(Closed) Kids at a wedding…

posted 5 years ago in Logistics
Post # 16
3729 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

ZeroSixty4:  we had a similar size/tone of wedding.  We invited all of the kids, but everyone ages 1 to 12 had to eat in a playroom with babysitters.  They were welcome to join the dance if their parents got them. Of the 40 kids invited,  24 came and they were great.  I have absolutely no complaints about their behavior and it is frequently commented that our wedding was one of the most welcoming people have been to. Having babysitters gave kids a break from being good and when our guests got too drunk, parents made the decision to send their kids back to the playroom or take them home.

Post # 17
727 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

starfish0116:  I completely agree! For me, I couldn’t imagine not having my cousins there, not because they are blood related but because they are a big part of my life. Family is different for everyone, my bio dad is a loser, he and his family (that I barely know) were not invited to the wedding, nor do I consider them family. AND I completely understand why and would never judge a child-free wedding – I am all about a good party! haha

Post # 18
6436 posts
Bee Keeper

Is alcohol provided as in on the house?  If so I wouldn’t mind leaving my daughter at home.  People tend to get a little crazy when alcohol is involved.  Besides what would they do all evening?  The parents of the children wouldn’t enjoy their time if they’re looking after their child all the time.  I wouldn’t get offended by this.

Post # 19
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I am firmly in the pro-children camp. Let me put it this way…. in order to attend your wedding, guests might:

– Have to travel for several days

– Fly from the opposite side of the world

– Book and pay for several nights in a hotel

– Take a few days off work

– Buy an expensive gift for the couple

– Put their pets in kennels/ pay for a house-sitter

A considerate bride and groom think about the comfort of their guests… and they should also realise that their guests have probably really put themselves out for the wedding. Many families I know make weddings into mini holidays in order to justify the expense and the time off work/distance travelled etc. Expecting people to bring their children significant distances, and then try to arrange some form of (extortionately expensive) childcare in a new, unknown location isn’t really fair. Neither is expecting people to leave their children at home. Where will the child sleep, especially if other family members are attending the wedding? Will the parents even have family members close by enough to take their children to, who will be able to take them to school etc if necessary?

… and then there are breastfeeding mothers. What are they supposed to do?

We have very long wedding days here, with daytime and evening events. We tend to invite people we are friendly with, but who aren’t really friends (such as work collegues) to the evening party only. These people live locally, and it it generally assumed that they will not bring children due to both the lateness of the event, and the fact that they can probably make other arrangements as far as childcare goes (due to the fact that they invariably live nearby). However, I would consider it to be extremely thoughtless if I received an invitation to a daytime event to which children were not invited, if the couple knew that the guest in question would have to spend time away from home.

Post # 20
6524 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

ZeroSixty4: Let me first just say that I love kids but there are some situation, a wedding being one of them where they should be left at home.  I think that children should never be at weddings. That is a my honest opinion. Most weddings include alcohol, and the parents won’t really be able to enjoy themselves because they have to keep their kids in check.

I did not have kids at my wedding besides the Flower Girl & Round Brilliant. I wanted everyone to have fun without having to worry if their children are misbehaving. 

Post # 21
11519 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

ZeroSixty4:  We had kids at our wedding because most of our guests were coming from more than a 2 hour drive or flying.  We didn’t think it was fair to ask people to travel that far and leave kids behind.  We were surprised, and most parents did leave their kids at home.  My half-brother (7), DH’s nephew (8), my nephew (2), DH’s cousin (<6months) and my friend’s baby (<1year) were the only children – I think an additional 5 couples opted to leave the kids at home.

The kids had a blast, we had colouring books and things for them but they tore up the dance floor for most of the night.  My brother had a little too much fun and conked out in the bridal suite around 10:30 and the people with the under 1’s left after dinner, but it was  a great time!  No regrets from us about having the kids. 

Post # 22
2942 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’m one of the younger cousins in my family (and I have about 30 cousins) Most of them are married with kids.  When it came to kids at my wedding I had two choices; Invite kids, or assume that 90% of my cousins would not come because thier typical child care (grandma and grandpa) will be at the wedding as well.  I will say having kids at my wedding was some of the most rememberable moments, from my best friends 1 year old cuddling in as I held her, to my cousins 2 year old, 4 year old, 5 year old and 6 year old waiting excitedly by the dance floor for their moment to party as well, but being very respectful of my first dance, to a friends 8 year old commenting to my Darling Husband that “Bowties are cool,” and our little flower girl getting distracted half way down the asile by my cousin’s kid that she suddenly decided in the middle of the wedding she had to meet.  And not a single one of them was misbehaved. Most of them disappear by 8:00 (after a 3:00 wedding and a 5:00 dinner) and the adult guests stayed later.

While inviting or not inviting kids is always the decision of the bride and groom, always remember that you are going to get declines based off of not inviting children, and even last minute ones.  Not everyone can find child care, people travling long distances will not want to find child care, and child care arrangements can fall through.  Please remember to be gracious as a host to know that people’s with kids prioty will be their child and not your wedding. 

Post # 23
4891 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

We only invited kids that we are related to, which mainly meant cousins kids. Some have young kids, and others range from 7-18. Their invitations did include family to indicate that. Most will either bring them, have a sitter there to watch them, or not bring them at all.

However, I did have a friend RSVP and then ask me if the “2” that I put on their RSVP card meant their kid also – especially since we had a children’s menu option. I told her what our plan was, and the fact that the invite was only addressed to her and her husband. It was funny, cos at their wedding – they freaked out if anyone was planning on bringing someone NOT on the inviitation.

Plus, we figured most of our friends with kids will be happy to get out of the house and party it up without their kids around.

Post # 24
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

There’s no right or wrong with this.

We had kids at our wedding because many of the guests were making a 2-3 hour drive to attend, and the majority of our guests were family anyway, so it just made sense for us to invite the entire family.

Our wedding was in the private room of a restaurant.  There was open bar but fortunately no one abused it or got sloppy drunk.  There was also a couple of couches in a small sitting area near one end of the room.  We had coloring books and other games for the kids but like a PP said, many of them had iPads (there was WiFi) and tablets to play with.  One of the older kids took it upon herself to be the ringleader of the kids and I bought her a gift afterwards for being so helpful.  I do have to say that the kids were awesome; sure some of them were kind of whiny at the end of the night from being overtired but that’s normal and no one disrupted the wedding.  Most were dancing the whole night.  It was really cute to see some of the little ones in awe of me in my big white dress!  One of DH’s cousins’ daughters asked if I was a real life princess.

Because we don’t get to see these cousins too often I am so glad we opted to have kids come.  It also made it really easy for the families to RSVP yes since they didn’t have to worry about babysitters.

I can also completely see not wanting kids at a wedding as well.  It’s all on what you want.

Post # 25
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

ZeroSixty4:  It’s really consideerate of you to be concerned about the ‘kid issue’. My wedding is an adults-only, save for the 4 newborns who will be coming. I sought the input of a couple friends with kids when trying to decide if it was socially acceptable or somewhat offensive to not include children on the invitation. They both said they would much prefer to attend a wedding without their kids. Weddings are some of the only opportunities married couples/people with kids have to kick up their heels, drink to excess, and dance the night away!  If you have already included kids on the invites though, I don’t think it would go over well to in-invite them…just cross your finGers that their parents make babysitting arrangements 🙂

Post # 26
1039 posts
Bumble bee

I love kids, but children and weddings with open bars should not mix. If we had out of town guests with kids, we’d give them the option of having a babysitter at the hotel. If they choose to leave early or not attend because of the child, that’s just something we need to be understanding about.

Post # 27
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

We loved having kids at our wedding. Many of them are our little buddies, and they were all so fun running around together in a big pack having a blast. They weren’t distractive and they really added to the joyful atmosphere of the wedding. Our wedding went late with a lot of drinking, but I think you just have to trust the parents to have good sense to keep an eye on their kids.

I don’t have kids, but I would be slightly annoyed although understanding if mine were excluded from a loved one’s wedding. 

Also, in our family weddings serve as an important intergenerational bonding time, since we don’t all get together all that often. I think that’s really important for the kids.

Post # 28
561 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I love kids at weddings. Our wedding had and open bar AND kids (gasp!) No charges were filed.

But that worked for US and for our circle. It worked because the type of wedding we wanted was informal and kids mixed in quite easily. We had a kids’ area with some sitters and activities, so the kids could choose to hang with their parents in the main reception area or color and watch cartoons in the kids’ area.

However, I now have a one-year-old, and he isn’t invited to the next wedding we’re going to. And that’s fine!

Post # 29
1669 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

Rachel631:  There seem to be a lot of “mights”/assumptions in what you are saying. OP never mentioned if guests were travelling (if any). Just because there is a wedding does not automatically mean that people are travelling (at my wedding we only have three couples travelling from out of town – none of which have kids). Also, reading your post it would seem that people should be able to bring their dogs with them to the wedding because they are being forced to pay for a kennel (btw there are hotels that actually allow dogs). To me all of this is a part of the cost of having a child and/or a pet. Many bees who choose to have child free weddings actually make exceptions for breastfeeding babies and there are even ones who are happy to help find a child minder or arrange for someone at the venue (none of which the OP mentioned). Your post makes a lot of assumptions that everyone who chooses child free is being inconsiderate of their guests. Oh, and an invitation is not a summons, it is an invitation that does not need to be accepted so if it is too difficult for you to attend (for any number of reasons), then it is your right to decline. OP sounds very reasonable and is trying to decide what is best. Whether she decides to have a CFW or have children as guests it sounds like she has weighed her options very seriously.

Post # 30
80 posts
Worker bee

starfish0116:  To be fair, that post came right after “I love kids, but think weddings are an improper place to bring them,” so the post you resopnded to might have been in reaction to someone making a blanket statement the other way.

I think it’s too variable to have a rule one way or the other. Weddings and the environments they’re in are so incredibly different, and it makes much more sense to have kids at some than others. 

We have enough friends who live across the country with kids that I’ll lose a lot of people I want to have there if I don’t allow kids (including my officiant, one of my best friends from college and the mother of my godson).

Our venue has a ton of safe outdoor space for kids to run around, and it has a room that’s routinely used as a kids’ room. We just have to provide an adult to supervise, and it seems worth paying a friend-of-a-relative/friend to be a sitter for anyone who wants to take advantage.

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