(Closed) Guest List kids Options

posted 12 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 5
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Honestly for something like this you need to do an all or nothing policy. It really is the only thing that is fair. My sister recently had her first child and was in a formal wedding 2 months later – not a place for a child at all. She (not the bride) arranged to have a sitter (my other sister kept the baby) for a couple of hours and she had pre pumped breast milk so that was not an issue at all. Honestly it is just a couple of hours so I think that parents that want to come to your wedding will find a baby sitter. It is not the brides job to be the parent.

Post # 6
2640 posts
Sugar bee

OK,  I personally have no qualms if someone didn’t invite my children to a wedding.  I appreciate a night without them once in a while. 

A babysitter is a great idea.  But if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. 

As for including some and not others, that would be a no no.  I think especially if your talking including local kids, and excluding OOTers.  The Out of Town are likely to be the ones who need the babysitting services or take their children with them, more.  Maybe they don’t have anyone at home they can leave their kids with over a night or two.  And if they aren’t familiar with where you live, who is supposed to babysit their kids while they are in town?  (And again I don’t mind if my kids aren’t invited to a wedding.  But if I attended a wedding where some kids were invited, then I would be upset.  Why didn’t mine make the cut?)

The only exception to this is if the only children invited were your own nieces and nephews, or flower girls and ring bearers.

Post # 7
1756 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’m actually pretty lucky with my Out of Town parents – All of them either have local family members who can watch the kids while they’re at the wedding, or they have parents where they live who will be *thrilled* to take the grandkids for a weekend while they’re gone.

Post # 8
739 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009 - Red Fish Grill

Hmm. Our wedding was kid-friendly and we had about 12 or so (out of 100).  All of them were Out of Town.  We had a kids table with loads of activities for them.  

If your Out of Town guests are comfortable with it, maybe you could help them locate a babysitter or two to watch them in one of the hotel rooms.  The parents can go in on the cost of the sitter together.  This was actually an idea that one of our Out of Town guests came up with as a potential option for their children (which they ended up not bringing).

I do know that the subject of little ones at receptions is pretty hot on the boards.  I’m sure you can find a number of suggestions with a quick search.  Good luck!

Post # 9
1134 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I have a very large family with a lot of cousins and a lot of cousins’ kids. I am the baby of what we call the grandkids generation. Some of my cousins are almost 50, I am 26.

I am pulling a no kids reception for my cousins’ kids. The only kids I am having are my step-sisters’ six, our ring bearer and flower girl, FI’s niece and nephew, and three young cousins on my step-mom’s side. Total 13 kids under 16.

I really wanted to invite some of my cousins’ kids, but I couldn’t find a good break. I tried to do an age limit, but one of my close cousins has a 9 year old I babysit. So that just became a mess. My hope is that those with young ones who will be traveling in have in-laws from MI who will be able to watch them. My Maid/Matron of Honor will have a 6 month old and she will be coming in from Chicago and passing him off on her mother in law.

Don’t worry about what people will do with their kids. I think if you want to offer some kind of sitter service, offer it to your immediate family and/or wedding party. The rest of the gaggle of family can and will figure it out on their own. Or, if your wedding isn’t that important to them to figure it out, they won’t come. I know that sounds snarky, but it’s not your responsiblity to look after 40+ kids. And! Some of your guests will be happy to have a night out on the town without the kids!

Post # 10
671 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2021

We’re having a Destination Wedding so we didn’t feel obligated to put the kids’ names on the envelopes (subtle, right??).  We are going to provide childcare though, in our recommend hotel, which happens to be less than a block from the reception.   A couple of people are taking us up on the childcare but most of our friends with kids  are honestly looking forward to getting away for a weekend without their children. 

Good luck… I know it’s a tough situation but just remember it is YOUR day and you are totally entitled to keep it an “adult only” party. 

Post # 12
1022 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’ve been to plenty of weddings where kids were not invited, but that didn’t include babies.  Maybe you could invite her, and the 1 year old?  Or offer to give her the names of some local babysitters? 

Post # 13
2680 posts
Sugar bee

Can you do kids only of family members?  Thats what we did and it was about 9 kids (out of 220 people).  If we wouldve had other friends bring their kids it wouldve been alot more.  I think people understood it was family only.  I think you can still invite your college roommate and she will either leave her kids with a babysitter if you provide one or she might even WANT to get a mini-vaca without the kids for your wedding!  Some of my cousins left their kids with the in-laws for the weekend so they could have a kid-free vacation.

My SIL only invited a few people with kids that she really wanted to be there (her Maid/Matron of Honor, one of her good friends, family, etc).  Maybe you could do that?

Post # 14
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

We are offering babysitting services for our guests. We have rented a VIP Suite (which can be used at the end of the evening by our BP) where the sitter will be. We are notifying guests that they have the option to utilize the service and the cost.

We are only paying for the children of our bridal party members, as there attendance really isn’t optional. As for everyone else, they can either use the service or find an outside sitter.

We felt this was a less stressful way since our wedding is on a holiday.

Post # 15
7172 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I thought I had our kid issue solved, but Fiance has different ideas.  We had about the same # of kids as you.

I played around with having sitting available onsite – but it got too crazy, thinking of all the different variables.  Plus, it’s an evening reception and all the younger kids need to be in bed – not cooped up in some random room.

For us, it made the most sense to have the local families figure it out themselves.  Certainly, the wedding is not the first occasion where they have had to find a sitter.  And, if it is, it’s good practice for the future.

However, I think you have to take it on a case by case basis for the OTT folks.  Since there are a handful of friends, I’d let them know that you want them at the wedding, that there will not be kids at the wedding, but you’d like to help them with child care they would be comfortable.  Find a reputable sitter and have the kids stay somewhere – you don’t need to rent out a room, if someone has a home they’d let you use for this purpose. 

Fiance recently put a wrench in what I thought were our well-discussed plans about this saying his close family (2 different cousins) can’t afford a sitter, take their kids everywhere, and would expect for them to be invited.  We are talking 6 kids, all under the age of 7.  Aye!

Post # 16
18627 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

We pretty much said no kids.  And it seemed like even the Out of Town people liked the chance to have a little vacation without the little ones.  One of my cousins had just had a baby a couple months before and they left it with her family.  I agree that it is an all or nothing thing.  We said no kids because it was an evening wedding and we didn’t want people to have to leave early because their kids got tired and cranky.

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