Post # 1
My soon to be hubby and I have no children, but between our siblings we have 11 little ones, the oldest being 14 and the youngest being 8 months old. We are being pressured by one set of parents to have the children at the wedding … whereas we feel that not having them there might make things a bit more relaxed for us, as much as we want them there. We have a max of 60 guests we can invite so its tight. The mother in law suggested they came to the ceremony, we feed them and then have them collected by 9pm, by a baby sitter that we pay for? Our location is out of town, which means we have to rent them a house + organise a sitter for 11 kids, none of which are our own. Do you think we can invite the children to the ceremony, then ask for them to be collected afterwards before the reception? And we could leave it to the parents own discretion as to whether or not they bring them at all?? I dont want to be mean, I loved going to weddings as a child, but 11 kids at my wedding, not all that well behaved – may do my head in !!
Post # 3
If you don’t want kids, don’t invite them. End of story. It’s not fair to you to have you pay for babysitting (plus transport for the kids!). If people complain, feed them a line about space constraints.
Post # 4
Since your venue is kinda far away, I think it might be odd to invite the kids to the ceremony but not the reception. I can’t image any parent actually bringing their child to the ceremony and then getting a babysitter to come get them. It sounds like the best option for you is to nix kids all together. Providing a babysitter is a nice option, but I imagine that may be expensive and would need arranging. Or you could just let the kids come for the whole thing, but that doesn’t seem like something you’d like.
Post # 5
@kiwililly: If you can find someone to watch the children, tell your guests they must leave them for the ceremony and reception. Rent them a large hotel room and leave movies, pizza, drinks, and tell them to bring games. Children get bored and weddings are expensive and sacred.
It is unfair for those parents to impose on you like that. Tell them you respect their wishes but you must adhere to your budget.
If it were distant cousins, I would say do an outright “no kids”. But since these are immediate family members, that would not go over well.
Post # 6
You can either invite or not invite–you cannot “half-invite,” and that goes for everyone, including children. (not to mention that your mom’s solution won’t save you much in terms of budget because “feeding them” involves $$$)
The way it works is you have the right to decide you don’t want children at the wedding and to invite just their parents. But then parents have the right to decide whether or not they want to attend without their kids and can decline if they don’t want to. They don’t get to complain (although they might) about you not inviting their children; you don’t get to complain if the parents don’t come at all.
As a courtesy, you can spring for a babysitter, but bear in mind that expenses are expenses and if you can’t afford that, then it’s not something you should feel pressured to do (and some parents won’t be comfortable with just any old babysitter anyway).
Another option which *might* sweeten the deal is if you are having a morning-after brunch or something, you can open that event to the kids.
Post # 7
Thanks, its a hard one either way I look at it and I
m trying to see all views. My newphew said to me yesterday "Aunty if I sing you a song can I come to your wedding" they pull on the heart strings thats for sure. My sister (she has 3 boys) said if they came to the ceremony then Id have them collected by a friend which is really helpful and that I dont mind, the others are more dificult and I think I`ll have to say no kids In the end.
Post # 8
I say invite them. They are your nieces and nephews not cousins etc!
A wedding after all is about the start of a new family (in whatever form that will be) and you want to exclude close family members.
I also find it a bit flippant to say you will feel more relaxed whilst clearly these parents wont feel more relaxed. Imagine how the older children will feel being excluded from their aunts/uncles wedding- this could affect your relationship with these kids. Especially since kids see things more in black and white rather than grey so they may think Aunty Kiwililly doesn’t like me!
I would seriously be concerned that my or my FI’s siblings may decline the invite tot eh wedding because they are uncomfortable leaving their children!
Post # 9
I’m in a similar boat. I’m dreaming of a black tie wedding, and while there are no small children on my side…of course FI’s cousins have several. We’re planning on doing something out of town, so I think maybe that will discourage those with children old enough to require their own airplane seat…but for any super young ones I’m thinking of asking those cousins to help select an affordable babysitter they’d feel comfortable with to watch the kids back at the hotel. That way the kids are closeby and with their parents except for a few hours, and if the parents want to they can cut out of the the reception early. Maybe they’ll even offer to chip in..?
All that being said, it really depends on the kids… but when I was a kid I know I’d much rather have some popcorn and movie and some coloring supplies than go to an adult party.
Post # 10
Thanks I value everyones opinions about this and am taking everything into concideration.