Post # 1
My fiance and I are undecided about what to do about inviting kids and babies to our wedding. The kids in our wedding party and their siblings are invited, obviously, but we don’t really want other guests bringing their kids. It is mostly a space issue.. our capacity is 200 and we’re sending out 230 invites already! (Lots of our out of town guests wont come though). I also don’t really want kids crying and running around at the reception, but I guess I’m ok with them being there if they are well behaved.
We have a couple of problems with telling guests that the wedding is “adults only”. ALL the guests on my side are travelling 7 hours or more from Canada to Massachusetts. Most of them are staying for 2-3 nights. Is it rude to make them leave their kids with a babysitter for this long? It also might be hard for these guests to find babysitters, since all the family members who would normally babysit for them will be at the wedding.
On my fiance’s side.. a couple of his friends have newborn babies who are nursing. My fiance thinks that he can’t tell a nursing mother not to bring her baby. I think it should be ok if the parents are only coming for one night and they can find a relative to babysit.
We were thinking about letting guests know somehow that we’d prefer if they find a babysitter, but to let us know if they can’t and we will let them bring their kid. Would this be fair to other guests with kids though? And how can we let guests know?
Post # 3
Either they are invited or they aren’t. Also, if they are invited, it’s all or none. You risk seriously offending people if you pick and choose, and that includes having kids in the wedding party but no one else is allowed to bring theirs.
Post # 4
I”d address the invitations to the parents only and see who rsvps with kids. It would be nice if you provided a babysitter or two at the hotel so their children wouldn’t be far away, maybe you could put a note on your wedding website? I would not tell people its an “adults only” reception because the people who don’t think to complain to you about bringing their kids are going to be annoyed when they show up and there are 10 kids at the reception.
Post # 5
I think you could try to tell them that space is limited and its not really a kid friendly atmosphere so if they can get a babysitter that would be great.
I kinda think that nursing babies should be allowed. Even if they can find a trusted sitter or family member they won’t be able to stay long before having to return to feed the baby. Plus newborns usually don’t make much noise.
I also think that families traveling that far and for that length of time really should be invited to bring their children. That is really hard to find a sitter for.
I think your best bet is just doing word of mouth asking people to not bring kids if not necessary.
Post # 6
i agree, you need to pick a rule and stick to it.
we are 75% out of towners. we expect people will bring their kids to the hotel and we (my planner) has a long list of local babysitters, as does the hotel. most hotels do. anyone who i know has kids, i plan to email or call after we get a “yes” RSVP and ask if they need assistance, so there is no confusion.
i don’t mind them coming to the welcome cocktails or morning after brunch, but no one under 18 is allowed on saturday night. i have seen way too many lovely ceremonies ruined by unruly or crying kids and i am adament about it (even my 3 nephews will not be there).
Post # 7
I’d leave the emergency bringing the kids for a last minute decision. Say no children on the invite, but don’t harp on it. If something comes up close to the day and you decide to make an exception, so be it. But if you even HINT that they’re welcome, you will have a reception full of kids.
Post # 8
Your Fiance is right that you shouldn’t ask nursing mothers to leave their babies at home. Babies young enough to exclusively nurse are still at a stage where they pretty much sleep and eat all day so don’t worry about them being disruptive. And, they don’t need a seat or a meal so they have no effect on your capacity issue.
For the rest of the kids. If people have to travel 7 hours and stay at least 1 or 2 nights in a hotel that’s a lot of time to be away from your kids (and to have to pay for a babysitter!). I think your best option is to expect the kids will travel with their parents, but YOU should provide babysitting services at the hotel for the wedding and reception. Just put an insert in with the invitation to all people from far away who have kids. I think that’s a more than fair compromise.
Post # 9
You get into a tricky situation with setting up the “kids only if absolutely necessary” thing. We tried to have this kind of setup, with word of mouth. But then we had people just flat out asking us…do you want the kids there or not? And our answer was…not. So then we had to tell our friends we didn’t want their kids there.
In your situation, I would try and set up a babysitter/kids room. We had very few guests with young children, and all of them had family they preferred to leave them with.
The nursing baby thing throws another wrench into it. I think you have to let them come, although if you could set up a babysitter at the same venue so they could easily go feed when needed, it might be ok to exclude them as well. But maybe people who are actually BFing could chime in if this is feasible.
Post # 10
I have seen some bees post their RSVP’s that were worded something like, “Due to venue size, we are limited to an adults-only reception with the exception of nursing infants. We thank you in advance for your understanding. Should you need childcare, we can assist in that.”
Something like that? I agree with your Fiance that it’s unrealistic to expect nursing mothers to be apart from their babies. One of the BM’s in my best friend’s wedding last weekend was nursing and she could only be away for a few hours because the baby needed to be fed. And, apparently there can be some, um… leakage… if mommies can’t breastfeed in time. Not a comfy situation for your guests. 🙂
Post # 11
Agreed about inviting the newborns, and as for the rest of the kids, think of it this way: if you were a parent given the choice to either pay for 3 days worth of childcare or not (on top of travel, hotel and gift expenses for you and your spouse to attend a wedding) which would you choose? I think if you’re open to kids being there, most parents will take you up on it. If you’re firm about not having kids there, then a few parents will stay home and some will come anyway. I think the babysitter room at the hotel is probably the best plan.
Post # 12
Thanks everyone! I like the babysitter at the hotel idea! But I think we’ll need to find a babysitter that the guests already know to make them feel comfortable. Would it be rude to suggest that a couple of our guest’s college-aged kids come on the wedding weekend to babysit? (They weren’t already invited to the wedding)
Also, if we are going to provide a babysitter, should we include that on a separate insert in the invitation, and leave the kids names off the invitation?
I suppose that nursing babies should be allowed to come to the reception. But I have never seen an infant at a reception before.. do the parent’s bring in a stoller or something, or do they just hold the babies all night??
Post # 13
Have seen infants at weddings quite often and they are not a strange sight at all. Usually the parents or grandparents will hold them and when they are not held, they are in a portable car seat. A stroller is out of place.