Post # 1
I just received the RSVP card from a close friend, and she’s planning on bringing her very unruly 3 year old to our wedding. We don’t want small children. My sister, the Maid/Matron of Honor, won’t even be bringing her child. I followed etiquette rules and addressed the invitation (and save the date) only to my friend and her husband, not to the family. When we did this for others, they asked about the kiddos, rather than just assuming they could bring them.
Everyone on my side will have to travel, so we know that having NO kids isn’t an option, especially as people are using our wedding as an excuse for a family vacation. But the other kids who will be there are all older and won’t want to spin in circles between the tables or dip their fingers in the cake. When I called her to ask her about it, she immediately got really defensive. I told her we were discouraging kids, but understand if some people need to bring the kids due to travel. She said the invitation didn’t say any of that (we didn’t say “adult reception,” but rather indicated who was invited on the envelope). I asked what sort of “accomodations” we might need to make for her, and again she was taken aback. I ended up just asking if she’d need a high chair or booster. We’re getting married at an old family farmhouse, so I can’t have a designated kid’s room with sitter, as each room is full of antiques. The reception will be in the barn (which is attached to the rest of the house). So long as she stays in the barn and keeps to herself, she’ll be fine. But I have NEVER seen this child keep to herself. At the engagement party, she latched herself on one of the bridesmaids and wanted to play ring around the rosey for hours. My friend left early when her daughter got fussy. During previous visits we had tiny finger indentations in the wax on our coffee table candle.
I would think people would prefer not to bring young children to an adult event. Several other parents have mentioned looking forward to a weekend away from the kids. This child has lots of local family who I would think might be willing to take her for a weekend (but maybe not since she’s such a handful). My friend means a lot to me, and I don’t want to offend her. I also want her to be able to have a good time and not have to worry about her daughter (or have any other guest have to look after her if her parents are both dancing). Since there will be no other kids that age, she will have no playmates and be bored, which could lead to disaster. The things that could go wrong if this child is in attendance is quite long. There is one other potentially problematic child, but he lives 40 minutes from the wedding so he can get a sitter for one night. But that doesn’t apply for my friend who is traveling 6 hours.
What do I say to her? I already know she’s on defense. Stress how I want her to be able to have a good time? (That’s what I did with my sister, but my sister will have more to do that weekend since she’s Maid/Matron of Honor, so her son would have been an impediment.) The truth is that space is already tight (and with her there that’s one more seat I wasn’t accounting for), so there’s not lots of room to run, and it’s an old house so she can’t go anywhere else. But if I say that, I am implying either that she’s an unruly child or that my friend doesn’t do a good enough job keeping her in line (one or both of which is actually true), causing my friend to be offended. HELP!
Post # 3
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
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
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
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!
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
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
Post # 9
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
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
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
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
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
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 # 15
Thanks all. I thought I made it clear from the beginning by only putting my friend and her husband’s name on the invite. There WILL be other kids there. Just older and better behaved. She’s 3. The others are all in school (even if three of them are in elementary school), and are mellow kids. But this tike is NOT mellow. And my friend isn’t quick to reel her in when she goes nuts (I already feel so bad for my cake, I’ll have to tell the photographer to get photos before this kid arrives). She throws up her hands and mentions how “cute” she is. I know I flubbed on the “accomodations” issue. I meant to use it as an opening to tell her that we couldn’t have a sitter on site due to the nature of the house. I was just thrown by how offended she sounded. I don’t think anyone else will be pissed that they didn’t bring their kids, as the other parents expressed excitement at the idea of a kid free weekend. The only person who asked, we said yes. It was the best man and their kid is really mellow. We’re not as concerned about telling local people to leave their kids at home (and the other child I fear might attend is local), because it’s much easier for a local person to find a sitter for one evening than to pass your kid off on someone for several days. Honestly, I was worried that if my friend didn’t bring her ball of fire, she’d be offended to see other kids there. I was going to talk to her about it, once I got her 2 person RSVP so she’d understand when she saw other kids. But alas, I got a 3 person RSVP. I was hoping we’d have a pleasant conversation today and she’d be up for asking one of her (many) relatives to watch her. Even asking about the seats, she seemed offended. She asked if there would be assigned seating (don’t most weddings have assigned tables??) and mentioned a buffet. We are doing assigned tables and family style, so there will be waitstaff with large trays, who shouldn’t have to trip over errant children. Perhaps because it’s in a barn, she assumed it’s ulta casual? We noted cocktail attire on the invitation, and our website has photos of the farmhouse and you can tell it’s old and beautiful. Her wedding was lots of fun, and I don’t remember kids being there (maybe she didn’t have friends with kids, or they were so well behaved I didn’t notice). I can’t remember if we had assigned tables. I assume we did. Maybe because she didn’t understand the envelope etiquette, she’ll be willing to find someone to watch her firecracker? If she can’t, I still want my friend there. I just hope that we can have a conversation that might make her reconsider, or at the very least be very mindful of her child so she’s not into anything she shouldn’t be.
Post # 16
- 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.