Post # 1
Genuiny don’t know what to do here and would appreciate a bit of advice!
For my wedding we are having a few children in attendance, these will either be –
a) Family – eight kids aged 5-13 who are all related to either myself or FI.
b) Babies under 1 year – we have 3 babies attending with their parents who are friends of me and FI. The baby won’t take up a seating place or cost us for food and we appreciated that since our wedding involves some travel it’s *very* difficult to leave a baby of this age for 2 nights.
A few of our remaining friends have children that fall into the ‘todder’ section. I was quite adament that I didn’t want any toddlers attending as I have had *so* many experiences of them causing trouble and making noise and if we had let one friend bring their toddler we would have had to invite them all which would have totalled about 10!!
Every one of our friends has understood that their child isn’t invited if it is older than baby age despite us not explicitly saying on the invite (we just addressed it to the couple and didn’t include the childs name).
However a few weeks ago one of FI’s friends called to ask if their child (aged 2.5) was invited. FI said no but if it was a problem to let us know and we’d see if we could sort something out and to keep us up to date. Fast forward to our RSVP deadline and no word from them, a week later FI sends a text to some stragglers (inc this couple) asking for RSVP. Still no word. Fast forward another week and we get an email saying they can’t come because they can’t leave their child.
I know FI wanted them there but I feel really put out that they waited TWO weeks past the RSVP date to let us know this was a major issue. If they had said earlier then we could have at least discussed it but it felt like they were holding out for us to take the initiative and say the kid could come and when we didn’t oblige they have said no.
As mentioned we have other couples attending who have kids of a similar age but none of them have mentioned it being a problem. Me and FI did say if anyone had a serious issue leaving their child we might be up for letting them come.
So Bees…..what do I do?! Do I say the kid can come and try and keep some kind of peace or just thank them for letting us know and move on? Bear in mind we see this couple on a regular (monthly) basis with other friends and I’m worried its going to be awkward if they aren’t there when there are clearly other kids invited to the wedding…!!!
Post # 3
Say you are really sorry that they wont be there and that they will be missed.
If you start making exceptions for one couple you will need to make them for everyone.
Post # 4
I don’t think it’s right to have a rule and to break it for someone. I also don’t think that if people are expected to travel to your wedding that it’s right that you think they can leave their kid alone for 2 nights either. Just my opinion.
But, what’s done is done – you’ve already made the rule (no toddlers) and I don’t think you should break it. Perhaps they waited 2 weeks past the RSVP because they were looking around to see if anyone can watch the toddler while they were gone for 2 nights. They already expressed to you that there was difficulty in coming without the toddler, so I think that was your opportunity to say, “We would prefer no toddlers come since that’s the rule we made and it would be unfair to other couples with toddlers, but we would much prefer you be there with the toddler than without, so if you really can’t find someone to take care of the toddler, but can come if you bring him/her, then we’d rather have you there than not.”
I think you missed your opportunity. At this point, I would just say, “That sucks, sorry you can’t make it – you’ll be missed! We’ll have to celebrate together once we get back.”
Post # 5
It gets tricky when you invite some but not others. You’re just going to have to tell them they will be missed.
Post # 6
I think you would have to tell them sorry, you wish you could accomodate small children, but you can’t. You may offend them, but if you tell them yes, you risk offending the other 9 couples who aren’t bringing their toddlers.
Post # 7
FI’s friend was wrong to reply so late, and to ask if their child was invited when it should have been clear he was not. However, I would not read calculated motives into the late reply. Just say you are sorry they can’t join you.
Chances are they were hoping for a known babysitter to come through. Yes, they should have kept you informed and asked if it was OK to have an extension on the RSVP. It was rude not to. But I don’t at all fault them for not looking to you first to work things out. Maybe they did not want to impose or were not willing to consider an outside sitter. Guests don’t need to justify or even give a reason for a “no” reply.
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta
So only children aged 2-4 aren’t invited? I don’t think that is fair… All kids or no kids. Otherwise it will look like you are just showing certain guests preferential treatment by letting them bring their kids but not other guests.
Post # 9
Just let it be, tell them you’ll miss them, thank them for getting back to you and move on. You don’t want the kid there anyway and I don’t blame you. I disagree with the “preferential treatment” the PP mentioned, family is one thing & infants are one thing. It sucks that the window is so small for children you’re not inviting but that’s your call. We also won’t be having toddlers, they’re going to misbehave at some point. Older kids can entertain themselves.
Post # 10
@LadyKM: Tell them you are sorry that they are unable to attend. End of story.
Post # 11
They knew the deal prior to invites going out. They waited 2 weeks to tell you this was the reason they couldn’t come… so sorry you will be missed, perhaps we can get together this year. It really can’t be that big of a deal to them if they waited 2 weeks to inform you.
Post # 12
They “can’t” come without their child and “don’t want to” are not the same thing. Sorry, don’t have a lot of sympathy for that.
Post # 13
@drlolaz: That’s a quick judgement. We have no idea if the couple lives around family, if they can afford or even have a sitter capable of doing a whole weekend straight, if the kid has special needs, etc. Honestly, at 2.5, I can think of a ton of reasons why a couple can’t practically leave a young todler behind and travel to a wedding for a weekend.
OP, it’s fine if you don’t want to invite the kids, this is just what happens. It sucks it took them so long to tell you, but maybe they just felt bad and awkward disappointing you. Definitely don’t make an exception though because I can definitely say that if a friend/family member made me figure out a whole weekend of childcare because my kid wasn’t invited and then other people’s kids were – we’d have a problem.
Post # 14
I’m having an adult only wedding as well (well, more like 15 and over). We told our wedding party that they could have their kids there (bc in our 10 people, that would total 3 kids, 1 being our nephew and the other 2 I already knew wouldn’t come).
But I do think it’s strange that babies can come, and kids can come, just not toddlers? It sounds like there’s still going to be a lot of kids there, and you just don’t want toddlers.
While I understand that toddlers are the most likely to be rambunctious during the ceremony/dinner, I don’t think you can really tell them their kids can’t come, and then have them be surrounded by babies that are younger and kids that are older. It seems strange to me and as the guest, I think i’d be upset. Whereas if I was told not to bring my child, and then there were not other young children there (except perhaps breastfeeding babies or really new borns), I’d understand.
I think you need to either draw the line and say NO KIDS under *this age** or allow kids. YOu can’t say all kids EXCEPT this age group…
Post # 15
ok wow, just read my comment and realize I was not helpful at all to what you were asking lol. Sorry. I guess like PP’s said, what’s done is done. I would say don’t read alterior motives into it, but you know them better than us and whether or not that would be their intention. Regardless, I’d say leave it. Just thank them for letting you know and tell them they’ll be missed. Maybe make an effort to get together with them shortly after the wedding so that it’s not awkward? If you wait a LONG time to hang out with them afterwards, it may become more awkward than it needs to be…
Post # 16
Thanks for all your replies I really appreciate them 🙂
Just wanted to clarify that (despite how it may have sounded! oops!) I don’t have a personal vendetta against all toddlers! All I was saying was that out of 100 guests the only children of our friends that attending are three babies – we’re not inviting older children and just cutting out one group 😛 The other older kids attending are family.
I do completely understand it’s difficult to leave a child for a weekend, though really the trip could be done overnight it’s just most people are staying 2 nights. I guess I just thought that if it was a big issue then they would have said something earlier so that me and FI could have at least discussed it and tried to work something out.
Of course anyone is entitled to say ‘no’ and we have had a couple where no explanation has been given and that’s fine, however it feels like this is a grey area as they obviously *wanted* to come but have had to decline because of child issues which makes me feel a bit confused about the course of action 🙁