(Closed) inviting babies to an evening wedding

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2641 posts
Sugar bee

No, I would not be offended.  I have children.  I didnot invite them to my wededing (didn’t have kids then.)  And now that I do, I have  no problem getting invitations without the kids.  One couple we invited to bring their children to our wedding, said that they just preferred to have an evening without them anyway.  I feel the same way, now, as a mom.  As a parent I don’t get many opportunities to dress up and go someplace nince.  And small children will kill that evening in a hurry.

I don’t know if you’re obliged to get a babysitter.  But it is a nice offer. I don’t know how many Out of Town guests will be required to bring their kids, or if they have someone else in town (where your wedding is) to babysit the kids.  But honestly, I think even hiring a babysitter would be well worth it, compared to having the kids.  And as a guest, I would think having a babysitter there to watch my kids is heaven compared to having them at the reception.

Post # 4
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

We’re giving people the choice – for those with under 10’s – I included a little note saying that their children were more than invited but that here was the numbers of (4) local babysitters (all pre vetted) if they choose not to bring them.

Post # 5
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

I, too, don’t think you are obligated to get a baby-sitter. It would be nice, but in the end the children are their parent’s responsibility, and if they really want a babysitter they will have to find one.

But I think you have to be prepared that some of the guests you invite with children (whether or not you actually invite the kids, too) may not be able to come to the wedding if no babysitting is involved. It may be difficult to find a babysitter (especially if everyone they know is going to be at the wedding!).

Post # 6
497 posts
Helper bee

I am about to become a mother for the first time and I can tell you that I would most definitely NOT be offended if we got an invitation to a wedding that was only addressed to my husband and I.  In fact, I would think it was a little weird if the ‘family’ were invited since infants can be so unpredictable.

For our wedding, we had 9 couples in attendance with children under the age of 1.  We wanted to be sure that those people didn’t feel like they had to leave early to get home to Jr. and/or not come at all because they didn’t want Jr. to be a distraction.  So we contacted each and every couple and let them know that we were providing a babysitter on-site for them so that if they needed to make a quick exit from the ceremony or reception, they could…but then they would be able to come back if they chose to.

For couples with older children, we also contacted them personally and offered them several listings for accredited baby sitting services in the area; to help them with the search for childcare should they have decided to not leave their children at home with a sitter.

I think regardless of your decision on children at weddings, which is a very personal one, it is important to reach out to people directly so that they at least know that you were being considerate towards their needs.

Post # 7
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I had the same argument with my Fiance ๐Ÿ™‚

Fiance insists we should have kids at the reception

And thouhg I didn’t specify in my original post, it was mainly due to the fact that most of our friends have babies (under 3).  I’m with you on this, which is why I planned from the start to have a babysitter (which my sister who has a 2 1/2 year old thinks is nice but not necessary).  I do think that if many of your guests are Out of Town you will likely save yourself time in the end by at the very least sending out a list of recommended babysitters beforehand.  Or you’ll end up fielding a lot of questions along those lines anyway.  I don’t know what to say about the cost issue of hiring a babysitter.  For us it won’t amount to a significant extra cost, but that’s partially b/c of the way our venue is set up.

FYI, my sister also mentioned that up until 6 mos. many guests will still tote their kids along no matter what.  Beyond that you run into issues that the toddlers will run around and require a meal and high chair.  I think if you want to avoid having toddlers mentioning babysitting (and ideally providing it) would be best.  But I think it would be difficult to avoid anyone bringing infants…but hopefully if people are respectful (e.g. step out of the ceremony or reception in the event of a screaming fit), it won’t impact you too much.

Post # 8
700 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I am not a mother, so this may be totally off the cuff…but I would assume that when given the choice of whether or not to bring children, many people opt to get a baby sitter for the evening and think "Yay!  A lovely evening out with our friends!"  Am I wrong on this, bees?  We will be inviting children (with my secret hopes that they do opt for a babysitter), but I will not be orchestrating babysitting.  Brides have enough to do!!

Post # 9
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

After going back and forth on this, I think we’re going with no children at the wedding.  Our niece and nephew will be the ring bearer and flower girl, they will be 5 and 3.  Also, my cousin who is 6 will also be a flower girl.  We’re giving his sister the option to let the little ones stay, since they are really well behaved but I think she will send them off to her friend once the reception starts.  We have some friends who have children, all under the age of 3, so were telling them no children and so far they’ve all completely understood and had no problem with it.  We also don’t have anyone coming out of town with small children, though.  Good luck with your decision

Post # 10
2022 posts
Buzzing bee

We are going with no children, too.  I don’t care one way or the other all that much, but my mother feels really strongly that children shouldn’t be at weddings.  My sister will have a 10 month old at the time of our wedding, too.

It should not be too huge of a deal since most of our family/friends view weddings as an opportunity to have an "adult night." 

We are going to put something up on our website that if guests are interested in on-site babysitting to contact me. 

Post # 11
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

The way I see it, parents are responsible for seeing that their children are taken care of when they get invitations to go out places without their children. If the parents are coming in from out of town and bringing their kids with them but not to the wedding itself, it would be nice to give them some options for babysitting in the area, though. Some parents, especially of young children, don’t like to leave their children with a stranger without some sort of personal recommendation. So while you don’t have to pay for the babysitter, it might be nice to offer them some options (unless it’s on-site, in which case I think you should pay for it).

I would contact your friends personally and ask what they plan to do with their children (i.e., would they like babysitting recommendations?). Offer to help first before you offer to pay ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 12
400 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I wouldn’t be offended at all. I don’t have children, but I don’t expect them to be invited to weddings in the future. It’s up to the parent to get childcare- By The Way.

Besides, I would ask my friend. If I had a child under two, I would either A) not bring them, or B) call my friend and ask if it’s appropriate.

Post # 13
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I’m in a very similar situation, with my ceremony at 6 and reception immediately following.  Except that my venue is child-friendly.  I included the children of friends and family on the invitation.  Some are going to bring them and some are not.   I am not organizing child care for them though.   So my opinion is to leave it up to the guests and let them worry about it – do not make it your problem, you have enough to do already. 

Post # 14
453 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I have kids and absolutely no-as in NO WAY would I be offended to be invited somewhere that my kids are not! I look at it as a fun way to have an evening among adults, in addition to the fact that I am wearing something that does not resemble in anyway my typical mom clothes of capris and a tshirt with flip flops or my Asics! ๐Ÿ™‚ If we went to an out of town event, such as your wedding, I would try to find somewhere for my kids to stay (such as with the grandparents) and enjoy the weekend away with my SO. If kids had to come, I would get in touch with you regarding a well known family friend, church member, etc. who would LOVE to babysit. Your other option is to provide a kids room which can be done at churches and hotels in suites-seeing as your venue is elsewhere, that could not be expected. Just my perspective of course, but I go places without my kids. If you have alot of out of town guests that you know well, you could have sitting at one of the relatives homes-preferably someone who has kids? We did this for my parents 40th wedding anniversary formal catered dinner. My sister hired (we all chipped in to pay for it so we could attend without kids) two ladies who taught the preschool at my mom and dads church to babysit the children at her house-it worked out great! We enjoyed the evening in dressy clothes without children underfoot, diapers to change, bottoms to wipe, noses to blow, etc. and the kids were well taken care of. There was a family event later in the weekend that the kids were invited to and included in so they were not completely excluded.

Post # 15
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I think the whole "we’re inviting parents but not children" thing is much more common and accepted these days.  I remember all of my cousins’ weddings, but people actually double-checked with us if they could bring their kids to our wedding (even though we put the kids’ names on the invites).  I think many more people nowadays expect that children won’t be invited to weddings, especially in your case where the event is taking place late at night at not a very kid-friendly location.

I also don’t think it’s necessary to provide childcare.  I am a big believer that people can (and should!) make arrangements for themselves if it takes a little more off your to-do list.  I doubt there’s anyone with kids who has never found a babysitter for even a couple hours; they can apply that prior knowledge to finding childcare during your wedding.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 16
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

We didn’t have any qualms with having babies present at our formal evening wedding. I just wanted to make sure that we accommodated any that came. I asked all the moms if they would like us to rent a high chair, and every one of them said they planned to leave the baby home instead and enjoy a night off. So in the end not one baby attended. It could end up being a non-issue the way it was for us.

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