We are not having children at our wedding and we would not make an exception for a nursing baby.
Having said that, if I did have a guest approach me about this I would let them know the ceremony/reception are adults only, but would help them find a sitter and/or hotel room in the area.
Post # 7
This is a tough situation, indeed. I’d have to say that you need to stick to your no children rule across the board, otherwise you might end up with jealosy and others saying why couldn’t I bring my baby/toddler/preschooler/etc. If she can’t make it because of her baby, she can’t make it. I think it’s really immature and silly that her sisters are now changing their RSVP’s because of this, but that just goes to show their true feelings. I’d leave it alone. 🙁 Sorry it worked out this way!! We’re having a no kids wedding too (other than our 10 year old nephew and 3 year old niece – they are the exceptions).
Post # 8
Ery, I hate to be blunt here, but to answer your question, yeah, I think you’re being pretty unreasonable. Like the other posters mentioned, what is the mom supposed to do with the baby? Let it starve? I don’t have kids, and I had a “no kids” wedding, but I still allowed the moms with newborns to bring them. The money excuse is also really petty, as (again as the other posters mentioned) a baby who is breastfeeding is most certainly not going to take up a seat or drink. Ouch.
Post # 9
Just to be clear, I’m not expecting the mother with the nursing baby to attend by any means, but I am upset that her siblings are now rescinding their “yes” RSVPs because of it.
Also, I never mentioned money, simply space. It is a small, all in one venue, and we had to invite 60 people over what we intended due to family requests. The space does become more crowded with children. I understand that an infant would not eat or drink.
Post # 10
Several of our friends are having babies a month or two before our wedding and while we have a no kid policy too, for them I will make an exception. As @corgi said, nursing infants don’t take up a space at the table or a place at your bar.
Post # 11
@eryepye–I think you are absolutely being reasonable! I had a no child rule at our wedding and have no regrets. Our wedding was at least 3 hours away for all guests and we still made no exceptions outside of the four kids in bridal party. We made this known from the beginning and some people were not happy about it and did not come. However, I had several moms with infants come to the wedding and a couple who were breast feeding. One was able to pumb enough milk for the overnight trip and the other brought a family member to the hotel to watch baby during wedding/reception. If you make ANY exceptions (breast feeding or not) it is going to cause even more problems with everyone else that has a child. The infant that is breastfeeding (sorry to say it) is also more likely to cry uncontrollably during ceremony. None of the other posters here are paying for your wedding so you do what is right for you!! Don’t feel guilty for making a decision and sticking to it!! I learned that people that really want to be there will find a way; everyone else will use the kid thing as an excuse!!
Post # 12
Sorry, but I have to agree with the other posters. We have a “no child” policy as well, with the exception of small infants. As a mother I understand that it is incredibly difficult to leave a newborn, breastfeeding infant. For myself, I knew they won’t be a distraction anyway that small, they sleep.
But you should do what is right for you.
If it was me personally as a guest, I might decline the invitation but certainly wouldn’t make you feel guilty for that.
Post # 13
Because of the special situation, I honestly would allow the baby. Having said that we are planning what amounts to a night out without children for our guests except for a few that are already included in adult events, meaning the 16 year olds, my cousin (who would be the only one not going out of her family) and there’s no way we’d say no to Future Sister-In-Law bringing her newest (she is 3 months preggo right now and has really hard pregnancies). If you really don’t care about the 3 girls (and family) not coming then just ignore them and keep to what you said.
Post # 14
Yikes, tough situation…
While I *do* support your “no children across the board” rule (it’s only fair to everyone if that’s the route you’ve chosen to take), I think a nursing baby would be my only exception and I truly hope that others would understand that. As a nursing mother, I’ve been there before and hands down, I will not participate in any outing or activity if it doesn’t enable me to continue to breastfeed my daughter.
I can’t help but agree with others who have mentioned that size constraints shouldn’t be an issue. Infants are usually always held, in a sling, or sleeping in their carrier.
I hope you’re able to work this out. Good luck!
Post # 15
Why is it that you say a breastfed infant is more likely to cry uncontrollably at the ceremony?
I really don’t mean to create a debate here but I do beg to differ. I have successfully nursed my daughter for 17 months (and still going strong) and never once has she cried uncontrollably in any situation specifically because she’s breastfed. When she is hungry, she signals to me (she makes a little grunt and roots) and I quietly excuse myself and nurse her until she’s full.
Post # 16
I suppose the point is being missed. I have no idea if a nursing baby is going to cry more than a baby who is not nursing, but I will say that babies in general are more at risk of crying (audibly at least!) during a ceremony than adults. I’m trying to be fair to all of my cousins and am hurt my 3 cousins that are sisters seem to be kind of making it a personal issue. Again, we’re not that close anymore, and it didn’t help that the one who rescinded her RSVP did so as a post on my facebook wall. Whatever, I feel that I am going to stick to my “no children” rule for everyone, no exceptions, to be fair to all. Thank you very much for your input, bees!