(Closed) How not to offend my guests when I ask them not to bring their babies.

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll:
    Stop being a baby yourself and invite all the babies/children (and give into your FMIL) : (16 votes)
    17 %
    Don't invite the under 2's. Their parents will/won't be offended (add more below please!) : (14 votes)
    15 %
    Impose a blanket ban on all under 5's/all children : (64 votes)
    68 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    8446 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    First, I know you didn’t mean to offend, but implying that women who don’t want children are ogres is a bit rude.  I don’t know if you’ll be able to tell people to not bring babies if you’re allowing children at the wedding; but what about setting up some sort of nursery and hiring someone to take care of the babies?  I’m sure if you work with children, a co-worker (or two, depending on the number of babies) would probably be able to do this.  Best of luck with everything, your ceremony sounds beautiful.

    Post # 4
    Member
    3175 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    @housebee:  Really? She was lightheartedly trying to point out that not wanting kids at your wedding doesn’t make you an ogre, and then goes on to explain what her reasoning is…

    Anyway, OP, when I first started reading this, I thought you had dozens of kids in the family and/or several brand new (i.e. less than 3 month old) babies all over the place. Not that I’m saying that’s the only reason to request a child free wedding, but that’s a reason possibly proportionate to your FMIL’s response. I’m reading this correctly, right? Those are the only kids you’re worried about?

    Personally, I’d be happy to have a night away from my infant, in those parents’ shoes. And it sounds like your friend is more than happy to had a grown up night. I would just go forward with your plans (don’t write anything on the invitation about it being “child free”, though, I do find that rude, just address the invite to the parents only, and possibly make a small note on the wedding website if you’re worried about confusing people), and have your FH talk to his mom. 

    ETA: I would also make the rule the same across the board, although I do think it’s fine to invite wedding party members, but not other children. I think a cut off of 5 or 2 is odd, and could lead to people being offended (which it seems you’re trying to avoid).

    Post # 5
    Member
    594 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I would in some way word a sign or put in on the invites ” Please take any noise disturbance out of the ceremony room, as we want all of our guests to have the full experience” 

    Going with housebee, setting up some sort of area for parents with chilrden is a good idea. 

    In addition, adults can be the least calm and uncivilized too. 5 month olds and 9 months olds need food, a diaper change, and a nap, adults can get sh*t faced drunk and obnoxious. 

    Post # 6
    Member
    1828 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    As long as you are prepared to accept people declining an invite then it’s your choice.

    Just a note though pertaining to the 5 and 9 month olds…if they are being nursed then it might be impossible for the mother to attend and if the mother can’t attend then possibly neither will the father (I’d be angry if I was left at home while my SO went). So what does this mean to your usher with the 9 month old? Have you informed him and his SO?

    Post # 7
    Member
    2781 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I disagree with all your options, I think you either have a blanket kid free wedding, or you invite all children. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    924 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2015

    It only takes one baby to ruin your vows.

    I should know, because it happened to me.  My registar actually stopped in the middle of our vows because it was so loud…and the stupid parents still didn’t get the message to take it out.

    My late Mother-In-Law was so annoyed she never spoke to the cousin whose child it was ever again.  We had made it crystal clear that no children were invited…but for some reason, these people didn’t think it applied to them, and as they turned up late, no one got the chance to tell them to leave.

    Stick to your guns.  Many things connected to a wedding can be redone, the first vows cannot. 

    Post # 9
    Member
    2587 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - UK

    Some churches have a little soundproof room where people with babies can go, but still see and hear the service – would that be an option? My mum used to take my brother and I into the one in our church for years, we used to call it the ‘fishbowl’ because of the big glass window. It was great, we were all at once involved in the service, and out of the way with a bit of privacy.

    Post # 10
    Member
    2425 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I think the best option is to invite no children. I tried to do that with my wedding, but got bullied by family members and wound up caving, but I would just try to be consistent if you can.

    Post # 11
    Member
    8446 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    @les105:  I’m not accusing OP of anything (I know you didn’t mean to offend), but this is how I read it.  If I’m wrong in my interpertation, then I will gladly appologize to the OP when she corrects me.

    Post # 12
    Member
    4803 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    @drummerbride:  I agree. I totally get wanting an adult wedding, and I hate that brides have to defend themself so much over tha decision, and how people still inevitably get snarky over how they’re being forced to choose between the couple getting married and their children, like it’s a life and death situation and not getting a babysitter for a few hours. That being said, I think it’s a really bad idea to invite some children but not others – people will get offended. If you’re not going to invite kids, don’t invite kids – but you need to have a higher age cutoff than two or five, I’m thinking more along the lines of 13 or so. And actually, I think a fussy toddler is WAY more likely to interrupt the ceremony than an infant, they’ll probably just sleep through it.

    As far as your Future Mother-In-Law goes, your Fiance needs to handle that one – if not having the presence of people’s kids who couldn’t care less about not being invited to the wedding are more important to her than seeing her son being married, that’s quite sad. But you two are paying for the wedding, and if you don’t want children there it is completely your decision. Don’t waste your breath trying to explain it to her, because she’ll never understand and will just take your explanations as another reason to constantly bring it up, argue with, and berate you for this decision.

    To communicate this to your guests, just don’t put children’s names or ‘and family’ on the invitations. And I definitely recommend that on the RSvP cards you put something like “We have reserved X seats in your honor. __ out of X will attend. And if the number they fill in is higher than the one you put, call and nicely explain it to them. Don’t be offended if they can’t come, but be firm about young kids not being invited.

    If you do end up caving on this and inviting kids, at least have your officiant make an announcement prior to the start of the ceremony asking parents to please remove any crying children during the ceremony.

    Post # 13
    Member
    3885 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    Whenever you host a child-free event, regardless of type, you risk upsetting or offending someone, and you risk bringing a lot of extra drama on yourself.  That doesn’t mean don’t do it– just means that there’s a good chance for fallout, and you need to prepare yourself for that. 

    So understanding that kids and their parents are often a package deal, and that some people have very strong feelings when it comes to being separated from their kids, you need to decide how hard you want to work to keep the peace (literal and figurative).

    A good work-around may be to hire (at your own expense) a nanny for the day, letting parents know that their kids are welcome, but to maintain the atmosphere, kids will be cared for by the nanny during the ceremony and the meal part of the reception. The nanny can set up in a corner of the reception area, and most churches have an alcove or private room.  The nanny can have games, toys, maybe an ipad with some movies, all kinds of stuff to entertain the kids, but the parents will be perfectly able to walk down the hall and check in, or be close by in case their child needs them.

    Post # 14
    Member
    11747 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I think you can pick and choose which family’s children to invite and which ones not to invite. (e.g., invite your cousin’s kids but not your friends kids) I do not think you can break up families by children though. (e.g., you can’t say the 5 year old is invited by the 5 month old is not).  I think an all or nothing rule on a family by family basis is fine and the next most appropriate way to go about it, besides a blanket all or none children.

    Post # 16
    Member
    8616 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I think it should be all or nothing or it looks rude IMO. I could see just the children of the bridal party be included, but inviting some kids and not others is just asking to offend someone IMO. We had a no kids wedding and it worked out fine.

    The topic ‘How not to offend my guests when I ask them not to bring their babies.’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors