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

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll:

    Stop being a baby yourself and invite all the babies/children (and give into your FMIL)

    Don't invite the under 2's. Their parents will/won't be offended (add more below please!)

    Impose a blanket ban on all under 5's/all children

  • Post # 18
    Member
    3175 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    View original reply
    @Lillyrose:  As far as the nursing mother issue, I went to a Destination Wedding without my son when he was 6 months old. I left him with my mom (There is no way I would leave him with a “nanny” provided by a B&G before the age of 2ish). I was also Maid/Matron of Honor in my sister’s wedding when he was 11 months old. I just left my mom milk, and pumped when needed while I was away from him. Newborns (under 3-4 months) would be harder to deal with, but a slightly older infant is usually okay. But, as others mentioned, you do have to be understanding if they choose not to attend. Some people get really offended. I think, if you’re only talking about 5 (?) kids, and some have already mentioned they don’t have a problem leaving their children, then you shouldn’t have much resistance. 

    Post # 19
    Member
    2902 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    View original reply
    @Lillyrose:  You didn’t imply anything of the sort, some people just enjoy getting pissy about dumb crap. Take this as an example of how people might handle the no kids rule. At least one will have a problem with it but it’s your wedding and you are allowed to have a no kids rule. Kids don’t belong at every single event and occasion, a formal event like this is one of them. 

    Post # 20
    Member
    1357 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Hey, I’m CBC, and I get what you meant. It seems like it was just misinterpretation. I too was worried that I would offend my family, though we were lucky that all our parents and family respected our wishes to have a child-free wedding. This is your moment, and especially because you are paying for the wedding and also having videography, I think it’s completely reasonable that this should be your and your fiance’s call.

    If you want to reach a compromise with your Future Mother-In-Law, perhaps you could arrange for on site childcare in another room? You would just have to hire a sitter or two and let the parents know that if they’d like to bring children to the ceremony, that they will have to use the sitter (offer background information on the sitters as well). It would only be for the length of the ceremony, then parents could collect their children after the ceremony and bring them to the reception. This would merit a separate talk with each of the parents.

    But whatever you want to do, I say put your foot down. Be nice, but be firm and make sure your Future Mother-In-Law knows it’s not her call to make. (Or better yet, send your fiance to tell her that.)

    Post # 21
    Member
    8439 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    View original reply
    @Lillyrose:  My appologies for taking it that way.  I am not having kids at my own wedding, so I guess I’m just tired of defending it.  I caught a lot of flack for not wanting kids there, but you know what?  We’re paying for it, so our rules. We just put the names of the parents only on the inner envelopes.  If anyone asks, we tell them that children aren’t allowed (no one under 18).  I just see it as a liability (we’re making edible favors from our home which is not a licensed kitchen).

    No matter what you do, someone is always going to have something that they don’t agree with.  The important thing is that you can look back on your wedding and say that it was exactly how you wanted it to be.

     

    Post # 22
    Member
    1659 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    We have a two year old. When she was just over a year, my best friend got married. I told her that I honestly didn’t know if it was feasible for us to attend because we weren’t sure if we could get a babysitter. She said “are you crazy? Bring LO, I don’t care, I just want you there”.

    That’s all I think about when I see these posts – I’m grateful that my friend prioritized my presence at her wedding and allowed me not to need to choose between either going without Darling Husband and Dear Daughter, or feeling like I needed to hire a strange person to babysit.

    FWIW, we sat in the back on the aisle so we would be ready to jump out if Dear Daughter was loud during the ceremony. She wasn’t. 

    Post # 23
    Member
    25 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I am completely on your side on this one.  We actually scheduled our wedding during the day, during the week to avoid this.  If it is unavoidable, break out a bit of the budget somewhere (and I know it isn’t easy),and pay for a sitter or several, to keep the children during the ceremony, perhaps in a separate room at the reception venue.  You may have to bite the bullet on the reception portion, but at least this provides an option for those with small children to still be able to attend the ceremony.

    Post # 25
    Member
    8439 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    View original reply
    @Lillyrose:  *HUGS*  Sometimes weddings just bring out the worst in people…especially Future Mother-In-Law lol.  And I really am sorry for reading it that way, I guess I was being so defensive I didn’t stop to think you were in the same boat (just being a stupid, ego-centric American Yell)

    Post # 26
    Member
    77 posts
    Worker bee

    OP is there a nursery or cry room at your church? I agree with PP that you could either have a sign at the entrance of the church, list it in the program, or have your officiant announce it before the ceremony. Most churches have this, and for the most part mothers will take their unhappy children there. If you’re really worried about it, you could have your ushers sit in the back of the church and tell them to notify any one during the ceremony if their child is being disruptive. 

    Post # 27
    Member
    199 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    For our engagement party we added a note at the bottom of the invitation that stated “Adults Only”. We plan to do something similar for the wedding. The only children who will be invited are our flower girl and ring bearer. I don’t think it is right for anyone to pass judgment on someone’s decision for their wedding. However, when inviting some children , but not others – that’s when things can get hairy. Ultimately it’s your wedding and decision and hopefully it all works out for you.

    Post # 29
    Member
    2966 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I’m sorry you are in this situation – all brides have to face this unfortunately. I am not sure if you’ve decided what to do yet, but for ours we are placing a ban on anyone under 12, if someone has a problem with that I’m sorry but it’s FH&my day and I want people to enjoy themselves and not babysit. 

    @Lillyrose:  I SO feel like that – like that whatever Fiance and I choose, someone, somewhere, is going to have something to say about it.

    You can never change that…the people who care won’t matter and those who matter won’t care! Dr. Seuss is right 🙂 Do not let people stress you out on this! It should be a happy day. 

    Good luck! 

    Post # 30
    Member
    2703 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    First of all, it’s totally fine to have and want a child-free wedding!  However, when you make this decision you have to be prepared for some people to be offended (it can be hard to hear your child isn’t wanted) and be prepared for people to decline (some parents just aren’t comfortable leaving their kids at home with a sitter at x age or for x amount of time).  It’s really going to depend on the parent.  You can try and offer a babysitting service during the ceremony and early reception, but remember that not everyone is comfortable leaving their kids with strangers.

    But to answer your question: when you send out the invites, only include the names of those whom you want to invite and don’t write “and family” or “Doe Family.”  If the parents ask about bringing their kids just politely explain you want a child-free wedding.  Hopefully they will respect your wishes.  Darling Husband and I invited all kids and babies and the only kid under 13 that came was my cousin – everyone else chose to leave their kids at home.

    Also, kids are not an all or nothing rule, but you do have to be consistent within circles.  For example, you can invite just children in the family and not the children of friends or say all kids over 13 are welcome.  But you can’t invite your brother’s kids but exclude your FI’s sister’s kids or say friend A’s kid of 10 is welcome but friend B’s kid of 13 is not.

     

    Good luck!

    Post # 31
    Member
    50 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: February 2013

    View original reply
    @housebee:  Good idea about having a co-worker help out! 

    Maybe you could invite babies to the reception where they won’t need to be quiet and not have them at the ceremony since keeping quiet for so long would be hard on them. I would agree though that this would have to extend to kinds under 10 or 12 with the exception of the Flower Girl and Round Brilliant. You can’t single out infants and toddlers without folks taking offense.

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