(Closed) Children were not invited but guests insist on bringing them

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
472 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010 - Ladder 15 Restaurant

I would just stand firm and tell your guests no children if that is what you want.  No need to worry about babysitters or anything…If your friends/family still insist, maybe suggest that they bring their own babysitter to watch their kid in the hotel?  Haha, that would probably deter them from bringing the kids!

Post # 4
123 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I have a similar problem.  My cousins insist on bringing their kids.   I agree with ms socks, if you can insist “No” then do it.  Unfortunately, I cannot.  So, I am making kids tables away from adults where they can do whatever they want.  If people insist on bringing them, I will do my best to separate them and however wants to supervise.   Its not going to be my problem!

On a better note- they will leave early because kids cant stay up that late.   And kids are fun on the dance floor.

Post # 5
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

It would be nice to provide babysitting.  It would be helpful to your guests (especially the out of town ones) and would probably help prevent further conflict with your Future Mother-In-Law.  However it is not required.  I would check into the possibility and see how easily it could be arraigned.  If you can do it, great.  If it really isn’t working out and is becoming a big hassle then just skip it.  In that case you can at least tell your Future Mother-In-Law that you tried, but it just wasn’t possible.

Post # 6
12 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

We’re in the same boat…

You can’t (rather, you shouldn’t) make special accomodations for a few families, because it could look like you’re playing favorites… and then drama ensues.

Our wedding is a night-time black tie event with an open bar… and 80% of our guest list is from out of state.  Our venue is smaller than average and we wanted to invite as many family/close friends as possible.  No kids just made sense.

My Mother-In-Law has also tried to contest this a few times, (“So-and-so is going to have to make special arrangements…she has a 3 yr old…”) and then waits for me to say, no it’s ok to bring her.  But I don’t, and then she eventually drops it. 

My mantra for all things wedding-related:  You don’t HAVE TO do anything, no matter what anyone says.  🙂


Post # 7
573 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

At this stage don’t make special accommodations for a few of the families. If your Mother-In-Law is local, she should go ahead and find babysitters to recommend for those guests, but the children won’t be at the events. She could offer to pay for the sitter if she feels so strongly about it.

I like the idea of a family brining their own babysitter with them. They could all coordinate that. I had friends in college who did similar things as part of their nannying jobs (like go with a family on vacation so that the parents felt safe having someone helping to watch the kids).

Post # 8
837 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

In short, no you are not obligated to provide babysitting.  Now, if your Future Mother-In-Law feels so strongly about it, she can find someone and pay them to watch the kids.  I would seriously stand firm on this one.  If people insist that they can’t attend unless their children do, then you just say, “I’m sorry you can’t be there to celebrate with us,” and leave it at that.  I know it sounds kinda harsh, but if you don’t stand firm people will just walk all over you.

Post # 9
429 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Similar issue when my brother got married. Here’s a good question though….at what age are they no longer considered “children”?

My Aunt/Uncle brought my cousins, 2 teenage girls (maybe 13 and 15 at the time) and my SIL was absolutely 100% opposed to them being there. My mother couldn’t understand it at all….and the day before the wedding my mom had to scramble to find a babysitter (on Nantucket!) for my cousins.

But then the ring bearer and flower girl (both under age 8, SIL side of family) were present for the entire reception.

So Bees…when we talk about children, what ages are we talking about? 

Post # 10
3219 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

You dont need to provide any babysitting for kids. If Future Mother-In-Law feels kids should be taken care of SHE can arrange/pay for any daycare.

When we were kids and went on vacation/away my parents brought our babysitter

Post # 11
624 posts
Busy bee

I think you need to have a clear cut rule across the board.  I know I would be pissed if I followed the rules and then showed up at the wedding and others were allowed to bring their kids.

Providing babysitters is very generous but not mandatory I don’t think.  People have adult only weddings all the time and don’t provide baby sitters so I don’t think it is a neccesity.  If the invites haven’t already been sent out (I think they have from the sound of your post) I say if Future Mother-In-Law is demanding it, compromise.  You invite the kids and she pays for the babysitters if she is wanting it so badly.

Post # 12
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

If your guests are from out of town what exactly do you expect them to do with their kids? Don’t you want your friends and family to be able to be there to celebrate with you? At a minimum I would ask locals with kids who their babysitters are and tell the out of towners who need babysitters. I would also tell everyone who needs a babysitter about everyone else who needs a sitter so they can put all the kids together – no point in having separate sitters when the kids would probably like to play together anyway. In which case, why not just have all the kids and the babysitter downstairs in the country club or in a room at a hotel.

Post # 13
3162 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

It’s not your responsibility to provide a babysitter. You are having an adults-only, black tie wedding and it is your choice whether or not children are invited. You have to stand firm because, as a PP said, people who actually followed the rules (i.e. were not rude and trying to add uninvited children) will be pissed if they see there were exceptions made. You said you are already at capacity at your venue anyway – so according to your contract with your venue, you are not even allowed to add anymore bodies into the mix. Just say that. Max capacity is max capacity.

Post # 14
1882 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m dealing with this now and I’m floored by the amount of people calling and asking if they can bring their kids/nursing babies. My wedding is in three days! I sent STDs in October! Just stay home-why do people not think this is an option? I NEVER went to weddings when I was little-the first one I went to was when I was 23. 

Usually my grandparents would watch us, and I understand that some people don’t have that luxury, but I also remember my parents not being able to go to some weddings and just sending a gift. I don’t get why this is so hard for people these days. If I all 150 guests bring their children that’s like 30 kids at a top shelf open bar black tie optional wedding. um..no.

Post # 15
2633 posts
Sugar bee

While it certainly isn’t your responsiblilty to find a babysitter, it really IS a nice thing to do (I’m speaking as a parent myself here).

And IF there IS room it may be more comfortable for your guests.  Even if you don’t know any sitters you can always find one on http://www.sittercity.com.

IDK – this is a really hard situation.  🙁

Post # 16
283 posts
Helper bee

I have faced the same situation. Around the time of the wedding there will be a lot fo new borns and the mothers are already insisting that they bring them with them. Are you kidding? Newborns at a wedding really? So I have already had to put my foot down, but we are inviting older children and will have a kids table for them.

But in your situation I would put my foot down, I’m sure they will say that if they can’t bring their children they won’t come but it seems like they have plenty of time to figure something out. Good luck!

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