(Closed) Children at wedding

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
Member
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I think inviting children to a wedding should be an all or nothing kind of thing. Inviting people and not their kids, and then having some kids at the wedding seems kind of hypocritical, and I think I’d probably be annoyed as a parent. Not even just with these folks, I think you should either let people bring kids, or provide babysitting for all kids. 

Post # 3
Member
1166 posts
Bumble bee

Tough call.

How much do you want them to attend? 

If the answer is, “I’ll die if they can’t make it!”, then extend the invite to the kids because apparently this couple is like family to you and their children, by extension, are family too.

If the answer is, “Meh, I’ll see them around and we’ll catch up”, then extend the invitation to the couple accepting the fact that they might decline because of childcare costs and hassle.

🙂 good luck OP

Post # 4
Member
955 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’m a believer in the “it’s your party, you get to determine the guest list” camp.  I wouldn’t focus so much on who isn’t invited, I would simply invite the people you want there.  I guess I don’t quite understand why people get worked up if there are kids at a wedding, yet their own children weren’t invited.  I also don’t quite understand the rationale behind providing childcare for everyone’s offspring.  Why is this the host’s responsibility, exactly?  If parents want to attend, they will go to the effort of securing childcare.  Not sure why that task has to fall onto the bride.

Does this mean that a couple from out-of-town may decline?  Yes.  But let me ask you this– how important is their attendance?  So important that you have to secure a babysitter and accept the negligence if something goes wrong?  

 

So, back to my original thought– and I’m sure plenty of people would disagree with me– invite only the adults.  Way less stress for you.  If you want to bend your rule for one couple, it may cause you more stress and aggravation.

  • This reply was modified 5 years ago by  .
Post # 5
Member
3611 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
minniebee06:  You might hurt a local friend’s feelings or upset them if you invite another friend’s children but not theirs. For that reason, I would say that inviting the out-of-town friends’ children to your wedding is out. Hiring a babysitter would be a nice gesture on your part, but be prepared for them to decline the invitation anyway. I don’t have children yet, but personally, I’m sure I’d be fine with leaving them with a babysitter for an evening to attend a child-free wedding in town. However, I’d be much less likely to leave them with a sitter for an entire weekend to attend an out-of-town wedding, and I don’t know if I’d leave them with an unknown sitter at all, even if it’s just for a night (sorry, I’m a paranoid person).

Post # 6
Member
1556 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

View original reply
minniebee06:  We invited children we were related to and children of out-of-town friends. For our friends in town, we didn’t invite them unless they were infants.

There was no drama about who got to have their kids there and who didn’t that got back to me.

Post # 8
Member
1556 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

View original reply
minniebee06:  We invited the infant as part of their guest count.

So if it were a couple with just one child who was an infant, then we addressed it to the friends and then put that they had 3 seats at our wedding. After they RSVPed, we asked if they needed a high chair or not.

We didn’t have any cases where we had friends with an infant and older children who were not invited.

I think we did overlook one friend with a baby and they asked if they could bring the baby, which I was fine with.

Post # 9
Member
1556 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

View original reply
minniebee06:  And even though we had kids running around all over the place, I didn’t have one complaint from any of our parent friends about not including their kids, even when I know and love their kids. If they live in town, they usually already have a relationship with a trusted babysitter, if they need one, so it’s less hassle for them to just have a night out on the town.

Post # 10
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee

I actually disagree with the “all or nothing” rule for children. NO – it’s your wedding!!  Invite your cousin’s kids and the family from out of state.  That seems totally and completely reasonable to me.

I’m doing the same — inviting fiance’s cousin’s three kids.  They don’t make much money, they’d have to take off work plus pay for the hotel – who is going to watch their kids??  Fine with me.  But most kids are not invited to the wedding.  And honestly, most/all of our guest list is fine with this – it’s an evening wedding, they want to have fun too! 

Post # 11
Member
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

Could you have an on site babysitter?

Post # 12
Member
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I think the Bee makes the no children issue out to be way more of a big deal than it is.  I was direct and upfront with my friends as they asked about wedding plans.  None of them were openly offended.  Mostly I got “finally!  an excuse for hubby and me to have the first evening to ourselves in a year!”  Kids just didn’t fit into our evening wedding vision.  They’re more than welcome at our BBQ rehearsal dinner.  I’ve seen the excuse that “childrens meals are free under age X or childrens meals are so cheap!”  That’s not always true.  We have to pay for the $150 meal and $40 open bar whether a guest is 9 weeks old or 90 years old.  I’d feel awful if a friend was spending almost $200 for a toddler to throw chicken fingers on the floor.  I also don’t feel that it makes an unloving aunt because my toddler nieces and nephews won’t be at a wedding that they wouldn’t remember anyway.

Maybe it’s regional or just my social circle, but we’d never expect a bride to organize childcare on top of everything else she is doing for a wedding, but it is nice to offer or even just provide the name of a local service with a good reputation.  

 

  • This reply was modified 5 years ago by  seeker.
Post # 13
Member
1604 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I can see inviting “family” kids but not non-family kids.  Family kids will know other kids, will have grandparents, aunts, etc willing to watch them.   Non-family kids will not. 

Post # 14
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: NJ

Does anyone really know of a guest whose kids were not included, getting furiously angry and hurt because someone else’s kids were at attendance at a wedding?

A wedding is a long day, and by the time of an evening reception, young kids would be restless and cranky. Older ones might be okay but not particularly thrilled. A parent whose kids are home with a babysitter might look at a guest wrangling their kids at a wedding, and say “thank God that’s not me!”

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