(Closed) Kids and DW Drama

posted 4 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
468 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

sea.brunette:  You are not alone, I’m in a similar situation. We’re not exactly having a destination wedding but most guests will be driving over 4 hours to get to the venue and most will be spending the weekend. We are in our late 30s and many of our friends have multiple children, its a small venue with a limited head count for the ceremony / dinner and if every friend were to bring all thier children we’d have to cut the guest list by at least a 3rd to accommodate. Add into the mix that we already have 5 children under 5 within the immeadiate family / bridal party and the venue is is a coastal location that could potentially be quite dangerous to unsupervised children and its a bit of a nightmare.

We haven’t even sent our our invitations yet but have spoken privately and seperately to each of our friends with children and explained the situation, most have been very accommodating and some have even said they are looking forward to a child free weekend. We’ve had a couple of people who were a little put out by it and may not attend, I’m sure there have been / will be some comments behind our backs but we’re not letting that change our decision. Bottom line it is your day and your choice

Post # 3
768 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I think it would be very polite to provide the daycare at the resort for the duration of the wedding. And your responsibilities end there. Of course people will want to turn this dw into the family vacation and it’s their right to do so, but they can afford spending 5h away from their kids. I would stick to what I want and not make any exceptions (not to offend other guests). PS. I was never faced with such problem as we were on opposite the first ones in our circles to get married and noone amongs our friends has kids. 

Post # 4
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

You are going to have to decide what is more important to you. Is it more important to you to fulfill your vision of a wedding that is child-free? or is it more important to you to celebrate your wedding day with these people? Only you know the answer to that question.

Post # 5
7358 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You’re being selfish.  Your wedding is not just about you. It’s about your guests, too. Those people in your perfect dream wedding vision are actual people and not props, and you can’t expect them to be happy about spending a small fortune on your impractical wedding idea and be thrilled about their young children not being included. The idea of childcare is a good start but I don’t blame people for not being on board— it’s not even like you have personal connections in Hawaii and can vouch for a potential babysitter. You’ve put your guests in an incredibly awkward and unfair position and you need to be much more accommodating than you are being.

Post # 6
605 posts
Busy bee

It is perfectly reasonable to want a child free event. It is also very generous to provide child care for the children who make the trip. I agree that it’s hard to ask parents to attend without their children since many wouldn’t want to leave their kids behind for an extended period of time but parents should also understand that this is your wedding and you call the shots. They do have the freedom to decline the invite if they don’t like what you’ve offered but I personally feel that on site childcare is more than enough on your part. 

Post # 7
8724 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I think it is a little simplistic to compare a childless couple travelling to a friends wedding with a couple with children travelling to a friends wedding. Let’s face it most couples without children have more freedom and disposable income. So when anyone but especially a couple with dependents considers spending a hell of a lot of their income to come to a Destination Wedding they have to see the benefits in it for them. If they are using up precious leave to travel to your Destination Wedding then that is time taken away from a family vacation. It is also money taken away from a family vacation so it makes sense to combine the two right?

I can also understand why a parent might not want to leave their child with a stranger in a strange place. I mean look at the threads on here with mums agonising over daycare providers or their children moving from a baby room at day care to a toddlers room. 

As a pp said you are going to have to decide which is more important- your vision or your friends and family seeing you married. 

Personally I am cbc and I find the idea of excluded kids from a Destination Wedding slightly ridiculous unless your aim is to have half of your guestlist not attend. 

Post # 8
100 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

sea.brunette:  I have to admit, I was going um I’d feel the same way as your guests if I was expected to shell out all the money to go to your wedding and not bring my kids with me, but then you said you’d provide childcare and I was like, that’s awesome, freedom for a night. If someone makes the comment that they aren’t leaving them with a stranger, ask them if there is anything you can do to ease their mind. If this sitting service is provided by the hotel, I would expect them to be able to provide information about whether the staff are CPR/First Aid certified, have all their clearnaces (Child Abuse, Criminal Background, and PA now requires Fingerprinting, not sure about other states). I would think if the people you were providing had all of that, that would put a lot of people’s minds at rest. They might think you are hiring some random 14-15 year old off the street who is going to have no idea what to do. (I would be concerened too if that was the case)

Regardless of what you do, someone will be upset. I had a Sunday wedding and omg did people complain. It ended at 9:30 folks… you’re fine. (They were all local people too that were the most vocal complainer, literally lived within 30 minutes of the venue.) Have your wedding how you want, and people will always come up with some reason to not attend. Come the day of, it probably won’t matter because you will be too busy getting married and having fun 🙂

Post # 9
4040 posts
Honey bee

sea.brunette:  I’ve often said, a wedding isn’t a democracy – the invited guests don’t each get a vote, in how things are run, the guest list, etc.

I’m 100% behind adult only weddings- anyplace. In my family, they turned child free in the late 60s. Unfortunately, the only solution I can suggest would be to have a separate kids party (you host $$), in a room adjacent/down the hall, to your reception room. Then the parents can check on their kids, during the evening. It will have to be made clear that the kids stay in the room, or you’ll have them all in with the adults, but it’s a compromise for everyone. Hopefully …

Post # 10
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

sea.brunette:  To be honest I think it is kind of rude to expect people to come all that way without their kids. I would try orgainse a sitter for the wedding day and say kids are welcome to the resort just not the wedding, there will be sitter available for children too young to stay on their own.

Post # 11
3718 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

sea.brunette:  I feel for you. My advice isn’t going to be what you want to hear, but your wedding isn’t just about you. It is also about merging two families.  In the family I married into, a no kids destination wedding would have been a no go. I would have been set on the wrong foot. As far as friends go, I would decline (even if you were my BFF). I couldn’t justify the cost and leaving my kids for that long. Your wedding isn’t just about you, it is also about all of the families celebrating the creation of your family. 


However,  deposits are paid and Save-The-Date Cards are out. So what I would do is try to compromise on big issues so you don’t cause family drama.  How about a kids room at the venue where parents are free to come after dinner and parents can check in? Or inviting immediate family’s kids and making sure your friends understand that you are totally cool if they can’t make it.


Darling Husband and I have been to over 20 weddings in the past 2 years. 18 had kids. They were never,  ever a problem.  It is fine not to want them there,  but every one of our friends said it was a battle they lost because it is such a hot button issue.

Post # 12
2715 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

sea.brunette:  I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time, but unfortunately I’m with your guests on this.  It’s fine to have a Destination Wedding and it’s fine to have a child-free wedding, but when you try and combine the two, things get tricky and it becomes a logistical and financial nightmare for your guests.

First thing you need to remember is that the moment you start including other people in your wedding it stops becoming all about you.  Once you decide to invite other people, you need to start thinking about their needs and comfort.  You say you are trying to accomodate your guests, but if you think about it, you aren’t at all.  Think about what you are really asking of your guests.

Time: A Destination Wedding wedding in Hawaii requires a big time commitment from your guests.  Hawaii isn’t exactly close so people are going to have to use vacation time just to get there.  And then, if you’re in Hawaii, you aren’t going to want to fly in on a Friday night, attend the wedding on Saturday, then fly home on Sunday.  Not only is that exhausting, but it’s a waste.

Money: Hawaii isn’t cheap.  Flights alone are going to cost guests thousands of dollars.  Then they are going to have to pay for hotels, meals, transportation, etc. while they are there.  That right there, is someone’s vacation budget for the year.

Babysitter Logistics: Ok, so now you’re asking for the parents to not bring their children to the wedding.  This means they have to find someone to take care of them.  Do you have any idea how hard it can be to find a sitter that can take in your kids for multiple days?  Maybe a couple is lucky to have some family or close friends or has a nanny nearby that can, but definitely not everyone.  And even if they have someone they trust that can watch the kids for a weekend+ doesn’t mean that that someone is available the weekend of your wedding to do so.  

Now of course the other option is to find or bring your own sitter to Hawaii.  It’s very nice that you offered to cover the cost of child care, but many, many parents are not comfortable leaving their kids with strangers.  And that’s not unreasonable.  So you can pay to bring your own sitter to Hawaii (hella expensive) or you can leave your kids with some stranger while you attend the wedding (not ideal by a long shot).  

Babysitter Money: In addition to simply finding a sitter, now parents have to pay for one.  Even if they have a relative or friend who can do it for free, you’re still going to have to spend extra money for food and activities that you might not have otherwise had to.

Vacation Loss: The thing with Destination Wedding is that because they are so expensive and time consuming most people turn them into their annual vacation.  If they didn’t, then they’d most likely not be able to take another one.  So bascially you are asking your guests to take their vacation for the year and use it to attend your wedding.  It’s a sacrifice many people don’t mind making, but you need to be aware that it is a sacrifice for them.  So it’s understandable they’d want to bring their kids.

The thing is, it’s not just 5 hours they have to be away from their kid, it’s either they have to be away for days or they have to fork out $$$$ to have someone trusted tag along to babysit.  You are asking people to give up their yearly vacation (on ethey would normally spend with their kids) to attend your wedding and that’s a very unfair and inconsiderate position to put your guests in.  I’d be upset and annoyed with you too.  And I know you travelled a lot for other people’s events, but that was just you (and maybe your SO).  It’s a whole other ballgame to travel with children.

Now having said all of that, it is your wedding and you can have an adult-only Destination Wedding.  BUT, you CANNOT get upset with people when they decline.  I think you and your Fiance need to decide what is more important: your adult-only vision or having certain people at your wedding. 

The other option is to have your adult-only Destination Wedding and accept that fact that it will be very small and then have a larger reception at home with everyone (including kids) sometime after the honeymoon.

Good luck and I hope you are able to find a solution that makes everyone happy.

Post # 13
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

sea.brunette:  we kind of had a destination wedding in that we got married in the Caribbean where we lived at the time but half of our guests travelled to from Canada and the US from. we wanted an amazing sit down dinner, good wine and party where we spent quality time with our adult friends. Some people werent thrilled about no kids and in some a couple of wives stayed back home with the kids. Most of our friends were pretty happy to have a couples trip! We offered to organize babysitters etc but we didn’t end up with any kids who came on the trip. I do not regret it for a second. It was what we wanted and our guests still rave about what a great trip it was. 


Post # 14
805 posts
Busy bee

sea.brunette:  I don’t blame you for not wanting kids there and I think your compromise to arrange an on-site babysitter was the correct thing to do. I would still stick to the no-kids wedding, but I think you definitely have to be prepared for people to decline.

Post # 15
437 posts
Helper bee

we’re having a Destination Wedding in november 2015.  originally, we were not planning to have any children attend (unlike your friends, many of ours are still childless) but since the planning has been done, one of my BM’s has given birth, another is pregnant and (yay) so am i!  so…there will be lots of teeny tiny babies on the beach with us (MUCH to the shagrin of my single BM’s.)  

you are NEVER going to make everyone happy.  we have literally invited everyone we know to our wedding and people are STILL upset with us because we’re not having a reception when we get back..?? 

do what feels right for you and your Fiance and if people want to get their noses out of joint, then that’s up to them.  BUT you also don’t have the right to be upset when people choose not to attend your wedding because they don’t agree with your rules.   live and let live!! xx

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