(Closed) Guest List – including kids?? Would LOVE Parents input!

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
133 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I don’t think there is a good way to handle a partial invite.
I think your idea of going with the flow, including them and just seeing who will bring their kids is probably the best way, especially since your immediate family is bringing theirs.

I never mind not bringing my daughter to an event like that, BUT, I would find it strange that she couldn’t come and there were other kids there.  (but would actually be totally understanding of the immediate family only kids) I’m just not sure everyone would.

Post # 4
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

It absolutely is a sticky matter. My FH made the decision to exclude all children except for our 4 nephews and niece.  Had we invited children it would have been an extra 60 people and we could not have done that. We invited 174 as it was and could really only afford 130–max. So the reality was that if we included all children, we’d have to cut our list significantly which we did not want to do.  We sent out save-the-dates far in advance but a lot of people still made the decision to not come because of the kids. At the end of the day, however, I don’t regret our decision.

Post # 5
246 posts
Helper bee

I think you really have to look at your guest list and do what is best for you.  I was going to exclude all children because it would allow me to invite more friends.  However, when I started to look at what children were involved, I realized that I actually have a relationship with each one of those children.  So, not only would it be nice for their parents if I included them, they will actually enjoy coming!  Once I realized that, it was a no brainer!

Post # 6
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

If you are reconciled to having children at the wedding, and you can spare the room to invite all the children, invite all the children. Parents can decide whether they will bring them. I think that is by far the most fair way to do it is to just invite them all rather than devising elaborate rules for who brings their little ones and who doesn’t. Once you’ve got 17 kids at your wedding, will another 18 really matter? I say invite them all.

Post # 7
2641 posts
Sugar bee

As a parent, I’ll say I never get upset if a couple doesn’t have children at a wedding.  In fact, with few exceptions (immediate family), I would leave them at home with a sitter, even if they were invited.  However, I think you bring up an interesting scenario.  Basically, I agree with Lish.  I could see if you only invite immediate family (nieces and nephews).  But if I was at a wedding in which all kinds of little kids were there, I might wonder why so many kids were invited and not mine.  (Some of your local guests might not realize these kids all belong to OOTers.)

I think the two options for you would be to invite all kids, or get a sitter(s) to stay with the kids of the Out of Town families.  If by chance there is a local family that is having trouble finding a sitter, you could extended the sitting services by word of mouth, as you see fit.

Post # 8
2634 posts
Sugar bee

If I was told no kids, but then saw 17 children running around at the reception, I’d be kind of peeved that mine weren’t invited as well.  I would imagine not ALL of them would bring their children anyway (although I know you can’t COUNT on this being the case). 

Post # 9
1022 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I agree, that elaborate rules may not be the best way to go.  As others said, a local person may not realize that the kids attending belong to the OOTs and wonder why their kids weren’t invited. 

As of now we made a rule of no kids under 10 except neices and nephews (which is only 2 and they are both in the wedding). I’m kind of running into a problem though.  I would like to offer a sitter (or 2 or 3, lol) for Out of Town guests if they need one.  But I have no idea who to hire, and where to put them.  Do I pay for the sitters? Do the parents? 

Post # 10
1962 posts
Buzzing bee

It honestly sounds as though you don’t want children and cutting them all out is an easy way to avoid making the decision.  Parents who want to attend your wedding will.  If they absolutely must bring and you are desperate to have the parent in attendance, arrange a sitter and let all parents know.

Post # 11
4485 posts
Honey bee

If you invite Out of Town kids, you have to invite local kids. Otherwise you risk offending people by playing favorites.

Post # 12
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think it’s kind of like some guests getting a ‘plus one’ and others not. You would be more inclined to invite the ‘plus one’s’ that you 1) already know and like, 2) are for out of town guests who don’t know a lot of other people 3) that fit into your budget.

I don’t think you should only listen to advice of people who have kids – they of course are going to tell you to invite them, just like i would tell you to give me a plus one even though I’m not married. At the end of the day it’s your decision – you can exclude kids for any reason you want. And I don’t agree with the poster who said if you are already inviting 17, another 18 won’t make a difference. If you are talking under 10 years old that’s like a birthday party on crack – be considerate of your adult guests who want to drink and party and feel awkward doing that with 35 kids running around.

Post # 14
133 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Now.  52 kids makes a difference.
That’s 52 extra mouths to feed.
I’d probably, if you weren’t interested in having kids there, look into the babysitter option.
Break down the costs for your Fiance.  That probably would work.

My point was simply that most locals wouldn’t recognize that the kids were from out of town and it would have looked strangely unless you put the word out beforehand.
Knowing that, I’d be fine with it.  Not knowing that, I’d be slightly put off.

You see, I’m a mom – and I want to share my day with the family that I love, including the kids.  I don’t want someone not to come because they couldn’t bring their child.  All the little things that can happen at weddings might be annoying to some, but I’m used to the craziness of large families and noise. 

That being said, thinking about the kids that we’re inviting – somewhere around… 90 all together – if I think about them as heads at the table, well, yeah, that does make my stomach jump a bit.  That definitely nods the price up.  I just am not ever going to have another experience or day like this one – these people will never gather in one place again and that fact alone is what made me decide to invite them all.

So, when you say you don’t want kids there at all, that makes a difference.  A few kids around you could probably look over.  50 would be a huge chunk of your guest list if they all came (they wouldn’t, but IF) and therefore your reception food price.

I’m inclined to say, with that in mind, to go with the babysitter option most definitely…
Talk to your Fiance.

Post # 15
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Just tell the parents that you will provide a few sitters at the venue (is it at a hotel? then you could rent a room or two for the sitters to watch the kids) and invite none of them. Getting 2 hotel rooms + 3 sitters (for example) will still be cheaper than having 40 kids running around. Parents get a night off, you get a kid-free wedding. everyone wins. 🙂

Post # 16
2365 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I have this issue. On my reply cards I have the traditional


Accept with pleasure _____

Decline with regret _____

Number attending ______

I had to have the number attending line because I am so paranoid people will bring guests … like their children and I will not know. So they must put number attending! =)

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