Post # 1
I am in need of advice and to vent a lot of frustration. About a year ago my sweetheart and I found the ideal venue for our October 2017 wedding. It is only a 35 minute drive from our home town, was within our price range, and is nestled in the woods; which fits our enchanted forest theme perfectly. The venue has seating for 75 guests.Sounds lovely, right? I thought so until a week ago when certain local family on my future husband’s side began to make a stink. The reason for their upset is that the wedding is Adult Mostly. I know the rule: invite all or none in regard to children. However, the rule doesn’t fit our situation because my entire family lives a three day drive out of state and several important cousins of my FH’s that have young children also live out of state. In order for my stepsister, a nephew, and a niece to attend they will need to bring their children, numbering four children total. The same applies for my FH’s two cousins with a total of three children between them. The majority of our guests are my FH’s family, and all but eleven live locally. Out of the eleven three of them are the fore mentioned children. In order to invite all of my FH’s local adult family and out of state family, we have not been able to invite friends that we would have really enjoyed attend. I should add that aside from the wedding party, we have invited only 15 friends. My family is quite small and consists of 12 people invited. It is exceptionally important and meaningful to us to have our out of state family attend. We seldom get to visit with them or their children and so the solution was to ask local guests (friends & family) to refrain from bringing children. I worked very hard to write a short piece for our wedding website and invitation insert explaining the situation. In the spring I read up on proper etiquette regarding how to handle similarly sticky situations, had it proof read by an editor friend, and I verbally put the word out to my future mother in law and a few other local family at least 4 months ago. The fuss began last week with my FH’s aunt asking if she understood correctly that the local children (there are three, all are 2 yrs or younger) were not invited. I explained the situation and that we also asked friends to not bring children, and I explained that the only way that most of my family could attend and that her/my FH’s out of state cousins can attend is if their children do as well. I explained that there is literally no space for additional seating (we are actually over capacity) and how it was a very difficult decision for us to make but we did because we rarely have the opportunity to spend time with the out of state relatives. I asked for her understanding and support of our decision but she continued to fuss and I felt she was attempting to bully and intimidate me. She then said it’s our decision and she wouldn’t mention it again. However very soon after she sent a text to my FH asking his thought on the decision. He didn’t reply and said he doesn’t have time to deal with it. I called each of the local parents and each said “It is your wedding” and all were understanding. One said she wouldn’t want to bring her daughter anyway so that she and her husband can have a night out and another said she completely understands and will find a sitter. Today I learned from my future mother in law that the aunt has been contacting other local family and saying how she never heard of a no child wedding and attempting to create upset in them regarding our decision. She also added that another family member is upset with our decision. I can not begin to express how stressful this has caused me to feel, along with the amazement that there is no comprehension that we could not even invite all of our friends due to being certain that every single adult family member of my FH was invited, or that if we were to cave in to okaying local children then there isn’t space for my family. Advice on how to handle this situation in a peaceful, dignified, and mature way please.
Post # 2
You told them it wasn’t important for their kids to be at your wedding. It’s going to cause some hard feelings. You’re allowed to make the decision you did but people tend to get upset when their kids are excluded from special events. I would stop trying to make it ok because it’s not going to work. Just ignore the griping and go about your business.
Post # 3
I think I read correctly- there are three local children under 2yo that you are not inviting, two of those children are not a problem anymore because the parents are fine with it, so you are allowing SEVEN out of state children to come and exlcuding ONE local child (..under the age of 2) from coming because “you don’t have enough seating/room in the budget”?
I think that family member has grounds to be upset over this. A single child of that age does not take up a whole chair or require buying an extra plate. It’s kind of ridiculous to make that many exceptions and specifically exclude this one kid. You’re creating your own problem.
Post # 4
Your wedding is just around the corner, so I doubt you could change much at this point. You’ve made your decisions and don’t want a wedding with many children, and it sounds like that’s what your aunt wants you to have. If you can’t make changes to make her happy, then you just can’t. Just do what you can and hope for the best.
Post # 5
We had an adult only wedding with the exception of one breastfed baby for the ceremony. It was a good friend of mine – he was in a carrier the entire time – and she chose to take him home at his bedtime where her Mother-In-Law babysat so she could enjoy dinner, dancing etc. We now have a toddler and am attending a wedding next month that’s adult only/no kids. And you know what? I am 110% okay with this. These are dear friends of ours, we are SO happy for them. We are attending to celebrate them! If we go and there are some children there who are close to the bride and groom I would notbe upset. Because it is their day and while we adore our daughter my husband and I understand and accept their decision. You were nice enough to reach out and explain, this woman sounds like a drama queen. Just ignore and carry on!
Post # 6
You need to tell this aunt to mind her damn business. Ask her straight forward if she wants to pay for the reception so she would get to decide and fuss on who is and isn’t invited.
Post # 7
1. Please learn how to use paragraphs.
2. This is not a situation where the “invite certain kids but not others” was used correctly IMO. I think it’s unfair to let 7 children come but not the local ones just for the fact that they live locally. If this was a “siblings kids only invited”, or “breast fed kids only”- that’s an acceptable divide. But I really don’t think the child’s living location should be used as a cut off:/
ETA- you also need to realize that you personally chose a venue with a 75 person limit! So you really should’ve planned your must have guest list before deciding on a venue. Now you’re having to face the struggle of getting your ideal forest theme wedding instead of the people you wanted at your wedding.
Post # 8
I appreciaite the feedback and different view points to concider. The local family has three children however we have local friends who were also asked to not bring children. My concern in saying that they can bring the three local children is that there is literally no additional seating. There isn’t room for any extra seats and they would have to sit on a lap for the meal. The parent may not mind but the people beside them may because the table will be more crowded. The couples with children are sitting at a different table than the aunts and uncles. I also see where it may offend local friends who were asked to not bring children and then realize exceptions were made.
Post # 9
Hire a babysitter for the out of town kids. Problem solved.
Post # 10
I can’t read this. It’s too hard to follow. But all or nothing with kids.
Post # 11
Would your venue allow you to bring a kids picnic table?
Post # 12
You and Fiance are allowed to invite the people you want to have at your wedding to your wedding. This includes children. You have simply invited the people you wanted to invite. nothing wrong with that.
Post # 13
I would uninvite the aunt.
Post # 14
I have to agree that there is no way to make this okay with the people who are upset. I do find it unfair that you will have numerous children in attendance, but have omitted those who live locally. It is like you are saying, “Oh, I see you all the time anyway; I don’t need you here for this important day.” The place where one lives being the dividing line is difficult to understand, IMO.
That said, it is your wedding and your choice. But the decision to have it at a venue with limited seating was your choice. You chose to omit three family children while allowing at least seven other family children; surely you can see why some view this as arbitrary and unfair? Regardless, the decision was made. They will be upset (I would say rightfully so). That was the risk you took when you prioritized the venue over the people attending.
Post # 15
If the venue is paid for and all, there’s not much you can do. But I think figuring out a guest list first should have taken priority over choosing the venue. The relationships you forge are certainly more important than a one-day event.
I can totally see why the aunt was upset, and I would be too. Even though your implementation of this some-children-and-not-others policy was not completely arbitrary, it was still certainly harsh.
I agree with echomomm
. Basically, you’re indirectly telling kids in your new family that they couldn’t make the cutoff list just because they live nearby while 7 others are still allowed to come. Regardless of whether the other moms are okay with that, doesn’t mean that they don’t have a right to be upset. If she’s creating drama and being mean, then that’s not right also. So, you should apologize and move on.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t attend your wedding. After all, she lives nearby and can visit you any other day, right?