(Closed) Friend plans to bring unruly small child to wedding. Help!

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

I would just simply tell her that her child cannot come, and you understand if that means she cannot come. I don’t see why you need to apease her at all. She is already offended, nothing you can say will make her feel otherwise

Post # 4
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

If you’ve already asked her if she needs a booster or high chair, haven’t you already told her that she can bring the daughter?

I had to have this uncomfortable conversation with a friend of mine who is going through a divorce and may not be able to find child care.  I just told her it was a budget issue and left it at that. 

Post # 5
3375 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Can you say that the venue doesn’t allow children under 10? Becuase it has valuable antiques.

Just tell her that space is tight and that you know the numbers of some good babysitters.

Post # 6
1855 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Hmm, I tend to be a bit of a pussy with this type of thing. The coward in me would opt for a well written, but “no room for negotiation” email. I love emailing. It prevents people from yelling at me when I’m telling them something that will make them angry.

“Hi (insert name),

I know that we briefly spoke about your RSVP already, and I just wanted to pass along that (name of future spouse) and I have decided to have no children at the ceremony or reception.

We have spoke with all other families/ parents already and informed them of this. Unfortunately we don’t have room in the budget at this point to accomodate any more guests, so we have changed it to an “adult only” event.

I’m really sorry for the inconvenience. If you don’t think you’ll be able to make it because of this, just let me know. I would love for you to be there though!

(Your name.)

Best case, she obliges.

Worst case, she sends a slightly hateful response. But if your email is cordial, her response will likely be as well.



Post # 7
491 posts
Helper bee


I think something like this would be good. 

An email probably makes it a little easier for you to get around bending your rules for her again. I think the fact that you’ve pretty much already told her her daughter can come made the situation a little more sticky. You can just tell her you were caught off guard and didn’t want to offend her on the phone.

I’d say that you love her daughter and enjoy spending time with her, but you and your Fiance decided that your wedding is an adults only event. 

Post # 8
255 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@the_future_mrs: Exactly!

Post # 9
2104 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Well, you can worry about upsetting this ONE person who wants to do anything she can to make it convenient for herself (at the expense of you and FI’s wishes), or you can worry about upsetting a lot of other people who were told that you didn’t want kids at the wedding and are leaving theirs at home.  They’ll be pretty miffed that they all found other arrangements while you caved for someone with an ill behaving child.  

It sounds like it’s going to be a lot tougher now that you’ve indicated that you’re willing to accomodate her, by asking if she needs a high chair or booster seat.  I personally would have told her that none of the guests are bringing children (insert reason here – due to cost, space, adult nature of the event).  Not only is it unfair to the other guests that she gets to bring her child, but her child will be even MORE bored and likely to get out of hand because she’ll have no other kids to play with.

Post # 10
4755 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

You should have stuck to no children, but since you didn’t you’re stuck. Ask staff or wedding planner to keep an eye on the children, and if they get out of hand, point out the parents and get it dealt with.


I firmly said I’m sorry, there will be no children at the wedding. (And I didn’t care about travel arrangements so I didn’t play the “if you must” card).

Post # 11
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

I sort of think it’s too late. You should have nipped this in the bud with her and told her no children under a certain age were invited to the wedding. Instead, you asked her if she needed a high chair or a booster seat. I think you’re on the hook for having the kid there now.

Post # 12
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I would tell her the truth. I mean your Maid/Matron of Honor isn’t even bringing her kid. Say “Although I did not explicitly state on the invite adults only I followed the addressing etiquette on everyone’s envelope and did not include children. I explained to other guests who asked that children will not be attending and I hope you will comply as well.” You’re allowed to make rules about these kinds of things. Some people don’t like it but it’s your wedding. 

Post # 13
1798 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

You’re kind of already stuck since you basically told her the kid could come. But it really depends on how much you want to prevent this kid from attending. If you don’t mind offending her, send her an email saying that you’ve discussed it with you Fiance and venue staff and have decided that kids under 10 will not be permitted to attend.

Post # 14
9029 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I think since you didnt make it clear from the beginning that it would be no children under a certain age, and then you actually asked if she needs a booster seat, I really dont think you can go back on it now

Post # 16
4193 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

Your friend is staying the night after your wedding, correct? Can you find a babysitter to come to your friend’s hotel? We’re having an adults only ceremony/reception, and I’ve offered that option to all the out of town moms.

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