(Closed) How to say this….

posted 13 years ago in Beehive
Post # 3
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

Girl, find them a sitter they can book on their own. I know money is tight with you but doing the legwork on your end will save that nasty snarky call. Because honestly, your family isn’t likely to travel 7 hrs if there isn’t even a sitter to watch their kid at the reception (even one they pay for). Also, it is really hard getting a sitter to watch a kid overnight unless it is family… so find some college kids (posters at local schools do the trick) or ask around and go from there.

I know it is a PITA, but it will be so much more of a PITA if you have a dozen or so "you dont want your cousin at the wedding!? calls!


Post # 4
2765 posts
Sugar bee

I understand not allowing kids, but I’d be bummed if I were a parent and there were other kids allowed there.  Exceptions can make things seem arbirtrary and/or unfair.

Personaly I would rather invite less people and make room for the kids, if it’s a financial decision.  Or maybe like suggested, there are ways that you can help arrange logistics and push the cost onto the kids’ parents? 

Post # 5
471 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I agree wholeheartedly with what was posted by Mr. Bee. I understand the concern about having the bridal party kids come, but at the end of the day, those are also kids and they are just as likely to act as other kids do. It doesn’t change that just because they are in the bridal party. To a parent, it isn’t enough of a justification and it isn’t "fair".

Maybe you can hire a babysitter or have an alternative activity for the kids near your venue and include that as an insert for your invitations. That way it is a nice way to let parents know that their kids can and should be somewhere else and it is a passive way of letting people know this is an adult soiree.



Post # 6
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

I completely disagree with the others and I am on your side.  I am in the same situation.  We are having 2 young flowergirls, my nieces, and then his siblings 3 under 1 yrs. old nieces and nephew; then after that no one under 18.  I don’t think parents will not understand this.  all the kids are leaving early, they are mainly there for family photos.  Its OUR wedding, we’ll do what we want.  I specifically remember several of my aunts and uncles getting married when I was young and not being invited.  Not only that, but chicken fingers are not worth $40.  AND its an evening wedding, ceremony starting at 615 PM.  Most children should be in bed once the party starts anyway.  AND if we were to invite all the cousins we each have, there would be at least 30 kids there under 13 – its not a birthday party, its a FORMAL wedding.  I think most parents are used to having to get sitters for their kids.  To be perfectly honest, not my problem!  But we are spending a hell of a lot of money for an "adult" party – I can’t imagine people wanting to bring their kids anyway.  I also have no problem telling them they are not invited.  My aunt keeps asking, saying its only ONE person, wah wah wah – and we tell her its only her ONE kid, but if we invite one, we have to have them all.  SO, SORRY, it ain’t happenin’!  Guests know you have to start cutting the list somewhere.  No child wants to go to a boring wedding anyway!

Post # 7
114 posts
Blushing bee

Stand your ground, we’re having an adult only event as well and have gotten heat about the kids not being invited.  We are spending a ton of money for a classy event, not a kids party.

Post # 8
45 posts
  • Wedding: June 2008

Aha!!  I have a solution!!  I’ll babysit for you at the hotel, if you babysit for me at my reception!  We both live in MN and it solves the ‘no money’ problem for all 🙂

I’m half serious.  If you really want to do it, PM me and we can talk about it.  But that is an option. 

Otherwise, like Maegan said, stand your ground.  Tell them it’s adults only and be as kind as possible so you don’t have to deal with the heat. 

Post # 10
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

Bite the bullet and provide the same kiddie meal for your 3-5 cousins and your DD/FG. Your relatives will most likely not come if they can’t bring the kids (I understand both your and their anticipated view).

Ask the hotel (or a local day care center, your church, etc.) in advance if they can recommend a bonded and certified babysitting service. The kiddies can come to the ceremony and dinner (thus spending time with mom/dad and other relatives) and at a specific time the sitter (should be 2 sitters for 3 or more kids) can bring them to the hotel room, plug them in front of a kiddie movie/put them to bed.

If your reception isn’t the same place as the accommodations the kiddies are simply taken to the hotel to be with the sitter after the ceremony.

Family harmony lasts a lifetime…and so do hard feelings.

Post # 11
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

7 Hours of Travel = $250 (gas or plane ticket)

2 Nights of Hotel Stay = $200

1 Gift = $100

1 missed day of work = $100

**And these are all conservative estimates that do not include if they need to rent a car, if they had to get you a shower gift, go to your bachette party, got their nails done for your wedding, etc. 

I don’t mean to go all Emily Post on you, but these are your GUESTS.  The definition of a guest is "One who is a recipient of hospitality."

My fiance and I are so honored that our guests love and care for us so much that they are willing to spend their hard earned money and their time to be with us.  So, when we were making our budget, we thought about these wonderful people who want to share our special day with us.  So yes, a big chunk of our budget is going to shuttles to and from the hotel and reception so guests don’t need to drink and drive, or stay sober!, or pay for a taxi.  We are also going to have a room at the reception with a nanny service.   Out-of-town guests should not be expected to pay $200+ for a 72 hour babysitter while they travel to attend our wedding.  It would be lovely if the kids stayed home, I agree with Sweeney that many kids are bored to tears – but it should not be EXPECTED that my guests pay for them to be left at home.  

Yes, all of these things cost money – so we have a lower budget for the flowers, I only spent half my dress budget because transportation costs got high, and I am not giving out favors that in my experience usually end up forgotten at the reception.  All of that money is going into being HOSPITABLE to the guests that are important to us and/or our family and who want to be with us on this special day. It sounds like your budget is set, so take some of the wonderful advice and hire a nanny service to be at the reception and tell the parents that babysitting is provided and this is the cost per kid.  Or find a kind friend to do it like the sweet bride who volunteered.

Treat your guests with respect, not as a burden to deal with.  Think of all they are sacrificing to be with you.  And as my fiance always tells me, weddings are about families.  Our parents have been thinking about our wedding day for much longer than we have – this is not MY day – it is OUR day (and it is a fairly inclusive OUR).

Just one final note on the definition of HOSPITABLE (treating guests and strangers with warmth and generosity) as I anticipate it will come up – providing a meal and drinks does not make you hospitable if you INVITED them to dinner – that is merely providing them with what you had already extended an invitation for.  Being hospitable is also not going into debt paying for what you can’t afford. Being hospitable is treating your guests with warmth and generosity – meaning you don’t expect things from them, including gifts, as they are your GUESTS.

**I did not intend to be snarky, nor was this intended as a personal attack on Sweeney who is always a great contributer.  Rather, this is my pent up frustration towards lots of people (myself included) that get so wrapped up in the "wedding project" that they forget their manners, they forget what is important, and they forget what it was like a few years ago when they were wedding GUESTS… and soon, we will all stop planning, and go back to being wedding guests.

Post # 12
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

We are inviting lots of people to the wedding that have children, one set of cousins have 7 kids alone, so the costs could rise quickly.  I agree that it is a little ridiculous to spend $40 on one meal for a kid, but with family coming from far away, I feel like I have to do something for them because I don’t expect parents to come 700 miles without their kids or to come to town and leave their kids alone or with a stranger. 

My answer to this problem has been to plan a "kids reception" at a nearby location, most likely the hotel that we are getting a block of rooms at.  I’ll provide a sitter (probably some of the older kids themselves), food (probably pizza), and some toys and games for the kids.  No kids, including the ones in the bridal party, at the reception because I think it is both unfair to other kids and a little silly because their parents will have to leave early to take them home before the reception ends.  I just felt bad telling the siblings of my flower girls and ring bearers that while the kids that got to be "special" all day get to stay for the party, the kids who were not in the bridal party have to go home.  And in the end, the kids will probably have a better time than they would at the grown up reception because they get to be away from mom and dad for a while which was always a treat when my family went out of town.

I understand that I am adding non-essential costs to my budget but it is important to me that I treat my guests the way that I would like to be treated.  I have always complained about weddings that didn’t seem to take into account the financial stress that being a wedding guest involves.  If I have to cut something for myself so that people that I care about have a good time, that’s what I’ll do.

Post # 13
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

if you’re in the NYC/philly area, check out the Wedding Sitters at http://www.theweddingsitters.com. i haven’t decided if i’m using them yet or if i need to, but it’s a nice idea.

Post # 14
13 posts

Everyone makes good points, but Sweeney, there is nothing impolite about your expectation that only people who are INVITED should be coming to your wedding.  That is the bottom line.  Yes, people often assume and expect that exceptions be made for them and them only, but you shouldn’t feel like you are  a rude hostess because you don’t want to tolerate a guest’s rude behavior.  Just because it happens all the time doens’t mean that bringing uninvited guests is rude.  That said, you already know from your experience and the replies thus far that this is a hotly contested topic.  We had no gifts and no registry and specifically told our guests that we knew that just attending the wedding was a huge financial investment for some people, so just to come was enough.  I arranged for a sitter for my friends to hire on their own and provided a place for the childcare, but I don’t think that’s necessary for you. (By the way, if you do want to do this, I asked around for references of nannies and babysitters of my students)

Post # 15
27 posts
  • Wedding: September 2008



   I think I’m going to have a kid room on the site of my reception… so  kids above 4 are covered… my problem is what to do with the tiny kids.. ( I have 4 friends that will have children from 4-9 months old) they won’t even know what pizza is, or want to color yet ! and I KNOW their parents won’t want to leave them with an unknown, "hired" sitter, any thoughts on that ?!  

Post # 16
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Oh enmoore come on.  When someone throws a party, it’s rude of the guest to complain if the party doesn’t offer all the services they would like.  If it doesn’t offer all the services they would like, then they can stay home.  If your friends invited you over for a party, would you complain to them because they didn’t send a prepaid taxi over to pick you up and drop you off?  Just because it’s a wedding does not mean guests have a right to start making demands about what is offered at the party they were lucky enough to be invited to.  Now, of course I agree that it is hospitable to provide extra services that would make things easier for your guests, but it is unfair to suggest that it is inhospitable not to provide these extras if you cannot afford them in the budget.  Not everyone has the resources to offer such luxuries.  Does that mean they shouldn’t be allowed to get married and still have a party?

I think it’s perfectly acceptable to create boundaries as to whether or not children be invited to the party.  I think it’s okay to decide on having no children as guests, but one or two selected children as wedding party members.  It does get into a bit of a gray area if the children in the wedding party have siblings, but other than that, draw a line in the sand and say no children other than wedding party guests.  Adult guests should understand such a policy.

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